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النشر الإلكتروني

OUR WORK.

THE SPIRIT GIVETH LIFE.

This was the subject of remarks by Elder E. H. Anderson, before the officers of the Y. M. M. I. A., at the General ference of June 10, 1905: We are told that when God made man, he made him out of the dust of the earth. He then breathed into him the breath of life and he became a living soul. I want to suggest an analogy in our organizations. Our organization, though conceded to be very good, is dust without the spirit, or breath of life. In the creation, God made all things, first spiritual, and then he made the material substances, combining the two in the trees and flowers, the living beings we see upon the earth, and all kinds of animals. Before the spiritual and material were united in the flesh, there was no expression; we could not see nor comprehend. So, it takes both spiritual and temporal to make the perfect being in this world, and it is exactly the same in our Church and Mutual Improvement Associations; we have the machinery, which might be compared to the temporal, and then we ought to have the spirit injected into this machinery to make life and vigor. As man is a dual being, having both a spirit and a body, and as one without the other is not perfect, so also it is with our organizations. It is not well to make too much of one or the other, but if we should make too much of either, we could not miss it by making the spiritual the main point in our work, because without it, we accomplish very little good.

Only a few days ago the Japanese Admiral, Togo, sank several of the Russian ships, practically demolishing the Russian Navy, and when he reported to the Mikado what he had done, he attributed his victory to the spirit of the Mikado. An American editor who thought to be funny made sport of the fact that a spirit should win a victory, and declared it was due to the men and the cannon. While that may be true, in part, yet it is not very strange that Admiral Togo should believe that the spirit of the Mikado did the work, because behind the guns, and underlying the labors of the men, there was indeed the spirit of the Mikado.-tae patriotic spirit that the Japanese had felt and displayed for their country. On the other hand, there was the Russian strength; there were the ships, there were the men, the arms, the ammunition and provisions, but under all these material things, which were often superior to those of the Japanese, there was no spirit. The result was, there was no power and defeat resulted. The spirit giveth life, and strength, and power.

We be old some material things that we have accomplished as Latter-day Saints, but it was the spirit enjoyed by those who toiled that made them possible. We look across the street, and we see the spires of the temple, its great walls, and unless we comprehend the inspiration underlying the building of that house, the feeling and the purpose that lies underneath it, we cannot understand to the fullest extent its meaning, and we see little use in it, but if we understand the spirit and power and force underlying the faith and actions of the Latter-day Saints, then we understand not only how they could have been accomplished but the object of their achievements is made plain.

In our associations, we ought to have this patriotic spirit, this underlying spirit which causes success. We should not be altogether given to individualism, though I am convinced this is an individual work, but should be patriotic and feel for the association, the public, as well. We should seek to inspire patriotism for these associations, among teachers and members as well, and this will enable us to achieve success; without it, we cannot engender enthusiasm in the young people; they cannot be made to love the work; they cannot be made to feel the importance of it, unless underlying it there is this enthusiasm or spirit. This machinery that we have, must have with it, the spirit of the work, in order that the best good may be accomplished; and unless we have that spirit, and unless we get men who have that feeling or patriotism, the work will not be done; if done at all, it is done in such a way that only few of the members work, and the good that is accomplished is not sufficient to pay for the effort that has been made.

In our exercises, also, we should not pay too much attention to the mechanical work, but should seek to inspire every member of the association with the importance of the spiritual labor, both to himself and the society. In order to do this, we must necessarily have some freedom; we cannot follow rules too closely; we cannot make ourselves entirely subject to that which is given to us in the outline. The outlines are a convenience and not an absolute necessity. Of course, we must pay attention to them, to a certain extent, but let us not make ourselves slaves, but rather let us seek to obtain the spirit of the work, so that we may have freedom to insure the best success possible. If we fail in obtaining the spirit of it, we may set it down that we will not accomplish our task. No matter how much is prepared for us to enable us to make this work easy, unless we get the spirit and the love of the work, we cannot successfully accomplish it. This is a point that I trust the officers will especially heed. How shall we get the boys to enjoy the spiri. of the gospel, the spirit of Mutual Improvement work? Seek to make them feel that it is an important part of their lives, that they are interested in it, and that there is nobody pushing them to do it like so many machines, but that they themselves realize its importance, and are anxious to do the work.

I hope the time will soon come when the pressure from the outside, from the leaders, from the presidents, from the general boards, will not need to be so great as it is at the present time, but that the pressure from the inside by the spirit of God operating in the hearts of the members will be so great that the work will push onward of itself from this cause. It has been suggested, that we have a

great deal of pressure from the outside placed upon our associations; the importance of the IMPROVEMENT ERA, the Mutual Fund, the Manual; and all these various incidentals has been urged to insure the prosperity and success of the associations. We have urged them as a duty; but I hope the time will come when there will be a pressure of love for them from the members, so that the young people will attend to these duties of their own volition, because they see their value and love them. Let us see if we cannot awaken this spirit of love for this great work; this spirit and feeling: What can I do? I want to do something; I want to be one with you in this work..

This labor creating this enthusiasm in the hearts of the young people, devolves upon parents, teachers and officers, and in order to accomplish it, they must first themselves be imbued with this spirit; then they may make the members of the associations and their children feel it. Now, I do not wish to speak further, except to say that if we wish anything done, the spirit of the work must be in the heart of the man or boy who is to do it, and if we cannot get this spirit into his heart, and make him feel it, and understand it, it will be very difficult to accomplish anything. I hope and trust that we will all feel the influence of the spirit of the Lord in our Church and improvement work, and become interested in it because of the love we have for it.

THE MONTHLY REPORTS.

The monthly reports from the stake superintendents of the Y. M. M. I. A., which have been received by the General Board, have been generally incomplete. They show a serious lack of energy and regular attendance on the part of the membership of our associations. The average attendance in the associations is very low compared with the membership rolls, and there are large numbers reported who should be enrolled, but who are not members of our associations. appears from the reports, therefore, that there is great room for missionary work: in the first place, to obtain a much larger membership roll than we now have; and in the second place, to induce those who are enrolled, to become active members of the associations, to attend meetings regularly, and to take part in the exercises.

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Another fact that has been demonstrated by the reports received, is that many of the secretaries of the various associations are derelict in their duties. The superintendents have complained that it is almost impossible to obtain a report from their ward associations each month. This is certainly very remarkable, when it must be conceded that if the secretary is attending properly to his duties the information required could be placed in the blanks in five or ten minutes, at the most. We trust that the stake superintendents will insist strenuously upon having these reports sent into them, during the working season, so that they may be informed upon the needs of their workers in the various wards. It may be safely said that only about thirty-three per cent of the eligible popula

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tion, or of the people who should be members and workers in our associations, attend our meetings. More active missionary work is needed, and it is not yet too late to institute it this season. This is an important work that should be considered in every officers meeting, from the present time on.

REGULAR OFFICERS' MEETINGS.

Alexander Buchannan, then superintendent of Pioneer Stake, spoke upon the indispensibility of regular ward and stake officers' meetings, at the general conference of the M. I. A., June 9, 1905. He said in part:

To be a stake or ward officer in any organization carries with it great responsibilities. Stake and ward officers are looked to for counsel and advice from those under them. If problems arise, and they often do, they are the individuals who are to furnish a key to their solution. When these conditions arise, the officers should be well primed for the task. They must obtain this preparation by holding frequent meetings and studying the subjects and conditions that prevail. To be unprepared means to lose, to a certain extent at least, the confidence of those with whom you are associated. To be prepared means to add to that confidence and to gain thereby the respect of both officers and members. Officers should be minute men in every sense of the term. They should be ready with a knowledge in detail of all statistics and conditions at a moment's notice. The cause of failure, I believe, in many departments of our work, is a lack of interest by the officers. If interest is kept up by means of regular stake and ward officers' meetings we will see an increase instead of a decrease in the attendance, and also a more earnest desire to study the Manual. Our officers should be thoroughly alive and active with the importance of the work; and they should leave no stone unturned in becoming thoroughly acquainted with conditions as they exist in their respective stakes, and wherein these conditions tend to cut down the attendance or create indifference among the young men they should remedy them, and weed out any imperfections that may be found. This can be done most effectively by regular ward and stake meetings of the officers and the work connected with them.

NOTICE TO ERA AGENTS AND SUBSCRIBERS.

Where you have extra numbers of No. 1, Vol. 10, please return them to this office immediately. In case you have any numbers 1 to sell, this office will pay 20 cents for each copy, if you return the numbers without delay.

CORRECTION

IN LESSON 20.

In lesson 20 of the Manual for this season, page 136, par. 12, beginning with the 3rd line we read: "The telestial glory, which is the lowest of all glories enumerated by God, for those who shall be subjected to the second death," etc., should read: "for those who shall not be subjected to the second death," etc.

EVENTS AND COMMENTS.

BY EDWARD H. ANDERSON.

The Church is Out of Debt.-On Thursday, January 10, the Latter-day Saints University celebrated Domestic Arts Day. In the evening a reception was held in the Lion House, one hundred sixty invitations having been sent out to people connected with the school more than two years, also to the General Board. the First Presidency, and the apostles. About one hundred thirty were present, and the evening was spent in listening to a first-class program, and in partaking of a banquet prepared by the students of the Domestic Arts department, under Miss Lydia Holmgren. There are sixty students this year in the Domestic Arts class.

One of the features of the program was an address by President Joseph F. Smith, in which he stated that the demands of the Church schools on the authorities had grown from $60,000 a year to upwards of $225,000 this year. Speaking of the need of a gymnasium, President Smith gave encouragement to the young people by stating that he would very much like to see a suitable gymnasium building for the University. He made the important announcement that the Church is now entirely out of debt which means a saving of from $30,000 to $60,000 per year in interest, and that he would like to see a part of this means expended for the building of a gymnasium for the University. He regretted also that the Church had not purchased the Union Square for the establishment of the school, as the present quarters are very crowded. The Lion House has been turned over to the Latter-day Saints University as a woman's building, for the teaching of Domestic Science and Arts, and it has recently been renovated and remodeled for this purpurpose. The celebration was in commemoration of the completion of this work.

The Seventh Utah Legislature. This body met at noon in the City and County building, Salt Lake City, Monday, January 14, 1907. The members of the senate were sworn at 12:30 o'clock by Chief Justice McCarty, and the house members by Supreme Court Justice D. N. Straup; and the officers of both houses, as agreed upon in caucus of the Republican party on Saturday evening, except as to Chaplain, were elected as follows:

Officers in the Senate: -President-Stephen H. Love, Salt Lake county; Secretary-Robert S. Campbell, Salt Lake county; Minute Clerk-Mrs. Dennis C. Eichnor, Salt Lake county; Docket Clerk-Benjamin Backman, Utah county; Engrossing Clerk-Joseph A. Smith, Cache county; Chaplain-Rev. P. A. Simpkin, Salt Lake county, instead of Anton Nielsen of Emery county who was agreed upon in caucus; Committee Clerks-William Johnson, Piute county; John R. Edgehill, Juab county; Mrs. Alice R. Hamilton, Salt Lake county: Mailing Clerk-William Asher, Utah county; Sergeant-at-Arms-Miah Day, Millard county; Assistant Sergeant-at-Arms-E. M. Allison, Sr., Weber county; Messengers-C. W. Perkins, Sanpete county; W. G. Rasband, Wasatch county; Stenographer-Phyllis

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