Our Readers Write


The Church and the Lamanites

Editor:

It was interesting for us to read the article and poem by Stella Mosqueda Numkena in the Lamanite section of the July Ensign [page 79]. I first became aware of her talent in a poem “Live Proud and Free” in the August 1968 Lamanite issue of the Improvement Era, and I was pleased that she is still expressing her feelings to others through our Church publications. My admiration for her aroused my curiosity, and I would like to share my findings with your readers.

Stella is a Yakima Indian from Longview, Washington, and a convert to the Church through the seminary system. Her husband, Wilfred Numkena, is a Hopi from Moenkopi, Arizona, a graduate of the Indian placement program, and has completed a mission to his people in the Southwest; he is now attending Brigham Young University. My family and I saw him in the production From the Eagles’ Bed both at BYU and in Salt Lake City. He is a gifted singer as well as a fine actor.

As a foster family, we are grateful for the opportunity to know of the blessings that come to both family and student from participation in the placement program, and we are always thrilled to see the progress made by these young students who have been influenced by one or more of the special Church programs that are available for our Indian brothers and sisters. My personal thanks for the articles written by and about the Lamanites of the Church.

Betty T. North Sandy, Utah

Mormon Classics

Editor:

The Ensign, with its many outstanding features, has been a most welcome magazine in our home. I especially want to commend you for including “Classics in Mormon Thought.” Having immediate access to such documents as the King Follett Sermon and Brigham Young’s general epistle is invaluable to those of us who are younger Church members in the process of establishing our own family libraries.

Dianne S. Green Tucson, Arizona

Aid in Vietnam

Editor:

It is difficult to fully express in words my appreciation for the publication of the Ensign. It has been more than a friend during my tour in Vietnam. It is an inspiring document, a reassurance, and a most welcome blessing. You have every reason in the world to feel a prime sense of achievement in the printing of this excellent magazine. Your service to me is a “pearl of great price.”

F. L. Weisner Vietnam

Confucianism

Editor:

Two rather serious errors appear in the descriptive tags that were added to my article on Confucianism in the July issue of the Ensign. First, on page 44 you say the translation of the Chinese characters is “The true portrait of Confucius, the great sage.” In fact, those characters simply read “Confucius, the great sage.” Second, on page 51 the national shrine to Confucius in Korea indeed does not contain images, as indicated. However, both Japanese and Chinese Confucian temples commonly use images in theirs. I would appreciate it if you would note these corrections, since I am sure many of our members and friends of Asia would be quick to see them.

Let me say that I feel deeply honored to participate with you in expanding the fields of knowledge and concern of the Latter-day Saints by presenting these timely articles on world religions. Also, I was much impressed with your coverage of the Indian members of the Church and particularly enjoyed the stimulating article by LeRoi Smith, “The Vanished American.”

Spencer J. Palmer Provo, Utah

Editor:

I received the July issue of the Ensign and was delighted to read the article “Confucianism,” by Dr. Spencer J. Palmer. In my seventy-six years I have heard many times the sayings of Confucius, the great educator. I must thank you and Dr. Palmer for this article. When I read it, I recalled a statement by Richard L. Evans: “He teaches well who lives well.” Confucius undoubtedly lived well.

A. W. Oberschelp Ponca City, Oklahoma

Comments from Bangkok

Editor:

I am seventeen years of age and am writing in protest against an article in the April issue, “And When They Are Good” [page 43]. Though I realize the main purpose of this article had good intentions toward the young, I feel that the author was unjustified in referring to a large part of the youth of America as “horrids” (those with very long hair).

I have a friend now who is interested in the Church though not very far along in her investigation. The author would undoubtedly classify her as a “horrid” on first sight. But in truth this girl is a real thinker, a great soul, and would really be an asset to the Church. The Ensign is supposed to be a missionary tool, but I would feel very ashamed to give her an issue referring to youth in such a derogatory manner.

Maybe there is a youth movement today, maybe there are protests, maybe long hair, but why do some adults believe these things to be synonymous with evil, misled minds? Many “horrids” are honest, sincere, searching people.

Annette Parkinson Bangkok, Thailand

Universality of the Gospel

Editor:

The article “The Universality of the Gospel” by Arturo De Hoyos and Genevieve De Hoyos [August, p. 8] caught my attention. I have very carefully studied it and feel it is one of the most valuable articles I have read on this subject. One can appreciate what wonderful sociologists the authors are. My understanding of this great problem and of the Latin American people has been so increased. A flood of light and truth has swept through my mind.

My purpose in writing is not only to express appreciation, but to recommend that this valuable study be extended to the different peoples of the world who have accepted the gospel and even to peoples to whom we hope to take the gospel.

As lay members of the Church, as neighbors, friends, acquaintances, and teachers, we will be better citizens of the world and members of our Heavenly Father’s church if we love and understand all people better.

Ruby A. Robbins Salt Lake City, Utah

Not Disappointed

Editor:

On reading a letter to the editor titled “Disappointed” [July, p. 73], I was particularly disappointed to read that this person was so unsatisfied with the Ensign. She seemed to feel that it had gone “mod” or something to that effect.

I am a Latter-day Saint serviceman in the U.S. Army, presently stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia. Here I am thrown into an environment and exposed to an atmosphere far more degrading than I had ever previously experienced. As I am sure you realize, the standards of a large percentage of the GI’s leave much to be desired. What a joy it is to come in from a hard day of training and to receive my monthly Ensign in the mail! The inspiration and satisfaction I enjoy from reading its selected articles and messages could not be replaced by anything that I know of. The other LDS men in my platoon wait in line to read it when I am through. Even my nonmember roommates want to look through it.

Each Wednesday night we (the members) meet together to have our “soldierly home evening,” as we call it. Many times our lessons and discussions are taken from articles or messages from the General Authorities. It is so good to meet together in the middle of the week, to share and strengthen each other’s spirit and testimony.

Instead of finding fault, why not contribute suggestions, if you feel it necessary, that might serve to improve the magazine in some way. I personally am grateful for the Ensign and feel privileged to be able to receive it. Thank you so much for it.

Starr L. Eckholdt Ft. Benning, Georgia

Wants More by Dr. Nibley

Editor:

Please run more articles like Hugh Nibley’s “If There Must Needs be Offense” [July, p. 53]. I have always enjoyed Brother Nibley’s incisive writing, and this piece is magnificent. The Ensign in recent months has included articles of incredible substance and sweep. I have been deeply impressed with the series on world religions. I hope more will appear on various Christian faiths. But, please, more of Dr. Nibley.

William M. Timmins Salt Lake City, Utah