March 1976

“Comment,” Ensign, Mar. 1976, 67


Thorvaldsen is Danish!

May we draw your attention to a regrettable error in the November issue “On the cover” information, which says: “The Christus, the incomparable sculpture by Norway’s Thorvaldsen, a replica of which …” Bertel Thorvaldsen is as Danish as any Dane, born in København (Copenhagen) November 1768 and buried in København, in the museum that carries his name, in the very center of the capital. The original of the Kristus statue was made in Rome, Italy, in 1821, ordered by the Danish government for the new cathedral in København.

Johan H. Benthin, stake president
Henning K. Frederiksen, first counselor
Jorgen W. Schmidt, second counselor
Copenhagen Denmark Stake

And we have dozens of letters from wonderful Danes to prove it!

Alcohol in homemade root beer

Relative to the short piece, “Alcohol in Homemade Root Beer” (October 1975), if we know that homemade root beer contains minute amounts of alcohol, let’s drink something else. There are many wonderful tasting beverages—fruit juices, vegetable juices, milk, and milk shakes—that are indeed most beneficial to our health and not simply “not harmful.”

Astrid Kramer
Cologne, Germany

Certainly the Ensign hopes that our report of the facts on this matter, unaccompanied by a sermon about not using homemade root beer, will not be interpreted as being “soft” on the Word of Wisdom. The position of the Church is “Any beverage that contains ingredients harmful to the body should be avoided.” (Policies and Procedures, May 1972 New Era.)

Ensign: Help for Fathers

I have been a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for almost two years. In that two years I have been fortunate to learn very much. Yet I have never learned so much in a short time as I have from reading the September issue of the Ensign. Up until now I have never even read the September special issue completely and I am starting on it for the second time. I have never been so impressed by one particular issue of a Church publication as I am with this one.

I wish to thank all of those who contributed to the creation of such a work of art. The history and photographic research in the magazine were beautiful. I was inspired by the articles written and have grown through applying their principles. I was able to walk with Peter and share in the persecutions of the saints. I have learned what it is to be truly converted. My children will also benefit by having a better father.

I have always loved the Ensign and the help it has brought me in my progression in the Church. But in the future I will read the Ensign as I have never done before. I will seek out its treasures and remember the words found in the Doctrine and Covenants, “Yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom.” (D&C 88:118.)

Michael A. Zarate
APO New York

What dissuaded me …

I have some questions about the article by Mark Hart entitled “If you Ever Decide” (August 1975).

I have felt that sometimes we Mormons are “too pushy,” and consequently turn many intelligent and good people off from the Church. A recent experience confirms my feelings.

I recently asked a young convert of the Church why she had joined the Church, what had impressed her about the Church and its members, and what had tended to dissuade her or turn her off. She answered in the following manner:

“By way of background, I had set personal standards for myself in the area of cleanliness, honesty, and personal habits. The first thing that really impressed me favorably about the Church was that the LDS girls with whom I lived really lived what they professed. They were clean, honest young ladies who lived the standards that I had personally set for myself. This, more than anything else, encouraged me to join the Church.

“I was favorably impressed with an honest, sincere bishop with whom t could talk things over, particularly my concerns and worries about the gospel and about the Church.

“The thing that turned me off and slowed up my conversion was the fact that many Mormons tried to hurry my decision. I felt many Mormons were concerned about ‘quantity’ rather than ‘quality.’ I once overheard two of my roommates talking and one said: ‘When are we going to get Bonnie into the water?’ When I heard that I stopped attending church and withdrew a little.

“I finally decided that I needed to spend some time reading, praying, and fasting, which I did, and came to the conclusion that the gospel was true and I was baptized.”

I have talked to other people who I feel are basically honest at heart, who resent being thought of as a number or as somebody to “get baptized.”

Perhaps the best approach with nonmembers would be:

1. Make sure that our own attitudes and spirits are motivated by our love and concern for the long-term happiness of other persons and not our desire to make a convert or “get them baptized.”

2. To so live that the Spirit will be able to guide us. We will then know with whom we can be direct and blunt and with whom we should be careful and diplomatic to give them the time to think things out and mature in the gospel in their own time.

3. Live what we profess on a personal basis, so that when we come in contact with others they will be favorably impressed and be drawn toward the gospel.

Hardy Redd
La Sal, Utah

Men who help Scouts

May I commend all of the Scoutmasters of the Church, especially those who take annual leave to go hiking with “fatherless” boys. But may I also commend the fathers of those boys who take annual leave to fill temple assignments, act as priesthood chaperones at girls’ camps and youth conferences, work on Church buildings and grounds, and complete a myriad of other assignments, all vital to the kingdom, which give the individuals no “public exposure” and no appearance of being “busy.” May the Lord bless those who so unselfishly serve.

Janet W. Breewe
Silver Spring, Maryland

Servicemen: Are you?

Do all LDS men and women in the armed services realize the excellent fellowshipping opportunities available to them? We are constantly meeting people who are highly impressed with the Church because of the example and influence of a friend in the service.

Do your friends and acquaintances know you are Mormon? Have you told them about the Book of Mormon? Years later, when missionaries knock on their door, you may have been their only contact with the Church. Have you prepared them to be taught the gospel of Jesus Christ?

Sisters Davies and Hill
Arkansas Little Rock Mission

This past year’s Ensign

It doesn’t seem exactly fair of me to select any particular year of the Ensign and say it is the best, but I have found this year’s Ensign to be very, very moving. I look forward to receiving my copy each month. November’s cover brought tears to my eyes. It is so timely and “right.”

May God bless you in your continued, wonderful work. Each issue supports the fact that the Church is true, that Jesus Christ lives.

Virginia E. Nerono
Kingman, Arizona