FYI: For Your Information


The wise man does not lay up treasure. The more he gives to others, the more he has for his own.

—Lao-tsze

Accessible Dining

Leslie Williams, Jr. of Tallahassee, Florida, received the Disabled Citizens’ Community Service Award and was honored at their annual banquet.

In completing his Eagle project, Leslie surveyed Tallahassee restaurants to determine how accessible they were to wheelchair patrons and nonsighted or partially sighted customers. Leslie wrote letters and sent questionnaires to the restaurant managers and organized teams to visit restaurants. The completed report of his survey is on file with several government agencies and has been printed and distributed in chart form to the city’s handicapped citizens.

As a result of his efforts, the local food editor now reports on restaurant accessibility in the newspaper’s weekly restaurant review.

Leslie is a member of the Tallahassee Second Ward.

Celebration Cookies

1 cup (225 grams) butter or margarine

2 cups (450 grams) sugar

2 eggs

1 cup (250 milliliters) dairy sour cream

1 teaspoon (3 milliliters) vanilla

1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) soda

4 teaspoons (20 grams) baking powder

1 1/2 cups (510 grams) flour, scooped and leveled

1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) salt

Nutmeg and sugar

Cream together butter or margarine and sugar. Add eggs, and beat well. Add sour cream and vanilla. Sift together dry ingredients, and add to creamed mixture. Roll out on a floured surface or plastic wrap to a scant 1/2 inch (1 centimeter) thickness. Cut into desired shapes. On a lightly greased cookie sheet, place about 2 inches (5 centimeters) apart and sprinkle with nutmeg and sugar. Bake in a 350° F. (177° C.) oven for 14 to 17 minutes or until lightly browned. Cookies should be large, soft, and thick.

Note: Shortening or lard may be used in place of butter. Plain yogurt may be substituted for the sour cream. Almond extract may be used instead of vanilla. Raisins, nuts, or chocolate chips may be added to the dough. Cinnamon may be used in place of nutmeg. Cookies may be frosted and decorated, if desired.

A Way with Words

Sonya R. Hardy has a special way with words. She was the co-editor of her high school yearbook and was awarded the National English Merit Award.

Sonya is from the Many Ward in the Alexandria Louisiana Stake. She serves as Laurel president and is the ward chorister.

First in England

Paul Smith is the first four-year seminary graduate in England. He completed his seminary work by daily attending early morning classes. Paul rode his bicycle three miles each morning, often in winter snow, to go to class.

Paul’s family joined the Church when Paul was just three years old. He is the oldest of six children, two sisters and three brothers.

Paul enjoyed school and participated in rugby, hockey, and chess. He served as president of the deacons and teachers quorums and is now the assistant to the priests quorum president. He is a member of the Leicester Second Ward, Leicester England Stake.

Getting Oriented

Claire Okeson was one of 102 high school juniors, two from each state and the District of Columbia, selected to represent the United States in a summer exchange program with Japan. She spent six weeks living with a Japanese family, getting to know them and their culture.

Claire is one of only six LDS students at her high school. She is active in student government, band, drama, and track. Claire is a member of the Groton Ward, Providence Rhode Island Stake, where she serves as Laurel president and ward organist.

LeGrand Richards, Beloved Apostle by Lucile C. Tate (Bookcraft, $7.95)

Elder LeGrand Richards is the longest-lived General Authority of this gospel dispensation. His biography spans his early childhood, his dedication to the Lord as a four-time missionary, and his life of service since his calling as a General Authority in 1952.

Commitment by Vaughn J. Featherstone (Bookcraft, $5.95)

“Commitment is a quality that combines determination with an intelligent goal,” states Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone. In this new book Elder Featherstone explores goals to help improve and nourish the mind and soul, and he discusses willingness to change courses when a better way is presented.

Service Surprise

by Debbie Jones

“Yes, it is a gold wedding band.” As the young men and women of my ward gathered around to admire the band, all sorts of questions arose. “Whose could it be? Where did you find it? I wonder how long it has been buried in the flower garden?”

While my friends had been mowing, power raking, and shoveling in the widow’s yard, I had been weeding her flowerbed. Sister Kelly and I were digging out a big clump of grass and shaking the dirt off the roots when the precious ring fell out.

It’s always fun to find buried treasure, but that one unanswered question still remained: To whom did the ring belong? I thought how sorry the owner must have felt when he lost it and how much it would mean to him if he could get it back.

That night as I said my prayers, I asked the Lord to help me find the rightful owner. I knew I would need His help because the house had been rented to many couples over the years.

You can imagine my surprise when just two days later, the doorbell rang and at the door stood Brother Huff, asking me if I had his wedding band. He explained that he and his wife were spending some time in Salt Lake City. They were waiting in a restaurant for breakfast when their good friends, Brother and Sister Thatcher, walked by. They invited the couple to join them. In conversation, Sister Thatcher, my Young Women leader, mentioned the ring we had found. How excited they all were when Brother and Sister Huff discovered that the ring was found at the house where they lived 14 years ago! He had lost his wedding ring while raking leaves.

Brother Huff had since purchased another band, but he was thrilled to find his original wedding ring again. He offered me 20 dollars in appreciation, but I refused. I knew it was the Lord who really deserved the thanks. And besides, I was as happy as he was.

A short time later, the doorbell rang again, and there stood the florist with a beautiful arrangement of flowers. I opened the card and read the words, “Thanks again. Brother Huff.” The next day I took the bouquet to church to share with the Payson Utah Third Ward and all who were involved in that service project.

From this experience I received much more than flowers. I now have a stronger testimony of church service and prayer. Don’t miss your next project, because you never know what service surprises await you!

African Adventure

While some people may think of Africa as an adventureland of lions and elephants, for a group of South African teenagers, it’s just home. The LDS group got together for fellowshipping and learning at a youth conference in Cape Town. They took their theme from one of President Kimball’s messages on magnifying opportunities through loving service to others.

The four-day event started with a rousing barn dance. During a day of workshops, the group received instruction in self-defense, dance, photography, and car maintenance. Besides the fun and activities held at Muisenberg Beach the following day, the youth donated their time and talents in several service projects. A highlight of the conference was the speech, poster, poem, and badge competitions. The winning poem was read aloud as part of the program.

The conference concluded with a special testimony meeting in a garden setting. Participants were reminded of the importance of service in all aspects of their lives.

Water Made Fun

What started as an Eagle project for Chris Austin of Idaho Falls, Idaho, has become a regular summer activity. As an excellent swimmer, Chris offered to help teach handicapped children at a local development center. He worked weekly at the center, in addition to planning and conducting a water fun day at a nearby lakefront. Awards for competition were given to every person that participated.

The children especially liked Chris, and when the service project was completed, Chris decided to continue his work as a counselor and swimming instructor at the center.

All-Around Talent

Brenan Jackson of the Kanab Utah Stake is a talented young man, whether it’s in athletics, music, or leadership. Brenan was an all-state football player, the state wrestling champion in his weight class, and the pitcher and designated hitter on the baseball team. He ran the 880-yard run on the track team and played basketball.

But Brenan’s talents aren’t all in sports. He sang one of the leading roles in his school’s musical production, and he carried excellent grades. In order to be better prepared for his mission, he enrolled in a home economics course and won first place for his cooking in a regional competition.

Brenan enjoys his assignment as one of the bishop’s assistants in the priests quorum. He was also president of the seminary council and the stake youth council.

New Era Indexes

Need a good story about service? Instead of thumbing through all your back copies of the New Era, look under “Service” in the New Era Index.

Each year the New Era is indexed so you can look up stories and articles by title, author, or subject. The indexes for the years 1975 to 1981 are available for $.50 each from the New Era, 50 East North Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah 84150.

And to make the New Era even more useful, recent indexes offer suggestions for articles and stories that apply to Sunday School, Young Women, and Young Men courses of study.

Super Clean-up

The youth of the Salem Oregon East Stake really cleaned up at a local 4-H outdoor camp. Heavy winter storms had toppled some trees and torn hundreds of smaller branches from others. The stake youth council decided that cleaning the camp would be a good service project.

The date was set, and come rain or shine, the stake youth were invited to help. One hundred and fourteen showed up to clean the cabins and lodge—inside and out. Trails were cleared, downed trees were cut up for firewood, fences were repaired, and windows were cleaned.

After a hard day’s work, the young people relaxed over dinner and games. The 4-H people were grateful for the help, and the youth felt they had made some new friends.

Lending a Hand

The number of ways to serve others is as endless and varied as the individuals who render service. The following are a few suggestions. Many you can do by yourself when you have a few free moments. For others, you will want to solicit the help of your Young Women class or priesthood quorum. Some activities, such as “spend a day tracting with the missionaries,” require priesthood approval. Be sure to check with your adviser before you begin.

Family

  • Volunteer to babysit your own younger brothers and sisters so your parents can have a night out together.

  • Organize your family photographs and put them into an album.

  • Sit down with your grandparents and listen to their stories and feelings. Tape-record their experiences.

  • Make a family first-aid kit.

  • Treat your younger brothers and sisters to an afternoon picnic.

  • Girls, ask your dad for a date. Teach him how to disco and have him teach you to waltz. Boys, ask your mom out. Take her somewhere special, and treat her like your best girl friend.

  • Organize a family hike.

Ward

  • Make “welcome packets” for newcomers to the ward. Include a city map on which you have marked shopping areas, grocery stores, schools, library, bakery, laundry, and the like. Include in the packet a list of reliable babysitters and their phone numbers.

  • Take a sandwich or treat to the bishopric when they have been working at the ward all afternoon or evening.

  • Refurbish the toys in the ward nursery. Make some new ones.

  • Volunteer to clean the sacrament trays or launder the sacrament cloths.

  • Weed the grounds or plant flowers around the ward.

  • Repair old and worn hymnbooks.

Neighborhood

  • Have a no-charge car wash for your neighbors.

  • Volunteer to help someone moving into or out of your neighborhood by tending their children, carrying boxes, or loading or unloading the truck or car.

  • Organize a neighborhood homemade-ice-cream party. It’s a great way to meet the neighbors.

  • Put together a neighborhood patriotic program for a national holiday.

  • Organize a neighborhood Christmas-caroling event. Return to a central point afterwards for light refreshments.

  • Sponsor a neighborhood Olympics and include a variety of sports—such as volleyball, soccer, golf, Ping-Pong, and foot races—to appeal to participants of all ages.

Church

  • Adopt a missionary who doesn’t have a family to support him or her. Write letters and send “care” packages.

  • Research the beginning of the Church in your area. When appropriate, include your findings in a talk or presentation.

  • Spend a day tracting with the missionaries.

  • As a class or group, hold a special fast for a specific purpose: an inactive class member, a problem facing a class member, or an afflicted member in the ward.

Community

  • Write a letter of appreciation to your legislator, mayor, governor, school superintendent, or other public official.

  • Adopt a rest home or school for the handicapped. Commit to present a program three or four times during the year.

  • Invite a group from another church to share in an activity or workshop on community or national concerns.

  • Volunteer for a community campground or park cleanup.

  • Volunteer to assist a worthy charity.

  • Take an elderly person shopping, or offer to do a little shopping for him or her each week. Help with difficult tasks such as vacuuming, gardening, or shoveling snow.

  • Read the newspaper, the scriptures, or a favorite church book to an elderly person.

[photo] Photo by Jed Clark