Where Did the CTR Ring Come From?
Most members of Christianity often ask, What Would Jesus Do? More common among Latter-day Saints is the comparable assertion: Choose the Right. But despite the raging popularity of the “CTR” slogan among the LDS community, its origins are somewhat unclear.
The phrase “Choose the Right” isn’t found anywhere in scripture. Instead, there are only similar phrases like “choose the good” (Isaiah 7:15-16) or “choose the things that please [God]” (Isaiah 56:4). Although Brigham Young once mentioned the phrase in a talk dated 1864, it wasn’t until the 1909 version of the hymnal included the beloved hymn Choose the Right that the phrase made its way into LDS culture. The idea for what we know as a CTR ring wouldn’t appear for almost 60 more years.
Most often, the woman credited with original idea for the shield logo is Helen Alldredge, member of the Primary general board in the 1960s. Toward the end of that decade, a Primary curriculum committee led by Naomi W. Randall made the “badge of belief” an official part of Church teachings. The idea for a ring came from the need to give children a small token to help them remember principles learned in Sunday school. The now-famous CTR design was finalized by Douglas Coy Miles, the jeweler who produced the first CTR rings, and Joel Izatt, an artist who helped create the curriculum manuals. The shield shape represents how choosing the right protects you, and the green background symbolizes the evergreen tree, which remains constant and unchanging despite the season.
The new CTR curriculum was announced in the 1970 October General Conference by Gordon B. Hinckley, who promised a ring to all 6- and 7-year-olds. Today, more than 40 years later, the CTR ring is a worldwide phenomenon and is available in over 40 languages.
5 CTR Rings We Love
CTR rings aren't just for Primary children anymore! There are plenty of stylish options for adults, many of which go beyond the traditional shield design. Here are 5 of our favorites, available at deseretbook.com.