Reading to your children

I also had a mother who read to me (see p. 76, February), and now I read to my own twin daughters. Long before their second birthday we were “reading” the pictures in books; thus they learned colors, shapes, numbers, and names of objects—and later the stories themselves. We no longer underestimate a child’s ability to comprehend deep material, when it is well-presented. By the time the girls were five, we had read them our Bible and Book of Mormon storybooks at least three times (I’ve lost track!), and our daughters’ understanding of the gospel continually amazes teachers, relatives of other faiths, and even us, their parents. Questions requiring complex answers continually spark long family discussions: “Mommy, why did Jesus let them crucify him?” “Who was Heavenly Father’s father, then?” “Why do only daddies hold the priesthood?” Our daughters have also enjoyed and understood the Christian allegory in C. S. Lewis’s seven Chronicles of Narnia, which have given an added dimension of feeling to gospel concepts they have not yet personally experienced, and to some that they have.

Now, at age 5 1/2, scripture study with Daddy is a treasured daily experience. We don’t believe our daughters are particularly unique in these capabilities, only that we began applying the principles embodied in your article and in the commandment to teach our children as early as we could—and already it has brought blessings into all our lives.

Wayne and Sharon Dequer Monrovia, California

How I too kicked the TV habit

I, too, have been a soap opera addict for quite some time. I, too, know the “stories” went against almost everything we stand for in our Heavenly Father’s church. I love my Father more than anything else and knew I had to “kick the soap opera habit.” But, like many others, I rationalized in many ways. This realization kept gnawing at me.

Yesterday, our homemaking meeting dismissed a bit earlier than usual. “Oh, goodie,” I thought, “I have time to watch my stories.” Before I entered the house I checked my mailbox and there was “my knight in shining armor!”—the March 1977 Ensign. I had been waiting for this issue since I knew it was going to be about women. I opened my Ensign and, lo and behold, “How I Kicked the TV Habit” stared at me. This was the very first article I came upon.

Now I know why. Our Father is wise, kind, patient, and wonderful! This inspired message was what I needed to really sever the tie. I had come to all the same conclusions the author did, but still couldn’t stop watching. But her written testimony of the “plague” is what really helped me because I could surely feel her enthusiastic spirit as I read her message, and I can say “Amen” to it. My sincere thanks.

Kathleen D. Kaakimaka Waimanalo Ward, Hawaii

Spirit world activity

I would like to express my deep gratitude for the timely comfort and solace the article, “The Spirit World, Our Next Home” (January), by Dale C. Mouritsen, has given me. I had gotten a very late start in reading the January issue—but was inspired to pick it up and read the article the day after I had laid my beloved eighty-four-year-old father to rest on February 12. It is reassuring to know that he is at peace and rest in the spirit world—and yet busy (as he would surely want it!) progressing to new and greater possibilities among those he had known and loved who had gone on before. I have subsequently renewed my efforts to do genealogy and have the sacred ordinances performed for my family.

Marylyn Roh Northridge, California

Update

February, Re: Caption on page 47—Osorno is not the southernmost branch of the Church in the western hemisphere; February, Re: First Stake in It’s a Young Church in … Mexico, page 17—Juarez Stake was organized in 1895; March, Re: Photographs of Eliza R. Snow Poetry Contest Winners—the photographs of Ellen Bryson Remington and Kathryn R. Ashworth should be switched. May, Re: Elder LeGrand Richards’s talk, pages 62–63. A line was inadvertently left out on page 63. The omitted line, which would be the first line on page 63, reads, “again the second time to’ gather scat-”. In context it would read, “… the Lord said that He would ‘set his hand again the second time to’ gather scattered Israel. …”

A renewal and an answer

This is a most sincere letter of thanks. The Ensign reached my home at a time when its message was needed more than I can express in words. During the past four years we have had a beautiful daughter ill with leukemia. This morning, after I settled her as comfortably as possible, and my other children were off to school, I sat down with my new Ensign for a few quiet moments of contemplation. What I got was far more. I got a renewal of my testimony, a feeling that I was not alone, and a very important question was answered for me. The answer to that question brought tears of joy to my eyes. Thank you for the beautiful magazine; it has touched my heavy heart and given me renewed strength and courage.

Mary Lynne Clark Scottsdale, Arizona

Cleaning up after the elders

We have had the honor and blessings of having the missionaries live in our home for the past year and a half. These boys don’t know how to clean up after themselves or how to clean house. As a whole, they never learned to pick up after themselves, how to clean the bathroom, or how to just wipe up the kitchen after they prepare food. Also most have very little cooking skills. Not all of them are like this—some have been very well trained. But we have had thirteen young men here, and only three have been good about their housekeeping. We love each young man who comes to us, and we miss them when they are transferred. But parents need to train their sons in the rudiments of housekeeping.

A concerned missionary mother in Oregon

The enticements of Satan: Why me?

I would like to tell you how much the article “Great-Grandfather’s Family,” by Davis Bitton (February), has meant to me. It seemed that every little trial that came my way left me with the attitude of “Why me? How wicked I must be to have all these things happen to me; I can’t overcome all this stuff; my Father in heaven is being unfair to me; he gives everyone else a better break in life than me!” After reading that article, I could clearly see that Satan was really getting to me in a very subtle way.

Life at its best is not easy. As you gave impression in your article, those people whom we look up to as being faithful, being close to Heavenly Father and always having things go right for them, all too often couched their struggle of blood, sweat, and tears to overcome the adversary in some neat little statement: “we fasted and prayed for three years” for such and such to take place, and it did. I have always been lost as to what happened in between.

For you to point out that struggles, tribulations, and trials are all there for everyone has really given me a new outlook on life. It has given me a new strength and determination to continue in the fight against the enticings of Satan.

Carol Carter St. George, Utah