“Dear Journal”

I really enjoyed the article entitled “Dear Journal” in the August issue of the New Era. It was a great help to me because I too am keeping a journal where I can write freely the times and experiences of my life. I also keep a list of my goals and my thoughts about the gospel of Jesus Christ, as well as a list of poems, inspiring statements and sayings, pictures, and favorite scriptures. This really has helped me to grow and to prepare myself to meet God. I started keeping a journal because of the old saying “Why don’t you listen to us? We’ve been through the same things that you’re going through.” That doesn’t sound too convincing to me, so I decided I wanted to have something that would help my own children grow in this life without having to go through all the trying experiences I’ve gone through. Through my journal they can really see that I know what I’m talking about. Maybe it will even help them to understand me better. It has already served as a great missionary tool and reference book for talks. Even if it never does anything for anyone else, it’s really a wonderful way to help yourself to a big spiritual boost. I encourage everyone to keep a journal. Besides being helpful, it’s also fun to reread a firsthand account of some of those experiences that you never want to forget.

Laurie Lauritzen
Eugene, Oregon

I thoroughly enjoyed “Dear Journal” in the August issue. I have kept a diary for six years now and really didn’t know the significance of keeping a journal or what one included. The article helped me start my journal as a record of my inner feelings and spiritual experiences, not just a day-by-day account of anything that happens. It means so much now to reread the spiritual words and feelings that I could have forgotten.

Vicki Madsen
Roll, Arizona


I just devoured the August issue. What inspiration it contains, with testimonies and talents and treasures of a living gospel. “Dear Journal” is a verbal culmination of my thoughts on that subject too—so skillfully done. Thanks.

Susan Hill
Bloomington, Indiana

I loved them all

I was going to write and tell you how much I liked a particular story in the August New Era, but when I reviewed the magazine, I found that I loved them all. Each, in its own way, had a message for me personally. Since I’m a convert to the Church, although I haven’t been baptized yet, I could identify with the young man who wrote “Conversion in Israel.” “If Thou Art Willing” had something special to say about how I should set priorities in my life. I’m going to be starting college in the fall, so I know that most of the girl’s thoughts in “The Runaway” will be my own next summer. “Dear Journal” inspired me to start my own journal and do it the right way. Finally, “Nothing But a Title” was interesting because my sister and her family took part in the festival. The pictures and the poems throughout the issue were also magnificent. I just couldn’t get over how much one copy of the New Era could mean to me. It strengthens my testimony and touches my heart.

Laurie Jessiman
Olympia, Washington

Maybe …

I’d just like to say how much I enjoyed “Life in a Small Branch” in the October 1974 New Era. I belong to a small branch myself. We can’t get together and have big dances and such things, but we have small get-togethers where we have just as much fun. We have a special feeling for each of our brothers and sisters, and we’re all very close. Maybe we don’t have a chapel of our own; maybe the building we’re in is falling down; maybe there’s a hole in the roof, no heating, very little lighting; and maybe we have to bring our own sacrament water; but we don’t care. We have the Spirit with us, and we don’t take the Church for granted. We have four full-time missionaries with us, and we’re truly thankful that they do their work so well. Let’s not take our meeting places for granted, and let’s all remember how lucky we are to have the gospel in our lives. I love the Church, and I love all my brothers and sisters wherever you may be.

Judi Baines
Eccles, Manchester, England

No candy coating

Thank you for the most relevant periodical one can read. Particular laurels to Neal Maxwell’s “Spiritual Ecology” in the February issue. His thoughts continue to inspire me even though I have long since sent the article home to my nonmember parents. The New Era’s timely messages and outstanding art work are on an equal footing with any magazine I have ever read. The New Era confronts the real issues of todays’ inquiring youth and documents its stand with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Time and again the New Era has given me probing and meaningful explorations without any glossing or candy coating. It is one of the Church’s best tools for developing “messengers who can match the message” among our young people.

Elder Jonathan S. Durrett
Denmark Copenhagen Mission

Three yodels!

Thank you for a great missionary tool. The New Era, whether it’s working with the youth in Zermatt, or being read “inconspicuously” in an out-of-the-way train station to arouse curiosity, has always been just the clincher we’ve needed to kindle interest. Its professionalism impresses people, and the fact that it’s in English instead of French or German doesn’t seem to matter. Three yodels for the New Era!

Elders Michael Warner and Paul Smith
Switzerland Zurich Mission

Earning happiness

I just started taking the New Era, and the first story I read was “John and Mary, Beginning Life Together” by President Kimball. I really liked it because it taught me how to earn and keep happiness. I’d also like to thank Dana Trech for a letter to the editor in the May issue. I have a sister who sometimes makes me jealous, and I think that now when I start getting jealous I’ll remember what Dana said.

Rebecca Engle
Phoenix, Arizona

A lot like me

Although I am a nonmember, I love the New Era. I want to thank you for “Miracles” in the June issue and “A Lesson in Bravery” and “A German Girl’s Prayer Answered” in the April issue. I gain a little more knowledge and understanding from every story I read in the New Era. The girl in “A German Girl’s Prayer Answered” sounded a lot like me. I too was defensive at first, and I too was troubled by anti-Mormon literature, but the Spirit of the Lord seemed to radiate from the missionaries just as in the story. I have been coming out to church for a little over a year, and although my parents haven’t let me be baptized, I have gained a testimony, partly through reading the New Era. I have had to stand up for my newfound beliefs more than once, but I am grateful for the blessings of the gospel.

Laurel McGregor
Lowensville, Australia

A special day

I’m 17 years old, and today is a very special day for me because I’m getting baptized. I just finished reading “Conversion in Israel,” and I want to thank Stan Lerch for that beautiful story. It touched me very deeply. It seems as if every time I need something, it is there in the New Era. It is like a prayer being answered.

Peter Scrogin
Lake Oswego, Oregon

Sign of the times

Usually the elder is on a mission, but here in Fallbrook, California, the Mission is on the Elder.

Elder Michael Allred and Elder David Stuart
California San Diego Mission

A mystery

The front cover of the August New Era is a mystery to me—a big, red, ugly blob with strings yet. What is it, a guessing game?

Dorothy Parry
Granger, Utah

Would you believe a closeup of a raspberry? Editor.