Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Oops


By: Ardis E. Parshall - September 14, 2010

“In our last issue there appeared an article wherein tea and coffee are given as parts of menus that were served by different girls at their luncheons.

“It was our full intention to substitute lemonade, chocolate, or some grain drink, but through an oversight it was allowed to appear in its original form.

“We sincerely trust that our girls will take no advantage of this oversight and will in no wise feel that they are excused thereby in a failure to observe the Word of Wisdom.”

— “Editorial,” Young Woman’s Journal, July 1902



  1. Editing FAIL!

    Comment by kevinf — September 14, 2010 @ 1:46 pm

  2. Now somebody just needs to scour the Deseret News that month looking for an advertisement, “New Copy Editor Sought. Your chance to build the Kingdom by joining the staff of the Young Woman’s Journal.”

    Comment by sister blah 2 — September 14, 2010 @ 1:59 pm

  3. I agree that grain drinks are more appropriate. Bring on the malted barley!

    Comment by Mark Brown — September 14, 2010 @ 2:09 pm

  4. better tea and coffee than some grain drinks!

    Comment by ellen — September 14, 2010 @ 2:15 pm

  5. Oops. But seriously, did anyone think this oversight would result in some sort of rampant imbibing of tea and coffee? Methinks the correction could have stopped after the second sentence.

    Comment by David Y. — September 14, 2010 @ 3:03 pm

  6. I dunno, David Y… in some quarters, there is strict literalism when it comes to Church materials. Hopefully not so much in 1902.

    Comment by jeans — September 14, 2010 @ 3:21 pm

  7. This brings to mind the old story about Brother J. Golden Kimball which ended:

    “But the Lord knows I ordered Postum.”

    Comment by Mark B. — September 14, 2010 @ 4:29 pm

  8. Awesome, Ardis. This is priceless.

    Comment by Ray — September 14, 2010 @ 6:49 pm

  9. So….does that mean they just lifted the article from elsewhere? I think they have more to apologize for than mentioning tea and coffee.

    Comment by Moniker Challenged — September 17, 2010 @ 1:04 pm

  10. That isn’t clear to me, Moniker. It’s not beyond likelihood that some LDS girls, even a YLMIA class, would have served tea and coffee in 1902 and sent in a report of their activity without thinking twice. That the world of the past can be so familiar and so unfamiliar at the same time is one of the reasons history fascinates me so, and we all have to be careful not to assume that something in the past always has the same meaning it would have today.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 17, 2010 @ 1:12 pm

  11. And it’s also possible that, even if the menu was lifted from another publication, the copyright had expired, or the publisher’s copyright did not extend to the United States.

    Comment by Mark B. — September 17, 2010 @ 1:51 pm

  12. Well, everyone’s dead, so I didn’t mean to suggest it was a major crisis. Even if it was used without permission, I doubt the folks meant harm by it. Just like my grandma doesn’t mean any harm with she cuts and pastes pictures out of encyclopedias to put in the books she distributes through the county historical society. I doubt the circulation of this publication was absolutely enormous.

    However, it’s interesting to consider the possibility of mismatched beverage norms among LDS, as you mentioned Ardis.

    Comment by Moniker Challenged — September 17, 2010 @ 2:06 pm

  13. Yeah … imagine the fuss that would be made today if the New Era or Church News inadvertently published such a menu. Ha! It made me snicker (or smirk, or whatever, depending on how naughty I was feeling) when I ran across it.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 17, 2010 @ 2:17 pm

  14. I think this is really indicative of how our understanding and observance of the Word of Wisdom was evolving at the time.

    Comment by Steve C. — September 18, 2010 @ 10:24 am

  15. I’m wondering what will be said about all the beer recipes on Keepa . . .

    Comment by Carol — September 18, 2010 @ 10:49 am

  16. Oh my goodness, Ardis. My hands are not entirely clean in the matter, but are you ever going to live that beer post down? It’s amusing how many times beer and “mild barley drinks” have been mentioned in the past couple of weeks in the Bloggernacle…

    Comment by Researcher — September 18, 2010 @ 8:04 pm

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