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Mormon History Coloring Book, 1923: February, “Meeting Other Peoples”

By: Ardis E. Parshall - February 22, 2009

The theme for Primary lessons for all ages in February 1923 was “Meeting Other Peoples,” stressing the motto “He Who Plants Courtesy and Kindness Reaps Respect.” As helps to the teachers, the Children’s Friend published outline drawings of scenes from Church history that could be colored and mounted and used as teaching aids.

Could they be used as a quiet reading and coloring activity for today’s children during Sacrament Meeting? (I recognize that some skirt the edges of political correctness, but I don’t think any lines are crossed, especially with the historical context. YMMV.)

What do you think our mother said
When some Indians asked for bread
At her home one day?
They were dressed in blankets bright,
Moccasins of buckskin white,
And in feathers gay.
“Well,” she said, with smile so sweet,
“If you’re hungry you must eat,”
Kindness was her way.

“Come home with us. Our cottage stands
Right here as you can see,”
“And have some cake or fruit, for, oh,
How hungry you must be.”

Thus greeted they the immigrants
From lands across the sea,
Who had come to live the gospel
In this land of liberty.

And now their neighbors wonder why
They have so many friends.
‘Tis courtesy and kindness bring
Such blessings in the end.

The call had come and we had moved
To far off Mexico
The people there are very queer
They wear the sombrero.

One day a strange thing happened,
You couldn’t guess, I think.
Some Mexicans came riding up
And asked us for a drink.

We all were scared, but father said,
“Be kind, my dear, it pays.”
And after we had kindness shown
They were our friends always.

The gospel plan is to be preached
To white man and to red,
In kindness and with patience and
In love, our leaders said.

So when we met with Indians brave,
With chiefs and warriors strong,
We found that just one kindly act
Would help the cause along.

We are in a foreign land,
An isle among the South Sea’s strand,
Where the palm trees grow,
Called the gospel truths to preach,
Love of God and man to teach,
Seeds of faith to sow.
Many friends we here will find
If we are polite and kind
Everywhere we go.

When strangers come to our fair land
And ask if they might see
The buildings on the Temple Block
The guide will take no fee.

But with kind courtesy he tells
The story free to all.
When they exclaim, “No fee!” he says
“A missionary call.”

So when these strangers all return
To homes both far and near,
They have a good word for our Church:
That kindness pays, ’tis clear.



5 Comments »

  1. I was especially charmed by the last one – you can tell these are “strangers in our fair land” because the lady is dressed so fashionably!

    I love the message here of hospitality & generosity & outreach in kindness, regardless of race. Yes, patronizing – it was the 1920s after all – but still, lovely.

    Comment by jeans — February 22, 2009 @ 1:52 pm

  2. The people there are very queer
    They wear the sombrero.

    Um, yeah, language has changed a bit since then. You’d have to rewrite this part, for sure.

    I agree that the intent is laudable in these coloring books. I do wish they had portrayed the arrival of missionaries to the Pacific a bit more accurately, with the missionaries being dressed like the natives rather than arriving on a luxury steamship and wearing suites and ties. That at least would soften a bit the colonialism implicit in the picture.

    Comment by David G. — February 22, 2009 @ 5:59 pm

  3. You could change it to:

    The people there are sincere
    They wear the sombrero.

    When I saw that picture of Mexico, I wondered if those men riding up getting the water were, in fact, Pancho Villa and his men.

    Comment by Steve C. — February 22, 2009 @ 6:35 pm

  4. I really like these. I may use them (with minor modifications) for FHE. They really drive home the point that tolerance and political correctness are (or should be) about kindness and respect.

    Comment by Martin Willey — February 24, 2009 @ 11:17 am

  5. I’m glad I’m not the only one who sees some value in these, despite their being dated (with the problems that implies). There are 12 “chapters” to be posted over time.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — February 24, 2009 @ 12:27 pm

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