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“Comment,” Ensign, Mar. 1987, 74


Beacons of Light

I want to thank your church and its kind members.

Lehi’s dream in the Book of Mormon talks about “numberless concourses of people, many of whom were pressing forward, that they might obtain the path” of salvation, and about the “exceedingly great mist of darkness” that caused many to lose their way and become lost. (1 Ne. 8:21–23.) Until recently, my husband and I were out there in that darkness—lost, tired, worn. We had no knowledge of a path to God, or of an iron rod to guide us, or of a tree of precious fruit. All we knew was darkness. But then we saw a beacon of light in the distance. We headed toward that light and discovered people moving along a path and holding on to an iron rod. And some of them held flashlights. That was the light we had seen! What a sense of relief it was to discover where we were meant to be, to find where we belonged!

Ours is a different world now, and we’re grateful. The sweet members of your church—now our church—are beacons of light for so many lost people.

Pam Kazmaier
Mesa, Arizona

“It’s a Two-way Street”

I cannot resist registering a deeply felt “thank you” for Elder Wm. Grant Bangerter’s article in the July issue. It was timely, insightful, and beautifully expressed.

It seems amazing to me that we have to make publicly the points that God can and does work through people other than those who belong to the Church. But when we have members of the Church saying, as some have, that God does not even hear the prayers of persons who are not Latter-day Saints, we have to recognize that many of our people are indeed excessively close-minded, smug, and offensive.

It was most refreshing to read Elder Bangerter’s counsel that we begin to act the part of Saints in our relations with our fellow religionists. I do hope this will not become just another of the fine articles that are published once and shortly forgotten. It deserves a far wider and longer distribution.

Duane E. Jeffrey
Provo, Utah

An Answer to Prayer

The February 1985 issue was a year old before I was given it as a gift, so I was able to read “They of His Own Household—Living in a Part-member Family” only recently. I know I will go back and read it again and again.

I believe that issue of the Ensign came to me in answer to prayer. I am fifty years old, married, with three grown children. I am also the only one in our family who has joined the Church. Since so much of the teaching at church is family-oriented, I often feel alone. That article brought me comfort and has shown me the way to cope with my lone membership and improve my relationship with my family.

Although the article was published long before I had the chance to read it, it came to me when I most needed it.

Marcella J. Atkinson
Mt. Vernon, Ohio

Boredom’s Answer

I feel the “I Have a Question” on page 28 of the July 1986 issue on coping with boredom was inadequate. Yes, we must accept life the way it is, but should we do nothing to add some zest to our mostly routine lives?

Personally, I find learning exciting. While I wash the dishes, dust, or mop the floor, I listen to instructional records and tapes I’ve borrowed from the library. I also find it exciting to try doing new things, as my finances and health allow.

When Christ said he came that we might have life more abundantly, I don’t think he was referring only to the next life. There is much we can do day-to-day to add variety and excitement to our lives.

Linda Gale
Bellingham, Washington

The Promise

Ten years ago, I wouldn’t let my daughter be baptized. But the bishop called her as assistant magazine representative and told her that if she fulfilled her calling to the best of her ability, she would help bring me into the gospel. Shortly afterward, I consented to let her and her future husband teach me. The Spirit touched my heart, and I allowed her to be baptized. I followed her in baptism a short time later.

Patricia Jean Leverett
Thornton Heath, Surrey, England

More on Iodine Crystals

Treating water with iodine crystals, as suggested in the February 1986 Random Sampler and November 1986 Comment sections, is not a safe practice. This method was published in the Western Journal of Medicine (no. 122), but this same journal (no. 135) later published a caution stating that the use of crystalline iodine may be hazardous. The journal explained that a vial with four to eight grams of iodine would have two to four times the lethal dose of iodine in it. Further, if the vial was not tightly closed, a toxic level of iodine vapors could build up in an enclosed area, such as a small tent, overnight.

Aside from these hazards, the use of halogens (iodine and chlorine) in killing giardia is effective only under certain conditions—halogen concentration, water temperature, ph, turbidity, and contact time. These parameters may be difficult to know or assess under field or emergency conditions.

Local and state health officials in my state do not recommend these chemicals to disinfect water contaminated with giardia. We recommend simply bringing the water to a boil to safely and effectively destroy giardia cysts. We recommend that people follow the advice of their local health authorities in purifying water. These officials are familiar with the local conditions and will be the best source of reliable information.

Evard H. Gibby
Environmental Health Specialist, Idaho


The Comment section of the November 1986 issue contained two typographical errors in the response by Byron J. Wilson and H. Smith Broadbent on the use of iodine crystals. The copy should have said that two or three grams (not grains) of iodine would be toxic. Also giardia, in the last paragraph, was misspelled.

The information on the December 1986 contents page describing the photography and art inside the front and back covers should note that the inside front cover is a montage photo of the First Presidency. The photos were taken by Don Busath and by Merritt Smith. The information about the Robert Barrett painting is correct, but the painting was on the inside back cover.

South African Members

The article, “South Africans Enjoy a New Temple,” in the October 1985 Ensign, states: “The number of native African Church members in South Africa is still comparatively small, but is growing rapidly. By the end of the year, there will be a chapel in Kwa Mashu, one of the native African homelands established by the government. Church attendance there is already ‘in the hundreds.’”

By “native African Church members,” do you mean black native Africans? May I remind you that most white South Africans consider themselves “native” Africans—in some cases tracing their African roots back many generations.

The popular media would have us all believe that the only “native” Africans are black. But this is not the case, most particularly in South Africa.

Joseph S. Trudo
Afton, Oklahoma