Paradise found

Many thanks to the New Era and Marilyn Arnold for “John Milton: An Inspired Man.” It is astounding how many correlations there are between Mormon thought and the poetry of John Milton.

Gerald O. Lynn Burbank, California

Don’t knock concordances

In the article “But It Was in Amos Last Time I Looked!” in the November New Era, Brother Wilkins gives some great ideas for marking the scriptures. He does, however, put down concordances unjustly. I would suggest that while marking the scriptures we should be marking the concordance as well. Add key words and references that you would use and personalize your concordance so that it becomes a valuable index to the standard works. Let’s use Brother Wilkins’s example of Amos 3:7. If could be referenced under prophet, secret, or whatever other word a person would be sure to remember it by. A concordance is a ready-made index to the scriptures, but none of the concordances bound in with our standard works will be complete enough for each of us. Add to your concordances and cross references in the scriptures, and you will find that you will skip “the concordance fiasco” and that you will be able to find your references much more quickly and easily.

Thomas Kemp South Norwalk, Connecticut

An infectious spirit

As two missionary sisters currently serving in the England Bristol Mission, we have really appreciated the New Era during the past week. One of us has had a contagious throat infection, so we weren’t allowed to contact people. The doctor said, “Do not spread the gospel or your germs!” Hence we’ve had plenty of time to study. Although none of the New Eras in our flat are too up to date, the oldies gave us plenty of “food for thought.” Keep up the good articles!

Sisters Reid and Hornby England Bristol Mission

“The Sacramental Covenant”

I am the teachers quorum president of the San Jose Second Ward in the San Jose California Stake. I want to thank you so much for including the article “The Sacramental Covenant” in the January issue of the New Era. Tears came to my eyes as I pictured our Savior going through what he did, and our Father in heaven having to suffer through it too. It has really given me a new perspective on the sacrament and helped my increasing testimony grow so much more. I love the gospel and the Church and this magazine.

Mark Sheldon San Jose, California

What it’s really all about

I have only received a few New Eras since I’ve been out on my mission. Perhaps that’s why I am truly thankful for the ones I get. January’s Photo of the Month brought tears to me. I’ve always heard that “big boys don’t cry,” but when I read the poem and looked at its accompanying picture, I just broke out with tears of happiness. That’s what it’s really all about; that’s why I’m here. I reflect upon it in hard times. It helps me to remember that’s the way it is, the way it must be. That’s why I’m writing this to all the people who shared the poem and picture with me. I’d like to share with the world my tears—they’re tears any grown man could be proud of.

Elder Wally Jacobson Arkansas Little Rock Mission

ESP

The New Era has confirmed my belief in ESP—Extra Spiritual Protection. Since I came on my mission, the New Era has ranked second only to the standard works. It seems like every issue is designed with one of my problems in mind. I felt it was merely a coincidence until I picked up your April issue. It was my birthday, and the mission president called to tell me my father had passed away. Needless to say, it was quite a blow, but my district leader had given us the April magazine, and as I picked it up, it fell open to the article “What Is the Purpose of Suffering?” You can’t realize the strength it gave me to continue my work. I have since learned that my father knew he wasn’t going to be alive when I returned, but he didn’t tell me because he wanted to see me go on my mission. I want to thank Kenneth H. Beesley for writing the article. Every month I become more convinced that the New Era articles are inspired. I hope they can offer other people as much strength as they have me. My only regret is that the magazine comes out only once a month.

Elder Robert Jefferson Busch, Jr. England Bristol Mission

Friends for all eternity

My heart pounded as I read “If It Isn’t Too Late, Thanks” by Elder Simpson in the November New Era. I’m a missionary in the Japan Kobe Mission. I’ve had many great teachers, leaders, and friends who have influenced my life so greatly. There’s one friend in particular who has been a great example to me in my life. After reading the article I wrote and told him how I felt. I felt even closer to him than I did during high school and seminary days. Friends from home, college, and now from among the Japanese people will be friends for all eternity.

Elder Bruce Hager Japan Kobe Mission

Thanks so much for printing “The Sacramental Covenant” in the January issue. It was very inspiring and just what I needed to help me better understand the sacrifice that our Savior and Heavenly Father made for us. “Once upon a Time There Was a Flabby Heart” was a great article and really motivated me to exercise. “John Milton: An Inspired Man” was very well done and made me want to read Paradise Lost. I guess I could go on about the whole January New Era. I hope the rest of the year’s issues are just as great. When I first started reading the New Era, I just read a few articles and Mormonisms. Now I read the entire magazine from cover to cover—and love it! The youth of the Church are fortunate to have such an inspiring magazine.

Beverly Rust Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Any more than a bath

You must know exactly what is on my mind each time you publish an issue of the New Era. Each issue seems to answer the specific problems that I am having at the time I receive it. For instance, just lately I have been really thinking about temple marriage. I don’t date a lot of member boys for the simple reason that they don’t ask me. I’ve been rationalizing, thinking it wouldn’t be all that bad to marry outside the Church. Of course, I know better, but sometimes I need reminding. This June issue is the best kind of reminder I could have. I really love the Lord and want to serve him, and I want to be married in the temple for time and all eternity. I never intend to lose sight of this goal, but thank goodness someone knows that some of us need constant reminders. Like the man said, “Inspiration doesn’t last any more than a bath.”

Darcia L. Bench Glendale, Arizona

Able to say yes

What an extra special thrill the February New Era was. I especially enjoyed President Kimball’s message on temple marriage. With so many people hawking products that are bad for us, it’s a thrill to be able to say yes to something that is good for us—a temple marriage.

Karen Dietz Seattle, Washington

“I’d miss lunch”

For several years I have wanted to write and express my appreciation for the New Era. If I started to list all the articles that impressed me, I wouldn’t finish until about 3:00 this afternoon, and then I’d miss lunch. But I’d like to say a special thanks for the cover and Photo of the Month in the November issue. “But It Was in Amos Last Time I Looked” and “If it Isn’t Too Late, Thanks” were also super.

Martell Bennion Ricks College

Reading seriously

My testimony has grown since I started to read the New Era seriously. We are blessed in the Church to have such a great strength.

June Pearson Heber, Utah