Thank you for the Mormonisms in your August 1976 issue, I nearly laughed my sides off! I can just picture you all—surrounded by 3,000 photos—working late into the night and getting delirious. I didn’t get a chance to read the New Era until late into the night myself, and I was in a silly mood when I came across these photos. I wouldn’t mind if you captioned all 3,000 photos for your Mormonisms. Thanks for sharing some of your fun with us.
I am 14 years old, and I was born deaf. I have a very difficult time understanding speakers at sacrament meeting and teachers in Sunday School and at activity night. I attended a special seminary for the deaf, but it was not enough, so I started to read the New Era, and I enjoy it! Now I want to look back in the old magazines that my parents have saved, to read them all over again. The Mormonisms are my favorite, and I like the other departments and articles too. I am looking forward to seeing the next issue of the New Era. Thanks for saving my life from being handicapped!
Coleen Marie Johanson
Salt Lake City, Utah
Thank you for the New Era. It is the most beautiful magazine written for youth in the history of the Church, and the world, I think. It has taught me to appreciate myself and my life. I have learned to love the Lord. I know that he lives and that he loves me. The August 1976 issue is the first that I have read from cover to cover. I have been a member of the Church all of my life but was never really converted until early this year. I’m going to take out all my New Eras and read them to catch up on all I have missed. The article “Joseph Smith and the Lighter View” in the August issue showed me that Brother Joseph had more influence upon those he came in contact with than any other human being on earth except the Savior. Every story, every article, every photograph, every poem seems filled to the brim with inspiration, love, and the Spirit, and they make my heart and soul sing with joy. Even when friends and relatives come to my home and see a copy of the New Era lying on a table, they pick it up and read an article or two. Afterwards they seem to be filled with a little more peace of mind than when they came in.
I love our teenage boys’ New Era and find many things I can use in my Church position each month. I also enjoy talking to the boys about each issue. I am in the Gallup New Mexico Stake Relief Society presidency, and we have an intensive food storage program going in the stake. We love your little exhausted squirrel who finally has his year’s supply in the August Mormonisms. We can really empathize with him (or her).
Laurel E. Leany
Bluewater, New Mexico
I’m 18 years old and waiting in the Carson City (Nevada) Jail to go to court. I’m being tried for three counts of possession of marijuana. My parents came to visit me in jail, and I asked them to bring me some comic books to read. The next day I received a few books and the July issue of the New Era. I quickly put it under my mattress. The next day I went to court. The judge said I would probably get anywhere up to five years in the state prison. I came back very depressed. I picked up your magazine and began reading. I became interested in your articles. They made me feel relaxed and comfortable, a feeling I’ve never felt before. Keep on publishing—you never know what you might accomplish.
Feeling Better in Carson Jail
Carson City, Nevada
I have been a member of the Church since I was 10 years old. I don’t think I really knew what I was doing at first. I’ve been through my ups and downs in life, but right now I’ve made up my mind about what I want in life. In the last few weeks I have experienced the pressures of life and the hurt and loneliness of death. Last December I remember discussing the importance of reading and studying the gospel with my brother, Scott Macy. Scott wasn’t really a blood relative, but we were close enough to be. That December he sent me a letter that has a message for all of us. He wrote, “I think it’s really neat that you want to study the gospel more. It has everything anybody needs. How does it feel to be one of those who want, and can get, what is right?”
Scott’s goal in life was to serve a mission. Even though he was too young for a full-time mission, he was a great missionary to his friends and to everyone around him. On August 1,1976, Scott left to serve a mission for the Lord, but not on this earth.
I have received the New Era for many years, and I have just recently become interested in it. Feedback has been interesting to me. It helps me grow and want to learn what makes people so happy. The articles hit close to home and make me realize that I don’t have it so hard after all. I’m very thankful that my father has ordered the New Era even though no one would read it. Now I look forward to getting it. Scott’s question is very valuable. Can you answer it? Well, I can. It’s great!
The day after my 16th birthday I went out to my mailbox feeling that I needed a spiritual push in the right direction. There were some mysterious packages, the kind you usually receive on your birthday, but the thing that really caught my interest most was my May 1976 New Era. It’s the best birthday present I have ever received. Inside were more beautiful gifts than I could imagine. Each article said something to me or helped me do something to improve myself. “Youth Speak Out on Standards” reminded me to keep my clothes to Church standards and not think that just because I am 16 I can be slack. “Teacher, You’re My Best Friend” reminded me of how last summer I put on a play with kids six to twelve years of age, and how much those kids benefited from it. I then realized that I couldn’t let those kids down this year, and I did another play that raised 80 dollars for a charity. “How to Gain a Testimony” really shot out at me, because as an investigator I really need to realize how important it is to gain a testimony, and since then I have been striving hard for one. “Soldiers of God” reminded me to stick to the morals and values that I chose for myself four years ago—that is, to be chaste. “A Service Project with a Special Meaning” reminded me of a close call with death from which I escaped with a stronger testimony that God lives. “Hong Kong School Girl” reminded me of my Chinese friend who thinks that “there are many paths to the kingdom of heaven, and no matter which one you take, you will still get there.” That made me realize that I should share more of the Church with her. She’s interested, so I hope I will be able to let her see for herself the truths of life that I enjoy. “A Fable” built my morale and my ability to withstand criticism. Oftentimes my family members or nonmember friends are hard on me about the Church, and this article really gave me encouragement and strengthened my will not to let anyone persuade me to stop living the gospel.
“Oh Beautiful for Patriot Dream” helped me realize that I should be grateful for my country. “The Importance of Being Heard” struck home with me, too, because I often don’t let my mother know where I am going or how long I will be gone. This helped me overcome the communication problem in our home. “Okefenokee Swamp” brought back some quiet remembrances of times like those in the story. “Gold Mine” made me smile, remembering when I too learned that people are more important for what they are than all the riches in the world. “Stephen” was such a beautiful story that I read it over again after reading it through. It reminds me of a lady I know who is so very sweet although her bones and muscles are deteriorating. The story also made me want to be as well-loved as Stephen was, so I have been doing volunteer work at a restaurant to help raise money for the Peninsula Children’s Center, which helps all the emotionally disturbed children in our area. The other kids my age often say, “You don’t get paid? How stupid!” Well, when I think of Stephen, I realize that I have been overpaid in the happiness I have felt giving service to others. I even enjoy working hard when I have to wash dishes all day. And last but not least, I liked “Pondering Isn’t Preposterous” very much. I have been reading the scriptures every night since then, and I love it. Thank you.
Adriana Lillian Brown
Menlo Park, California