“Comment,” Ensign, Dec. 1997, 71


Same-Gender Attraction

As an active member I have struggled with same-sex attraction for many years. I was delighted to see this topic addressed in recent articles (“Same-Gender Attraction,” Oct. 1995; “Becoming Whole Again,” Jan. 1997; “When Our Children Go Astray,” Feb. 1997). The articles show a sensitivity and compassion for those of us who face this challenge. I hope articles such as these will educate members and help them better understand these tremendous trials.

I am fortunate to have had sensitive, loving friends in the Church, as well as priesthood leaders who have counseled with and assisted me over the years. I was also blessed to work with a competent, caring counselor at LDS Social Services.

One of the most helpful things for me as I’ve faced this ordeal has been to know that there are other members of the Church who struggle with this issue who remain faithful and obedient.

I remain active and faithful in the Church. I meet with my bishop and priesthood leaders and request blessings when needed. I still face struggles on occasion, but overall I am happy and content with my life. I would like for others in the midst of these struggles to know that peace is available through Jesus Christ.

Name Withheld

Lesson Lifesavers

Our family recently moved. Before we lived near a temple and had two Latter-day Saint bookstores close by. Our new area has neither, and I’ve missed the convenience.

Your pictures and inspirational articles have been a lifesaver for more than one lesson.

We cut out pictures for use as visual aids, as well as around the house, and the articles provide support and encouragement.

Susan Farnsworth
Canton, Michigan

Starting Family History

“Getting Started with Family History” (February 1997) was a great inspiration for me to continue searching my family history.

I am a convert and thought my task of family history would be overwhelming. I didn’t even know where to start. Because of my family’s feelings about the Church, I was unable to get any information about any family beyond my own grandparents.

Eventually I found a great-aunt who was willing to give me my great-grandfather’s name. I went to the new family history center located in our meetinghouse, and with the help of workers there I was able to locate more information on my family.

Imagine my joy when I found that my great-great-grandfather had been baptized; his endowment work had even been performed. I found out that my ancestors came from Holland nine generations ago and that some of my ancestors made that long journey to Utah in the 1800s. What an exciting discovery to know that I am not alone and that I have family who are members of the Church.

Michelle Ouderkirk Orton
Grandview, Washington

“Pioneering in the Andes”

My heartfelt thanks for “Pioneering in the Andes” (January 1997). As a missionary in the Andes Mission from 1965 to 1967, I prepared much of the music for the meetings President Roberto Vidal attended. He was a cultured, dignified, and articulate man whose knowledge of administration allowed the Church in Lima to function efficiently. There wasn’t a member or missionary in Peru who didn’t love and respect him.

All of us were pioneers in those early days of the Church in the Andean Region; we just didn’t realize it. There wasn’t anything we didn’t think we couldn’t do. We had great and inspiring pioneer leadership.

When Ecuador was opened, Elders Spencer W. Kimball and Franklin D. Richards, accompanied by a handful of missionaries and President Avril Jesperson, our mission president, climbed a hill in the center of Quito. Elder Kimball dedicated the land for the preaching of the gospel, and the General Authorities returned to Lima, leaving behind the elders to find places to live and places to worship. There was little communication with Lima; distances were too far and communication too unreliable. We received one package of supplies a month from Lima by private carrier. If we needed help, Elder Robert E. Wells (then president of Citibank of New York in Quito) provided it. Other than that, we took care of ourselves, did our work, and the Lord took care of us.

Thank you for highlighting this wonderful place and some truly great people.

Ronald Horton
Madrid, Spain