1993
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“Comment,” Ensign, Feb. 1993, 79–80

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I Could Hear

I read “See That You Tell No Man” by President Thomas S. Monson (June 1992) with deep gratitude and tearful humility. I have recently undergone several months of extensive chemotherapy which resulted in the loss of my hearing. Long a teacher of youth, I was in anguish because I knew that if I could no longer hear the responses of my class, I could not teach. After talking with my bishop, I went home to discuss with the Lord whether or not I should be released from my teaching responsibilities.

Midweek, I received a phone call from an audio company. The company had been contacted by someone who wished to remain anonymous. That person had instructed the company to contact me and fit me with hearing aids. After an evaluation and fitting, I received my hearing aids.

As I sat in sacrament meeting the next Sunday and listened to the speaker, my eyes filled with tears. I could hear. My anonymous brother or sister had reached out and made it possible for me to hear again.

Yes, I still teach my Sunday School class. Each week as I prepare and teach, I again feel gratitude for a Father in Heaven who loves each of us and for his children who reach out to serve.

L. Marilyn Johnson
Sacramento, California

Answer to Prayers

I just got a subscription to the Ensign and received my first magazine in October. The articles in that issue dealt with specific problems I am facing now in my life. I had prayed for help and guidance and found the answers in the magazine.

I cannot adequately describe the joy I felt as I read these pieces. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you.

William J. Daniel
Fort Knox, Kentucky

Legacy of Donna Continues

As I picked up the December Ensign and noticed a title on the front cover, “The Donna Carson Story: A Legacy of Love,” my mind immediately returned to my missionary days. I served with Sister Carson in the New England States Mission and remembered one evening when I answered the telephone at mission headquarters and listened as Sister Carson’s companion explained that there was a problem. My companion and I were sent to pick the two sisters up and take them to the hospital. We waited into the wee hours of the morning only to hear the doctors pronounce that this marvelous lady had polio. Thus started a cherished relationship with Sister Donna and her family.

I visited her in the hospital many times over the next few months and continued to visit her at her home in Blackfoot, Idaho, during the ensuing years. I always came away uplifted, with a wonderful memory of her sweet smile. What a wonderful living lesson she was for our five children!

I just want to thank you for running the story so that others might share the spirit of one of the Lord’s great ladies. After reading the article, my wife, several of our children, and I spent some time remembering our relationship with Sister Donna.

Garvin E. Carlile
Bountiful, Utah

Miracles in Japan

We found “The Blossoming of the Church in Japan” (October 1992) very interesting, as we were there at the re-opening of the mission in 1948. Just for your information, the picture on page 35 was taken by Paul Merrill; it is Irene Merrill standing by President Clissold, not Anna Merrill.

The obtaining, rebuilding, and complete furnishing of the mission home there in Japan was, we felt, a miracle. Because President Clissold was a reserve Naval officer, he was able to accomplish things no other American could. He purchased a bombed-out building at a time when few could purchase any property at all. The mission home was completely furnished with items purchased from auctions held by the Allied Forces. As President Clissold bid on items, others would cease and he was able to obtain all the items he needed.

We are honored and humbled to have been a part of this truly great time in Japan.

Paul and Anna Merrill
Logan, Utah

Recognizing the Spirit

I just returned from my mission. While serving as a missionary, I learned for the first time how to recognize the Spirit when I felt it. I think that is sometimes overlooked as we teach our children. If feeling and recognizing the Spirit are so important that more than forty thousand missionaries are taught about it in missionary training centers, shouldn’t we be teaching the same thing to our children? They definitely have the same questions as investigators.

I don’t have any children yet, but I know it would have been nice if somebody had explained the Spirit to me when I was a young child and teenager, as the missionaries do to investigators. I can remember several occasions as a youth when I felt the Spirit; I just didn’t recognize it. It’s been a wonderful testimony strengthener for me now to be able to feel it and identify it.

Matt Hammond
Ogden, Utah

Helaman’s Testimonies

I thoroughly enjoyed reading the January 1992 issue on the Book of Mormon, especially “Defending against Evil.” I, too, had questioned the purpose of Mormon’s detailed record of early American warfare tactics.

Subsequent readings of Alma, chapters 43–63, brought me further insight: these battles can give us patterns by which we can fight our own personal battles—the doubts and spiritual conflicts within us.

Helaman’s 2,060 stripling sons were small in number compared to the larger Lamanite forces; nevertheless, Helaman’s men were “firm and undaunted” and were preserved by the “miraculous power of God because of their exceeding faith.” Similarly, our faith should be just as strong.

Reading Alma 58, we learn that Helaman’s army poured out their souls in prayer to God, asking for strength and deliverance from their enemies. Our enemies include real or imagined fears, feelings of insecurity, worthlessness, or helplessness in a situation we may believe is beyond our control. We are told that God assured Helaman’s army that they would be delivered and that they would be blessed with peace. We, too, can receive that assurance. A steadfast and continual trust in God will bring about the freedom we are fighting for.

There is, indeed, much to be gleaned from Helaman’s reflections and his praise to God. They are testimonies that Heavenly Father hears our prayers.

Sandra Tan
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Flood of Memories

Imagine my surprise when, on page 30 of the February 1992 Ensign, I found a picture of my family when I was about four years old. The picture was taken about 1912 and shows us looking at the Bible in our dining room. You have not identified the people in the photograph, so allow me.

From left to right: my mother, Martha T. Worthen Larson; my elder brother, O. Blaine Larson; myself; my father, Thomas Christian (Tuck) Larson; and in the baby pram, my younger brother, G. Clyde Larson. I am the only member of my family still alive.

Seeing the photo brought back a flood of warm and happy memories of my childhood.

Melba L. Kartchner
Palo Alto, California

Lifetime Slogan

Not long after I arrived in the mission field to which I was assigned, I discovered the difficulties of missionary work. Learning a new language, adjusting to the different culture, and memorizing discussion concepts were just a few of my challenges.

I had always had a strong desire to serve a mission and wanted to succeed as a missionary. I was frustrated as I struggled with each new situation. I tried to dedicate my every spare moment to study but still felt confused and unsettled.

I turned to the Lord for guidance and comfort, spending hours pleading for help with my frustrations and struggles. One morning, as I began my personal scripture study, a scripture leapt out at me:

“And now I would that ye should be humble, and be submissive and gentle; easy to be entreated; full of patience and long-suffering; being temperate in all things; being diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times; asking for whatsoever things ye stand in need, both spiritual and temporal; always returning thanks unto God for whatsoever things ye do receive.

“And see that ye have faith, hope, and charity, and then ye will always abound in good works.” (Alma 7:23–24.)

This scripture became a slogan for me as a missionary. Nine years later, I am a soldier stationed abroad, and this scripture still helps me to stay focused on the Savior.

Paul D. Horlacher
Bad Hersfeld, Germany