Commemorating Philadelphia Style
Recently the Philadelphia Pennsylvania Stake held a fathers and sons’ outing to commemorate the 148th anniversary of the restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood. The outing was held in a wooded campground only a few hours drive from the spot where the priesthood was actually restored. Over 200 attended the event that started Friday afternoon at 4:00 P.M. and lasted through the next day until 3:00 P.M.
The games, food, and fellowship were all good activities, but the main event was the lesson learned from the service project. The boys and their fathers all pitched in to help Wally, the camp ranger, clean out the debris accumulated through the winter in the creek bed so the stream could run clean. They also helped get the campground ready for the summer season. Stake President R. D. Jess said, “The boys learned that they could have fun and do a good turn all at the same time—a good lesson for anyone.”
The stake presidency was especially pleased to see so many men and their sons with nonmember neighbors and friends. Brother M. Soto, first counselor in the Spanish-speaking North Philadelphia Branch, had a group of boys with him from families who are investigating the gospel. And the men of the stake took their responsibility a little further and brought boys who did not have fathers who could come with them. More than one father took the boys they home teach.
The camp had lean-to shelters for 50 bedrolls, with a campfire set in front of each shelter. Tent trailers and tents accommodated the rest in the same area, and that evening you could count as many as 20 fires at once.
Each ward put on a skit for entertainment that evening. Everyone sat out on the lawn by the campfire in front of a makeshift stage of canvas strung on a rope between two trees. The young men decided that President Jess needed to be involved. He wasn’t sure if he wanted to be measured for a coffin or simply play the part of the radiator on the people car. He soon found out that he would get wet either way.
After the skits, a full-length feature movie was shown in spite of the fact that the wind blew the screen down several times. A midnight snack was then served before the bugler John Dorny, Broomall First Ward deacons quorum president, blew taps. Hot chocolate and doughnuts warmed everyone so that even the fathers were ready to face the night in sleeping bags on boards in the shelters or on the ground in tents.
The next day began with reveille at 7:00 A.M. Breakfast was served by members of the Order of the Arrow. A local farmer had sold them whole, fresh, unprocessed milk. It had stayed cold through the night, and it was the favorite item on the menu.
The morning’s activities included hiking, racing, catch ball, basketball, softball, kickball, and touch football.
The Order of the Arrow also served lunch, and after eating, everyone was ready to get into the service project. That afternoon as the campers left the area, the ranger said he would like to have this group back next year.
LDS Students Given Honors at Iranian High School
Ronald Webster, 18, and Le Lo, his younger sister, were selected as homecoming king and princess by the student body of the American school at Esfahan, Iran, this past year. Ron, who was first-string quarterback on the Toufanian High School football team, was also picked for the inter-city all-star team. Le Lo, a sophomore at the 750-member school, is a cheerleader.
Ron and Le Lo, with their parents, are members of the Esfahan Branch of the Iran Tehran Mission. Something Ron and Le Lo have found different in Iran is that all their Church meetings are held on Friday, the local religious holiday. Similarly, fast Friday is observed on the first Friday of the Iranian month, making it about ten days earlier than fast Sunday in western countries.
Hawaii Temple to Reopen in June
For the first time since its original construction in 1919, the Hawaii Temple will be open for public tours. The temple has been closed since June 1976 for extensive interior renovation and expansion, and the public will be able to visit it prior to its rededication this coming June. The First Presidency has announced that the temple will be open daily, except Sundays, from May 2 through 27. After that it will be rededicated and closed to the public.
The reconstruction of the temple was necessary to accommodate the increased amount of genealogy and temple work being done, according to Max W. Moody, temple president. The reconstruction also has brought the nearly 60-year-old building to current building standards.
Learning for the Eternities by Marion G. Romney Deseret Book, $5.95, pp. 215
One of the most important things Joseph Smith learned as a prophet was that man can know for a certainty the character of God. President Marion G, Romney, second counselor in the First Presidency of the Church, says that this knowledge is so vital it changes a person’s entire perspective on life.
In Learning for the Eternities, the sermons of President Romney are powerfully compiled into a logical guide designed to show first of all what the nature of God is, and second, that by truly understanding eternity and his own nature, man grasps the reality that eternal knowledge is vital to his salvation.
“Unless we can be persuaded to learn about and for the eternities we shall not only be unprepared for eternity, but we shall also bring destruction upon ourselves here and now,” President Romney writes. Divided into five sections, the book progresses as the reader does—from an understanding of the nature of deity to a comprehension of the applications of that knowledge in his life and its implications in the hereafter.
For those seeking to understand their role in current events, trying to draw nearer to the Lord, or simply seeking insight about how to improve their own lives, this new publication furnishes an exciting blueprint for action.
The Mighty Change by Elaine Cannon and Ed J. Pinegar Deseret Book Company, $3.95, pp. 82
The key to creating an ideal society lies within the individual. By perfecting himself and sharing the light of the gospel with others, he can instill in them the desire to lead righteous lives, thereby helping to build a better world.
Using the questions Alma posed to Church members in ancient America, “Have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts?” (Alma 5:14), the authors pose a “What if …” question about a “perfect” society. Such a society did actually exist, as described in 4 Nephi. In it there were no liars, thieves, or cheaters, no broken homes or broken hearts. There were problems, but the people knew how to handle them and they lived in peaceful bliss. The society grew to what it was because at the outset faithful saints set an example for their neighbors.
Such a society is possible for us today, but it must start with the individual. We can’t change everybody, but we can change ourselves—and the prophets in the Book of Mormon offer guidelines, which Sister Cannon and Brother Pinegar list in six basic concepts, each one composing a chapter.
The six steps leading to change are: (1) gaining a personal knowledge of Jesus Christ; (2) getting to know oneself and having a proper self-image; (3) feeling the need to change what’s amiss; (4) seeking out sources of information upon which to act in making necessary changes; (5) establishing new values; and (6) making commitments to live by standards that the person trying to change believes in and has now adopted.
Stimulating for young and adult readers, the book may not change the world overnight, but it will show those who are seeking ways to exemplify the Lord’s teachings some positive steps to take. And who knows, their example just might help their neighbors find the desire to undergo a “mighty change.”
Family Roots Genealogy Kit Richard W. Gibbs Publishing Co., $11.95, pp. 86
Where do I start? What records do I need? Where do I find them? What do I do with them after I have them? These are questions commonly asked by most beginners in genealogy. For people eager to get started, it’s easy to lose that enthusiasm if the questions go unanswered. Family Roots Genealogy Kit is a complete beginner’s guide to genealogy, designed to open the doors to effective research. It contains 16 family group sheets, 30 research record sheets, an archive file folder, a 31-tab index, and 4 unique speedletters, all within a sturdy 3-ring binder. The speedletters are preprinted sample letters that show how to write to city, state, or county agencies and to family members to obtain information.
The 15 pages of step-by-step instructions in the kit are easy to read and understand. They are written in outline form and divided into sections explaining the use of pedigree charts, the index system, and family group sheets; how to record names, dates, and places; locating sources and how to use them; and letterwriting. The kit includes almost everything the beginning genealogist needs and provides even the more experienced researcher with an effective system of organization.
Marriage, Covenants and Conflicts by Mark E. Petersen Bookcraft Publishers, $3.95, pp. 120
In Marriage, Covenants and Conflicts, Elder Mark E. Petersen gives the following counsel from President Spencer W. Kimball: “To be really happy in marriage, one must have a continued faithful observance of the commandments of the Lord. … There must be a great unselfishness. … There must be a continued courting and expressing of affection, kindness, and consideration. … With these ingredients properly mixed and continually kept functioning, it is quite impossible for unhappiness to come, misunderstandings to continue, or breaks to occur. … Marriage never was easy. It may never be. It brings with it sacrifices, sharing, and a demand for great selflessness.” (P. 36.)
Elder Petersen discusses the worldly attacks that are so prevalent today concerning the home and family and gives direct, practical advice on how to build a strong marriage. Elder Petersen discusses dating, postponing marriage, limiting families, working mothers, negligent fathers, child rearing, the influence of television, middle age, and the importance of developing skills and talents. He gives counsel from the scriptures, many Church leaders, and other authorities. All who are married or who are contemplating marriage could find direction and answers to questions in this concise volume.
Signs of Love in Los Angeles
The Los Angeles California Stake has an uncommon collection of cultures. The Westwood wards are basically Caucasian; the Hollywood and Wilshire wards have Mexican, South and Central American, South Pacific, and Far Eastern cultures. And then there’s the fast-growing Spanish Branch where all meetings are conducted in Spanish. The new Korean Branch is solely conducted in the Korean language. And there also is the Ward for the Deaf, a special ward where sign language is used.
The Los Angeles Stake Young Women organization, in an effort to bridge the gap between the hearing and the deaf, embarked last fall on a program of training the Laurels, Mia Maids, and Beehive girls in the deaf sign language. The deaf language missionaries were called upon to teach the classes, and the girls quickly became adept at the basic signs. Later, members of the Ward for the Deaf also helped.
The young women of the Ward for the Deaf were just as excited watching their hearing sisters try to communicate with them as the hearing girls were in learning the new language.
One of the high points of this effort was at the June stake conference when representatives from all wards and classes “signed” the three verses of “I Am a Child of God” before the congregation. The song was conducted by a Laurel from the Ward for the Deaf. Later, as the congregation rose to sing “The Spirit of God Like a Fire Is Burning,” the stake youth stood in front and “signed” the song while the congregation sang. The members of the Ward for the Deaf stood with their hearing sisters and “signed” the song with them.
A few weeks later something else new happened—the girls from the Ward for the Deaf joined in the Young Women summer camp. At the end of the week, everyone was able to “sign” a poem and another song for camp visitors. Several of the hearing girls are planning to continue their education in sign language.
It was exciting and fun to learn a new language, but the girls found it equally gratifying to be able to know and understand their deaf sisters, a valuable step in gaining greater appreciation for all.
Ohio Mutual Films Movie
The Mutual-age youth of the East Liverpool Branch in Ohio were starting to get bored last summer, but instead of taking a nap, they decided to put their heads together and plan a special project. The idea they came up with was an original silent movie, complete with a hero, heroine, two villains, and a poor little fellow named Elmer who is in love with Penelope, the heroine. The Beehives, Mia Maids, and Laurels wrote the script and talked the Aaronic Priesthood members into joining them as performers. The result was a lot of fun, and a movie to show at a dance last fall.