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“As we seek Christ, as we find Him, as we follow Him, we shall have the Christmas spirit, not for one fleeting day each year, but as a companion always.” Thomas S. Monson, “In Search of the Christmas Spirit,” Ensign, Dec. 1987, 5.

Write Away!

Have you ever had a father’s blessing or other priesthood blessing? Maybe you’ve had one at the beginning of a new school year, or when you were going away from home for a time. The First Presidency has encouraged fathers to give these types of blessings to their children. We’d love to hear from you about occasions on which your father or other priesthood holder has given you a blessing.

How did your blessing help you? How did it strengthen your testimony? How did it strengthen your relationship not only with your earthly father but also with your Heavenly Father? Send your responses to us at:

New Era, Father’s Blessing
50 E. North Temple St. Rm. 2420
Salt Lake City, UT 84150-3220, USA

Or e-mail: newera@ldschurch.org

However, please be wise. Do not write about sacred, personal experiences that call attention to you or the person giving the blessing.

A Balancing Act

Killian Stephens has found just the right balance for her life. A ballet dancer from San Rafael, California, Killian recently became the first ballerina to receive the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts Silver Award. She was presented a cash award by world-famous ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov and extended a full scholarship to the University of Arizona. Killian has also earned her Young Womanhood Recognition Award.

“It takes a lot of commitment to do all of the things you need to do as an active member of the Church and keep a rigorous training schedule,” she says. “But it can be done, and you don’t have to sacrifice the most important things in your life to do it.”

Killian uses the thirteenth-article-of-faith rule to balance Church standards and ballet. If a dance isn’t “lovely, of good report, or praiseworthy,” she won’t do it.

She also stays close to the most important people in her life. “It is your involvement with your family and your relationship with your Heavenly Father that will sustain you through the stresses of training,” she says.

People in Joseph Smith—History

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Hidden above are the names of 14 people mentioned in Joseph Smith—History. Find them by reading forward, backward, diagonally, or vertically. The clues below will help you.

_ _ _ _ Mack Smith and _ _ _ _ _ _ Smith Sr. were his parents (v. 4).

Two of his brothers were _ _ _ _ _ and _ _ _ _ _ (v. 4).

An angel named _ _ _ _ _ _ visited Joseph several times (v. 33).

Isaac _ _ _ _ didn’t want his daughter _ _ _ _ to marry Joseph (vv. 57–58).

_ _ _ _ _ _ Cowdery wrote as Joseph translated the Book of Mormon (v. 66).

Martin _ _ _ _ _ _ took copies of the characters from the Book of Mormon to Professor Charles _ _ _ _ _ _ (vv. 61, 64).

John the _ _ _ _ _ _ _ gave Joseph the Aaronic Priesthood.

_ _ _ _ _, _ _ _ _ _, and _ _ _ _ gave him the Melchizedek Priesthood (v. 72).

Christmas on Temple Hill

Teaming up with children from the Primary, the young women and young men of the Loomis Third Ward in the Rocklin California Stake participated in the first annual Christmas on Temple Hill at the Sacramento California Temple. The young choir was nearly 50 strong and performed a number of Christmas hymns.

Young men and women from the ward even took part as guest conductors for several songs. Other youth accompanied the singers with choir bells, guitar, flute, and clarinet. After the performance, the crowd of over 100 gathered in the chapel adjacent to the temple to sing hymns, watch a Christmas video on the Nativity, and enjoy refreshments.

One of the many friends in the community to attend who is not a member of the Church described the evening as a heartwarming “exhibit of the true meaning of Christmas.”

[photo] Photograph courtesy of Killian Stephens

[photo] Photograph courtesy of the Loomis Third Ward, Rocklin California Stake