Mary’s poem

I am from Ogden, Utah, and I am 15 years old. I put my thoughts into this poem entitled:

The New Era

As I open the cover I open adventures

Of those who share with me their

Feelings, their time, and their talents.

The inspiring messages—I study,

I learn, I discover, and ponder over

That which I read. I would

Like to tell you all thanks for

Sharing them with me.

Mary Rich

Ogden, Utah

She’d like to trek

I just received my first copy of the New Era, July issue. The first thing I read was “Arizona Trek.” After reading the report I realized what a great experience it must have been and how close my brothers and sisters from the Westwood Seminary were to our Heavenly Father. I wish I could have been a part of the trek, but since that was impossible, I enjoyed reading about it very much. The New Era brings me closer to the Lord and encourages me to go on. I’m looking forward to the next issue.

Susan Britton
Cumberland, British Columbia, Canada

A letter from everywhere

Nothing is as sad to a missionary as an empty mailbox. Every morning we start our daily trek to our ofttimes empty mailbox, I search my mind for someone who might have written me a letter. Of course, I receive letters from home, friends, and past acquaintances, but I never realized before that the New Era is my letter from our beloved brethren in the Church everywhere. The Church is indeed true!

Elder M. T. Salima
Arizona Mission

Waiting a lonnnnnng time

Though I hadn’t realized it, I’ve been waiting a lonnnnnng time for an article like Dr. Bruce Clark’s “Creative Writing in the Church: A Challenge to Young Writers.” Many of his ideas not only helped focus my mind but also rang straight through to my heart. I recognized them as things I’ve been thinking or hoping or puzzling over since I first began to write. Especially I thank him for suggesting that creativity is often its own reward. I’ve wondered why I usually write things that can’t mean much to anyone but me—and why I get such satisfaction from it. Now I understand. Thanks for the encouragement! I’m sure I’m not the only one who needed it.

Tamara Jones
Salt Lake City, Utah

A poem is a poem is not a picture

Art cannot be judged by poetry; poetry cannot be judged by photography. Therefore, I do not understand why there were not as many scholarships awarded in art as there were in the other categories. I was also disappointed that you did not print any of the art that did win. If you are not going to print the art, why not include music in your next contest? You would not have to print it.

Ginger Hopkins
Provo, Utah

We received nearly 50 photography entries for every art entry. We have already published some of the winning art and plan to publish more in the future. Editor

Flowers

Thanks for the article “Why Stay Morally Clean.” Articles like that really help me. Also, the pictures of flowers in the magazines are so beautiful they make you feel good. They’re my favorite thing.

Debbie Hoffman
Big Piney, Wyoming

Editor’s note: Those wishing a complete set of footnotes for Hugh W. Nibley’s article “Genesis of the Written Word” (September issue), please send your request to us at 50 East North Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah 84150, and a copy will be mailed to you.

“Toward a Theory of Human Agency”

The time has come when I must sit down and congratulate you on a truly outstanding article, “Toward a Theory of Human Agency” by Allen E. Bergin. It was the most informative and uplifting discourse on the subject of free agency and self-control that I have ever read or heard in my life.

Brad Wright
Bellevue, Washington

Anti-anti-anti-Mormon literature

I was rather upset at the published responses in the “If This Happened Tomorrow—What Would You Do?” department of the May New Era. I doubt that those published were a true cross section of the responses you received. Why was nothing printed expressing the positive side of reading anti-Mormon literature? I have read such literature, some even before I had a testimony, and without fail my testimony (or belief) was strengthened. I gained better insight into the gospel, and I was convinced more than ever that no other Church could possibly be true or be led by prophecy. Besides, if a person really has a testimony, is that testimony not stronger than intellectual arguments, apparent doctrinal contradiction and error, or even heavenly visitations?

Elder Ken Black
Bolivia Mission

Better with age

Being stuck in bed with ripped tendons in my ankle has given me the chance to read all the New Eras from the past two years. The Church’s magazines seem to get better with age. “Voice of Admonition and Warning” in the April issue was one of the best pieces of writing I’ve ever read. Richard H. Cracroft and Neal E. Lambert brought the apostles of Christ’s time to a personal viewpoint unparalleled in anything I’ve ever read on the apostles. I particularly liked the tribute they gave to Paul, my most looked-up-to apostle.

New Era and Apostle Paul Fan
Central America Mission

Notes on the notebook

I would like to thank you for “Junior High Notebook” in the September issue. I enjoyed reading what other kids my age think about junior high and what they like to do. The story “Lucky Archie” was especially good. I also thought the article “Directed by the Holy Spirit” was great.

Gina Martin (Age 12)
Blackfoot, Idaho

There’s such a thing as reading between the lines

I found the story “There’s Such a Thing as Joey” to be one of the most heartwarming, pleasing stories I’ve read in a long time. What an insight it gives into the workings of a small boy’s mind as well as the important role a mother plays in a child’s life. The story itself is good, but it is the reading between the lines that makes it great.

Mrs. Afton H. Nelson
Salt Lake City, Utah

A letter too short not to use

I thought “String Too Short to Use” in your May issue was super.

Leah Ambreuster
Staten Island, New York

Serving stateside

Being a missionary in the newly created Minnesota-Wisconsin Mission is a very great blessing. Serving stateside is rare and beautiful. While growing up I always dreamed of going to some faraway, mystical country. But I ended up in the great United States of America. The gospel is needed everywhere, especially here. I am proud and happy to have been chosen to serve in this area. I want to commend the New Era for the missionary edition. The articles are of great worth to the elders and sisters now serving, as well as those who will serve in the future. Your contest issue was also top-notch. “The Winner,” though fictional, could easily have been factual. It helped me evaluate my own life.

P.S. I thought you might be interested in seeing this street sign in Wisconsin.

Elder John R. Titensor
Minnesota-Wisconsin Mission

Tough luck, Santa

The missionary issue of the New Era [June 1973] was most enjoyable for all of us here in the Andes-Peru Mission. I would like to comment, however, respecting the article “What to Send to a Missionary.” In Peru the importation of almost everything is difficult. This includes things such as cookies and candy. Even when things of this nature are permitted to enter, there is a tax of 100 to 150 percent. We are aware that this situation does not exist in all the missions of the Church. However, due to the problems we encounter with importation of packages, we advise that no packages of any kind be sent to missionaries working in Peru.

Elder V. R. Hill
Andes-Peru Mission