May 1993

“Comment,” Ensign, May 1993, 111–12


Israel and the West Bank

The simplified map featured on page 41 of the article “One Voice” (Apr. 1993), a report of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s December 1992–January 1993 tour to the Holy Land, did not outline the West Bank and the Gaza Strip area.

Map of Isreal and the West Bank

The choir performed in Tel Aviv, Haifa, and in West Jerusalem and did film recording at the Sea of Galilee. The choir also performed in Bethlehem at Shepherds’ Field and in East Jerusalem at the BYU Jerusalem Center, the Garden Tomb, and Dominus Flevit—a site on the Mount of Olives.

Favorable reports of the choir’s tour continue to pour in. Said a dean of Haifa University in Haifa, “This was a signal event in our history as a city and as a university.” Said a Palestinian concert-goer following the BYU Jerusalem Center concert: “This is a land of struggles, but we are all craving peace. With your choir and your music, you are bringing us a little bit of peace. It is welcome.” Referring to the previous controversy surrounding the construction of the BYU Jerusalem Center, a long-time Jerusalem civic leader wrote, “We have met the enemy and they have become our friends.”

Saving the Words

In the October 1992 general conference, Elder John E. Fowler of the Seventy told members to read and heed the counsel of Church leaders.

When on my mission in England (1965–67), I would often go door to door tracting, telling people that there was a living prophet on the earth today. One day, a man asked my companion and me, “If there is a prophet of God on the earth today, as you say, what has he told you lately?”

At the time, we were hard pressed for an answer. We returned to our apartment and searched for the most recent copy of the Church publications. Since returning from my mission, I have saved the words of the Brethren in the Improvement Era and the Ensign, and I refer to them often for counsel and advice. We are indeed blessed to have the words of the Brethren to guide us in these latter days.

Melvin Grant Koford
Riverside, California

“That Is My Revelation”

I’d like to add the following incident to the stories the Ensign printed in the March issue highlighting the Salt Lake Temple:

Some years after the foundation of the Salt Lake Temple was laid, it was discovered that it was not solid enough for the immense building. President Brigham Young had dismissed the workmen and was sitting on the foundation contemplating the problem when Archibald Gardner, my ancestor, came into view.

The following account is taken from his life history, recounted by his son, Clarence.

“President Young motioned [Archibald] to come to him. ‘Bishop, sit down,’ he said and then he told him of his perplexing problem.

“Together they went carefully over the matter in hand. They examined the foundation, the materials, the manner in which it had been put together. Then President Young said, ‘Bishop, can you tell me what do to?’

“‘Yes, President Young, the trouble has arisen through the use of too much mortar. The resultant settling has caused the walls to crack. It will be necessary for you to tear out the entire foundation and start over again. This time instead of using mortar, have each and all of the stones in the entire building cut to exact measurement and place stone upon stone with precise fittings. This will prevent cracking, settling or spreading in any way.’ President Young brought his hand down on father’s shoulder and said, ‘Brother Gardner, you are right. That is my revelation.’

“He had the workmen return. The entire foundation was torn out and rebuilt. … [Father] had spent his life working out problems along practical lines. His past experiences made him equal to the occasion.”

Ballard Gardner
Orem, Utah

Peace and Friendship

On our way home from district conference, we stopped at the post office to collect our mail. What a delight it was to find that the February Ensign had an article on the Church in South Africa. I had just recently had a chat with one of the elders featured on the cover.

As I was speaking at the district conference, I sat in front and had an opportunity to look over the congregation of about 270 people, 50 percent black and 50 percent white. I was strongly impressed by the feeling of peace and friendship among the members present and again had the assurance that the gospel is the only way to bring unity to this troubled country of ours. The gospel is a unifying factor, and it is a real privilege to belong to this church.

Jane S. Sommer
Rustenburg, South Africa

Avoiding Unrighteous Judgment

In the January 1992 “I Have a Question” section, Glenn Jorgenson answers a question about shunning youth because of their appearance. As the membership records clerk in my ward, I am acutely aware of the number of less-active members who have become that way because of the unrighteous judgment of fellow Church members. The principles Brother Jorgenson outlines for righteous judgment are universal and applicable to all of us. If each one of us would apply these principles of looking for the good in people and complimenting them for it, there would be fewer less-active members in our midst. In addition to offending others, unrighteous judgment affects the one rendering the judgment as well.

Tim Heavrin
Sedgwick, Maine

The Arrival of Two Friends

I regularly read and study the scriptures but am always happy every month when two friends arrive to help me with my gospel study. I am always engrossed in what my two friends have to say, and as they expound on different aspects of the gospel, I am educated and entertained by their viewpoints on myriad topics.

Often my two friends speak about problems I have been facing their viewpoints allow me to see a different approach to a problem that has been a stumbling block to me.

When they are through expounding on the gospel topics, I am left with a wealth of ideas to ponder and study until their next visit.

Who are these two friends? The Ensign and New Era.

Robert Ranes
Tucson, Arizona