Our Readers Write
March 1971

“Our Readers Write,” Ensign, Mar. 1971, 73

Our Readers Write

Your reaction to the Ensign generally or to specific articles will be welcome. Space will not permit the publication of every letter nor of the entire contents of many letters, but every effort will be made to fairly represent those views expressed. The editors and staff of the Ensign are gratified by the favorable response to the new magazine, but would like to encourage a continuing response to both content and presentation.

Pronouncing the Name


You must be receiving numerous letters of congratulation and appreciation as our people react to the exceptionally fine first issue of our new magazine representing a “new era” in the progress of the Church. If it came out with only one of the many features and articles, it would be worth the subscription price to me.

While realizing that ultimately the historical and other factual articles will be the most treasured for the sake of reference data, I cannot refrain from praising Quinn McKay’s “Principles in Conflict” as the most significant to me of all that was published in the January Ensign.

Just one more point—I have frequently heard this magazine pronounced as “ensen” instead of with the long ‘i’ sound. My dictionary says the former is now preferable to the latter, but to me the long “i” sound is more emphatic and brings the image of a banner more vividly before me—a symbol of uplift. Which do you prefer?

Mary M. Porter
Clearfield, Utah

The long “i” (ensine) is proper.

Arab-Israeli Conflict


I have just read the article “Arab-Israeli Conflict” in the first issue [January] of the Ensign. It is of paramount interest to me. Some years ago I was sent by our government to Israel and to the adjacent Arab countries in connection with an attempt to ease the Arab refugee situation, so I had the opportunity to see this situation firsthand. The article in the current issue of the Ensign is a disappointment. …

On page 22 the article mentions that Jehovah gave the land between the river of Egypt and the Euphrates to Abraham and his seed (Gen. 15:18), and the author further asserts that “the promise is valid for Jew and Arab alike, through Isaac and Ishmael.”

For some reason the statement in Genesis 26:2–3 was overlooked [Gen. 26:2–3]. It says that this same land was subsequently passed on by the Lord to Isaac and his seed, not to Ishmael and his seed. Still later, this identical land was given by the Lord to Jacob (Israel) and to his seed, but it was not given to Jacob’s brother Esau and his seed (Gen. 35:10–12). …

As the article in the Ensign now stands, without the pertinent references from the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and the Doctrine and Covenants, the average reader of the article would come to the author’s apparent conclusion that the land between the river of Egypt and the Euphrates was given by God, who is the ultimate authority, to Jew and Arab alike. …

Robert Richards Burton
Provo, Utah

Brother Burton correctly calls attention to an error in the article under discussion.


I’ve just completed reading your article “Arab-Israeli Conflict.” I compliment you on your efforts to analyze this sensitive situation. Mostly you are quite correct in your appraisal, but on one or two points I would like to make an observation if I may.

On page 25 it is suggested that the solution lies in the United Nations Security Council. It is interesting to note that each solution it achieves invariably results either in the country involved going communist or vast territories being turned to communist-type socialism. The United Nations is the great Trojan horse within our gates, and we can hope for absolutely no help from that quarter, especially while it promotes and arranges finances, encouragement, and prestige to dissenting groups involved in so-called liberation movements of terrorist revolutionary groups.

J. Ralph Thompson
Cedar City, Utah

Pleased by Record


This morning I received my new Ensign magazine. It is just wonderful. I love it. I also notice the record. What a surprise! This record could be used in family hours. I am so impressed with this record, and I am so thankful to you and your staff members. It would be so nice if we could have one record like this after each general conference. Within a short time we would have a priceless collection.

Johanna C. Lyon
Buffalo, Illinois


Your first issue of the Ensign was a fine piece of work. I personally have had positive feedback from many members in our area. In our family night we used the record and felt it had a great impact on our children. Again, congratulations on a great job.

O. William Farley
Salt Lake City, Utah


I would like to tell you how much I enjoyed and appreciated the record that was in the front of our Ensign magazine. I do hope that you intend to make this a regular feature. It is nice to have a message from the First Presidency printed, but it is so much nicer to hear their voices and have them give the messages in that manner. The Tabernacle Choir and men’s voices were much appreciated too.

Zoe L. Wheeles
Lakewood, Colorado



Congratulations on the first issue!

A few suggestions: the statement on page 93 concerning the use of treated wheat should be corrected before someone uses the wrong kind of treated wheat for food and poisons himself.

You should adopt some of the best of the style of Plain Truth magazine and call a spade a spade in some areas somewhat further afield than has been the pattern in the past with the Era, as your editorial may suggest you intend.

Vern Hughes
Jackson Hole, Wyoming


May I suggest that you give some consideration to including a crossword puzzle in the monthly Ensign, using scripture sources for questions asked. We have been commanded to “search the scriptures,” and I believe such a feature would provide a great incentive toward fulfilling this obligation.

Harold E. Montgomery
Charleston, West Virginia


I have read the Ensign from cover to cover and am thoroughly fascinated with the content and presentation of information. I know that its composition must be inspired of the Lord.

In your editorial, you invited constructive responses and I submit the following for consideration. I noted that when thumbing through the magazine, initially, looking for a particular article on a specific page, it was inconvenient to have to open each page fully to see what page I was passing because the page numbers are printed at the inside of each page. I would recommend that consideration be given to printing the page numbers at the outer edge (top or bottom) of each page.

Julian M. F. Kau
Rochester, New York

We agree.

On Advertising


For eighty-two years I have been waiting for a magazine with no advertisements to cause static. It seems filled with the spirit of truth. I do love Joseph Smith the Prophet and all he stood for. Also, I love all the prophets of our own time and those who are so desperately striving to establish Zion.

Mary Leona Jolley
Salt Lake City, Utah


It was with great interest that we received our first issue of the Ensign in Saturday’s mail. The family all enjoyed the recorded message from the First Presidency. We continued to be thrilled by the quality of each article as we read it during family night tonight. Thank you for such a fine publication!

We greatly appreciate the absence of advertising. The spiritual message of the magazine is much better conveyed to us when there are no distracting commercials. Keep up the good work!

Warren Kimber
Bellevue, Washington



The first edition of the Ensign is a masterpiece. The articles, layout, and printing were skillfully done.

Gary L. Grimmett
Rexburg, Idaho


Congratulations! I think you can be justly proud of a tremendous first issue. In fact, you were so good that your singular problem, as I view it, is that you’ve already reached your high-water mark. Where can you go from there?

Richard J. Marshall
Salt Lake City, Utah


Congratulations on the first issue of the Ensign! It certainly is indicative of what can be done when desire and imagination are the provocateurs. It had something for everyone—young, old, college student—and the pages were filled with provocative thoughts about women’s lib, our schools, and thoughts concerning problems in Asia. It was like a college semester!

I devoured the Ensign in less than three hours and at the conclusion I thought, “What a wonderful recruiting magazine—I know where the first issue is going!”

It was like a direct communication line to our leadership—all wrapped up in one beautiful, condensed package. I am anticipating the second issue. (The artwork was exquisite!)

Corinne N. O’Neal
Daly City, California


I’ve just finished reading our new Ensign from cover to cover. I felt compelled to write and say thank you to all the people who helped put this wonderful magazine together.

The Church is the same all over. When news of the magazine changes arrived, there were notes of discord here too. But the Ensign is just great! My friend got her mail first, and by the time we had thumbed through it on the phone I could hardly wait for our mailman. Needless to say, he was warmly greeted. I see each old magazine represented.

In your editorial you invited our constructive responses to your efforts. All I can say is—carry on! I really and truly enjoyed our new magazine. I’m sure it will be received by all the members as it was here in our home. My husband says I have “Ensign fever.” I’ve talked of nothing else for two days now. I’m sure the next issues will be just as good and better. I’m excitedly looking forward to them.

May the Lord continue to help you be the “voice of the Church” and do the things you’ve set as goals.

Grace M. Reynolds
Fairfield, California


I am sure your mailbox is full of congratulatory letters, but I had to add mine. The Ensign is a beautiful job!

I’m delighted with the graphics and with the wide range of superb articles that you have printed there.

I wish you continued success and want you to know how pleased I am for this first issue.

Lael J. Woodbury
Provo, Utah


After reading the first issue of the Ensign, I’d like to thank and congratulate you and the magazine staff. I couldn’t help noticing the unity of the articles and their timeliness.

Afton Matayoshi
Laie, Hawaii

White Paper, Please?


My husband, a convert from Basel, Switzerland, and I were delighted with the first issue of the Ensign. The three articles by the First Presidency were excellent, especially accompanied by that record. The closing chorus by the men was really a thrill. I told my husband I’d had my four dollars worth at that point.

We were advised to read all the articles. This we proceeded to do. Imagine my disappointment to come to page 39 and there was that excellent article printed on yellow paper! I could not read it. Since this is a magazine for adults, there must be many who have the same eye problems. Please, may we have white paper?

Florence Summerhays Schaerr
El Toro, California