by Tamara Leatham Bailey
This year I’m going to get into shape. Many of us make this decision and set our New Year’s resolution to do just that. Then we make drastic changes to our lifestyle that last only a month, or sometimes just a few days.
Good health is a life-long goal. Taking good care of ourselves also shows respect for the body Heavenly Father has given us.
Early to Bed, Early to Rise
Experiment for two or three nights to learn how much sleep your body needs. Go to bed as soon as you feel tired. Get up as soon as you awake on your own.
Plan your homework, scripture study, prayer, or other important projects requiring concentration when you are awake and alert. (See D&C 88:124.)
Return home early on nights out with friends and dates. Avoid late-night TV, too. Lack of sleep not only affects your physical well-being, but also your judgment.
Set aside a rest time in the middle of the day to rejuvenate yourself. Some people like to nap. Others just like time to quietly read or listen to relaxing music.
Never use caffeine or other drugs of any kind to keep you awake.
Eat Right, Feel Great
Learn about good nutrition by taking a class or reading a variety of reputable books.
Collect and use recipes for healthful meals.
Read the Word of Wisdom (D&C 89) and make a commitment to keep it. Keep in mind its counsel to not take substances into your body that would harm it, and to take good foods into your body, specifically vegetables, fruits, and grains. Also remember the part about prudence and thanksgiving.
Ask your parents if you can help in preparing the family meals. Make sure that what you prepare is nutritional, low in fat, uses a variety of foods, and is within your family’s budget.
Have healthy snacks handy at school. Raisins, carrot sticks, bananas, whole-grain crackers, and granola are easy to carry around and will give you lots more energy than chips or cookies from the vending machine.
Try different kinds of exercise until you find two or more activities you enjoy. Then alternate between them so you don’t get bored.
Listen to good music while you exercise.
Exercise with a friend. Set goals together, or enjoy some friendly competition.
Use exercise to lift your spirits. If you feel discouraged, worried, or angry, exercise can relieve some of those emotions. It can also clear your mind to help you better deal with problems and challenges.
If you’re just starting out, start slowly. Overdoing it will almost always turn you off to exercise. A 15- or 20-minute walk after dinner can be a good start.
Join a team sport. Being on a volleyball, basketball, or softball team can help you get into shape and make new friends.
The One and Only You
Recognize that everyone (including you) is unique. We are not all meant to look like models and movie stars. Picture yourself as the wonderful person you really are.
Spencer Goble didn’t know what he was getting into when he started his Eagle Scout project.
“I decided to get pictures of all the bishops my ward has ever had and then put their pictures in nice frames to be put in the meetinghouse. I didn’t know my ward dated back to the earliest Utah settlement.”
To complete his task, Spencer had to dig into Utah history and rely on help from people in his hometown of Bountiful, Utah. Help came from many willing sources in the form of books, pictures, and money.
The result of Spencer’s efforts is now on display in the church building of the Bountiful First Ward, where Spencer is a teacher. After 92 hours of hard work and more than a little stress, pictures of bishops dating back to 1849 are on display for everyone to enjoy.
“My testimony has really been strengthened through this project,” says Spencer. “I think about how hard it would have been to be a bishop in the ‘wilderness’ when the Church was only 19 years old. It took strong men. But bishops today have to be strong men too.”
What these young men from Rialto, California, are doing may look far from heavenly, but during their three-day youth conference, they learned about all kinds of service that can be performed at the temple, service which brings everyone a step closer to heaven.
While some did yard work on the Los Angeles Temple grounds, others worked inside the temple performing baptisms for the dead. Still others teamed up with the local missionaries to help them in their efforts.
“Highway to Heaven” was the theme of the conference, and many of the young people agree that they learned things that will definitely keep them on the right road.
A quilt is all about bringing things together: different colors, different shapes, even different kinds of fabric. And in the Winnipeg Manitoba Stake, a quilt is also about bringing people together. Stake gatherings are a special challenge for the Manitoba Stake, since it covers all of Manitoba, part of Ontario, and a tiny slice of Minnesota (that’s two provinces and two countries, if you’re keeping track). So they decided to make a quilt, since they could work on their individual pieces separately but still have a finished product that all of them had worked on.
On each piece of the quilt, the girls embroidered a scripture that illustrates one of the Young Women values. And, although none of the girls would ever dream of curling up with the quilt on her bed, it gives them all a nice warm feeling.
You probably wouldn’t expect to find a Nephite army in Riverton, Utah. But this choir, which is made up of youth from the Summerhill Stake, is as rough and ready as a military unit, and sounds a lot better.
More than 300 young people participated in a presentation of “From Cumorah’s Hill,” a musical presentation of selected portions of the Book of Mormon. Getting that many people coordinated to give a presentation is no easy task, but all the youth say the hard work was worth it.
“Working hard in preparation for the program helped me to understand the music and appreciate what it really meant,” says deacon Jacob Easton.
The varsity volleyball team at Antioch (California) High School, shown here with their coach Lou Panzella, had reason to celebrate last season. Their season record of 36–2 won them their second consecutive section championship.
The seven LDS boys on the team also had another reason to be pleased. In addition to bringing their nonmember teammates to several church activities, they persuaded their coach (who isn’t a member of the Church) to allow them to come to their early-morning practice late so they could attend seminary each morning.
The coach has been so impressed by these young men that he recently made a special point of visiting Temple Square on a trip through Salt Lake City.
Mia Maids in the Layton 31st Ward, Layton Utah South Stake, made white hair “scrunchies” to be worn by young women in the new Hong Kong Temple. They crocheted and sewed the fancy ponytail holders and sent them in time for the temple dedication.
J. W. Bass, a priest from Albermarle, North Carolina, won the North Carolina wrestling championship in his weight class. J. W. is the first assistant in his priests quorum and is preparing to serve a mission.
Youth in the Anderson Ward, Muncie Indiana Stake, recently did a good turn for their local humane society and their neighborhood. They washed cars for free, but accepted donations to help pay for shots and medicine for homeless pets.
Levi Madarieta, a teacher from Weiser, Idaho, won the 1996 National Punt, Pass, and Kick competition. He also set a new Idaho state A-2 football record for the longest punt in a championship game.
Did you know that as little as 50 milligrams of caffeine (approximately the amount found in 14 ounces of a cola drink) can produce adverse side effects such as anxiety, dizziness, apprehension, diarrhea, depression, restlessness, and ringing in the ears?
While caffeine has usefulness in relieving pain and treating some illnesses like asthma, continued use, even in small doses, can be detrimental to good health. The Word of Wisdom prohibits tea and coffee, but we are left to make our own decisions on other foods and beverages which contain caffeine.
Dr. Clifford J. Stratton, a Doctor of Human Anatomy at the University of Nevada in Reno, says, “I counsel inquiring members that eating or drinking anything that may result in bodily harm is probably a violation of the spirit of wisdom enjoined in Doctrine and Covenants 89.” [D&C 89]
—Ensign, June 1988, 60
“My name is Roseline Joseph. I’m from Nassau, Bahamas. The gospel of Jesus Christ is something that has really helped me to be happy and to have hope in this world. The gospel of Jesus Christ helps me to do the right things in my life. I am especially grateful for the scriptures. When I read them I feel that they are the most important gift God has given us.”
Lonnie Johnston, a Laurel from Fallon, Nevada, is interested in a lot of things, including softball, volleyball, dancing, public speaking, and goat tying.
Yup. Lonnie excels at goat tying and other rodeo events. As the National High School Rodeo Association’s queen, she is now spreading her message about how much fun rodeo events are.
“I want to educate people about how rodeo works and what it’s all about,” says Lonnie.
Her year as queen has afforded her the opportunity to travel around the country and make new friends.
“I always take my scriptures wherever I go. People always ask me what they are. It’s a great way to share the gospel!” she says.
Elders in the California Riverside Mission have the perfect “photo op” on a street corner in one of their areas. At the corner where Cool Court and Elder Avenue meet, you get lots of “cool” elders posing for pictures to send to family and friends!