Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » The Young Man and His Vocation (1925-26): Introduction

The Young Man and His Vocation (1925-26): Introduction

By: Ardis E. Parshall - July 26, 2011

The YLMIA Board sponsored a series of articles on paid employment for Mormon girls in the Young Woman’s Journal in 1927 (search “paid employment” in the Topical Guide for links). Perhaps that series for young women was partially inspired by the full MIA course for young men taught during the 1925-1926 year.

This course goes into much greater depth than the articles for the girls, and lacks the charm of that author’s style. It is, though,  a good glimpse into the place of labor and careers in the lives of men of that generation. I generally find the background chapters tedious, and the chapters on specific career fields interesting. For that reason I’ll post these lessons in pairs as far as they go, using the table of contents in this post as an index, adding live links as each chapter is posted. If there’s a chapter you’re interested in reading, speak up in the comments.

Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association

Senior Manual


The Young Man and his Vocation

Published by
The General Board of Y.M.M.I.A.
Salt Lake City, Utah

I — Succeeding in Life
II —  The Need of Vocations
III — Kinds of Vocations
IV —  The Vocational Situation
V —  The Agricultural Pursuits
VI — The Trades
VII — Manufacturing
VIII — Business
IX — Engineering – Architecture
X — Medical and Legal Professions
XI — Teaching – Librarian
XII — Art – Music – The Stage
XIII — Mining
XIV — Research – Science – Expert Service
XV — Journalism – Authorship
XVI — Vocations Developed in Recent Years
XVII — Vocations for the Disabled and for Special Conditions
XVIII — Choosing the Right Vocation
XIX — Preparation for a Vocation
XX — Securing and Keeping a Position
XXI — Keeping Fit
XXII — Efficiency in Work
XXIII — Some Vocational Problems
XXIV — The Vocational Outlook

Let every man be occupied, and occupied in the highest employment of which his nature is capable, and die with the conscience that he has done his best. – Sidney Smith.



  1. “Occupied in the highest employment of which his nature is capable.” If everyone were so employed, both the worker and the business would greatly benefit.

    I look forward to the series.

    Comment by The Other Clark — July 26, 2011 @ 10:12 am

  2. Vocations for the Disabled and for Special Conditions

    Cool. Do you think that they were mindful of this generally, or was this a special concern because of War veterans?

    Comment by J. Stapley — July 26, 2011 @ 11:44 am

  3. TOClark, that’s a great line and idea, isn’t it?

    J., I’ll post that one for you next time. They do talk about injured war veterans. My sense is that the concern of the author was less doing something helpful for a disabled man than it was finding something a disabled man could do to support himself, both for the dignity of the disabled and so that the rest of society wouldn’t be so heavily burdened.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — July 26, 2011 @ 12:44 pm

  4. They included my profession-librarian. That is unbelieveable! I almost never see it mentioned as a honorable vocation for a young man. Do I sound bitter?

    Comment by Jeff Johnson — July 26, 2011 @ 11:15 pm

  5. No, you sound delighted! It’s a good chapter, too.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — July 26, 2011 @ 11:24 pm

  6. So much has been said about getting a good fit between the man and his job, that I’d enjoy reading how they proposed to do so in Chapter 18. (I know it’s not job specific, but you did ask for suggestions.)

    Comment by The Other Clark — July 27, 2011 @ 10:57 am

  7. Sure enough, Clark, thanks. Series like this tend to get some curious attention for the first few installments then fade into ho-humness, so I’d like to post what people are most interested in while there is still some interest.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — July 27, 2011 @ 11:00 am