FYI: For Your Information


“A good conscience is a continual Christmas …” Benjamin Franklin

Stitches for the Sesquicentennial!

Sesquicentennial is a long word that means 150th anniversary. And 1980 is the sesquicentennial celebration of the founding of the restored Church. As part of that celebration, the Young Women have been encouraged by the Young Women General Presidency to spearhead exhibits of creative stitchery in which local women can display their efforts. Such items as quilts, pillows, flags, banners, clothes, tapestries, wall hangings, and batik prints have been mentioned as appropriate inclusions in the displays.

According to the general presidency, each item should reflect themes chosen for the sesquicentennial: the growth of the Church; the impact of the restoration of the gospel upon women, homes, and families; the cultural heritage of the Church; and Latter-day Saint folk art.

Banners, for example, could be centered around any theme taken from the first 150 years of the Church (1830–1980). They could include a scripture, a quotation from one of the prophets, a motto or expression, a statement of family or personal goals, Church principles, or perhaps a serious or humorous admonition. Banners with seasonal themes could become part of a family’s holiday traditions at Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, or other important times. Similar ideas for themes might be employed in any handcrafted items.

Young women are encouraged to make things themselves and to use their own designs. Other possible projects could include simulated stained glass, headboards for beds, scarves, sheets, placemats, hot pads and pot holders, stuffed animals, weaving, dying, knitting, embroidery, applique, silkscreen, macrame, painting, stenciling, or sculpturing, or any other appropriate ideas young women come up with.

The Book Nook

The Wondrous Gift by President Spencer W. Kimball Deseret Book Company 75 cents, pp. 7

Christmas should be a time of giving, during which we follow the example the Savior set by giving his life for mankind. We should give selflessly, without the expectation of receiving something in return. President Kimball stresses this theme in a talk reprinted by Deseret Book in pamphlet form. The message includes personal accounts of the prophet’s experiences in giving gifts to others, along with his testimony of the divinity of Jesus Christ. Reading it is an excellent way to set the tone for the holiday season.

Following are some of the other current selections you may enjoy giving to others or reading for your own enjoyment during the upcoming Christmas vacation.

The Windwalker by Blaine Yorgason Bookcraft Publishers $4.50, pp. 99

The Windwalker is an old Indian warrior who is mistakenly placed upon the scaffold of the dead by his family. When he awakes, freezing and hungry, he wishes desperately to die. But he doesn’t, and this story is about his eventful return home and the experiences, memories, and feelings he has during the last few months of his life. It is an excellent adventure story, filled with fights with wolves, grizzly bears, and neighboring Indians, while at the same time reverently exploring the philosophy of life of the Plains Indians. In doing so it expresses simply but powerfully this culture’s approach to aging, suffering, triumph, love, and peace.

Child’s Activity Book by Rhonda Schomas and Linda Alvstad Deseret Book Company $2.50, pp. 59

Do you have a younger brother, sister, neighbor, or cousin who is learning to count, tell his colors, or tie his shoes? If so, you might enjoy making him a quiet book of his very own that he can use for practicing some of these basic skills. A Child’s Activity Book contains 59 pages of patterns and instructions for making a colorful, fun book for anybody little. A list of materials needed to make a 12-page book, a handy reference guide stating where to find the materials, and complete directions are included.

Woman Deseret Book Company $6.95, pp. 147

In the introduction to Woman, President Spencer W. Kimball writes, “There has never been a time in the world when the role of woman has been more confused. There has never been a time in the Church when women are able to do more to show what their true role in the world can and ought to be.” Counsel and insight are given from 15 General Authorities of the Church concerning woman’s various roles as a friend, companion, teacher, neighbor, and mother. Women in the Church are admonished to bless mankind, beginning with the home and family circle and extending thereafter outward in ever-widening circles.

Mormon, A Native American Prophet by Donald W. Hemingway Publishers Press $3.95, pp. 65

Mormon, a Native American Prophet, is a compilation of what is known about the main compiler of the Book of Mormon. It was written to introduce readers, particularly those who are not LDS, to the teachings and testimony of this ancient American prophet. The first section is devoted to the life of Mormon, including his long service as both a military and spiritual leader of his people, the Nephites. Section two describes some of the teachings of Mormon on such subjects as “God Is a Personal Being,” “Man Is a Free Agent,” “Prosperity Follows Righteousness,” and “Wickedness Is the Foundation of National Strife.”

Favorite Selections from Out of the Best Books Compiled by Bruce B. Clark and Robert K. Thomas Deseret Book Company $7.95, pp. 324

For seven years the original five volumes of Out of the Best Books were used as resource textbooks for the Relief Society Cultural Refinement lessons. They contained poetry and prose from such diversified authors as William Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, and John Steinbeck, and were followed by brief commentary and discussion questions. This latest volume is a compilation of the best from the Best Books series, with an emphasis on those works that harmonize with the ideals, doctrines, and standards of the Church.

A Joseph Smith Chronology by J. Christopher Conkling Deseret Book Company $6.95, pp. 276

A Joseph Smith Chronology is based on portions of the Prophet’s writings as well as the writings of his contemporaries and of later historians to the present day. The major events and the everyday happenings in Joseph Smith’s life and work are presented in a sequential, chronological format.

Of particular interest to students and teachers of the Doctrine and Covenants is the historical background surrounding each revelation received by Joseph Smith. The chronology will be equally important to those interested in general Church history, as it details virtually all the important decisions and occurrences leading up to and following the organization of the Church.

Temple Builders from Alberta

by Reneé Heyland

One of the altars in the sealing rooms of the Sao Paulo Temple in Brazil is very special to some former Mia Maids from the Lethbridge Alberta Stake. During the course of a year, girls from the nine different classes in the stake raised $1,425—approximately $225 more than the cost of the altar they hoped to contribute to the new temple.

Cheryl Crane from the Second Ward expressed the following thoughts about her experience: “At first I wasn’t too happy to give up my free time to earn the temple money, but then I read about the sacrifices the members in Brazil are making.

“Hundreds of thousands of dollars had to be raised, and such amounts of money are not easy to come by. One young couple saved $2,000 to come to Salt Lake City to go through the temple, a dream they had shared for many years. But when they were asked to contribute to the temple fund, they gave up that dream for the sake of another—the dream that every Brazilian Saint could go through the temple, instead of just a few.

“When I read about these and other sacrifices that Saints in Brazil had made, I realized my sacrifices hardly classify as sacrifices at all.”

Throughout the year the girls participated in a variety of money-raising projects. To the usual baked-food sales one of the groups added caramel popcorn, another sponsored a spaghetti dinner, and several of the classes sold concessions at stake sports events. The girls had car washes, pop bottle drives, and Christmas tree sales. One ward sponsored a carnival (complete with balloon-shaving and doughnut-eating contests); another cut out, made, and sold doll clothes; and a third took orders for and assembled silk flower corsages for Mother’s Day gifts. Several nonmembers became as enthusiastically involved as their Mia Maid friends.

Along with the money-raising events came “spirit-raising” events. Lessons were devoted to learning about the Saints in Brazil, temple marriage, and the significance, structure, and purpose of our modern-day temples. In addition, some of the girls were able to visit the Alberta Temple and do baptisms for the dead. But the highlight of the year was the special stake meeting held for all the Mia Maids, their parents, and leaders at the completion of the project. A Mia Maid from each ward explained how her class had raised the money and then gave her testimony of this special project. Next was the presentation of a story “The Dark Blue Suit” (see the July 1978 New Era), which gave a little insight into the faith and attitudes of some of the Saints in Brazil.

The conclusion of the evening was a talk by stake president Lamont Matkin concerning what the temple in Cardston should mean to the Mia Maids in the Lethbridge Stake.

Adviser Lesley Heath of the First Ward summed up her feelings about the year by saying, “It was a time of learning—about the Brazilian people, about the value of temples, and about the special beauty of each individual Mia Maid in my class. Only I, as their adviser, will ever know the real sacrifice of the two girls in our class who went the extra mile and donated twice as much of their babysitting money as they had promised. Only I will ever know of another girl who took the time away from a special event with her friends to work all day at the basketball concession stand. I’m grateful for this experience, and for the vision it gave us of what we can do.”

[Ventriloquist Missionary]

Three unusual Mormon missionaries attracted hundreds of people in the center of beautiful Copenhagen, Denmark, last December. The three were ventriloquist Tammy Jensen (19-year-old daughter of President and Sister Richard C. Jensen of the Denmark Copenhagen Mission) and her two talking dolls, Jerry and Danny. Seated high above the crowds on a stepladder, Tammy, Jerry, and Danny sang and talked to onlookers. Nearby, full-time Mormon missionaries sang carols in both English and Danish and distributed invitations to three free Christmas concerts to be presented at local LDS wards. Danish teenagers from those wards also assisted the missionaries in giving out the invitations.

[Seminary Arch]

[photo] Sao Paulo Temple

[photo] The final event of the Columbus Ohio Stake seminary graduation was the construction of the seminary arch by several of the graduates. The students received the arch at their first Super Saturday of the year last fall, where the theme was “Let’s Get Acquainted,” referring to each other and the Book of Mormon. Throughout the year the arch was used in various displays, cottage meetings, and elders’ district meetings as far away as West Virginia.

A student quote taken from the seminary manual explained the meaning of the arch: “A keystone is the part of the arch that holds everything together. If it is removed, the whole structure crumbles. Thus it is with the Book of Mormon. If the Book of Mormon is false, Joseph Smith is a false prophet, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is false, and a person would be wasting his time in seminary. However, if the Book of Mormon is true, and Joseph Smith is a true prophet, then The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church, and seminary is the most important class I have.”