Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog
 


Christmas Thoughts, 1944

By: Ardis E. Parshall - December 19, 2014

Of Christmas – and of Things to Come

Somehow the customary comments about Christmas seem less than fully satisfying this year. True, there is going to be a warmth about it. There always is. No matter what is lacking – notwithstanding vacant chairs, notwithstanding hearts heavy in their loneliness – the spirit of the day, when the eve arrives, moves in, takes over, and permeates all. Time does not dissipate it. Distance is no barrier to the thoughts and feelings that belong to this day.

And yet, this year, some things are different:

Perhaps more gifts are en route to more places this Christmas than ever before.

Perhaps more longing thoughts for the absent, and more prayers, spoken and unspoken, are in their hearts of men this Christmas than ever before.

Perhaps so many men never yearned so fervently for peace, and perhaps so few ever had it.

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Christmas Graphic, 1948

By: Ardis E. Parshall - December 19, 2014

From the Improvement Era, December 1948 —

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The Riot That Never Was

By: Ardis E. Parshall - December 19, 2014

If you read the newspapers over breakfast in the summer of 1856, you may have shaken your head over the disgraceful behavior of those Mormons. They were worse in Denmark, even, than they were in England!

ATLAS (London, England)
19 July 1856

[DENMARK]

A serious split occurred the other day among the Mormonites at Copenhagen.

At one of their meetings it was proposed to abolish the practice of polygamy, which was opposed by some of the members on the ground that that was their only motive for joining the sect.

The row became so violent that the police were called in, who marched the noisiest off to prison.

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Advent: Becky’s Present

By: Ardis E. Parshall - December 19, 2014

From the Children’s Friend, December 1960 –

Becky’s Present

By Lucy Parr

Becky shivered happily. She had always liked this sudden quiet at the end of the day when her father had finished his work at the grist mill. Now that the great water wheels had stopped their turning, she could hear the lowing of Sill Harper’s cows from clear across the valley. A dog barked. A woodpecker beat its sharp tattoo up in the woodlot.

“Come, Rebecca, back to your work.” Becky turned at the sound of her mother’s voice. “Your father will be here any minute now, hungry for his dinner, and you with the table not half set.”

“I – I’m sorry, Mother,” Becky stammered. “I was just feeling the quiet, now Father has shut the mill down.”

Becky worked quickly, bringing the plates and bowls from the cupboard. “Mother, you’ll never guess who that foolish Mr. Danvers has chosen to sing the solos in our Christmas program,” she said critically, as she turned from the table.

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Forgiveness

By: Ardis E. Parshall - December 18, 2014

Forgiveness

By Gertie Gibbs

Last night the old home oped its arms
As if I had been all a child should be;
As if my deeds had not brought pain,
The old arms opened for me again;
And snug I nestled in its love.
Oh, shall my sins not be forgiven above?
The head I silvered bends in tender care.
Master, will you too forgive me there?

(1927)

Christmas Card, 1944

By: Ardis E. Parshall - December 18, 2014

This is not an especially Mormon item, except that I found it in a Mormon family’s papers, having been sent by another Mormon.

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Advent: Santa Came on Wheels

By: Ardis E. Parshall - December 18, 2014

From the Improvement Era, December 1941 –

Santa Came on Wheels

By Larene King Bleecker

It was early in December when father first told us of his job at the logging camp. I was sitting between my two brothers on the long, rough slab seat near the fireplace. A back log blazed on the andirons, and the flames leaped up the chimney with a cheery sound. Outside, in the early winter evening, the snow was white on the ground, and the quaking aspens made a dark wall against the clearing.

“Hoggan’s Sawmill is such a long way, John. it must be sixty miles, or more,” said Mother, wiping her eyes on the corner of her apron.

“Will you be able to come home for Christmas, Father?” I asked.

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Christmas Thoughts, 1964

By: Ardis E. Parshall - December 17, 2014

To Daddy with Love

by Janice T. Harris

It’s the Christmas season, and again I’m puzzling over gifts. I’ve tried to recall the gifts given last year, and I find I can’t entirely remember. In further contemplation I realize there are few presents I remember as vividly as the gift I gave and the gift I received in return when I was seven.

I had carefully selected gifts for all the family with my little cash. I had left only a nickel for Dad’s gift. With the confidence of the very young, though, I reasoned that I could find something suitable if I just looked carefully.

During the few remaining days until Christmas, my search for an appropriate gift yielded only frustration. The afternoon before Christmas came, and the gifts under the tree were sharp reminders that I had not finished my Christmas preparations.

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Mormon Stuff to Give for Christmas, 1965

By: Ardis E. Parshall - December 17, 2014

From the Improvement Era, December 1965 —

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Antique Office Technology; or, Inviting JimD into the Archives

By: Ardis E. Parshall - December 17, 2014

Yesterday’s post was based on a question asked in a letter sent to a general authority. I hoped to sneak by without anyone’s noticing that I didn’t mention any response to that letter. But nooOOOooo! JimD noticed. JimD couldn’t let me get away with it. {grin} So this post is for you, JimD – I’m taking you into the archives with me.

Depending on what survives the years, archives very often have both the incoming and the outgoing correspondence of the figures whose papers they collect. The Brigham Young collection at the Church History Library, for example, has both the original letters that were received by Brigham Young, and the retained copies of letters that he wrote to others. (Visit history.lds.org, click on the link to the Church History Library catalog, search “Brigham Young office papers” — its call number is CR 1234_1 — and then click the “browse collection” button. You’ll see listings for both incoming and outgoing general correspondence, as well as other specialized subcollections.)

Archives – not just CHL, but most archives – seldom file 19th century incoming and outgoing correspondence together. One reason for that is the office technology in use in the 19th century – incoming correspondence is usually loose sheets of paper that can be arranged in an appropriate order and stored in file folders. Outgoing correspondence, however, is very often preserved in bound letterpress copybooks.

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