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I Have a Question, 1912-13

By: Ardis E. Parshall - April 08, 2010

These questions appeared in the pages of the Improvement Era; when those answering the questions were named, those names are indicated in the answers here.

Q. A short time ago, while attending a stake conference, I was requested to state, through the Era, my position on the question of Sunday baseball. The brother making the request said that he had been informed that I had publicly advocated the playing of baseball on Sunday.

A. I am opposed to Sunday baseball, and have been so from my boyhood days. When a young man, I was passionately fond of the game, but today am happy in contemplating the fact that, much as I loved to play it, I never played a game on Sunday. I am grateful to know that I also persuaded more than one young man from playing on Sundays.

Not only am I opposed to Sunday baseball, but I am decidedly and emphatically in favor of a Sunday law which will not only prevent the playing of baseball, but which will provide for the closing of theatres and other places of amusement. In my opinion, our legislators, from the date of Utah’s admission into the Union, have neglected a very important duty to the public, and I hope such a law on this subject may be placed on our statute books when the next legislature shall meet.

I never think of the quiet in the great city of London, on Sundays, and compare it with our own city, that I am not humiliated.

I once had the honor to be president of a large livery company. My compensation was the free use of the horses and carriages; but even with this opportunity, I am glad that I never indulged in a Sunday pleasure ride. I regret that any person ever should have given out the impression that I favored Sunday baseball. – Heber J. Grant

Q. Please inform me through the Era if it is required that members of the Church should refrain from partaking of water as well as food, at the times set apart for fasting.

A. It has been and is generally understood and accepted, by the leading authorities of the Church, that water should not be partaken of during a fast. The late President George Q. Cannon, on several occasions, gave explicit instructions to that effect. However, the obtaining of the Spirit of God is the great object of fasting. the spirit of an acceptable fast is well expressed in Isaiah 58: to loose the bands of wickedness; to undo the heavy burdens; to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke; to deal bread to the hungry; to cover the naked; to bring the poor that are cast out, to your home, and to satisfy the afflicted. Refraining from food and drink, fasting, is but a means to awaken a spirit in the Saints that shall cause them to keep holy the Sabbath, to worship God, and shall lead them to kindly acts of service and self-sacrifice for their fellows. So shall their joy be full, and their fasting perfect, their light shall rise in obscurity and break forth as the morning, their health spring forth speedily, and when they call, the Lord shall answer, “Here I am.” – unsigned

Q. It has been asked what the manner of receiving new members into a ward, and what action should be taken where they neglect or refuse to be present at the ward meeting, to be admitted to fellowship.

A. It is, indeed, very desirable that the members of the Church should be present when their certificates of membership are submitted to the Saints for the purpose of their being admitted to fellowship in the ward.

In many wards the practice is being followed for the bishop or a member of the bishopric to call on those who have arrived in the ward, welcome them, and make other inquiries. Certificates of membership are then applied for, and later the ward teachers or Priests call upon them, notify them of the arrival of the certificates of membership, and invite them to be present at the next meeting. If the visitor finds that through sickness, occupation, or other causes the family, or any member of the family, cannot be present, he so reports.

The bishop submits the names of the family to the Saints for fellowship, and, as a rule, they are accepted as members of the ward.

If persons show indifference, they should be visited and labored with in kindness, by the ward teachers. If necessary, special teachers may be appointed to call upon such persons to impress upon them their responsibility as Latter-day Saints, and to create a feeling that they will be welcome in the ward.

The mission of the Latter-day Saints is to save people; that is the object and the purpose of the gospel, and of the organization that we have. By visiting the wayward, the neglectful, and the indifferent, we but carry out the teachings of Jesus in his remarkable parable concerning the lost sheep.

It is to be hoped that the bishops everywhere will develop the missionary spirit, and that prominent brethren, with the right kind of ability and tact, may be called to assist them in laboring with the indifferent and the neglectful Latter-day Saints. This is a subject that might well be taken up by High Councils and bishops. – unsigned

Q. What is the use of all peace congresses and all the agitation for universal arbitration? War and war preparations go on just the same. Do not the prophets of our Lord, both ancient and modern, depict a time yet to come when wars will devastate the world; when there shall be trouble, such as never was from the beginning of the world; when, in fact, all who will not take up sword against his brother must go to Zion for peace and tranquility?

A. This is true. Everyone familiar with the word of God knows that wars and strife, not only between nations but between different classes of society, are yet to form page upon page of the history of the world. But they know also that the same prophets speak of the time when there shall be universal peace; when “nation shall not lift up sword against nation; neither shall they learn war any more, but they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree, and none shall make them afraid” (Micah 4:1-7). The fact that a time of universal peace and prosperity is coming is just as clear in the prophetic word as the other fact that there is a time of trouble yet in the future. …

It is our solemn duty to prepare the sentiment of the world for universal peace, which is the great principle upon which the government of man during the Millennium will be founded. It is the next step in advance. … The friends of peace have no other object than to prepare the world for this consummation of all things. They hope to prepare the sentiment for the Millennium. It can never come until the world is prepared for it. The peace advocates are laboring in many instances in the dark, not knowing just exactly what step to take from time to time. But the Latter-day Saints need not be in the dark on this question. They can proceed in the light of the prophetic word. And they, more than all others, should be the advocates of peace, and the supporters of the peace movement. For they believe that the world belongs to the Prince of Peace. – J.M. Sjodahl



9 Comments »

  1. There’s no small irony in the timing of that question Brother Sjodahl (how is that pronounced? I’ve always wondered) answered–just a year before the outbreak of World War I which would be the bloodiest and most terrible of all wars in the history of mankind, if it weren’t for World War II a generation later.

    Comment by Mark B. — April 8, 2010 @ 10:03 am

  2. I think it’s pronounced Show-Doll.

    That question reminds me of the occasional clash between Mormons who call for better stewardship over the Earth and Mormons who claim it’s fine to trash it all because hey, the Lord is going to come someday and renew everything, so why worry about it now?

    Even if we won’t achieve either Peace or Paradise on our own, aren’t we accomplishing something by preparing people who want or could live in Peace and Paradise someday?

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — April 8, 2010 @ 10:35 am

  3. I’m in favor of both peace and planetary stewardship. I wonder–what if what will happen and what must happen aren’t the same? A lot of LDS folks seem to think destruction is inevitable, or even desirable–so why not ignore it, or even help it along?
    But what if the millennial peace comes as the result of hearts softening once people realize they’ve destroyed absolutely everything? Couldn’t we bypass the wholesale destruction and just love our neighbor and care for the earth and God’s gifts? It seems to have worked for Enoch.
    Complete speculation, I realize, but I figure it’s not too dangerous since I’m only advocating general decency. I’ve already been branded the family pinko-commie, so why not the Keepa pinko ;-)

    Comment by Moniker Challenged — April 8, 2010 @ 11:51 am

  4. You may have challengers for the actual title, Moniker, but there’s enough pink to spread around. Keepa isn’t like other corners of the bloggernacle where the sight of pink (politics or YW booklets) causes posters and commenters to recoil in horror. But I digress …

    I like your thought. And even if wars and rumors of wars do happen to be inevitable, what if *our* corner of the world (whether that’s your home, your neighborhood, your town, your stake, whatever) could bypass the destruction or lessen its local impact because enough of us were being generally decent?

    I hear a ’60s hippie song coming on, and I like it!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — April 8, 2010 @ 12:00 pm

  5. I’m not sure hippie song that is–there’s lots to choose from. It’s probably not not an Edwin Starr song though , is it :-)

    Comment by Moniker Challenged — April 8, 2010 @ 12:08 pm

  6. Uh-huh, huh yeah! Say it again, y’all!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — April 8, 2010 @ 12:36 pm

  7. On a different subject, i found it interesting that questioner #3 seemed to be of the opinion that it was the action of presentation before the ward that admitted members into fellowship, rather than the previous act of confirmation.

    Comment by David B — April 8, 2010 @ 12:56 pm

  8. That is an interesting observation, David, especially if he is using the word “fellowship” the same way we do today.

    I live in a ward with something like a 250% yearly turnover, and every time the bishop reads in another stack of 20 or 30 memberships we about break our necks twisting around to see whether anybody acknowledges being a new ward member. It’s easy to count all those invisible people whose memberships flow in and out of the ward as members deserving of full fellowship, but man, is it ever a struggle to catch them at home before they move out again to extend even the most rudimentary semblance of real fellowship.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — April 8, 2010 @ 1:03 pm

  9. sorry, have been laptopless for much of the week, so am coming to this late. I had to abandon reading an LDS based (but obviously not official) site which discussed politics when it became evident that the majority of posters there (mostly from the US, but obviously not indicative of all US members) seemed to think it was almost a bounden duty as members to hurry us into nuclear war as fast as our technology will take us, in order to welcome Christ back to the earth again. As a dyed in the wool CND UK pinko, I found this position alarming and frightening, in a way. ‘Twas certainly an eye opener. Anyhow, am glad I abandoned them, as I found the sanity of Keepa instead. I believe the Barking Brigade I left behind are still barking, as now they will be fuelled on Beck, which they weren’t then.

    Was once told off by member of Bishopric (back in my single studenty days) for wearing a CND badge on my jacket I wore to church (it was my everyday coat, and I really hadn’t realised). He told me to remove it or else I wouldn’t get a recommend as it was against Church principles. That of course was classic red rag to bull scenario and I replied in that case I wouldn’t want a recommend, and I continued to wear it for as many weeks as I remembered the comment!

    Comment by Anne (U.K) — April 10, 2010 @ 6:38 am

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