Of All Things


Be clean

“Only we can control our appetites and passions. …

“In its simplest terms, self-mastery is doing those things we should do and not doing those things we should not do. It requires strength, willpower, and honesty. …

“One of the great foundations of personal power is purity. … With all my heart I urge you wonderful young people not to take a secret shame with you to your marriage. You may never be able to forget it. You will want to go through life with the strength that comes from a clear conscience, which will permit you one day to stand before your Maker and say, ‘My soul is pure.’ Self-denial is not restrictive. It is liberating. It is the pathway to freedom. It is strength. It is an essential element of purity” (Ensign, May 2000, 44).

—President James E. Faust Second Counselor in the First Presidency

Faith of our fathers

“We have faith, we live by faith; we came to these mountains by faith” (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, Melchizedek Priesthood and Relief Society course of study, 1997, 106).

Brigham Young spoke these words shortly after entering the Salt Lake Valley in July 1847, 154 years ago. The valley was barren, but Brigham Young and his company believed their vision of the desert blossoming as a rose could be made real through their faith and hard work.

Brigham Young said, “We had not the least encouragement—from natural reasoning and all that we could learn of this country—of its sterility, its cold and frost, to believe that we could ever raise anything. … We had faith that we could raise grain; was there any harm in this? Not at all. If we had not had faith, what would have become of us? We would have gone down in unbelief … and should never have raised anything” (Brigham Young, 104–5).

But the Saints did have faith. They escaped the persecution of the mobs and were greatly blessed in Utah. “There never has been a land, from the days of Adam until now, that has been blessed more than this land has been blessed by our Father in Heaven; and it will still be blessed more, if we are faithful and humble, and thankful to God” (Brigham Young, 106).

Write away!

Last November, President Gordon B. Hinckley gave the youth of the Church some Bs to be concerned about: Be humble, be prayerful, be grateful, be smart, be clean, and be true (see New Era, Jan. 2001, 4). We want to hear what you’ve been doing to follow the prophet’s counsel. Send your true story about keeping your standards high, in 1,200 words or less, to New Era, 50 East North Temple, Salt Lake City Utah, 84150. Or e-mail us at cur-editorial-newera@ldschurch.org.

British pioneers

July is also a month to celebrate British pioneers. The first nine British members were baptized into the Church on July 30, 1837, in the River Ribble in Preston, England; less than two weeks had passed since the first seven missionaries came to England on July 19. They faced much opposition, but by the next April, there were 1,500 members in England, and the gospel was spreading to all the British Isles. By 1851, there were nearly 33,000 members in the United Kingdom and Ireland—there were only 12,000 in Utah.

About 100,000 converts left England to join the Saints in America between 1837 and 1900. And by 1870 British immigrants made up half of Utah’s population. Church membership in the United Kingdom now exceeds 174,000, and the Saints there have been blessed with two temples and a missionary training center.

This is not a crash course

Car crashes are the number one cause of death for teenagers in North America. And summer is when the fatality rate is the highest. It’s not that all teens are bad drivers, but inexperience and the tendency to take more risks than other drivers combine to make them more likely to be in an accident. Here are some ways you can be safer when you drive:

  • Don’t push yourself into driving if you don’t feel prepared yet.

  • Buckle up! Nearly two-thirds of young people involved in fatal car crashes were not wearing their safety belts (U.S. Department of Transportation).

  • Don’t doze and drive. If you’re sleepy pull over and take a nap, or have someone else who’s awake drive. Or if you’re a passenger, you can help keep the driver alert.

  • Be courteous and cautious.

  • Cell phones are another danger when you drive. Using one while driving increases the risk of having an accident four-fold (Consumers Union of U.S., Inc.).

  • Keep your car well maintained; it needs more care than just a regular trip to the gas station.

  • Turn down the music, and ask your friends to let you concentrate. Teen drivers with three or more passengers are three times more likely to get into a fatal accident than those driving alone (American Medical Association).

  • Be extra careful when you drive at night. Most accidents involving teens occur after dark, especially on weekend nights (U.S. Department of Transportation).

[photo] Photography by James H. Crockwell

[illustration] Painting River Ribble by Frank Magleby