A patriarchal blessing literally contains chapters from your book of eternal possibilities. President Thomas S. Monson, First Counselor in the First Presidency, “Your Patriarchal Blessing: A Liahona of Light,” Ensign, Nov. 1986, 66.

Finishing Strong

Danielle Menlove, a Beehive from Sandy, Utah, has running in her blood. Her parents, both runners, noticed something special when she beat her mother in a race at seven years old. Now she holds four USA national track and cross country titles and numerous records.

Danielle started winning big races when she was just 10 years old. She now holds the USA Track & Field—Utah youth records for the 11–12 age group in the 800m, 1500m, and the 3000m. In the 13–14 age group, Danielle holds the records in the 1500m and 3000m.

Danielle has learned that track involves enduring to the end. And she learned it the hard way. At the USATF National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships in 2005, she accidentally stopped a lap short. She says, “I was in first place, and I had a 100m lead, but I stopped and started walking off the track.” When an official told her she had a lap to go, Danielle scrambled to rejoin the race. She still took second.

Recalling the event, Danielle says it helped her learn to finish strong. “It was a good thing to happen because I made the mistake once, and I’ll never make it again.”

Stake

You’ve heard all the jokes about “steak” dances and going to the “steak” house, right? So why do we use the word stake to describe a group of wards and branches? Most geographic areas where the Church is organized are divided into stakes. The term stake comes from the prophet Isaiah, who prophesied that the latter-day Church would be like a tent, held secure by stakes (see Isaiah 33:20; 54:2). There are usually 5 to 12 wards and branches in a stake.

(See True to the Faith [2004], “Church Administration,” 34–37.)

BYU Writing Contest for 2008

It’s time to prepare your entry for the BYU English Department’s writing contest for high school students (9th through 12th grades). Cash prizes will be awarded in the categories of fiction, poetry, personal essay, and critical essay. You can submit one entry per category.

Submit your entries between January 1, 2008, and January 31, 2008, to BYU English Department, 4198 JFSB, Provo, UT 84602-6701. You can get all the rules and an application form at the contest Web site: http://english.byu.edu/contests. If you have questions, call 801-422-4939 or e-mail english@byu.edu.

My Favorite Scripture

Alma 36:3 is my favorite scripture because it teaches that even though I am young, my trials are real and difficult. I can be strengthened during trials and overcome them by trusting my Heavenly Father and continuing to grow in the gospel. Rebecca B., 17, California

Tell us about your favorite scripture in one or two sentences. Send it to newera@ldschurch.org.

They Spoke to Us

Many general conference talks have messages directed to you, the youth of the Church. Here are just a few ways to apply the messages to your life. Read all the conference talks in the November Ensign and Liahona magazines. You can also read, listen to, or watch them online at www.lds.org.

  • See what President Hinckley says about the importance of controlling your temper and the blessings of forgiveness in “Slow to Anger.”

  • Elder L. Tom Perry gives some practical ideas of things to do now to prepare to be a better missionary in “Raising the Bar.”

  • How can you make a difference in strengthening your family? See what Mary N. Cook suggests in “Strengthen Home and Family.”

  • What quality defines us best as members of the Church? Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin gives the answer in “The Great Commandment.”

For more quotes and stories for youth from general conference, go to www.newera.lds.org.

[photos] Photographs by Janet Thomas

[illustration] Illustrated by Jerry Thompson

[illustration] Illustrated by Shauna Mooney Kawasaki

[photo] Photograph courtesy of Rebecca B.