Monthly Archives: September 2008

The Busy George Romneys – Juvenile Instructor May 1958

Note: Clicking any of the pictures in this post will bring up a larger version

The first in my series of postings is from the May 1958 issue of the Juvenile Instructor. As I was flipping through the magazine, I came across an article called “The Busy George Romneys” by Melba M. Ferguson. Given the recent presidential run of Mitt Romney, the article certainly caught my attention.

The article stated how busy George Romney was (he was president of American Motors Corporation at the time as well as president of the Detroit Stake). Even with how busy he was, his family still made time for family night. Looking over the article, there were several pictures that showed young Mitt, who was around 11 years old at the time.

In the picture above, Mitt is second from the left beside his mother. The picture below (it has a caption) shows Mitt with his shells. I didn’t know he had a shell collection. Why didn’t that come up in the debates?! 🙂

The last picture (below) is a nice family photo. I can’t believe how much the current Mitt looks like George!

My favourite part of the article was as follows:

Things had already begun when Mrs. Romney came home that night from a Relief Society union meeting. President Romney and the boys were in the process of taking down the Christmas tree; and Jane was doing her packing in the living room so she could be near her father and brothers.

As Mrs. Romney took off her hat and coat, she could see Mitt’s dark eyes shine when he requested that the family sing, “In the Good Old Summertime.” President Romney and Scott paused in the act of taking down the decorations, and laughed.

“… Good Old Summertime” in January? With snow on the ground outside, and all the carols there on the piano!

But Mitt had a reason.

He wanted his father to show slides during the past summer, because it made him “warm and happy” just to remember all the family fun at Lake Huron.

…the article continued later on…

President Romney showed beach pictures when Mitt and Scott had selected. They were gay – of the boys and Jane on water skis. Then there some of Lynn in her cap and gown. And some of all the family at various stages of a summer trip west – at Salt Lake City, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite.

Refreshments had been previously requested. NO fruitcake! NO cider! NO Christmas candy! But, please, some fresh-popped corn!

Juvenile Instructor series of postings

I was visiting with an elderly couple in our ward recently and noticed an old Juvenile Instructor lying on one of their tables. I picked it up and started to leaf through it. I commented to them that I liked looking through the old magazines. The doctrine has essentially remained the same but the way it is presented is quite different (this is as much a generational thing as it is a church thing). The woman went off and came back with a whole stake of them. I borrowed a dozen or so of them and she says she has lots more. So gradually over the coming weeks/months, I’ll post some of the more interesting things I saw.

If you spend a lot of your time online (you don’t subscriber to the Ensign anymore because you can read it online), or consider yourself a pretty tech-savvy individual, then you might be interested in doing your scripture study online. is a site that allows you to create reading schedules. You will get daily or weekly emails with your readings, including audio selections. You can use the site to keep track of your reading (and notes) as well.

The inspiration for the site is explained this way:

The concept for Read the originated while Wayne was watching the October 2005 General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and contemplating President Gordon B. Hinckley’s recent challenge to all church members to read the Book of Mormon by the end of the year. He thought of developing this program for his own use, and then realized the potential of how such a system could benefit others as well.

Mapping Happiness

This post is a little old, but back in February On Point, the NPR show out of WBUR in Boston had a show called Mapping Happiness. It talked about how we may or not be “wired” for happiness.

By guest host Jane Clayson:

So much has been written about the search for happiness — in songs and poems and countless self-help books — much of it straight from the heart.

But it turns out there’s also a science of happiness, and in her new book a psychologist lays out the cold, hard facts, based on decades of research.

Did you know you have a happiness “set point”? What do you really need to be happy?

Her book is part science, part self-help, with questionnaires and exercises. We’ll give it a try.

This hour, On Point: mapping happiness

· Sonja Lyubomirsky, professor of psychology at the University of Riverside and author of “The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want”
· Eric Wilson, professor of English at Wake Forest University and author of “Against Happiness: In Praise of Melancholy”

It was a very interesting show, and it made me wonder about the “men are that they might have joy” scripture and just how interesting it can be sometimes to hear the way that science and religion explain things differently.

There are lots of great sites out there that provide tools for members in their callings. Unfortunately, the Church has not officially recognized any of them. Until now, that is…

The LDS Tech recently announced the winner of their inaugural LDS Tech Awards (“the purpose is to publicly and formally celebrate the technical achievements of those who are sharing their skills with the Church.”. The winner in 2008 was

Return and is a tool that assists Relief Society, Elders Quorum and High Priest Group Leaders with their Home or Visiting teaching responsibilities. The tool has two tiers. The first tier provides a scheduled email reminder to each individual teacher with a personalized message from their leaders. The second tier adds the ability for the teachers to click on a link and report on their efforts. Additionally, the second tier allows teachers to send comments to their leaders or companions or even request an interview with their leaders. This gives the leaders key visibility regarding who has been visited and when. This tool frees up leaders and gives them the necessary information to focus on the needs of the individuals they are responsible for.

I haven’t tried it, but it looks impressive.

LDS Account

I currently have separate logins for COL, Missionary applications, Ward Web sites, LDS Catalog, Tech Forums, etc. A couple of them are the same, or I may have the same login name, but there are still at least 3 different accounts. It would appear that the Church is trying to change this. There is a recent addition to the site called LDS Account that provides a “main sign-on account for many online LDS Church resources, such as, and LDS Art Competition.” Hopefully this morphs into a single sign-on for all Church sites.

Note: I’ve updated the Official web sites of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints page with this new sub-section.