Start at the Beginning
You begin with a stage, any stage, add a few lively and talented young people who are active in the Church and interested in people, throw in a drum roll and bright lights, and “Ladies and gentlemen, we give you Genesis: the Beginning!” “Beginning” is a musical troupe of youth from Las Vegas, Nevada. The group’s music ranges from religious selections, such as “I Am a Child of God,” to popular and patriotic tunes. Interspersed with the group’s numbers are solo selections from any one of the 18 high school singers and dancers. This group even has its own 12-member band.
“Beginning” began in the spring of 1974 and was under the sponsorship of the Las Vegas East Stake Aaronic Priesthood and Young Women. At first, they only performed for ward dinners and stake functions, but invitations from other groups came quickly as word spread of their talent. The youth have been able to capitalize on this interest to use their music as a missionary tool and to demonstrate the range of activities and service projects for youth in the Church.
They were scheduled for a short performance in the summer of 1976 at the Jaycee State Fair in the Las Vegas Convention Center when they so impressed Fair officials that they added a special concert and dance featuring the group. But not being content with just sharing their musical talent, “Beginning” has also concentrated on service. They involve themselves in a special project regularly for three different convalescent homes in the Las Vegas area. At least one afternoon a month, the members gather to bring their music to the older residents of these homes. The residents of the center feel a special kinship and love for the youth—they asked them to participate in the Convalescent Benefit Carnival that is sponsored by members of the homes to raise money for special patient needs.
Another imaginative service project that is now being prepared is the making of a fantasy film based on the popular Wizard of Oz tale. “Beginning” members created their own costumes, including a gnome king, scarecrow, tin woodsman, and Jack the Pumpkinhead, as well as the script. The fantasy is being filmed by one of the group’s advisers. Upon completion, the film will be used for a benefit and then donated to the Las Vegas East Stake Relief Society for use in their nursery classes.
Many of the members of “Beginning” are officers in their ward Aaronic Priesthood and Young Women programs. As ambassadors of the Church and their stake they abide by Church standards in behavior and dress. Three of the members are recent converts and “that’s the biggest thrill of them all.”
Change in the Presiding Bishopric
Because of the call of Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone to the First Quorum of the Seventy, the Presiding Bishopric was reorganized on October 1, 1976, in general conference. Bishop J. Richard Clarke was called to serve as second counselor to Bishop Victor L. Brown to fill the vacancy left by Elder Featherstone.
Bishop J. Richard Clarke served as a Regional Representative of the Twelve from April of 1974 until his call to the Presiding Bishopric. He is also a former bishop, stake president, and stake mission president.
“It’s an overwhelming experience to be called by a prophet. If it weren’t for the perfect confidence I have in revelation—and I know from experience how real that is—I’d have to wonder if they have the right man.” So said Bishop Clarke, whose family is a great support to him. “They’ve been amazing about this call. We expected the children to at least think about what they’d be giving up, but they’ve just expressed their excitement and their support. … I’ve always said that I could serve only if I had the unity and harmony of the family. Also, that I couldn’t stand for one set of principles and have my family accept another. Honestly, they’re wonderful children. When my oldest son, Dallan, was growing up, I was always on the stand during meetings. We couldn’t have those good shoulder-rubbing experiences in priesthood meeting; and it would have been really hard for me as a father if I hadn’t known that he accepted and supported what I was doing.” (“Bishop J. Richard Clarke of the Presiding Bishopric,” Ensign, Nov. 1976, p. 139.)
Church Schools Offer Spring and Summer Programs
Brigham Young University, Ricks College, LDS Business College, and Brigham Young University—Hawaii Campus will offer a wide variety of classes for students of all ages during the spring and summer.
Brigham Young University
At Brigham Young University, a student may register for one or both of the eight-week spring and summer terms (May 2 to June 23, June 27 to August 18). The equivalent of one semester of classwork can be earned by attending both terms.
More than 800 courses, which range from general education to graduate and professional programs, are offered during the spring and summer terms. Housing is available both on and off campus, and part-time employment opportunities can be found in the local area.
Tuition for each session is $180 for LDS Church members and $270 for nonmembers. Scholarships and financial aid are available to qualified students for both terms. For additional information about admissions and scholarships, write A-183 ASB, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah 84602.
In addition to the curriculum for college students, a program for young people ages 6 to 18 is planned. Included in this program are workshops in art, music, debate, and several sports. These summer youth courses are taught by BYU faculty members and youth leaders. Additional information is available from Special Courses and Conferences, 242 HRCB, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah 84602.
Ricks will offer three five-week terms during the spring and summer. The first term (May 2 to June 2) is planned primarily for Ricks students who want to take some additional classes before the summer vacation or who are lacking just a few credits for graduation. A graduation program will be held June 2 for students who complete their degrees during the first term of summer school. There will be two additional summer terms: June 6 to July 7, and July 12 to August 11.
A two-year college, Ricks will offer lower division classes on campus with upper division courses taught at the BYU—Ricks Center for Continuing Education.
Tuition for summer classes is $36 per credit hour for up to 12 hours and $330 for 13 credit hours or more.
Ricks will sponsor Discovery ’77, a five-week program where students explore the wilderness areas of Yellowstone, the Tetons, the Idaho primitive area, or other backcountry locations adjacent to the college. In addition, the Syringa Camp of the Arts will combine art instruction with outdoor experiences, and Handcarts North will give students an opportunity to learn survival skills.
Ricks’ courses are taught four days a week, Monday through Thursday, giving students time to combine their education with visits to nearby recreational areas.
Housing and course schedules may be obtained by writing: Director of Summer School, BYU—Ricks Center, BLDG. 79, Ricks College, Rexburg, Idaho 83440.
LDS Business College
To allow students more free time for jobs and summer vacations, LD will schedule a shorter quarter during the summer of 1977. By lengthening class hours from 50 to 60 minutes, the normal 11-week quarter will be reduced to just nine weeks. Applications for summer quarter are being accepted now. New student orientation and registration will take place Monday, June 13. The quarter will end August 12.
During the quarter, LD will have a special legal secretarial course for students with advanced clerical skills. This course will be offered at a $100 reduction. The regular cost of $320 for fees and tuition will be reduced to just $220. The program is open to students with a typing speed of 60 words per minute and shorthand of 90 wpm. Applicants must also have an ACT English score of 21 and a cumulative high school gradepoint average of 3.00.
Students wishing on-campus dormitory accommodations should apply immediately. Rent and utilities are $50 per month in the dorms and all units have kitchens.
Students needing or wanting to work while attending LDS Business College may contact the placement director. During the past school year, the 300 LDS Business College students seeking work had their choice of more than 1,100 job offers. For more information write: Admissions Office, LDS Business College, 411 East South Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah 84103.
Brigham Young University—Hawaii Campus
Each summer the BYU—Hawaii Campus hosts a variety of academic workshops, seminars, conferences, and classes as part of the Aloha Summer Session.
Summer session programs include inservice training and special workshops for teachers, Polynesian and Asian study courses, fine arts workshops, English and other language classes, youth leadership conferences and seminars, and a number of other activities. In addition, a number of regular general education courses and classes in major subject areas are also offered.
The summer session is divided into two five-week blocks. The first begins June 21 and ends July 19. The second block starts on July 20 and concludes on August 16. Students may register for one or both blocks. Program costs are determined by the length of residence on campus and the number of credits for which a student enrolls. Tuition fees are $25 per credit hour, and the daily cost for room and board, including three meals per day, is $12. Optional summer activities and summer sightseeing excursions are provided at additional cost.
Applications for the summer program must be submitted by June 1. Special customized package programs may be arranged upon request. Detailed information on the various programs, course descriptions, costs, and group airfare rates may be obtained by writing: Division of Continuing Education, BYU—Hawaii Campus, Laie, Hawaii 96762.
Venturing down the Snake
“No way,” I heard a few of the Venturers murmur as we looked down at the Snake River for the first time. “Look at some of those rapids!”
“Don’t worry,” I assured them, “we won’t be going down this portion of the river. But we will be hitting King Rapid before our river trip is over, and it’s pretty big!”
The Venturers of the Orem 27th Ward, Orem Utah South Stake, had been planning and preparing for this trip since last year. In the back of the Venturing manual there were several pages of instructions detailing how to build a kayak. At a post officers seminar in the fall the presidency had voted to build kayaks during the winter and plan a superactivity around them. Last January when we finally began seriously looking at the idea of building our own kayaks and running a river, we suddenly began to realize the great amount of planning and work that this project would take. After several voting sessions with the Venturer post, post committee, and parents, we decided to give it a try.
We were able to enlist the aid of an explorer adviser who had done this before, and with his instructions and guidance and a kayak mold that we rented, we began purchasing materials. Each boy was asked to earn $50.00 in order to purchase the necessary resin and fiberglass. The post presidency planned several money-making projects, and the boys were able to come up with the rest of the money through cherry picking and yard work.
As each boat was built, our Venturer post learned to work together. At least four or five people are needed for each kayak built. Gradually teamwork skills emerged as the boys began helping each other with their boats. With visions of whitewater and beautiful rivers, they labored through the smell, stickiness, dirtiness, and work of each boat.
As plans for the superactivity began to materialize, we decided to run the Snake River from Jackson Lake Dam to a small resort called Astoria Hot Springs about 70 miles downriver. It was decided in our post meetings that we needed to learn how to read a river and how to paddle. We also needed experience before hitting the “big water” of the Snake. Utah Lake served as our first practice camp, followed by several practice runs and camps down the Provo River. One of the most important skills learned was how to “ferry glide” across a river. This technique is used to move swiftly across a river, even through a rapid, without wasting energy. Our practices required each Venturer to intentionally swamp his boat—many were able to perform this great feat without even trying. I’ll never forget the picture of one of our smallest Venturers towing our 200-pound assistant adviser across the Provo River after the adviser had unintentionally swamped his boat!
We felt well prepared as we began our trip down the Snake River, and each of the skills we had learned and developed were evident as the Venturers ran rapids as tall as they were. “It was worth all that effort,” several of them said as we floated through the beautiful, primitive parts of Teton National Park, camped on the shores of the Snake, and saw elk, beaver, eagles, and other wild animals. Throughout the river trip, and in testimonies given at the testimony meeting the final night on the river, gratefulness was expressed to the Lord for the great experience we had had, for the brotherhood that had developed, and for the beauties of the land that we saw on our trip down the Snake River.
Mini Goes Maxi in Centerville
The youth of the Centerville Eighth Ward, Centerville Utah Stake, have a new idea for summer fun. They decided to make a switch from the usual, run-of-the-mill diet of summer activities during activity night and planned short courses covering subjects from horse training to charm and etiquette. Both the Aaronic Priesthood and the Young Women joined together for the classes. The bishop’s youth committee set up the instruction through specialists in the ward. They planned the classes in addition to the regular lessons from the lesson manuals.
When the youth first talked about the project, there was some hesitation: “Mini classes … that’s what Mom does in Relief Society!” But after trying it for one summer, they’ve decided to do it every year.
“Those four weeks of mini classes seemed to fly by so quickly! I had a sense of real accomplishment from them. There were classes like gymnastics, law enforcement, photography (DeVon Toone even sharpened his skill by taking pictures of the event), and design in fashion that I was unable to work into my schedule, so I hope we can do it again,” said Kolette Montague. “I even learned about backpacking.”
Someone Special Starring Youth by George D. Durrant Bookcraft, Inc. $3.50, pp. 119
“I have not always been the tall handsome fellow that I am now. (I feel free to describe myself as ‘handsome’ in this book of many words and no pictures.)” And from that introduction, Brother George Durrant begins joking and laughing through a chapter about one of the most common ailments (next to the common cold) of people everywhere—an inferiority complex. His book is like that—about people and what they have to handle in life.
For example, youth of all ages are perplexed by their own inadequacies—real or imagined—in successfully relating to others. And many times if there really is an inadequacy, it starts with their “image of self.”
In this small, interesting book the author skillfully relates stories and anecdotes to help everyone come to realize their own self-worth. Someone Special Starring Youth plots a course for the reader to realistically evaluate himself, find his strengths (yes, everyone has some) and his weaknesses, and gather the good things from the life around him to go forward knowing “you will be, now and forever, a very special person.”