Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Coming Next Week at Keepapitchinin

Coming Next Week at Keepapitchinin

By: Ardis E. Parshall - May 29, 2009

After a couple of weeks of ye editore’s vacation and attendant laziness, Keepa is back at full strength. Here’s what’s on tap for next week:


“A Jubilee Shall that Fiftieth Year Be Unto You” – The church celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Mutual Improvement Association. Lots of pictures!


“The Ugliest Post Keepa Has Ever Published” – Not long ago we read a 1935 Sunday School lesson on race relations which was a more hopeful, more Christ-like treatment of race than we are used to thinking of in connection with the early 20th century. This post, however, is the flip side of that one: It is, perhaps, the most vile thing I have ever read in Mormon writings. It is published here not for its sensational value, and certainly not for its reflection of modern Mormonism, but as a reminder of how truly ugly aspects of the past have been. Should you ever be inclined to think that we discuss race too often, or that offended persons should simply “get over it,” remember this post and understand how pervasive racism has been.


“Josephine de la Harpe: From the Tsar’s Court to the Kingdom of God” – The conversion and faithful life of one of the most intriguing, most international Latter-day Saints I have ever come across. Why were the Russian secret police alerted to watch for this Mormon convert and prevent her from leaving Europe? How does an aristocratic woman whose background ranges from the fight for Swiss independence to the diplomatic life of Havana, Cuba, come to be the wife of a gardener in Salt Lake City?


“She Had a Question, 1909” – Will chess and checkers corrupt my morals? Shall I let my young man kiss me good night? How do I cook beefsteak “scientifically”? Fortunately, I can get answers to all life’s 1909-era questions by writing to the “Girl Query” department of the Young Woman’s Journal!


“The Rabbi and the Mission President” – They fought over their religious views in the public press. But what would the rabbi do when the Mormons were unfairly maligned?


“Funny Bones, 1927” – Do you know a golfer? Is your husband inactive? Had a fight with your wife lately? Tune in for the usual Saturday wise-cracks taken from old church magazines.


“Latter-day Saint Images, 1908” – Another collection of images from our family photo album: Mormon congregations, church architecture, and missionary P-Day travels from early in the 20th century.

“Gospel Doctrine Lesson 21: How We Taught This Topic in the Past” – This collection of past church lessons on the same general subject as this year’s lesson on “Looking Forth for the Great Day of the Lord to Come” includes teachings from 1924 to 1974, from the Sunday School, Young Women’s Mutual Improvement Association,  Melchizedek Priesthood quorums, and Relief Society. Sometimes we stressed the terrors of the coming last days; at other times we stressed the joy of the righteous at the Lord’s Second Coming. How does that compare to this year’s lesson?

Also to come in June and July:

Cover art from church magazines with patriotic and pioneer themes

“Mormon Underwear.” Illustrated. ’Nuff said, for now

A post on a 1917 Boy Scout hike along a part of the Mormon Trail

The Bureau of Information – an illustrated tour of the forerunners of our visitors’ centers

The account of an automobile tour from Salt Lake City to the southern tip of South America

It’s “Curtains” for the Salt Lake Tabernacle

An illustrated report on the Mormon missionaries who took baseball to Japan

The illustrated history of the original Nauvoo Relief Society monument

A night in a British air raid shelter during World War II

What was found “In the Belly of a Shark”?

Mormon pageantry: George Washington, the Spirit of the Hive, the Lost City, and more

Mormon history is almost too much fun to be legal!



  1. Ardis: You’ve whetted my appitite. I can’t wait for next week’s Keepa posts.

    Comment by Steve C. — May 29, 2009 @ 12:31 pm

  2. Thanks, Steve. Here’s hoping I can live up to it, Steve. The materials I need for Monday and Tuesday are somewhere in that four or five foot stack of photocopies in the corner, and I’ve got to rediscover them sometime this weekend!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — May 29, 2009 @ 12:49 pm

  3. In as manly of a voice as I can muster: Squee!

    Comment by Chad Too — May 29, 2009 @ 1:10 pm

  4. Can’t remember when I’ve heard such manly enthusiasm, Chad! Thanks. :)

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — May 29, 2009 @ 1:53 pm

  5. Ardis-

    Great lineup. Looking forward to all of them.

    Comment by Brandon — May 29, 2009 @ 3:12 pm

  6. I am especially looking forward to the story of Josephine de la Harpe. I never knew that any believing Latter-day Saint stood in the presence of Tsar Nikolai II. I do recall that Count Leo Tolstoy corresponded with a relation of Brigham Young and that a copy of the Book of Mormon was in his library at his country estate, Yasnaya Polyana. (Not sure if the occupying Nazi’s threw it in the mud to use as stepping ‘stones’ as they
    did with so many of his other volumes.) It is, I believe, still to be seen in the library, although I personally haven’t seen it.
    Please keep these jewels of LDS History coming! Thank you for your efforts on the behalf of us all!

    Comment by Velikiye Kniaz — May 29, 2009 @ 4:39 pm

  7. I can see that your vacation was good for you. In case any of us grew tired of waiting for you and jumped ship, you tempt us with little teasers so we are sure to stay with you for the next round.

    Carry on! Carry on! Carry on!!!

    Comment by Maurine — May 29, 2009 @ 8:40 pm

  8. You see right through my sly little scheme, Maurine!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — May 29, 2009 @ 8:51 pm

  9. It all sounds fascinating. Can’t wait to read it!

    Comment by Tatiana — May 30, 2009 @ 2:48 am

  10. No kidding, Ardis: This is why your blog is must-read for me. Awesome, awesome, awesome. And I have to say as a historian – BIG THANKS for posting the entire thing when you use historical material. Those of us without your privileged access and keen eye just would never encounter these gems any other way. Keepa up the good work.

    Comment by jeans — May 30, 2009 @ 7:04 am

  11. Truely outstanding. Hard to wrap my mind around such consistent awesomeness.

    Comment by J. Stapley — May 30, 2009 @ 3:51 pm

  12. I bow to no man. Thank heaven above Ardis is not a man!

    Comment by Ray — May 30, 2009 @ 9:35 pm

  13. Hey Ardis, my father in law did a Utah to Patagonia road trip back in the 60s, so anxious to hear what kind of similar story you have!

    Comment by Rob — May 31, 2009 @ 8:38 pm

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