Saying no in Utah

I really enjoyed the February New Era. I especially liked the article “How to Say No and Keep Your Friends.” Because I live in Utah where the high school I go to is 97 percent LDS, it wouldn’t seem like I would have trouble with saying no. Unfortunately, it is sometimes harder to keep my standards here than in some non-Mormon areas. If you say “No, you can’t cheat off my paper,” or “No, I won’t date before I’m 16,” people think you are being too good and acting like a “snobby Saint.” It’s hard!

I love the New Era. It’s the best magazine I’ve ever read. Truthfully!

Name withheld

All alone

In response to the article entitled “How to Say No and Keep Your Friends” in the February 1988 issue, I would like to say that sometimes it’s harder to say no to people who are LDS. I appreciate the experiences told in this article about people saying no to their nonmember friends. I commend them! However, sometimes it is overlooked that people who have LDS friends have to say no too.

I was at a party on Halloween night with some friends, most of them from my Sunday School class, all of them good LDS people. We started watching a movie that was not exactly up to our standards. I suggested we turn it off and watch something else, and to my surprise I received answers like “It’s not that bad!” “It isn’t even rated R.” Quite truthfully, I was shocked. Leaving my friend’s house that night was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I was disappointed to find that I stood alone, all alone. It hurt more to see my LDS friends compromise their standards than it would have to see nonmember friends watch that movie.

Sometimes people outside of Utah think that we have it easy here, and in some ways we do, but there are challenges here just like anywhere else, and sometimes it’s harder because people expect more. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that I have it harder than anyone else. In fact, in some ways I have it easier. Let me conclude by saying this: Saying no is hard in any situation, especially one where you know your friends should stand behind you. But blessings will come if you believe in Christ and do as he would have you do.

Name withheld

By any other name

I just saw a Mormonad poster with the headline BE YOUR OWN KIND OF BEAUTIFUL. I want to say I am disappointed at the designers and whoever approved it. It is all wrong. It should be a single rose in a bouquet of daisies instead of a daisy in a bouquet of roses. Daisies are not a prized flower. They grow wild anywhere and are cheap and easy to obtain. They have no pretty smell, and are common. A rose is a delicate flower that must be cultivated and cared for. It is among the most prized flowers and is noted for its beauty and wonderful aroma. Please don’t use a daisy to represent young womanhood. Change it and make it right.

Jane Savage Ranier, Oregon

Not easy

I would like to give my thanks to the New Era for the article “Becoming” in the February 1988 issue. I am 18 years old and have recently returned from Okinawa, Japan, back to Utah.

I really enjoyed Okinawa. It’s a beautiful place, but I struggled in the Church. There is a lot of temptation there, just like anywhere I guess. But being the only seminary graduate was not easy for me, and I admire Jim who could stay strong in the Church while in Okinawa and return home ready to serve a mission. Thanks again!

Ronni Patterson Taylorsville, Utah

Raffles and tennis balls

After much discussion and explanation to my young son on why we do not involve ourselves in lotteries, gambling, and raffles, I settled down as a youth leader to read the January issue of the New Era.

I often read my son the stories from the New Era even though the Friend is more on his level. He was quick to note in the article “Squirrels and Tennis Balls” that selling raffle tickets was an accepted part of this young man’s story. I hastened to say that in all probability he was not a member of the Church when he was young. Hopefully that is the case.

Perhaps that should be included in any future article so as to clear up any doubt on the Church’s stand on the issue.

My son has been constantly expected to sell or buy raffle tickets. He is gradually beginning to understand, as this article portrays so well, the importance of working for gain and not getting something for nothing. Thank you for the inspiration and uplift that the New Era brings into our home.

Robyn Harman Wantirna, Victoria, Australia

Keeping you posted

During the next few months you’ll be seeing some changes in the New Era and the other Church magazines. For example, the cover of each magazine has been redesigned to allow space on the back where an address can be printed. This will allow us to use an ink-jet printer, streamlining our labeling process and saving time and money. Another innovation will be in the actual mailing of publications. Magazines destined for the same address will be mailed in a single plastic envelope. For example, if you, your parents, and your younger brothers or sisters all live at the same address, your parents will receive their Ensign and your younger brothers or sisters their Friend at the same time and in the same package with your New Era. This will help reduce postal expenses.