“Any man more right than his neighbors constitutes a majority of one.”

—Henry David Thoreau

The “Sounds of Friendship” Ring Out across Rumania, Bulgaria

One evening last summer the 64 members of the “Sounds of Friendship” performing group from the LDS Institute of Religion at Utah State University were worrying if they could keep the interest of 2,000 young people who didn’t speak English. The “Sounds” were to perform the next evening for youth groups from such countries as East Germany, Poland, Russia, and Bulgaria at the Youth Pop-folk Celebration at Primorsko, Bulgaria, a resort on the Black Sea. The Utahns hoped to make a lasting impression but were worried about the language differences and the cold, windy amphitheater where they would be performing. The next night, however, the weather suddenly turned warm and the “Sounds” presented their full concert to the entire audience. In fact, one group of listeners kept their bus waiting because they didn’t want to leave the performance! The language barrier had been broken.

The concert in Primorsko was part of a three-week tour of Rumania and Bulgaria for the “Sounds,” officially known as the “Sounds of Zion” in the United States. “While on tour we had to change our name, since we were not allowed to perform as a religious group,” explained member Alex Baugh. “So we centered our program on themes of happiness, joy, and the home and family. Yet at every concert we were able to sing ‘The Battle Hymn of the Republic,’ and ‘God Be with You.’ In this way we let them know how much our country and our Heavenly Father mean to us.”

In addition, the group was allowed to hand out picture postcards of Utah, the temples, and other Church buildings; Articles of Faith cards; buttons with their pictures on them; and Frisbees carrying the message “‘The Sounds of Friendship’ (The Mormons), Logan, Utah, USA.” The “Sounds” concluded their tour by taping a full-length show for Rumanian television, the first American group to do so. Director of the group, James Bradley, organized the “Sounds of Zion” 22 years ago with the purpose of forming an organization that could radiate the gospel in song and dance. He summed up the most recent trip by saying, “To me, it is almost a miracle to overcome so many difficulties and still be so effective. When the gospel doors are opened into Rumania and Bulgaria, I feel there will be many people who will welcome the missionaries with open arms.”

The Book Nook

Backyard Roughing It Easy
by Dian Thomas
Fawcett Comlumbia Books
$5.95, pp. 200

Many of those who enjoy the outdoors are already familiar with New Era contributor Dian Thomas’ Roughing It Easy series. Her latest work, however, will open her world of creative cooking to a new crowd—the backyard, back porch, and patio picnickers who can’t always break away to the hills. The volume is full of recipes, ideas for cleaning up, and tons of energy savers (both for the cook and the pocketbook), as well as thoughts on unique party ideas and family activity suggestions. Imagine ironing a burrito or pizza made with pocket bread for your father on family night, or using a wheelbarrow as a charcoal grill! Those are only two of hundreds of ideas in this exciting cookery guide.

Mormons Making Mention

A member of the Kamiah Branch of the Lewiston Idaho Stake has captured both the 880-meter and one-mile state track championship titles and placed second on the two-mile run during three years of participation on the girls’ track team. Donna Parsell has also participated on the girls’ basketball team, the drill team, and the cross-country team; served as cheerleader and senior class secretary; and was named Lewis County Fair Queen for 1979–80. Another highlight of her senior year was to have a foreign exchange student from Japan stay with her family.

Watering Your Family Tree

Would you like to have Alex Haley give you a lesson on writing your family history? Or would you like to hear Sister Olive Osmond relate Osmond family stories that they’ve included in their family history?

If so, you’ll be interested in the World Conference on Records to be held in Salt Lake City August 12–15, 1980. Over 300 classes giving tips on writing family and personal histories will be offered to 10,000 participants from around the world. The classes will cover topics such as “Capturing Grandpa’s World,” “Promoting Interest in Family History through U.S. High Schools,” “Illustrating Your Family History,” and many more. Other classes will cover writing family histories from countries around the world.

The highlight of the conference will be an address given by President Spencer W. Kimball on the first day of the conference.

A “Show Me How” fair will feature displays about tracing the history of your house, making life-like family history dolls, sharing family heirlooms, and other projects. A “Heritage Mall” display will show how various cultures have preserved, recorded, and transmitted their family records.

The admission fee for people 12–25 is $10 a day or $30 for the conference. Admission for people over 25 is $17.50 a day or $60 for the conference.

Youth Conference on Wheels

Last summer was one of setting and achieving many goals for the youth of the West Jordan Fifth Ward, West Jordan Utah Stake—not the least of which was a 100-mile bike ride to the Manti Temple pageant. Youth committees were called and meetings were held to make the necessary plans and physical preparations. Each person was challenged to ride one hour every day but Sunday, and Salt Lake County extension agents conducted workshops on physical fitness, nutrition, and bicycle safety and repair.

During practice rides, repair kits were always carried for those inevitable flat tires or loose spokes, and ice cream stops became a regular part of the bike riding on Mutual nights. Several trial runs were planned during the summer months, including outings to the Great Salt Lake, the Deseret Gym in Salt Lake City, Copperton Park (uphill all the way!), and the This Is the Place Monument.

Two days before they left, a bike rodeo was held where riding skills were tested, road skills were gone over, and every bike was checked for fitness by the teachers quorum. Finally the day of the trip arrived. Each bike was equipped with a water bottle and gaily colored flag. The only vehicles allowed to accompany the 26 bike-riders were the “water wagon,” which carried food and large cans of cool water to replenish empty water bottles; the bishop’s “tow truck” containing luggage and space for broken-down bicycles; and the Ashworth motor home where the exhausted could ride and meals were prepared. In addition, Brother Loosli followed the last bike all the way, his lights flashing to provide warning to approaching cars and protection for everyone.

Lunch and meal breaks, as well as two stops for swimming, gave everyone the energy to successfully complete the two-day trip. The last mile was straight uphill, and tears of pain, joy, and pride clouded the vision of the bikers as the beautiful Manti Temple came into view. Physically the young people were drained, but spiritually they were full with the sense of accomplishment and togetherness that comes from working together toward a common goal. After viewing the pageant they spent the night in cabins and returned home in automobiles the next morning.