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.