Her relative too

I was recently reading the July 2001 issue and was both surprised and fascinated when I came upon the story “Go Fiche.” Annie Hicks, who was depicted in that story, was my third great-grandmother. The events mentioned in the story were just as they are in our family history. I have always liked hearing and learning about Annie Hicks. I actually wrote about her in an essay I had to write in the eighth grade. I always like to read the New Era, but this story was extra fun for my family and me to read.

Kami Mecham
Roseburg, Oregon

A lot better

I am always excited to get the New Era every month. The first thing I turn to is The Extra Smile. They are a lot better than some of the gross jokes people come up with today. I especially liked the May 2000 jokes. Thank you for putting The Extra Smile in the New Era.

Sabrena Smart
Preston, Idaho (via e-mail)

Calming influence

Like most LDS teens today, I, too, look forward to reading the New Era each month. It calms me to know I’m not the only one going through certain challenges, and that many of the stories apply to me. I can’t put these stories full of wisdom and hope down until I’ve read all of them! The New Era really brightens my day and gets me thinking more about the gospel.

Anne Peterson
Flower Mound, Texas (via e-mail)

An eye-opener

I want to thank you for your article “Just Hanging Out” (Aug. 2001). As a young adult I am past the age of not dating until I’m 16. But your article had a profound effect on me as I finally admitted that “just hanging out” can get you into more trouble than you think. I have always followed Church standards on dating—to the letter of the law, not the spirit of the law. I never dated before I was 16 but always managed to “hang out” with friends, making it seem like nothing was wrong. Even after I turned 16 I didn’t exclusively date someone. Yet, because of “just hanging out,” I managed to get myself into trouble. I never realized that one of the biggest mistakes I made was just not having something planned and organized with my friends. This article really opened my eyes and helped me stop ignoring the fact that hanging out is the form of dating youth have adopted. If I had just made rules for myself, like making sure an adult was always around or not slipping off with one person, I could have stayed out of the trouble that I’m still trying to repent of and forgive myself for today. This article really opened my eyes.

Name Withheld (via e-mail)

New reader

I just turned 12 and started reading the New Era. It’s very good. I love the inspirational stories. They really help me.

Whitney Hollman
Porterville, California

Similar situation

I’ve been reading the New Era since I was baptized in 1992. It’s always been inspiring and encouraging. The message from Elder Hugh B. Brown, “The Currant Bush,” (April 2001) reminded me of a similar situation I was in. I felt as if I lost so many opportunities because I was a member of the Church. But I’ve gained many too, like coming on a mission which is a blessing to me and hopefully the people I meet.

Elder Romeo N. Owusu
Nigeria Enugu Mission