“FYI: For Your Info,” New Era, Nov. 1996, 34–37
by Tamara Leatham Bailey
It’s true, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine” (Prov. 17:22). Humor makes friendships better, eases embarrassment, and can make large problems seem smaller. If you need a booster shot of humor, here are some things you can do to give yourself a reason to laugh:
Remember a “most embarrassing moment” and share it with someone.
Check a book of knock-knock jokes out of the junior library.
Read the “Mormonisms” in the New Era.
Check out the styles in your parents’ high school yearbooks. (For an extra bonus of laughter, have them go through it with you.)
If you don’t have a small child in your home, make friends with one. Little children are usually fun to be around.
Read the comics out of a newspaper.
Pass on a good joke to a friend.
Make up ridiculous words to a familiar song.
Pull faces in the mirror.
Like all medicine, humor in the wrong form can be dangerous. Be sure your humor is appropriate.
Do not repeat vulgar jokes.
When vulgar humor is being used by someone else, get away from it.
If humor hurts someone’s feelings, it’s not funny.
Don’t make light of spiritual things.
Don’t make fun of ethnic or racial differences.
Don’t overdose—people who laugh at everything are usually considered silly—but do try to be as cheerful as you can.
Pay attention to your facial expression. Sometimes people look grumpy even if they’re fine.
Smile when you greet people.
Have a positive attitude when you’re working (even if it’s a job you don’t like).
Speak kindly; listen to your own tone of voice.
Avoid being quick to take offense, most often it’s not intended.
Be helpful. Helping others is a perfect way to bring out a smile.
Everyone knows that computers are useful tools. You can play games, send E-mail to friends, even type up term papers for your European history class. But Laurels in the Aliso Creek Ward, Santa Margarita California Stake, know an even better way to use a computer.
“I looked up my parents in the Ancestral File™ [at her local family history center] on the computer and found the names of thousands of my ancestors. It was really neat!” says 18-year-old Rebecca Hope.
Liz Chocco, another Laurel, prepared the names of two deceased family members and was then baptized for them in the San Diego Temple.
“The Spirit was so strong,” says Liz. “I felt that these two relatives were actually there. I felt an eternal bond with them. The phrase ‘families are forever’ became real to me in the temple.”
Young Women in the Pocatello Idaho Central Stake celebrated the culmination of their “Experiment upon the Word” by doing something a little different. They and their leaders staged a ballet with different colored costumes to represent prayer, sacrifice, and joy.
Adam King (left) and Jamie Roy, teachers in the Aaronic Priesthood in the Brampton Ward, Brampton Ontario Stake, have an unusual hobby. Last year, together with other radio-amateur enthusiasts in their area, they successfully completed the examinations required to get a radio-amateur license. They were the youngest in the group to do so.
“With the radio I have right now, I just talk to people who aren’t too far away, but I don’t usually know them,” says Adam. “It’s fun to talk to new people.”
Talking to new people—a great skill for two future missionaries.
Tsolmon Ulya and Davaa Hana are modern-day pioneers. When they were baptized in May 1994, they became a huge help to the missionaries serving in their native Mongolia. Since they both have excellent English skills they became translators in many church meetings and missionary discussions. These girls, described as “dynamos” by the missionaries that have worked with them, have strong testimonies of the gospel of Jesus Christ that they are willing to share with anyone who will listen.
“We need to share the beauty of the gospel with our families and our friends,” they say. “We are all children of our Heavenly Father.”
Young Women in the Heritage Second Ward, West Jordan Utah Heritage Stake, collected and repaired old dolls. They repaired and re-dressed the dolls and then named them after someone they admire. The dolls were given to the bishop’s storehouse in time for Christmas.
Sisters in the Aikle family (shown here with their family) have the “key” to achieving success. All of the siblings are pianists, including 17-year-old Jennifer, 15-year-old Emily, and 12-year-old Allison. Some of the things that help them stay in tune: getting up early to practice, having more than one piano in the house, and cheering for one another in music competitions.
Latter-day Saint girls attending Moroni High School in the Republic of Kiribati, a small chain of islands in the central Pacific, recently won their high school volleyball championship. The girls were big news on their island, which gets no television reception and very little radio reception. Congratulations!
Chris Risenmay, John Hash, and Benjy Villarreal are all priests in the Othello Washington Stake. They are also state wrestling champs in their different weight classes. All three boys plan to serve missions.
The priests and Laurels in the Park City Utah Stake, Kimball Ward, recently got together to talk about what qualities would be possessed by their “ideal young man or young woman.” Here’s what they came up with:
Things We Would Like in a Young Man
Things We Would Like in a Young Woman
1. Same spiritual standards
1. Fun to be with, good personality with a good sense of humor
2. Adventurous, outgoing
3. Fun-loving personality
3. Good morals
4. Similar interests
5. Similar interests
6. Goal oriented, hard working
6. Positive attitude that shows good self-esteem and self-respect
7. Healthy lifestyle, good hygiene
7. Kind, compassionate
8. Not self-centered
9. Family oriented
10. Doesn’t whine
Young women in the Port Harcourt (Nigeria) Ward Two held their first Young Women in Excellence program last December. Agnes Teigbanyo, a Laurel in Port Harcourt, received the first Young Womanhood medallion ever given in Nigeria.
Agnes says that earning her award has helped her improve herself in many ways.
“For my Laurel project, I wanted to teach gospel principles to children. I wanted them to know more about the gospel and to help them establish love and charity in their homes. I learned that dealing with children is not easy,” says Agnes.
The rest of the girls in the ward also say that participating in Young Women has helped them to improve themselves in all areas of their lives.
“The Young Women program has helped me experience more fully the Savior’s love through our service project of going to the Motherless Baby Home to help. It made me appreciate others,” says another young woman, Grace Sunday.
Becoming a hero was something of an accident for Andrew Scott, a 15-year-old from the Modesto First Ward, Modesto California North Stake. What wasn’t an accident, however, was knowing what to do in an emergency.
While Andrew was getting ready to jump into the pool at his school during his P.E. class, he saw something at the bottom and jokingly called out to his friends that he was going to dive down and make sure it wasn’t a body. When he got to the bottom, Andrew was shocked to find that it was a body. One of his classmates was unconscious at the bottom of the pool. Relying on life-saving techniques he learned in Boy Scouts, Andrew was able to pull the boy to the surface where his teacher and other students administered first aid.
Andrew says he was a little stunned by the experience but is glad he was prepared to do what needed to be done.