“Scriptures that are falling apart are used by someone who isn’t”
—Amy Harbon, 16
Southport, Merseyside, England
“I don’t ask to be good at everything. I just want to be everything good.”
by LaRayne Sargent Miller
Before all the partying begins, take some time to honestly and prayerfully look at your life and see where you are and where you want to go. Set some goals to lift you closer to Heavenly Father. Here are a few suggestions:
Resolve to repent of the sins you may be struggling with and to stay clean for the year.
Resolve to take seriously President Benson’s counsel to read the Book of Mormon 30 minutes every day.
Resolve to write regularly in your journal.
Resolve to forgive someone who has hurt you.
Resolve to mend any torn relationships with family or friends.
Resolve to keep the lines of communication open between you and Heavenly Father by praying every day.
Resolve to have more charity towards others.
Resolve to strengthen your testimony by bearing it often.
Resolve not to miss any Church meetings.
Resolve to openly share the gospel with others.
Start a Tradition
These activities are so much fun they’ll merit repeat performances every year.
Create a “Time Capsule.” Include memorabilia from the old year as well as written goals and dreams for the new year. Bury your capsule (a glass jar or air-tight container) somewhere you won’t forget, like under a specific rock or designated marker; then dig it up next year and bury a new one.
Try the Spanish tradition of giving everyone 12 grapes. As the clock strikes 12, everyone pops a grape in their mouth on each stroke. Those who can successfully eat all 12 are supposed to have a prosperous year.
Through the year, take videos of special occasions and events; then watch them on New Year’s Eve as a video yearbook. This could also work with slides or a photo album.
Make up your own traditional dinner to eat at midnight. Use favorite family recipes, or make it as simple as homemade pizza or chili and breadsticks.
A Good Start
New Year’s Eve is traditionally a time to celebrate with friends, not a time to do service projects. But what greater way to start the New Year than to help others? Here are some ways to have fun while doing it:
Instead of the Twelve Days of Christmas, try the Twelve Strokes of Midnight—make a basket of goodies to take to a neighbor, friend, or someone else who’s lonely. Include such things as a bag of popcorn, two party hats, three noise makers, and an invitation to your party.
Notice the kids at school or in your neighborhood who are a little quiet and don’t have many friends. Invite them to your party and help them feel a part of the celebration.
Offer to tend brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, neighbors’ kids, etc., for New Year’s Eve. Take them to a movie, or have a night of games so they can have fun while the parents go out together.
Invite non-LDS or inactive friends to your party so they won’t attend a party where there’s alcohol. Show them how much fun you can have without alcohol. Keep up the friendships after New Year’s Eve.
If your traditional youth New Year’s Eve dance is a little dull, get your best friends together and volunteer to help plan it, adding a little excitement.
Here are a few ideas for unusual parties on New Year’s Eve:
Organize volleyball, tennis, and racquetball competitions.
Check out the great Church videos from your ward or branch library and have a Church videothon.
Depending on where you live, go sledding, barbecuing, ice skating, or marshmallow roasting over a campfire.
If you live where it’s warm, hold a street dance outside, but check with the neighbors and local officials first.
Decorate cakes with spatulas and large serving spoons; then judge your masterpieces and award prizes.
Make a huge mural on banner paper, recollecting the past year and hopes for the future. Let everyone decorate it with pictures from magazines, paint, markers, or whatever.
Elder L. Lionel Kendrick of the First Quorum of the Seventy was called as the second counselor in the Young Men General Presidency. He will serve with Elder Jack H Goaslind and Elder Stephen D. Nadauld, currently the president and first counselor.
Did you know the visually impaired can now read the New Era too? Subscriptions in braille are available, and there’s no charge, although donations are appreciated. An eight dollar donation has been suggested.
To order a braille subscription, call 1-801-240-2477, or write to Douglas Hind, Manager of Special Curriculum, 24th floor, 50 East North Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah 84150.
Mark Dougherty, 18, of the Portadown Ward, Belfast Northern Ireland Stake, likes to tell people he was converted by the book—by the Book of Mormon, that is. Little else is conventional in his conversion story.
Around Christmastime, he found a copy of the Book of Mormon. “I just picked it up and started reading it and learning what was in it.” Eventually, he set the book aside.
A few months passed. Then the missionaries knocked on his door, and even though his family didn’t let them in, Mark’s interest was rekindled. “I started reading again, and it just seemed like what I was reading was right.”
Later Mark saw the Church listing in the phone book, called, and asked to be taught. “They sent two elders around, I had the discussions, and about a month later, I was baptized.”
Young Women in the Wichita Third Ward, Wichita Kansas Stake, wanted to make sure everyone was nice and cozy at the Wichita children’s home, so they spent many hours making quilts and burp cloths for the infants. These are a few samples of their work.
Music in the Labo Branch, Daet Philippines District, has taken a turn for the better since sisters Alona and Jonalyn Alaon were baptized in ’90. Between the two of them, they’ve won more than 50 singing competitions on district, town, province, and regional levels.
They’ve also been able to help the missionary work in their branch. Because of their good examples, their parents were baptized last Christmas.
In addition to singing in public, Alona, 15, likes being a cheerleader and serving as ward chorister. Jonalyn, 12, loves being in Young Women and playing volleyball.
With all those soccer games and band and choral concerts, you wonder where Brian Davis of the Rumford Branch, Augusta Maine Stake, has time to serve as the branch Sunday School president, but he does. He’s made it a priority.
Among his other priorities are spending time with his younger brothers and sisters, fly fishing, and working part-time to support his good habits. College and a mission are definitely in his future.
The Young Women of the San Diego 22nd (Laotian) Ward, San Diego East Stake, made sure the parents in the ward had a happy new year by arranging for the care, feeding, and entertainment of the children.
But that’s not the only good thing they’ve done. The Laotian girls are famous for their service projects. They’ve invited many of the widows in the stake out for an evening of Laotian food, which they prepared, and dancing, which they performed. The Laurels feel it’s their responsibility to set an example for the Beehives and Mia Maids, and can often be found teaching the younger girls Laotian dances and customs.
Ho ho ho! Mike Smith, 13, of Roy, Utah, doesn’t look like Santa Claus, yet he played the role quite well when he organized a substitute Santa program for five needy families in his area. As part of his Eagle Scout service project, he provided more than 200 gifts for 19 children and their parents.
When this energetic deacon isn’t doing the service thing, you can probably find him in the gym doing power tumbling. He’s one of the best power tumblers in the state and has competed on the national level.