Gospel true

I enjoyed the August New Era very much. The cover is beautiful and mind-expanding. The talk by Elder Packer was stunning and very true of today. The article on Joseph Smith was very human. The song “Let Me Soar” is an inspired piece of work. The poetry and photography winners are choice, especially “Genesis 21:14.” The genealogical article is true to life. Missionary Focus is heartwarming. Mormonisms are funny, and “On Keeping a Diary” is sound. “Heartthrob Catastrophe” was mixed up and wild. A “More Abundant Life” is for all to have. Songs (“Let Me Soar”) are to be spiritual. Nicknames (“Living Up to Nicknames”) can be good or bad as we make them. The whole magazine is gospel true.

Frederick R. Clark Clearfield, Utah

A real guide

My sincere thanks for an outstanding magazine. It continues to be a real guide in my life. Being the daughter of a career Air Force officer, I often find myself in situations where opportunities for missionary work abound. At those times I am most grateful for the strength I have gained from the articles in the New Era.

Lisa Hancock Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania

Chuckle

I enjoyed the Mormonisms in the August New Era. Let’s see more of this kind.

Name withheld

Passing the buck

Elder Packer’s “Spiritual Crocodiles” and Leonard Arrington’s “Joseph Smith and the Lighter View” in the August New Era are target-centered. I never could feature a prophet, or the Savior himself, being humorless. Our Savior must combine a sense of humor with a deep seriousness of purpose. I cannot conceive of a god without these qualities.

I think Brother Dayley’s song “Let Me Soar” is great, but I have a word of criticism. The verses of the song say, “Let me” and “Trust in me,” placing the responsibility properly upon the individual. But the chorus says, “Reach out for the one who needs your love.” This change in person conveys a sense of passing the buck.

James D. Garner Payson, Utah

Tears and cheers

Thank you for an inspiring magazine. I’ve enjoyed the New Era’s colorful pages and motivational messages since the first issue, and now in the mission field it’s a real treasure. Recently my companion and I were confined to our apartment because of illness. I awoke one day to find him sitting on his bed leafing through a copy of the New Era and alternately laughing and crying, as I have done many times myself. Thank you for filling a real need and for carrying the Lord’s message to the youth of today.

Elder D. David Orr Argentina Buenos Aires South Mission

Missionary work is hard

I recently moved from the Fair Oaks California Stake to Alabama. Never before had I realized just how many people haven’t heard of the gospel. I was very active in the Church in California, and doing missionary work seemed very easy, since I had so many other LDS youth there to help me out. Missionary work is hard here and sometimes very discouraging. I am the only Latter-day Saint in my school, or in town for that matter, and many people find the gospel confusing, hard to accept, or both. I want you to know that I am truly grateful to the New Era and have found it to be a lot of help with my missionary work.

Teri Lee Rose Tuskegee, Alabama

Exciting, Inspiring, and Important

The May New Era is one of the most exciting, inspiring, and important magazines I have ever read. Every story had a message that helped me and was related to my problems. My favorites were “Stephen,” “Soldiers of God,” and “A Fable.” I would like to reprint “A Fable” in our school newspaper. Thank you, Brother Jeff Holland. Thank you, Sister Horton, for the inspiring biography of Stephen Farrance. I plan to use it this week in a sacrament meeting talk on “How the Church Affects Its Youth.” I’m looking forward to even more inspiring New Eras in the future.

Craig Owen Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

Moving on

The August issue of the New Era is almost everything I’ve really needed since summer began. The many articles on being a writer, and the superb examples, gave me a storehouse of ideas for future work of my own. The article on keeping a diary gave me new incentive for my droopy-eyed 1:00 A.M. recalls. Most important, I want to thank the New Era and Erin Silva for “The More Abundant Life.” I have been deeply touched because it is almost a carbon copy of my own experiences in school and after graduation. I found myself hanging onto the past of happy memories. About a week ago, through prayer, friendships, and your article, I realized that I had to move on. Everything is changing for me—for the better. Thank you for your part.

Trisha Archibald Wellsville, Utah

Thanks to Gerda’s granddaughter

Thank you with all my heart for “Gerda, I Love You” in the August New Era. My father has done extensive work on his genealogical lines. His spirit and stories of his experiences have always meant a lot to me, and yet, somehow, I could never get around to it myself. Gerda’s granddaughter has brought the beauty and real necessity of genealogy work home to me. I have begun seriously considering a mission, and I want to be ready to say “I know” to those I meet. Doing genealogical work so that my ancestors may receive the gospel is now at the top of my list for mission preparation—where it belongs.

Susan Morey Salt Lake City, Utah

Peanut butter praise

The New Era’s a great friend for all of the missionaries in the field. Here in Brazil it takes a little longer to receive each edition, but it’s worth the wait. And a few days after it comes, the pages are all crinkled and stained with peanut butter and honey, the paragraphs underlined. You can be sure there’s not an article that goes unread! Even my companion, who’s pushing 27, still reads the New Era, so at 20 I’ve still got a few years left. We give special thanks to Brother Kieth Merrill for his dynamite article “Deciding about Decisions.” My companion and I have had experiences just like his, so it was easy to relate to. Brother Merrill’s counsel will be ever-valuable in our lives with respect to our decisions in the future.

Elders Jonathan B. Wilcox and Robert E. Bromley Brazil São Paulo Mission

Just how lucky

When I read “Travail” in the April New Era and “Stephen” in the May New Era, I realized just how lucky I am. I was very touched by the girl who could type with one hand. I have trouble with moving keys, and I have two hands.

Tracy Osborne Upchurch, North Sittingbourne Kent, England

Spirit and determination

I found “Stephen” in the May New Era such a beautifully tender story that it brought tears to my eyes. Inspiring stories such as this make me very aware of how fortunate the majority of us are to have whole and unafflicted bodies. The spirit and determination of Stephen have given me a determination to be a strong person, to be aware of living days to their fullest, and to be forever thankful for being able to live and to have such good health. It is a true blessing. I’m very proud and thankful to be a part of this church. I was baptized nearly two months ago, and I have a very strong testimony. It’s a beautiful blessing to have the gift of the Holy Ghost. It gives me a lot of strength and personal guidance. I would be lost and wandering among many side streets instead of on the highway toward God if I didn’t have the Holy Ghost to direct me. Thank you for such a wonderful magazine for the youth of the Church. It really helps to build my testimony.

Deborah Steinborn Victoria, Australia

Wise beyond his years

I am 11 years old, and I am just starting to read the New Era. I read it every morning for a half hour during scripture study time at our home, and I find your stories very interesting.

Deborah Colling Fort Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Persuaded to ponder

The article “Pondering Isn’t Preposterous” in the May issue of the New Era has really persuaded me to start pondering the scriptures and has given me a very good idea of how to go about it.

Kathy Merewether Canoga Park, California