A false impression

I have been involved with the deaf community all my life and am currently teaching sign language at a high school. I appreciate it when I see articles on the hearing impaired (“Ready, Set, Serve,” Nov. 1993). Giving Kristin Campbell recognition for taking the time to learn to communicate with the hearing impaired is a positive action. However, the statement “The look on Bryan’s face was worth any sacrifice. I could tell it helped his self-esteem to know that a hearing person would care enough to learn how to communicate with him” gives a false impression of many deaf people. Deaf people usually are happy to discover a person who is learning sign language, and will encourage him or her. But to imply that Bryan had low self-esteem is somewhat of an insult. Bryan was a popular boy, with many students “making the sacrifice” to talk with him. Just because a person is deaf or otherwise impaired does not mean he has low self-esteem or should feel tremendously grateful for whatever small thing a nonimpaired person does for him, as the underlying message of the article implies. I hope this letter will help you to become further aware of handling articles about people who are impaired.

Susan Tonini West Jordan, Utah

Always uplifted

As a 16-year-old Latter-day Saint, I understand the need to be exposed to heartwarming and encouraging stories about the young men and young women in the Church today. With the temptations and difficulties we are facing in this day, it is necessary to be strengthened by words of love and friendship. I have often turned to the New Era as a remedy from so many other negative media sources. I cannot think of any time that I was not uplifted by an issue of the New Era.

Summer Meline Santa Rosa, California

Correction

Editor’s Note: In the February 1994 New Era, we published the poem “Symphonies of Gray” by Claris Wright. Unfortunately, we misspelled her name. We regret the error, and thought you might like to see the poem again.

Gray—
the lifelessness of
statues
buried in a museum.
The whisper of
snowfall
and shadows
playing silently
beneath the street
lamp.
Drifting smoke
of a dying fire.
The disappearing
notes of Taps
fading in the morning
air.
The hands of time,
slipping away.

Can’t imagine

Thanks for the article “Worthy to Serve” in the May 1994 New Era. Missionary work is truly a privilege to be involved in. It takes all my time to try to focus on helping others feel the Spirit and be converted to the gospel. I can’t imagine trying to do that while also trying to repent of past transgressions. I hope that article will help other young men and women commit to live worthy lives so they too can enjoy the blessings of full-time missionary service.

Elder Kenneth Payne South Africa Cape Town Mission