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Health Specialists Volunteer for Service in Bulgaria

In an effort to improve the health care and education of children in Bulgaria, a number of Church volunteers have been traveling to the country to teach advanced skills and techniques to Bulgarian doctors and special education teachers.

The volunteers work through the Europe Area presidency and the Church humanitarian services organization to train doctors and educators in this former Eastern Bloc nation, said Isaac C. Ferguson, director of international welfare and humanitarian service for the Church.

“Among those we’ve sent are three ophthalmologists, a cancer specialist, a gastroenterologist, a neurologist, and a rheumatologist, all of whom went as pediatric specialists,” Brother Ferguson said. A neonatologist, an endocrinologist, and a fourth ophthalmologist are scheduled to go to Bulgaria before the end of 1993. Two educators have also been sent to help improve the special education programs, and two Bulgarian school administrators have visited the United States to tour educational training facilities in Utah and Idaho.

The volunteers spend about two weeks in Bulgaria providing technical training. Specialists serve in hospitals and universities where their expertise and skills can be used “to train the trainers,” said Edward Bishop, field manager for international welfare and humanitarian service for the Church. When the volunteers leave, the Bulgarians can pass on to their colleagues the new skills they’ve learned.

The program began shortly after Bulgaria was freed from communism. “After an assessment visit, we decided there were some areas where we could make a contribution, specifically in pediatrics and special education,” Brother Ferguson said.

In the Bulgarian system, work in related medical and special education areas is coordinated—for example, in the areas of ophthalmology and special education for the blind, Brother Ferguson said. “There is a natural movement back and forth from the purely medical to special education,” he said. So the Church offered assistance in both the medical and special education fields.

“We first helped by sending education materials, and then we set up a program involving technicians,” Brother Ferguson said. As part of its humanitarian effort, the Church has sent interocular lenses and audiology testing equipment, textbooks, clothing and blankets, and Braille typewriters to two schools for the blind.

The humanitarian efforts have been very well received by the Bulgarians. “We seem to have been able to help the Bulgarian authorities understand that we have a sincere interest in the well-being of the people,” Brother Ferguson said.

“We typically make a commitment to the government to keep this type of program going for three years,” Brother Ferguson said. The program in Bulgaria will probably last anywhere from three to five years, he added.

Volunteers are chosen based on the special skills needed at the time. Most of the volunteers are Latter-day Saints, although there have been several who are not. Experience and availability are also taken into consideration before an invitation to volunteer is extended.

There are also similar programs going on in other countries, such as Romania and Albania. “We are quite active in several places in eastern Europe,” said Brother Ferguson.

[photo] Bulgarian students benefit from the efforts of Church volunteers. (Photo by Isaac C. Ferguson.)

Church Progress in Asia

A warm, sincere welcome is being extended to representatives of the Church in Asian countries, reports the Asia Area presidency: Elder Monte J. Brough, president; and Elders John K. Carmack and Kwok Yuen Tai of the Seventy, counselors in the area presidency.

The Asia Area covers half the world’s population and includes Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Church members are living in nineteen of these twenty-one countries, and Church units are organized in fifteen of them; full-time missionaries are serving in twelve countries of the area. Total Church membership in the area is more than 52,600, with the majority of members living in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

In Hong Kong, the almost 18,000 Church members are thrilled with the announcement of the new temple to be built in their country. Members are divided into four stakes, forty-three units, and a mission. Part of the Hong Kong mission includes Macau, a small island, which has 640 members and one Church unit.

In Taiwan, there are two missions serving 20,300 members. The only temple in the Asia Area is located on this island nation, where three stakes, three districts, and fifty-seven units are organized.

The government of Thailand has granted long-term visas and increased the number of missionaries allowed into the country. Approximately 5,000 members live in twenty-four units and four districts.

In Vietnam, two couples are currently serving humanitarian missions, and the government has requested that additional missionaries be sent. Couples have been teaching English to doctors, high government officials and their families, and teachers and students in an after-school enrichment program. There are also two couples serving in Pakistan; these couples, proselyting missionaries, are stationed in Karachi and Lahore. Some 130 members live in the country and are organized into three branches.

Three branches, made up mostly of expatriates, are organized in China. The thirty members in Bangladesh are also mostly expatriates. A branch in Dacca, Bangladesh, meets regularly, although there are no missionaries serving in the country at present.

Ten years ago, the Indonesia government decided not to allow North American missionaries into the country. The native members, numbering about 4,500, have carried the responsibility for Church growth. The members are organized into twenty units. Last year, a missionary couple received long-term visas and have been serving a humanitarian mission in Jakarta.

A new mission has just been created in India, the second most populated country in the world. About thirty missionaries from India and other countries are currently serving. The country has 1,150 members and thirteen branches.

There is a mission located in Singapore, a country that has 1,750 members who attend seven units. There are restricted conditions in Malaysia; its 500 members, who are divided into five units, are not permitted to proselyte. All missionary work is done by member referral.

In February, Elder Carmack and Elder Tai made a trip to Nepal, where they organized a Church group in the capital city. The seventeen known members there have been holding meetings regularly.

Convert Baptisms

In the last five years, 1,478,588 converts were baptized into the Church. Convert baptisms range from 256,515 baptisms in 1988 to 330,877 baptisms in 1990. These figures are separate from figures for children of record who were baptized. The latter baptisms have remained fairly stable—between 69,000 and 78,000 a year.

1988

256,515

1989

318,940

1990

330,877

1991

297,779

1992

274,477

Saints in Albuquerque: Making Impressions with Service

Flanked by historic Indian pueblos on the north and south, Albuquerque, New Mexico, sits more than five thousand feet above sea level in the western United States. To the east of this dry and sun-drenched land is the Rio Grande, overlooked by the picturesque backdrop of the Sandia Mountains. To the west are distant mountains and the mesa with its more than ten thousand ancient petroglyphs.

Old Town, now part of Albuquerque, was originally settled by Tewa Indians in 1350. Today Albuquerque has a population of 450,000.

Church growth in Albuquerque began in late 1925 when Columbus Whipple set up a Sunday School consisting of eleven adults, seven children, and five missionaries. Four years later, in June 1929, a branch was formed, with Leigh W. Clark presiding over approximately sixty members.

After the city’s first meetinghouse was built, it was dedicated by President David O. McKay of the First Presidency on 2 March 1941. Not until April 1957 was a second branch organized and a second chapel dedicated. However, six months after the second branch was organized, the Albuquerque Stake was formed, with four wards, a Spanish branch, and three Indian branches. Early in 1964, two more wards were formed; membership in the area totalled 5,106.

Today Albuquerque claims three stakes, a total Church membership of 11,500, and approximately seventy full-time missionaries.

Economic opportunities sometimes have brought members to the Albuquerque Stake from other parts of the country. Brother Ashley King, a member of the Taylor Ranch Ward, said the influx of newcomers to the area offers a unique opportunity for service, because people often need help acclimating to a new area. Adding Saints from all backgrounds and professions has created a melting pot of interests, customs, and experiences in the stake.

Members of the Church work shoulder to shoulder with their neighbors as civic volunteers. Through service, Albuquerque Saints are successfully creating a favorable awareness of the Church.

“Service is one of the best ways to fellowship those of other faiths. People see us in action and they say, ‘Who’s that?’ and they’re told, ‘The Mormons,’” Brother King says.

Many young people invite their friends of other faiths to Church activities.

Brother King knows firsthand how important service and fellowshipping is. He had Latter-day Saint friends as a teenager but didn’t know anything about the Church until he began dating a member. “They helped me through a tough period and invited me to a lot of activities,” he says. He joined the Church when he was seventeen years old.

Kim and Joanne Corwin, parents of two children, one of whom is deaf, are members of the Albuquerque Third Ward. They conduct the Story Sign Theater in schools and libraries, a community service project that promotes literacy and provides information about deafness. They also teach the deaf Sunday School class their daughter attends.

Brother Corwin, a native Korean, is a convert to the Church and a returned missionary. After the Korean War, Brother Corwin was adopted by an American family. He felt a sense of loss for his country and people after moving to America.

“Many years later, the missionaries knocked on my door. As they spoke, the Holy Ghost bore witness to me of our eternal family, and I knew that through the gospel of Jesus Christ, I would be an orphan no more. As a member of the Church, not only could I be sealed to my earthly family, but I now had ties back to my homeland, a sense that the Korean members of the Church were my brothers and sisters again.”

Cathy Thomas, a Primary worker in the Star Heights Ward, says everyone serves everyone in her ward. “When there is a need, it is just met. People serve even when they themselves are in need.”

Sister Thomas is a single mother and works as an early intervention specialist as well as caring for her three adopted special needs children: Jamie, twelve; Betsey, nine; and Scotty, six.

“People are receptive to the promptings of the Spirit as they serve,” she said.

One time, after a particularly stressful day, Sister Thomas came home to a house that had been vacuumed, laundry that had been washed, and dinner that had been cooked.

In her ward, the Relief Society has done service projects in the community, such as making lap blankets for a nursing home nearby and throwing a birthday party at a retirement home. “We brought balloons and cakes and cookies. We brought our children. It was a delightful experience,” Sister Thomas said. Members also volunteer at a homeless shelter, delivering care boxes and meals.

Jeff Compton, who serves on a stake high council, and his wife, Anita, a Relief Society Spiritual Living teacher in the Star Heights Ward, also have a testimony of service. They have been both recipients and givers.

One Christmas, Brother Compton was out of work. He and Sister Compton were worried about how they would buy gifts for their four children. “Two days before Christmas we found an envelope on our door with money in it, so we were able to buy presents for our children,” Brother Compton said.

The Saints in Albuquerque know how effective service is as a missionary tool and a testimony strengthener. Serving others gives Saints the opportunity to open doors for sharing the gospel with people of all backgrounds.

[photo] The Corwin family enjoys spending time together at home. (Photography by Blaine Sant.)

[photo] Family history is an important part of service for Albuquerque Stake members.

[photos] Looking east over the Rio Grande towards Albuquerque at dusk, with the Sandia Mountains in the background. Inset: Youth and leaders make plans for an excursion.

Iris Tyler Young, a member of the Eldorado Ward, is the stake director of public affairs for the Albuquerque East Stake.

Free Concert Series at Temple Square Assists Missionary Effort

Temple Square in Salt Lake City is alive with music all year around, thanks to the Temple Square Concert Series. Persons from all over the world and of many different faiths come to perform in and enjoy the concerts given at the Assembly Hall.

The series, sponsored by the Church’s Missionary Department with the assistance of a volunteer committee, consists of several concerts each month throughout the year. Certain months have special themes: December features “Christmas on Temple Square,” June is piano month, and July is vocal month.

The Temple Square Concert Series began with thirteen outdoor concerts in the summer of 1980 as a celebration of the Church’s sesquicentennial. The concerts were so popular that ongoing, year-round performances were authorized by the First Presidency. Any fears about not having enough performers evaporated as groups from throughout the world put the Assembly Hall on their itineraries.

Singers and musicians are invited to perform in the series or are chosen from the hundreds of tapes sent in from groups or performers who hope to participate in the concert series. A selections committee comprised of prominent local musicians listens to the tapes and makes recommendations to the Concert Series Committee. An invitation is then sent to the artist.

“The series is a wonderful missionary tool,” says Iain B. McKay, chairman of the Temple Square Concert Series. “Our job is to soften hearts through music and make visitors more receptive to the missionaries.” Several known baptisms have resulted from the positive exposure the Church receives from the concert series.

Alvin and Lena Marie Pack, members of the Temple Square Concert Series Committee who host many of the out-of-state performers, have had inspirational experiences with visitors. One couple in particular, Vladislav and Natasha Mesheryacov from Russia, joined the Church after coming to Utah to do a documentary. The two couples first met on Temple Square. The Mesheryacovs filmed one of the concerts performed in the Assembly Hall. Other footage of Utah was also taken. The documentary was shown all over the former Soviet Union. At the end of each showing, copies of the Book of Mormon were offered to anyone who called the station.

“There were more than three thousand calls! The mission president needed additional copies of the Book of Mormon because the mission didn’t have enough,” the Packs said.

Brother McKay said many visitors are impressed that the Church has world-class concerts but does not charge admission or ask for donations.

Often, when singers come from other countries to perform, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir invites them to sing with the choir on the weekly “Music and the Spoken Word” broadcasts. Parts of the broadcast are then aired in that performer’s country. “It is good exposure for the Church,” Brother McKay said. “It’s a conversation starter for missionaries in those parts of the world.”

During the months of August and September, groups such as the Hong Kong Children’s Choir, the New Zealand Youth Choir, Utah Opera Youth Artists, Utah State Fair competition winners, and the National Association of Teachers Singing will be performing at Temple Square.

The series is also a platform for talented Latter-day Saint performers. One young performer said it was a “great experience to be playing in the shadow of the temple.”

Concerts are free, and everyone eight years of age and older is invited to attend. The concerts begin at 7:30 P.M., unless otherwise noted, and generally last for one hour. Attendance fluctuates from several hundred concert-goers to crowds with standing room only, Brother McKay noted.

Programs are available at Temple Square, stake and ward meetinghouses in the Salt Lake Valley, many Salt Lake hotels (at the front desk), and by writing to the Temple Square Concert Series, Third Floor, West Wing, 50 East North Temple St., Salt Lake City, UT 84150.

[photo] The University Children’s Choir, one of the groups who have performed at the concerts.

Of Good Report

The “Heaven Ward” Project

The Crystal First Ward, in the Minneapolis Minnesota Stake, took their stake president’s challenge to increase temple attendance and family history research very seriously. As a direct result of this challenge, the ward adopted the idea of creating a “ward in heaven” by performing temple ordinances for enough ancestors—529—to equal the number of living members in the ward.

Not only was the program far more fruitful than ward leaders envisioned, but also its success has since motivated other wards to adopt similar goals.

The “heaven ward” project, suggested by high priests group leader Mark Paynter, did indeed change lives, President David M. Brown recalls, as people worked to become worthy to go back to the temple or to visit it for the first time. Bishop Joe Toone, who has since passed away, was a strong supporter of the project. He told ward members after it was completed, “These acts of service have brought us closer as a ward, closer to our ancestors, and closer to the Lord.”

The Crystal First Ward’s project was divided into two parts: the gathering and submission of names, which took place over a period of several months, and the temple excursion, scheduled for late August so families could plan it as part of their summer vacation.

Submitting 1,441 names for temple ordinances, the Crystal First Ward nearly tripled its original goal. Some 159 members traveled to the Chicago Illinois Temple for the ward’s planned three-day visit. In those three days, they did temple work that was the equivalent of one person’s serving eight-hour days for six months!

Since then, the Minneapolis stake’s Bloomington and Crystal Second Wards have been involved in similar efforts. Wards in other areas have also heard about the idea and adopted it.

The Grandmothers’ Pageant

When the young women and young men of the Brighton Eleventh Ward, Salt Lake Brighton Stake, planned a combined activity, they bypassed suggestions for skiing activities and pizza parties and decided to focus their efforts on others—their grandmothers.

The youth and their leaders planned a grandmothers’ pageant to highlight the accomplishments of the older women and emphasize their good examples.

Randy Waltman, ward Young Men president at the time, said the youth leaders wanted to shift the focus of their youth activities. “We were looking for something different,” he recalls. “We wanted the young people to do something that would mean a lot to someone else.”

At the activity, participants read short life histories of each of the women. During a question-and-answer segment, the grandmothers fielded questions about motherhood, family life, developing a testimony, and the qualities they had looked for when choosing their husbands.

At the end of the evening, the young people presented their grandmothers with flowers and read tributes to them, identifying the traits and accomplishments of their grandmothers that they most admired. Youth cited everything from cooking ability to sewing proficiency to their grandmothers’ willingness to serve missions and fulfill Church callings.

Brother Waltman believes the pageant helped erase any generation gap, and it showed the young men and young women that much can be learned from their older relatives.

Performing the Book of Mormon

“We are breaking the ice and taking some information about the Church to the people,” says President Pedro Brassanini of the Curitiba Brazil Stake. “People are responding very well to this dramatic portrayal of themes and stories in the Book of Mormon.”

He is describing the stake’s production of a play depicting stories of Nephi, Alma, Moroni, and others from the Book of Mormon.

“The stories have come to life for us and have sparked the interest of many people, who have since come into contact with the Church,” says President Brassanini. The stake has recently seen a 30 percent increase in their baptism rate. Within four months after the initial performance, missionaries had baptized twenty-seven families who were introduced to the Book of Mormon through the production.

President Brassanini estimates that some sixteen thousand people saw the stake play during its twelve performances in Curitiba. At one performance, there were more than three hundred investigators in the audience. As a result, missionaries were able to pass out more than six hundred copies of the Book of Mormon.

In addition to being helpful in stimulating the interest of those who attended, the play helped strengthen the testimonies of the more than 130 participants.

“Everyone who was in the play has a new view of the Book of Mormon,” President Brassanini remarks. “Acting out the stories gave them a desire to read the Book of Mormon.”

Producing the show made demands on the members of the Curitiba stake. President Brassanini, however, feels the benefits to members and the community greatly outweigh the cost and efforts. “This is our offering of love to the Lord, our consecration. Our people need the blessings,” he says. “Those who worked on the production learned to rely upon the Lord.”Allison M. Hawes, Durban, South Africa

[photo] Youth in the Crystal First Ward research names. (Photography by Tom Anderson.)

[photo] Crystal First Ward members in front of temple.

Appointments

The First Presidency has called eighteen new temple presidents and matrons:

Athos Marques de Amorím, president of the Sao Paulo Temple, and his wife, Maria Alice Ferrao de Amorim, matron.

Yeong Cheon Bae, president of the Seoul Korea Temple, and his wife, Soon Seong Kim Bae, matron.

Oral Lamb Ballam, president of the Logan Temple, and his wife, Tacy Chambers Ballam, matron.

Ralph O. Bradley, president of the Washington Temple, and his wife, Mildred Harris Bradley, matron.

Preston B. Brimhall, president of the Idaho Falls Temple, and his wife, Elizabeth Poole Brimhall, matron.

Harvey Murdock Broadbent, president of the Ogden Temple, and his wife, Louise Bawden Broadbent, matron.

Owen Dean Call, president of the Guatemala City Temple, and his wife, Barbara Hulet Call, matron.

George I. Cannon, president of the Salt Lake Temple, and his wife, Isabel Hales Cannon, matron.

Jay L. Christensen, president of the Boise Idaho Temple, and his wife, Erma Wirt Christensen, matron.

Myron L. Francom, president of the Manila Philippines Temple, and his wife, Genevieve P. Francom, matron.

Agricol Lozano Herrera, president of the Mexico City Temple, and his wife, Malinche Gomez E. de Lozano, matron.

Elder L. Lionel Kendrick, president of the Dallas Texas Temple, and his wife, Myrtis Lee Noble Kendrick, matron.

Ian Goodwin Mackie, president of the Sydney Australia Temple, and his wife, Norma Elfreda Bush Mackie, matron.

Elder Gerald E. Melchin, president of the Toronto Ontario Temple, and his wife, Evelyn Knowles Melchin, matron.

Orlin C. Munns, president of the Oakland Temple, and his wife, Opalgene Rawson Munns, matron.

C. Elliott Richards, president of the Jordan River Temple, and his wife, Margaret Farnsworth Richards, matron.

Arthur “Arch” J. Turvey, president of the London Temple, and his wife, Olive Gibbins Turvey, matron.

Wei Wang, president of the Taipei Taiwan Temple, and his wife, Hsiao-feng Tan Wang, matron.

Name of Temple Announced

The First Presidency announced that the temple to be located in American Fork, Utah, will be named the Mt. Timpanogos Utah Temple.

The temple will be built on a twenty-acre site at 900 East and 700 North. The location is near the western slope of Mt. Timpanogos, which is part of the Wasatch Range of the Rocky Mountains.

The Mt. Timpanogos Temple will be the ninth in Utah. Others are in Logan, Ogden, Salt Lake City, South Jordan, Provo, Manti, and St. George, while another is under construction in Bountiful.

Policies and Announcements

The following general announcements were made in the 1993-1 Bulletin:

Scheduling 1994 New Year’s Eve Parties

The following item pertains to calendaring information in 1994. Where New Year’s Eve socials sponsored by the Church organizations or units are held on Saturday, 31 December 1994, the First Presidency recommends that stake presidents set an alternate Sunday for observing fast day. Dancing or similar activities should be discontinued at midnight, but provision may be made to serve a late supper or early breakfast from midnight to 1:00 A.M. or 1:30 A.M. Participants would then be free to go home immediately thereafter and be available for regular Sunday meetings.

Overnight Activities for Mixed Groups of Youth

Overnight activities for mixed groups of youth are not approved. Stake presidents and bishops may authorize overnight activities for youth conferences and temple trips if segregated housing is provided. In all cases, careful planning, safe transportation, and chaperoning by leaders are of the utmost importance.

Using Church meetinghouses and grounds or sports malls, gyms, or other commercial buildings for Church-sponsored overnight activities is not approved.

For additional information, see Activities Committee Handbook (publication no. 30822), p. 8; For the Strength of Youth (pamphlet no. 34285); Young Women Leadership Handbook (no. 33750); and Aaronic Priesthood Leadership Handbook (no. 34571).

Overnight Activities for Mixed Groups of Young Single Adults

Overnight activities for mixed Young Single Adult groups are not approved. Stake presidents and bishops may grant exceptions where segregated housing is provided.

Using Church meetinghouses and grounds or sports malls, gyms, or other commercial buildings for Church-sponsored overnight activities is not approved.

For additional information, see Activities Committee Handbook (no. 30822), Instructions for Priesthood Leaders on Single Members (no. 33373), and For the Strength of Youth (pamphlet no. 34285).

Scouting Enrichment Program

The General Church Scouting Committee has reviewed certain optional program offerings of the Boy Scouts of America and local BSA councils. Certain programs, such as Scout Basic Training, Woodbadge, Explorer Presidents’ Association Congress (EPAC), and Scouting Roundtables, have been approved for members who desire to enhance their Scouting skills and who enroll privately, using their own funds. Other programs, however, such as Explorer Leadership Institute (ELI) and Leadership Institute for Explorers (LIFE) are inappropriate for Latter-day Saint–sponsored Exploring. No further enrollment in these programs should be made, and priesthood leaders should discontinue these two programs as soon as courses now in progress have been completed.

Comment

San Diego Temple Open House

When I began working in January of this year, a co-worker asked where I’d received my training to be her assistant in the salad department. When I replied that I was the mother of five children and had experience in my church’s Relief Society organization, she asked me what church I belonged to. She recognized the name of the Church in connection with the San Diego Temple and mentioned that she’d seen stories about it in the media. As we talked about the new temple, she indicated a desire to go but felt it might be too complicated to obtain tickets. I assured her it was quite easy and offered to get some tickets for her.

That was only the beginning. During the past few months I obtained some fifty tickets for friends and co-workers.

In February, I received the March Ensign, which featured the Salt Lake Temple. I took the magazine to work to read at lunchtime. The assistant chef borrowed it, and I haven’t seen it since. He also asked for some temple open house tickets.

The following week, he informed me that he and his wife had decided not to go to Canada for their Easter vacation. Rather, they had chosen to travel to Salt Lake City for the one hundredth anniversary of the temple. “That only happens once every one hundred years,” he said. “And we want to be there.”

Sharreen Touchet Spring Valley, California

Crushed While Quarrying Stone

I was interested in the March 1993 Ensign, which describes the sacrifices of those who helped build the Salt Lake Temple. It was with particular interest that I read of those who gave their lives in this great project. Let me add another name to your list.

According to our recorded family history, my great-grandfather, Walter Hoggan, was killed while quarrying stone for the temple. A son, who was with him at the time, reported that a rock fell on his father, crushing him to death. He died on 13 June 1871 and was buried in the city cemetery at Salt Lake City. The family had been in the Salt Lake Valley for seven years.

Although the story of Walter Hoggan’s sacrifice has been often repeated in our family, I realize that it is just one of the many sacrifices that have been made to help build the kingdom of God.

James Hoggan Colorado Springs, Colorado

“I Knew You Were Not Involved”

As I listened today to the announcement from the pulpit that it’s time to renew our subscriptions to the Church magazines, I was reminded of a recent incident.

My doorbell rang. I opened the door and saw two policemen standing there.

“Is that your brown car parked in the driveway?”

“Yes,” I replied.

“Well, it fits the description of an automobile involved in some robberies committed in this area.”

The two proceeded to question me. I told them I was a “round-the-clock” nurse for my ailing husband and did little driving. I hadn’t loaned the vehicle to anyone, either. Finally, they seemed satisfied with my answers and went to leave. One of the officers turned back to me. “I knew you were not involved,” he said quietly. “I saw a copy of the Ensign on the front seat of your car.”

I chuckled. “Well, I must remember to keep an Ensign in my car if that is such a good character reference for my integrity and honesty.”

The officer smiled, shook my hand, and wished me a good day.

Maxine Driggs Thomas Corona, California

Rallying around Singles

I really appreciated Elder Marvin J. Ashton’s remarks on being a quality person. (Feb. 1993.)

I enjoy reading “success stories” where an entire ward rallies around a single-parent family. What a wonderful idea!

Elder Ashton’s talk was realistic and optimistic. I’m glad the Church has a single adult program to nurture us spiritually.

Marie Stanley Davenport, Washington

Meeting the Needs of Singles

Thank you for “Single Threads in the Gospel Tapestry.” (Dec. 1992.) The article has helped on more than one occasion. It is comforting that the Church recognizes the spiritual needs of its single adults. I have many friends who are members of other churches who have expressed a wish that their church had such a comprehensive program. Keep the articles coming.

Alex R. Gregory Dallas, Oregon

It Helped Me through the Trial

The article “Hope and Healing” (Jan. 1993) came to me when it was desperately needed.

I had just spent the day in court, attending the trial of the man accused of sexually abusing my daughter. Struggling with feelings of despair, I arrived home to find the Ensign in my mailbox. That article helped me make it through the trial as well as the many subsequent challenges.

Although I have been less active for many years, the Ensign subscription was provided for me by a loving home teacher. I am now attending meetings in the wonderful branch to which I belong, and I have great hope for the future.

Name Withheld

I Felt Calm

My son, Kyle, was born with a cleft lip. At two months old, he was scheduled to undergo corrective surgery. Both my husband, Shane, and I were extremely worried about him and concerned about the pain he would experience. The day before the surgery was an especially difficult day for me; I was dreading the wait during the surgery as well as the long week of recovery following. I was talking to one of the sisters in our ward, and she asked me if I’d read “Praying Nathan Home” in the April 1993 Ensign.

I went home and read the article. What a wonderful experience! It calmed me down as I ached for the Asay family. I thought of the article the next day as I waited for Kyle to come out of surgery. Again, I felt calm.

The surgery was a success, and my son looks wonderful. Thank you for helping my family when we needed it.

Dusty Melville St. George, Utah