Bravo and beware

Flying home from Yale Divinity School to California to spend the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur with my family, I put aside my books on theology, Biblical criticism, and religious history to glance at the New Era member-missionary issue. The New Era offered more than the other books combined. I couldn’t read just one article. It thrilled me to realize anew what sensitive, spiritually relevant treatment the New Era gives to a wide range of issues in the lives of young (and not so young) Latter-day Saints. I especially appreciated the story “Onward Christian Soldiers” for its frank and graceful perspective on the good, fervent Christian who mistrusts the LDS church. One minor warning—beware of pushing the gospel as the “in thing.” There is a hint of this in “A Six-Month Smile” when you speak of students at an Idaho high school wanting to receive the New Era as a sign of popularity.

Annette Lantos New Haven, Connecticut

You’ve done it again!

I am a 28-year-old housewife with two young children, and I love the New Era. In the October issue I especially enjoyed Ann Madsen’s article “I Thought You’d Never Ask!” It really gave me the impetus I need to be not only more brave, but more skillful at being a member-missionary. I have always known how important the work is but have been unsure about the best approach. I know Sister Madsen has had a lot of experience in this area, and so this article meant even more coming from her. I also enjoyed “That They May Know.” As a matter of fact, the whole issue was great. You’ve done it again!

Susan Cannon McOmber Piedmont, California

An even greater gift

I am 14 and just getting into the New Era. The October member-missionary issue is doing a lot for me. It made me realize how much I can gain by really sharing the gospel. Because of this issue I have sent gift subscriptions to two friends. This is more than just a great gift for them. It is an even greater gift to me to share the truth with my friends.

Cindy Stigall Hemet, California

The write time

Many times in the past while reading the New Era I have felt the urge to write and tell you thanks for the wonderful magazine. I have just read the October member-missionary issue, and I knew that now was the time to write. I have lived in Utah most of my life, but presently I am an exchange student in Mexico. While I was waiting for my subscription to come, one of the elders loaned me his copy to read. The theme of the issue was perfect. It was literally an answer to my prayers. I have been talking to another girl from the states about the gospel. The advice throughout the magazine helped me gain a greater insight into how to share the gospel with her. Thank you for the New Era. It brings as much joy as a letter from home.

LoAndra Gorg Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico

Sixty-month smile

I especially appreciated the October New Era on missionary work. It made me realize that it is easy to talk to friends about the Church, and it helped me recommit myself to share the gospel with others. Because of my love for the gospel and for the New Era, I’m going to send a loving six-month smile to ten of those I love. I am enclosing their names, addresses, and as you put it, missionary money from many missed movies.

Brad Adams Keflavik NATO Base, Iceland

Young Lady Paul

It was gratifying to read “Old Lady Paul” (September New Era) written by a classmate about a former teacher. She was, and still is, one of the great teachers and has touched the lives of many people. However, the article left an unfair impression that Sister Paul is now being overcome by the years. This is not true, and because of the deep respect I have for this remarkable sister, I would like to set the record straight. At 78 Sister Paul has overcome many infirmities (including surgery to replace a hip socket) and leads an active life, blessing and inspiring others. She is a member of the Utah Associated Artists and continues to teach, lecture, and paint (often on location). She has won numerous art awards in shows throughout the state, and currently has a one-woman show of 30 paintings on display at a local hospital. In her home ward she served for years as the inservice instructor and is currently the Relief Society Spiritual Living teacher. Her mind is keen, and she is well-informed about local, national and world events. She recently attended the two-day International Woman’s Year convention as a voting participant. The story of her life is inspiring and well worth writing, but perhaps it should be titled “Young Lady Paul!”

T. S. M. Davenport Clearfield, Utah

In praise of sun prayers

Thanks for the October missionary issue of the New Era. The article on the film “The First Vision” was very timely for our seminaries. My class and I viewed that film this last week, and it is very spiritual and very moving. It is a great missionary tool and a wonderful testimony builder. Our sincere thanks to all who “prayed for sun” and studied and worked diligently to further the Lord’s work through such a fine film as this.

Shanna Moss Palisade, Colorado

Children

I just had to thank you for the lovely piece of music “Children” in the August New Era. I fell in love with it from the moment I read the words, and the music is so peaceful and beautiful too. Anyone who hasn’t taken the time to play it should do so right away. Beautiful music does wonders for our spirits, and this piece is indeed beautiful.

Mrs. Glade Crowther Alamosa, Colorado

“Lovely Was the Morning”

I was very glad to see the article “Lovely Was the Morning” in the October New Era. I saw the film The First Vision shortly before I was baptized, during the time that I was trying to get permission for baptism. It helped to strengthen my testimony, and the article about it brings back many spiritual memories.

Ann Crowell Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada

A scary experience

Thank You for Jack Weyland’s “Onward Christian Soldiers” in the October New Era. It was motivational to me as well as to others who don’t attend BYU or Ricks. It takes plenty of courage to face the real world on a non-LDS campus. Issues such as immorality, drugs, and the worldly philosophies are a challenge to meet. Conflicts like Mark and Sara faced are not fictitious at all. They are real-life problems that youth must face, and they either strengthen or weaken your testimony depending on how you meet them. It can be a scary experience.

Steve Marcum Boise State University, Boise, Idaho

Mormonadvantage

It’s amazing how useful and important the New Era is in doing missionary work. I marvel at how many articles relate directly to my questions and the questions of our investigators. I have found the Mormonads especially useful in presenting short but thought-provoking messages. If I were to give any reading material to any of my nonmember friends, the New Era would certainly be my choice.

Elder Ricky G. Porter Virginia Roanoke Mission

Overwhelming October

My heart was full this morning as I left our early morning seminary class. We’ve had a very spiritual week learning of Joseph Smith, his first vision, and his teenage years. Today we talked about that day 150 years ago when Joseph was finally allowed to remove the golden plates from the hill. It was a special day for us. Then to pick up the mail and find the October issue of the New Era with the picture of Joseph and the story of the first vision was overwhelming! As usual I’ll have to read through the whole magazine before our three boys get home from school. Thank you for a wonderful magazine and for its influence on our young people and their teachers.

Deneice Murray Tehachapi, California

The popcorn principle

Thank you for the wonderful October issue of the New Era. For almost two years I have been able to utilize the New Era in many ways as a missionary. I especially enjoyed the story “Onward Christian Soldiers.” The Mormonad really impressed a popcorn-loving contact. She read the entire issue. Thank you, Jeanie Carnahan and Lonnie Lonczyna.

Elder Eldon McMurray South Dakota Rapid City Mission