The message of the unknown tree house

The New Era is really an instrument for answering prayers. After hearing an inspirational talk on missionary work and how to prepare young men to serve, I desired to know how I could help my own two brothers develop the desire to serve. My thoughts of them were restless, so I decided to take my mind off the subject and flip through the pages of the August New Era. My eyes fell on the article “Tree Houses for Birds and Humans,” and there I saw my own “unknown tree house” with my younger brother waving at the window (my sister Kjirstin took the picture). I knew then the Lord’s comforting assurance that all was well—that although I was on my mission many miles away, all was fine at home. Thank you so much. The New Era is always a grateful surprise each zone conference.

Sister Jill Rasmussen Alabama Birmingham Mission

A word so close to home

Thank you for the story “A Word So Far Away” in the November New Era. It makes me realize just how important every single day is on a mission and how important it is to dedicate each of those days to the service of our God. A mission is the best thing that’s ever happened to me, and I surely appreciate the inspiring articles and stories you print each month. I know I can speak for all the missionaries throughout the world when I simply say “Thanks.”

Elder Pat Cummins Idaho Pocatello Mission

A welcome sight

I have been on a mission for the past two years, and wherever I have gone the New Era has always been a welcome sight. It has helped me throughout my entire mission. I trust the New Era will give me as much insight as ever when I start my life as a returned missionary.

Joel Ewell Lindon, Utah

The crystal ball

What kind of magic crystal ball do you use to know when to publish a particular article? The Message “Return with Honor” by Elder Robert D. Hales in the January New Era must have been written for my family. My brother was killed on Christmas Eve, and it’s hard to believe that it could happen to a young, good-looking guy like my brother. But it did, and this story by Elder Hales helped me to understand that there are two kinds of missions—the one we serve here on earth, and the kind my brother is serving in heaven. As a family we have experienced many tragic deaths. When two pieces of steel are welded together, the weld is always stronger than the steel, and our family has been welded together many times. I’m just grateful that I have the Church to lean on. it seems as if the harder I lean, the more strength I feel. And a big part of that strength comes from the New Era. Thank you for “our family’s own story.”

Alyson Lang Downey, California

Too many Scouts and skirts

I enjoy the New Era greatly and look forward to seeing it in our post office box every month. I could probably ramble on and on about how much I appreciate the New Era and how much it’s helped me, but instead I want to point out that the January/February issue was mostly built around the Young Women program and Scouting. There’s nothing wrong with that if you’re a young lady or interested in Scouting, but I’m a 17-year-old young man, and (with all due respect to my Scoutmaster) am not really interested in Scouting. I’m sure there are others who feel the same way I do.

I assure you that I am not trying to be negative or difficult. I thoroughly enjoy the New Era, and I am sure it has spiritually uplifted all of its readers.

Ron Bell Kirkersville, Ohio.

A beginning and ending poem

I have recently returned from a mission in the Florida Ft. Lauderdale (Spanish) Mission. Before my mission, while in a Sunday School class at Brigham Young University, my friend Laurel Stowe and I were trying to pay full attention to the teacher. But my attention was dwindling fast because I was excited. I was preparing to leave on a mission. A little later I leaned over to Laurel (my attention being almost gone) and asked her to please write me a poem, knowing her special talent. She did, to my delight! One day near the end of my mission, while in the office, my companion picked up the latest edition of the New Era and promptly asked me if this was my friend who wrote poetry. It was, and to my surprise, the poem was the one she had written for my mission! It was extra special because it appeared in October, which was my last month in the mission field. Thank you for this special surprise!

Claudia Waite Las Vegas, Nevada

Mmmmmmmmmm good!

I’m glad I subscribed to the New Era. I really enjoyed the story “Religion, Rebellion, and Rebecca” in the September issue. I liked the surprise ending. I made the hidden mint cookies mentioned in the article “An Old Family Recipe.” Mmmmmmmmmm good! I would like to see more recipes and crafts.

Bessie Brown Gilbert, Arizona

We’re proud to prod

I received my New Era subscription last year from a roommate at a dance camp. Each issue served to prod me to learn more about the LDS church and was also a reminder of a friend who had such strong faith in herself and her religion. In every issue of the New Era I have found either an answer to a question or else some other fact I didn’t know about the Church. I was baptized into the Church at the end of last summer and want to thank you for a publication that helped me so much. After being a member of two other faiths, I have found great joy in belonging to His Church and knowing the true and full gospel.

Cindy Overman Albuquerque, New Mexico

Falling back in

On July 2, 1977, I was baptized a member of the Church. Well, since then I’ve fallen out of it. My parents are not members, and not many other people that I know are either. Tonight I was feeling lonely, so I took out my copies of the New Era. After reading a few articles, I started to feel a lot better. I had a warm feeling in my heart, and I know that feeling was God’s love. Is there a branch or ward anywhere near Crane, Indiana?

Beth Wines Crane, Indiana

The loneliness left

We always enjoy the articles in the New Era. They bring an extra lift to our missionary life. We thought “A Merry Missionary Christmas” in the December issue was just splendid. As we looked at the pictures of missionaries, the loneliness left our hearts. We knew there were 26,000 other missionaries serving the Lord and sharing this great message with others throughout the world during this season. The mission field is one of the greatest places to be for Christmas, and we’re happy we were able to have at least one Christmas in our lives here.

Sister Eileen McGarvy, Sister Carol Lee Christensen Illinois Chicago Mission

Wrong letter given to Santa

There was an error in “A Merry Missionary Christmas” in the December New Era. In the photo marked “r,” the caption identifies the missionaries as Elders Nielson and McQueen. Well, I’m not in that picture. The elders are Elder Joseph L. Smith and Scott W. Heugly. The Santa Claus in the photo marked “ee” is me, though. I want everybody to know that although there isn’t much difference in the weather, Belgium is a much nicer place to live than the North Pole.

Elder Dale McQueen Belgium Brussels Mission

You are misleading readers

The article “Seven Easy Steps to Daily Scripture Reading” in the January/February issue states, “Aaron and Moses had the Urim and Thummim … and then Lehi and his family brought it to America.” You are misleading readers here. Lehi did not bring the Urim and Thummim to the Americas. The Jaredites did. Please read D&C 17:1, and Ether 3:23.

Sister Thelma H. Montgomery California Sacramento Mission

Sister Montgomery’s point is well taken.

It seems clear that the Urim and Thummim that Joseph Smith found in the Hill Cumorah was not brought to America by Lehi. Editor.

Worldwide impact

I just returned from South Africa and South America and the area conference tour with President Spencer W. Kimball. Everywhere I went people commented that they had read “The First Vision” (October 1977 New Era). The New Era is having a worldwide impact. When I get out into the field and see its influence in people’s lives, particularly among young people, it really impresses upon me the importance of what you are doing.

David K. Jacobs, Producer/Director Department of Film Production Brigham Young University