Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Morning Miscellany

Morning Miscellany

By: Ardis E. Parshall - January 07, 2014

In the years I’ve been writing Keepa, I’ve run across a lot of material that seemed like it should spark an interesting post, but which I’ve never managed to use. Here are some of those bits – make of them what you will!

From the Young Woman’s Journal, June 1912 –

Piercing the Ears.

For a while the barbaric custom of piercing the ears was obsolete. Alas it has again “come into fashion.” the long pendant ear-drops make many girls look positively brazen, to others they give an oriental look and the beholder thinks he is gazing on a maiden from the East. We look with dismay on the woman who has her nose pierced and a ring suspended therefrom. is not piercing the ears only a lesser form of the same evil?

From the Relief Society Magazine, October 1934 –

Socialized Class Work

From reports that come to us it is evident that many class leaders in the Literary Department do not socialize their work. It is easier for them to give their lesson as a lecture, and they like the finished result. Some give as an excuse that they cannot get the members to participate. We feel that every teacher who habitually does all the work herself is making a serious mistake. She is depriving the class members of the development that they are entitled to. One teacher recently said, “I can get participation from any group anywhere if I study the problem and work hard enough.” The profits of participation are so evident that we are surprised that any teacher is unwilling to make the effort to draw out her class. We urge each teacher to make a special study of drawing out the quiet retiring members of her class. Let her gage her success by the number who participate in the recitation.

From the Instructor, January 1938 –

Moroni’s Treasures

We have been asked to make clear in The Instructor just what articles were in the stone box in the Hill Cumorah when Joseph Smith visited the place on the occasions when he and the Heavenly Messenger met there.

First of all, we must bear in mind that the Prophet was the only mortal who knew the contents of that box, for no other person, except Moroni, ever saw that box with its treasures. Joseph Smith, therefore, is the only one who can tell us what those contents were. And this is what he says:

“I looked in, and there indeed did I behold the plates, the Urim and Thummim, and the Breastplate, as stated by the Messenger.”

it will be noted that no mention is made here of the existence of any other objects in connection with the contents of the box. Just how is it, then, that there has arisen an impression that this box contained, besides the articles here mentioned, the Sword of Laban and the Liahona? So far as we know, there is no other statement by the Prophet which would warrant the belief that the Sword and the Liahona were in the box. these two objects, however, are mentioned elsewhere.

In section 17 of the Doctrine and Covenants we read, in a revelation “given through Joseph Smith to Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris,” in June, 1829: “Behold, I say unto you that … you shall have a view of the Plates, and also of the Breastplate, the Sword of Laban, the Urim and Thummim, which were given to the Brother of Jared upon the Mount when he talked with the Lord face to face, and the Miraculous Directors, which were given to Lehi while in the Wilderness, on the borders of the Red Sea.”

Accordingly, all these objects – five in number – were seen by the Three Witnesses to the divine origin of the Book of Mormon, in 1829, in the woods near Peter Whitmer’s home in Fayette, New York. three of these had been in the box, as already stated, but nowhere, so far as we know, is there any statement by anyone to the effect that the other two – the Sword and the Liahona – were in the box.

That is all that can be said definitely on the subject.


From the Improvement Era, February 1966, recommending music for teen listening –





  1. Let’s just hope that those impressionable youth don’t figure out what Don Giovanni was singing about in this aria:

    In Italia seicento e quaranta,
    in Almagna duecento e trentuna,
    cento in Francia, in Turchia novantuna,
    ma in Ispagna son già mille e tre!

    Comment by Mark B. — January 7, 2014 @ 8:06 am

  2. Shirttailers!

    Comment by J. Stapley — January 7, 2014 @ 8:14 am

  3. Ardis, any idea who compiled the list of recommended teenage listening? (Richard L. Evans?) It seems to be very well informed. And, in a handful of instances, surprising given the tenor of the times.

    Comment by Gary Bergera — January 7, 2014 @ 8:31 am

  4. This appeared in the “Era of Youth” section, so maybe Marion D. Hanks and/or Elaine Cannon? But I don’t know for sure.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — January 7, 2014 @ 8:34 am

  5. That’s an amusing list of music. Really, that is quite funny. It reminds me of the Thomas Jefferson Education list of acceptable reading materials: they drew a line, someplace in the 1950s, if I remember correctly, and everything after that was forbidden. (Except, of course, the works of Cleon Skousen.)

    And the first item has me wondering if I have any pictures of myself being held as a baby by any of my mother and father’s friends and dear members of their branch, every adult woman with a lovely golden nose ring. When I have a minute I’ll try to remember to plug in the hard drive with the family photo collection and look through the pictures to find an illustration for the first story.

    Comment by Amy T — January 7, 2014 @ 8:41 am

  6. And now I’m trying to think which of those ten musicals President Monson hasn’t quoted in conference.

    Comment by John Mansfield — January 7, 2014 @ 8:45 am

  7. Now that I’ve seen Gary’s comment, the list was certainly compiled with the help of one or more musical professionals, perhaps the music department at BYU.

    Comment by Amy T — January 7, 2014 @ 8:48 am

  8. I had no idea Burl Ives had an “Early” Period. Did the Improvement Era have something against Rudolph?

    Comment by Grant — January 7, 2014 @ 9:06 am

  9. It really is a strange list, Grant. Does “early” mean before he was hauled before the House Un-American Activities Committee, or before he became more involved in country music?

    And looking at that category, what did they mean by “folkish” music? The popular folk music of the time? Modern ballads in the folk style?

    The authors of the list seem to have had something against the folk music movement. How else could you explain the fact that most top folk musicians are missing from the list? Woody Guthrie? The Weavers? Bob Dylan? Pete Seeger? The Kingston Trio? Joan Baez? Doc Watson? How could they expect their list to be taken seriously?

    Comment by Amy T — January 7, 2014 @ 9:43 am

  10. I like lists and this music list was fun. As mind-blowing as the Beatles recommendation is, so, too, are the recommendations in the 20th century composer category. If you’re not familiar with them, give Alban Berg and Anton Webern a little listen!

    Comment by David Y. — January 7, 2014 @ 10:00 am

  11. For some of us, David Y., a very little Berg and Webern goes a very long way. :)

    Take this list seriously? I was almost a teenager in February 1966, the Improvement Era arrived regularly at our home, and I remember seeing the “Era of Youth” tucked into the center of the magazine. But this list wouldn’t have had the slightest effect on me, even if I had read it. We had two radios in the house–the kitchen radio, which my mother seemed to keep permanently tuned to KSL-AM, and my sister’s radio, which she kept to herself. The record player could have played records other than the classical music my parents owned, but at 12 I didn’t have money to go out and buy any. Besides, going to a record shop would have required that I find some way of getting there. And, back then, nobody had uploaded any tunes to iTunes or Spotify, and nobody had even thought about pirating music on Napster.

    If my sister’s radio was tuned to a pop station, it would have been KOVO in Provo or KCPX in Salt Lake City. So, if she had it on, we’d hear whatever they happened to play–whether it was on the Era of Youth list or not.

    Comment by Mark B. — January 7, 2014 @ 10:37 am

  12. Music: Mark, your experience echoes mine growing up. My folks listened to KSL, and I listened to KCPX, Interesting list, but under Jazz, no John Coltrane? There’s a few others I could question, but still surprising for some of the inclusions as well as exclusions.

    As to Moroni’s treasures, there does seem to be a bit of folklore built up around that. A member of my ward, infamous for conspiracy theories and other folklore, talks about the Sword of Laban being slowly unsheathed from its scabbard, and about to fall on the evildoers, starting with one particular President. *sigh*

    Comment by kevinf — January 7, 2014 @ 10:51 am

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