• Quote of the Day

    “Surely the reason Christ said, ‘Father, forgive them,’ was because even in that terrible hour He knew that this was the message He had come through all eternity to deliver.”
    —Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

How Long Are You Going to Keep Me?

This month’s New Era contains a sweet little story about an LDS family who adopted a Chinese girl, who always asked them a certain question. In “How Long Are You Going to Keep Me?” the author, Ryan Marie Lusvardi, tells of the various ways his family answered his new sister’s question, telling her that they were going to be with her forever. In addition, he mentions his sister’s attempts to identify with her family:

“Lily had her own system of deciding who was Chinese. She decided our mother, who has dark brown hair, was Chinese because, as Lily put it, ‘Your hair is like mine.’ When my skin became brown in the sun, Lily would say, ‘You’re kind of Chinese because your skin is like mine.’” Lily looked for and found ways each member of our family was like her.”

One of the nicest parts of the story is the artwork, which is by an artist from mainland China. You can see it in the PDF.

Motley Vision Blog on Teichert Article

The LDS blog A Motley Vision recently commented on the article “And Thus We See,” which appears in the August Ensign and features several of Minerva Teichert’s Book of Mormon paintings. As blogger William Morris says, “The Ensign’s art direction is sometimes criticized in Mormon cultural circles. Often justly. But I think it should also be applauded when it delivers.” Can’t fault that logic.

It seems that opinions about Minerva Teichert are divided in the general LDS populace. Some love her, and some, well, don’t. Personally, I like her style. And though I also like Friberg in a way, I enjoy the differences in Teichert’s paintings (for instance, depicting Abinadi as a fully clothed, young to middle-aged man instead of a sinewy octogenarian).

The article is now online and includes links to large versions of the images.

Mormon Singles, This Ensign’s for You

The August 2008 Ensign contains further proof that the magazine is trying to include more articles for young single adults. This issue contains a sort of mini-package of articles for unmarried Church members who are between 18 and 30.  

“Single and Steadfast: Lessons in Hope” was written by Sisters Christine S. Packard and Wendy Ulrich, mental health counselors who frequently work with (and are parents of) young single adults. They offer suggestions for “finding satisfaction, meaning, and happiness in life” by confronting a sense of loss and then learning “to live more peacefully with ‘what is,’ neither ignoring nor overemphasizing the future.” They discuss the following points:

  • Acknowledging pain—without dwelling on it
  • Redefining success
  • Shaping a flexible support network
  • Developing coping skills for adult life
  • Seeing what we might gain

At the end of the article the Ensign asks singles to share their experiences on a variety of issues related to single life in the Church, showing that they plan to include even more articles for young single adults in the future.

“Finding Comfort in King Benjamin’s Counsel,” by Amanda LeSueur, is a nice story about how one young woman comforted her roommates by sharing counsel from the scriptures.

And “Making the Most of Our Single Years,” by Russell Stevenson, offers five principles that can help make dating a more rewarding process.

As young single adults are represented more in the Ensign, they may become more engaged by it and share more of their own stories. Over time, the face of the Ensign may change somewhat as a result. I suppose that could be a good thing.

Do You Want to Go to Primary with Me?

Do you have a desire to share the gospel but find yourself at a loss for how to approach people? This month the Friend magazine includes a story by a young girl whose friend asked her a simple question during recess. In “Do You Want to Go to Primary with Me?” you can read about how this girl and her mother reacted to this question and where it eventually led.

The lesson for us is that we should not hesitate to extend the simple invitations that can make all the difference to those we care about. I suppose it’s one of those ways of becoming like a little child, as the Savior asked us to do.

Now, if only elders quorum were as much fun as Primary. Maybe if we brought some crayons and coloring pages.

Now Is the Time

In the July New Era is an article called “Now Is the Time” about young Latter-day Saints in Ukraine, a country where the Church itself is still quite young. The stories of how they gained a testimony of the restored gospel and how they are learning to serve and lead in the Church are inspiring.

It’s always great to see the modern pioneers around the world and to consider that the Church is still very much a first-generation Church in many places. For those of us whose families have been in the Church for several generations, reading stories like this can put our own membership in a different perspective.

On a side note, if you pay attention to the publication information in the New Era, you’ll notice that the author of this article, Janessa Cloward, was an editorial intern at the New Era earlier this year. The New Era obviously did not send an intern to Ukraine to write the article. She seems to have collected the information and photographs from Church-service missionaries serving in Ukraine. So she didn’t need an expensive trip or an interpreter or translator to get the story. So, all things considered, it worked out well.

Faith in His Step and a Song in His Heart

The Ensign has a reminder of just what it takes to be a member of the Church in some parts of the world. In “Faith in His Step and a Song in His Heart” you can read about Brother Paulo Tvuarde of southern Brazil. He is a farmer who walks about 40 kilometers to church every week, unless the mud is so thick that he can’t make it. As the article says, “If Paulo attended church three out of every four Sundays, then he spent more than 300 hours walking nearly 1,600 kilometers (1,000 mi) each year just to attend church!”

It’s always great to read about people who are doing extraordinary things for the sake of Jesus Christ, His gospel, and His Church. Brother Tvuarde has a marvelous attitude and even does missionary work while plowing his fields. Read the article, and then think about complaining about the lack of good parking spaces at your meetinghouse.

New Era Survey

This month the New Era has been conducting an online survey asking teens to rate its recent covers. So if you know any teens who might be interested in adding their vote, direct them to the New Era’s home page, where they’ll find a link to the survey. (Oh, I suppose older folks are allowed to take the survey, too. Go ahead and take it yourself if you feel like it.)