Our Readers Write


Britain’s “Hear, Hear”

I feel I have to write to say “Hear, Hear” to Margreta C. D. Spencer, Safad, Israel, on the subject of the universality of the gospel [“Our Readers Write,” February, p. 78]. I love my “American cousins” in the Church, their many kindnesses and love shown to me and my family—but I also love my England! I think Sister Spencer expressed fairly and objectively the thoughts of many Saints throughout the world.

What I find particularly exciting is the fact that you published her point of view. To me this is great. May I congratulate you and your staff on presenting the never-changing gospel of Jesus Christ in an exciting, enlightened, and communicative way. One senses that Zion is indeed beginning to come forth—with greater insight and vision.

Olga M. Caddick Wythenshawe, Manchester, England

The February issue of the Ensign had been in our house only fifteen minutes when I felt I must sit down and write straight away to say hooray for Margreta Spencer for putting into writing the comments that so many English Saints have made. The Church is international, yet so much of the Ensign refers or applies only to American Saints. Even when you recently featured an issue on England, we noticed that all the spellings had been changed to the American way.

The articles on food storage don’t always apply, as most shops here do not sell in bulk and our houses do not have basements or attics and many do not have garages, so there is a limit on how much you can store under the bed! In your cooking recipes, some of the ingredients we’ve never even heard of, let alone been able to buy; and cups mean nothing to us—we cook with pounds and ounces. We also cook mostly with gas, not with electricity, so temperatures need to be converted.

Articles on genealogy often refer to genealogy in the United States, the articles on delinquency deal with delinquency in the USA, etc. Much as we love to hear how our colonies are getting on, please remember that there are many Saints outside of the American continent and that their way of life is often very, very different.

Margaret Hurrell Sanderstead, Surrey, England

Thank you for writing about a paramount concern of the Ensign—how to best serve the needs of its English-reading readership, most of whom reside within the English-speaking countries of the world, although circulation figures do indicate that our magazine reaches into ninety-three nations. As for spelling and such matters, a consistent style must be set, and since most of our readers are American, and since the Church’s basic spelling style used in its manuals reflects the American pattern, it is felt wise to keep the Ensign in harmony. We are most eager to reach out and identify potential authors in distant lands and places so that our writers will reflect the worldwide Church. Thus, if any reader has an article idea, query us immediately. The Church is worldwide, but even though an article may use examples from America (because that may be the only accurate reference material the author has at hand), still, it is the staff’s desire that nothing be printed in the Ensign that does not have relevance and application for all Saints, even if it only suggests an idea that you could adapt and use. Yes, the Church is worldwide. And we rejoice with Saints everywhere in recognizing this exciting truth.

Fashions of Zion

In your March editorial “Dimensions of Morality” [p. 81], the words “Let’s not be afraid to adopt a style of our own” struck me forcefully, and I thought, why not? Why shouldn’t the Saints develop a style of their own? We have young women in the Church who are talented in design, color, stitching, fitting, and tailoring. I’m sure even my daughter would be delighted to go into a field of fashion created exclusively for the daughters of Zion. Let’s use the righteous desires of our young women who have been brought forth “for such a time as this.”

Mrs. Amelia Franklin Gilbert, South Carolina

I agree that people are excusing themselves through the do-your-own-thing philosophy by doing things that perhaps they might not have done had the philosophy not existed. I also agree that there certainly are limits to miniskirts and long hair. But I do think adults and parents of the Church need to know that some youths feel as if they have to turn away from the teachings of the Church when the outward-appearance issue becomes paramount.

The real inner person, not the outer facade, is what many contemporary youths think we should be interested in. The way a person dresses or wears his hair is really not a matter of importance for many young persons, even though many of our own Latter-day Saints realize that a better image is projected when one is “neat,” “clean,” and “obedient.”

Still, for many of them in this stage in their life, that is not their major concern. I’m afraid some of our youth are being turned away from the gospel because of others’ pre-judgments of them due to their outward appearance. The person inside is really more important than the appearance outside. After all, beauty is only skin deep.

Some of our people need to realize this and its implications. This is not to justify or explain the behavior of some young people—simply to state facts as they really are.

Peter Treu Sacramento, California

The Single Woman

When the March Ensign came and I found the article “Women, This Is Our Time,” by Florence S. Jacobsen [p. 36], I at first hesitated and thought perhaps this was another of the “marriage, motherhood, and being a good wife” articles, which are sometimes depressing to me, a thirty-five-year-old single woman.

I began to read, and the more I read, the more interested I became. When I got to the third page of the article, my eyes became a little cloudy, and when I finished I was overcome. Not only did the article help me and give me peace of mind, but it also made me feel that the Church is aware of my situation and the situation of other girls like me. The Lord never said life would be easy, and coming up through the MIA, I never thought I would be single at thirty-five, but here I am.

Sometimes we older single women feel that marriage is stressed so much in the Church that some girls think they have to get married even if it is out of the Church. Some of us are blessed with faith and hope in the eternities. But what of those who aren’t so blessed?

I’m so grateful to know that God lives and that life can be beautiful and wonderful for all of us, single and married, and I’m so grateful that the leaders of the Church teach this truth.

Marijane Johnson San Jose, California