The New Era continues to exhibit a freshness and exuberance that make it addictive reading, particularly when one is continually bombarded by the clever cynicism in much of contemporary literature. Congratulations on leading the field in creating a “style of our own!”

Peter B. Ball
Dublin, Ireland

Alone in the Church

I have just finished reading “Taking upon Us His Name” in the April 1982 New Era. It is exactly the article I needed to read at this time. Thank you!

My only daughter, Audrey, and I were both baptized in 1976. She was 15 at the time. She went on to Ricks College, where she met her husband. They were married in the Idaho Falls Temple in December of 1980, and they are expecting their first child in late June. I’m so very happy for them.

On the other hand, since Audrey is gone, I’m all alone in the Church. I have gone to church alone and prayed alone. My spirituality has slowly dwindled away. It’s not much fun when an individual doesn’t have anyone in the family to communicate with on a spiritual level. I have prayed for my spirituality to come back. This article by Sister Ardeth Kapp has increased my testimony quite a bit.

How frail our mortal testimony can be when we are not encouraged by others, be it family or friends. I realized while reading that article that I don’t really need outside help. What matters most is what I feel deep in my heart. All I need is to know that our Heavenly Father loves me unconditionally.

I will continue to pray that other members of my family will be touched by the Holy Spirit as Audrey and I were. I pray that they will someday soon know all about the only true Church here on the earth. I read the New Era from cover to cover every time it comes.

Marina Dougan
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

I would have lost it all

Congratulations on the fine article “Into the Wild Blue Yonder” in the June New Era. I feel very honored to have been mentioned and very honored that the LDS Cadet Group was presented so favorably.

I would like to thank Brother Richard Romney for the time and effort he gave to telling our story. Perhaps now more young men will learn that they do not have to decline an opportunity to serve their country in order to serve as a missionary for the Church.

My work and life have truly been blessed since I left the United States Air Force Academy. While being a “grad” has definitely proven to be an advantage, being LDS and trying hard to live in the light of the gospel has made the greatest difference.

I am working at the headquarters of the Strategic Air Command. The pressures of working at a headquarters base can be overwhelming, and my first real encounters with “people management” have been quite an experience. The pressures aren’t so great, however, when one has the strength of the true gospel and one’s life is measured against eternity rather than against tomorrow. And there is no greater instruction in “people maintenance” than the example of Jesus Christ. At times it has been tough to love my neighbor, but it seems that only when one serves in the spirit of love can he truly be a leader.

The academy years were definitely worth it. The education was absolutely first-rate. The friends I made seem to grow closer even though we’re now separated. But I fear I would have lost it all if I had not joined the Church. Only after I joined did I learn to enjoy life and find the strength to press forward and persevere.

I truly admire Brother Romney’s talent as a writer, photographer, and editor. Thank you for the wonderful article.

Lt. Michael E. Dalby
La Vista, Nebraska

Good ol’ Alaskans

I recently got hold of an old back issue (July 1977) of the New Era that brought back a lot of memories. It contained an article about an Alaskan youth conference that I was able to attend. I can still remember the looks and voices and the wonderful spirit of the youth! I remember Elder Paul H. Dunn coming in by helicopter to the lake where we spent the day. It was a wonderful time.

Since then our family has moved, but now and then I bump into someone who remembers the summer of ’77 in Alaska. It’s wonderful to know that the youth of the Church have that special spirit that goes with them wherever they are. At Ricks College I’ve met a lot of good ol’ Alaskans. The Church is strong in Alaska. Already there are two stakes in Anchorage. The youth in Alaska are very special, and I’m proud to have had a glimpse of the spirit there.

Elder Patrick Eugene Fitch
South Africa Johannesburg Mission

A personal rainbow

I am writing to express my enjoyment of “A Personal Rainbow” in the August 1981 New Era. I have loved looking at stained glass my entire life, and I enjoyed reading about someone who creates it as a hobby.

Tammi White
Orem, Utah

Just another boring magazine

I want you to know how pleased I am with the New Era. My mother got me reading it when I was ten years old. At first I thought it would be just another boring magazine. But I have found that it is excellent! I’ve read all the issues we have in the house.

Lori Jane Taylor
Phoenix, Arizona