“Comment,” Ensign, Aug. 1991, 79–80
The Lord Does Provide
In “Sermon of Sermons” (March 1991), the author tells us that Jesus’ instructions in 3 Nephi 13:25–34 were meant specifically for his Apostles, who had consecrated their lives to preaching the gospel. But I think that passage can apply to other members of the Church as well. [3 Ne. 13:25–34]
I realize that my husband and I need to provide food, clothing, and shelter for our family—but I think it is more than coincidence that sometimes when I discover a clothing need within our family, a knock comes at the door and I find a sister from the ward with a bag of used clothing to offer us. There are times when a major repair on our home is long overdue and a brother shows up to offer his services. Or I run out of bread and a friend tells me where I can get day-old bread free of charge.
I find that these occurrences come when I am living in tune with the Spirit. I am deeply grateful to Heavenly Father for such blessings.
Springs Valley, California
A Boost to My Spirit
With reference to “Living with Chronic Illness” (March 1991), please accept my gratitude for your offering such an influential and all-encompassing piece of literature to the Church membership. Sister Knapp’s perspectives, insights, and manner of dealing with the subject have been a boost to my spirit. I’ve taken her thoughts to heart.
Sister G. Walton
Preparing People for the Gospel
I appreciated the article “Do I Know My Neighbor?” in the March 1991 Ensign. I’ve just finished my mission in the Japan Fukuoka Mission, and I’ve seen many people who were prepared by other churches to hear the restored gospel. It is still common in Japan for people to know little more about Jesus Christ than his name. But through the efforts of many Christian churches, people are becoming familiar with his life and teachings and his importance to each one of us.
It would be difficult to count the number of people we’ve taught and seen accept the gospel in its fulness who had their first introduction to Christianity in a Baptist or Catholic college, high school, or even kindergarten. I know the Lord uses all these means to help prepare the hearts of his children to accept him and be blessed by him.
Lisa C. Smith
The Blessings of Handicaps
I am writing to thank Elder Packer for his moving talk about disabled persons, and particularly for his recognition that the vast majority of such persons will live with their afflictions throughout their lives. Such trials are part of the human condition.
As the parent of a physically disabled child, I am frequently exhorted by well-meaning people to look for a miracle for my daughter. What these people do not realize is that I have already found a miracle in my daughter. And while we look forward to the day when her body will be made perfect, we thank God for every day we have with her, just the way she is.
Through my daughter I have been exposed to many parents of special-needs children. Like Elder Packer, I look at them and see their heroism. And yet my husband and I do not think of ourselves as being particularly heroic. As someone once said, we are just ordinary people reacting in an ordinary way to an extraordinary situation. What we want most from our brothers and sisters is to be treated as ordinary parents.
Just like any other child, our daughter still had to learn to sleep through the night, still has teething pain, and still occasionally throws food off her tray. Yet I can rarely discuss these ordinary aspects of parenting without having the conversation come back to the ways in which my daughter is different. In response, I find myself trying too hard to convince my friends that she is not a burden. Then, on those rare occasions when I do feel burdened, I feel reluctant to let anyone know.
If you want to help, do your best to see children and adults with disabilities as people first, and their parents and families as just that: parents and families. If you are a good friend, and you remain accessible, they will let you know when they need you. Best of all, when you look past their disabilities, you may be surprised to see how many special gifts those with disabilities have to share.
Alysoun J. Reichard
While serving as missionaries in the Canada Montreal Mission, my husband and I are sharing the experience of many missionaries—living in an adequate but austere apartment. It has been a challenge and a choice experience to leave behind years of accumulation and get back to the basics.
We had many paintings on the walls of the home we left behind—and now, thanks to the Ensign, we can enjoy beautiful paintings in our little apartment. While going through old issues of the magazine, I felt I had found a treasure when I saw the pictures of temples, pioneers, Nauvoo, families, and missionaries inside the covers. The colored borders let me frame the pictures to coordinate with our “beg and borrow” furnishings. My husband said our apartment was beginning to look like a typical missionary apartment—with pictures taped to the walls. I took that as a compliment.
Thanks to all who shared their talents to brighten our home away from home and to remind us of our heritage and our temporal and spiritual blessings.
Canada Montreal Mission
Sensitive Youth Leader
We loved “The Pinewood Paddle Massacre” by Lanie J. McMullin (April 1991). Mrs. Frost displayed so much sensitivity. Our youth need more examples like that!
Los Angeles, California
Church Beginnings in Haiti and Jamaica
We received our March 1991 Ensign a couple of days ago, and thoroughly enjoyed the articles on Haiti and on May Pen, Jamaica. My husband was the mission president in the Florida Ft. Lauderdale Mission when the May Pen Branch was organized. They met in a small rented building. And now look at the beautiful chapel they have! How we love the Jamaican people.
The article on Haiti mentioned Fritzner Joseph and showed his picture. He was the first missionary to be called from Haiti. He got lost in two airports on his way from Haiti to Salt Lake City when he went to the Missionary Training Center because he had never been on a plane before and did not know any English. He was several hours late arriving because he missed a plane. Then, when he got to the MTC, he became discouraged at trying to learn Spanish from English-speaking teachers. But he had faith and stuck it out. And look at what he has accomplished since then!
Also, the sidebar on page 37 says that the first branch was organized in Haiti in October 1980. Actually, when my husband, Glen, and I went to Haiti for the first time in September 1979, we found people meeting in the home of Fred Templeman. They continued meeting in the Templeman home, and Glen, as mission president, helped organize a branch in March 1980, not in October. After the missionaries arrived in early June, the membership grew so rapidly that they soon had to find a bigger place to meet.
Mrs. Glen Stringham
As my husband and I traveled down a busy Southern California freeway, the driver of a car in the next lane kept honking, smiling, and waving at us. When we showed no sign of recognition, she reached across the seat and held up an Ensign. We laughed and waved. She had seen our BYU bumper sticker and had found a quick way to communicate her bond with us.