New Leaders Named for Young Women
Elaine Cannon, writer, speaker, and teacher, is the new general president of the Young Women. Serving with her are Arlene B. Darger as first counselor and Norma B. Smith as second counselor. They succeed President Ruth H. Funk and her counselors, Hortense Child Smith and Ardeth G. Kapp, who were released after nearly six years of service.
Following the announcement at a news conference last July, Sister Cannon spoke briefly to the assembly, outlining some of the goals she has for the program and expressing her love for the young people of the Church. She mentioned concern for the problems that young women face. “There are many unhappy women today and much confusion concerning women’s roles. We want to help our young women discover who they are and what they can do, and understand their relationship with their Father in heaven. We want to help them to make wise decisions, to drink deeply of all that’s beautiful, and to make contributions to mankind.” She said her board will concentrate on meeting the varied needs of young women all over the world.
Sister Cannon is a graduate of the University of Utah and has previously served on the general board of the Young Women’s Mutual Improvement Association, general youth correlation committee, LDS Student Association, instructional development committee, General Church Activities Committee, and as coordinator of the 1980 sesquicentennial observance of the Church. She has written several books, is a former newspaper columnist and associate editor of the New Era, and has won national awards for writing and public service. She has also taught continuing education classes at three Universities in Utah. Sister Cannon is married to D. James Cannon and they have six children.
Sister Darger is also a graduate of the University of Utah. She sang for nine years in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and has been a leader and teacher in the Young Women organization, the Relief Society, the Sunday School, and the Primary. She and her husband, Stanford P. Darger, have five children.
Sister Smith has been a member of singing groups in Idaho and Utah for 20 years, serves on advisory boards of the University of Utah School of Nursing and the Primary Children’s Medical Center, and has been active on both ward and stake levels in the youth organizations of the Church, the Primary, and the Relief Society. She has helped write instructional manuals for Church organizations, and has attended the University of Utah. She and her husband, Lowell D. Smith, are the parents of eight children.
Horseback Riding: A Job She Enjoys
When Julia Wigley arrived in Ireland with her parents nine years ago, she soon found a friend who has stayed by her ever since. This loyal pal was a pony and helped spark her interest in riding, training, and grooming horses, a hobby that has become an enjoyable job as well.
A Laurel from the Cork Branch of the Ireland Dublin Mission, Julia is now assistant trainer and horse breaker at a stable in Macroom, Republic of Ireland. Her responsibilities include exercising some of the horses and showing them in competition. This has resulted in some interesting experiences. For example, when she first began, Julia could mount Sebastian, a good-sized jumper, only when he was saddle deep in the river and she transferred from another horse. She was later the one who showed Sebastian when he took the championship cup at the Ballingeary Agricultural and Horticultural Show in Ireland.
In addition to her equestrian pursuits, Julia is captain of her school’s volleyball team, studies mechanical drawing and building construction at school, is the chorister in her branch, and takes care of the children during the Sunday morning Relief Society.
“Olympics”—the Arizona Way
When it’s 103 degrees outside, it takes a hardy person to just walk outdoors, let alone run the 440-yard dash in 57.2 seconds! However, the youth of the Glendale Arizona Stake proved nothing was impossible in their Young Men-Young Women Olympics last summer. They competed from 7:00 A.M. until 2:00 P.M. in track, scholastics, and swimming, stretching their muscles and memories in an effort to win points for their wards. Most endured sore muscles, blisters, and sunburned skin to return that evening for an awards banquet and dance.
The day dawned with a flag raising ceremony, appropriately accompanied by enthusiastic singing. Each ward was given 10 extra points if all participants were present at the opening ceremonies—probably the hardest feat of the day! The mile run was the first event, with Mark Wilcoxen winning with a time of 4:45:1 for the Young Men, and Kathy Sego clocking in at 6:34:2 for the Young Women. Other track events included the 440-yard dash, 100-yard dash, and a Young Men-Young Women medley relay. A softball throw and five-mile bike race followed the track events.
The Olympics day then took on a slower pace with Ping-Pong, chess, public speaking, and a Church history test. The swimming events came last: relay teams, sprints, and distance racing. The youths went home wet but came back to the stake center that evening dry and ready for their awards banquet and dance. The day was full and well attended, guaranteeing that the “Olympics” are a definite must for 1979!
Member Missionaries—a New Approach
A caravan leaves the glittering lights of Las Vegas bound for the west. Complete with a giant toy box, wishing well, fake mountain, bunk beds, black caldron, spotlights, and sound equipment, it snakes along the Nevada landscape. Following are five buses full of astronauts, teddy bears, mutated flowers, boogey-men, skunks, bunnies, and even Little Jack Horner with a two-foot diameter pie. Plainly, an unusual night is in the making!
It was a new approach to missionary work sponsored by the Las Vegas Nevada South Stake Young Men and Young Women, a combination of roadshow and missionary involvement. Since full-time elders had just been assigned for the first time to the Pahrump, Nevada, area (where an outlying ward in the stake was located), it was decided that the Las Vegas wards and outlying branches would travel there to present their roadshows. They decided to invite the 1,200 townspeople of the farming community to the roadshows in a “Meet the Mormons Night.”
The night of February 21 arrived, and 178 youths and 26 advisers eagerly boarded the buses, dressed in costumes and makeup. Robert Simmons of the Las Vegas 12th Ward remembered, “The bus ride was great, especially an hour and a half in a teddy bear costume!”
The schedule was tight, and the buses pulled into the parking lot of the Pahrump Community Center only minutes before show time. Costumes were frantically straightened in bus aisles, while scenery and props were sorted on the lawn. Eventually everyone was ready, and Brother Ted Bingham, stake roadshow specialist, began the evening’s program by explaining the Church’s interest in the cultural arts and a little about the Young Men and Young Women programs.
The cast surmounted the challenges presented by performing on a small stage and using a curtain made of sheets (supported by the branch members from Beatty) and presented roadshows that were fun for audience and participants alike. After the shows, a nonmember commented on the professional quality of the roadshows and the wholesome and clean-cut appearance of the young people involved.
After the performance refreshments were served, and copies of the Book of Mormon, plus homemade cookies and candies with “Thank You for Meeting the Mormons” notes attached, were distributed.
Some unexpected benefits of the event were the eventual baptisms of some of the nonmember youths who were members of the roadshow casts. As Faith Allen, a Laurel from Pahrump, expressed it, “Missionary work can be accomplished in so many different ways, and we found that it can be fun, too.”