“If you have not chosen the Kingdom of God, it will make in the end no difference what you have chosen instead.”

—William Law

Loves to Run

Andrea Williams, 14, loves to run. A member of the Taylor Second Ward, Weber South Stake in Ogden, Utah, Andrea is considered one of the outstanding young track stars in the United States.

She finished second in her region in the 100-yard dash with a time of 12.91. Her best time is 12.70. She helped the region to a second-place finish nationally.

Mini Learning Center

Children in the hospital often have a hard time being entertained. Thanks to a Mini Learning Center presented to the pediatric unit of the Castleview Hospital, little patients might have a more enjoyable hospital stay.

The Mini Learning Center was a service project of the Price Utah Sixth Ward Young Women. Keeping in mind that the project must be maneuverable, washable, educational, and enjoyable, the girls set to work making alphabet and word and number games, washable coloring pages, and paper dolls. They also included wooden animal puzzles and crocheted tic-tac-toe games in the learning center.

The project was presented to the administrator of the hospital, and the girls put the center into use by entertaining young patients with it.

Aiming High

Scott Christensen was the California pole-vaulting champion with a vault of 15 feet, 6 inches. He was named as a high school All-American.

Besides his pole-vaulting achievements, Scott was also an all-league running back in football and was twice all-league wrestling champion.

Scott is from the Walnut Creek Second Ward, Walnut Creek California Stake.

Gold Award Winner

Beth Ann Palmer of the Mannheim Servicemen’s Ward, Stuttgart Germany Servicemen’s Stake, received the Gold Award from the Girl Scouts. The Gold Award is the highest award a girl can earn in the Girl Scout program, and Beth Ann is the second Girl Scout in Europe to be awarded this honor.

Born in Los Angeles, California, Beth Ann moved to West Germany when she was three years old. She is now in the 12th grade in the Wirtschafts-gymnasium.

Two Leaders

Douglas and Deborah Tarter both received United States National Merit Awards for their leadership in their junior high school in Spokane, Washington.

Douglas was deacons quorum president and is now a counselor in the teachers quorum presidency. He participates in sports and band.

Deborah has served as her Beehive class president. She also enjoys sports and piano.

Both Douglas and Deborah are members of the Tenth Ward, Spokane Washington East Stake.

Scout Encampments

by Frances Whitney Richardson and Crismon S. Lewis

They were the largest gatherings of LDS Boy Scouts ever held. Last summer 10,000 Scouts and leaders gathered at Camp Pendleton in Southern California for the Mormon Heritage Trails Encampment, and 7,920 Scouts camped near Flagstaff, Arizona, at the LDS Jamboree.

Eighty thousand frozen malts helped the Californians beat the 105-degree (Fahrenheit) heat. While troops furnished and cooked their own meals, the snack bar still supplied 75,000 cartons of milk and 25 tons of ice.

“As far as anyone is aware, said Elder Robert L. Backman, Young Men General President, “this is the largest gathering of Aaronic Priesthood bearers in this dispensation.” President Ezra Taft Benson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Elder Marion D. Hanks of the First Quorum of the Seventy gave keynote addresses. Elders Robert L. Backman, Vaughn J. Featherstone, and Rex D. Pinegar of the First Quorum of the Seventy and the Young Men General Presidency also attended, and a message from President Spencer W. Kimball was published in the encampment newsletter.

The four-day California gathering included Scouts from 15 councils. Troops were divided according to region into ten subcamps, each representing a phase of Church history.

Gateways to many of the areas featured replicas of historic Church buildings.

“The most thrilling part of the whole encampment was eating dinner with the entire Young Men General Presidency,” said Brent Boswell of the Wilshire Ward, California Los Angeles Stake. “It was worth five hours of scrubbing baked-on lasagna pans.”

In Arizona, troops rallied around banners representing the 12 tribes of Israel. As a service project, they planted more than 24,000 seedlings in an area burned by forest fire. A merit badge midway helped some Scouts earn as many as five and six merit badges during the five days at the camp.

In addition to the Young Men General Presidency, the Arizonians heard from Bishop H. Burke Peterson, first counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, and from Elders Hartman Rector, Jr., and George P. Lee of the First Quorum of the Seventy.

Outstanding Student

Dana Valaitis, the only LDS student in her high school in Ross, California, was awarded the Ruth Mary Nash Memorial Cup. This honor is traditionally given for fine qualities of character, courtesy, kindness, and cooperation. Also mentioned as qualifying her for the award were Dana’s enthusiastic involvement in school activities and her strength of integrity.

Dana is also interested in art and received a school prize for her drawings.

LDS Beauties

Colleen Hawks of Oakdale, California, and Kistie Tingey of Tempe, Arizona, have been selected to represent their states in national competitions.

Colleen, a Laurel in the Oakdale California Second Ward, represented her state in the Junior Miss Pageant. She sings classical high soprano. She has taken dance and ballet lessons and plays the piano, flute, oboe, and piccolo. She also uses her musical talent in writing music.

Kistie received the talent award as well as being named Miss Arizona National Teenager. She is an excellent pianist and dancer. She has been teaching private piano lessons for several years. She represented Arizona in the national competition.

First Eagle

The Gibson Branch of the Macon Georgia Stake are particularly proud of the accomplishments of one of their members, Thomas Lee Chalker. Lee has received his Eagle Scout award, making him the first Scout in Glascock County, Georgia, to obtain the rank of Eagle.

An outstanding student with interests in astronomy, archaeology, and oceanography, Lee has won several writing and landscaping awards. In fact, his Eagle project was to plan and install the landscaping in front of the chapel.

Stephen’s a Superyouth

Stephen O. Smyth was named this year’s Northern Ireland “Superyouth.” In competition with young men from schools and colleges all over Ireland, Stephen, the only Mormon competing, garnered top points overall in swimming, high jump, stride jump, basketball, sprinting, and several fitness events, to win the competition.

Stephen, a member of the Londonderry Branch, Belfast Ireland Stake, was also voted Sportsman of the Year at his college. His prize for becoming Superyouth Champion was a trip to London and a chance to meet with sports celebrities. Because of his sports prowess, Stephen has been invited to a summer camp near Chicago, Illinois, to teach soccer.

Stephen is a seminary graduate and has earned his Duty to God Award. In his branch he has served as branch clerk, executive secretary, senior home teaching companion, and a teacher in the Primary.

Father and Son Fun

The next time your ward sponsors a fathers and sons’ outing, or the next time you’re planning a fireside, or maybe the next time you and your friends want to get to know your dads better, here are some ideas:

Start out by telling a tall tale. Have one of the fathers begin, telling only the first paragraph of the story. Then his son continues, again telling only one paragraph of the story. Continue until every father and son have contributed—and of course the last person has to invent an ending.

When the funny or scary story is finished, take time for a serious story, too. Perhaps each person could discuss going on a mission, making difficult decisions correctly, lessons learned by following the Spirit, or coping with problems at school (as they are now for sons and as they used to be for fathers).

If you want to cover more than one topic, write different ideas on slips of paper and place them in a hat. Shake them up and let each person draw out one slip of paper. A person might be asked to talk about how he accepted a difficult Church assignment and made a success of it, or to tell about the most humorous thing that ever happened to him on a date. Or you could have each person tell about the qualities of a friend whose name was drawn at random from the hat.

Have fathers bring pictures of themselves when they were children. After the pictures have been shown and refreshments served, have each father tell about his feelings when his son was born, what he hoped his son would accomplish when he came into this life, or how the son’s name was chosen. Fathers could also share games and songs common during their growing-up years, with everyone in the audience joining in to play or sing.

Let the dads talk about “What I’d Do Differently If I Were My Son’s Age,” with the requirement that sons take notes for a quiz. Then let the sons talk about “What I’d Do If I Were a Father Right Now,” with fathers required to take notes for a quiz, too. After the quizzes, discuss the answers.

Have a share-a-scripture night, similar to a scripture chase. The moderator shouts out a topic such as “prayer” or “happiness,” and fathers and sons race to see who can find a scripture on the subject first. At the end of the evening, share any favorite scriptures that didn’t get mentioned in the contest.

Our favorite suggestions for refreshments were popcorn and hot chocolate, but somebody suggested having each person bring his favorite can of soup, then mixing them all together in one big kettle. Fathers and sons who are daring may want to try that too!

By the way, these same ideas can also be used for mothers and daughters.

Superactivity at Home

The Ninth Ward of the Las Vegas Nevada Stake planned a 5-day superactivity that would take place in their own valley. The focus of the activity was to learn more about the life and hardships of the early pioneers in their area.

The theme of the activity was “Handcarts to Husqvarnas,” representing old-fashioned and modern methods of travel in the valley. Handcarts were used by the early pioneers, and Husqvarnas, a type of motorcycle, are a popular vehicle with the members of the Ninth Ward.

The opening activity was a game night in which the group was divided into companies of ten each. Of the twelve games played, six were games that might have been played in pioneer days, and six were modern games. The companies finished the evening by decorating their handcarts for the Saturday trek.

Friday evening a modern formal dinner was served complete with musical entertainment. The evening was concluded with a film on the history of the Las Vegas area.

Early the next morning, the groups met at the chapel ready for a day of exploring the valley’s history. On the way to the desert, the caravan of trucks and cars stopped at designated spots to receive short 15-minute history lessons on the area. After arriving at the desert, the group mounted motorcycles or loaded into trucks for a three-mile ride to a predetermined destination. There they found the handcarts waiting for them. Loading up the carts, the youth began the trek that would cover the same three miles they had covered so quickly by modern means. They soon found it was hard work as the sun heated the desert. In rest areas planned along the way, the groups were encouraged to stop and appreciate nature or stop and bury bad habits.

After a pioneer luncheon cooked over an open fire, the group cleaned up the area and returned to the chapel to clean the trucks used on the outing.

On Sunday evening a special fireside was held with the featured speaker talking about looking to the past to help with the future.

The final day of the superactivity was held on the following Activity Night. Video movies had been taken of the various activities and were shown. A local historian talked about the places the youth had visited. The Las Vegas youth felt they really had learned more about their home area and had a greater appreciation for the sacrifices of the pioneers that settled their valley.

Photo by Eldon Linschoten