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A Few Minutes Aboard the USS New Orleans, 1943

By: Ardis E. Parshall - April 09, 2013

2 November 1943

Notes on L.D.S. Meeting Held Aboard the U.S.S. New Orleans:

Members Present:

Paul Ray Boren, son of Mr. and Mrs. C.B. Boren, of the Pima Ward, Pima Stake, Pima, Arizona. Priesthood – Elder.

Robert Louis Brown, son of Mr. H.C. Brown, of the Tempe Ward, Maricopa Stake, Tempe, Arizona. Priesthood – Elder.

Kieth Chase, of the seventh ward of Ogden, Utah. He does not hold the Priesthood as yet, and the name of the Stake was not certain.

Harvey Roach, of Salt Lake City, Utah. His ward was not certain, but the information will be available soon. It will be included in our further notes.

Melvin E. Olsen, son of Mr. and Mrs. August L. Olsen, of Phoenix Third Ward, Phoenix Stake, Phoenix, Arizona. Priesthood – Elder.

Prospective Members:

Ensign Budd, new aviation officer whom we have not had the pleasure of meeting.

A lad by the name of Christiansen, who in the past has not been associated too closely with his church. We have great hopes for him.

Thomas B. Olsen, son of Mrs. Rupert P. Olsen, of the Second Ward, Box Elder Stake, Brigham City, Utah. Priesthood – Elder. He was absent from this meeting.

Oliver Kay Perry, son of Mrs. Mattie Emer Perry, of Mesa Third Ward, Maricopa Stake, Mesa, Arizona. Priesthood – Priest.

Bernard Bramhall, son of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Scott, of Kansas City, Missouri. He is a member of the Re-organized Church. He has expressed his desire of meeting with us.

The meeting began at 8:00 P.M. in the open air, as that was the only way we could have privacy, and not be disturbed.

Opening Prayer, Melvin E. Olsen.

We discussed what type of meetings we would have and what would be our subject. We became acquainted with each other. We decided that Church History would be the best subject, because the majority of us are not too well versed in the organization of our church. We feel that if we are to really learn that we must begin with the beginning. We have several of our Church books, and hope to increase our collection. We have several of the service issue of the Book of Mormon and The Principles of the Gospel. We have Apostle Widtsoe’s Word of Wisdom. There are two volumes of the combined Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price. We have one volume of the Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith. And we also have a number of pamphlets. We hope to be able to secure as many of the Church pamphlets as we can.

We decided that our meetings would be held on Sundays and Tuesday, whenever the conditions permitted. All other meetings would be held at the most opportune time.

We have not yet appointed our leader. We are going to wait until we have all of the fellows together, and then we will make our decision.

Closing Prayer, Robert Louis Brown.

7 November 1943

Notes on L.D.S. Meeting Held Aboard the U.S.S. New Orleans:

Members Present:

Bernard Bramhall of Kansas City, Missouri, Re-organized
Oliver Kay Perry of Mesa, Arizona, Priest
Robert Louis Brown of Tempe, Arizona, Elder
Kieth Chase, of Ogden, Utah, No Priesthood
Thomas B. Olsen of Brigham City, Utah, Elder
Paul Ray Boren of Pima, Arizona, Elder
Melvin E. Olsen of Phoenix, Arizona, Elder

The opening prayer was given by Thomas B. Olsen, and Paul Ray Boren presided.

The subject was taken from Joseph Smith’s Own Story, from the pamphlet of the same name, and also from the Pearl of Great Price. The story is also contained in the service issue of the Book of Mormon.

We took up the subject of paying our tithing out of each pay day. The group came to a unanimous agreement in favor of this step.

We met between the hours of 2:30 and 4:00 P.M.

Harvey Roach was not able to be with us, as he had to be on watch at the time.

We closed the meeting by singing We Thank Thee O God for a Prophet, and the closing prayer was given by Oliver Kay Perry.

In the next meeting we will further the discussion of the points which were brought up in the study today.

8 November 1943

The meeting began at seven o’clock P.M. in Control Aft. Paul Ray Boren presided over the meeting.

Opening prayer was given by Kieth Chase. The opening song was dispensed with. Kieth Chase gave us a brief review of what we had discussed at our previous meeting. After which we discussed what should be our plan of procedure at future meetings. We still continued with the belief that Church History would be our best subject. Along with it, however, we decided that the beliefs and principles of our Church should also be understood. This we agreed would be a must in our future meetings. We also decided that Sacrament would be regular occurrence in our Sunday night meetings.

The Closing prayer was given by Robert Louis Brown.

Members present were: Kieth Chase of Ogden, Utah; Paul Ray Boren, of Pima, Arizona; Bernard Bramhall, of Kansas City, Missouri (re-organized church); T.M. Lakanen of Detroit, Michigan (an investigator in the church.); Thomas B. Olsen, of Brigham City Utah; Oliver Kay Perry, of Mesa, Arizona; Robert L. Brown, of Tempe, Arizona; Melvin E. Olsen, of Phoenix, Arizona. Mr. Budd the new aviation Officer has not yet come aboard.

We also agreed that if conditions would permit that our meetings would be held on Sunday and Tuesday evenings.

Following is a list of the Church literature which we have in our possession: Two volumes of the combined edition of the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price; one volume of the Word of Wisdom, by Widtsoe; one volume of the Voice from the Dust; several copies of the service edition of the Principles of the gospel and Book of Mormon; one volume of the Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith; two volumes of the Bible, both old and new testaments. Along with these books we have several pamphlets which include The Three Degrees of Glory, by Melvin J. Ballard, and My Reasons, by R.M. Bryce Thomas. Any other form of literature would be greatly appreciated by the members of this small group.

We have even been so bold as to call our group the New Orleans branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints afloat.

14 November 1943

The meeting began at about seven o’clock, in Mr. Budd’s room. It was our first meeting in his room, and it was quite a treat to be to ourselves.

Opening prayer was given by Arthur Robert Budd. Paul Ray Boren presided over the meeting. We discussed the Three Degrees of Glory from the little pamphlet by Melvin J. Ballard. We also took up some of the points in the Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith on the Gods, as they were discussed. A number of the members were confused after reading the Book of Abraham in the Pearl of Great Price.

This was our first Sacrament meeting we had had during our stay aboard. The Priesthood were Bob Brown, Elder, and Oliver Kay Perry, Priest. The blessing on the bread was given by Bob Brown, and the blessing on the water was given by Kay Perry. It was Kay’s first experience at giving the blessing. He was ordained a Priest upon entering the navy, and had not had the opportunity before. So we had a number of firsts in our meeting it being the first Sacrament meeting, and the first time that Kay had ever administered to the Sacrament. The Sacrament song was How Great the Wisdom and the Love.

The Closing Prayer was given by Turner Larson from Mantua, Utah. He is a new member in our group, meeting with us for the first time.

After the meeting was closed we organized. Paul Ray Boren was appointed by unanimous approval the person to preside over the meetings. Thomas B. Olsen, and Melvin E. Olsen were chosen as the counselors to the President. Turner Larson, a Priest, and Oliver Kay Perry were appointed to the duty of taking care of the Sacrament. Robert L. Brown was appointed as Secretary. Mr. Budd having a commission in the Navy expressed his desire of not holding any position.

The Opening Song was Come, Come Ye Saints.

Members present were: Thomas B. Olsen, Paul Ray Boren, Turner Larson, Robert Louis Brown, Oliver Kay Perry, Arthur Robert Budd, Kieth Chase, Harvey Roach, and Melvin E. Olsen.

18 November 1943

The meeting began at seven o’clock, as it was decided in an earlier meeting to make this our time of beginning whenever possible.

Paul Ray Boren, who was elected the president, presided over the meeting.

Opening prayer was given by Oliver Kay Perry.

It was decided that because we were in great need of some song practice, and also because it gave us great pleasure to sing, that this meeting be devoted to a song practice.

Songs sung were: We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet, Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow, How Great the Wisdom and the Love, I Know that My Redeemer Lives, Now Let Us Rejoice, Though Deepening Trials, Come, Come Ye Saints, Prayer Is the Soul’s Sincere Desire, God Be With You, O my Father, The Spirit of God Like a Fire Is Burning, Jesus Once of Humble Birth, and Did You Think to Pray.

The Closing Prayer was offered by Turner Larson. We all felt that we had spent a most enjoyable evening, and benefited a great deal from it. We also decided that we would have to have singing practices, however bad, more often.

Members present were: Kieth Chase, Paul Ray Boren, Kay Perry, Robert Brown, Thomas B. Olsen, Turner Larsen, Arthur Budd, and Melvin Olsen.

It was impossible for Harvey Roach to be with us this evening, for he had other duties to keep him away.

21 November 1943

As usual, the meeting began at seven o’clock. It was only a few minutes after, but that is true to form in the usual Mormon meeting.

The opening prayer was given by Arthur Budd. Paul Ray Boren presided over the meeting.

The opening song was Come, Come Ye Saints.

The discussion was led by Tom Olsen. Tom’s subject was the pre-existence. We are trying, in our meetings, to take different points in which our Church believes, and to prove them by reference to the Bible. In this way, we hope to learn enough so that we will be able to defend any statement made by us to an outsider.

The Sacrament was also served. Kay Perry and Bob Brown administered to the Sacrament.

The Sacrament Song was Jesus Once of Humble Birth.

Members present were: Paul Ray Boren, Harvey Roach, Keith Chase, Kay Perry, Bob Brown, Thomas B. Olsen, Arthur Budd, and Melvin Olsen.

Turner Larsen was unable to attend, because of other duties.

The closing prayer was offered by Kay Perry.

23 November 1943

Tonight we had a most unusual meeting. We defended, and explained to an outsider what we believed in. It was most helpful to us, and we hope that we helped the outsider.

Bob Brown conducted the discussion. Originally the discussion was to be on the God-Head, but with Mr. Snow present the discussion drifted.

The opening prayer was given by Melvin Olsen, and the opening song was Come, Come Ye Saints.

During the meeting we tried to prove, or show, Mr. Snow why it was necessary for our God to be a tangible Being. He believes God to be just a Spirit, able to dwell in all men at the same time. Mr. Snow belongs to no religious sect; he has his own beliefs, and prefers to stick by them, unless someone has something better to offer. He was very interested in what we had to say, and I believe we did a great deal of good. Mr. Snow has read The Children of God by Vardis Fisher, and it was through this book that he became interested in our religion. He said that as far as he could see, The Children of God was a tribute to the Mormon People.

Our meeting began at seven o’clock and lasted until ten. We had one of our most effective discussions. Discussing our religion with someone not of our faith and belief makes us think of things which will bring out the best points, and really prove to us and strengthen our testimony of the truthfulness of our Gospel.

We gave Mr. Snow, who does not believe in the Bible, some of our literature to read. He refused to accept any reference that we could make from the Bible.

The closing song was God Be With You Until We Meet Again. The closing prayer was offered by Bob Brown.

Members present were: Paul Ray Boren, Oliver Kay Perry, Thomas B. Olsen, Harvey Roach, Robert Louis Brown, Arthur Richard Budd, Keith Chase, Melvin E. Olsen, and Mr. Snow. Mr. Snow is not a member, but was just visiting us for this meeting. He is Mr. Budd’s room-mate.

28 November 1943

Meeting commenced at seven o’clock.

The opening prayer was given by Paul Ray Boren.

The opening song was High on the Mountain Top.

Mr. Arthur Budd was in charge of the meeting. He gave as his subject for discussion, the Ten Commandments. Mr. Budd spent a good deal of time in preparing this subject, and really gave us something worthwhile in the way of explanation.

The Sacrament was served. The Sacrament song was How Great the Wisdom and the Love. Robert Louis Brown and Thomas B. Olsen administered to the Sacrament.

The closing song was God Be With Us. The closing prayer was offered by Melvin E. Olsen.

Members present were Robert Louis Brown, Paul Ray Boren, Thomas B. Olsen, Arthur Richard Budd, Harvey Roach, Keith Chase, and Melvin E. Olsen.

Oliver Kay Perry was unable to attend this meeting because of other duties.

We have decided, because of the peculiar circumstances under which we meet, and because an emergency might arise at any time, that regardless of the number of members able to attend, as long as there are at least two, our meetings will be held at seven o’clock on Sunday and Tuesday nights.

30 November 1943

Tonight we had one of our meetings, at which an outsider attended. We made the mistake of considering him as an investigator, and directed our discussion as if it was for his benefit. We decided that when a person meets with us, not of our faith, we will conduct our meeting as if he were not present, unless he comes for the purpose of finding out any certain thing. If we do this we believe we will not cause any hard feeling, or create the impression that we are interfering with any person’s belief.

The opening song was We Are All Enlisted. We didn’t think we knew this song, but after studying it over we found out that it was one of our old favorites.

The opening prayer was offered by Oliver Kay Perry.

Mr. Budd again had charge of the meeting. This time he gave us proof through the Bible of the Articles of Faith. Since Mr. Budd had prepared this subject, and our scheduled speaker was not prepared, we thought that it would be very helpful for us all to hear what he had prepared. We also decided that it would be good for us all to have in our minds the references and proof of the Articles of Faith. Then when asked about them we would be able to give some basis for our belief.

The closing song was Prayer Is the Soul’s Sincere Desire.

The closing prayer was offered by Paul Ray Boren.

We also suggested that in our Mutual meetings we do, or have some sort of project, such as reading some good book. Lloyd C. Douglas’ book “The Robe” was suggested. We would then have a regular lesson on Sunday nights, and something of this sort on our Mutual night. Any suggestions from the Stake Presidency would be greatly appreciated.

Members present were Robert Louis Brown, Paul Ray Boren, Thomas B. Olsen, Oliver Kay Parry, Arthur Richard Budd, Harvey Roach, Keith Chase, Melvin E. Olsen, and Clifford Burton, a member of the Presbyterian Church.

5-7 December 1943

On both Sunday and Tuesday of this date, we were unable to hold any meeting because of duties that cannot be disclosed. No minutes.



6 Comments »

  1. The New Orleans was a heavy cruiser, built at the Brooklyn Navy Yard beginning in 1931. In early December 1943 she was escorting a carrier group that was attacking the Marshall Islands. One of those carriers, the Lexington, was torpedoed, and the New Orleans escorted her back to Pearl Harbor for repairs, arriving there on December 9.

    I suppose they were indeed too busy to hold church meetings.

    Comment by Mark B. — April 9, 2013 @ 7:36 am

  2. This is fascinating. It seems the perfect way to take notes. Very specific details, with some personality in there too. “We also decided that we would have to have singing practices, however bad, more often.”

    Thanks, Mark, for answering my question before I asked.

    Comment by Carol — April 9, 2013 @ 7:57 am

  3. “As usual, the meeting began at seven o’clock. It was only a few minutes after, but that is true to form in the usual Mormon meeting.”

    Classic!

    Comment by iguacufalls — April 9, 2013 @ 10:14 am

  4. Great stuff. Thanks for the extra detail, Mark!

    Comment by kevinf — April 9, 2013 @ 11:25 pm

  5. Great read. I’d love to hear other soldiers records of meetings.

    Comment by Steve — April 11, 2013 @ 12:39 pm

  6. Steve, it’s surprising how many minutes are available for short periods from various soldiers’ groups. I like to know what kinds of things readers enjoy, so I’ll pick up some more minutes of such meetings for future posts.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — April 11, 2013 @ 1:10 pm

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