The best

I have read almost all the New Eras all the way through this year. It is the best magazine! I especially liked the Message for December entitled “The Gifts of Christmas” by Elder Mark E. Petersen.

I gave a New Era subscription to two of my nonmember friends for Christmas this year. I have gained a stronger testimony by reading the New Era, and I hope this gift will help my friends get interested in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Thank you so much!

Kimberli Riser Roosevelt, Utah

Strength at the crossroads

I’d like to say thanks to Elder Monson for his article “Crisis at the Crossroads” in the November 1983 issue of the New Era. A week or so before reading it, I began to wonder if anyone was listening or could listen to me. Being a teenager is very exciting, depressing, and quite often a very trying period of life. While reading this article, I felt as if Elder Monson was speaking directly to me in trying to help me direct my life by making the right decisions. I now have something I can refer back to for added strength, something which I can relate to. Thank you.

Michelle Wilhelm Mt. Airy, Maryland

The five-year wait

The area in Australia where I live is not what you would call a very strong Latter-day Saint area, and being a nonmember makes it very hard for me to find any members with whom I can be friendly. In fact, the only times I get any information about the Church are the rare occasions when the missionaries call on me or when the New Era is delivered. So I have come to rely on the New Era a lot. It’s a great magazine, and it helps to shorten the five years I have to wait until I can be baptized without my parents’ consent. Thank you for a great magazine.

Steven Robson Morcell, Victoria, Australia

Wonderful pests and old buzzards

You are looking at a FIRST. I’ve never been impressed to write a letter to the editor until today. I’ve just read the little article “Wonderful Pest” by Glenn Latham in the December 1983 New Era. It made me think of Marian Jackson. Marian was the Blazer B leader in the Edgemont 8th Ward here in Provo when she decided that our son had lounged long enough at that “almost an Eagle” stage. He was about 15 when she took him under her wing. Under the guise of “helping her” with the Blazer B’s, our son began his final assault on his Eagle. And thanks to Marian, he made it!

Marian has six sons of her own, and if I’m not mistaken all are Eagles. I can’t begin to count the sons of other people who can credit her with their similar achievements. Marian was never thought of as a “wonderful pest,” but as I tried to thank her for the inspiration and motivation and hours of service to our son, she laughingly replied, “Oh, behind every Eagle there’s an old buzzard.”

It’s a “dirty job,” but aren’t we glad someone—Jeff Sessions, Marian Jackson, and many, many others—are willing to do it! God bless those wonderful pests and old buzzards everywhere! P.S. Even parents are sometimes successful as old buzzards—and it’s not really such a dirty job. It’s really lots of fun, as we learned with our second Eagle.

Ann Jamison Provo, Utah

Brightness in a box

I’d like to thank you for the time and effort put into the New Era. Each article is a source of inspiration to me. It really brightens up my day to find the New Era in my mailbox each month.

Shauna Rea Los Alamos, New Mexico

Ever since 1980

I’m enjoying every article in the New Era. Ever since 1980 I’ve read every issue. The New Era is a terrific magazine for the youth to read. Keep on publishing, and I’ll keep on reading. Every story is great. I use them in my talks. The New Era is the best.

Robert Kelley Valmeyer, Illinois

Keeping up

I am a nonmember but have been reading the New Era for more than two years. Thank you for a very enjoyable and informative magazine. Keep up the great work!

Kelley Odom St. Louis, Missouri

Egyptian ice cream

Each time I look at the first page of “Land of the Pharaohs” in the September 1983 New Era, I have to swallow hard to hold back tears. I wish I were erudite of mind and large enough of heart to express the beauty of Anselm Spring’s photography and its admirable display with those fascinating designs. I’m wearing out the pages, aching and inwardly weeping.

And Richard M. Romney’s words! I do love poetic writing. My mind and senses have licked the first two columns over and over like an ice cream cone, newly delighted with each lick.

There is a usage, however, that distresses me exceedingly. Brother Romney refers to people’s homes as “mud huts.” Are those the mud huts he refers to on page 27? What a picture those lovely domes make, arching against the sun’s blaze. This is masterful architecture adapted to the climate and available raw materials.

Grace Pratt Laie, Hawaii

Editor’s note: The domed structures referred to are in reality sepulchers. Many of the people live in small, square dwellings made of sticks and mud.