Tommy Nelson and his father, Tom Nelson, both received high honors in their community last year. Tommy was selected as the Youth of the Year in Thurston County, Washington, and his father was chosen as Law Enforcement Officer of the Year for his community service beyond the call of duty.
Tommy is an Eagle Scout and saved the lives of his younger brother and a friend during a Scout overnighter. The boys were caught in an icy river when Tommy went into the water and saved them both.
He maintains a 3.9 GPA and participates in band and debate team. He serves as president of the deacons quorum and attends early-morning seminary.
The Nelsons are members of the Lacey Second Ward, Olympia Washington Stake.
Jana Harris, 16, of the Cambridge Branch, Columbus Ohio East Stake, spent a year as a Rotary Youth Exchange Student in Odense, Denmark.
While there she took classes at Odense College and learned Danish. During her stay in Denmark she was able to travel to the Stockholm Temple and be baptized for the dead with her stake.
She took home-study seminary while she was in Denmark, attended the Odense Second Ward, and served as the ward chorister.
The word test strikes fear into many students. Instead of trembling at the mere thought of facing a list of essay questions, follow this advice to improve your ability to take essay tests.
Read the entire set of questions first and begin with the easiest.
Set a time limit for yourself on each question. Don’t get hung up on one question.
Briefly outline your answer before you start writing. Jotting a few words in the margin will remind you of what you wanted to say.
Be sure to answer the question that is asked. If you are told to compare, contrast, or summarize, carefully follow those instructions in your answer.
Use examples to illustrate each point you try to make.
Always write something.
Reread your answers and check for errors.
Leadership is a family affair for the teenage Price children of the Wichita Fifth (Asian) Branch in the Wichita Kansas Stake. Sean, 17, is the first assistant in the priests quorum; Corin, 16, is the president of her Laurel class; Reed, 14, is the teachers quorum president; and Richard, 12, is the president of the deacons quorum.
They also participate in several activities in their school and community. Sean is the champion chess player in his school and enjoys singing and weight lifting. He also helps teach Scouting skills to the Cambodian youth in the branch.
Corin represented her school at a state leadership weekend because of her involvement in National Honor Society, and she is on the yearbook staff. She is learning to speak Cambodian as well as sign language.
Reed is the manager of his school’s football team and plays on the basketball team. He also enjoys art and won the Gold Key Award at a state art competition.
Richard plays the trumpet and piano and is on the honor roll. He also enjoys playing tennis.
The young women in the Paradise Ward, Adelaide Australia Modbury Stake, found a great way to combine service and fun when they organized a Wake-a-thon.
The girls wanted to earn money for John Stevens, a member of their ward who had recently become a paraplegic, and his wife and children. Sixteen girls and six leaders committed friends, relatives, and neighbors to pledging money for every hour they stayed awake during a “sleep-over.”
Then they designed activities through the night to focus on the seven different Young Women values. These activities included ironing clothes for busy mothers, writing to missionaries serving from their ward, preparing a Young Women sacrament program, and making toys for patients at a local children’s hospital. They also watched a movie about the true story of a paraplegic woman.
When the sun came up, the girls discovered they had stayed awake long enough to earn over $550, which was almost half the cost of a wheelchair. And they discovered that it is possible to serve and have fun at the same time.
Would you like to share the gospel but just aren’t sure how to approach your friends? The teenagers in the Lake Butler Ward, Lake City Florida Stake, participated in a nine-week program for fellowshipping that helped them realize sharing the gospel is not as hard as it seems.
Every week they were assigned a specific activity to strengthen each other and get their nonmember friends interested in the gospel. In the ninth week the ward mission leader and his wife planned a party for the youth. The ticket required to get into the party was a nonmember friend, but after the nine-week program, that was no problem for these young missionaries.
This is the plan they followed:
Week 1: Respond positively to negative comments you hear.
Week 2: Get to be better friends with a member of the ward.
Week 3: List your positive qualities, and another you’d like to develop.
Week 4: Pray about finding a friend to fellowship.
Week 5: Plan an approach to your fellowshipping. Each day do something to let your friend know about the Church and what you believe. Invite him to the activity.
Week 6: Pray about giving your friend a Book of Mormon.
Week 7: Give your friend a Book of Mormon with marked scriptures and your testimony. Talk to him or her about what you’ve written.
Week 8: Encourage your friends to come to the party.
Week 9: The party!
To keep the youth interested in a party that was so far away, the leaders delivered clues once a week to tell what would be happening at the party. None of the teenagers really knew what was going to happen, and the clues just seemed to confuse them even more. Even when they got to the party they still didn’t know all the details. They were divided into teams and sent on a treasure hunt that included whistling Dixie, blowing up balloons, and kissing a horse—all before the other teams could finish first. It all ended with a pool party and lots of fun for everyone. It was a great way to teach the youth that missionary work isn’t as hard as it seems, and an even better way to introduce more people to the gospel.
Darron and Sharon Slaugh, 15-year-old twins, of the Moses Lake Third Ward, Moses Lake Washington Stake, have more in common than just their birthdays. Both are active in the biology club at their junior high school and participate with the high school marching band during competitions.
Darron plays the trumpet, and Sharon plays the flute. They also both hold leadership positions in their ward as presidents of the teachers quorum and Mia Maid class.
Inspired by a story in the June 1987 issue of the New Era, the youth of the Richmond Branch, Lexington Kentucky Stake, decided to build a garage as a service project and fund raiser.
In spite of sunburns, splinters, and smashed thumbs, over 20 teenagers spent two days in hot July weather framing and sheathing walls, raising trusses, and subroofing the structure. They not only raised the shell of the garage, but they earned a substantial amount of money for future activities. Because of their hard work the youth received a lot of coverage from the local newspaper and were featured on a Lexington television station.
The best reward from the project, however, was the sense of unity it gave the youth in this branch. Several less active youth and teenagers who had just moved into the area were involved, and one participant said the best thing about the project was that “it brought us closer together.”
On 100-year-old Polk Street, teenagers are more often seen cruising than cleaning, but the youth in the Amarillo Texas Stake changed all that with a special service project.
In conjunction with the city’s “Help Beautify Amarillo” project, the teenagers decided to restore some pride to this historic section of town. They came armed with tools and soap to get rid of graffiti, broken bottles, and other litter. About 50 youth participated in the activity that was planned as part of the Stake Standards Night.
This was such an unusual activity for teenagers in this area that it attracted the attention of the local media and was reported on the front page of the paper. Many community leaders commented on the willingness of the youth to work for their community and expressed gratitude to them.
After the project was finished, they headed for the stake center for dinner and a program on individual self-worth, followed by a dance.
Three members of the Young Men program in the Cloverdale Ward, Ukiah California Stake, have used their skill as athletes to be an example to their friends. J.D. Williams is the starting quarterback for the varsity football team and a starting guard for the basketball team although he is only a sophomore. He is also an honor roll student, vice-president of his seminary class, and president of the teachers quorum.
Jason Farris, a freshman, is the starting quarterback for the junior varsity football team and a starting guard for the junior varsity basketball team. He was chosen as the most valuable player on his football team and is on the honor roll.
Scott Persons, an eighth grader, is the starting quarterback for the Cloverdale Youth football team and a starting forward for his middle school varsity basketball team. He was also chosen as the most valuable player for both teams. He served as the student-body president of his middle school.
All three are active in their quorums and have served in leadership positions.