1985
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“Comment,” Ensign, July 1985, 73

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More Flexible Flyers

I would like to thank you for publishing my story, “The Year of the Flexible Flyers,” in the December 1984 issue. Since that time I have heard from many of the people who also received sleds that Christmas.

The most interesting letter came from a dear friend and classmate who now lives in Seattle, Washington. It seems that as a boy her husband (now in his early seventies) had longed for a Flexible Flyer, but because there were twelve children in the family his parents never had enough money to buy even one. About two years ago he was talking to a friend about his boyhood. He mentioned that he had always wanted a sled but never did get one. A few days later the friend showed up with a Flexible Flyer and presented it to him. His wife says he keeps it polished and hopes someday some of the grandchildren may get to use it.

Aney B. Chatterton
Soda Springs, Idaho

The Nickerson Farm

In the January 1985 article by Dean C. Jessee, “Joseph Smith—in His Own Words,” there is a picture of present-day Perrysburg, New York, on page 20. Since Joseph Smith’s time, however, things have changed. The exact location of the Father Nickerson farm is in South Dayton, New York. Perrysburg was divided up into at least five different towns. The location of the Nickerson Farm is approximately twelve to fifteen miles from the buildings in the picture on page 20. The original house is no longer standing.

Cheryle Colburn
Gowardo, New York

Dortmund Bombing

The article about Elder Enzio Busche (February 1985) was very interesting and informative. However, it states that England bombed Dortmund in 1939. I don’t think that is correct. I lived in Europe during World War II and have read a recent book on the subject. Before Germany invaded the Low Countries in May 1940, there was no English bombing in Germany.

An interested reader

Ed: Elder Busche says that regular bombing didn’t start until 1940, but in November 1939 a single bomb was dropped on Dortmund—the first.

January Issue

Just a brief word of thanks to those who wrote the articles in the January 1985 Ensign—all were inspired. My family and I benefit so much from all the publications that this small gesture on my part doesn’t begin to express my gratitude.

Victoria Johnson
Sandy, Utah

And I Am Blind …

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I dearly want to have friends in my ward, but even after living here four years, most of you are strangers to me. I am writing this because I am afraid to say what is in my heart, afraid because I cannot see how you will react.

How do I tell you who I am? I am outspoken, intelligent, caring, honest, creative, devoted to my husband and children, and I am blind. I guess you can easily understand everything about me but the last. Let me try to open your eyes to my blindness.

Like most blind people, I am not totally blind. I can see contrast and extremes. I use the little bit I can see as pieces in a picture puzzle which my imagination and intellect then attempts to complete. In this way I never mistake a wall for a doorway, though I have been known to mistake a window for a doorway.

I can’t see your faces; I don’t see anything in detail. If I recognize someone, it is by their hair style, clothing, or manner. It’s not true that blind people know everyone’s voice. If all you say to me is “Hi!” I’ll answer, but often I have no idea who I answered. I never see smiles.

Do I need help? Of course I do! There are times when we all need each other. I clean my own home, though I could use help at times. I cook, sew, plant, crochet, play guitar and piano, write computer programs, and do all those things that make up the life of a wife and mother.

I can’t drive. That is an area where I truly need and welcome help. I think the worst part of being blind is wasting the hours my family has together running around in the car on weekends with my husband doing things every other mother does during the week. If you’re going shopping and wouldn’t mind some company, please call me!

Above all, don’t try to imagine how you’d react in my situation. Ask me.

I consider my blindness a great blessing. It has forced me to pay attention to the world around me and has opened many doors for service to others.

Of course there are times when I wish I could see more: when my daughter dances on a stage “miles away” in my world, or when my baby son stands and glows with pride I can only imagine. Then I dearly wish I could see more. But for the most part I find other ways to see these wonders in my life, and I am so content.

Now that I have opened my heart to you, I pray that you will understand me, and open your hearts to me. I do so want your friendship.

Name withheld

N-sign, not N-sun

Few readers see the pronunciation guide on the contents page which tells readers that the name of the magazine is pronounced N-sign, not N-sun. The mispronunciation is gaining, and unless you do something about it, the correct pronunciation will disappear from the language of the Church!

Naida Dickson
Gardena, California

A Missionary Tool

As a convert to the Church, I would like to express my gratitude for the fine publications that have been instrumental in my conversion. I have been a member for more than five years and have made the Ensign an important part of my daily study.

I’ve served a mission and have had the opportunity to read many of the articles in Italian as well as English. I look forward to the day when the Ensign may be as readily available in foreign languages as it is in English. It is an excellent missionary tool and a great way to bond the members of the Church together with the testimony of the prophets.

I always make it a special point to leave copies of the Ensign in my doctor’s and dentist’s offices, on buses, planes, and trains. Over the course of a few years I have received a number of letters from people who have read these magazines and expressed an interest in the Church. I know of a few of these who have been baptized as a direct result of the Ensign.

Barry McKendry
Alpine, Utah

Update

Todd MacRay Christensen, ward clerk in the Corona First Ward, Corona California Stake, does admit to being athletic, but he does not play for the Los Angeles Raiders football team as mentioned in “Japanese Television Focuses on Latter-day Saints” in the June 1985 Ensign. The Raiders football star is Todd Jay Christensen, the starting tight end for his team and a Sunday School teacher in the El Segundo Ward, Los Angeles California Inglewood Stake.