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OUR WORK,

TO OFFICERS OF THE ASSOCIATIONS.

It will be remembered that all Presidents of Associations are the local agents of the Era, and that the Superintendents of Stakes are supervisory agents within their stakes, and it is expected that the latter will urge the local agents to activity in respect to the interests of the organ of the associations. The publication of the ERA is not a private enterprise, but is a magazine published solely in the interests of the Improvement Associations.

It is owned by them.
It is published by their representatives.
It has no capital but their loyalty.
It can only succeed in its great mission by their support.

We therefore ask all the officers of the associations to read the Prospectus of Volume Two, published with this issue, and begin at once an active canvass for the renewal of every subscription, and secure as many more new ones as is possible.

Officers of the associations should consider this as part of their duty. The Presidents of associations will be furnished at once with the list of all subscribers in their respective wards, and now is the time to begin work for the success of Volume II.

Every subscriber should be visited personally by the President of the association or one of his assistants, and the renewal of his subscription urged; and a like personal canvass made for new subscribers. Receipt books will be forwarded at once to the Presidents of ward associations and the work of obtaining subscribers should at once begin and continue for the next two months.

There must be no faint-heartedness.
There must be no flagging of interest.

The success of the Era and the success of the associations are indissolubly connected, and officers that work for the success of the Era are working for the success of the general cause of Improvement.

Last year the efforts of our Stake Superintendents and ward officers made it possible for the improvement associations to donate from sixteen to seventeen hundred dollars in sending literature to our missionaries; for that is what was done when we reduced the price of the Era to one dollar to our sixteen or seventeen hundred missionaries. Subsequently, of course, by work with which the associations are now familiar, the one dollar for each copy of the magazine for missionaries was also raised and the Era sent free to our brethren preaching the gospel abroad. We desire to continue that good work in the ensuing year, but it will only be possible to do so by every officer and member of the associations giving his best effort to the support of the Era.

Let every officer and member be persuaded that the success of this work depends upon him. And let him so labor.

THE NEW MANUAL,

The M. I. A. Manual for 1898-9 is out. It gives a series of twenty-one lessons on The Apostolic Age, the age immediately following the close of the life of our Savior. It is a carefully prepared treatise on that important period of church history, and affords a splendid opportunity for the treatment of numerous principles of the gospel with which our young men should be acquainted. As every association is expected to take up this new course of study when the associations begin their work in the fall, Presidents of associations should, as soon as may be, ascertain the number their associations will require and send their orders to the General Secretary, Thomas Hull, Era Office, Templeton Building, Salt Lake City. The price is twenty-five cents per copy.

THE MANUAL IS SENT FREE TO SUBSCRIBERS TO VOLUME II. OF THE ERA.

THE LAKE CONFERENCES.

On Saturday, Sunday and Monday, July 23rd, 24th and 25th three notable open air conjoint conferences of Mutual Improvement Associations were held. At Fish Haven, on the Bear Lake, a conference of Bear Lake Stake; at Fish Lake, in Sevier, a conference of Sevier and Wayne Stakes;

and at Panguitch Lake, in Panguitch Stake, a conference of Beaver, Parowan, Kanab, Panguitch and St. George Stakes.

At Fish Haven the young men had erected a large bowery in which the meetings were held, and between meetings the people enjoyed themselves in the delightful shady groves on the lake shore and in boating and bathing in the clear waters of Utah's greatest fresh water lake.

Elders B. H. Roberts and J. Golden Kimball of the General Superintendency and General Board of the Y. M. M. I. A. attended the conference; and Sister Martha H. Tingey from the Young Ladies' Board.

Elder John F. Sharp of Salt Lake City, and Sister Luella Ferrin of Ogden also attended the conference and sang several beautiful selections.

Excellent meetings were held and the attendance on Sunday and Monday was large. Many people were present who rarely attended conferences held in Paris on account of the distance of that place from their homes. The gathering combined the features of a summer outing and a conference and was very profitable and pleasant.

At the conference the stake organization of Mutual Improvement Associations was completed by selecting and sustaining counselors to Brother James E. Hart, the Stake Superintendent, and a board of five aids to the Stake Superintendency, and a Stake Secretary were also chosen.

At the close of this conference Elder Kimball proceeded with Elder James E. Hart and Brother Sharp and Sister Ferrin to Star Valley Stake, where they held several meetings and on July 30th and 31st, held conference of that stake at Afton, where a very delightful and profitable time was enjoyed. Sister Emma Goddard represented the General Board of the Young Ladies' Associations.

*

The gathering at Fish Lake was likewise a very enjoyable affair. A fine bowery and dancing foor had been erected and about fifteen hundred people gathered to attend the conference.

Elders Junius F. Wells and Geo H. Brimhall of the General Board of Y. M. M. I. A. and Sisters Aggie Campbell and Ruth M. Fox of the Young Ladies' Board were present and also Bro Thomas Ashworth and Sister Edna Dwyer of Salt Lake City, who sang at the meetings. Most excellent meetings were held and time taken for enjoyment. Dances were conducted on Saturday and Monday evenings.

The best of order prevailed both at the meetings, in the camp and at the dances and amusements, and an excellent spirit was manifested. Everything passed off pleasantly and great good will result from such a gathering of our young people.

*

At Panguitch Lake there were nearly three thousand people in attendance, about fifteen hundred of whom were Mutual Improvement members and officers. At that place there is a large dancing hall and the meetings were held there. At every meeting the house was filled. Apostle John Henry Smith and General Secretary Thomas Hull were present from the

General Board of Y. M. M. I. A. and Brother Heber C. Sharp and Sister Maggie C. Hull of Salt Lake accompanied the party to sing at the meetings. Sister Susa Y. Gates went as a representative of the Young Ladies' Board, but on Saturday morning, before any of the meetings of the conference were held, the sad intelligence of the accidental death of her little daughter was brought to the camp and Sister Gates and her daughter Lulu, who was with her, immediately returned to Provo. Brother Heber C. Sharp also returned to attend the grief-stricken mother and sister on the journey

Conference meetings were held on Saturday and Sunday and excellent instructions were given. On Monday morning, Pioneer Day, exercises were held and an interesting program rendered.

Excellent order was maintained in the large camp notwithstanding the fact that many of those who gathered there went for the sole purpose of pleasure, but the effect of the religious gatherings was quite marked. At all of these three "Lake" conferences services were held on Sunday afternoon, July 24th, for the benefit of the "Maine” Memorial Fund and appropriate programs rendered and liberal donations made.

On the whole the conferences were very enjoyable, and so successful that they should be repeated another year. The present year they were an experiment, but an experiment that was successful; and next year they would unquestionably be yet more successful. There can be no more delightfui summer resorts within the borders of our state than these lakes, and it is but proper that our young people should enjoy a summer outing upon their shores.

AN IMPROVEMENT ASSOCIATION IN THE

PHILIPPINES.

By a private communication from Honolulu, Sandwich Islands, it is learned that the young men in Battery A, Utah Volunteers, who are members of The Church, had organized at the suggestion of Captain R. W. Yonng, a Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association. We are pleased to note tbat in the Far East as well as here in the Far West the work of Mutual Improvement is to be carried on. Arrangements have been made to send the Era to the members of the improvement association of Battery A, and we shall take pleasure also in supplying the members of that association with our new Manual. An Improvement Association in the far-off Philippines! Who would have credited that six months ago?

A SUMMER PROGRAM.

The activity of the associations in the Box Elder Stake of Zion, and the deep interest taken in the work there is very commendable. A short time ago we had occasion to call attention in these pages (see Era for April) to

the establishment of a library and reading room in Brigham City by the Young Men's and Young Ladies' Improvement Associations of that town, which involved the erection of a building for that purpose. We have now received a communication at the Era office from the stake corresponding secretary, Nephi Anderson, outlining a course for summer M. I A. work which we cannot but think is in every way commendable. As it may suggest a plan for summer work to other stake superintendencies we give it place in this department of the ERA. The program was accompanied by the following explanation: "The officers of Y. M. M. I. A. of this place [Brigham City), and a few other young men, have organized a M. I. A. theological class or summer course We meet every Monday evening in the tithing office. The inclosed program will give you an idea of what we expect to do."

Y. M. M. 1. A. THEOLOGICAL CLASS OF BRIGHAM CITY.

Summer course commencing May 7th, 1898.

Text-Book, the "Era."

SUBJECT OF STUDY: "OTHER RELIGIOUS FAITHS."

LEADING OUTLINES OF EACH SUBJECT.

I.

2.

Give origin of church under consideration.

Its distinguishing doctrinal principles. 3 Give other doctrinal points.

Compare these with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 5. State your objections to the church under consideration from the following standpoint: (a) Scriptural; (b) Historical; (c) Logical; (d) Scientific.

4.

QUESTIONS FOR REVIEW.

I.

2.

(a) Tell what you can of the origin of the church under discussion? (b) Who organized it? (c) When organized? (d) Where?

(a) Name its officers? (b) Give briefly the authority, jurisdiction, work and claims of each? (c) Give present church membership?

3. What is the distinguishing doctrinal principle that marks this church from all others?

4. Wbat scriptural proofs does the church put forth to sustain its position? What traditional? What logical?

5. Present and explain several other leading doctrinal points of the church in question.

6. Quote or read scripture or other evidence upon which the church in question claims these leading doctrines are based?

7. From the standpoint of a Latter-day Saint compare the original establishment of the church in question with ours. Is man, by his own wisdom, justified in establishing such a church? If not, why not? Give scriptural proofs. Where does true authority to establish a church reside, and how is it bestowed? Give scriptural proofs. From this standpoint state your objections to origin of the church in question?

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