FYI: For Your Information

Do you want to make friends? Be friendly. Forget yourself.

—Dale Carnegie

Earning Sticks

The Olympus High School seminary in Salt Lake City, Utah, had a rather unique approach to keeping track of reading assignments during their year of study. Students built a replica of the Nauvoo Temple, but each stick used in the replica represented an individual student having read five sections of the Doctrine and Covenants.

Rob Kjar, student leader of the project, says that the replica was completed using 6,900 sticks representing the reading accomplishment of the seminary.

Double Honors

Robert D. Hancock has been chosen for two honors by the state of Alaska. He was one of two Alaskan delegates to meet with President Ronald Reagan at the United States Senate Youth Program. He also represented Alaska as one of two delegates to the Century III Leaders Conference in Williamsburg, Virginia. Both awards included a college scholarship.

Robert is first assistant to the president of the priests quorum in the Anchorage First Ward, Anchorage Alaska Stake.

Presidential Scholars

Robert Raleigh of Council, Idaho, Ricardo H. Aragon of Zionsville, Indiana, and Annette Bay of Bountiful, Utah, have all been chosen as Presidential Scholars. They are three of 141 outstanding young American students designated for this honor from among more than three million seniors in high school.

Robert is a member of the Council Branch of the Weiser Idaho Stake. He is second assistant to the president of the priests quorum and is the president of his seminary class.

Ricardo has been class president all four high school years. He is a four-year wrestling letterman and likes to write and listen to music. He is a member of the Indianapolis Sixth Ward, Indianapolis North Stake, where he is currently an assistant to the president of the priests quorum.

Annette is interested in writing and serves as her school’s literary magazine editor. She has won awards for speech and drama and for her essays. She is the Laurel president in the Val Verda Second Ward, Bountiful Utah Val Verda Stake.

Prize Ponies

Garth Gardner, 16, has a time-consuming but satisfying hobby. He rides, trains, and shows registered POA ponies. Garth explains that prize Pony of America ponies are simply horses with Appaloosa coloring and quarter horse or Arabian blood, and bred small enough for youth to ride.

Garth has ridden his horse to the highest ranking possible, that of Supreme Champion. He has more than a hundred first place trophies and many ribbons to show for his effort.

Garth is a priest in the Salem Second Ward, Sugar City Idaho Stake. His ambition is to go on a mission and later become an architect. He plans to use the horses he raises and trains to help pay the way.

Scholarship Winner

Meryle Lynn Lavenstein of the Tulsa First Ward, Tulsa Oklahoma Stake, was one of two high school students in the state of Oklahoma to win a prestigious William Randolph Hearst Foundation scholarship. Included in the scholarship was a one-week trip to Washington, D.C., for a meeting with President Ronald Reagan.

Meryle Lynn has also served as the ward Young Women representative on the stake youth committee and has been Laurel president in her ward.

Year of the Eagle

Twenty-three boys in the Ontario First Ward, Nyssa Oregon Stake, earned the rank of Eagle in the same year.

It all started when their Scoutmaster, Glen Banner, challenged them to make it a “Year of the Eagle.” The troop set a goal to complete their Eagles before the year was up. Each had to set intermediate goals, and each encouraged and reminded his friends of their common goal. Several mothers made a banner proclaiming the “Year of the Eagle” and this banner was displayed at each court of honor and all Scout activities.

As the 23 boys were ready to participate in their Eagle projects, the Scoutmaster contacted the mayor to offer the time and talents of his Scouts. In total, this single troop donated more than 2,000 hours of service to their community, doing such things as renovating playground equipment, planting shrubs, marking a segment of the Oregon Trail, and volunteering for other community service.

When their goal had been reached, a special program was held honoring the troop. The mayor made a proclamation, and special speakers were Elder Paul H. Dunn, of the First Quorum of the Seventy, and Danny White, quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys football team.

From the Philippines

When the youth in the Philippines get together, you are sure to find one of the happiest, friendliest get-togethers anywhere. There’s always a smile for everyone, a cheery hello, and an invitation to come join in the fun.

For example, in 1981 the Young Men and Young Women of the Makati Stake decided to visit one of the most beautiful spots in their nation of islands—Los Baños on Laguna Island in Luzon. Not only is the area picturesque, it’s also right next door to where they live, so nearly everyone could attend.

A large sign on an outdoor stage welcomed the “delegates” to the conference, which featured swimming in Laguna de Bay (Bay Lake) and its famous mineral springs, outdoor games in the bright summer sunshine, and a song-and-dance stage show featuring a large percentage of those attending the outing.

“It’s one of the best times I’ve ever had,” said Mary Astrid S. Tuminez, a 17-year-old Laurel in the Makati First Ward. “It made me feel happy to be a Latter-day Saint.”

There are also hundreds of happy, active young Latter-day Saints in the other parts of the Manila metropolitan region, including Roberto B. Chaves, former Young Men president of the Manila Stake. “Our activities have included youth conferences, Aaronic Priesthood conventions, seminary scripture chases, a Young Women convention, and an outdoor scripture study seminar,” he explained.

Oldest Church Document

A letter from Lucy Mack Smith to her sister-in-law has just been acquired by a private collector. This document is the earliest known dated document relating to the history of the Church. The letter is dated January 23, 1829.

The Prophet’s mother begins her letter by saying, “It is my pleasure to inform you of a great work which the Lord has wrought in our family, for he has made his paths known to Joseph in dreams and it pleased God to show him where he could dig to obtain an ancient record engraven upon plates made of pure gold and this he is able to translate.”

The document is the oldest known letter and the oldest known dated document of any type prior to the organization of the Church. Information in the letter about Joseph Smith’s earliest activities, including the story of the lost 116 Book of Mormon manuscript pages, is of interest to modern historians and scholars.

[photo] Scoutmaster Glen Banner looks over book presented to him.

[photo] Elder Paul H. Dunn

[photo] Eagle Erin Butler speaks on behalf of all twenty-three.

[illustrations] Illustrated by Michelle Eckersley