Aaronic Priesthood bearers from five stakes left a priceless gift to future generations of Washington State residents. They donated over 6,000 hours of labor to help build a 220-acre park in the quiet valley of the Snoqualmie and Tolt Rivers near Carnation, Washington. The more than 1,500 young Latter-day Saints and their leaders were among 20,000 Scouts from the area who worked with the United States Army, the Canadian Army, and Washington State officials in the largest youth Bicentennial project in the United States, the John MacDonald Memorial Park.
The young men from Bremerton, Renton, Seattle, Seattle East, and Seattle North stakes pitched tents among the dense fir trees and lived almost like pioneers for five consecutive weekends. They carried logs for shelters, cleared and raked meeting areas, built picnic tables, and nailed ramp separators for the suspension bridge that connects the two areas of the park. When they were finished, there were 40 hike-in campsites, hundreds of picnic tables, many log shelters, several rest room facilities, and five miles of trails through the park. “They were just ecstatic for the chance to do something permanent,” explained one leader. “They were busy every minute.”
They were tired, but happy Scouts who proudly carried their flag in the parade that marked the opening of the park several weeks later. All the town of Carnation and visitors from throughout the country gathered to watch as the Renton Second Ward Cub Scout pack led the parade through the small town and into the park.
“This park … is an honored tribute to our past. Scouts of today and tomorrow will use this beautiful land to learn … of yesterday’s greatness and tomorrow’s promises. The park will reinforce our customary spirit of using the heart, mind, and hands to live sensibly with nature’s rivers, forests, meadows, and mountains,” reads a plaque on display at the Memorial. These are the words of the man who was the inspiration behind the park, John M. MacDonald, a longtime volunteer leader with the Chief Seattle Council.
The proud smiles of the young men as they marched in the parade showed the plaque’s words coming true.
Mark Mattox, priest from the Northern Kentucky Ward (Hebron, Kentucky) represented his state as senator at Boys’ Nation, which began in Washington, D.C., on July 21 and ended August 7, 1976, in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. He was chosen for the honor following interviews by the counseling staff and directors of Kentucky Boys’ State to which Mark was a delegate and where he was elected clerk of the State Court of Appeals.
Take 24 youths, add 176 hours of energetic activity, combine with 21 gallons of paint, and you have one freshly painted house, seven tired adult leaders, and one happy homeowner.
The housepainting was one project developed and completed by the youth of the Mt. Pleasant (Utah) Second Ward. The recipient of the work was 80-year-old Hugh Barton, who had been born in the house in 1895.
The old home took on a new appearance last May when members of the Aaronic Priesthood scrubbed away loosened paint and applied the first coat of new paint. On the following Saturday they put a second coat of cream-colored paint on the transformed house. The Laurels provided refreshments, helped add the white trim to doors and windows, and cleaned the windows in addition.
After completion of the project, the workers posed in front of the two-story home with its grateful owner.
The Aaronic Priesthood bearers and the Young Women of the Springville 17th Ward, Springville, Utah, did the impossible. They painted an entire house without any major disasters. The house belonged to one of the older sisters in the ward, and the project was carried out as part of Springville Beautification Week.
“You could tell who participated in the cleanup day because they were all painted white!” said Carol Cronk, the president of the Young Women. The young people proved that work can indeed be fun as they felt the true meaning of service to others.
The Ashton Idaho Second Ward Explorer volleyball team has something to be proud of. They have been crowned champions of the Intermountain Area North Region for three consecutive years and were awarded the sportsmanship trophy in 1974.
But the achievement of which they are most proud is their activity in the Aaronic Priesthood. All members of the 1976 team have qualified for the Duty to God Award, and seven of them have already received the award. Currently many members of the 1974–75 teams are serving missions throughout the world. The 1976 team hopes to follow suit.
Pictured are Corey Knapp, Jimmie Allison, Craig Knapp, Mark Allison, Dave Egbert, Mike Evans, Kimber Jones, Tim Stronk (coach), Doug Evans, Alan Wynn, Mike Steinman. Coach Doyle Daniels is not pictured.
Perhaps nothing touches the heart more than the daily incidents in our lives where we see the gospel at work or have the opportunity to share it personally with another. These frequently brief encounters are often filed in the back of our memories and quickly forgotten. But these stories of faith-promoting experiences are the ones that inspire us to live the kind of lives we desire.
Leland E. Anderson in Stories of Power and Purpose tells of the unkind neighbor converted by love, the youth saved by a mother’s tears, the Scandinavian convert who had difficulty understanding the need to pay for a son’s mission until he remembered the two LDS youth who knocked on his door, and dozens of other experiences from the lives of devout Latter-day Saints.
One of the most poignant stories involves a missionary who considered his mission a failure because he had merely baptized a “ragged little boy” in Dublin, Ireland. Years later, the missionary was approached at a stake conference session by a man who had heard the missionary speak while serving in the field. The man, Elder Charles A. Callis, was a member of the Council of the Twelve, the same “ragged little boy” the elder had baptized in Ireland.
Another story involves Ruth, a seminary student, who felt she had no occasion to exercise her free agency. At home she was a servant to her inactive and very demanding mother and stepfather. At school she had been placed in a specific seminary class without any choice on her own part. She decided to drop the seminary class as part of her decision to use her free agency. After two weeks away from the class, she returned—she had made a decision with her agency, and it was a decision she felt good about.
The lessons these stories illustrate are meaningful points of gospel living that each Latter-day Saint should understand. The short chapters and concise presentation make their reading enjoyable and easy. Stories of Power and Purpose will hold the reader’s interest as well as inspire him to live righteously.
These books do not necessarily represent official Church statements nor recommended reading but might be of interest to young Latter-day Saints.
Carol Lynn Pearson is the author of two other books of poetry that have proven to be best-sellers, especially among Mormon audiences. Her ability with words and expression of thought is captivating. In this new book of poems, The Growing Season, she again writes about things in everyday life that everyone can glean from. Like this one:
In the past tense
Was, I’m afraid,
I ever made.
If there is someone on your Christmas list who enjoys Carol Lynn Pearson, wrap up this book and put it under his Christmas tree.
Calling all missionaries! Do you know how to boil water? Make a sandwich? Slice a tomato? Cook at all? Well, you’re going to have to learn or starve. Winnifred Jardine, Joanne Doxey, and Nadine Barton have put together a small paperback book just for you. It’s called Missionary Meals in Minutes.
The book tells about nutrition and basic cooking and time-saving skills in an easy to understand way. And it even gives tips on maintaining a happy homelife with that person you’ll be with 24 hours a day—your companion. The book is a good gift for missionaries preparing, missionaries leaving, and for missionaries already there.
Here is a book of practical instruction for anyone who has or could potentially have someone in his home in need of special care. And that includes everyone. The author is a registered nurse with years of practical and academic experience. She shares this experience in an easy-to-understand, readable way.
The book covers disease prevention, the recognition and treatment of illness, and the care of special medical problems. There is even a chapter on terminal illness and how to treat the patient and family emotionally as well as physically. The author gives helpful hints for general first aid and emergency situations when equipment must be improvised.
The Homemaker’s Guide to Home Nursing is a good book to have in every household. The index and simple illustrations make the small book very usable.
We have been commanded to search the scriptures. But scripture study for all too many gets lost among mountains of activities, while many others have never gotten excited enough about studying the scriptures to put out the effort required.
Brother Pinegar’s book sets out to solve both problems. First, he proposes and explains a systematic approach to scripture study. And according to Brother Pinegar, the happy by-product of a continual, systematic study of the scriptures will be the realization “that the scriptures are not just ‘another boring set of books’ to be read, but are alive and worthwhile and fun—yes, fun—to read and study.”
Ideally the book would be used by the entire family as a resource for their group study. But while written for family use, it can easily be used by students studying on their own. The body of the book contains outlines for studying the scriptures subject by subject. There are 58 scriptural topics outlined, each planned to cover a week of study. Every section is introduced by a short definition and explanation of the topic, followed by a specific purpose for the week’s study.
Divided into five major sections entitled “Preparation,” “The Doctrine of Christ,” “God’s Plan for Man,” “Gaining a Divine Nature: Christlike Attributes,” and “Service and Responsibilities,” if followed as outlined, the book provides more than a year of interesting, enlightening, and inspiring study of the standard works.
If you wanted to study the principle of self-esteem, you would first read Brother Pinegar’s definition of self-esteem: “Self-esteem means self-respect, self-approval, and self-confidence. It is a realization of the kind of person each of us is and also the kind of person we can become.” Each day of the week is then listed, with a purpose for the day’s study along with the scriptures to be studied. For example, Sunday’s purpose is “to learn how knowledge that each person is a child of God can increase one’s self-esteem.” The scriptures for the day are Luke 20:36, Galatians 3:26 [Gal. 3:26], 1 John 3:10, Mosiah 18:22, and D&C 58:51.
As study aids Brother Pinegar suggests you read and mark the scriptures daily. They should also be discussed with your family or friends. You might try to memorize the scriptures or the words to a hymn containing the message of the scriptures. Carrying notecards with the scriptures written on them can help you study during the day. You might make a poster of the scriptures to hang in your room.
The key to any program of scripture study is consistency and thoughtfulness. As Brother Pinegar notes, “You may find that some weeks are more successful than others, and that some days are also more successful than others. But consistent effort and work can bring satisfaction and great spirituality to the family, as the scriptures come alive.”
Jesus the Christ
by James E. Talmage
Deseret Book Co. $2.95, pp. 804
They’ve done it in paperback! Two Mormon classics, traditionally found in larger, hardbound editions, are now in easy-to-carry paperback books. Each book contains the full content of the hardbound editions. They are now easier to carry with you—to read while waiting for the bus, between classes, or on work breaks.
A Marvelous Work and a Wonder by LeGrand Richards is the missionary favorite that presents the fundamentals of the restored gospel plan in a logical and clear manner. Seminary students, interested nonmembers, prospective missionaries—all gospel students should read this book.
Jesus the Christ by James E. Talmage is the beautifully written story of the Savior’s mission according to holy scripture. Because of the scholarly language, the book may be a little more difficult to read, but with diligence and prayer it will help bring a deep understanding of the Savior and his mission.
Both books would be appropriate as gifts at Christmastime.
For those who like to do it themselves or are interested in pioneer times, Homespun by Shirley B. Paxman will prove to be an ideal Christmas gift.
The paperback is amply illustrated and contains historical notes on a variety of crafts as well as directions for successfully recreating projects from some almost lost arts.
The book contains chapters on log cabin cooking, preserving and drying foods, homemade remedies, needle arts, quilting patchwork, dyeing, rug making, soapmaking, candlemaking, producing cloth and clothing, drying flowers, and making toys and dolls.
The historical accounts make interesting reading for the less craft-oriented. For example, through the book the reader will learn of the various methods employed by pioneers for leavening breads. These methods included sour dough, a salt-rising formula, railroad yeast, and malt-raised bread. A number of pioneer recipes are included in that particular chapter.
The chapter on pioneer medical and herb teas will also prove interesting to many. A list of the various substances and their frontier uses is given. Also included are a number of pioneer emergency treatments. Broken bones were set and splinted by using sticks or boards, according to the author, and sometimes adobe clay was used much the way plaster casts are now.
Those interested in pioneer dress will enjoy the accounts of early silkworm raising, cotton growing, flax production, and wood production. Also helpful are the pages devoted to quilt making, dyeing through the use of native plants, knitting, patchwork on clothes, and other methods used in a society where cloth was expensive and sometimes hard to get at any price.
Actually, Homespun is the type of book that would be welcomed by nearly everyone as a Christmas gift and will offer insight into homelife as it was lived on the American frontier.
A Companion to Your Study of the Book of Mormon
by Daniel H. Ludlow
Deseret Book Co. $6.95, pp. 396
Have the names of people in the Book of Mormon confused you or been lost to your memory when you really wanted to use them as an example? What about some of the unnamed characters—do they slip into the misty dawn during early morning seminary? Would you like to know a little more about the metal plates on which those ancient people etched their important messages? What you need is Who’s Who in the Book of Mormon. It’s a small reference book compiled by Robert J. Matthews to help readers “quickly observe the information available about each character.” Also included is information on the plates, some interesting observations by the author, and a list of major Book of Mormon characters and their occupations and callings.
There’s also another new book just off the press about the Book of Mormon. You can tell a lot about this book from its title: A Companion to Your Study of the Book of Mormon. Daniel H. Ludlow wrote it especially to be used while reading the Book of Mormon.
Brother Ludlow considered questions from thousands of Book of Mormon students in preparing the book. Charts, diagrams, and maps at the end of the Companion give, among other things, overview information on the chronological occurrences and travels of the Book of Mormon peoples.
Also included is background material about the coming forth of the book, the major sets of plates from which the scripture was translated, and the historical setting at the time when the book was being written.
Brother Ludlow has taken each chapter of the Book of Mormon and given interesting facts about it. Reading about the chapter will add insight and better understanding to the study of the words of God. “If the goals and purposes of the compiler and the publisher are achieved, then this volume will truly be a companion to your study of the Book of Mormon.”
“The world is full of ‘would do-ers’—people who would do something if all the conditions were right. ‘If I had more time,’ ‘If I had a place to work,’ ‘If I could just write,’ are some of the excuses.
“Would do-ers,’ just never seem to get around to writing their personal histories. …
“This book is not only designed to motivate you to start your history but is also a ‘how-to’ book—a book to help you write your personal history.
“It’s loaded with techniques and procedures on how to organize your material, how to write imaginatively, how to enrich your history, and how to start writing. It’s a book filled with examples to help you understand some of the fundamentals which, when applied, will make your personal history readable and valuable.”
That is what we found in the preface pages of the new book by J Malan Heslop and Dell Van Orden. And the words proved to be correct. The book itself is a compilation of how-to’s and idea starters. It even provides a list of what to include in your personal history.
“‘Who? Me?’ is a frequent comment. ‘I can’t write a history about myself.’ Of course you can. If you can write a letter, you can write your own history. You’re the best-known authority on yourself.”
If you have a friend or someone in your family who needs a little squirt of help to start that personal history, this book is perfect for him.
Karen Searle has collected eight fine stories especially appropriate at Christmastime. Each story is easily read in a short time and would be ideal for cold winter nights by a fireside with family and friends gathered around. There are stories about the first Christmas and about modern-day celebrations. There are stories that teach the true meaning of unselfish love and service. And there are stories that include delightful spots of humor. Stories for Christmas would be a good book to have for special occasions during the holiday season.
In this day when a man can lose his family through over-involvement in a career field or numerous other responsibilities, or in just not caring for others, it is refreshing to have available a book such as Love at Home Starring Father.
The slim hard-covered book by a father of eight is basically an account of how the author has managed to keep his family in the center of his life while serving as a branch president, a bishop, a mission president, a regional representative, and as the chairman of the family home evening writing committee.
While the book is directed to current fathers, those who contemplate someday being a father will profit from reading it. Brother Durrant discusses the honor of being a father and how to spend quality time at home. He also tells how to help children feel good about themselves, how to listen to children, and how to teach them the value of work.
The author also discusses the need for humor in daily life and the need for earnest prayer. He tells how to balance outside responsibilities, including Church callings, with the responsibility of being a father.
The book reads easily and is filled with anecdotes that illustrate his points in a delightful, provocative manner. This book would be an especially good gift for fathers.
Goals by Paul H. Dunn and Richard M. Eyre is possibly one of the best short books recently published on the principles and benefits of goal setting. The 90-page volume is suitable for teens and adults and would make a fine Christmas gift for those nearing a transition period in life, such as ordination, graduation, a mission, or marriage.
The book contains a dual message. First, goal setting is compared to the care a seaman takes to ensure a safe and enjoyable journey to a far destination. It is brought out that a safe voyage isn’t complete without preparing to enjoy the journey along the way, that goals which interfere with good personal relationships may not be worth their price.
The book also presents the spiritual dimension of goal setting, the preparation for eternity. As the authors say, “The Holy Ghost has, as one of his missions, the task of revealing to us our missions.” Thus, one of the goals suggested in the book is for us to discover our divine potential and to take steps that will help us successfully serve the Lord through learning what he would have us do.
Goals is not difficult reading, nor is it lengthy. The average reader could study the book for maximum personal profit at a minimum time cost. The book also gives tips on setting short-term and long-term goals and suggests that a weekly evaluation of goals be held by the individual to help meet the unexpected or the changing times.
Good storytelling is a fine art, and when to the good story one adds learning something worthwhile, it is a service. Brother Curtis takes hold of the art of storytelling and wrings out every useful word until he has left in his hands a condensed, valuable nugget of interesting thought to share with his reader. He uses everyday objects and occurrences to illustrate each of his stories so that everyone can clearly understand the principle that is being taught. His stories are in a way modern-day parables.
In Talks for a Sunday Morn the author has decided upon 56 subjects, all the way from hummingbirds and hoodwinking to pipe wrenches and magnets—more than enough for a year of Sundays.
If you are ever in need of a good subject for a 2 1/2-minute talk, Brother Lindsay’s new book will be a good resource. Or even if you just enjoy reading sparkling, short thought-provokers, or know someone who does, this book is recommended.
Following are some new publications that you may be interested in as the holiday season approaches. Books are often a long-lasting gift when chosen carefully and given with love.