Extraction Work Is a Blessing

I read with great interest “Doing Temple Work at Home” in your July 1990 issue. Home extraction was an answer to my prayers.

For years I was a healthy, energetic wife and mother, always on the go and able to hold leadership positions in my ward, stake, and community. Then I was stricken with a disease for which there is no cure. For a couple of years I was in and out of the hospital and bedridden, and I was unable to hold any callings in my ward. When I was able to get up and around, my doctor cautioned me to avoid stress of all kinds. He also told me not to have any close contact with people who might be ill, because my immune system is not strong enough to fight off even a common cold.

I felt empty not being able to be involved as I once had been, so I began earnestly praying to Heavenly Father that there might be some small way in which I could serve and yet not jeopardize my health. Not long after that, I heard of the home extraction program—and I quickly volunteered. What a blessing this has been in my life! I can do it in the comfort of my own home and work at my own speed with no pressure to attend meetings or finish by a specified time. When I’m in too much pain to sleep at night, I get up and work on extraction. What other Church callings are filled at 2:00 A.M.?

It is true that when a door closes, a window opens. I am so grateful for this opportunity. Rather than regretting the many things I can’t do, I focus on the things I can do. I remember that it’s not where we serve but how we serve that is important.

Linda Pulsipher Washington, Utah

“Yearning to Return”

I felt prompted to write a short note after I read “Yearning to Return” in the August 1990 issue. Tears came freely as I pondered the account of this bishop’s trials and tribulations.

Yes, there is shame. There is a feeling of loss when the Spirit of Christ leaves. In some cases, there is extreme agony when one is subjected to the buffetings of Satan—and they are real. There are sleepless nights, days of torment, feelings of being lower than the dust, and a longing for the Savior’s love and forgiveness.

But thanks be to Father in Heaven, through the atoning sacrifice of the Savior, there is a way back. I know, for I, too, tasted that bitter cup. But it is worth the effort to repent and go through the process. What joy to receive his forgiveness! What joy to be able to partake of the sacrament after so long! What joy it is to have my priesthood restored so I may bless the lives of others!

May we all realize the reason for the Savior’s atonement and, through our daily prayers, ask for forgiveness of sins and for his Spirit to be with us to safeguard us against the temptations of the adversary.

Carl Higgins Battle Ground, Washington

An Ensign Mission

For Christmas, our ward’s missionaries decided to send Ensign subscriptions to several part-member and nonmember families. We paid for them with money from our missionary fund. Two of the recipients were families who have children with special health problems. When they received their first issues in May, both mothers felt a strong need to read them from cover to cover. One lady told her visiting teacher that she felt a peace afterward and knew better how to help her son. Many thanks for a super teaching tool!

Ronald Ross Watson Tucson, Arizona

Why Square Brackets?

Would you enlighten me, and possibly others also, on the use of the square bracket, with which the conference talks are always plentifully sprinkled?

Here’s an example from page 13 of the May 1990 Ensign: “Yes, as we give Christlike service, it helps us grow spiritually, [put] off the natural man, and [become] a saint.”

Why do we need to separate or enclose “put” and “become”? The sentence would not be sensible without these words.

Sister D. M. Christophers Thorneside, Queensland, Australia

Editor: According to the Chicago Manual of Style, if a writer replaces an original word in a quote with another word or group of words, the substituted material is enclosed in square brackets.

The Many Faithful in the Dorm

I enjoyed the article “The Only Mormon in the Dorm” (June 1990), which highlighted the choices faced by LDS students as they enter and live in a secular school environment.

The university I attended on the East Coast had an accessible institute of religion program to serve the handful of LDS students on campus. But just as important, I actively sought out friends and roommates who had values similar to mine. These devout Christians and Jews created a supportive living and learning environment; we shared knowledge of each others’ beliefs and broke down barriers and previous misgivings about one anothers’ faiths. One of the more memorable compliments I received from a roommate was “You would make a wonderful Catholic.”

By actively seeking friends who live and respect their faith—and that of others—a young LDS student can progress from feeling like the only Mormon in the dorm to one of the many faithful in the dorm.

Judy Y. Shim Honolulu, Hawaii

“The Hidden Handicap”

I enjoyed reading “The Hidden Handicap” in the April 1990 magazine; however, I think the term learning disability could be more appropriately called learning difficulty. Disability implies finality, as if the person can do nothing. I take great courage in the message of Ether 12:25–27, knowing there is no such thing as a permanent handicap—hidden or otherwise.

Arleen Standiford Las Cruces, New Mexico

Where Do Tlingits Live?

I would like to correct some information that was printed in “The Bible—Only 4,263 Languages to Go” in the January 1990 issue. The article states that the Tlingit Indian tribe—to which I belong—originated in Washington and Oregon. It is really from southeast Alaska. While there are some Tlingits in Canada, mainly in the Yukon Territory and parts of British Columbia, the main settlement has always been in the Alaska panhandle.

Patricia Brandt Coos Bay, Oregon

Update

Jim Raines built the model ship Enoch Train featured in “A Covenant Restored” (July 1990). Brother Raines, now a curator at the Museum of Church History and Art, spent four years on the project. Curt Grinaker, Robert Gilmore, and Brother Raines also created 220 miniature figures in period costume that grace the deck and ’tween decks section of the model.

In “Study, Fun, and Brother Mack” (April 1990), the Ensign listed Cape Coast University as being in Nigeria and Nsukka University in Ghana. Cape Coast University is actually in Ghana, and Nsukka University is in Nigeria.