FYI: For Your Information


It is good to think well; it is divine to act well

—Horace Mann

What a Talker!

If your knees start knocking at the prospect of giving a talk, you might want to talk with Wayne Pickerell, 16, of the Englewood Ward, Littleton Colorado Stake. Wayne recently won a $600 scholarship in the finals of the Reader’s Digest Association/Boy Scouts of America National Public Speaking Contest. Wayne spoke on “Youth Leadership in America.”

Idaho’s Future Farmers

Three Future Farmers of America have been making their mark in Idaho. Mark Hansen of the Thomas First Ward, Blackfoot Idaho West Stake, served as the Idaho State FFA president last year. Glenn Fuller, who attends the same high school as Mark and is a priest in the Moreland First Ward, Blackfoot Idaho Northwest Stake, has been elected Idaho State FFA president for this year. And Charles Pieper of the Thomas Third Ward, Blackfoot Idaho West Stake, recently received the State Farmer Degree from FFA. All three young men have held leadership positions in their church and school activities.

Christmas on Wheels

Mark Halladay, 13, learned a lot about the Christmas spirit by organizing hot meals and Christmas baskets for 70 homebound senior citizens. The meal was prepared by a local hospital, and the baskets were delivered by volunteers Mark recruited. A local florist donated cut flowers for the baskets, and a businessman donated a pen for each. Mark was impressed by the willingness of people to help other people and found that he had twice as many volunteers as he’d anticipated. The people who delivered the baskets stayed and talked with the senior citizens for a while, and all the participants made new friends. Mark is a member of the Meridian Fourth Ward, Meridian Idaho Stake, and is deacons quorum president. The Christmas baskets and meals were part of his Eagle project.

A Tribute to President Kimball

Young members of the Kearns Region in Utah’s Salt Lake Valley recently learned in depth about many of the experiences that led President Spencer W. Kimball from his boyhood in Thatcher, Arizona, to the presidency of the Church. When the region presented the original musical. “Lengthen Your Stride,” the youth of the region made up a good percentage of the cast, including 12-year-old Sean Parker, who played the role of President Kimball as a boy. Spencer and Camilla Kimball as newlyweds were portrayed by Craig Haslam and Loree Wagstaff.

The production was written entirely by members of the region and included 12 original songs. A 50-piece orchestra, which also included many young members of the region (and, in some cases, their relatives) provided all of the music, and the region was also responsible for lighting, sets, costuming, sound, and ushering.

Playing with the Navy

It would be safe to say that the bassoon is not one of the more common instruments for a teenager to play. But for Mike Munson, a 16-year-old priest in the Augusta Ward, Augusta Maine Stake, the bassoon has been a part of life for several years and a key to rewarding experiences.

Mike plays several instruments, among them the piano, bassoon, tuba, and organ, but it was because of his talent with the bassoon that he was invited to play with the Navy Band for one performance.

“They chose high school musicians from the Kennebee Valley area,” Mike explained. “But it was still a surprise for the bassoonist in the Navy Band when he saw me. ‘A bassoonist!’ he said. He told me they run into a few here and there, but he seemed glad to see me.”

Mike began playing the bassoon after several years as a pianist. Now he performs with the Augusta Symphony Orchestra, and the Brunswick Regional Youth Orchestra and also plays the piano in a jazz band. He is also involved with several musical groups, including a brass quartet, at Cony High School.

He practices several hours every day, a double duty because he must practice both bassoon and piano. “Schoolwork comes first,” he said, “and with rehearsals and school sessions I play almost every day. I try to practice at home daily, too, but I can’t always do it. I try to squeeze in enough time.”

The practice has paid off in awards. Mike has earned high ratings in regional and state high school competition for both bassoon and piano. He has also been a member of the all=state orchestra and band and been highly rated at the Solo and Ensemble Festival at the University of Maine at Orno.

Mike is a ward organist and is also often called on to play the piano at Mutual. He says his involvement with music has provided a way for him to talk to people about the Church.

“It usually surprises people when they find a Mormon in Maine,” he said. “But through talking about music and sharing ideas in that area, they usually are willing to share my ideas about the gospel, too.

“Music is a means of sharing with others. People receive joy from any type of art, and musicians enjoy sharing what they create,” Mike said.

“You have to have a great desire to be a musician,” Mike added. “If you don’t, you won’t make the necessary effort.” He should know. He’s worked long, hard hours to make himself good.

Brigham Young: Modern Moses/Prophet of God (Deseret Book, $8.95)

Brigham Young has been called a modern-day Moses, leading his people from restrictive circumstances to live in what he hoped would be a promised land. In his biography of the second president of the Church, the author traces the progress of Brigham Young through his conversion, to his growth to leadership, to his service in the Salt Lake Valley. Brigham Young: Modern Moses/Prophet of God is a new biography by Francis M. Gibbons.

Turkey Tips

Butter-basted, golden-brown turkey sliced on a platter … turkey sandwiches made from leftover turkey and dinner rolls … whatever way you like it best, turkey is often the featured attraction at family holiday dinners.

You can help out this season by passing on some hints on preparing and choosing your turkey.

Grade A or Grade C—What’s the Difference? In terms of quality and taste—none. The Grade C turkey is often as much as 12 cents cheaper per pound, but there is some type of skin tear or blemish that makes it a Grade C. If you aren’t picky about having the turkey look perfect, Grade C is often the best buy. Plan to buy about 3/4 to 1 pound per person invited to dinner, and you’ll have plenty for dinner and for leftovers.

Thawing Frozen Turkey To avoid bacteria that can cause illness, thawing the turkey safely is important. Whichever method you use, leave the bird in its original wrapping. The ideal method is to leave the turkey in the refrigerator about two days to thaw slowly. If you don’t have that much time, place it in cold water. Never leave the turkey out in the open to thaw.

Stuff the Turkey You can stuff your turkey but do so at the last minute. Prepare the stuffing and keep it refrigerated until you’re ready to put the bird in the oven. Put the stuffing in loosely packed because it is difficult for the center to get to a high cooking temperature when it is firmly packed.

Plan on about one cup of stuffing for every five pounds of turkey.

Leftover turkey should never be left out for an afternoon of snacking. If you want your leftovers to be safe, keep them refrigerated, and remove the stuffing from the turkey so meat and stuffing are not stored together.

These turkey tips are from the Department of Food Science and Nutrition at Brigham Young University.