Alvie, You Helped Us Learn

by Marilyn Shoemaker

We have had an endless problem in our class and in the stake—what service project could we do that is truly a service and not just a fun activity? There is always the orange grove assignment, or pulling weeds at the chapel grounds, or tying a quilt for someone special in the ward, or playing sub for Santa at Christmas, or whatever else we might finally think of that would seem appropriate. It has appeared that other wards are sharing our same dilemma. How do we find a service to which we may be strongly committed? It’s difficult to find a project requiring sacrifice, effort, time, and yes, eventually the feeling of joy that can only come from doing something that brings to others happiness, help, and a feeling that there are others who care about them.

This project all began on a serious and sad mood. Reading the paper one day, I discovered an article about a 14-year-old boy, Alvie Peters, suffering from leukemia and badly needing blood to replace the massive amounts he needed to sustain his life. I soon realized that I knew this young man, not personally, but through my family in Idaho. When it became more personal to me, I began to wonder what I could do that might help. I could not think of anything. Then I remembered the news item was a plea for blood. Maybe my Laurel class would like to donate blood as a service. Upon investigation I learned that to donate blood one must be 17 years old and have parents’ consent. Well, that would eliminate half my class, who were still 16. And, some of the 17-year-olds would be eliminated because of the requirement that all donors weigh a minimum of 110 pounds. Something kept at me. There had to be something we could do! Then, the thought struck me. Why not have our own blood drive and donate all the blood to Alvie. It would be a lot of work, but then most worthwhile things are.

I made some preliminary calls to gather some information before I presented it to Diane, the Laurel class president. Diane was interested, but I sensed she felt the enormity of this sort of undertaking and was silently questioning her ability to handle it. (To get 150 donor commitments before a bloodmobile unit would come would not be an easy task. We’d need to get help outside our ward. We needed all the Laurels and Explorers in the stake.) But, knowing how great her leadership abilities were, I encouraged her and expressed my confidence in her. We approached Bishop Campbell with our idea. Again, I sensed some reluctance because it was such a huge responsibility. But, being the supportive bishop that he is, he outlined what had to be done before we could proceed.

I had to contact my stake counterpart, Sister Peterson, who had to contact Brother Bawden, one of the high councilors, who had to contact our stake president. The word came back quickly that it had taken President Nielson about ten seconds to give us his blessing to use the cultural hall and proceed. In the meantime, Sister Brown had been approached as our specialist. She was selected because of her experience with the stake Relief Society blood drive. Her counsel, advice, and help proved to be invaluable. It looked as though we could proceed. Time was of the essence because of how far Alvie’s disease had progressed.

The phoning began. All the ward Laurel presidents had to be called. Coordination with the Red Cross had to be initiated. Publicity was needed. Why not attend our city council meeting and seek their support? So, the Laurel class of our ward and Darla, the stake Laurel representative, attended the next meeting. What an experience that was! We were at the bottom of the agenda. After we had sat there for nearly two hours, I began to fidget. The girls were so tired. (These girls are at seminary at 6:00 A.M. every morning, and here it was 10:00 P.M.) Darla, our spokesman, also had all that time to have her apprehension grow in approaching those formidable looking gentlemen. She did a super job! She explained our project, asked for their endorsement so that we might use their names in advertising, asked them to declare May 3 as Alvie Peters’ Day in Fountain Valley, and ended her plea by asking them if they would like to contribute their blood. There were a few chuckles over that. The former mayor saw a special humor in it. He looked at Darla and said smilingly, “There have been a lot of people after our blood. It looks as though they are finally going to get it.” The present mayor, quickly and without hesitation, offered all and any help to the girls. They left in high spirits. I believe this was the moment they caught real enthusiasm for the project, and it spread like a contagious disease to all those with whom they worked.

Sister Kennedy, one of the sisters in our ward, belongs to the South Coast Junior Women’s Club. She expressed a desire to help. Diane and the girls decided to ask this group to take charge of the publicity and furnish orange juice for the donors. Our girls would make the cookies that would be needed.

Everyone seemed to want to get involved, even those who were ineligible to donate blood. The day of the blood drive came, and girls eagerly arrived to help fill all the positions—receptionists, typists, donor-room aids, callers, canteen workers, kitchen help, phone committee, and hall monitors to avoid interference with the Primary meeting in session. And there were the girls like Liz who spent countless hours in recruitment, scheduling of appointments, and then following up again to make sure everyone would remember to come.

And the lessons of the day continued right up to the end. My one concern was that our clean-up committee of priests would not be there to do the assignment. Cleaning up is always so unappealing. Yet, more came for this job than were assigned. Those tremendous young men had the equipment loaded and the cultural hall “spiffed up” in no time. I wanted to hug them, and I don’t even know their names.

And now that it’s all over, I continue to think of Alvie. Alvie, you did not live long enough to use this blood that was so willingly given to aid you. You died the next afternoon. Be assured this blood will help another with the same dreadful disease. Your 14 years on this earth were short; but your life has touched so many, so very many. You have helped us to learn a little more about service, a little more about love.

Internationally Known in Science

Wayne R. Moyle, a priest in the Ogden 58th Ward, South Ogden Utah Stake, received first place honors over a field of 416 finalists from all countries of the world at the 28th International Science and Engineering Fair on May 14, 1977, in Cleveland, Ohio.

Wayne represented Bonneville High School (Utah) in the earth and space sciences division of the international competition. His project was entitled “Effect of Breakwaters on Erosional Shorelines.” It took the four top honors.

He won two top federal awards. The Navy Oceanographer First Place Award consists of an all-expense-paid week’s study at the Naval Post-graduate School in Monterey, California, and a short cruise aboard an oceanographic research ship. The U.S. Army Meritorious Award includes a Certificate of Achievement and a Silver Medallion.

The top professional award ($100) was also presented to Wayne by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

An Eagle Scout and a recipient of the Duty to God award, Wayne is presently an assistant to the president of the priests quorum in the Ogden 58th Ward.

[Colorado Scouts Paint Parking Lot]

New Young Men Presidency Called

The First Presidency announced recently that three brethren have been called to serve as the Young Men General Presidency of the Church. Brother Neil D. Schaerrer was called as president and Brothers Graham W. Doxey and Quinn Gunn McKay were called as his counselors.

The new presidency will be responsible for the program for young men of Aaronic Priesthood age, including the Scouting program, curriculum planning, activities planning, training leaders, and above all helping to teach young men their responsibilities in the Aaronic Priesthood.

Prior to this calling, the Presiding Bishopric directed the work of the Aaronic Priesthood through a Director of Aaronic Priesthood and a general committee. The new presidency will have the aid of a general board and will report to Elder Marion D. Hanks of the presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy.

Brother Schaerrer is an attorney in Salt Lake City and has served as mission president of the Austria Vienna Mission. In addition to mission president, he has served as counselor in the Salt Lake Stake presidency, as a high councilor, and as a bishop’s counselor. He and his wife Jane Coon Schaerrer have four children.

Brother Doxey has served as a bishop, president of the Salt Lake University First Stake, and president of the Missouri Independence Mission. His wife is Mary Louise Young Doxey, and they have 12 children, 11 of whom are living.

Brother McKay has served as bishop three times in three different wards. He has also served as stake Sunday School president, high councilor, and stake president’s counselor. He and his wife Shirley Frame McKay have five children.

Four Latter-day Saints Named Presidential Scholars

Of the 120 high school graduates named as Presidential Scholars by President Jimmy Carter, four were LDS youths planning to enter BYU in the fall of 1977. They were Debra L. Bayles of East Ely, Nevada; Milan Njegomir, II, of Las Vegas, Nevada; Toby A. Threet of Moorcroft, Wyoming; and Mitchell Lee Edwards of Shorts Hills, New Jersey. All four of the scholars were previously selected by BYU for the prestigious Spencer W. Kimball scholarships announced on April 1, 1977.

On June 9, 1977, all of the 120 Presidential Scholars were guests of President Carter at a dinner where they received the Presidential Medallion. Mr. Carter addressed the group for 20 minutes and the students were taken on a tour of Washington, D.C.

Debra Bayles presently serves as the ward organist and has served as the president of her Beehive, Mia Maid, and Laurel classes. She attended White Pine High School where she was a straight “A” student, member of the band, pep band, all-state chorus, a flag twirler, member of Bobketts Drill Team, member of the student council, science fair winner, and winner in speech contests.

Milan Njegomir, II, attended Valley High School. He was a National Merit semifinalist, member of the Las Vegas Civic Symphony, chemistry teaching assistant, president of Model United Nations, winner of the Mathematics Association of America Award, and vice-president of the Russian Club. Milan has served as pianist for priesthood meetings in his ward.

Toby A. Threet has served as assistant to the president in his priests quorum and as president of his teachers quorum. He attended Moorcroft High School, where he received awards in mathematics, English, science, social studies, art, and citizenship. He was editor of the school newspaper and correspondent for a daily newspaper. His artwork received a State Fair award, ten County Fair awards, and eleven local awards. Toby lettered in track and was manager of the basketball team. He won seven trophies in business skills contests, and he has served as president of the Lettermen’s Club, Spanish Club, and vice-president of the National Honor Society.

Mitchell Edwards has always been active in Church responsibilities. He was president of his deacons quorum and teachers quorum and was seminary class president. In his senior year he served as assistant to the priests quorum president. Mitchell attended Milburn High School where he was a straight “A” student, captain of the football team, and member of the track and basketball teams. An Eagle Scout and member of his high school chorus and orchestra, he attended Boy’s Nation in Washington, D.C., and received his school’s Distinguished Service Award. He was speaker at the New Jersey American Legion Convention and a delegate to Union County Physics Seminar. In addition to holding club offices, he was a member of Limelight Players, a theatrical group.

The Ricks New Freedom Singers

Ricks College has a unique group of singers that call themselves the New Freedom Singers. The group consists of 30 students who, with lively, smiling spirits, sing about their homeland, their belief in God, and their hopes for the future. On May 12, 1977, the group gave a noon-hour concert in the ornately decorated rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building across the street from the United States Capitol. The concert was for members of Congress, workers on Capitol Hill, and visiting tourists from all parts of the world. It was part of a tour the group was making across the U.S. As they traveled they found many opportunities for missionary work and fellowshipping, and their enthusiasm for their LDS way of life drew interest from audiences everywhere.

Sewing Up a Winner

Stephanie Hall won national honors in the Butterick Pattern and Kodel Fabric contest. She designed and made a three-piece suit that she first entered in the western states regional contest. After winning there she was eligible for the national competition. As part of the honors, Stephanie and her mother were given an all-expense paid trip to New York City and Boston.

Stephanie graduated from Springville (Utah) High School in May 1977 with high honors. She was studentbody secretary and active in many school functions.

Stephanie also served as Laurel class president and is now serving as secretary in the Junior Sunday School in the Springville Eighth Ward. She also teaches in the special Primary for handicapped children.

On with the Snow

On the 28th and 29th of January, 1977, 146 youths from the Visalia California Stake met at the YMCA Camp Gaines in Sequoia Lakes in the Sequoia National Forest. The event was the annual youth “Snow Conference.” Each year the young people converge for a campout, complete with games, singing, dancing, and a fireside. Youth between the ages of 14 and 18 bring nonmember friends along to share the two days of fun and friendship.

Friday’s activities began with registration and dinner. After putting away a mountain of food, the tables were cleared away, and everyone sat on the floor to listen to Brother Tom Nelson, who spoke about his job as a navy pilot and how it could be likened to gospel principles.

Saturday’s activities included tubing, snowball fights, and winter fun. Later the youths learned how to square dance, including the Virginia Reel. The music was provided by a group with a name as long as any ever heard: “The Original Mormon Brothers Tabernacle Bluegrass Band, Choir, and Freight Company Plus One.” The “Snow Conference” was a success, especially as the youths learned that it was a good way to fellowship uninvolved young people and nonmembers.

[13 Michigan Scouts Receive Eagle Scout Awards]

[Missionaries Fly a Kite]

Miracles in Pinafores and Bluejeans
by Ardeth Greene Kapp
Deseret Book Company $4.95, pp. 81

“A little girl came into my class at the beginning of the year, and her first comment was, ‘I don’t want to be in your class.’ I felt rather insecure myself, and I thought, I don’t blame you. I don’t want to be here either.”

Sister Kapp, in her sweet, refreshingly honest approach to life, finds in nearly every experience some miracle. The miracle of growth, of trial faced, of excitement anticipated, of friendship won, of testimony gained. In 20 brief chapters she opens new insights to common, everyday happenings. She sees a lonely child in a classroom who is bitter and angry with her young teacher and envisions a growing experience for both.

She sees a small niece, Shelly, tightly hugging a worn doll and reflects on her own sister, Shirley, and how she blossomed from just such a child into the extraordinary wife of a new stake president and the loving mother of eight lively children.

Sister Kapp relates the tender stories of a teacher whose patience pays; of the friend of a repentant soul and of a woman who more than anything loves the Lord, life, her husband, and children, but who finds her mother instincts must be fulfilled through service to the children of others for she has no children of her own.

Her book, Miracles in Pinafores and Bluejeans, is written especially to, for, and about Latter-day Saint young women; and who better could write such a book than a member of the Young Women General Presidency? It’s delightful, easy to read, inspirational, and fun—a book that could well be used for special study by young women of all ages.

Love Is the Gift
by Afton Grant Affleck
Bookcraft $3.95, pp. 149

“Charlie Stewart knew that the gift is love. … He knew that love must be given away to be possessed. He realized that when we serve one another we accept God’s need for us to alleviate his children’s suffering and sorrow.” It was Charlie Stewart who inspired and committed Sister Affleck to write the book Love Is the Gift. It’s about Christlike love, selflessness, service, sensitivity, and endurance. In 28 brief chapters Sister Affleck shows through stories and examples how to grow into a happier, more contributing, less self-centered way of living. She shows how everyone can develop the capacity to give the gift of love, and then, just like the proverb of casting bread upon the waters, the giver receives back joy and satisfaction and a feeling of self-worth.

Roughing It Easy, II
by Dian Thomas
Warner Books $4.95, pp. 223

She’s done it again! Dian Thomas has written another fun, informative, timely book about the art of outdoor living. It’s called Roughing It Easy, II. What the first Roughing It Easy didn’t have (and we thought it had it all), the second has. It includes sections on car camping, recipes for different sources of heat, how to create sanitary living situations, the preparation of TV dinners in the out-of-doors, and the latest method of cooking: solar heat cooking. Dian has collected ideas that are easy, fun, and practical, making out-door-living living rather than constant work. With her suggestions you can spend your time enjoying the scenery instead of fighting to survive. Roughing It Easy, II is written with humor and is easy to read. Even if you have Dian’s first book, you’ll probably want her second, too.

Tragedy or Destiny?
by President Spencer W. Kimball
Deseret Book $ .95, pp. 12

Why? Why is there pain, sorrow, and tragedy in the world? And why does the Lord allow such unhappiness? Those are questions we’ve all heard if not asked. It’s a searching, frustrating dilemma—one that youth, especially, find confusing and of great concern. In the small booklet Tragedy or Destiny? President Spencer W. Kimball discusses those very questions and trials. “In the face of apparent tragedy we must put our trust in God, knowing that despite our limited view, his purposes will not fail. With all its troubles, life offers us the tremendous privilege to grow in knowledge and wisdom, faith and works, preparing to return and share God’s glory,” states President Kimball. It is a discussion of hope and peace and comfort. It will also help each of us see destiny in place of tragedy.

The “Last Race” Came in First Place

A first place Gold Camera Award in the U.S. Industrial Film Festival held recently in Chicago was awarded to the Brigham Young University entry John Baker’s Last Race in competition with the best from many nations.

The film, which was produced and directed by Douglas Johnson, was winner in the religion-ethics-brotherhood division. A gold plaque presented to BYU cited the motion picture for “outstanding creativity in the production of audio-visual communications in international competition.”

The festival is the world’s largest event devoted exclusively to the industrial film media. About 700 films were entered from over a dozen nations. There are also categories for science films, travel, culture, recreation, business, etc.

John Baker’s Last Race is the story of an Olympic-class miler at the University of New Mexico, who was headed for the 1972 Olympics when his career was cut short by cancer. In the time that was left of his life, after he learned of his illness, he devoted himself to coaching children. Despite great odds, he proved to be a master teacher, inspiring children who were difficult to reach and gaining the respect of the entire community.

Two days after his death, the Duke City Dashers, his girls’ track team, with tears streaming down their cheeks, won the AAU championships in St. Louis—for Coach Baker. And that same year a referendum was held in Albuquerque to change the name of the Alpine Elementary School to the John Baker Elementary School. There was not one dissenting vote.

School children and teachers who knew Baker actually took part in the film. Even the mayor was given a bit part. The scenes were the actual places in the school, home, hospital, and neighborhood where Baker lived and died.

A Record of the People Who Produced a President

Representing the First Presidency of the Church, Elder W. Don Ladd, Regional Representative of the Twelve, and Brother Thomas E. Daniels, of the Genealogical Department of the Church, made a special presentation to United States President Jimmy Carter in May 1977.

They gave him a two-inch-thick, leather-bound volume of his genealogy. The record reaches back 12 generations into the early 1600s when Thomas Carter, Sr., was born somewhere in England. Thomas traveled to Virginia in 1632, long before there was a President of the United States.

The genealogical information about the President’s ancestors was gathered from census records, wills, land and probate records, birth and death certificates, and other vital statistics. The work was researched in Salt Lake City where the microfilming work done by the Church in the United States and numerous other countries has resulted in a file of vital statistics amounting to the equivalent of more than 4 1/3 million printed volumes of 300 pages each.

Included with the volume given the President was an 18-by-24-inch, framed family tree, with names of Mr. Carter’s family as far back as could be documented and a letter from the First Presidency. The letter read:

“Daniel Webster said, ‘There is a moral and philosophical respect for our ancestors which elevates the character and improves the heart.’ As you know, we as a people feel a deep reverence and gratitude for our ancestors, which in turn gives us a greater sense of responsibility to our posterity.

“In the spirit of respect and friendship, we present you with this documented genealogy of your family. May you feel a warm satisfaction as you study this record of the people who produced a president.”

The Scouts of Troop 232 in Rifle, Colorado, came up with a different kind of project to help their community. The four of them repainted the parking lot of an unused store to provide more parking space for the town. They didn’t stop their painting there—they went on to paint the curbs and then cleaned up all the trash in the area.

A special Boy Scout Court of Honor was held recently in Bloomfield, Michigan, when 13 Aaronic Priesthood bearers received their Eagle Scout Awards. James Bopp, North Trails District executive, indicated that in his experience in Boy Scouts this was the greatest number of Eagle Scout awards that had been presented at one Court of Honor in the area. As part of the evening program, Harmon Killebrew, a former member of the Minnesota Twins baseball team, was the guest speaker. The Court of Honor included a flag ceremony and citations for each Eagle Scout as he received his high award in Scouting. Nine of the recipients of the Eagle Scout award were from the Bloomfield Hills Ward, three from the Troy Ward, and one from the Flint Ward. The parents of each of the Scouts were also honored as their sons received the Eagle Scout award.

Elders Chevez and Shirtz, missionaries serving in Sheridan, Wyoming, were told one day while tracting to “go fly a kite.” So on their preparation day they used their imagination and their dedication to their callings and made a kite to go fly.