“Did You Know?” Liahona, May 2002, 47
Karl G. Maeser was born in 1828 in Saxony, Germany, and joined the Church in his native land. In 1860, when Dr. Maeser and his family moved to Utah, he became the private tutor to Brigham Young’s family. Sixteen years later, President Young called him to become the principal of the Brigham Young Academy, forerunner to Brigham Young University.
Before Brother Maeser left for this new assignment, President Young told him: “I want you to remember that you ought not to teach even the alphabet or the multiplication tables without the Spirit of God. That is all. God bless you. Goodbye.” In the difficult years that followed, that admonition guided Brother Maeser’s efforts. (See Edwin Butterworth Jr., “Eight Presidents: A Century at BYU,” Ensign, October 1975, 23.)
Karl G. Maeser was known not only for his intelligence and teaching skills but also for his humility and integrity. He said: “Place me behind prison walls—walls of stone ever so thick, reaching ever so far into the ground—there is a possibility that in some way or another I may be able to escape; but stand me on the floor and draw a chalk line around me and have me give my word of honor never to cross it. Can I get out of that circle? No, never! I’d die first!” (quoted in Ernest L. Wilkinson, The President Speaks, Brigham Young University Speeches of the Year [5 October 1960], 15).
Following are a few significant events that happened in Church history during the month of May.
15 May 1829. Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery received the Aaronic Priesthood from John the Baptist on the bank of the Susquehanna River.
8 May 1834. Zion’s Camp began its march from Ohio to Missouri to assist the Missouri Saints.
1 May 1846. The original Nauvoo Temple was dedicated publicly by Elder Orson Hyde of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
Jesus Christ emphasized the need for unity (see John 17:6–11, 20–23; 3 Ne. 11:28–30). In a latter-day revelation He said, “If ye are not one ye are not mine” (D&C 38:27). As leaders you can build unity among yourselves and among your quorum or class members by:
Getting to know the members of your quorum or class and praying for them.
Involving quorum or class members in planning activities. They will be more likely to attend an activity and to feel valued if they know they are essential to what is going on.
Planning your activities with a specific goal in mind. You might ask yourselves: Is someone in our quorum or class struggling? How can our next activity help this person feel a part of our group?