“FYI: For Your Information,” New Era, July 1978, 44
When the camp committee told the girls in the Sandy Utah North Stake that one of their projects last summer would be to build a bowery, most of the girls responded with, “What’s a bowery?” After learning that it was a shelter made of tree limbs or boughs, they still felt a little hesitant, but they eagerly accepted the challenge of learning something new. The result was a beautiful, lashed bowery that became a permanent part of the stake-owned camp property. (Lashing means binding with twine or rope.)
Because very little information was available on building a bowery, many hours were spent in researching and planning the actual construction details. The leaders and girls agreed it was time well-spent, since it enabled them to complete the entire shelter in one afternoon. Before camp, four aspen trees were selected as the corner posts of the bowery, and it was determined that there was plenty of wood scattered throughout the camp that could be used as framework.
When the day to begin construction arrived, the 89 campers and their leaders were divided into three groups, one to gather wood, one to cut it into uniform pieces, and one to lash the framework. The roof was divided into three main sections, separated by two large, wooden braces. The wood pieces, about 3 1/2 inches wide, were lashed together to make a roof approximately 15-by-20 feet. The girls had learned lashing as part of their Campcrafter certification but until now had not attempted lashing anything larger than a small fence.
Bailing twine was used, and when at last the first two sections were completed, the roof was lifted up by the girls and lashed to the four trees. Additional supports were added along the sides and in the center beams, and the final section was completed after the roof was secured to the trees. They decided to finish only two sections before raising it because they were afraid it might be too heavy to lift. They discovered however, that with 89 girls, the entire finished bowery could have been lifted easily.
After its completion, pine boughs were piled on top and a wooden sign carved with the stake initials was made to identify the bowery. The pride of accomplishment radiated from the young women each time they looked at the bowery, a standing testimonial to the skills they had learned in the Campcrafter program. As stake camp director Chris Campbell said, “We had the knowledge that with our work, faith, and the Lord’s help, we could accomplish great things.” Their goal for next time? A log cabin!
Fasting and prayer and “reaching the one” were combined by the youth of the Hillsboro Oregon Stake recently, resulting in a renewed determination to fellowship inactive members. Because they were concerned about the members of their quorums and classes who were not attending regularly, the stake youth council decided to use the principle of fasting to “work a miracle” for their stake. Each of the youth chose one or two of their less active friends to be the focus of personal fasting and prayers during a stake conference weekend.
The 24-hour fast began early Saturday evening with a stake youth dance at which no refreshments were served. Early the next morning, prior to stake conference, a special youth session was held with Elder Marion D. Hanks, of the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy, as the featured speaker. During the meeting the youth accepted the challenge of becoming positive influences in the lives of those for whom they had chosen to fast. It was noted in the meeting that in order to bless people, the Lord needs the help and efforts of others.
A two-and-one-half-hour testimony meeting was held Sunday evening, with more than 300 young people in attendance. The feelings of warmth and unity present during the weekend and the concluding testimony meeting have resulted in plans for the stake youth fast to become an annual event. It has already been scheduled on the 1979 calendar.
Since ward basketball teams can only involve five players at a time, there are often many participants waiting impatiently on the bench for an opportunity to get into the game. The Pleasant Grove 13th Ward, Pleasant Grove Utah Stake, has alleviated this situation with the organization of a ward basketball league. Organized as a fellowshipping and service project by the priests quorum, the league consists of eight teams. Seven of the teams include five or six adults plus one priest, teacher, and deacon. The eighth team is a bishopric team.
The ward plays four 45-minute games each Mutual night, two before and two after classes. The rules stipulate that an Aaronic Priesthood member must be on the court at all times. This has significantly added to the camaraderie and success of the team, according to priests quorum adviser Dell Young. One of the young men was leading scorer with 26 points during a game early in the season. Members of the priests quorum serve as scorekeepers, statisticians, publicity chairmen, and referees.
Because of the unity and fun that this ward has experienced through. their basketball league, they are now considering forming leagues in softball, volleyball, swimming, tennis, and any other sport that would be popular. Leagues for the women and girls are also on the drawing board.
Construction on the Jordan River Temple, the seventh temple to be built in Utah, will probably begin during 1979, making it the sixth temple currently in design or construction stages. The others are in Sao Paulo, Brazil; Seattle, Washington; Mexico City, Mexico; Tokyo, Japan; and American Samoa. The Jordan River Temple will be built on a 15-acre site in southwestern Salt Lake County and will serve 50 stakes in South Salt Lake County.
Because of tremendous growth in temple attendance in the three temples along the Wasatch Front (Ogden, Salt Lake, and Provo temples), the First Presidency decided that an additional temple in that area is necessary. All temple work in the area served by the three temples has increased 293 percent since 1971, and approximately one half of all endowments done in the Church take place in these three temples.
Seven members of the Winchester Ward in Winchester, Kentucky, also are members of the award-winning George Rogers Clark High School marching band. The band also includes flag and rifle squad units, all marching in complicated formations with the band. Last fall they won, for the third time in the past five years, first place in the “Contest of Champions” held at the Middle Tennessee State University. The other two years they have competed, the 150-member marching band has taken second place in competition with bands from Kentucky, Tennessee, and southern Indiana.
In addition to their regular school responsibilities and Church activities, the young Mormons practice with the band an average of ten hours each week during marching season. The band does not practice on Sundays, Mondays, or Mutual nights. The band director, Charles Campbell, requests a prayer before every performance, and on the one Sunday a year the band is out of town, an interdenominational worship service is held.
Pictured here (back row, left to right) are: Daryl McHugh, Robert Reed, Kim Griffith, Leslie Bond, and director Charles Campbell. Front row (left to right): Robin Reed, Debbie Bond, and Cathy Milton.
A winter conference held last February for the Young Women in the Miami Florida Stake combined workshops, a visit from Young Women general president, Ruth H. Funk, a play presented by the Beehives, and a formal dance as a means of bringing 145 girls together for a day full of learning and sharing.
The conference was organized by the Laurels and their leaders and concentrated on the six areas of focus: spiritual awareness, personal and social refinement, cultural arts, recreation and the world of nature, service and compassion, and homemaking arts. The morning began with workshops that ranged from “Famous Mormon Women,” to “What You ‘Auto’ Know about a Car,” to a panel discussion on “What You Always Wanted to Know from an LDS Boy.” A workshop on diet and nutrition was followed by a “delicious and healthy” lunch.
During the afternoon Sister Funk delivered a message concerning the role of women today and related how she had been able to get the very last seat on the plane out of snowbound New York to attend the conference. After listening to Sister Funk’s testimony, Nancy Fernandez, a young woman from the Miami Second Ward, said, “I knew Sister Funk would be special. I just didn’t know how really special she was until today. I can feel her love for me.”
That afternoon the Beehives wanted to get into the act—and act they did, presenting a touching play “Appleseeds” based on the idea of service. That evening the Mia Maids presented their portion of the conference, the Rose Prom. There was a live band, beautiful rose decorations, and delicious refreshments; and lots of beautiful young women and handsome young men enjoying themselves as brothers and sisters in the gospel. It was a memorable day.
It was World War II, and in a crowded ship in the Pacific Ocean 3,000 soldiers sat listening to the chaplain. Tomorrow they would attack an enemy-held island, and the chances of many of them surviving the battle were slim. “One-half of you will be standing before your Maker tomorrow morning at 8:00,” the minister said seriously. “Are you ready?”
The next day the first six groups to approach the island were completely blown out of the water. Paul H. Dunn, in the seventh group, miraculously reached safety. He recounts his feelings: “I crawled ashore … dug a small foxhole … knelt down with my head bared … and asked my Heavenly Father very simply, ‘Do you live? Are you real? Is Jesus Christ really my Savior? Was Joseph Smith a prophet of the Church like I’ve heard all my life and can’t quite understand?’ And then it came, that sweet inner commitment and verification, spirit touching spirit, saying in a silent voice, ‘It is so.’” (P. 135.)
In You and Your World, Elder Dunn, member of the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy, relates this story and many others, as he counsels Church members in five areas: Building Commitment, Strengthening the Home, Gathering Souls, Refining a Testimony, and Mastering Self. A selection of 24 addresses given by Elder Dunn, the book is a compilation of scripture, poetry, stories, and spiritual experiences that discusses gospel principles in an uplifting and inspiring manner.
To the Timmins family, “keeping it in the family” has developed a special meaning. It refers to a pocket-sized New Testament that has accompanied each new missionary that the family has sent out since 1926. Currently it is in the possession of Elder Matthew T. Bailey of the North Hollywood Third Ward, North Hollywood California Stake, who is serving as a missionary in Mexico. The original owner was Elder Bailey’s grandfather, W. Mont Timmins, who served in Canada.
Since that time the New Testament has been used by members of the Timmins family serving in Scotland, California, Chile, Uruguay, Argentina, Norway, Texas, Georgia, Italy, and France. When two missionaries are in the mission field at the same time, the one to go out first is presented with the book; then he mails it back as the next person in the family prepares to go. Before each missionary goes into the field, the family gathers for a special luncheon, after which the returned missionaries tell of their missionary experiences and bear their testimonies. Then the book is presented to the next missionary.
William Timmins, also a grandson of W. Mont Timmins, expressed the feelings of the Timmins missionaries toward the tradition by saying: “It’s like a bridge between generations. As each boy goes out, he can read notes and annotations written by his grandfather, uncles, and brothers. It’s amazing how those notes and marked scriptures have helped missionary after missionary.”