Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Latter-day Saint Images, 1931
 


Latter-day Saint Images, 1931

By: Ardis E. Parshall - July 08, 2008

For much of the 20th century, wards and auxiliaries submitted group photographs for publication in the various church periodicals. Typically members would pose on the steps of their chapels or in front of a window arch or some other distinctive architectural feature. Those without chapels — meeting in homes or rented halls — clustered in the open air with a backdrop of trees or rocks.

They sent their photos to say, “We are your brothers and sisters in the gospel. We know what you know, here in our corner of the world; we are members of the same Kingdom.” Call me sentimental, but their sometimes grainy portraits, each individual presence helping to swell the chorus, call as clearly across the decades as they did across the miles. This is our family photo album.


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Liverpool, England
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Toronto, Canada
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San Francisco, California
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Lava Hot Springs, Idaho
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Park City, Utah
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Wahiawa, Hawaii
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London, England
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LDS Children’s Hospital, Salt Lake City, Utah
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San Diego, California
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Columbia, South Carolina
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Prescott, Arizona
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El Paso, Texas
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Detroit, Michigan
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22 Comments »

  1. “We are your brothers and sisters in the gospel. We know what you know, here in our corner of the world; we are members of the same Kingdom.”

    Ardis, I just returned from a vacation to Korea, where I met just one other Latter-day Saint. Her English was less-than-understandable (though leaps and bounds better than my complete inability to say anything beyond “hello” and “thank you” in her tongue), but the words she knew included “Brothers and Sisters,” which she repeated again and again as we embraced. It was a moving experience. So label me sentimental, too. Thanks for this short but rich post. Those pictures are wonderful.

    Comment by Christopher — July 8, 2008 @ 11:25 am

  2. #1 – What a beautiful story, Christopher.

    Ardis, I was struck particularly by the pictures from London (such few saints in the picture) and South Carolina (my oldest son is attending college in SC, and my parents served a mission there). Thank you for this wonderful snapshot of the early saints.

    Comment by Ray — July 8, 2008 @ 2:19 pm

  3. The SC picture grabs me too; 2/3 of my ward is on that side of the NC/SC line. I’d love to see a list of who is in the picture and play connect-the-dots to the current generation of active Saints.

    Comment by Chad Too — July 8, 2008 @ 9:36 pm

  4. Chad Too, what area of SC? My son attends Winthrop in Rock Hill.

    Comment by Ray — July 8, 2008 @ 11:17 pm

  5. This is another example of low quantity but extremely high quality comments. Thank you, Chris, Ray, and Chad — I’m pretty sure you saw in these pictures just what I saw. (And whether anybody else likes it or not, I’m going to post other pictures from other places and times — I just love looking at them, wondering whether any of them are still living, how long they had been members and what their callings were, and imagining them all trooping out of Sunday School to line up for Brother Fussbudget to take the picture.)

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — July 9, 2008 @ 8:28 am

  6. I have a soft spot for group shots myself. Keepapostinem!

    Comment by Jami — July 9, 2008 @ 11:36 am

  7. Jami — :)

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — July 9, 2008 @ 11:54 am

  8. There’s something about a photograph. Thanks for posting these.

    Comment by Edje — July 9, 2008 @ 12:38 pm

  9. I don’t have any photographs like this from any of the wards I’ve attended in the United States, but I do have a real gem from one of my mission branches in a small German town up in the hills far away from the center of the stake and very far away from the church in America.

    Of all your photos, it looks most like the one from Liverpool.

    I sometimes look at my photo of the branch and remember the people with alternating fondness, humor, and frustration.

    Comment by Researcher — July 9, 2008 @ 1:05 pm

  10. I live in Charlotte, NC, but the Ward is the Fort Mill ward.

    Does your son attend the Rock Hill Ward? That one neighbors us.

    Comment by Chad Too — July 9, 2008 @ 8:40 pm

  11. It would also be interesting, Ardis, to find out if any of the folks in the SC picture are connected with the Catawba Tribe that converted en masse in the 1880s. Many from the current Catawba generation have wandered from the Church, yet many faithful Saints remain.

    My ward building is on Catawba land.

    Comment by Chad Too — July 9, 2008 @ 8:45 pm

  12. Chad, when he can get there he attends the Rock Hill ward.

    Do you know Bro. Partlow? His brother (I think they are brothers.) is our CES Director here in Ohio. He also is the HP Group Leader in his ward, so I interact with him somewhat regularly in his calling.

    Sorry, Ardis, for the continued personal discussion – but it’s increasing your comments per thread ratio. *grin*

    Comment by Ray — July 10, 2008 @ 6:33 am

  13. Ray, I’m all about the numbers!

    (You’re perfectly welcome to chat. And anytime any two people give me permission to share email addresses, I’m happy to connect you behind the scenes, too.)

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — July 10, 2008 @ 8:27 am

  14. Sorry, Partlow doesn’t ring a bell. Though I’ve been in this area for 14 years, I’ve only been in this ward (having moved into a newly-built home) since this time last year.

    A Stake-split two years ago moved the Rock Hill ward into a different stake, so I don’t get the opportunity to meet people over there much.

    Let me know if you’re headed down for a visit. Carolina Bloggersnacker!

    PS, why Winthrop? What is he studying?

    Comment by Chad Too — July 10, 2008 @ 11:13 am

  15. If I close comments on this thread, it isn’t because of the personal conversation but because we’re under attack by a spambot (153 attempts to post drug spam on this post in the last three hours). So far Akismet, may its name be praised, is holding the fort.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — July 10, 2008 @ 11:40 am

  16. The folks from El Paso would largely be former refugees (and descendants) from the Mexican colonies correct? The stories they could tell…

    For this reason El Paso for many decades is where the church has been strongest in TX. Its not the case now but fleshes out the reason for a such a large gathering in TX in 1931

    Comment by bbell — July 10, 2008 @ 3:25 pm

  17. Great school of education and he wants to be a teacher, God bless his soul. Oh, and the fact that the straight girl – straight guy ratio is somewhere around 10:1 doesn’t hurt. As he says, “The scenery is great!”

    Comment by Ray — July 10, 2008 @ 3:53 pm

  18. I’ll bet you’re right, bbell … wouldn’t you like an afternoon with them and a voice recorder?

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — July 10, 2008 @ 4:06 pm

  19. I really would like to interview these people. I have money that says that in El Paso in 1931 there was at least one older family that was still practicing you know what.

    Comment by bbell — July 11, 2008 @ 8:25 am

  20. [...] groups of LDS people from various places which I find fascinating.  I urge you to go look here and here. The photos of saints in Germany brought back a memory worth [...]

    Pingback by By Common Consent » A Telegram from the Colonies — July 16, 2008 @ 9:19 am

  21. I’m originally from Prescott, Az so I’m very tickled to see a familiar location. That building has long since been sold and, I believe, is being used as a realty office. Which is really too bad because there is a lot of history in that building, though I will admit there is little practical use for it now. I’d hope that someday it could be bought back and used for something.

    Comment by Starfoxy — July 16, 2008 @ 12:49 pm

  22. That’s great, Starfoxy — your comment makes these Saints seem that much closer, more real. The building looks like it would make a great little museum.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — July 16, 2008 @ 1:47 pm

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