Find out how a concentration camp survivor and a Nazi Waffen-SS soldier met, fell in love, found the gospel, and joined the Church.
Agnes Veronika Erdös and Gustav Palm experienced World War II under vastly different conditions: she as a prisoner in a concentration camp and he as an SS soldier. Amazingly, the two would fall in love, help each other heal, and embrace a common faith in God that would lead them to find The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. BY O. HÅKAN PALM
Agnes Erdös was an only child, born of Jewish parents but baptized into the Catholic church with her family when she was 9 years old. Though she lived a rather carefree childhood, her life was turned upside down when Hitler invaded Poland. Because of their Jewish descent, she and her parents were treated as Jews and were sent to a ghetto in Nazi-invaded Hungary.
In 1944, SS soldiers emptied the ghetto where Agnes and her parents had been living, whisking everyone onto a freight car and from there to a warehouse in Zalaegerszeg, Hungary—their first stop on the way to Auschwitz.
In distant Norway, when news of war between England and Germany came, Gustav Palm felt it was far away and cared little about it. But when Germany invaded Norway, Gustav, with little political knowledge and no one to turn to for advice, decided to join the National Socialist Party, which he found full of bold ideas and ambitious members.
Today for President Thomas S. Monson's 87th birthday, we tried to find six life experiences that the prophet has never shared at general conference. You may not have heard these inspiring stories before!
A Missing Photograph Miracle
Brother Edwin Q. Cannon Jr., we call him Ted, was a missionary to Germany in 1938. He loved the people and served faithfully. At the conclusion of his mission, he returned home to Salt Lake City. He married and commenced his own business.
Forty years passed by. One day Brother Cannon came to my office and said he had been pruning his missionary photographs. (That’s a good word. You go through all of them, throw two away, and keep all rest.) Among those photographs he had kept since his mission were several which he could not specifically identify. Every time he had planned to discard them, he had been impressed to keep them, although he was at a loss as to why. They were photographs taken by Brother Cannon during his mission when he served in Stettin, Germany, and were of a family—a mother, a father, a small girl, and a small boy. He knew their surname was Berndt but could remember nothing more about them. He indicated that he understood there was a Berndt who was a Church leader in Germany, and he thought, although the possibility was remote, that this Berndt might have some connection with the Berndts who had lived in Stettin and who were depicted in the photographs. Before disposing of the photos, he thought he would check with me.
When will the Second Coming be and how can we prepare for it? Find out the truth behind 5 myths about Christ's return to earth.
In working as a religious educator for almost four decades, I have been delighted to witness a significant rise in what might be called scriptural literacy or gospel scholarship among the young people of the Church. This is a tribute to devoted mothers and fathers, advisers and teachers, seminary and institute instructors. Our members are simply more capable and adept at utilizing the standard works in finding answers to their questions, seeking divine guidance, and explaining or defending the teachings of the restored gospel to those not of our faith.
And yet, there are certain misleading concepts, unsupportable ideas—myths—that persist among our members. Recently I wrote of five myths about the Millennium. Let me now suggest some mistaken notions I have encountered about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
Myth #1: Every person on earth will have heard the message of the restored gospel before the Lord returns in glory.
I suppose this idea has spread because of the Savior’s declaration on the Mount of Olives: “And again, this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world, for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end come, or the destruction of the wicked” (Joseph Smith-Matthew 1:31).
Women today are bombarded by harmful messages in society about their bodies and appearances. And sometimes our harshest critics are the eyes looking back at us in the mirror. When our sense of personal beauty is threatened, it’s important to remember who the rightful beholder of true beauty is—our Heavenly Father.
In the second grade when I got my first pair of eyeglasses, my mother said, “My little girl isn’t pretty anymore.” A few years later, my brother told me I had ugly teeth and called me a rude name.
Years later, I overheard a boy I was dating say to his friends that he thought I was cute, except he thought my nose was too big. Another boy who was teaching me to dive commented that I looked great in a swimsuit, barring my large hips. Yet another boy told me I was a fun person but that I didn’t have much on top. I took all of these comments about my body and tucked them away in my heart. They have stuck with me over the years and negatively affected the way I see and feel about myself.
Eventually I got contact lenses and had my teeth fixed, which helped me feel better about myself. Yet, whenever I looked in the mirror I still saw a big nose, large hips, and a flat chest. I habitually wore long sweaters and shirts to cover my hips, padded bras to enhance my chest, and avoided wearing swimsuits like the plague.
These experiences have taught me that words can have a deep impact on people— for good or bad. Why do those careless, negative words seem to stick like superstrength adhesive while the positive ones slide off like soft butter? Why do we so willingly believe the negative words?
Every Monday, we're excited for FHE, but a lot of hard work goes into it! Follow the 10 emotional stages parents go through as they get ready for this night of family learning and fun.
Mondays are the worst. But Monday nights are the best! Time for family home evening!
Wait. You haven’t actually planned FHE yet. You have no lesson plan, the house is a mess, and there's nothing in the cupboards for dessert.
You can do this. You do this every week. Just delegate some tasks to the kids, shove the kids' toys into the hall closet, and throw some store-bought cookie dough in the oven.
You've shopped, cleaned, and planned, but nobody else is ready for the epic FHE you've prepared.
Time to round up the kids.
Make sure they pay attention.
They won't sit still long. You've got ten minutes tops before they run off again.