Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » “Era of Youth”: A Later Issue
 


“Era of Youth”: A Later Issue

By: Ardis E. Parshall - January 21, 2009

This week’s post on the 1960s “Era of Youth” section of the Improvement Era reproduced a particularly poor issue — in my opinion — of a mini-magazine aimed at the youth of the Church which was representative — in my opinion — of the fluff constituting many “Era of Youth” sections, especially in the early part of the decade. Other issues had much more substance, especially as the decade went on.

The pages posted below are the full October 1968 “Era of Youth” which represents — in my opinion — one of the better issues, one that foreshadows the New Era that would follow in 1971:

There is a nicely illustrated article about the Hill Cumorah Pageant, stressing the participation of young people; the report of an extraordinary service project, again involving youth; a “fluff” feature reminiscent of the issue posted earlier, but confined to two pages so that it might tickle the interest of teens without crowding out all substance — dig that “Boys are for leading; girls are for loving” bit!; an article highlighting the negative social consequences of smoking; and a few pages of short news items about young people in various parts of the Church (check out the item on the last page, showing that handcart treks are not such a recent phenomenon as we might think).

While I stand by my earlier remarks about the “marshmallow fluff” of some issues of the “Era of Youth,” including the sample pictured in that post, providing virtually nothing to challenge and feed the young people of that generation, I don’t like the impression I apparently created that the magazine never offered anything of worth, or that its editors were incompetent. I hope this sample balances that first impression.

 

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10 Comments »

  1. A little more palatable than the previous one. Thanks.

    I’m not sure anyone in our age would care for the “Girls/Boys/system” ditty, though, in the Alphabet section…

    Comment by queuno — January 21, 2009 @ 5:22 pm

  2. This sample nicely balances – in my opinion – the ostensible fluff from the earlier post – in my opinion.

    Oh, and I love the unposed, spontaneous feel of several of the photos. Real action shots. Thanks for this.

    Comment by Hunter — January 21, 2009 @ 8:54 pm

  3. That’s your opinion, Hunter. :)

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — January 21, 2009 @ 9:09 pm

  4. The two certainly are worlds apart.

    btw, I had no idea the re-enactments of handcart pioneers were already being done by 1968.

    Comment by BruceCrow — January 21, 2009 @ 11:17 pm

  5. “Girls are for loving others. Boys are for leading others. When the twain is twisted the “system” suffers.”

    What??!??

    Comment by jeans — January 22, 2009 @ 5:57 am

  6. Much better, thank you. I’d still like to hear from Elaine Cannon. I wonder if I will some day look at the things that I helped to publish and shake my head.

    Comment by Michelle Glauser — January 22, 2009 @ 7:41 am

  7. In the other post, Ardis reminded us that Elaine Cannon had passed away, but she called her Elaine Anderson (see #10). That is probably what Ardis’ mother called her since they knew each other in high school. She was Elaine Anderson Cannon.

    Comment by Jeff Johnson — January 22, 2009 @ 8:26 am

  8. Whoops! Yes, you’re right, Jeff.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — January 22, 2009 @ 9:28 am

  9. I also think that a full-page image of someone with a cigarette hanging out of near his mouth would not make it into today’s New Era. That’s probably progress.

    Comment by jeans — January 23, 2009 @ 6:50 am

  10. I also find it interesting – since our stake is planning a trek for youth conference – that the pioneer handcart reenactment was a GIRLS activity only. Hmm.

    Comment by jeans — January 23, 2009 @ 6:51 am

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