Our Readers Write


A Full-Time Mother

Editor:

I’m finally getting around to writing my appreciation for the excellent Ensign magazines thus far published, and especially for Marsha Castleton’s article on page 79 in the March issue, “Testimony of a Young Mother.”

This article particularly inspired and encouraged me, as I also had to make the decision of remaining an active registered nurse or being a full-time wife and mother. I have been encouraged from many sides, many times subtly, to “keep up my nursing,” but what better experience can I have than in my own home “pediatric department”! I appreciate the support of my husband toward my being a full-time mother and our rearing a future large family, as many as the Lord will send. After all, there are many great women who are great because they have been successful mothers.

Mrs. Richard (Rosalie) Beard Salt Lake City, Utah

Editor:

In “Testimony of a Young Mother” in the March Ensign, Marsha Castleton describes her decision to give up a nursing career for the greater satisfaction of being “a full-time wife and mother.” Without detracting in any way from her prayerful choice, might we in future issues hear from Della Mae Rasmussen, Mary Pratt Parrish, Wilma Boyle Bunker, and Marianne C. Sharp, women authors also represented in your issue, on how they successfully combined wifehood and motherhood with the rather rigorous professional pursuits listed in their personal data. We suspect that the women of the Church are an amazingly versatile group on the whole. Let’s hear more from them.

Mr. and Mrs. Gail D. Ulrich Durham, New Hampshire

Generation Gap

Editor:

I surely congratulate you on the marvelous new magazines. If anything can bridge the “generation gap,” these many articles will, if only everyone will read them. I teach a group of Mia Maid girls and find much needed help from the Ensign and the New Era magazines.

Edris Moore Rigby, Idaho

Judaism

Editor:

The March issue of Ensign contains an article entitled “Judaism,” by Dr. Ellis T. Rasmussen. This article was well written, highly intellectual, and I enjoyed it, but I do not think Dr. Rasmussen understands the emotions of the Jewish people. He does not see that although there are among Jewish people many concepts of what a Jew is, or what being Jewish is, there exists a strong unity. This unity is exemplified by the State of Israel today. Israel shows that although a people may have different ideologies, they are capable of cohesion at a time of need. I might add here that the Jew is basically of independent thought; that is, he is an individual and thinks for himself, and it is through the Ten Commandments that he is able to live as an individual in the community around him.

Dr. Rasmussen has the idea that the Jew is going to be assimilated into other religions and/or societies because their structure is not united. And he feels that the assimilation is wrong. But he suggests that the Jew join the Mormon Church. That type of assimilation seems to be fine, according to Dr. Rasmussen.

I work, eat, share ideas, and pray beside Mormons. My very dear friend, Dr. Ralph Paniagua and his wife are as brother and sister to me. In fact, it was at Dr. Paniagua’s home that I happened to read the Ensign. However, I do not look to convert Mormons to Judaism, and I don’t expect Jews to convert to Mormonism. What I do look for is a brotherhood of man, a dialogue between Jew and Mormon that will inform each of the other’s ways, without the idea of conforming to the other’s ways. If we will just follow the Ten Commandments of Moses fully, every day, we shall live together in peace.

Dr. Stephen Schulman (A Jewish friend of Mormons) Seattle, Washington

Colored Paper

Editor:

I enjoyed seeing an article in the Ensign printed on blue paper. It was very restful, easy on the eyes, and pretty. Can we have more?

Mrs. Pat Allin Duarte, California

Suggestions

Editor:

We have been fortunate in our family to be among those who have had no break in our subscription to the three new magazines both at home and the office, where we have for many years taken the magazines for our waiting room. We appreciate the tremendous amount of work that has gone into the new formats. If I could have had my “rathers,” though, I wish we had just one magazine with sections for the adults, youth, and children, with the sections for youth and children detachable for other members of the family.

I have read several of your readers’ letters where the magazines are read avidly from cover to cover, but I wonder what the real picture is throughout the Church. I am sure many articles are read, but I wonder if in countless homes the magazines accumulate month after month unread except for perhaps the editors’ page.

As smart as you fellows are, though, I am sure you thought this idea through, before the new change was made. I personally would be highly satisfied with one magazine with fewer articles so that I would read them, especially if the articles contain ideas that I can use in my daily life, which of course they do. But as I said, you already know the answers to the publications and have done the right thing for the majority of the members.

Walter Wallace Mesa, Arizona

Selbongen Branch

Editor:

In the April Ensign, Gilbert Scharffs has presented us with a very interesting article, “The Branch That Wouldn’t Die.” The article describes the Selbongen, or Zelwagi, as it is presently called in Polish, branch of the Church. There is one error in the article. In the large picture of the branch members on pages 30–31, Brother Koenitz, the branch president, is not the man at the extreme right. He is the man in the right center of the picture at the rear, who is looking directly at the camera.

Kent E. Robson Logan, Utah

Military Service

Editor:

Twenty-eight years ago this month I left my wife of seven days and headed for Guadalcanal with a Marine dive bomber squadron. For most of the next nineteen months the Improvement Era was my only contact with the Church. I read every issue from cover to cover. Seven children and twenty-eight years later we have a Marine son in Okinawa and we are pleased that he can receive the new Ensign. We believe the quality and scope of the Ensign’s contents to be most enjoyable and enlightening. What a wonderful place the world would be if every publication on the magazine stands were of this caliber.

Richard T. Harris Parowan, Utah

Editor:

I am stationed in Vietnam with the U.S. Army. I am in the infantry, so I spend practically all of my Sundays in the field. About the only contact I have with the Church is through the Book of Mormon and the Ensign, which my wife sends me every month. In the March Ensign I really enjoyed reading “In Grateful Remembrance” by Elder Gordon B. Hinckley. I feel that it helped me to better realize the reason I am here. The Ensign also gives me the spiritual uplift I so often need. I am very grateful that the Church has such a wonderful magazine.

PFC Robert Wellman Vietnam

Mass Media

Editor:

The articles in the April issue of the Ensign were most enlightening and interesting. I was especially glad to read the counsel given by M. Dallas Burnett in his article “Persuasion, Manipulation, and the Mass Media.” Our time is so often taken up with earning a living and in school work that we do not spend enough time in discussion of public affairs. We depend too much on opinions expressed by professional politicians and those of other professions, letting them do the thinking for us, and forgetting that often they are biased, prejudiced, dogmatic, and have an “axe to grind.”

Keep us skeptical of advertising, editorials, news stories, commentaries, and government officials by printing more such articles that encourage individual thinking.

John H. Young Salt Lake City, Utah

Appreciation

Editor:

Your first three issues have rated excellent, but this April issue of Ensign is something else! The cover is the best picture of the resurrection I have ever seen or imagined. Here is a moment of truth—a final masterpiece! Thanks for presenting “Classics in Mormon Thought” from the past and from the present, “The King Follett Sermon” by Joseph Smith, Jr., and “Households of Faith” by Bruce R. McConkie. Here is surely a rarity—a scholarly article on “Roman Catholicism” in a non-Catholic religious publication. Your stature is growing, rapidly and immensely. Keep up the good work.

Lamont M. Jensen Salt Lake City, Utah

Editor:

May I express my appreciation for the Ensign. I am thrilled with the wide range covered. It includes all things indicated in D&C 88:79, of which we should be knowledgeable. I am grateful for the knowledgeable men and women with gifts for writing and expressing facts in such interesting, easily read manners. I have been an avid reader of the Improvement Era for many years and never dreamed it could be improved upon. But the Ensign is truly inspired.

Miss Esther W. Osborne Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Editor:

I am eighty-five years old. I enjoy the Ensign very much, especially the articles “Preparing Your Youth,” “A Disease Called Pride,” “Thunder of Joy,” “Fearlessness,” and the editorial I am not a member of the Mormon Church, but I attend services with my daughter, who is a loyal member.

Mrs. Lelia Hawthorne Elmore Washington, D.C.

Editor:

I just wanted to drop you a note and express to you my appreciation for so many fine articles by the General Authorities that are being included in the Ensign. I personally feel a need and desire for more instruction and guidance from the presiding brethren than was available in the past. The emphasis in the new magazines and in the regional general conference to be held in England seems to me to do exactly this.

Danel W. Bachman Indianapolis, Indiana

Missionary Tool

Editor:

Increased circulation of the new Church magazines—the Friend, the New Era, and the Ensign—is a concrete testimony to the gospel truths found only within our beloved church. As a full-time missionary, I have seen the effective way that these past issues have not only strengthened Church members, but also deeply interested people outside the Church who are searching for the truth.

In agreement with your April editorial on the missionary value of the three magazines, I would like to add six subscriptions to the Ensign for friends of mine who are interested in the Church. I pray that somehow a great majority of the Latter-day Saints will agree to the great potential of the new publications in furthering our Father’s kingdom here upon the earth by opening more doors to missionaries everywhere. May the Lord continue to guide your publications.

Hanford W. Searl, Jr. Ellensburg, Washington

Hinduism

Editor:

I am enjoying the series on world religions. In order for us all to be better missionaries, it seems important to seriously and deeply study other philosophies as well as our own messages, that we may more clearly understand the interrelationship between truth-at-large and revealed truth.

I thought Dr. Horsley’s conclusion to his article “Hinduism” [February] was painful. Mormons should not be “ill-equipped to appreciate the mind and feeling of the Hindu.” Surely we share a deep concern for the “inner meaning of life” and a “compulsive yearning” for spiritual union not vastly different from theirs when we consider that temporal things—including our bodies and “practical utilitarian aspects of religion”—are in a sense spiritual also.

While we disagree with the ultimate mergence with a World Soul and emphasize the importance of individuality, may we not forget the potentially pervasive spirit-bond between the physical and the spiritual, between ourselves and others, nature, all of creation, and Heavenly Father.

Tom Stoker Salt Lake City, Utah