Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Aaaaand It Begins

Aaaaand It Begins

By: Ardis E. Parshall - October 07, 2011

From 1958, the first advertisement of a Mormon phenomenon —





  1. Wasn’t he a member of the 70 at the time? Did they lack our currenthabit of always including titles, full names, and middle initial, like President Boyd K. Packer, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, as if we didn’t really know who Elder Packer is without reminding us he’s in the Quorum of the Twelve…
    Reminds me a bit of pious muslims who can’t refer to Mohammed without adding “peace be upon him”, oft abbreviated in writing as PBUH.

    Comment by Ben S — October 7, 2011 @ 10:40 am

  2. Rockin’ the bow tie! Nice.

    Comment by J. Stapley — October 7, 2011 @ 11:07 am

  3. He sort of looks like Malcolm X in that photo.

    Comment by Steve Evans — October 7, 2011 @ 11:10 am

  4. Oh, damn. And they’ve tried all these years to keep it a secret, Steve.

    Comment by Mark B. — October 7, 2011 @ 11:17 am

  5. “A Must for every missionary!”

    I am assuming that the rules for the “Missionary Library” were a little looser in the 50’s. In the early 90’s in my mission we were only allowed the “official Missionary Library” books (Jesus the Christ, A Marvelous Work and a Wonder etc.) “Mo Doc” was forbidden, which of course meant that every missionary had a copy.

    On a related note, I find it very amusing that at the beginning of every Sunday School manual there is a disclaimer about not using commentaries and extra materials. Yet come every December, if you go into Deseret Book you will see big signs and displays advertising books and commentaries for use as supplements for the next years Gospel Doctrine class.

    Comment by andrew h — October 7, 2011 @ 11:59 am

  6. Oh, those aren’t for use by Gospel Doctrine teachers, andrew! Oh, no. Those are simply offered for private study and preparation by class members! :\

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — October 7, 2011 @ 12:20 pm

  7. Malcom X FTW.

    Comment by Cynthia L. — October 7, 2011 @ 12:41 pm

  8. And under that dust jacket in the black-and-white photo is the sea green fabric binding, with a forest-green spine and that same Joseph Smith line drawing reduced in size on the lower right corner.

    Comment by The Other Clark — October 7, 2011 @ 1:43 pm

  9. #5,

    I started my mission in February of 1992, and they sold Mormon Doctrine in the MTC bookstore because that’s where I got my copy, so they must have started banning it after that. I remember as a missionary buying books that I thought would best help me as a missionary. Had I known some of the stuff that’s in Mormon Doctrine, I probably would have left it on the shelf. But I’m glad I still have my copy just to have some tangible proof that some of the stuff the Church probably wishes wasn’t in there, is.

    Comment by Cody — October 7, 2011 @ 11:37 pm

  10. Any know where I can get a copy?

    Comment by WVS — October 8, 2011 @ 12:28 am

  11. Wow, I could almost hear BRM saying that line from the jacket: “A digest of the Gospel from Alpha to Omega”

    Such a bold and fearless 43-year-old . . .

    Comment by David Y. — October 8, 2011 @ 1:11 am

  12. Cody # 9

    It has been a few days since you posted so you may not see this. I was behind you by about 6 months. I left in Aug of 92. I do not remember what was being sold in the MTC Bookstore at that time.

    At that time the “Official Missionary Library” that the Church recommended/allowed included: “Jesus the Christ,” “The Articles of Faith,” “A Marvelous Work and A Wonder,” “Gospel Principles,” and “Truth Restored.” (within a few years after we got home they added Elder Ballard’s “Our Search for Happiness.” In recent years they dropped “A Marvelous Work,” and “Articles of Faith” and replaced “Truth Restored” with “Our Heritage”)

    Some of my friends had Mission Presidents that were looser than mine and allowed “Mo Doc,” or “TPJS,” etc. but the one I had was a By the Book, Law of Moses type and we were not allowed anything that was not on the “Official” list.

    Comment by andrew h — October 9, 2011 @ 9:01 pm

  13. It is funny that my father had a copy that his Mission President (he served in Japan in ’72-’74) gave him a copy of MoDoc at the END of his mission, complete with an inscription to keep learning about the church throughout his life. I only saw the inside on the book once, in an FHE lesson, but never read it because it was kept away from the young hands that might not treat it with reverence. I am pretty sure that my father never read it, at least not that copy.

    Comment by Julia — September 20, 2012 @ 12:50 am

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