November 1997

“Comment,” Ensign, Nov. 1997, 112


Chilean Pioneer

The Ensign has recently featured several articles about pioneers in Latin America. I would like to offer a suggestion for a Chilean pioneer in a country which is having remarkable growth. His name is Carlos Cifuentes.

Brother Cifuentes was among the early converts to the Church when Chile was first opened to missionary work. He was the first Chilean branch president, the first Chilean district president, the first Chilean called as a counselor to a mission president, the first Chilean stake president, the first Chilean called as a regional representative, and the first Chilean to become a member of the Santiago Chile Temple presidency.

This was a remarkable Church service for a humble automobile mechanic who became a legend in the Church in Chile until the time of his death several years ago.

A. Delbert Palmer
Waterton Park, Alberta, Canada

United Thanks

I enjoyed so much Elder Robert E. Wells’s article on blending families (“Uniting Blended Families,” Ensign, Aug. 1997, 24–29). My husband and I read it together. We’re both in a second marriage, which has been such a blessing to us both. We appreciated Elder Wells’s discussion of so many of the issues we’ve faced.

DeAnn Baker
Burley, Idaho

When Loved Ones Go Astray

I was reminded by “Heart to Heart” (June 1997) of the one-on-one interviews my parents had with me as a child. I have a strong testimony of the effectiveness of these personalized sessions. When I think back now on the topics of those discussions, I chuckle and am somewhat embarrassed, but the problems addressed were very real to me then. They in turn became very real and important to my parents.

I was not the only one to share my feelings either. My parents often bore their testimonies, gave pertinent advice, and encouraged me in my goals. They were never critical. I felt safe in these conversations. I also looked forward to them.

Now I am a parent. I intended to carry on the tradition with my own children when they got older. However, after reading your article, I am moved to start now when my sons are only five and two. I am convinced this is an opportune time in their lives to start building honest parent-child communication.

Stacy Gooden
New Middletown, Ohio

I read with interest “When Our Children Go Astray” (February 1997) both from the viewpoint of a parent and as the founder-director of admissions of a center for troubled youth.

Your timely advice to parents to care for themselves during the trial is imperative. Nothing can compensate for the heartache; however, parents can be at peace.

I often see parents attributing unacceptable behavior of their youth to age-typical behavior. If the behavior of your child is inappropriate, seek help. You are not alone. There are many ways for intervention.

Sheryl Bluth Farr
St. George, Utah

Practical Marital Advice

Thank you so much for “Mending Our Marriage” (October 1996) and “Changing Me, Changing My Marriage” (January 1997). My husband and I have been married for seven years. He is my best friend. Recently we moved, he changed jobs, and we faced financial challenges. Needless to say, it put a great strain on our relationship. When we didn’t know what to do next, we received our new Ensign. Thank you for articles that we read and talk about. They not only remind us that we have made eternal covenants but are articles that give us practical ways to keep those covenants.

Name Withheld