Please accept my thanks for the very well written and helpful articles on divorce [November]. My husband and I have just recently been through this very painful experience, and the magazine articles appeared at exactly the right time and were a great comfort to me and helped me to know that my problem is not unique in the Church. I am thankful for my membership in the Church and the strength it has given me in the past few months. The members of our ward have been truly wonderful and understanding, and I am thankful for them, too.
The November Ensign is the finest issue yet published. The personalized biographies of the First Presidency are inspirational. The articles on the tragedy of divorce are insightful and moving. Particularly for one of Irish descent, the article on Northern Ireland is compelling and the poem “Genealogy” is delightful.
John L. Bonner
The most outstanding article to me in the November issue was the article about the Latter-day Saints in Belfast, Ireland. It is most interesting to hear about the Saints in troubled areas of the world. It gives another point of view about the situation and happenings of the area. I think it is most commendable that a religious magazine tries to report how the news of the day is affecting its membership.
The December Ensign is the most beautiful magazine I have ever received. Thanks!
Carmel Valley, California
I’ve just finished reading the December Ensign. I must write and express gratitude to you for it. This month it is truly an ensign. What a shame that it is only an Ensign to members of the Church—and too few of them. I wonder if its light couldn’t be made to shine before all the world—for members and nonmembers alike. Couldn’t it be like the city that is set on the hill that cannot be hid? I believe that the Ensign could become one of the great missionary tools of the Church. How? Make it available to nonmembers as well as members. I know that this would take some doing.
What made December so great? First, you featured the standard works. Second, the personal experience articles on “what the scriptures mean to me” were magnificent. People understand personal experiences. Third, so many of the articles had universal appeal, such as “Imagery of the Master.” Many nonmembers would be thrilled with its contents.
Hal M. Wilcox
Thanks, Brother Wilcox. Sentiments like yours concerning the missionary aspect of Church magazines constantly pour into our offices. Since every member of the Church is asked to be a missionary, perhaps one of the best things he could do would be to select several nonmember families each year and send a Church magazine, arriving at their door twelve times a year, silently bearing testimony, sharing the joy and answers of the gospel.
During the four years I have been a member of the Church, I have never failed to read from cover to cover every issue of the Improvement Era, Ensign, and New Era. Having previously studied for the ministry of the Lutheran Church, I now eagerly search for and index those articles that would be appropriate for missionary work among my former friends and roommates, some of whom are now ordained ministers. The December issue is among the best missionary tools I have seen for those investigators who need scriptural references to substantiate theological doctrine.
Gary P. Gillum
After returning home from teaching the Scriptural Living lesson in Relief Society, on the eighth Article of Faith, and having encouraged the sisters to read the scriptures daily, I received the December issue of the Ensign. What a thrill to receive a complete issue dedicated to the scriptures! A most beautiful and fitting issue.
Concerning the article on TV [“How Do Movies and TV Influence Behavior?”—October], it is about time that we all realized the influence that TV and movies do have on the behavior of our children as well as ourselves. When one spends more time indulged in overexposure to the violence of television than he does on furthering his education, our society is indeed in danger. Unless TV changes, we shall have to return to the day when a good book is the only way to satisfy our spare time.
Robert K. Nilsson
American Fork, Utah
Alexander Pope said it well: “Vice is a monster of so frightful mien, as to be hated needs but to be seen; yet seen too oft, familiar with her face, we first endure, then pity, then embrace.” Adults are usually unwilling to admit that their attitudes are as easily influenced by TV and movie trends as are children’s, but I know from observation and mild experience that they are. As Latter-day Saints, we needn’t wait to be warned of the peril of surrounding ourselves in make-believe evil. We need only to heed the thirteenth Article of Faith. It should be our standard.
Mrs. Sharon Dequer
It is just one year this month since the first charming elders knocked at “No. 92” with a very charming smile and invitation to a home evening in the local hall. That Christmas week we were given our very first copy of the Ensign to read. I was completely fascinated by it, and I have been ever since. Never have I read a magazine so beautiful and so full of loving human kindness. I now have a deep, everlasting love for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Romford, Essex, England
Although the main point regarding caffeine in the letter “Chocolate” [“Our Readers Write,” December] is well taken, two observations come to mind. First, several articles I have read suggest different milligrams of caffeine for an eight-ounce candy bar. Second, I really cannot help but feel that one of the other unstated implications of the Word of Wisdom is by far more serious and more common: insufficient exercise. I wonder if we can actually believe we are living the spirit of the Word of Wisdom by abstaining from caffeine while we are in miserable physical condition. I highly recommend the article “Keeping Physically Fit” in the September Ensign.
Alta Loma, California