Purifying Water

Thanks for the very useful article “What to Do When the Water Runs Out,” by Florence Bringhurst Nielsen (March 1980). As a missionary in Bolivia, I’ve seen many a day without water from the tap and have lived where they bring it in by truck.

One thing I would like to add to her article is that water, to be sterilized, should be boiled hard for some time, depending on the altitude. At higher altitudes, water boils at a lower temperature, and a longer time is needed to sterilize it. I’ve lived in the high Andes (14,000 feet above sea level), and for lack of knowledge boiled my water hard for only three minutes, when at that altitude twenty minutes of hard boiling is the minimum. As a result, I suffered from amoebic dysentery. At 6,000 to 8,000 feet, ten minutes of hard boiling is recommended.

Elder Gerald Smith Bolivia-Santa Cruz Mission

Overcoming guilt

In regards to overcoming guilt feelings after sincere repentance and forgiveness (July Ensign, p. 32), I had this very problem for years and became severely depressed. I was taught a simple technique by Church leaders that has enabled me to solve the problem. I was told that I kept my past mistakes alive by constantly talking about them. I overcame my depression by learning not to talk about the past, thus allowing the thoughts to leave my mind.

It worked! After several months of not talking about it, a thought that had ruled my life for more than five years left my mind. It wasn’t easy, but persistence did the trick.

Name withheld by request.

“Melchizedek” clarified

I call your attention to a typographical error in the spelling of “Melchizedek” in its Hebrew form, occurring in the heading of the Gib Kocherhans article (Sept. 1980, p. 14), and repeated on the back cover.

As printed, the letter nun is used in place of the wider kaph (third character from the right), giving the reading “Melnizedek” instead of “Melchizedek.” Also, the dots adjacent to the character second from the left are incorrect. Instead of Hebrew charactersthe inscription should read Hebrew characters

The letters are similar and the errors understandable, but it was rather disconcerting.

Prof. J. F. Portland, Oregon

In his article on the Melchizedek Priesthood (Sept. 1980, p. 16), Gib Kocherhans defines the word Melchizedek to mean “King of Righteousness.” As I understand Hebrew grammar, that definition would not be entirely correct.

As he indicates, the word Elijah means “My God is Jehovah.” The root words are El ‘God’ and Jah ‘Jehovah’. The “i” tacked onto El means “my,” combining the root words to mean “My God is Jehovah.” The “i” in Melchizedek also means “my,” combining the root words Melech ‘king’ and Zedek ‘righteous’ to form “My King is Righteous” instead of “King of Righteousness.” A minor difference, perhaps; but for the sake of accuracy …

Thank you so much for the article. It was very enjoyable reading.

David Brown Magna, Utah

Comment on the foregoing by Dr. Ellis T. Rasmussen, dean of Religious Instruction, Brigham Young University:

Brother David Brown is partially correct—but not entirely. Actually, the “i” between syllables in many Hebrew names can be either (1) an old genitive ending, properly rendered “of” in English, or (2) a first-person possessive pronoun well rendered “my” in English. Often one can decide by the context which would be best. Thus for Elijah, “Jehovah is my God” is a more likely translation than is “God of Jehovah.” For Melchizedek, either “my king is righteous” or “king of righteousness” is possible. (It appears that Alma plays upon this concept in Alma 13:17–19, and Paul expresses it in Hebrews 7:2. [Heb. 7:2]) One need only look at a list of such theophoric names in a Bible dictionary to find examples of either or both options used in translation of the names.

President McKay’s friend

As I was finishing the October Ensign, I noticed that in the photo of President David O. McKay and others attending the Swiss Temple dedication (page 77), the man on the extreme left was not identified. He is George Albert Smith, Jr., a very close friend of both President McKay and Elder Richard L. Evans. Both of us lived in Belmont, Massachusetts, for many years, and I was their home teacher for most of that time.

Wilbur W. Cox President, Manti Temple

Don’t forget the eggs

“Random Sampler” for January 1981 included a recipe for “Crazy Crust Pizza” that I’d like to try (p. 66). The directions mention eggs, but the ingredients list doesn’t. How many should we use?

Afton T. Cunningham Moses Lake, Washington

Sorry. Use two eggs.

Richfield stained glass

I want to express my appreciation for the Ensign’s January cover and the accompanying feature article on stained glass in LDS buildings. The “crown” detail on page 37 is from the large panel shown on the cover, and the caption places it in the Salt Lake City Twenty-first Ward. However, I believe it is actually from the old Richfield (Utah) First Ward. I looked at that window every Sunday for the first eighteen years of my life, and to the best of my knowledge it is still in good condition today.

Robert V. Ogden Plano, Texas

You are correct.

Jerusalem skyline

Just a comment about the cover of the February 1981 Ensign: The colors are nice, but the skyline is wrong. The painting shows a nineteenth-century figure (Elder Orson Hyde) before a twentieth-century skyline of Jerusalem. It is not likely, for example, that the YMCA Tower that is so prominent in the painting was really there in 1841! For a view of the city as it appeared in Elder Hyde’s day, see the accompanying lithograph reproduced from a painting done in 1839 by David Roberts.

Lynn M. and Hope A. Hilton Salt Lake City, Utah