This side of the world

My husband and I are serving as missionaries in the England Leeds Mission in the city of Scunthorpe. Our activities are to help the bishopric by visiting members, active and inactive.

As we visit we hear this comment frequently: “The Church periodicals do not relate to us here in England.” We are so removed from the headquarters, and we don’t know about people and things American. Our young people do not relate to activities and projects in the articles in the New Era because they don’t know about the type of life the American lives, nor about life in Canada, Mexico, South America, the Pacific islands, or Asia. We relate much more to Europe. I feel that Great Britain, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland have much to offer as the source for a Church publication. It is needed so badly.

I know you are featuring an insert in the Ensign called “News of the Church in the British Isles,” but I feel they are worth more than a double page insert.

I hope this will be considered. A magazine or Church News for this area for adults and youth members would do a great deal toward encouraging and strengthening the Church membership on this side of the world.

Elder and Sister Frank Wilkerson England Leeds Mission

Such a shame

I didn’t realize until recently how few families here in England receive the New Era. It is such a shame. They are missing so much. I need the testimony-lifting thoughts contained therein. I wish I could afford to put a copy into every household to show them what they’re missing each month!

Anne Bradshaw Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, England

Get it right

It took only a minute of glancing through the April 1987 New Era to catch your boo-boo. The illustration on page 37 is a typical case of the Church publications’ continued insensitivity to the alienation they cause by their Americanization of everything.

The Church was restored in America, but there is no need to present activities of a worldwide membership as if they were following an American way of life as an essential part of the LDS lifestyle. I have noticed it before; in this case I consider myself sufficiently qualified on the subject to comment.

The British take pride in their trains. The railway is their gift to the world. Today they run 15,000 trains daily, some of them the finest of their kind in the world. They know what their trains look like. That scruffy thing the girl is illustrated as climbing aboard is no English (or Welsh) train. It looks like an American retiree from the 30s. When they see that illustration, there goes your credibility. I’m sure you have the resources to avoid that kind of snafu if you would just use them.

I’m proud to be an American citizen, and I’m proud of the things the U.S. has achieved. By the same token, I was proud to call myself British when I lived in the land of my birth. Hopefully you have not caused too much resentment, but a lot of people have to feel a certain disappointment. (It was a full-page illustration.) The message loses its impact if it is read at all.

Culturally, people catch the “little” things. Two sisters, visiting teaching, are in a discussion while driving together. The illustration can be hazy, the cars generic, but if they are on the wrong side of the road for the country they are supposed to be in, you lose it. A family may be illustrated in their home engaging in some commendable activity, but even a simple illustration inside a home carries much information about the culture and economics of the area. Someone you can easily access has probably already been there. Get it right.

Trevor C. Stevens Hinkley, Utah

Holding on

I am in the seventh grade and just turned 13 years old. I had never had the chicken pox until recently. I had them all over my body, in my ears and mouth, and along with it severe chest pains. All of this brought me to tears. I prayed to Heavenly Father to help make the pain go away, and it didn’t.

After reading the true story “Hold On” by Janene Baadsgaard in the May 1987 issue I prayed again, and this time I asked Heavenly Father to help me “hold on,” and he did.

Thanks, Janene, for your story that helped me, and thank you, New Era, for being there for me and all the other young women and young men.

Tammie Joy Campbell Jackson, California

Homework can wait

Thank you for the time and effort you give to put together a wonderful, uplifting magazine. The format, the articles, the layout—all contribute to making this magazine the best of its kind.

When I came home from school and saw the New Era sitting on the table, I knew my homework would wait. First I read “Setting a President.” Now there’s someone to learn from! Then I read “Hold On,” an article I could really relate to, having had mononucleosis not once but twice. Then and there I decided to pull out some note paper and write you a letter, but as I wrote, “The Girl with the All-American Teeth” caught my eye. I didn’t want it to end! (By the way, would you please ask Ann Edwards Cannon to write a book, a long one.)

Considering I have another dozen articles to read this issue, I’m beginning to wonder if I’ll ever get to my homework. So if my average at school happens to drop, you know who I’m holding responsible!

Please keep up the good work. You’re blessing a lot of lives.

Susan Clapson Winnipeg, Canada