Clean-up Campaign

In response to the First Presidency’s call that we beautify our homes to reflect the high standards of the Church, we in the Las Vegas Nevada 15th Ward Relief Society presidency designated November as Home Beautification Month.

We offered suggestions for home improvement ideas, ranging from yard clean-up to new furnishings. We encouraged the sisters to involve their families. Each sister was asked to make a commitment to do at least one thing to beautify her home. We made a wall-hanging of a “Sunshine Tree,” complete with crewel embroidered flowers and a bright yellow sun. Each time the sisters reported that they had finished a project, we sewed a green felt leaf on the tree.

We are pleased to report that the response has been enthusiastic and the challenge has been successfully met. Our homes are much more beautiful and our bishop has a framed picture of the Sunshine Tree for his office.

Gloria Zangel Las Vegas, Nevada

TV and Children

In October, 1972, the Ensign ran an article on violence in television and motion pictures and how they influence behavior in children. Saul Kapel, the columnist of “Parents and Children” for the New York Daily News, wrote a series of articles on the same theme. Recently Dr. Kapel wrote another column, “Young Minds Often Can’t Cope with TV,” which brings more evidence on why it is bad for a child to watch too much television. Dr. Kapel wrote, “The typical American child watches three hours of television daily, and, by his 18th birthday, he has spent more time in front of the set than in school.

“That’s far too much viewing, particularly for young children. It leaves them wide open to anxieties and confusions that result when an immature mind tries to integrate more than it can handle.”

He also wrote, “Violent programming, for example, has been found to provoke aggressive attitudes and behavior,” but “… too much of any programming, even if it’s nonviolent, can be harmful if a youngster has not reached a high enough level of maturity to handle it.”

Stephen Christensen Ridgewood, New York

The Real Brother Ploeger

I have just received my December 1974 issue of the Ensign magazine and find what I think is an error on page 27. The question-answer reference is made to H. John Ploeger, Denver Colorado Stake President. However, the picture that goes with that article is not John Ploeger. I believe the picture is of Dean Argyle of Pocatello, Idaho. I have known both of these people for some time and thought you would be interested in the fact that the picture and the name do not go together.

Carlos A. Yeates Denver, Colorado

You are absolutely right. The Ensign is red-faced. Please meet the real Brother Ploeger, president of the Denver Colorado Stake. We thank Brother Dean Argyle for the opportunity to print his photograph, and we hope it has not inconvenienced either of these good brethren.

President Benson

The article on President Ezra Taft Benson in the October 1974 issue was most informative and inspiring. Truly, here is a man of integrity!

How the enemies of freedom, justice, truth, and righteousness must tremble because of such a man!

Norman G. Lilly Ogden, Utah

Eternalism vs. Secularism

I just wanted to compliment you on the excellence of the article, “Eternalism vs. Secularism” (October 1974). I really appreciate a deep article like that from time to time.

Alan Wild Lakewood, California

Washington Temple

I have been to see your beautiful temple in Washington. It is a living monument to Jesus Christ and a testimonial of the Mormon faith. I am so glad I had the opportunity of seeing and meeting your people.

Hazel L. Bobb Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Some of us who had worked many hours staffing the Washington Temple for the public tours wondered how the transition would be made from a public building to a private House of the Lord. As we stood outside on the day of dedication, there was little doubt. Those waiting for the doors to open seemed to sense the feeling that a prophet had called down the blessing of the Lord and the halls became filled with His Spirit.

As the service began, emotions surfaced as speakers recalled events to our minds. While our human eyes wept, our spiritual eyes traced the pattern of the spires heavenward and caught the light of eternity.

We wanted to linger after the dedication and felt ourselves draw back at the outside doors. We hesitated to enter the world of voices raised to the normal level and cars zipping along the beltway. Our spirits yearned to go back.

But once outside, we lingered still, finding friends from afar and long back in our past. The spirit world will be like this, we thought.

And so, as home duties called, we would return to our human ways, but for a little while we had been in eternity, and we would always carry these moments with us.

Sharon P. Colton Adelphi, Maryland

Old Dead Book of Job

I’m writing to thank you for the fine article, “The Old Dead Book of Job” (July, 1974). Here in Brazil we receive the Church magazines two or three months late. Then it took me another month to read the Ensign. The article was really a life-saver.

I began reading the Old Testament in the Language Training Mission. But I got completely bogged down; ironically, just a few chapters before Job, my reading was meaningless. Through the reading of Sister Rebecca Cornwall’s article I found that the key to reading and understanding is to take the scriptures and apply them in our daily lives. Since then, I found a comment by President David O. McKay: “The greatest single challenge facing the Latter-day Saint people is spiritual illiteracy. Our people know a lot about facts and history, but we have not yet caught the true meaning of principles and how to apply them to life.”

Elder Craig Earnshaw Brazil Porto Alegre Mission

[photo] President H. John Ploeger