April 1998

“Comment,” Ensign, Apr. 1998, 80


Kanesville Tabernacle Update

In the September 1997 issue is a reproduction of a drawing that you identified as the Kanesville Tabernacle (p. 50). The original is in Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper of 16 October 1858 (p. 15) with the caption “Remains Of The Original Mormon Temple, Crescent City.—From a Sketch By Our Own Correspondent.” Crescent City is about 10 miles north of Council Bluffs (formerly Kanesville). From notations in The Frontier Guardian, published in Kanesville, the Saints built two tabernacles in the Crescent City area: the Big Pigeon Tabernacle and the Benson Mill Tabernacle. The 1858 drawing is obviously of one of them. The Kanesville Tabernacle was dismantled after late 1849, according to the Pottawattamie high council minutes. Also, the Kanesville Tabernacle had many fewer windows than the Crescent City drawing shows. The article that accompanies the original drawing says nothing about the 1858 correspondent visiting Council Bluffs.

Myrtle S. Hyde

Ogden, Utah

Call for Articles

“We must make an increasingly substantial effort to assist [converts] as they find their way,” said President Gordon B. Hinckley. “Every one of them needs three things: a friend, a responsibility, and nurturing with ‘the good word of God’” (Ensign, May 1997, 47). In preparation for articles on convert retention, the Ensign invites readers to relate accounts such as the following:

  1. What specific things did you do to maintain involvement in the Church, or what things did you do to build relationships with other members?

  2. What did others do to help you make the transition to active involvement in the Church?

Reports should be 2–5 double-spaced typewritten pages. At the top of the first page, write “Convert Retention.” Send to Ensign Magazine, 50 East North Temple Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84150-3224, U.S.A. Persons wishing their manuscripts returned should enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

Random Acts of Kindness

In the July 1997 Ensign, we read with interest both Random Sampler articles on page 68.

Serving as missionaries, we recognize the need for us all to be more actively involved in proclaiming the gospel. We would add to the activities listed in “Teaching the Mission of the Church” the following: share a copy of an appropriate Ensign selection with a nonmember friend or relative.

We will send a copy of “Adopted, Not Different” on the same page to a relative who has adopted a little girl. We know this family will appreciate the insights expressed.

Eileen Starr
Germany Frankfurt Mission

Power of the Atonement

In the October 1997 issue you published a Random Sampler titled “Object Lessons that Motivate” (p. 70) that compared someone who has sinned to a sticky, handled piece of candy. While the point of the story, which was apparently to teach the importance of avoiding moral transgression, was well received, the example is more intimidating than motivating.

Even though this example of a dirty piece of candy certainly illustrates the aversion we should have to sin, where does it leave the role of the Atonement should the sinner recognize the error of his or her ways? Jesus Christ has paid the price so that all sinners can be renewed. As Alma recorded, “Behold, he sendeth an invitation unto all men, for the arms of mercy are extended towards them, and he saith: Repent, and I will receive you” (Alma 5:33).

Perhaps a better object lesson would include in some way an illustration of how the power of the Atonement can make that once undesirable piece of candy new again by eradicating from it all traces of sin.

Christine Camille
Joshua Kennedy
Charleston, South Carolina

When Loved Ones Go Astray

I found “When Our Children Go Astray” (February 1997) helpful in dealing not only with children but also with parents and other loved ones who may have gone astray. Feelings of disappointment, sorrow, and hurt can surface when anyone we love makes unrighteous decisions. When the one who strays is a parent, children may have feelings of anger at being abandoned or betrayed by one who is supposed to provide for and guide them, feelings of unworthiness when honoring parents seems difficult, and a sense of failure when good examples do not have the effect they want.

Thankfully we have been blessed by a loving Heavenly Father with the supportive structure of the Church. The Savior declared that as we do his will, we are adopted into the family of God (see Matt. 12:46–50). Within the sisterhood and brotherhood of the Church, we can find positive role models and loving relationships. While these do not replace relationships we are working on, they help us as we learn to love imperfect parents and honor the positive contributions they have made to our lives.

Name Withheld