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followed. Cards and attendance lists may be obtained at any printing office at very reasonable rates, especially if it should be decided by a stake to introduce the system in all its associations, when the printing could be done at one time, and cards could be furnished at 15 cents per hundred, and roll call pads, containing fifty sheets, for about the same price.
A REBATE ON THE ERA.
At a recent meeting of the General Board, it was decided to return to every association twenty-five cents on each subscription to the ERA obtained in the ward where such association exists; provided, five per cent of the total Church population of such ward were secured as subscribers for the magazine.
Last year this offer was made to the stakes, but was found to be somewhat unsatisfactory, and, in a measure unjust, because one or two associations which failed in securing the required number of subscribers were the cause of the whole stake failing in obtaining its rebate, notwithstanding many of the wards in such stake had fully performed their part. It has, therefore, been decided to offer to the wards the same rebate, where they secure the required number, that was offered to the stakes last year.
The Era is already giving a rebate of twenty-five cents, to every subscriber in that it furnishes a manual free; and by the expenditure of a little effort on the part of the officers,an additional twentyfive cents may be obtained on each subscriber for the benefit of the local associations. It is an easy and effectual way of securing current expenses, and we hope to have it to say that over $1000 has been refunded to the associations on Volume 3. Who will be first?
THE NECESSITY OF OFFICERS' MEETINGS.
Letters have been received from some of the M. I. A. missionaries now laboring in the field, complaing that some of the stake superintendencies are not thoroughly awake to the necessity of holding regular stake officers' meetings. In stakes of this class, also, as might be sup
posed, the local association officers are not urged to hold such meetings. The results to the cause of mutual improvement are disastrous, or not at all satisfactory, Stake officers are again urged to comply with this requirement, and to hold their stake meetings at least twice each month, or, better, once every week. It is impossible to keep pace with the progress of the work unless such meetings are held. It is here that the officers obtain an understanding of the work, where methods are discussed, appointments made, reports given, and the general condition of the associations, their wants and failings, as well as advantages, are discussed, and plans made for the betterment of associations which are behind, and the adoption of such methods as will generally advance all the organizations.
It is absolutely necessary for the officers of the local associations to meet together, and in like manner discuss their plans and methods, and also the method of presenting their lessons, in order that they may have thrifty and prosperous gatherings. The time is past when all that was required of a president was to be present at the meeting and preside without doing anything further for the benefit of the association. He must now study, plan, and arrange his affairs so as to interest his membership and set his aids to work. This can be done in no way so effectively as by holding regular weekly officers' meetings.
COLLECTION DAYS FOR THE GENERAL IMPROVEMENT
Stake officers as well as officers of local associations are reminded that the first week in December is collection week for the general improvement fund. This matter should be immediately considered by the stake superintendencies, who should thoroughly and properly instruct the presidents of associations to exert their utmost efforts to get every member to pay this small subscription during the weeks set apart for the collection, namely, the first week in December and the first week in February. It devolves first upon every officer himself to comply with this requirement, when he may consistently ask every member to do likewise. All the money thus collected is to be sent to the treasurer of each stake who will forward the whole amount, as received, to the General Treasurer, Thomas Hull, Salt Lake City, Utah. The fund is used solely for
mutual improvement purposes, and is accounted for at the officers' meetings at the annual conferences. Last season, the amount was reduced from fifty cents to twenty-five cents and more than double the number paid last year than paid the year before. It is to be hoped that the number this year may again be doubled, because we recognize that if the membership can be induced to help the cause financially, even to this small amount, they will take a greater interest in the progress and welfare of our associations. Again we urge the stake presidencies and the presidents of associations to take hold of this matter with a determination to accomplish better results than ever before.
ADVICE TO WRITERS.
The following suggestions to young writers, was made among others some months ago, by the editor of the Cosmopolitan, and are worthy of special study:
"Two chief defects seem to present themselves in your manuscript. First: Its uninteresting character. Second: A rambling disconnected style. Both arise, in a great measure, from the same cause. You failed, in beginning your manuscript, to think out clearly just what you desired to do. On the contrary, you evidently took up your pen and proceeded to put on paper such things as might chance to come into your mind while in the process of writing.
"The first essential for good writing is clear thinking. If you do not know what you want to say, the chances are strongly against you saying it. Consequently, before beginning your description, you should have taken a sheet of paper and jotted down in regular order what seemed to you the important points of interest at your disposal.
“The chief labor in writing is thinking. This must be done before you put the result on paper. If you had made any efforts to find the points of interest in the subject chosen, you would probably have discovered that you had taken a theme that was of trivial importance and of little interest to you. You cannot make soup out of stones alone. There are, in this world, an endless number of subjects of the widest interest. You must be familiar with some; and certainly can become familiar with many more. Select something that is worth while. If you find, after thinking it over, that your information is insufficient, visit a library, make a thorough study of the matter of which you are about to treat,
and then, with the fullest information in your possession, set about a careful analysis of all your points connected with it, using large brackets against the main heading, dividing it into such general headings as the subject seems capable of, subdividing these headings into minor ones, and these minor ones into still further ramifications of the subject. You will then have before you a bird's-eye view of your theme. You may now proceed to select what seem to you the chief points of interest, rejecting those which are unimportant or trivial.
"Your next thought will naturally be how to build up this information in a manner best calculated to attract and hold the attention of the reader. You will accordingly make a new group, marked 1, 2, 3, etc., in the order in which you propose to treat them. Then proceed to write your composition. You will find the labor a comparatively easy one, because the work of preparation will have been done thoroughly.
“When the last sentence of your composition has been written, go back over the work and make a study of the faults of rhetoric, looking carefully to see if you have duplicated your ideas. Cut out unsparingly unnecessary words and phrases. Study how to express yourself with greater force, with more grace and elegance. Above all things, seek clearness of expression. “After you have done this; read your manuscript over again in order
idea of the general impression it would make the mind of the average reader. Determine whether you have omitted anything of importance to your argument or description; and see if by any new arrangement a better effect might be produced upon the reader.
“Then go over it to correct any faults of grammar or spelling. Finally, if you have the perseverence necessary for really good work, you will lock up your newly completed essay in a desk so that it will be hidden from view, and sit down and make a new analysis of the subject without regard to the old one, repeating all the processes that have been described for your direction. You will be surprised at the marked improvement that your second paper will present over the first. "Successful writing means work.
Great geniuses do not have the power to throw off masterpieces. They are men who labor patiently, sometimes developing one thought through weary months. Upon one occasion, Daniel Webster, after an apparently extemporaneous speech in the United States Senate, was congratulated upon the genius that enabled him to use an expression which seemed to his auditors to be particularly felicitous. 'Extemporaneous ? he replied. “Why, that was the work of my three weeks' fishing trip last summer;' thus illustrating the saying that genius is an infinite capacity for taking pains."
EVENTS OF THE MONTH.
BY THOMAS HULL, SECRETARY OF THE GENERAL BOARD OF Y. M. M. I. A.
October 20th, 1899: A great battle is fought between the British and the Boers at Glencoe. The British charge up an almost inaccessible hill and drive the Boers from their position. The losses are heavy on both sides. The British general, William P. Symons is mortally wounded.
21st: The British win another battle at Elandslaagte.
22nd: The Boers are again attacking Glencoe with a force of 9000 commanded by General Joubert and President Kruger in person.
24th: President George Q. Cannon is attacked with pneumonia in New York City.
The British retire from Glencoe. There are persistent rumors in London of serious reverses to the British forces.
25th: President McKinley issues the usual Thanksgiving day proclamation, designating Thursday, November 30th, as a day of thanksgiving for the nation.
The report of the director of the mint shows the world's production of gold and silver during the year 1898 to be as follows: Gold, $276,519,900, and silver 155,594,272 ounces fine. The United States, South African Republic and Australia, produced 73 per cent of the product of the world in value.
General Symons the British officer wounded in the battle at Glencoe dies of his wound.
30th: Apostle Marriner W. Merrill is chosen president of the Cache Stake of Zion, and he selects Joseph Morrell and Isaac Smith as his counselors.
Announcement is made in Washington of the engagement of Admiral Dewey to Mrs. W. B. Hazen, widow of General Hazen, formerly chief signal officer of the United States Army. Fighting continues daily at Ladysmith between the British and Boers.
31st: The British meet a serious defeat near Ladysmith. Two regiments and a battery of six guns are surrounded by the Boers, and,