FYI: For Your Information


My words fly up
my thoughts remain below.
Words without thoughts
never to heaven go.

—Shakespeare

Making a Laser from Scratch

Brian Hatch, 18, loves fiddling with lasers. In fact, his curiosity about the mysterious beams has helped him win the nation’s top youth science competition award in the Honors Group of the 39th Annual Science Talent Search.

“I wasn’t really too interested in science until I attended a summer science institute my sophomore year of high school,” said Brian. “That was when I decided to make a laser. The idea intrigued me.

“I asked one of my professors at the institute if I could work with him, and eventually I was able to construct the laser.”

During this time Brian was taking graduate level research classes at the University of Utah, quite a feat for a high school student.

“I’m interested in politics just as much as science, though, and have also been doing research for a Congressional candidate,” said Brian. “There’s much more interaction with people in political science than in straight science, and I like a balance in my life.”

Brian is a Sterling Scholar and has won numerous state and national awards for his scientific research. He is a priest in the Monument Park Fourth Ward; Salt Lake Foothill Stake.

New BYU President Committed to Excellence

The newly appointed president of Brigham Young University, Dr. Jeffrey R. Holland, will “try to continue in the tradition that President Oaks has so beautifully established,” he said recently. Dr. Holland, who was serving as Church commissioner of education at the time he accepted the new position, assumed the presidency of BYU on August 1, 1980.

“I’m very committed to academic excellence within the context of LDS values and ideals,” said Dr. Holland.

No newcomer to BYU, Dr. Holland has previously been dean of Religious Instruction at BYU and has also served as instructor or director at LDS institutes of religion in Hayward, California; Seattle, Washington; New Haven, Connecticut; and Salt Lake City.

The Great Rocking Chair Race

Some people thought the girls were a little off their rockers, but five Beehive girls from the South Cottonwood Tenth Ward, Salt Lake South Cottonwood Stake, decided to help raise money for the Cambodians by staging a rockathon. After getting pledges from friends (paid according to the number of hours rocked), the girls mounted their rockers, made sure they were well stocked with food and blankets, and kept rocking for 24 hours straight. Their mothers took turns staying with the girls, supplying encouragement and meals. At the end of the rockathon, the Beehives had raised $150, which they donated to the Utah Cambodian Fund—and they found that they’d grown to be even closer friends than before!

Rochester Youth Help Prepare Whitmer Farm

Those of you who watched the April session of general conference saw live television transmissions from the Peter Whitmer farm in Fayette, New York. What you didn’t see were the hours of dedicated work from local members that went into helping prepare the site for the conference proceedings and the visit of the prophet.

Among those who worked to prepare the grounds around the new chapel and visitors’ center and around the restored Whitmer farmhouse were the youth of the Rochester New York Stake. Young members from all of the wards in the stake helped prepare the grounds for grass planting and landscaping by tilling soil, raking out rocks, and leveling out bumps.

“The nicest thing about the project for me,” said recent convert Peter Alletto of the Rochester Second Ward, “was that it was the first time I’ve been able to pay back all the people who have helped me as I was investigating the Church. It was my first official opportunity to do something for others.”

About 75 people turned out for the landscaping project, of which half were teens.

Keeping Up with Seminary

Have you read the Meridian Times yet, a newspaper loaded with facts about the political and religious situation during Christ’s lifetime? Or would you be interested in reading what a disciple of Christ might have written in his or her diary? If your curiosity is piqued by either of these, you’re ready to sign up for this year’s seminary course on the New Testament. The classes will center on Christ’s life and on developing a working, living, and eternal relationship with him. If there’s not an early morning or released-time seminary class available to you, don’t despair—home study is also available to seminary-age students, no matter where you live. You can find out about seminary programs by contacting your local bishop or branch president. He will know who the representative of the Church Education System is in your area.

Cooking Up a Storm

Becca Briggs of the Oakhills Fifth Ward, Oakhills California Stake, has really got things cooking. Becca was selected as one of 26 finalists in Seventeen Magazine’s National Menu Planning Competition, and went on to place with the top five winners, for which she received a special citation for her “Junior Prom Dinner for Two” entry.

“I’ve always liked to experiment with fancy foods and interesting recipes,” said Becca. “I’d watch my mom cook when I was little, and decided that I wanted to learn how, too, so I started cooking back then. When my foods teacher at high school encouraged me to enter the Seventeen Magazine contest, it just seemed natural.”

So Becca and the 25 other finalists (including Jennie Balliff from the Oak Hills Sixth Ward, Provo Utah Oak Hills Stake) were off to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, for the final competition where they would whip up their delectable dishes for the judges.

“It was fun cooking in the huge kitchens there and getting to know the other finalists from across the United States,” said Becca. “A lot of people asked me about the Mormons when they learned I was from Utah. I told them that I believed in God, and explained the Church and our beliefs to them. It was a good missionary experience.”

Becca’s prize-winning menu included salmon in pastry with cheese sauce, cream of leek and potato soup, chocolate mousse, and fresh strawberries dipped in chocolate. You might like to try one of her recipes.

Fraises Au Chocolat (Fresh Strawberries dipped in Chocolate)

Clean and wash strawberries, being careful to leave stems on. Dry on a paper towel. Melt milk chocolate pieces in top of double boiler over hot but not boiling water. Stir constantly to keep chocolate from sticking. When chocolate is melted, take strawberry carefully by the stem and dip it at least 2/3 into the chocolate. Then roll in chocolate decors and place on waxed paper, slightly on its side. Chill until ready to serve.

Creating the Five-Minute Masterpiece

by Marilyn Jackson

Parents become angry. Missionaries wonder if you’re still alive. Lovers’ quarrels erupt. Great relationships are terminated. You can hear it now:

“Why didn’t you write?”

“I didn’t have time.”

“So what were you doing that was more important than writing to me?

Sleeping. Studying. Going to church. Running around. What difference does it make to the one who didn’t get a letter—the worried father, the anxious girl friend?

Hassles. Yet the solution is easy, inexpensive, and heart-warming: the five-minute letter.

The FML is simply a letter that takes no more than five minutes to write.

You need only minimal equipment. Buy a box of plain envelopes and a roll of stamps. Keep them on your desk or beside your bed, in your glove compartment or your backpack, or even in the bathroom if it’s not too steamy. Keep a small writing pad with them, if you must, but it’s not imperative. You’ll find something to write on.

Forget what you learned in fifth grade about headings and salutations and ink that must be dark blue or black. This isn’t a formal white-tie event, it’s just you—communicating.

What you use to write on may be part of the message, an indication of what’s current in your life. Your dad’s heart may be warmed by reviewing your scratch-paper solution to a trig problem. The title page torn out of the paperback you’re reading can tell a lot about what you are doing with your time. Use notebook paper or the back of a concert program. Use the reverse side of old quiz papers, or memo sheets from your office or job.

Pick up your purple felt-tip or whatever you use to make marks with and write. Write whatever you can think of in five minutes’ time—no more. Sign your name with love and mail it.

What can you write in five minutes? Maybe only what you had for lunch. One word—yum or yuck—tells how you felt.

You can compose your five-minute letters mentally while you’re walking alone, riding your bike, or drying your hair. Think of how you can say the most in the least space, the fewest words. This will help your FML pack the biggest punch possible while it still takes only five actual working minutes of your precious time.

One of the nicest things about the FML is that it’s contagious. When people get the idea that it doesn’t take much time to write a letter, you’ll start hearing from them more often. Being on the receiving end of quickie notes like this can give you a lift and make your day.

Someone needs the kind of happiness a five-minute letter from you would bring—so start writing!

Scout Heroes Save Girl’s Life

Through quick thinking and bravery, two New Zealand Scouts helped save the life of a drowning girl who had struck her head while diving into a swimming pool. Craig Biedford and David Belbin of the Temple View Third Ward, Temple View New Zealand Stake, pulled the girl from the water after David noticed that she was in trouble. The boys then quickly called their leader, who applied artificial respiration and started the girl breathing again.

For their quick action the two Scouts were awarded the Chief Scout’s Commendation for Meritorious Conduct, an award for bravery given by the Governor General of New Zealand.

[photo] Photo Courtesy Salt Lake Tribune