“FYI: For Your Information,” New Era, May 1975, 47
Ferron Combs, 14, teachers quorum president of the Pacific Branch in the Canal Zone received a special honor from the Canal Zone Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He was recognized at the annual business meeting of the council’s executive board for designing a new shoulder patch that is now being worn by all Cubs, Scouts, Venturers, Explorers, and adult Scouters in the Canal Zone. It depicts a ship coming through the locks of the Panama Canal. With its nine colors it is a particularly beautiful council patch.
On November 5, Troop 6, sponsored by the Pacific Branch, held a Court of Honor at which the special guest was General William B. Rosson, Commander in Chief of the U.S. Southern Command and the senior ranking four-star general in the army. General Rosson, who wears the Distinguished Eagle award in recognition of his 44 years of service to Scouting, stated that the Court of Honor was the finest he had ever participated in.
With the high school baseball season in full swing, pitchers in the Eufala, Alabama, area have been doing some shaking in their spikes. They’ve got to face James “Jimbo” Carroll of Lakeside High School, who last season as a sophomore set a national high school record by belting four consecutive home runs in one game. The hapless coach of the opposing team used four different pitchers trying to stop him, but every pitch they ladled out seemed to be his favorite dish. He collected his last four-bagger of the game when the opposing pitcher was attempting a deliberate walk and inadvertently threw the ball a little too close to the plate. He proved he was a solid team player rather than just an occasional fireworks display by batting .417 for the season.
A versatile athlete, Jimbo also plays third base and pitches. As a pitcher he had six wins and three losses. He is also a standout in both football and basketball.
Jimbo is a priest in the Eufala Branch, where branch members held a party in his honor after he set the record. A modest young man of few words, Jimbo says of the Church, “I know it’s true, and I try to live it.”
A radio announcement asking for volunteer “victims” in a simulated aircrash brought a quick response from alert Aaronic Priesthood youths and Young Women in the Indianapolis area. Over 100 Beehive girls and Scouts participated.
The emergency situation involved three hospitals, only two of which were alerted before the emergency. The youths were prepared with signs stating the nature of their injuries and at the appointed time were hauled off in ambulances to hospitals for treatment.
Beds were prepared for the victims, with doctors and nurses using first aid in response to each young person’s needs. Emergency “operations” were performed on the more seriously injured.
When it was all over the Beehives and Scouts emerged convinced that service projects were something special.
Young people from the Italy Rome Mission met recently at a seaside resort for their third annual youth conference.
More than 180 young Latter-day Saints and investigators enjoyed roadshows, talent presentations, wearing native costumes, dancing, instruction in arts and crafts, beach activities, and inspirational testimonies at Santa Savera in the ancient Etruscan area. When they rented the building where they held their conference sessions, the youths made it known to the owners that they were LDS, and they explained their standards of conduct and dress. They also requested that none of the employees of the establishment use tobacco or alcohol during the conference. The staff was impressed with the group and even went so far as to furnish a live orchestra that also adhered to the requests of the young people.
Mission president Ralph A. Barnes commented that “there was a feeling of love and unity among our young people that we have never felt before. The testimony meeting that was held deeply moved both members and investigators alike.”
Commented Giampiero Levanti, “I had never before been to a youth conference. I was baptized only a year and a half ago. For me this has been a discovery of friendship, brotherhood, and love.”
Antonio Nicotra found that the experience encouraged him and others to strengthen their faith and testimonies. “At the conference it seemed as if all the Mormons were separated from the rest of the world.”
“The conference will help me in helping others to understand the Church,” said Anna Peroncini, “because I have many friends who are not members.”
At the final banquet the young people at one table stood reverently and began singing “God Be with You Till We Meet Again.” Soon those at each table rose to their feet and joined in singing—many already had thoughts of next year’s conference.
“ARE WEN EHT: One of the greatest features of all time! In just one feature you get inspirational messages, comic episodes, true-life adventures, and much more. Come see for yourself. Plays as many times each night as you would like. 40¢ admission, or $4 for 12 months. Rated Y for youth.”
If that information doesn’t sound quite like what should go on a theater marquee, it’s because it’s not. It’s a bulletin board poster in a seminary classroom in Provo, Utah. ARE WEN EHT is, of course, THE NEW ERA spelled backwards, and it’s part of a program by student leaders of the Utah Valley Seminary District to encourage New Era readership. Their goal is to inspire every seminary student to read every issue of the New Era, and they work hard to make it happen.
A student is called each year to coordinate the program for the whole district. A student is called in each of the 16 seminaries in the district as coordinator of the program in that seminary, and a representative is called in each class. In each seminary one devotional each month is set aside to promote the New Era through skits, talks, games, contests, and whatever else youthful ingenuity can devise. New Era bowls are held regularly, and some classes have quizzes, with prizes for the winners.
The bulletin boards and walls abound in New-Era-plugging posters that are changed regularly to feature the latest articles. Other things are more constant. When you sharpen your pencil, you’re almost sure to see a little sign that advises you to “Be Sharp: Read the New Era.” Under the light switch you’ll read, “See the Light: Read the New Era.” If you play the piano, you’ll notice a little poster that suggests, “Stay in Tune: Read the New Era.” And on the face of the clock? You guessed it: “Isn’t It Time You Read the New Era?”
The coordinators and representatives know how to use the personal touch too. One of them called up all the students in her class and said, “I’ll be calling your home between 4:00 and 5:00 this afternoon, and if you’re reading the New Era when I call, I’ll have a prize for you.” The prizes turned out to cost only a few cents each, but by then the students had discovered that the magazine itself was prize enough. Another student passed out some bubblegum with notes that said, “Stick to the New Era.” Still another taped a Dragnet takeoff in which someone stole her New Era, and she used the articles as clues to track him down when he made the mistake of reading what he had stolen. Not a day passes without every student being reminded in one way or another to read the New Era.
The New Era representatives cooperate with ward magazine representatives to make sure that students are subscribing, but they feel that any student who can be talked into reading the New Era a few times will automatically want a copy of his own, so they aim their efforts at just getting people to read.
Everybody likes friends, and the New Era is glad to have some in Utah Valley.
Steven McCann, an 18-year-old priest from Midvale, Utah, was one of 25 high school students to qualify for a guided study tour to the Soviet Union last summer. The group, which was sponsored by the Choate School in Wallingford, Connecticut, spent five weeks in Russia, visiting Moscow, Siberia, Leningrad, and other important cultural and historical areas. While there the students studied the language, culture, and people under the direction of expert instructors.
Steve, who was an honor student at Hillcrest High School, with a 3.9 GPA, has studied Russian for six years and was selected for the trip on the basis of language proficiency, grades, and teacher recommendation. Steve graduated from high school last spring and is now a freshman at BYU.