Super in every way but “ficial”

I’m an 18-year-old girl living in Germany. Last year we had an American girl who stayed with us for some time, and she was a Mormon. I was impressed by that girl and the way she managed her life. Then she told me about the Mormons. Even though I had never heard about that religion, I immediately understood her. From that time on I have been very interested in Mormonism, and what I have found out about it is fantastic! I’m still not a member, but that is because of my mother. She doesn’t want me to join the Church. I thought about being just nothing—an atheist—but I soon found out that I became very superficial and that I needed something to believe in. I’m convinced that being a Mormon would be the best for me. I have received this fantastic magazine for half a year now as a gift from the American girl, and it has helped convince me. It’s the best magazine I have ever read. I want to thank you because it has helped me find my way and understand other people better. It has made me a better girl, a girl who thinks about life and faces problems and is not superficial. Since there are no Mormons in my town, my only information comes from you.

Tina Strick Weeze, Germany

The only contact

When my teenage daughter ran away from home, we were unable to persuade her to return, but we asked her to at least attend her meetings. She didn’t. The New Era was the only contact she had with the Church for over four years because of her hostility toward all Church members. But the New Era came to her every month, she read it regularly, and recently she came home, graduated from high school, and is now preparing to go to college on a national scholarship. She isn’t active in the Church yet, but she is home and safe and still reading your magazine.

Name Withheld

“The Dark Blue Suit”

My companion and I received the July New Era today. I just finished reading “The Dark Blue Suit” by President Robert B. Beitler. Please thank him for sharing such a touching story about the true spirit of dedication. It really helped me become more humble and realize how fortunate I am. The New Era articles are always uplifting. I know that many missionaries look forward to obtaining an issue each month.

Elder Michael E. Seddon California Sacramento Mission

Speak out!

I really enjoyed “Youth Speaker” in the July New Era. What it had to say was really true. Those little scary thoughts do pop into your head when you are sitting up on the stand. But just remember that you are speaking to your brothers and sisters, and that you’ve got a message. So speak out!

Linda Elder Carmichael, California

For the first time in my life

For the first time in my life I read the entire New Era (July issue) from cover to cover. I’ve always wanted to, but I felt I didn’t have time. First I’d turn to the Mormonisms, then I’d read the fiction story, and finally I’d flip through to see all the beautiful pictures. But then I thought of all the time I waste watching television or gabbing on the phone, and I knew that I really do have enough time. So I finally read the whole thing, and I don’t think I’ve ever spent time so well! Every article has a special purpose and meaning, and I can promise you that I’m not going to miss any more in the future. Now I have to find all of the past issues and read the priceless articles I’ve been missing.

Robin L. Till Wilmington, Delaware

Prayer

Thank you for printing the beautiful article “Prayer” by President Kimball in the March New Era. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was impressed by its wisdom and understanding. It has helped me to be a better servant of my Heavenly Father. It made me recognize the real importance of prayer. I’m thankful for that.

Elder Mark Froelich Iowa Des Moines Mission

Forever!!!

I just started reading the New Era, and I think it’s great. Keep them coming! In the July issue there was an article by Lisa Olsen called “Family Night at the Prom.” This was an excellent and funny article. Believe it or not, it was written by my Primary teacher. I just wanted you to know. I will read the New Era forever.

Kris Roper Sacramento, California

Shirts and suits

I was very deeply impressed by “The Dark Blue Suit” in the July New Era and by “When White Shirts Turn Gray” in the December 1977 issue. Both of these stories added inspiration and enthusiasm to my missionary work. I feel so good inside hearing stories of elders in the field and special things that happen to them to build their testimonies.

Elder John E. Hagen Florida Tallahassee Mission

Lost, lonely, and scared

Thank you for the very helpful Mormonad by Dianne Dibb Forbis in the May New Era. Where I am at right now I feel weak and inadequate. In fact, sometimes I feel lost, lonely, and scared. I know I have a long way to go, but this message brought me strength.

Michael Holden

Other young Mormons

Thank you for the fantastic magazine. We have only just recently begun receiving it, and I love the stories, letters, and Mormonisms. But what I like best is reading about what other young Mormons like myself do in other parts of the world.

Cheryl Milne Milnetown, Cape Town, South Africa

A striking rebuke

I object to a Mormonism by Vera Bigelow in the March New Era. She seems to think (and the New Era seems to agree) that it is a subject of amusement that her child actually expects to be struck in an LDS chapel by an LDS mother. I find it a matter for sadness, not levity, especially when I think of the anecdote sinking into the minds of teenagers who will someday be parents. It is not necessary to strike children to keep them quiet in meetings. What is necessary is to train young mothers to train their children all week for Sunday worship. Don’t let them run wild all week and then expect them to immediately sit quiet because you say so, but have quiet times at home when a mother and child sit together and look at books or play a game. Then sitting quietly by Mother on Sunday is not a strange thing to them. It is so simple, and there is no need for hitting at all. I have coped with two children under the age of two years and two older ones, too, so I know what it can be like. Why did Sister Bigelow need to strike her child? Had she no soft, quiet toys? Had she no idea of a 15-minute cuddle time? These things help to pass the long hour and a half of sacrament meeting for a child’s active little spirit. Perhaps she could have given her little girl a dolly and said, “Sit and love Dolly to sleep.” Maybe only 15 minutes would result, but it would have been a start. I can honestly say I have never hit any of my four children in the chapel. Please, never, never again suggest that there is any amusement in striking a child!

Enid A. Scholls Wellington, Telford, Salop, England

Two friends Instead of one

I’d like to say thank you with a capital T for the New Era magazine. I’m 15 years old now and still have a problem deciding which I like best, the Friend or the New Era. There are 11 in our family, and some of us, the younger ones, still argue about who gets to look at the Friend first when it comes in the mail. Both magazines carry messages that are very important, and I don’t want to miss out, especially on the puzzles and Mormonisms! Thank you for the stories and other information you print. Every month the New Era answers a question or solves a problem.

Gyll Gentry Bristol, Florida

Living color

I thoroughly enjoyed the last three issues of the New Era—my first three issues since receiving a gift subscription from the sister who is 75 percent responsible for my conversion—as if she hadn’t already done enough! Now this fantastic magazine! The New Era serves a great purpose, mainly in recharging my testimony during those infinities between Sundays and in just uplifting me in general. Thank you for showing me that there are many, many other kids my age (18) living as “squarely” as I do and getting much more satisfaction from life than our “hip” peers. The gospel is true. It has to be. The kids who have been raised on it are living proof! I especially enjoy the many color pictures. The New Era is just like my life. For a very small price it has gone from black and white to living color!

Jay Strickwerda Helendale, California