“If you understand the great plan of happiness and follow it, what goes on in the world will not determine your happiness.”

President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “The Father and the Family,” Ensign, May 1994, 20.

By the Numbers


Number of Personal Progress medallions issued in 2006.

In a Word


In the scriptures, the word heaven is often used to refer to the place where God lives, which is the ultimate home of the faithful (see Mosiah 2:41). It sometimes also refers to the expanse around the earth (see Genesis 1:1). (See True to the Faith [2004], 78.)

293 Merit Badges

“It isn’t easy achieving 121 merit badges,” say brothers Scott and Bryce Vaughan of the Spring Creek Ward in Spring, Texas. That’s probably why so few Scouts across the United States ever accomplish the feat. But both Scott and Bryce earned all 121 merit badges sponsored by the Boy Scouts of America. Scott and Bryce say that their older brother, Austin, was one of their biggest supporters and helped inspire them to excel in Scouting.

“I never expected that Scott and I would complete all 121 merit badges,” says Bryce. “Once we got going we didn’t want to stop until we earned them all.” Between the three Vaughan brothers, who are all Eagle Scouts, they have a combined 293 merit badges. Austin, Scott, and Bryce are pictured from left to right.

Photograph courtesy of the Vaughan family

The Church in USA: Maryland

After a 10-hour debate with a Campbellite minister in Leitersburgh, Washington County, Elder Erastus Snow baptized 11 people. He began preaching in Maryland with three other missionaries in 1837. Elder Snow baptized one convert, an 89-year-old man, after cutting through 18 inches of ice.

The Washington D.C. Temple, actually located in Kensington, Maryland, is one of the state’s most prominent landmarks and was completed in 1974.









Family History Centers


Information from Newsroom at www.lds.org.

Plenty of Ponytails

Amanda Rawlins, a 13-year-old Beehive from the Burton Second Ward in Rexburg, Idaho, just finished holding a weeklong Locks of Love event. She decided to organize the event for her Good Works project after seeing a TV interview about girls going through chemotherapy. Amanda learned that it takes 6 to 10 ponytails to make a wig for one patient who has lost her hair. She realized that simply donating her own hair would not be enough. She wanted to do more.

She made arrangements for a beauty college to give free haircuts to those willing to donate their hair for the event. With her mother’s help, Amanda put up posters and handed out flyers at local schools. At the end of the project, they had collected 30 ponytails. That’s enough hair for three or four full wigs. “I am so happy with how many ponytails we received,” Amanda says. “I am so thankful to all those willing to cut off the 10 inches needed for the donation.”

Photograph courtesy of the Rawlins family

My Favorite Scripture

Photograph courtesy of Luciano P.

Alma 29:1 I like where it talks about Alma wanting to have the voice of an angel so he could tell everyone about the gospel. I would like to share my testimony like that.

Luciano P., 18, Montevideo, Uruguay

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