What We Really Think of Youth

“The First Presidency of the Church loves you and has confidence in you and in your leaders. You are an example of righteousness in a world which desperately needs your influence and your strength.”

President Thomas S. Monson, “Be Thou an Example,” Ensign, May 2005, 112.

Planting Trees in Washington

Youth in Washington State provided a service project at a local park last year. Working in cooperation with the Earth Corp Group, 112 Latter-day Saint youth and adults participated. During the restoration project over 500 trees were planted and noxious plants and weeds were pulled. Over 350 service hours were volunteered to beautify the park. Many members of the community voiced their appreciation to the volunteers and were excited about the improvements. Even the city’s mayor made an appearance and publicly thanked the volunteers. Youth leaders commented that it was great to be out in the community doing service and showing that the youth of the Church can step outside of themselves.

In a Word

Covenant: A covenant is a sacred agreement between God and a person or group of people. God sets specific conditions, and He promises to bless us as we obey those conditions. When we choose not to keep our side of a covenant, we cannot receive the blessings.

All the saving ordinances of the priesthood are accompanied by covenants. For example, you made a covenant when you were baptized, and you renew that covenant each time you partake of the sacrament. The temple endowment and the sealing ordinance also include sacred covenants.

Practically Prepared

Of course you’re working on your spiritual preparation for serving a mission soon, but have you considered that there are a lot of practical things you’ll need to handle on your own once you leave home and enter the mission field? Here are some skills you should consider developing to make you practically prepared:

  • Learn how to cook some simple meals.

  • Learn how to do your own laundry.

  • Learn how to do basic repairs around the house.

  • Learn how to fix a flat tire on a bike.

  • Learn how to manage your money.

  • Learn how to clean—the kitchen, the bathroom, your bedroom.

  • Study a second language if you have the opportunity.

BYU Re:Writing Contest 2012

Get your pencils (or word processors) sharpened. It’s time to prepare your entry for the Brigham Young University English Department writing contest for high school students 9th–12th grades (ages 14–18). Cash prizes will be awarded in the categories of short fiction, poetry, personal essay, and critical essay. You can submit one entry per category.

Submit your entries between January 1, 2012, and January 31, 2012, to the Re:Writing Contest, BYU English Department, 4198 JFSB, Provo, Utah 84602. Rules and entry forms are available at english.byu.edu/contests.

Quotes from Conference

“Two of the vital pillars that sustain Father in Heaven’s plan of happiness are marriage and the family.”

Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “The Eternal Blessings of Marriage,” Ensign, May 2011, 94.

5 Simple Things You Can Do to Make Your Parents Happy

  • Finish your homework early.

  • Be especially nice to your brothers and sisters.

  • Offer to do the dishes.

  • Smile.

  • Tell them you love them.

Was That Alma or Alma?

Quite a few names in the Book of Mormon are repeated. For instance, can you tell all the men named Nephi apart? Test your knowledge of double names in the Book of Mormon by matching the names below with the two correct descriptions of the men who shared that name.

  1. 1.


  1. a.

    A priest of King Noah, converted when he heard Abinadi teach

  1. 2.


  1. b.

    Good Nephite king and the father of King Benjamin

  1. 3.


  1. c.

    Laban’s servant who accompanied Lehi’s family into the wilderness

  1. 4.


  1. d.

    A wicked son who changed after receiving a message from an angelic visitor

  1. 5.


  1. e.

    Prophet who led his family into the wilderness, away from Jerusalem

  1. 6.


  1. f.

    Wicked leader in the land of Antionum who broke away from the Nephites

  1. g.

    Man who preached successfully to the Lamanites with his brother Nephi

  1. h.

    Nephite captain who penned the title of liberty

  1. i.

    Father of four sons who all gave up their right to the Nephite throne so they could preach to the Lamanites

  1. j.

    Ammon’s brother who taught the gospel to the Lamanite king after being released from prison

  1. k.

    Lamanite king whose armies attacked the armies of Mormon

  1. l.

    Son of Mormon who helped abridge the gold plates



When missionaries for the Church arrived in Tennessee in 1834, they preached at a Campbellite church meeting and baptized 7 converts; another 24 were baptized later. These missionaries were joined by future Church President Wilford Woodruff in 1835, who preached to 500 people at a tavern. During the next three months, Elder Woodruff and his companion baptized 20 converts. By year’s end, Elder Woodruff had traveled 3,248 miles, baptized 43 people (three of whom were Campbellite preachers), and had three mobs rise against him.

Two temples, one in Nashville and the other in Memphis, were dedicated in 2000.

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







Wards and Branches


Five Free Group Date Ideas

  1. 1.

    Borrow a video camera and make a movie with props you find around the house, and then watch your movie together.

  2. 2.

    Go to a local park or playground and play some of your favorite childhood games like hide-and-seek or capture the flag.

  3. 3.

    Gather ingredients you have in the house to make a simple meal or some treats together. There can never be too many cooks in the kitchen!

  4. 4.

    Teach the group how to play your favorite sport, and then take a turn learning about someone else’s favorite.

  5. 5.

    Offer to babysit for several families in your ward so the parents can go on a date. Make assignments within your groups for games, snacks, and entertainment for the kids.

My Favorite Scripture

Alma 37:35

This scripture says to “learn wisdom in thy youth.” It reminds me to learn to choose the right now, to learn to keep the Lord’s commandments now, and to learn to hold fast to the iron rod now. This scripture is one of my favorites because I know that if I learn to make good choices while still in my youth, I will be able to avoid much temptation in my later years.

Thomas F., 14, Utah, USA

Dear Abby

Most of the youth in Abby’s ward in Oklahoma have known her since Primary, and one of her fellow Laurels in the ward, Shelby, is especially close to her because she has been working with Abby in her special education class at school. You see, Abby is autistic, and she has been changing the lives of the youth in her ward for the better in a big way.

The young women of the ward had a great time as they banded together to help Abby earn her Young Womanhood Recognition. And the spirit of helping became contagious as many of the young men joined with the young women to help with Abby’s Special Olympics basketball team. From practicing to cheering the team on, the experience was a blessing and a missionary experience for the youth of the ward. Several nonmember parents of these special-needs youth expressed their appreciation and admiration for the help given to the basketball team.

Abby’s friend Shelby says, “By helping Abby and her team, I learned more about myself than anything. Abby’s teammates are all very unselfish and kind to one another, and that makes me want to be more like them.”

“I have grown up with Abby, and she is so sweet,” adds Jourdon, a priest in the ward. “She is always happy and brings a smile to my face every time I see her. As I was working with Abby and her team, I learned that while we are all different, in Heavenly Father’s eyes we are the same. We’re all His children.”

By the Numbers


Number of times people have viewed an item posted on the New Era Facebook page since it launched in 2009.

Check out our Facebook page at facebook.com/NewEra.magazine.

We’ve Got Mail

Helping Each Other

When I read the article “Helping Each Other in India” (July 2011), I thought about the humanitarian room at Deseret Industries. Every month for the past two years, I go there to help out. The work I do at the humanitarian room makes me happy, just like those who serve in India.

Justin B., California, USA

Put Your Helmet On

I really enjoyed the “Put Your Helmet On” article in the June 2011 New Era. It shows how very important it is to listen to the Holy Ghost. It could mean the difference between life and death in a very real way, both spiritually and physically. The Holy Ghost is a great guide for our lives when we will listen and heed the promptings.

Elijah D., Colorado, USA

I Like Cake

I was intrigued by the article entitled “The Worst Cake Ever” in the May 2011 New Era. It looked interesting because it had cake in it, and I like cake. I also wanted to learn what the lesson of the story was. I liked it because it taught me a valuable lesson: if we do dangerous things in our lives like drugs, alcohol, or immorality, it will change our lives until we repent.

Dalton S., Arizona, USA

Answers: 1cf, 2ad, 3eg, 4jk, 5bi, 6hl.