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Mormon History Coloring Book, 1923: June, “Response to Good Leadership”

By: Ardis E. Parshall - April 26, 2009

The Primary children of June, 1923, learned the motto “Obedience to the True Leader Brings Protection” in support of the month’s theme, “Response to Good Leadership.” Teachers told stories about obeying babysitters, and following the directions of crossing guards, school leaders, and church officials. And because the overall program for the year concerned Church history for the early years of Utah settlement, the children heard stories relating to the Utah War.

These drawings, printed in the Children’s Friend for use as teaching aids — and just as suitable today as coloring book pages — include a family packing to abandon Salt Lake City before the army arrived. In the background, a man carries straw into a building so that it could be burned should the army begin looting. And in a surprisingly broad-minded gesture, one of the drawings pays tribute to the good behavior of the soldiers who, despite Mormon fears, obeyed their own leaders and marched through the city without the slightest misbehavior; the last verse accompanying that picture refers to Col. Philip St. George Cooke, former leader of the Mormon Battalion and then (1858) entering Utah with the Utah Expedition, who reportedly doffed his hat in tribute to his former comrades.

“Now, Mary Ann,” the mother said,
“You must be nice today
And do the things that Jennie asks,
Because I’ll be away.”

So Mary Ann, and little Nell,
And also Bob, their brother,
Were glad their sister to obey;
She took the place of mother.

When we attempt to cross the street,
We feel so very queer,
We hardly know just when to start,
So many cars are near.

And so we watch the officer,
Because he’s sure to know,
He gives a signal to the cars,
And we in safety go.

Johnston’s Army on the march
Was coming very near.
Something quickly must be done.
That fact to all was clear.

And so from leaders brave and true
The word was handed down,
“Pack up supplies of food and clothes
And hasten from the town.”

The order promptly was obeyed,
And folks from far and near
Found refuge in the southern towns,
And waited without fear.

At recess time, the boys and girls
All like to run and play;
They jump the rope, play ball and tag,
So full of life are they.

And seldom one of them is hurt,
As they might be at schools,
Their teachers tell them how to play,
And they observe the rules.

The word was sent to Johnston’s men,
“You may pass through our land,
If you will promise one and all
Not e’en to lift a hand.”

The army came and marched in file
Through Salt Lake City, fair,
And ’tis said the Colonel bared his head
In respect to comrades there.

“If you will keep the laws of God
In both your work and play,
You now and ever will be blessed,”
The bishop said one day.

And thus the promises of God,
Through leaders good and true,
Are being constantly revealed,
And taught to me and you.



8 Comments »

  1. I clicked over to Keepa to quote some random and accusatory scripture at you, Ardis, but find that I don’t have it in me. :-)

    In regards to the point about following good leadership, I’ve been reading John A Peterson’s book Utah’s Black Hawk Indian War. The theme is not as clear as in his thesis, but it is still quite clear that the towns that did not obey Brigham Young’s directions to leave their settlements and move to areas with larger populations and fortifications were the ones to suffer some of the greatest depredations. This is just one facet of the war, and very much a simplification of all the factors involved, but if the Saints had followed Young’s directions and the principles of Christian charity, the hardships could have been much greater or nonexistent.

    For years I’ve been telling my children if they’re disobedient, that’s when most accidents happen. (“If you’re disobedient, you get hurt,” and they know that’s an explanation of how the world works and not a threat.) I find time after time that it is true. Sometimes accidents and bad situations just happen, but many accidents and injuries are avoidable by following the instructions of their parents.

    Comment by Researcher — April 26, 2009 @ 9:45 am

  2. Work on it a little, will you, Researcher? What the bloggernacle stands in need of most is more random and accusatory scripture quoting!

    In the meantime, thanks for your examples. I’m teaching Relief Society this morning, based on Elder Hales’ talk on “Christian Courage: The Price of Discipleship.” Following on the heels of last Sunday’s lesson on persecution, it would be easy to let this drift into a feel-good discussion of how bad things happen to us because we’re so good, when in fact we can to some degree control the bad things that happen to us by the way we respond to other people, and that part of the price of discipleship is concern for others and responding with less interest in self-vindication and more interest in taking the harder, better way. Not that I always/often succeed in that, especially in the bloggernacle, but it’s what good leaders teach.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — April 26, 2009 @ 10:17 am

  3. A coloring book with an image of “Johnston’s men”? Now I’ve seen it all!

    Comment by Hunter — April 26, 2009 @ 10:26 am

  4. I’m glad I came back and glanced at this post again. In the second paragraph, I did not mean to say “the hardships could have been much greater.” I meant the exact opposite! (Whoops!)

    And teasing Ardis about a comment she made on another blog might be bad form, but it was such an amazing comment… (Rootbeer floats, anyone?)

    Comment by Researcher — April 26, 2009 @ 4:12 pm

  5. That teasing might have been incomprehensible to some, Researcher, but it made me laugh. Who knew that we both read so far down into the bowels of the Bloggernacle?

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — April 26, 2009 @ 7:05 pm

  6. Hi Ardis…
    Quick question if I may about this “old” article.
    Was Minerva Tiechert the artist for the “Cooke doffing his hat” image?
    It sure looks like her style, but being just an outline drawing, it’s hard to tell.
    YHS – Bud

    Comment by Kevin Henson — October 22, 2011 @ 12:38 pm

  7. Kevin, these are all unsigned, and I have no awareness that Minerva Teichert was associated with the Children’s Friend. Somebody had to draw them, but I don’t know who it was.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — October 23, 2011 @ 9:33 am

  8. After reviewing this old post, I should also record that Bill MacKinnon has traced the apparent origins of the myth that Colonel Cooke doffed his hat in honor of Battalion veterans. His account was part of his presidential address at the meeting of the Mormon History Association this past spring, and should be available in the printed version of that talk in Journal of Mormon History sometime early in 2012.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — October 23, 2011 @ 9:38 am

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