Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Mormon History Coloring Book, 1923: January, “Loyalty to Principles”

Mormon History Coloring Book, 1923: January, “Loyalty to Principles”

By: Ardis E. Parshall - February 08, 2009

In 1923, The Children’s Friend – then a magazine aimed almost exclusively to the parents and teachers of children (their “friends”) rather than to the children themselves – provided line drawings to illustrate every month’s issue. Primary teachers could color and mount the pictures and use them as visual aids. Children whose families subscribed to the magazine could color the pictures and paste them into the scrapbooks that the children were encouraged to keep.

They could work just as well today as coloring pages for Primary or Family Home Evening use.

The theme for all Primary lessons (all classes, all ages) in January 1923 was “loyalty to principles,” illustrated by the loyalty of Latter-day Saints to the principle of unity, as shown by our willingness to cooperate in the building of new towns and settlements.

We are moving, can’t you see?
So we all shall have to work;
For we’re called this very day
On a mission far away.
We are happy as can be,
Never, never will we shirk!

“Who will hold the darling babe?”
Mother called, “While I get in?”
“I,” “Let me,” the children shouted.
“No,” said father, with a grin,

“I will hold her here beside me.
Maybe she will help me drive.”
So he took our darling gently
While our mother got inside.

“Now, all ready?” shouted father.
“Hurry up, for we must start!”
So they went upon their journey,
Each one with a happy heart.

When our father told us how
We were called to country new,
We just pitched right and helped
Get things ready, wouldn’t you?

“Boys,” said father, “catch the chicks,
Ned a rooster, Jack a hen.”
So they ran and caught them, and
Mary put them in the pen.

Now where do you think we’re going?
We’ll challenge you all to tell!
And why do we look so happy?
And why do we work so well?

We’ll whisper to you the secret,
Listen closely as you can:
We’ve been called to fill a mission,
And we’re loyal to a man.

“Come Charlie!” called out brother Joe,
“We both can help, I think;
While father yokes the oxen up
We’ll let the horses drink.”

“For soon we will be ready, Joe,
To leave Salt Lake, you know.
We’re called to start a settlement
To help the Church to grow.”

 The girls would always do their part
Their duty was,you see,
To help to spin and sew and cook,
And mother’s helpers be.

Some tore the carpet rags in strips
While others sewed them strong,
And wound them firmly into balls
With merry laugh and song.



  1. I have several copies of these old magazines which were my Mother-In-Laws at one time. The pictures and stories in them are priceless. Thanks for posting a great example for us to see!

    Comment by IntheDoghouse — February 8, 2009 @ 8:53 am

  2. “Old Mr. Mickle is as sour as a pickle . . .”

    “The skinny, skinny kitty . . .”

    “Playing Indian . . .”

    Amazing, the power of publications (in my case, The Children’s Friend) to influence our ideas and graphics tastes from early childhood. Mom read to me regularly from the Friend, and it was a welcome arrival in our rural mailbox in the 1950s.

    Comment by Rick Grunder — February 8, 2009 @ 9:52 am

  3. They named their hen Jack? Love it.

    Comment by Jami — February 8, 2009 @ 10:15 am

  4. Welcome, Doghouse.

    Rick, for me The Children’s Friend was — and always will be — Barnaby Bumbleberry.

    Jami, I like the idea of naming a hen Jack, too, but I think Ned and Jack were the two boys who were assigned to catch the rooster and hen. Otherwise, it would be too challenging to decide which to put on our Keepa t-shirts: Jack the Hen, or Arnold’s Hen of God!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — February 8, 2009 @ 10:26 am

  5. I think that Jack and Ned were the kids too. But I’m getting chickens this spring and they may become Jack and Ned and Keepa. :) I’ll send pictures if it happens. The kids will probably want to name them Red and Goldy and Princess Egg.

    Comment by Jami — February 9, 2009 @ 10:28 am

  6. Delightful. Keep these coming! It’s interesting to see how the style of graphics and illustrations change over time. Plus, I would love to see if the artists ever stray into the scandalous practice of portraying deity as cartoons.

    I found it a little odd that a 1923 publication would highlight, as its example of loyalty to principle, the colonizing effort of yesteryear. I would have thought they would have highlighted something a little more “modern”?

    Comment by Hunter — February 9, 2009 @ 3:20 pm

  7. Hunter, I’ve spent some more time with the 1923 volume today and now understand what they were doing. It’s worth a separate post, to come in a few days.

    I’ve also discovered a 6th picture for this set and will be adding it this evening, then will post the other sets over time.

    Comment by Ardis Parshall — February 9, 2009 @ 3:51 pm

  8. Great, thanks.

    Comment by Hunter — February 9, 2009 @ 3:56 pm

  9. I love these!

    Comment by Tatiana — February 11, 2009 @ 6:23 am

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