Several years ago I wrote a story about my sister and submitted it to you. It was published in the April 1984 issue under the title “Lifeline.” It told of my little sister’s trials during the time she lived with my father (a Baptist minister) in southern Georgia. The story described the heartache she felt at being cut off from the Church she loves and the help she received when her home teachers listened to the promptings of the Spirit and came to visit her.
My sister (Jean Swilley) remained true to the gospel and passed through the refiner’s fire. She moved to Chicago in July of 1984 to live with my mother. Jean became active in her ward, and before long her bubbly spirit was charming the members in Illinois just as it once had in Mississippi. My Mom could not help but be influenced by the strength of Jean’s testimony, and she began her journey back into the fold of the Church. Both she and her new husband are now strong, active members of their ward. They are very happy even though they miss my sister very much.
Jean left Chicago last week to enter the MTC. Though she always insisted she had no desire to go on a mission, she obeyed her Father’s call and is now a very excited sister earnestly studying her discussions in Swedish. Though I am sure Jean will face many a refiner’s fire in Sweden, I know that she will come through them clinging to the lifeline her Father tossed to her many years ago. We thought you might like to know. Thanks again for printing Jean’s story.
Elizabeth (Swilley) Sheridan
Irmo, South Carolina
My husband and I have started receiving the New Era and Ensign. We have been married seven months and haven’t been able to afford to subscribe to the Church magazines. I’m thankful to my parents for giving them to us as a birthday present. They also know how I enjoy the music, Feedback, FYI, and articles.
I play the piano, and the music is so special. It’s nice to have for special occasions and holidays. I’m so glad that the Church publishes such terrific magazines. I believe that they are published by inspiration.
I would like to thank you for the fiction story in the January 1986 issue entitled “Name Them One by One.” It seemed as if Sherrie Johnson was talking right to me! She has just the right touch. I can’t wait to read the New Era every month. My older sister and I fight over every issue! I’m only 14, but I read it faithfully every month. Thank you so much for being able to get through to people. I know many friends of mine have been touched by your articles. I love you, New Era.
Los Alamitos, California
I’m serving in the England Manchester Mission, and I just wanted to say how much I enjoy the New Era and look forward to reading it each month. I especially like reading the stories about missionaries. Take, for example, the story “And When the Night Came” in the December 1985 issue. Having been on my mission for a year now, I look back and see how many times discouragement has come. But I have also felt so often the joy of serving my Father in Heaven.
Just before entering “the field” I had been a convert to the gospel for two years, so luckily I had a good testimony. But it sure is amazing what my mission has done for that testimony and how it is shaping me into the kind of person I know I should be. I have much more to learn, and I’m looking forward to many more testimony-building experiences on my mission and more excellent stories from the New Era.
Elder Randy Lee Aven
England Manchester Mission
I want to thank you for two special departments in the New Era—Feedback and FYI. Every month when the New Era arrives at our home, I am the first to scoop it up. I turn first to these departments, searching for letters and information from my home of eight years, Pocatello, Idaho. I am now living in Kezar Falls, Maine. I thrive on the spiritual guidance the New Era brings each month, and I am so pleased each time there is a letter, a picture, or an accomplishment from the home that I miss so much. Thank you for providing this great medium of communication for myself and all other New Era readers.
Kezar Falls, Maine
I’m a missionary in the South Carolina Columbia Mission, and I’ve been reading the New Era all my life. It has helped me more than you’ll ever know. The New Era has brought great blessings to me ever since I’ve been on my mission. It has helped me be a better missionary as I share the gospel with these special people here in the South.
Sister Rachel E. Barlow
Columbia South Carolina Mission
It was really hard for me when we moved from Idaho to Utah. After moving all my life, I thought we were finally going to stay put. One day while at our library I happened to pick up the February 1985 New Era. I read “A Small Light in the Darkness.” It hit me hard what I needed to do. I needed to be doing what that boy was doing. I needed to set a good example too. Even though we’ve moved a lot, I’ve always had the New Era as a friend. Thank you for being a friend.