What We Really Think of Youth

“But, oh, what a wonderful time to be young! You have knowledge of many more things than we needed to have. It is my conviction that your generation is better and stronger than was ours—better in many ways! I have faith that you young men and young women can meet the world on its own terms and conquer it!”

President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “To Young Women and Men,” Ensign, May 1989, 54.

Making Your Mark

Marking your scriptures can help you focus on specific ideas and concepts as you study the gospel. There are many ways you can mark your scriptures; just make sure you find a method that works for you. Below are some suggestions for marking scriptures:

  • Use pencils or colored markers. Avoid using pens that bleed through the paper.

  • Shade, underline, bracket, or outline specific words, verses, or groups of verses that have special meaning to you.

  • Avoid excessive marking. The benefit is lost if you can’t understand your markings because you have made too many notes, lines, and colors.

  • When several ideas in a verse or passage are related, number the ideas in the margin or text.

  • Draw a small symbol in the margin for key verses to help you remember why you marked it.

Focusing on Service

A group of 43 teens in Larimer County, Colorado, were able to help a young man complete his Eagle Project, collect 1,800 pounds of food, take the Christmas spirit to the elderly, gather emergency supplies for disaster victims, and build relationships with each other—all in four days.

Each December these youth plan a special youth conference that focuses on building relationships with each other. Last year the youth decided they wanted to make their conference more meaningful. To do this, Sarah Fenton, 17, says, “We decided to focus on a service project.”

By the last day, the youth had collected 1,500 pounds of food for the local food bank and another 300 pounds to go to 40 families in the community. This was 1,200 more pounds than their goal of 600. They then split into two groups. One group sorted and cleaned supplies for the homeless while the other group put together humanitarian aid kits to be sent to Korea. That evening the group went to retirement and assisted living homes to sing Christmas carols to the residents. The priests quorum president, Tanner Kahl, said it was his favorite youth conference and hopes they can do the same this year.

Photographs courtesy of Brendon Cameron

This Month in History

July 30, 1837 Outracing other baptismal candidates to the River Ribble, George D. Watt became the first convert in Great Britain when he was baptized by Elder Heber C. Kimball.

Calling All Poetographers

Have you ever wondered where we get the poems and photos you see on the inside back cover of the New Era? We get them from you—our readers. So if you’re a poet, or a photographer, or even a poetographer, send us your poems or photos or both. Be creative. Rather than sending us another photo of a sunset, maybe send us a photo of a spider web or of popping corn. (We could actually use photos of both of these to go along with poems we already have.)

Send in your poems and photographs by going to newera.lds.org and clicking Submit Material.

Or send them by mail to:

New Era
50 E. North Temple Street., Rm. 2420
Salt Lake City, UT 84150-0024

Write Away

What’s Up with You?

As you can see, this is a new look and feel for the What’s Up? section of the New Era. We hope you like it, and we hope you’ll help us fill it with interesting ideas and events that are going on in your classes and quorums. Write in and tell us about what you and your friends are doing at Mutual or in seminary. Along with your story, remember to include some photographs of the activities too.

Send in your stories and photographs by going to newera.lds.org and clicking Submit Material.

Or send them by mail to:

New Era, What’s Up?
50 E. North Temple Street., Rm. 2420
Salt Lake City, UT 84150-0024

Illustration © iStock

Moses 1:39 Sudoku

The objective of a regular Sudoku is to fill the 9×9 grid so that each column, each row, and each of the nine 3×3 boxes (also called blocks or regions) contains the digits from 1 to 9 only one time. For this puzzle, instead of numbers, use the scripture reference and the eight words in bold to complete the puzzle.

Moses 1:39

For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.

sudoku puzzle(click to view larger)

I took this picture in Thessaloníki, Greece. It reminds me of the mist of darkness in Lehi’s dream (see 1 Nephi 8:22–24).

Kevin K., Germany

In a Word

Ordinance: In the Church, an ordinance is a sacred, formal act performed by the authority of the priesthood. Some ordinances are essential to our exaltation and are called saving ordinances. These include baptism, confirmation, ordination to the Melchizedek Priesthood (for men), the temple endowment, and the marriage sealing.

While other ordinances—such as naming and blessing children, administering to the sick, and father’s blessings—are not essential to our salvation, they are valuable for our comfort, guidance, and encouragement.

By the Numbers


Number of books in the Church History Library collection.

When stacked on top of each other, the books would be as tall as Mt. McKinley in Alaska!

Great Group Date Idea

Get together with a group of your friends for a photo scavenger hunt. Divide up into groups of four or six; each group will need a digital camera and a list of possible photos. Before the date, create a list of objects or activities that could be photographed for the scavenger hunt, and make sure to have lots of possible picture options (20 or 30). On the date, set a time limit for the scavenger hunt, and then meet up afterward for treats and a slide show of the photos. Award points for each picture.

Here are some photo ideas to get your list started:

  • A cow wearing a hat (8 points)

  • Someone playing a harmonica (7 points)

  • $7.82 in coins (5 points)

  • A building at least six stories high (5 points)

  • Someone in your group shaking hands with a police officer (7 points)

  • Two people with matching shirts (8 points)

  • Your entire group on a playground slide (10 points)

Quote from Conference

“By our example, let us teach our family members to have love one for another.”

Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Finding Joy through Loving Service,” Ensign, May 2011, 47.

My Favorite Scripture

2 Nephi 2:11

This verse has always been my guide and inspiration whenever I’m in doubt, despair, or a difficult situation. It has been my favorite passage since I have questioned why there needs to be an opposition. Why should there be contradictions? Why can’t life just be positive, happy, easy, and good? Why should the bad exist?

This verse helped me understand life and its complexities. It helped me appreciate more the meaning of life. It made me realize the purpose of opposition and that I should be thankful for it. For without it, we would not know the real essence and beauty of life. Without opposition, we would not know how to love, how to be happy, or how to succeed. I’ve learned to love life and accept it as it is and to trust in the Lord because His wisdom is unquestionable.

Sheena P., Philippines

What’s a QR Code?

You may have noticed several QR codes (short for “quick response codes”) like the one below in recent issues of the New Era. If you have a camera-enabled smartphone, you can scan a QR code to link straight to a video, article, or website without having to type in its web address. Here’s how:

  1. 1.

    Search for QR-code apps in the app store for your smartphone. Free apps are available for most smartphones.

  2. 2.

    Install your selected app to your smartphone.

  3. 3.

    Open the app, and scan the QR code. Once the code registers, the item it links to will appear on your smartphone.

Try out the code below to go to youth.lds.org, and check out more on pages 15, 25, and 48. This is an emerging technology that works best with iPhones and Android phones and may not work on all devices. E-mail feedback to newera@ldschurch.org.

The Church in the Philippines

During the Spanish-American War in 1898, two men from Utah who were members of a U.S. artillery battery, and who were also set apart as missionaries before they left the United States, preached while stationed in the Philippines. Missionary work ceased in the Philippines at the beginning of World War II.

In April 1961, President Gordon B. Hinckley (then Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles) rededicated the Philippines for missionary work. By 1969, the Church had spread to eight major islands and had the highest number of baptisms of any area in the Church. The Manila Missionary Training Center (above) was established in 1983.

Here are a few facts about the Church today in the Philippines:







Wards & Branches


Photograph courtesy of the Missionary Department

How to Have Clean Thoughts

How to Have Clean Thoughts

Even though bad thoughts come knocking at the door, we ought not invite them to come in and have a seat. The best time to defend ourselves against temptation is when the thought begins to take shape; destroy the seed, and the plant will never grow. When I find myself in this situation, I sing my favorite hymn and try to have the image of Jesus in my heart until I can resist. If we persistently resist bad thoughts, they will depart.

Jorge G., Venezuela

Photograph courtesy of Jorge G.

5 Scriptures to pick you up when you’re down

D&C 136:29

D&C 61:36

Psalm 55:22

Matthew 11:28–30

2 Nephi 10:23

We’ve Got Mail

Mutual Theme for 2011

When I saw the January 2011 issue, I really liked how it laid out standards of morality and achievement. I love the new theme and the articles expounding on it. I am always strengthened by the ever-present articles regarding standards, conversion stories, and the great examples set by Latter-day Saint youth for those around them.

Wesley S., Arizona, USA

We Are His Hands

During family home evening I read the story “We Are His Hands” (July 2010) and decided I would like to do a service project for teenagers like me. We looked online for humanitarian projects but could not find any specifically for teenagers. Where can we find ideas?

Tarah H., Tennessee, USA

Editor’s note: You can find nearly 100 ideas at lds.org/go/715. Just scroll down to “Nifty Ways to Serve Your Brother.”