From prison

We have an LDS branch organized here in Tucson, and we enjoy many blessings of the gospel because of the volunteers who come every week. Recently, one of the inmates brought some back issues of the New Era to our Sunday evening service to share.

My roommate is not a member of the Church, but he attends with me. Later that evening I noticed he had brought the April 1991 issue of the magazine back from the meeting. I picked up the New Era to examine the graphics, which I enjoy in all the Church publications. My eyes fell on the article entitled “The Bus Stop,” with its attractive layout and illustration. The spirit touched me instantly. It was hard to fight back the tears as I read the brief account of a girl who brought the gospel to a family through small, kind acts.

I feel the need to express my gratitude to “Vicki,” whose smile of years long gone by is still touching the lives of people everywhere; C. S. Hankins, the author; Roger Motzkus, the talented illustrator; the caring inmate who brought the magazines that night, and my friend and roommate—each of whose small acts unknowingly made it possible for me to experience another important part of the gospel message.

Name Withheld Arizona State Prison

Philippine friends

It’s hard for most of us in the Philippines to have a subscription to the New Era, so we always look forward to every copy we can get a hold of, usually in institute buildings and the temple lounge.

I love the New Era, for it contains not only spiritual thoughts, but also interesting and funny features. Thank you and more power to you. The Filipinos are cheering you on.

Maricar Revillo Quezon City, Philippines

Cross-country coup

I wanted to let you know that “And the Winner Is …” (September 1991) was the answer to my prayers. For several months I’ve been training for the cross-country team to get in shape. As the season began, I realized I was much slower than my teammates. I wanted to quit, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I did, so I asked Heavenly Father for encouragement.

When I read Brother DeHaan’s article, I knew I had received my answer. Now I read it whenever I have doubts about my performance on the team.

Meredith Quinn Pasadena, California

Troubling question

The article “In His Care” (October 1991) reminded me of a question that has been troubling me for years.

I’ll never forget sitting next to my mother several years ago in a fast and testimony meeting. A woman behind us stood up and told the story of a man who was involved in an accident at a copper smelter. Apparently a huge vat of molten copper was spilled on the man, but he was miraculously spared, despite severe burns.

We were all touched by this faith-promoting experience, except for my mother. You see, when she was just eight years old she lost her father, a righteous man, in this exact type of accident. He was not spared for his 11 children.

At the time I didn’t know whether to be inspired by the woman’s story, or to sympathize with my crying mother. Similarly I’m not sure what to think of stories of prayers being answered about not going into combat. How many prayers were “unanswered” by faithful members of the Church whose relatives were not spared in this way?

I hope we’ll all be sensitive to others as we share faith-promoting stories. We should continually thank the Lord, and hope to better understand why some are spared, while others are taken.

Richard Allen Salt Lake City