FYI: For Your Information


Dried Fruit, Campfires, and 23 Handcarts

At last she could rest! It had been a long afternoon, mused the weary pioneer, leaning against the tree trunk. Easing off her muddy boots, she rubbed her feet until the aching subsided. Then, picking up her journal, she wrote:

“Our company traveled six miles today, pushing and pulling over hot and dusty trails. Someone accidently stirred up a nest of bees from a dead log, and one girl was stung 12 times! We had a number of repair stops, and three carts had to be abandoned along the way because of broken axles and wheels. But ours seems to be really sturdy and reliable. I believe we’ll make it all the way to the valley! Several of us learned firsthand today about patience and helping others as we loaded bundles from the broken carts onto our own already heavy, creaking carts.”

The journal entry of the young Latter-day Saint has now joined snapshots, worn shoes, and handcarts as a reminder of the three-day trek that was a major part of the Olympia Washington Stake girls campout last July. More than 100 girls shared dried corn, fruit leather, campfires, and 23 handcarts in an effort to gain a better understanding of the sacrifices and dedication of their pioneer ancestors. The enthusiastic organizer behind the event was Sister Fayetta Johnson, stake camp specialist.

The three months preceding camp were busy ones of preparation on both the stake and ward levels. Because Oakville Branch President Daren Johnson had access to a plane, he volunteered to fly over the areas the girls would cover and map out the trails for them. Leaders and girls experimented with all kinds of pioneer-type food available to find the lightest, most nutritious, and non-perishable food available, since they would need a three-day supply and were limited to 17 pounds for all supplies. Busy ward camp directors agreed to complete camp certification before camp arrived, and members of the priesthood built all 23 carts.

During the trek itself, the girls were required to wear long dresses, and a swim in the lake had to take the place of a hot shower. To make the experience as real as possible, a trading post and shaded bowery were set up along the trail, and on the second day out, the carts were ferried, one by one, across the lake on a raft. The evenings were devoted to campfires, singing, telling stories, and sharing testimonies. When at last the journey was complete, the whole party agreed that they had had an unforgettable experience and that they had gained a new awareness and appreciation of the Mormon pioneers who had braved so much in coming west.

[Washington Cross-Country Runners]

1977 New Era Index—A Faster Way

You remember an article about Ray Tracey, the star of the movies Indian and Joe Panther and would like to share it with your little brother, only you’ve forgotten which issue it’s in.

Or maybe you’re planning to go backpacking and recall reading a story in one of the New Eras that gave a listing of what first aid items are necessary for such an outing. You’d like to use it as a guide while planning your own trip.

And then there was that message by one of the General Authorities about patriarchal blessings that you would like to read over before you get your own blessing. It seems like it was printed last summer, but maybe it was really last fall?

All those articles were published in the New Era sometime last year; you know that. But exactly which month? Instead of looking through all 600 pages, why not order a 1977 index? It is available with listings by subject, title, author, and department. It’s great for looking up references before giving a talk, a lesson in family home evening, or just finding a favorite article. You can order indexes for the New Era from 1971 to 1977 at 25 cents for each year. Also available are hard back binders ($4.00 each) to hold one year’s New Eras. And if you’re missing any back issues, many of these are available for 40 cents. All three items may be purchased from Magazine Subscriptions, 50 East North Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah 84150.

The Art of Raising Parents by George D. Durrant Bookcraft Publishers, $3.50, pp. 90

The Art of Raising Parents is for those who love their families and for those who want to love them more. Brother Durrant’s practical advice, humor, and encouragement is given to help young people better understand how they can raise their parents “to heights that they could never achieve” without the love and support of their children. His generous use of personal experiences and stories provides easy and enjoyable reading that offers insight into helping to create and maintain happy homes. Brother Durrant stresses appreciating and spending time with parents and emphasizes the importance of listening to their advice: “It’s your parents’ duty to call ‘balls’ and ‘strikes’ and ‘outs’ and ‘safes.’ Ball games with umpires who call everyone ‘safe’ would soon become dangerous places to be.”

Perhaps the most important advice Brother Durrant gives is to believe that your parents love you and then to do everything you can to create peace and harmony within your home. He counsels:

“To those of you who know of your parents’ love, I say, ‘You are most blessed, for there is no greater joy than to constantly feast on family love.’

“To those who strongly suspect your parents love you, I say: ‘You are correct. Build on that foundation and your life will be good.’

“To those who are doubtful that your parents love you, I say: ‘Please believe that they love you. Know that if it were possible to peel away all the hard shells built up by the trials of life and get to the true feelings of the heart, a deep love would be manifest there from them to you. The belief that they love you will be for you the beginning of your ability to love your own future children.’”

“Missionaries” Aid Seminary Project

Four “full-time missionaries” joined efforts during the Highland High School seminary’s second annual “missionary week” last fall in Salt Lake City. All four offered pleasant smiles, outstretched hands, and copies of the Book of Mormon, but only two could answer questions. The other two were seven-foot-tall statues with papier-mâché heads, hair of yarn, and bodies made of wood and chicken wire. They were designed and built by publicity chairmen Greg Goates and Heidi Nelson and were dressed in dark suits, white shirts, and striped ties.

The “giant missionaries” served as attention-getters during the special missionary week, which included proselyting; mini-classes for members and nonmembers on such subjects as temple marriage, the plan of salvation, the Second Coming, present-day prophets, and prayer; and a Sunday evening fireside with guest speaker Elder Hugh Pinnock, a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy. In addition, the students wrote their testimonies in 460 copies of the Book of Mormon, which they gave to the missionaries for use in the Utah Salt Lake City Mission.

Several students became interested in finding out more about the Church as a result of the missionary week efforts. According to Jeff Swanson, seminary instructor, “Missionary week has developed into a great tradition at Highland seminary. We hope that we can continue to follow President Kimball’s instructions to lengthen our stride by sharing the gospel.”

Young Women in England Organize Dance Team

Although the Mormonettes Dance Team in the Huddersfield England Stake have only been dancing together for two years, they have performed at the celebration of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee and for the mayor and mayoress of Huddersfield and have appeared in a film showing the activities of Church members in England. The girls in the Huddersfield Ward became excited about forming a dance team after watching a performance by the Ricks College Valhalla Dancers, who were on tour in England in 1976.

The young women approached Sister Jean Ford, an experienced dancer and a member of the Huddersfield Ward, with their idea and asked her to become their trainer. Her enthusiastic acceptance resulted in a dance team of 18 girls, only three of whom had had any previous dance training. The team spent a year rehearsing (about 15 numbers at two rehearsals per week), designing and making costumes, and perfecting their routines in preparation for the introductory show. It was held May 6, 1977, with over half the audience consisting of nonmembers.

Sister Ford expressed the following goal the team has set: “Our aim is to use the Mormonettes Dance Team as a missionary tool, to break down barriers and open doors for the missionaries, as well as to give the girls a wholesome and healthy outlet for their youthful energies.” The team performs ballet, tap, and exhibition dancing.

A Topical Guide to the Scriptures of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Deseret Book Company, $7.95 hardbound, $5.95 softbound, pp. 500

If you have ever prepared a talk for sacrament meeting or a lesson for family home evening and spent hours searching for a certain scripture, A Topical Guide to the Scriptures may be just the book you need. This easy-to-read reference book contains the most extensive listing of gospel subjects with scriptural references yet published for Latter-day Saint readers. It is basically a list of 640 topics and cross references from all the standard works, with an alphabetical index at the front. Scriptural references for virtually any gospel subject are easily located in this useful guide.

Spencer W. Kimball by Edward L. Kimball and Andrew E. Kimball, Jr. Bookcraft Publishers, $8.50, pp. 438

Have you ever wondered how prophets learn the principles of the gospel, how their testimonies grow, and how their wisdom and understanding develop? Spencer W. Kimball, a biography written by a son and grandson of President Kimball, is a warm, interesting account of the life of our present-day prophet. From boyhood days when he declined to join his neighborhood friends in stealing watermelons, President Kimball has always been a leader, one looked to in the home, the community, and the Church for advice and loving guidance.

His admiration for his father, the consuming grief he felt at the death of his mother, his happy and energetic childhood in a small town in Arizona, four years of being class president while in high school, a mission to Missouri, courtship and marriage to Camilla Eyring, the telephone conversation concerning his call to be a General Authority, counsel given to hundreds of unhappy or confused persons, his desire to be a good father, surgery on his throat and heart—all of these are described in the book, which is illustrated with 70 photographs.

Drawing on journals, correspondence, interviews, and their personal relationship with the prophet, the authors have provided readers an excellent opportunity to gain insight into the exemplary life of President Spencer W. Kimball.

Today I Saw a Prophet Kathleen H. Barnes and Virginia H. Pearce Deseret Book Company, $4.95, pp. 31

Today I Saw a Prophet is a beautifully illustrated teaching aid for parents, brothers and sisters, or other friends of children. Written in uncomplicated language, with colored pictures on every page, it explains what prophets are and gives short descriptions of Moses, Noah, John the Baptist, Peter, Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and President Spencer W. Kimball. John the Baptist is described as a special prophet who “spoke for God, saying a light would soon come into the world.” The authors continue: “And Jesus did come into the world. He taught us how to live, and because of His life, we can live again with Heavenly Father.” Mention is made of how President Kimball became the prophet: “When President Harold B. Lee, the prophet of the Church, died, the Twelve Apostles met together in the temple. After praying, they all knew that Heavenly Father wanted Spencer W. Kimball to be the prophet.” The book, which stresses that a “prophet is a light in a dark world,” will help children better understand the history and importance of prophets throughout the ages.

Fundamentals of Genealogical Research by Laureen R. Jaussi and Gloria D. Chaston Deseret Book Company, $7.95, pp. 414

If you have a stack of notebooks, three black pens, and a pile of family group sheets, but still feel confused about genealogy research, don’t give up! Tours of genealogy libraries, classes, a variety of books, and knowledgeable people can all provide you with valuable information. And one of the most useful sources of help for the beginner is Fundamentals of Genealogical Research.

This well-stocked guide is divided into four sections: Terminology, Research Tools, Genealogy Records, and Assignments. It is designed for easy reading and comprehension, relying on lists, simple explanations, and generous illustrations. Sample group sheets, pedigree charts, letters of inquiry, note and index cards, diary entries, and records can be found on nearly every page.

The beginning chapters include such basic information as how to record names and dates, while later chapters discuss reference books and census records, family organizations, the computer index file, and other more advanced procedures. Fundamentals of Genealogical Research would prove a valuable aid to all who are interested in becoming successful genealogists.

[photo] Excellence in cross-country running has brought three members of the Selah Ward, Yakima Washington Stake, into the sports spotlight. Sophomore Blake Heinze came in third place in competition against 125 other boys at the state race last season. Teri Leavens, a senior running for the Selah High School girls’ team, also ran an outstanding race in state competition, coming in 14th in a field of 120 girls. Junior Bill Lewis participated in his first season of cross-country running during the past season, during which time both he and Blake logged in four miles of running each morning before attending seminary at 7:00 A.M. All three young people actively participate in the meetings and activities of the Selah Ward.