Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » What Latter-day Saint Women Should Know, 1906 (III)

What Latter-day Saint Women Should Know, 1906 (III)

By: Ardis E. Parshall - August 13, 2010

This and that, directed to LDS women in the publications of 1906:

The Wage Earner

The working girl’s dress should be modest and appropriate for her work, the material should be serviceable, color quiet and style one that affords freedom of movement. The very thin waist and tightly yoked skirt, and the so-called “fashionable dresses” which immodestly display the figure are not for those claiming to be Latter-day Saints. She whose attire lessens her own dignity and self-respect will not receive dignified, respectful treatment from others.

Shall the Modern Girl Celebrate Her Wedding?

There are many circumstances which would make it seem a duty for the prospective bride of today to have a quiet wedding, with no publicity about it at all. Indeed, now-a-days, with so many diversions, so much other amusement and excitement, it would look like excellent taste, to have as little expense and furor attached to weddings as may be.

But there are still girls who have the primal instincts strong within them; who love to please friends, as well as themselves, and who honestly enjoy all that goes with a suitable wedding festivity. When you meet such a girl, do you not long to tell her some things?

Essentials in Dress

The foundation for the attainment of many of our ideals lies in a high standard of personal cleanliness and neatness of the body, hair, nails, teeth, and clothing. How should we dress to do our house work? After work is done? For a party, dance, theater or anything away from home? A bath and then every stitch of clothing clean and whole. Then no matter how plain and simple the dress we wear, we are clothed with a dignity and self-respect that has no equal.

Creamed Beans

Soak over night, rinse and put into cold water; bring to a boil; put in one level teaspoon of soda to one quart of beans; boil slowly half an hour. Drain off water and cover with fresh boiling water; add salt to taste; cook slowly from three to six hours. When ready to serve, season with butter and cream.


The following are a few general rules that should be followed in order to keep the digestive organs in a healthy condition: Eat regularly, and not too frequently. All food should be thoroughly masticated. Avoid extremes of hot or cold food and drink.

Severe exercise of either mind or body should not be taken immediately before or after eating. Outdoor exercise has a most beneficial effect on digestion, also causes a healthy action of the skin. A keen appetite and strong digestion depends greatly on pure air and frequent bathing. Cheerful conversation during meals is also recommended.

It is said that one of our present apostles always reserves the most amusing anecdote to relate at meal time, and encourages other members of his family to do the same.

This arrests the tide of local demand and supply to brain and muscle, and turns it to the equalizing of the system so that the organs to be used in disposing of the food may receive the supply needed for thorough digestion and assimilation.

A Commandment

“I call upon my priesthood, and upon all my people, to repent of all their sins and shortcomings, of their covetousness and pride and self will, and of all their iniquities wherein they sin against me; and to seek with all humility to fulfil my law, as my priesthood, my saints and my people; and I call upon the heads of families to put their houses in order according to the law of God, and attend to the various duties and responsibilities associated therewith, and to purify themselves before me, and to urge out iniquity from their households. And I will bless and be with you, saith the Lord, and ye shall gather together in your holy places wherein he assemble to call upon me, and ye shall ask for such things as are right, and I will hear your prayers, and my spirit and power shall be with you, and my blessing shall rest upon you, upon your families, your dwellings, and your households, upon your flocks and herds and fields, your orchards and vineyards, upon all that pertains to you; and you shall be my people and I will be your God; and your enemies shall not have dominion over you, for I will preserve you and confound them, saith the Lord, and they shall not have power nor dominion over you; for my word shall go forth, and my work shall be accomplished, and my Zion shall be established, and my rule and my power and my dominion shall prevail among my people, and all nations shall yet acknowledge me. Even so, Amen.”

The above extract is from a revelation given through President John Taylor, October 13th, 1882. At that time it swept over the land with power, even little children remembering to this day the marvelous inspiration in its words as read in the assemblies of the Saints.

Is not its call today just as imperative as then? Have we put aside pride and covetousness and self will? Ye heads of families, are your own houses in order? Is iniquity purged out from your households? Is it done, not with scathing words and harsh tones, but with tenderness, love, forbearance and patience? Oh! brother, sister, look to your own part and leave the balance in God’s hands.

To Serve Ancestors

The highest service possible to this age is the redemption of the dead. Already we have spent years of time and millions of dollars erecting temples, collecting genealogy and preparing records to this end. Our forefathers who died without a knowledge of the gospel, in its power and purity, are being taught it in the spirit world. They are dependent upon us to be baptized and endowed vicariously. It is a sacred obligation. if we fail to serve them, we will retard their progress toward perfection.


A story is told of the great master Beethoven. They say that once he went to see a mother who was mourning the death of her child. She advanced to meet him, but he turned from her to the piano without saying a word. For a long time he played and then rose silently and left the house. Music accomplished that day its highest mission to men, carrying to a suffering heart a sweeter sympathy and perhaps a deeper consolation than speech can ever know.

An Ideal Wedding

One may picture the ideal marriage; of the young man just home from his mission, with a small position, and with perhaps but a scanty income. The girl who has waited for him, or who has been fortunate enough to secure him on his return, has, perhaps, if she is like most of our modern girls, taught school, or worked out in some family for a long time to earn money wherewith to buy her modest trousseau. this, by-the-way, was once furnished by a loving but burdened father.

The young people have told their dearest friends the happy secret, without, however, betraying to mere friends the sacred and beautiful details of the long and always eventful courtship. That story will be buried in the girl’s loving heart.

The ideal couple will never solemnize their vows in any place on earth, other than the Temple of the Living God, if it is possible for human steps to reach there.

The modest dress of my bride shall not be so beautiful as the gleaming jewels of her eyes, nor shall the attraction of her youth be greater than that of the exquisite purity which mantles her blooming cheek and trembles under the free bodice of her gown. Her eyes may be brown and her hair may be black; or they may rival the sky and the sun in their blue and their gold; I care not for these details of my picture; but her heart must be true, and her faith must be sure, if she is to win and wear the love of my lad forever and a day.

He may be tall, or he may be slender and slight, but he is manly and chaste, with a cleanness of thought and act which has resisted the stain and the ink of association and contact with the world and its corrupt ways; and he knows how great is the treasure he is securing, in the troth of my girl. His voice vibrates with pure emotion, as he makes his vow upon the altar to be true, come life or death, to my girl kneeling so near him.

And when the sacred and solemn ceremony is over, my heart fills to the brim, as my laddie arises, to clasp first of all his honored father in a close embrace, and return the tender kiss which he receives from the parent of his being.

I can scarcely see, for happy tears, the sweet caress bestowed upon my girl by her own mother, and my laddie’s mother. But I have felt his dear arms about me, as he tries to communicate a tithe of his gratitude and bliss that God has so blessed him.

The quietly whispered congratulations of the family present do not disturb the pace and serenity of the sacred precincts of the Temple courts, and the little party are soon outside, and on their way home.


The first and most important thing in cooking is always to have good bread.

The labor of making poor bread is just about the same as that of making good bread. certain conditions bring certain results, and if the conditions for good bread are carefully observed, the result will always be the same. It is the positive duty of every housekeeper to find out these conditions and see that they are properly observed.

When the promised results are obtained, there is no need of one crumb of bread being wasted, for the crumbs from cutting bread, and all pieces of stale bread, may be used in various ways. When we consider the amount of labor it takes to produce bread, from the time the seed is sown, until the baking and cutting is finished, the value of bread should be appreciated too much to have any of it thrown away or even fed to animals.

The Revival of Old Fashions

The idea of simplicity in house work is gaining favor, and the old fashioned supper at which all the dishes are placed on the table together is being revived. What can be more sociable or easier in way of entertainment. all may sit down together. There need be no one in waiting and the meal may be simple or elaborate to suit the taste of the hostess. In this way all may show the spirit of hospitality.

Tomato Toast

Pare tomatoes and slice one-half inch thick, lay in a buttered granite pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper, cover the tops with flour or fine bread crumbs and lay a small piece of butter on each slice; bake in a hot oven twenty-minutes. Serve on hot buttered toast.



  1. When you meet such a girl, do you not long to tell her some things?

    I’m guessing that this was not written by Catherine Hurst. It seems to lack that calm, reasonable voice and have a bit more of a preachy flavor. Not the best tone of voice for speaking to young people, perhaps. Is it clear whether all these were written by the same author?

    The labor of making poor bread is just about the same as that of making good bread…

    Easy to say if you live in Utah where the humidity does not tend to vary widely. And it is also an amazing statement when one considers the variability in ingredients that must have occurred back then. This passage was written the same year that the Food and Drug Act created the regulatory board to oversee the purity and branding of ingredients. The federal Bureau of Chemistry in charge of regulating food and medications was renamed the Food and Drug Administration in about 1930.

    Comment by Researcher — August 13, 2010 @ 8:47 am

  2. These were almost certainly not written by the same author — I picked up pieces from several LDS publications, chosen mostly because it’s hard to imagine the same advice would be given in quite the same way today. Just wanted to give you a bit of the flavor of what it might have been like to be a woman of that era.

    Catherine Hurst was in a class by herself, wasn’t she?

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — August 13, 2010 @ 9:00 am

  3. Gotta love those girls with strong primal instincts, especially the ones who tremble under the bodice of their gowns.

    It is interesting how this manner of speaking is so foreign to us today, just 104 years removed. If you wrote a novel today with phrases and language like that, there is a good chance Deseret Book would refuse to stock it on their shelves.

    And creamed beans, gah!

    Comment by Mark Brown — August 13, 2010 @ 9:14 am

  4. The comments on bread baking were my favorite part, too.

    Comment by Clark — August 13, 2010 @ 11:12 am

  5. We make a lot of bread in our home.

    Comment by J. Stapley — August 13, 2010 @ 11:32 am

  6. the value of bread should be appreciated too much to have any of it thrown away or even fed to animals.

    Geez, I was feeling guilty about how much food we throw away at our house *before* I read this and it didn’t help things.

    Comment by Jacob J — August 13, 2010 @ 11:52 am

  7. But do you make Tomato Toast with it? And do you serve it with creamed beans? At a wedding supper? Hmmm?

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — August 13, 2010 @ 11:52 am

  8. But do you make Tomato Toast with it? And do you serve it with creamed beans? At a wedding supper?

    Uuurghle! Gggggkkkkk!!!

    Comment by SilverRain — August 13, 2010 @ 12:19 pm

  9. Oh, Keepapitchinin, how have I been away so long? How? Now that I know how to cream beans properly I can repent of my ways. Yick. And Tomato Toast? Double yick.

    Comment by floridagirl — August 13, 2010 @ 5:23 pm

  10. floridagirl, you just never know what lifechanging ideas you will miss if you skip a day at Keepa. Nice to see you’re back from whatever you thought was temporarily more important /sniff/ than your regular visits here, and I’ll do my best to welcome you back to the fold and not hold your absence against you. You’ve been punished enough by coming back to creamed beans.

    /Ardis strolls casually away, pretending not to notice the strangling noises coming from SilverRain/

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — August 13, 2010 @ 5:45 pm

  11. The Modern Girl’s Wedding

    is a far cry from the extravagent affairs of today. My wedding fifty years ago was probably in the middle of the spectrum.

    A keen appetite and strong digestion depends greatly on pure air and frequent bathing. Cheerful conversation during meals is also recommended.

    I don’t think this would help with digestion after eating creamed beans and tomato toast.

    An Ideal Wedding

    sounds like it came straight from a Zane Grey novel.

    Comment by Maurine — August 16, 2010 @ 11:12 pm

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