The Granger (Utah) Seventh Ward Aaronic Priesthood and Young Women organizations learned recently how to do service in secret. Recognizing that there is usually a need for service within the boundaries of one’s own ward, the youth began what they called their “secret pal” project. The plan was taken to the bishop’s youth committee where the bishop approved the plan and furnished names of people in the ward who were widowed, ill, elderly, or had sickness in their homes.
It was a year-long project of anonymous service. In November the youth went on a scavenger hunt to collect food items for Thanksgiving dinner for their secret pals. Bishop Brent E. Butterfield supplied the turkeys. The young women spent hours baking in the meetinghouse kitchen, and the young men wrapped and delivered the food. The youth also sent packages to missionaries and servicemen.
Christmastime found the youths making and filling Christmas stockings, making ornaments, decorating Christmas trees, and caroling throughout the ward neighborhood. Other service projects included baking and frosting cupcakes and wrapping fresh fruit for St. Patrick’s Day.
The project culminated in June. Engraved invitations were mailed to each of the participants. A black Cadillac limousine chauffeured by the bishop and Brother Rick Bauer, a member of the teachers quorum, was dispatched to pick up the guests in real style. There was a red carpet laid out for them outside the church door, and as each guest entered, Brother Frank Reedy, president of the teachers quorum, announced the arrival’s name. The young men were all in black tuxedos, and the young women were attired in their Sunday-best long dresses. A five-course dinner was prepared and served. Guests were served by waiters (young men in tuxedos with red linen napkins on their arms) who functioned with flair and ease.
A new tradition has begun in Granger, and the young people are already excited about the next year’s secret service.
“Miss Flores, what this world needs is a way of making people happier and healthier. Families just aren’t what they used to be.”
With that, Governor Eulogio Rodriguez of the Province of Rizal, the Philippines, turned to his desk and his thoughts. He was quite surprised when, a few minutes later, there was a knock at his door and in came two young LDS missionaries. He was even more surprised when they explained a program that would increase the efficiency of his staff by making their families happier and healthier than ever before.
The elders told him about Health Awareness ’76, a health fair presented by the Church’s International Health Team in the Philippines Manila Mission. The governor was so excited with the idea that he called a staff meeting to present a preview of the fair, and in fact, directed all of his employees and their families to attend.
Health Awareness ’76, just an idea in the minds of 11 young health services missionaries in its beginning, exploded into one of the most dynamic ways of introducing the gospel of Jesus Christ ever seen in the Philippines. A vast amount of practical health information on nutrition, disease prevention, and child care was assembled in unique, eye-catching ways that stimulated the curiosity of both the professional and the layman. It was presented in Manila and in several other cities throughout the Philippines.
The enthusiastic response of the various government organizations and community leaders was overwhelming. Over 20 agencies contributed information and personnel for the fair. National and private corporations became so interested in the project that many of them donated equipment and professional assistance in demonstrations. Displays, films, lectures, workshops, and booths were set up to educate the people of the Philippines about hygiene, nutrition, and other important items of health care awareness.
A display called Careless Charley taught the value of personal cleanliness and proper food preparation and sanitation as a preventative measure against parasites. Nearly 92 percent of the children in the Philippines suffer from some type of parasite; most are preventable with good hygiene.
The mobile X-ray van of the Philippines Tuberculosis Society provided free chest X-rays and medical consultation. The Heart Center for Asia demonstrated mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, and even a heart monitor was displayed.
Doctors James O. Mason and Isaac Ferguson flew from Salt Lake City to attend the health fair. In his opening statement, Dr. Mason, director of Church Welfare Services, pointed out that “the Church not only helps people prepare for eternal life, but it also helps them to be strong, healthy, and happy on earth.”
Public awareness of the Church’s concern for the health of its members increased when GTV-4, a national television station, devoted an entire 30-minute show called “Health Talk” to the Health Fair. During the interview, Miss Yvonne Nite, the hostess ot the show, asked Dr. Mason: “We’ve heard about your church’s beliefs regarding the use of alcohol, tobacco, and coffee. What are the medical reasons behind these beliefs?”
Dr. Mason’s impressive response was: “The Church believes in divine revelation from a Heavenly Father who loves his children. All revelation is given to us through a living prophet. It is interesting to note that 150 years ago, the Lord revealed to a prophet that alcohol, tobacco, coffee, and tea are harmful to our bodies. The scientists and doctors of today are only now discovering that these substances are dangerous.”
Aided by stupendous advertising and hundreds of hours of work by determined, excited proselyting missionaries, the total number who attended the fair at the Araneta Coliseum in Manila exceeded 15,000 in the first three days.
After only one week, the Philippines Manila Mission was flooded with referrals. In fact, one of the mission assistants exclaimed, “I just can’t believe it, over 12,000 referral cards after only two areas. What will the tour of the provinces bring?”
The health fair has prompted enthusiastic action by Church members in an effort to improve their standards of health. Members who discovered that their children were undernourished received instruction and counseling on nutrition from local government agencies as well as their Relief Society teachers. With the cooperation of the local health departments, thousands were immunized against cholera, typhoid, small pox, tuberculosis, and polio. Several active cases of tuberculosis and other respiratory ailments were discovered, and proper rehabilitative measures are being taken.
Thousands of garden seeds were sold to encourage home gardeners, and local wards and branches were planning their own welfare projects. Tiny seedlings began springing up in tin cans and flower pots all over Manila. Garden plots were cultivated where space was available, and families will save hundreds of pesos in food costs as they harvest their own tomatoes, lettuce, squash, and beans.
Thousands of seeds have been planted, but not only those that yield tomatoes, squash, or other vegetables. The Philippines Manila Mission and the Church will yet reap a bountiful harvest in terms of public appreciation, cooperation, and support, in increased member activity and productivity, and in converts who first learned that the Church existed when they attended Health Awareness ’76, the health affair of the year.
Scripture chasing is a popular pastime in many seminaries throughout the Church. In most cases seminary students learn to find scriptures within seconds after being given a clue or situation. Competition is intensified when youth are put on teams and given points for their speed and accuracy. And in the Champaign Illinois Stake, even the media took notice.
The students were given the challenge to memorize 40 scriptures in the Old Testament. The objective was to learn to locate the scriptures and then apply them in daily life. During practice sessions the students were given (1) a short clue, usually one word, (2) a verbal description of a life situation, or (3) a picture of some event. They then had to find the specific scripture in 15 seconds. The time was gradually reduced until each student could find every scripture in just a few seconds.
Out of 250 home-study and early morning seminary students in the Champaign Stake area, 15 became finalists in a run-off competition. In May 1976 the students with the fastest times formed three teams of five members each. Final competition between the teams was telecast over commercial television. The winning team, Robert Woolley, Carol Burdock, Deann Veach, Sue Ellen Emery, and Carol Retz, were given award plaques for their accomplishment.
A recent missionary-for-a-day activity conducted by the young people in the Renton Washington Stake resulted in five baptisms in two states as the result of one referral.
Heidi Vikari and Claudia Judd of the Renton Third Ward were assigned a tracting district in an older part of the town. The two took copies of the Book of Mormon and knocked on 15 doors that day, and at the last one, a woman responded to the message. She and a nine-year-old son were taught and baptized. She then referred the missionaries to a brother in Oregon, who also accepted the gospel. He, in turn, sent missionaries to another couple who also joined the Church.
Thus, within three months of knocking on doors in the stake’s semiannual missionary-for-a-day program, one contact resulted in five baptisms.
by Sandy Goaslind, Helen Arave, and Connie Jackson
We were in the throes of planning just another Laurel standards night. We had all been to those Laurel standards nights that were … well … just Laurel standards nights. They had all begun sweetly, and in a yawn they were over. But this year was going to be different!
We were the Laurel class presidency in the Tigard First Ward, Beaverton Oregon Stake, and we wanted to excite and involve everyone in the class. We also felt that the subjects of priesthood, motherhood, family relations, and temple marriage were so important that we should devote an entire evening to each. What evolved was a standards month.
The next several weeks were taken up in planning and preparing and seeking out the ideas of all the Laurels in the ward. Then the first evening came. We spent that first evening with a panel of mothers, each with children of different ages. Each mother shared her views on the joy of motherhood, disciplining children, coping with the stress and pressure of homemaking, the satisfaction of work well done, and the importance of keeping spirituality in the home.
Dads may have been left out of some standards nights, but not ours! For the second event of the standards month, we invited the girls’ fathers to a semi-formal dinner with their daughters. It was soon discovered that this night eating was going to be an entirely new experience. Not one ordinary utensil was used to eat with. Imagine eating meat loaf out of a shell or a candy dish or asking for half a cup of water and being given just that in a measuring cup!
The third week came rolling around, and we chose “Understanding the Priesthood Role in Our Lives” as the focus. Our guest speakers for the evening were the wives of the bishopric. These women helped us to understand the significant responsibility that is ours in supporting the priesthood. The three women agreed that making home a haven of peace and comfort could be a substantial contribution to helping priesthood bearers do their work; and this could be accomplished by daughters and sisters, as well as wives. We were encouraged to let fellows know that we respect their priesthood by the way we talk and act around them.
For the final event of our standards month we chose the theme “The Morning of Your Life.” We invited our mothers to the home of one of our class members. The program began with a trio of class members singing “The Lord Is My Shepherd.” We then had a married couple from the ward express their feelings about self-worth and reaching our full potential. They taught us that rather than setting a goal to be married at a certain age, our goal should be to be worthy at all times.
It wasn’t an ordinary standards night this year. We learned, we laughed, we included everyone, and we grew closer together and rededicated ourselves to the high standards of the Church.
The walls of the Latter-day Saint Institute of Religion at the University of Idaho at Moscow have seen some historical events. The institute is celebrating its 50th anniversary; it was the first institute program established in the Church.
Students in Moscow really went all out to celebrate the anniversary. They entered a float full of nostalgia in the University of Idaho homecoming parade. Norman Holm and Mark Comstock put together a slide presentation that told the history of the institute and showed it at the institute open house, high school day, and other special meetings. Single students held a box-lunch social to help earn money for the new Seattle Temple. Title of Liberty was produced and acted as a missionary tool among the northern Idaho residents. A new flagpole was donated through the labor of the students and was installed to commemorate not only the institute’s birthday but the Bicentennial of the United States.
Remembering when was difficult for many of the younger alumni, but for a few of the older ones, it was easy to recall the day the institute was established under the direction of the president of the Church in 1926. If those walls could only talk, they could share 50 years of gospel instruction.
Dale Sirrine, a priest in the Louisville Third Ward, Louisville Kentucky Stake, has a great track record. Running for Ballard High School he won the state triple-A cross-country championship in the fall of 1975 and then came striding back in the spring of 1976 to clinch the state 880 honors.
As a result of his efforts Dale was named Ballard High’s most valuable runner and the junior class’s athlete of the year. He was a first-team all-stater in track and finished second in the balloting for Kentuckiana (Kentucky and southern Indiana) high school cross-country runner of the year. He was also named a high-school All-American in track.
Dale is a member of the National Honor Society and was chosen to receive the Harvard Book Award as the junior boy with high scholastic achievement combined with excellence in other fields. He is a member of the Kentucky all-state high school choir and was elected state treasurer at Kentucky Boys’ State.
Although Dale’s teammates train seven days a week, Dale has never trained on Sunday. Instead, he spends much of the day attending to his duties as assistant to the president of the priests quorum. After Dale had won his championships, a teammate said that he might join the Mormon Church so he could stop running on Sunday. Many of Dale’s teammates have heard the gospel explained in the locker room, and some of them have attended Church activities.
Dale has earned his Eagle Award and his “Duty to God” Award and has represented the Louisville Stake youth on the regional youth conference planning committee for the August conference at Eastern Kentucky University.