August 1975

“Comment,” Ensign, Aug. 1975, 84


Updating Our Information

1. We regret having omitted from our story on Brazil (February 1975) the significant contribution that Daniel G. Shupe made to the Church through his translation of the Book of Mormon into Portuguese, published 1939. President John Alden Bowers, mission president during the time, was not directly involved in the translation although it was under his direction that the elders began learning Portuguese instead of confining their efforts to German speaking Brazilians.

2. Michael Quinn should have been included in the list of employees of the Church Historical Department who won awards from the Mormon History Association in its 1975 meeting (Ensign, June 1975). His prize-winning article, “The Mormon Church and the Spanish American War: An End to Selective Pacifism,” appeared in the August 1974 Pacific Historical Review.

On Divorce

Your articles on divorce (June) are a welcome recognition of a problem toward which relatively little compassion and understanding have traditionally been offered by Church members. Yet, may I suggest that your articles left the impression that the “sensitive help” and “sincere love” are reserved primarily for women. We must recognize that similar understanding and compassion needs to be given to single male members, both the divorced male member and the single male member. I feel you need to continue your efforts, and I applaud your divorce articles. I look forward to your treating another aspect—the male viewpoint.

Walter L. Webb
Washington, D.C.


It was refreshing to read the article on debt (April), because I have sensed a tendency for some members to view debt as evil or at least as a tool that should be avoided. As a consultant for a large public accounting firm, I labor daily with the financial and budgetary control problems of large corporations. Debt, when used in a planned, controlled, and constructive program, can generate great rewards. Stated as a parallelism: the more you plant, the greater the harvest. But there is a price tag. Independence is lessened, the future is burdened, and the risk of failure is ever-present when debt is unwisely used. Maybe these are the reasons the Church does not finance its operations by debt.

Our families do not have the latitude of choice that larger institutions share. Therefore, it is more encumbrant for the family to define, plan, and control the use of debt; not to treat this healthy instrument as diseased. The parable of the talents—a story about money, lending, and stewardship—gives understanding of these financial tools so that they work for our benefit.

Wendell L. Waite
Torrance, California

The Two-Year Old Reader

After reading “The Book of Mormon Taught Me to Read” (February 1975) I thought that perhaps a child could learn to read by this method. I bought a bound book with nothing in it and printed just a sentence or two in large print on each page with some large stick figure drawings.

It worked! My two-year-old son is halfway through the first chapter. He even says words as big as “affliction,” and “his” Book of Mormon is his most prized possession. He asks someone to read it with him everyday. We never have to suggest it.

Thank you all for your inspiration.

Judy Jardine
Salt Lake City, Utah

Dented Cans

May I disagree on the information in the February “Food Storage—Keep it Clean” article. The information suggested that bulging, leaking, or dented cans are probably spoiled. I have a letter from the National Canners Association. They advise discard of canned goods only in the following categories: leaking, bulging, badly rusted, fracture of prescored lines (pop-top cans), smashed to the point where the can falls over. I am a microbiologist and can attest to the wholesomeness of food contained in dented cans as long as there is no evidence of leakage, swelling, or rusting. In fact, for the past five years my family and several others have partaken of foods from cans dented during production, transport, or warehousing. We have had no problem with spoiled food, but we have saved quite a bit of money.

Raymond J. Terry
Brentwood, Maryland

The Excessive Use of Father

May we add an observation that seems appropriate. It seems that many members make repeated use of the name “Father,” in their prayers. Surely it is not necessary to go to excess in this. In fact, for some members, it causes distracting thoughts of that church whose laity commonly use that term in referring to their clergy. Members who would desire to read on this subject are referred to the words of President Francis R. Lyman, as quoted by Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Council of the Twelve under the subject of prayer in his Mormon Doctrine.

Joseph M. Flake
Provo, Utah

The Work in Vermont

I read frequently your articles on the Church in various parts of the world. I thought the Church would like to know about the work in Vermont. The state is the birthplace of Joseph Smith, Jr.; it happens to be the only state in the United States not covered by a stake; the members and missionaries are struggling for stakehood; the Church is now well-known in Vermont and we are putting our roots down into the soil that first gave life to the Prophet Joseph Smith; there is a great missionary effort going on in Vermont; and members are fellowshipping their friends and neighbors and their missionary efforts are exciting and successful.

Elder Steven H. Borrowman
Burlington, Vermont

The Spirit of Ricks

I was delighted to see the conversation with President Hal Eyring of Ricks College in the April issue. I, too, am sold on Ricks! It’s a great place for young adults and the spirit of Ricks is almost a tangible thing. I wish it could be bottled and sent to every campus in the world. I’ll be forever grateful that my daughter is there.

Carolyn Woffinden
Walnut Creek, California

I very much enjoyed the article on Ricks. It is everything the article said—and more.

Melanie Hillam
AWS president, Ricks College

Just at the right time …

We just received our April Ensign this morning. As usual I started through it right away. The washing and bread baking could wait while I recharged my spiritual batteries.

Today I had just reached my favorite section, “Mormon Journal,” when my sister-in-law called to let me know that my brother’s application for a job they had been praying for was not being considered. I could not resist reading the first story “Rain, a Bedspread, and a Birthday” while she talked of her disappointment. I got half-way through and couldn’t go on. I started over and read it to her over the phone. I don’t believe I have ever read a more beautiful story.

I also read her the other two stories and after “Transfer to Carltonville” she thanked me with tears in her voice. Those stories were just what she needed at that moment to cheer her up and get her going again.

Thank you for being a continuing source of inspiration.

Mrs. Nancy E. Fidlet
Lindon, Utah