Our Readers Write


Gospel and Animals

I was so pleased to read your article on the humane treatment of animals [August, p. 62]. I am active in animal welfare work, and I thank you for reminding Latter-day Saints of the alignment of this important principle with the gospel.

Susan Stuckler Chicago, Illinois

I would like to commend the article in the August Ensign that explained very clearly about the gospel and animals. I am eleven years old and have many friends who shoot birds and other animals with BB guns. I hope they read the article as I have, because it has helped me understand how we should treat animals.

Stanford Benson Parowan, Utah

Mainland China

In “A Mormon Looks at Mainland China” [August, p. 4], I read: “The average earning per year is 158 yuan per head. At the present average exchange rate of 2.2 yuan per U.S. dollar, that would be about $348 a year.” I am confused, since I figured 2.2 yuan into 158 to be near $72. Please help me with my mathematics.

Sister Steven Babcock LaMesa, California

You’re correct.

The authors of the articles on China did not tell about the thousands of murders committed under the direction of Chairman Mao. They might also have mentioned that the number one export crop in Red China is opium and that most of it ends up in the United States as heroin. It might also have been mentioned that Chairman Mao presently deprives more people of liberty than any other man has ever done in the history of the world.

Keith T. Brickey Provo, Utah

I received a different impression of what life in Red China is like after reading Brother Gardiner’s article. In his description of what he saw there, there was little feeling for the tremendous increase in suicides and the frantic attempts to flee that country that have so often been described by those who have lived there. I would suggest Church members read a book like Escape from Red China (or other books written by those who have lived under the hand of the Communists in Red China) to supplement the information they received in Brother Gardiner’s article, lest we all think life in Red China is a Utopia for a poor but happy working people. I appreciated Sister Gerrard’s observations [August, p. 10].

Linda Marx Terry Cedar City, Utah

Concerning Mao Tse Tung, the Shanghai Journal records the following: persons put to death, 164,551; persons disappeared, 946,000; persons kidnapped, 78,000; homes burned, 300,000. These figures are for the Hupeh Province alone. The American Federation of Labor reported that since 1949, fourteen million people have been murdered in order to demoralize all opposition and consolidate power. Why weren’t these facts part of the articles on China?

Eloise Stroud Columbia, South Carolina

The Ensign’s purposes were to acquaint readers with the observations of some Latter-day Saints who through peculiar circumstances were allowed entrance into a difficult-to-enter land. We knew that their reports would make informative reading. We asked the authors to report on what they saw, not to review how it all came about. Readers who want knowledge of the atrocities may easily find these accounts elsewhere. Also, it is not the purpose of the editors of the Ensign to denounce any nation and its leadership and thus present potential problems for the Church in the furthering of the Lord’s work.

Family Organizations

Relative to the article on family organization [August, p. 80], many readers living in the United States who have founded or desire to found a family organization may be interested in the following recent ruling of the Internal Revenue Service:

“A non-profit organization formed to compile genealogical research data on its family members in order to perform religious ordinances in accordance with the precept of the religious denomination to which family members belong is exempt under Section 501 (c) (3) of the Code.” (R.R. 71-580. Internal Revenue Bulletin 1971-51, 1271, pages 11–13.)

A family organization (usually a corporation) created as a nonprofit venture to sponsor genealogical research so that temple work may be accomplished may qualify under the above ruling by satisfying the requirements itemized in chapters 1 and 2 of the U.S. Treasury publication entitled How to Apply for Recognition for Exemption of an Organization (IRS publication 557). In addition to these general requirements, the organization must qualify as specifically provided in the revenue ruling referred to above. It is important to note that such genealogical research must be for a religious purpose.

Contributions to an organization that has been recognized under the above ruling may be deducted from income tax as a charitable donation pursuant to Section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code. An affirmative approval of application for each specific organization is required. Application should be made in the IRS office serving the area where the principal office of the family organization is located. Strict compliance with the terms of the code and of the ruling are required.

Howard K. Swans Los Angeles, California