The Influence of TV

I read with interest the October article on TV and child behavior. Presently, everyone seems concerned with the idea that violence seen on TV will be reflected in a child’s behavior. I am much more interested in another aspect that many give only passing attention.

I was a child when TV began to be a common thing in American homes, and I can remember the transition it caused in our home, at least. Before the advent of TV, we had nothing to do in the evenings but amuse ourselves. Consequently, the family was constantly together in various games and other diversions that required all to participate. During these periods we talked with each other, and my parents had many opportunities to instruct us. I remember overcoming, with my father’s gentle persuasion and explanation, my first clashes with defeat when I lost in a game. A small thing, but important in my early development.

We grew close as a family, partly because of those evenings spent together. Compare that with a typical night at home now. Many flop down in front of the TV and stay there until bedtime. All minds are neutral because they don’t have to think to watch TV. There is no communication because it isn’t necessary.

How does a parent get to know his or her children? I personally believe that TV can be one of the greatest destroyers of family unity. Too many parents are unwilling to see the danger. It is time to realize that the one-eyed monster does a very poor job of raising children.

Alan Wild
Denver, Colorado

Articles on the First Presidency

I have just finished reading the feature articles on President Harold B. Lee, President N. Eldon Tanner, and President Marion G. Romney [November], and am writing to compliment you on them.

As a faithful reader of church magazines, I have had occasion to read many articles of this type, but I have never read any as interesting, informative, inspirational, and soul-satisfying as these. I can sincerely pay these articles the highest compliment: they are worthy of the great men whom they portray.

Dallin H. Oaks
President, Brigham Young University

What a November issue! The stories of our new First Presidency and the last article about the Mexico conference made this month’s Ensign a real joy. That last article and the September issue about the same people were some of the most inspirational reading I’ve ever read.

Janet Balmforth
Provo, Utah

The articles on the lives of the First Presidency are just super! Certainly inspired. May I ask if it would be possible to include the yearly index in the December issue instead of having to order it separately.

Mrs. Gladys Williams
Glenns Ferry, Idaho

A look at past indexes indicate that they average 18 pages in length. The judgment in the past has been that to devote that many pages within a magazine to the annual index would be of questionable value. Also, we have always believed that meeting our deadline schedule for the December issue would pose such burdensome challenges and difficulties in preparing the index that we have published it some months later. Certainly, this pattern will continue for the 1972 index, which should be available in February. But we will study the matter further.

More Faith-Promoting Accounts

For some time I’ve meant to write and ask if more personal faith-promoting experiences could be published—true experiences of individuals that strengthen the faith of members. I’ve always loved these kinds of articles. I do get a lot out of our church magazines. I feel you are doing a wonderful job, but would appreciate reading more of these kinds of articles.

Sister Wanda Wyler
Charleston, Illinois

Your suggestion is excellent and most timely! Our plans call for each issue of the Ensign to carry at least one such account and perhaps more. Readers will note a thrust in this direction in the recent issues: reports of the Mexican Saints in September; historical vignettes in October; articles on the First Presidency in November; accounts by Saints with the scriptures in December; and in this issue, “A Child Sees Through the Storm.” Will readers throughout the Church take this as a cue: if you have an experience appropriate to being shared with others, write it up and send it in now! We seek to show the application of gospel principles and truths in all aspects of life—from the conversion process to overcoming obstacles, problems, heartaches, and difficulties.

The Mexico City Conference

Your continued documentation of the Church in Latin America and other growth areas is encouraging. The September issue, for us, was your best ever. The fascinating articles on Mexico and Central America shed much light on the great advancement in that area. I know many must have read it, as I, with a lump in their throat.

Here in Venezuela, we are still trying to start our first chapel. But the Church has grown a great deal in our two years here. Last month the seminary program began in Caracas. It’s a testimony to see the Church touch the hearts of these wonderful people. I’ll never forget a humble man we baptized in Mexico, who, although he had a large family and made little, devoted one work day a week to take the elders around to meet and teach his many friends. Please continue your “international flavor.”

Bruce B Muir
Merida, Venezuela

Thanks …

I feel to thank you for the strength and insight I gained from the article “Some Candid Questions for Home Teachers” [September, p. 80]. I think it was very effective.

Jerry R. Jackman
Provo, Utah

I must admit that I enjoy reading every article in the Ensign. There are so many outstanding articles, photographs, charts, and just excellent reporting that I can’t single out any issue as being outstanding. Frankly, at its poorest or mediocre points, it is grades higher than many magazines printed today. How do you do it for four dollars a year? It must be pure efficiency and highly devoted personnel!

John H. King
San Leandro, California

I have just read the September issue from cover to cover. I express my appreciation. Of special interest were the historical vignettes. There was also a good balance of material, including articles of value to women.

Mrs. Mary Jane Fritzen
Idaho Falls, Idaho