You don’t need a sweetheart on Valentine’s Day to make the occasion special. Why not do something for the ones who love you most—your family? You’d probably like to express your love to them a little more than you do anyway, but for some of us it can be tough. Here are a few ideas for making their days a little brighter:
Help your younger brothers and sisters make valentines for the family.
Write a valentine message expressing your love for your parents. It’s sometimes easier to write your feelings than to say them.
Give someone in your family a bunch of red balloons with a happy note about how much you love him or her.
Have a few flowers delivered to your mom or dad during the day. They’ll love the surprise.
Send a valentine to a family member who’s far away. It might be an older brother or sister, your grandparents, or a special aunt or uncle. Let them know you remember them with love.
Get up early and decorate your house for the holiday. Put hearts and streamers everywhere you can think of.
Place a scripture that talks about love on the pillow of each person who lives in your house.
Ask your parents or grandparents how they met and fell in love. Write these stories down, keep a copy for yourself, and then give them a copy.
Make a collage of favorite valentines you’ve received from your family over the years. Talk about who gave them to you and the love you felt; then use your creation to decorate your house.
Make a batch of cookies just for your family. Accompany the cookies with a loving note.
If there’s someone in your home who is not LDS, give them a copy of the Book of Mormon with your testimony written in it. Sharing the gospel is a wonderful way to show your love for someone.
Get up early and wash a family member’s car. Leave a note telling them the valentine bandit struck again. This will work with any chore.
Fifteen-year-old Jacque Gray of Bountiful, Utah, looked like she was going to church. Everyone else in the East-Coast modeling contest looked like they were ready for a major professional fashion show. So how was it that Jacque walked away with the grand prize of $250,000 worth of scholarships and prizes?
Some people think it was the personality, poise, enthusiasm, and confidence Jacque developed by being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “Most of the other girls were wearing very sophisticated and expensive evening gowns and looked quite a bit older than their ages. Then Jacque came out in her flowered ‘Sunday School’ dress and just charmed the judges,” said one contest official.
Jacque, at five feet, four inches, couldn’t believe she was picked over 72,000 other contestants in the Kid Search ’92 competition. She was surprised when she first made it to the regionals in Denver and won the opportunity to travel to the national finals in New Jersey. She was just happy to be there and wasn’t at all tense about winning. That probably helped her be relaxed in her interview with the judges.
A New York modeling contract is part of the prize, but Jacque doesn’t plan to let that get in the way of being an active Mia Maid, or of using her scholarship money to study at BYU when she graduates from Bountiful High.
He can sing. He can act. He can think. He can even wrestle and play tennis. While Rawlins, Wyoming’s Sean Anderson has excelled in all of the above, he’s found that seminary attendance, priests quorum work, and earning his Eagle Scout Award are about the most fulfilling of all.
Of course he won’t complain about having leads in plays and traveling to Europe, California, and Washington, D.C., with his high school concert choir, or winning a state drama fest. But when it comes right down to it, Sean will probably tell you he finds his greatest satisfaction in his church role of “brother.”
Cedar Falls, Iowa, LDS youth stood tall and proud with Governor Terry E. Brandstad when he presented them with a certificate of appreciation. They were honored for their work on refurbishing a visitation room for foster children and their parents. The LDS youth were singled out at the annual Governor’s Volunteer Awards ceremony in Dubuque, Iowa.
Clowning around paid off for Jo-Anne Connors of the Plymouth England Stake. The business she created with a couple of friends won her first-place honors in a youth-in-business competition sponsored by Lloyd’s Bank.
The aim of their business was to provide catering, entertainment, and game supervision for children’s parties. It was considerably more wholesome than the second- and third-place winners, a home brewing company and some wine importers. Great organization was a major factor in their winning honors, but the positive objectives of the business couldn’t have hurt either.
Youth in the Short Hills Ward, Caldwell New Jersey Stake, got their “mission calls” a few years early, when a group of missionaries in their area planned “the ultimate missionary Saturday” for them at the local meetinghouse.
The youth were instructed in advance to wear missionary clothing, bring their scriptures, and keep an arm’s length from the opposite sex. Once they arrived, they got a mini-MTC experience, then went tracting through the building, where members were staged and gave them both rejection experiences and discussion-teaching experiences.
By the end of the day, some were reluctant to be “released.” Others decided they would try to carry the missionary spirit they’d gained that day with them for the rest of their lives.
It’s a little different growing up in the Middle East. In Saudi Arabia there’s not a big Young Women program, because the foreign families who make up the branch often send their high-school-age girls off to boarding schools in Europe or the U.S.
But thanks to a special project, the girls will never forget that they are to “stand for truth and righteousness.” Before each girl leaves, she receives a quilt. Each square has been made by one of her classmates and has something to do with the Young Women values. Mothers and daughters worked together for hours to piece and sew the quilts together.
“Our prayers and encouragement have gone off with these quilts and girls,” says Debby Gibson, a YW adviser. They’ve got the girls covered.
News Flash! Two of the best high school basketball players in Canada are both named Gallup—they’re brother and sister, members of the Airdrie Ward in Alberta, and their names are Brad and Kari.
Brad, 18, and Kari, 17, have won just about every honor their province and country have to offer. Kari was practicing with the women’s national team when she was 14, and Brad had scholarship offers from universities all over Canada and the U.S. So much attention has given them plenty of chances to talk about the gospel. They’re both usually elected team captains, and the other players often follow their example. They also attribute a portion of their success to following the Word of Wisdom.
Another portion of their success they attribute to their father, Allen, who is a high school basketball coach. He started taking them to practice when they were very young, and they never stopped going.
They also never stopped going to church. Early-morning seminary is an important part of their day, and other Church meetings are big, never-miss parts of their week. If they’re not at church they’re at basketball practice or studying. There isn’t time for much else. But that doesn’t matter to them. “When you want to be a winner, it means disciplining yourself,” says Kari. They both know that applies to life as well as basketball.