The way they were

Thank you for the article “By the Way She Is” in the September issue. I have been through the pre-mission experience and I’m thankful that the girls I associated with had the right values.

Elder Dirk V. Kotter Minnesota Minneapolis Mission

One Way

I was passing the Ogden Temple one day and noted with some surprise that the Ogden street department agrees with our beliefs on temple marriage.

Twila Stott Ogden, Utah

Boy, was I ever wrong!

I am currently serving as a missionary. Four years ago I was an inactive college student. I would like to share an experience from then and now with you. One day in college I was in the LDS institute of religion just seething with rebellion. I picked up a copy of the New Era, glanced through it, and discarded it as having no relevance to me. Boy, was I ever wrong! Just the other day in an old stack of New Eras I found the exact same issue. Out of curiosity I sat down to read it. Amazingly, I found an article that really helped me find an answer to a problem I wondered about. In fact, I read the whole magazine and found it fascinating. The gospel changes lives, and I’m grateful for it.

Elder Robin Williams Iowa Des Moines Mission

Lucky locker

I’ve never written to a magazine before, but I would feel guilty if I didn’t write and tell you how much I enjoy your Photos of the Month and Mormonisms. My friend and I share a locker at school, and we decided to put some of our favorite New Era photos in it. They really start our day off in a good way.

Sandy Martini Livermore, California

When I was inactive

When I was inactive, I wouldn’t have much to do with the Church, but I always read the New Era and always got something out of it, and it helped me to realize that the Church really has it all together and helps us to live our lives the way our Heavenly Father would want us to. Now I refer to the New Era all the time for talks and lessons that I have to give.

Liz Wallace Poway, California

Not only the “beautiful people”

Jack Weyland’s story “The Least of These, My Brother” in the November New Era was truly an inspiration to me. It caused me to ponder the times when I and other missionaries have stood proudly beside our newly baptized contacts who aren’t always of the “beautiful people” set. I still love these people with all my heart.

They aren’t always doctors, lawyers, athletes, or cheerleaders, but they are children of God. I find that most of these people gain a new inner strength as they accept the gospel and can overcome the suppression they have suffered in their lives and become leaders in the Church. But I often think of the others, the ones who need to be helped and nurtured but aren’t because they’re not “beautiful people.” Often they fall away with a feeling that “I’m still a nobody.” Another beautiful gospel light is snuffed. This story is a fantastic missionary tool, which is only right because the whole New Era is a fantastic missionary tool. I’m thankful for the inspiration it gives me.

Elder Peter A. Kuettil Canada Vancouver Mission

All five

My companion and I just received our supply of Church magazines. I read some of the articles in the June New Era, but I had a feeling deep down inside me that there was something special and dear to me still unread. I finally came across “Deciding About Decisions” by Kieth Merrill. It really struck home with me. I have been having problems about decisions, but I couldn’t figure out how to overcome them. This article really helped me. I’m giving heed to Brother Merrill’s five commitments from now on. I had already planned to do some of them, but now I’m doing all of them and more.

Elder Donald Ray Turner England Bristol Mission

Ahead and closer

I was spiritually uplifted by the August issue of the New Era, as I am by every issue. They have never failed to give me a boost and encourage me in all my endeavors. The counsel, testimonies, and experiences of others are deeply appreciated. I thoroughly enjoyed Elder Boyd K. Packer’s “Spiritual Crocodiles” and Marvin Payne’s “Some Thoughts on Songwriting.” If the youth of today would listen to music like Marvin Payne’s rather than the hard, suggestive songs that are popular, we would all be ahead and closer to our Heavenly Father.

Karolee Young Springdale, Utah

Real answers

I was touched by President Romney’s “How to Gain a Testimony” in the May New Era. Like President Romney, I can’t remember a time when I haven’t felt good about the message of the restoration. It is presently my privilege to declare this news to a people I love very much here in Great Britain. The inner conviction that comes with this knowledge gives me the courage to declare this message to the very learned as well as the unlearned. As that conviction has grown within me, I have received real answers about what my companion and I should do when we simply could not seem to go any further with certain families. Because of inspiration we have been able to do the right thing and help these people join the Church.

Elder Scott G. Smith England Bristol Mission

The man called by God

I would like to express appreciation to the New Era and Brother Arrington for his very readable article in the August New Era—“Joseph Smith and the Lighter View.” As missionaries, it is important for us to know and understand the story of the man called by God to restore His gospel in these latter days. Although I’ve long been a student of the life of President Smith, this article was particularly adept at bringing to life the true image and personality of the Prophet. I’ve told the Joseph Smith story many times and will continue to do so, but I’m sure in the future I will be able to express more realistically and more personally the events that led to the reestablishment of the Lord’s church on earth.

Elder L. D. Hamner Virginia Roanoke Mission

The happiest people in the world

I was preparing a media experience for my communications class at BYU when I read the article “Trapped by the Average.” It talked about a man who had destroyed his family structure through almost every vice possible but justified himself by saying, “Everyone has his little problems.” It can’t be stressed enough how important the family unit is. The family is what the Church is based upon, and the happiest people in the world are those with happy families. This article made me realize what a great family I have and what a wonderful church this is.

Brent S. E. Rich Provo, Utah

Wisdom in thy youth

Thank you so much for the inspired articles that are printed in the New Era each month. The stories and the examples of all these great teachers have helped me, along with many other youth I know, throughout my life. The New Era helps me obey the counsel in the Book of Mormon: “And learn wisdom in thy youth; yea, learn in thy youth to keep the commandments of God.” (Alma 37:35.) By following the scriptures and the inspired teachings in this wonderful magazine, we can gain so many blessings. May we be outstanding examples for the world in these last days.

Elder Joseph H. Burleson Florida Fort Lauderdale Mission

I love everyone

I love the New Eras that come to me every month. I like the touching stories and the scenes of mountains and countries. I especially liked the story called “Thoughts on Reservations” in the July issue. I love everyone on earth, and I have no enemies—even if I do get into arguments occasionally. I hope the next New Era will be just as exciting as this month’s.

Anna Calling Fort Langley, British Columbia, Canada