October 1972

“Books,” Ensign, Oct. 1972, 82


Teaching the Gospel with Overhead Transparencies
Volume 1 Basic Gospel Principles
Volume 2 The Articles of Faith and Principles of the Gospel
By George A. Horton, Jr., and Thomas L. Tyler
Publishers Press, $5.95 each

Thirty-two transparencies per volume, with instructions on how to use them and short sermonettes on all of the topics treated, are featured in these manuals for teachers. Volume 1 treats the first principles of the gospel under such headings as “Faith—Where Do I Start?” “What Is Sin?” “Readiness for Baptism,” and “How Does Revelation Come?”

Volume 2 features the Articles of Faith and cites scripture and admonitions of the prophets regarding each one.

Both authors are employed in the development of curriculum and teaching materials for seminaries and institutes. The volumes will enable teachers to keep both pictures and printed excerpts from lessons before their classes, and will give the teacher many ideas for development of his own teaching aids. Here are sample transparencies:

Warm Tones and Tiny Miracles
By Don J. Black
Brigham Young University Publications, 136 pp., $2.50

Seldom in the dizzy and hectic pace we keep does anyone stop to assess the many small miracles that happen to us daily. But Warm Tones and Tiny Miracles is just such an accounting.

The author, who has been a teacher and counselor of youth for many years, has adhered to a single promise in this collection of faith-promoting episodes: “to acquaint the soul with the little faith-building events that add joy to life, the apparent coincidences—not really just coincidences—that color one’s life with warm tones of happiness and renewed faith in our Father in heaven, the tiny miracles present in life as evidence that God lives.”

The stories portrayed in this book are diverse in character: an advocate of a youth/drug culture discovers the power of the Holy Ghost; a family becomes equal to sorting out frustrating domestic problems when it seeks for practical solutions in earnest prayer; some children explore an abandoned mine tunnel and for a lark turn off their one flashlight, only to discover when they turn it on again that they are standing on the edge of a perpendicular shaft with no visible bottom—one step further and death would have claimed them all.

Another story tells of a German Jewess who faces life’s sorest trials and later joins the Church, eludes the Nazi pogrom in a daring escape to Denmark, to begin life anew with her two boys whose father has deserted them. Plagued with failing health and existing on a meager income, this courageous mother is concerned about her ability to pay tithing as one of the requirements for baptism. After fervent prayer, she speaks with unaccustomed calmness: “I don’t understand it. God let me know that I should be baptized with my boys, that all would work out somehow.”

Brother Black recounts these varied and ofttimes personal experiences with unusual sensitivity. With each recounting, the golden thread of faith shines through as the genesis of all miracles, whatever their size.

Party Starters and Quiet Games
By Alma Heaton
Bookcraft, 64 pp., $1.25 (Paperback)

In this second book in a series entitled “Treasury of Classroom, Family, and Party Fun,” the author combines learning with fun, and suggests ideas for zestful party planning. Imaginative ideas for getting party-goers acquainted and for having pre-opener games will help any party get off to a good start. Illustrated with line drawings.

For Righteousness’ Sake
By Mark E. Petersen
Bookcraft, 308 pp., $4.50

“If you could make a world of your own, what changes would you make?” For Righteousness’ Sake asks this age-old question, then sets about to suggest alternative solutions and changes that all of us could make in our lives.

For three decades Elder Mark E. Petersen of the Council of the Twelve has written powerful editorial messages for the “Church News” section of the Deseret News. In For Righteousness’ Sake, he has chosen over one hundred of these editorials to help us “plan for an improved future and for the good and abundant life God offers us.”

“One of the wonderful things about our present life,” says Elder Petersen, “is that we can make changes in it, we can create for ourselves new conditions—a whole new life—just by deciding to do so.”

Among the areas that he lists where we can change our lives for righteousness’ sake are adhering to Church standards, our longing for peace, finding the abundant life, keeping the Sabbath day, following the prophets, understanding the establishment, building world church unity, disciplining ourselves in a permissive age, strengthening parental authority, and enduring to the end.

“If we loved justice for the sake of being just, we would always be just and equitable. If we loved that which is right, would we ever be contrary in our attitudes, rebellious in our conduct, or wrong in our goals and desires? … If we loved righteousness for the sake of righteousness—since that would determine our character—would we ever be tempted to lose our virtue, or to contaminate our bodies with the filth of tobacco, drugs, or liquor?

“To love righteousness for righteousness’ sake then is a divine quality,” he concludes. “Why should we satisfy ourselves with mediocrity or less when a new and firm resolution can change our whole life’s structure and give us new horizons of happiness?”

Raising Fine Families
By Elliot D. Landau
Deseret Book, 384 pp., paperback, $3.95

Recent experimentation at an American university indicates that a two-month-old baby will seek out visually stimulating things. Soviet child development specialists are convinced that babies should be visually stimulated by the third month of life.

Dr. Elliott D. Landau, professor of child development at the University of Utah, comments on these findings in his new book, Raising Fine Families.

“The hypothesis in these experiments,” explains Dr. Landau, “is that if a child can enjoy visual stimulation early in life, he may develop an earlier interest and ability to read, which is a visual process.

“I don’t know whether this idea will produce better readers, but it seems wise to fill even the early months with exciting, stimulating experiences.”

Dr. Landau also comments on the possibility of turning over the education of children to large corporations. Several school districts in the United States have instituted this plan. The corporations selected are promising to run the schools on a money-back guarantee.

“What is learning, so that a money-back guarantee will have some meaning?” asks Dr. Landau. “Is pupil improvement to be measured only in terms of being able to add better or to read better? What else ought to be looked into before the public turns its schools over to the corporate notion of success in school?”

Dr. Landau explores these and many similar questions concerning the growing years, with the heaviest concentration on preschool childhood.

What are the “tender years”? The “turbulent years”? What is the meaning of mental age? What about the influence of teachers and schools? What is real education? Do you believe, in the matter of I.Q. tests, that we have been asking the wrong questions?

This book, a collection of 366 of Brother Landau’s daily radio broadcasts, offers stimulating suggestions for improving parent-child relationships from babyhood, through school and college, and into maturity.