I have been privileged to read the feature article by Carl Arrington about the 1973 National Scout Jamboree at Moraine State Park, Pennsylvania, in the May issue of the New Era. My congratulations to Mr. Arrington, not only for an excellent and factual story about the Jamboree, but also for the superb photography that accompanies the article.

I note with pleasure feature articles written by Bishop Victor L. Brown, a member of our National Executive Board, and Bishop Vaughn J. Featherstone, a member of the Advisory Council. Congratulations for your outstanding magazine and my appreciation for its contents.

Alden G. Barber
Chief Scout Executive
North Brunswick, New Jersey

A pain in the backpack

I surely enjoy the New Era. I just finished reading “LDS Women on the Arizona Frontier” in the April issue and enjoyed it particularly. I’m writing especially, however, to comment about two backpacks I just made from instructions given in the May 1973 issue. I know that’s an old issue, but when a magazine is good enough to be kept around for years for reference, it never really gets old. The second pack went smoothly because, like so many things, it’s easy once you know how. The first pack, however, was very, very frustrating due to the poor instructions in the article. I found the instructions misleading and unclear, and I was only able to finish the pack by guessing what was meant.

It was billed as something anyone who could sew straight seams could sew in three hours. I consider myself an accomplished seamstress, but it took me six hours to figure it out. When I finished, my pack didn’t look like the one in the picture, because neither the picture nor the pattern was drawn to scale. For example, the front pouch is pictured as occupying about two-thirds of the front of the pack, when in reality it is so large it overlaps onto the bottom of the pack. I think more emphasis should have been placed on having clear 1-2-3-type instructions rather than on being interesting reading. I think similar articles should be checked more thoroughly in the future to make sure they aren’t some of those “it’s easy if you know how” kind.

Owenna Nagy
Merida, Venezuela

Our resident seamstress made a pack using these instructions before the article was printed and has finally admitted that the task took much more time and imagination than called for in the article. She didn’t mention it at the time because she just thought the difficulty was due to our being 4,000 feet above sea level (she’s also our resident cook). Editor.


I greatly enjoy the New Era. It’s refreshing to read a magazine that is both spiritually uplifting and intellectually stimulating. I have liked nearly every fiction story you have published.

Elder Randall Crocker
Eastern States Mission

Remembering Samuel Chambers

When I read the article about the fine family of Samuel Chambers, it brought to mind the many times my father and grandfather spoke of this good man and his family when I was small. They are mentioned many times in my grandfather’s diary as he told of the many great things this man had done for the Church in his very unselfish way. My grandfather was James Devalson Cummings, first bishop of the Wilford Ward, of which Brother Chambers was a member for many years. I am glad to see that we have finally recognized the existence and value of Brother Chambers and his utter devotion to the Church even though he was unable to hold the priesthood. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all of us could fulfill our obligations with such enthusiasm and devotion.

Florence Cummings Youngberg
Salt Lake City, Utah

I enjoyed reading the article about Samuel Chambers. My great-great-grandfather, Preston Thomas, baptized him. I thought you might enjoy reading this excerpt from an account written by Preston’s son Daniel: “Chambers had the greatest faith in the Church and the most profound reverence for the man who baptized him. As illustrating this reverence, I pause to narrate an incident which occurred just prior to the death of Chambers. I came into my office one morning and saw him sitting in the reception room. He was then about 92 years old. On seeing me, he, with no little difficulty, attempted to rise to his feet to shake my hand. I sought to dissuade him from the effort of getting up, but he arose and took me by the hand and said with great earnestness, ‘Your father baptized me, and I always stand in the presence of his son.‘ ”

Annette Taylor

Do I hear a second?

As frequently as one finds peace in the Middle East do I find myself moved to write a letter to the editor. However, after reading “Charly” by Jack Weyland I find myself so moved. “Charly” is the most recent in a long line of “Weylandies” that delightfully invite, hold, and reward our attention. His stories, among the best, if not the best, that have come out in the Church magazines, show that we are capable within the Church of writing excellent fiction. They dispel the theory that we are, as a church, either incapable or too complacent with life to write well. Therefore, for his continuous good taste, subtle plot, depth of humor, and insight into modern-day gospel living, I nominate Jack Weyland for the “Tell It Well and Like It Is Award.” Do I hear a second?

David F. Barrus
Provo, Utah

We think the New Era is fantastic. It really brightens up the day when things are looking dim. We especially enjoy reading stories like “Charly” in the June issue. We also enjoyed “Some Free-Wheeling Tips on Biking” by Rodger Dean Duncan. We think he is a super writer.

Kim Evans and Gary Foster
Hooks, Texas

I enjoyed Jack Weyland’s story “Charly” in the June issue more than any other short story I have ever read. It was outstanding. I wish “Charly” was nonfiction … and that I knew her!

Val Holley
Slaterville, Utah

“Charly” was fantastic! I always look forward to getting my New Era and enjoy all the articles, but “Charly” was one of the best I’ve ever read.

Tamara Lacey
Ponca City, Oklahoma

Becoming closer

I really enjoyed “Ride” in the July New Era. I have ridden a motorcycle on some of the trails mentioned in the article, so I could really appreciate the beauty of Dead Horse Point State Park. In our church we are given many chances to become closer to the people in our wards, and this article showed how the people in the Orem 15th Ward took advantage of this blessing.

Anna Terry
Roy, Utah

Kami wa masani ikitamo

My dear penpal who lives in Ogden, Utah, gave me a year’s subscription to the New Era for my birthday. That was the most wonderful present I’ve ever had. The New Era is a very valuable magazine. When I read it, I realize that English-speaking members are doing the same things we’re doing, feeling the same spirit we’re feeling, and teaching the same principles of the gospel we’re teaching. This recognition strengthens my testimony that this is the true gospel of Jesus Christ. Whether in English or in Japanese, the testimony we bear is just the same. God certainly lives. Kami wa masani ikitamo.

Akiko Tokushima
Nagasaki, Japan

Becoming round

I think you have the best magazine in the nation. You have so many different kinds of articles in the magazine that it’s easy to become well-rounded by reading the New Era. I think you deserve congratulations on your sports articles.

New Era Reader
Boise, Idaho