Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Just for a Few Hours, Brethren. You Know, While You’re in Church.

Just for a Few Hours, Brethren. You Know, While You’re in Church.

By: Ardis E. Parshall - January 04, 2012

So we all get a lesson next Sunday from the new Teachings of the Presidents of the Church:  George Albert Smith manual, and I suspect that many wards, like mine, used the first Sunday for a biographical overview. Teachers may have mentioned that President Smith was the namesake of his grandfather, George A. Smith, a cousin of Joseph Smith’s and an early church leader himself, especially during Brigham Young’s tenure.

Which gives me an excuse to go back to George A. Smith for a story you won’t hear in Priesthood or Relief Society …

After pioneering his way to the Salt Lake Valley in 1847, Brigham Young returned to Winter Quarters late that fall. He and a number of the other leading brethren – Wilford Woodruff, Ezra T. Benson, Willard Richards, Heber C. Kimball, Amasa M. Lyman, Joseph Young, Albert P. Rockwood, Benjamin L. Clapp, and others – held a conference on December 3, 1847, in the house of Silas Richards in Miller’s Settlement, across the river from Winter Quarters at what became known as Kanesville. And –

And, well, there’s just no better way to tell the story than to present it verbatim from the minutes of that meeting, preserved in the records of the Church:

G. A. Smith suggests we r in a private house—& I want every man who uses the weed to write his name that we may know whether he spits more than 6 quarts of juice—if you spit more than 6 quarts you may be called on to assist to clean it. it works me to see so much filth—& I wish the brtr wold forget the use of the weed for a few hours—even if they av to chaw double afterwards to make it up.

That is all.



  1. Yuck. That is all.

    Comment by Dovie — January 4, 2012 @ 8:42 am

  2. Wow! and six quarts!?

    Comment by Bruce Crow — January 4, 2012 @ 9:50 am

  3. dreadful.
    actually, our ward RS is teaching a chapter from the new Daughters in my kingdom book for each first Sunday, so we missed this choice tidbit.

    Comment by anita — January 4, 2012 @ 9:52 am

  4. He he. Great one. And of course, did not resolve the problem. Lot’s of spitting on the tabernacle floor.

    Comment by WVS — January 4, 2012 @ 10:03 am

  5. So, how long was that meeting expected (expectorated?) to last? I’m looking to do a calculation on the volume of spit per hour that would be required to get to six quarts.

    If John Nance Garner really said “spit” in his comment about the vice presidency, this post puts his statement into an entirely new light.

    Comment by Mark B. — January 4, 2012 @ 10:06 am

  6. And this is why I like Keepa so much more than I (usually) like Sunday School. 😀

    Comment by Mommie Dearest — January 4, 2012 @ 10:48 am

  7. I don’t know, Ardis…I’m teaching one of these this month and may find a way to work this choice nugget into the lesson…

    Comment by Alison — January 4, 2012 @ 10:51 am

  8. maybe the meetings were longer back then…

    Comment by The Other Clark — January 4, 2012 @ 10:53 am

  9. I am able to leave my Diet Pepsi out of the meeting block, even if I have to “chaw double” later. But not 6 quarts.

    Comment by kevinf — January 4, 2012 @ 11:05 am

  10. sounds like at least a quart of hyperbole

    Comment by Jpaul — January 4, 2012 @ 11:18 am

  11. That’s the last time I read Keepa’ on my lunch break, good bye appetite.

    Comment by andrew h — January 4, 2012 @ 1:13 pm

  12. This story makes me appreciate the ambiance of our ward council a little more.

    Comment by Steve — January 4, 2012 @ 2:44 pm

  13. You know when I started to read this and saw the term “weed” used, I thought of a different type of weed at first and thought it might it might be related to another Keepa post that got a lot of responses a while back.

    Comment by Steve C. — January 4, 2012 @ 5:49 pm

  14. … we r in a private house …

    My first thought: paleo-tweeting. 😉

    Comment by SLK — January 5, 2012 @ 1:17 pm

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