My greatest goal

I am a medical attendant in the Royal New Zealand Navy, a year-old member of the Church, and a new subscriber to the New Era. I feel a need to express my feelings about what the Church and this magazine have done for me. I have only received and read two issues, but they have given me the courage and energy to strive higher in my goals. I will be getting married in a few months, and my greatest goal is to be a good wife and mother. I give my love to all those who contribute to the New Era and thank the Lord for all he has done for me.

Wren Dittmer Devonport, New Zealand

A small error

You made a small error in the April issue. “A Lesson in Bravery” is not fiction. It is a true story, and I was the young Indian being taught a lesson by my father in the old way.

Sylvia Snead Keeling San Francisco, California

They work

I study each issue of the New Era, mark it up, and categorize each article under one or more of the 69 gospel subjects that I have in what I call my “Church Binder.” I have been LDS nearly all my life, but I never understood the concept of the still small voice—what it sounds like or feels like—until I read Elder McConkie’s article “Agency or Inspiration?” in the January issue. I have tried his ideas and have found that they work. I am now able to hear and feel the still small voice of the Holy Ghost. Thank you very much for printing the article.

Stephen L. Christensen Plainview, New York

Better Sunday worship

Thank you for “Sabbath Liberated” in the March New Era. It reinforced my love for the Sabbath and gave me some new challenges and opportunities for better Sunday worship.

April Arrington Provo, Utah

Pleasant dodging

Never in my life, until last Saturday, had I read a magazine, Church or otherwise, from cover to cover. Last week, though, I picked up the New Era and did just that. The reading kept me from other things I should have been doing, but a more pleasant dodging of obligations is hard to imagine.

Maureen Ursenbach Salt Lake City, Utah

Gifts and expectations

I was greatly impressed by the article “Jesus Christ—Gifts and Expectations” in the May New Era. It gave me a deeper insight into my relationship with the Savior and into how I can better preach his gospel. The article typifies Christ’s invitation to all of us: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matt. 11:28.)

Elder Shirl Le Baron Louisiana Shreveport Mission

Will the real Naomi Nadav …

I enjoyed the excellent article “Dig” in the May New Era. It was exciting to read the testimony of Sister Wolsey. She was an outstanding student. There is, however, an error in your labeling of the photographs. The lady identified as Miriam Aharoni is actually Naomi Nadav, who is our pottery reconstructionist.

Legrande Davies Tel-Aviv University

In the mailbox

Thank you for strengthening the unity in our home. This past week we had a dinner-table discussion in which our eight-year-old son asked whether the First Presidency went to their home wards or met somewhere else. We told him that they attended their home wards. Yesterday we found confirmation in the mailbox. The article “Every First Wednesday” will strengthen our children’s faith in their parents as well as teaching them truth. We will continue to look to the New Era for guidance.

Brother and Sister Lowell Boise, Idaho

Scissor power

The New Era has been a tremendous help to us missionaries. Recently our six-elder district got together with a stack of old New Eras and cut out all the pictures and photographs that depict the youth of the Church throughout the world engaging in fun, clean, activities. Our labors have resulted in a very useful and colorful display that introduces to the world the programs outlined by our Father in heaven for strengthening the youth of Zion. The New Era is a missionary in and of itself.

Elder Mark Lee Teerlink Taiwan Taipei Mission

A fine model

Thank you for the inspiring report “A Kiss on the Cheek in California” in the May New Era. With tape recorders readily available and simple to operate, we will see (hear) more and more personal histories being recorded on tape (which also preserves voice, emotion, and personality) rather than in writing. Recognizing the value of oral history, Church Historian Leonard Arrington three years ago implemented a Church oral history program that now includes 650 taped interviews and that encourages ward and stake and family groups to try this easy but important way to preserve personal histories. Not only is valuable historical information thereby recorded, but, as the Culver City and La Cienega young people have shown us, generation gaps are bridged, hearts are drawn together, and human lives are enriched by the shared experience of oral history. The project of these young men and women is a fine model for young people throughout the Church to emulate.

William Hartley Director, Oral History Program LDS Church Historical Department

A suggestion

Thanks for the beautiful magazine. I especially enjoy “General Authorities’ Wives” and Mormonisms. May I make a suggestion? I think more space should be given to the Q and A department. Many young people, including myself, find it easier to write for advice than to talk to someone, especially about touchy subjects.

EMG Denver, Colorado

A nostalgic journey

“Life in the Massachusetts Boston Mission Home” in the May 1975 issue of the New Era was a nostalgic journey into the past for me. It was 48 years ago that I was in the Massachusetts Conference, which took in the eastern half of the state plus Rhode Island. There were ten elders and six lady missionaries. The elders were stationed in Boston, New Bedford, Fall River, Providence, and Worcester. The lady missionaries were in Cambridge, Lynn, and Boston.

Where there were branches, we met in lodge halls, and it was the duty of the elders to go early on Sunday morning to clean up the cigar and cigarette butts and other leftovers from the regular Saturday night parties. Oh yes, part of that cleaning up was emptying the spitoons. By opening all the windows we were able to clear out some of the stench and make the place more fitting as a place for the Saints to meet.

One of our main forms of proselyting was by using street meetings. On regular evenings we would start our meetings with a song and prayer at Pemberton Square in Boston or Harvard Square or Central Square in Cambridge. Sunday afternoon was usually spent on the “Commons” where there was a different meeting going on under every tree. Choosing a site for ourselves, we would pick up a discarded wooden ice-cream spoon, and stooping down, scratch out our topic in the gravel path. This usually brought a crowd of curious ones to see what was going on, and then it was up to the speaker to produce. It was interesting, and some lively conversations usually took place, but no conversions resulted.

I remember going to the Longfellow home, which was the beginning for me of learning something of our past. I also remember making the trip to the old North Church, with little Italian kids hanging on the fenders of the Model T and chanting the story of Paul Revere. I remember trudging the little dirt road to Lexington and Concord, and traveling to Plymouth with a family of RLDS people on their way to a conference. It was on the copy of the Mayflower Compact where I read the signature of a distant grandfather of mine. I’ll always be grateful for that time that gave me an interest in the history of this marvelous land, this land “choice above all others.”

I also remember the dreary hours spent in South Boston knocking on the doors only to be refused a listening ear, or practicing the hymns of the Restoration as we carried our “Galindies” down a shaded road of the back country while traveling without purse or scrip.

Yes indeed, I spent some time remembering, thinking how different things are today. I guess we were just fighting a delaying action while time healed the wounds carried over from the early days of the Church. We could only testify that we knew that the gospel had been restored—that it was true—and hope for a better day, which has now arrived.

J. Herbert Hemet, California