We usually save poetry for afternoon posts, but, in light of the essays on plural marriage released last week on the Gospel Topics pages at lds.org, I thought I’d ask for your thoughts on a poem, published in 1886 (so, at the height of the federal “Raid” against Mormondom, and four years before the Manifesto), written by Susa Young Gates, a daughter of Brigham Young.
On one level, it’s pretty bad poetry, nearly doggerel, and having said that we probably don’t need more comment on its structure. But I’d like your thoughts on why you think such a poem was published, especially in the Juvenile Instructor aimed as much at children as at their teachers. Is it pure Victorian sentimentality? an attempt to give meaning to the suffering of families divided by the need to hide one or more parents from prosecution by federal agents? a hope of winning sympathy from outside the Church? something else?
Welcome the Task
By Michele Bartmess; as told by Annette Giles
Synopsis: Jennifer Miles, a young girl of twenty-four, has taken over the management of her family home following the death of her mother. She has three young brothers, and she finds it a great challenge to be responsible for them. Steve Rey, a long-time friend of the family, and Jim Long, whom she met on a trip to Houston, Texas, now a student in Utah, are competing for her attentions.
It was February, and winter seemed to have settled in the valley permanently. It had been dark and cold for more weeks than Jennifer cared to count. For her it was a time of unexplainable depression. She could not put her finger on any one thing being wrong, but for the first time in the entire six months that she had been responsible for the family, life seemed to be at a standstill. She had resumed her studies, and had been awarded a student teaching position in Springville. If she could attend the summer session, she would be graduated in August.
From the Relief Society Magazine, November 1956 —
We’ve met Brigadier General Henry D. Styer before. He is the non-Mormon man whom the U.S. Army stationed at posts in Utah for 12 years, much of that in the turbulent times of “the Raid” years, before the 1890 Manifesto relaxed the insufferable pressure exerted against the Church by the federal government. In 1916, when the Church was again the subject of harsh and exaggerated attacks in the nation’s newspapers, General Styer stood up for us in the Eastern press.
I ran into him again recently, in 1942, when General Styer was 80 years old, living in Coronado, California, and listening to the radio every Sunday morning. Early that year, a letter from General Styer reached Richard L. Evans, the voice of the “Spoken Word” on the Tabernacle Choir’s Sunday morning broadcasts.
Lesson 38: “Beside Me There Is No Saviour”
Purpose: To help class members understand that Jesus Christ is incomparable in his devotion to his people and that he has a great work for them to do.
1. Isaiah teaches that the Savior is incomparable
2. Isaiah describes the Savior’s incomparable qualities
3. The world (Babylon) competes with the Savior for our devotion
4. Isaiah describes the mission of latter-day Israel
March 3, 1847, Bro. Bell called a meeting of the council at which I was appointed to attend & rebaptise on Sunday morning following when some of the officers took upon them to intimate to those who were ready to go that I would wait upon them at the water of baptism on the above date.
Sunday morning, March 7, 1847, repaired to the water, offered up prayer to God that his blessing might rest upon us and that he would acknowledge our obedience to the ordinance of his own house. Went down with bros. James Goldie, Teacher; John Brisband, member; & Agness Morton, and rebaptised them for a remission of their sins. After a while I told them to attend meeting today to receive the ordinance of confirmation for the reception of the Holy Spirit. The Saints met as usual at 11 o’clock to worship before the Lord & also to hear addresses delivered by the brethren in office, the foremen being appointed for this purpose. Elder F. Sprowl presided over the meeting today, Pres. Bell being at Johnston. elder F.S. called the meeting to order by a hymn & prayer, after which he addressed us for a short time; John Welsh, Priest, spake for some time after Bro F. Sprowl, & Elder Andrew Sprowl spake for some time also, & ceased the meeting by a hymn & asking the blessings of God upon all his Saints here & elsewhere, his servants also, that they may be enabled by his good spirit to bear a faithful testimony to the word & especially he would bless the twelve in the west as the leaders of the Saints.
Welcome the Task
By Michele Bartmess; as told by Annette Giles
Synopsis: Jennifer Miles has returned from Houston where she stayed until her mother underwent successful heart surgery. She returns home to assist in caring for her mother and the three Miles sons, ages seventeen, fifteen, and twelve. She is attracted to Steve Rey, the son of her mother’s close friend, but Jim Long, whom she met in Houston, is competing for her attentions. A phone call in the dead of the night summons the family to the hospital where her mother has been put due to complications.
After the first tears at the shock of losing her mother, Jennifer’s composure was marvelous, and beneficial to the rest of the family. She set about the tasks before her with serenity and a calmness that, at times, amazed even herself.
Another newsletter from the American L.D.S. Chaplains of Italy, in the summer at the end of World War II.
August 1, 1945
The 4th and 24th of July provided occasions for reunions and celebration for, at least, a portion of our men. On the 4th, a group of thirty L.D.S. men from Pisa, Florence, and Leghorn gathered together at Leghorn for a day of fun and fellowship. Following an afternoon of boating and swimming it was supper together, topped off with ice cream, then a first class magician performance by Wilson K. Anderson and more ice cream. The evening was yet young, and the sun still shone, so refreshments were followed by baseball and baseball by – yes, ice cream.
In Naples the group spent the day in an old fashioned beach party. Several present remarked that they hadn’t realized they could enjoy themselves so thoroughly over here. In fact, it was just like an M.I.A. outing back home.
The 24th was not an Army holiday, but most of our groups observed the occasion in the evening with appropriate talks concerning our pioneer heritage, recreation, and refreshments. Much private talk dealt with reminiscences of past Pioneer days and hopes for future ones.
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By Edith Cherrington
On these loved hills – this massive mountain range –
Distance shows a blue ridge high and strange,
Remote and cruel savage of the earth;
But it was this rough land which gave her birth;
Its fruit became her flesh and from its stone
Was carved her human framework, bone by bone.
Look at her now and let your fancy trace
Its rugged features in her handsome face;
The granite cliff her brow, her every limb
Proclaims a pine tree vigor, straight and slim,
Rounding from supple trunk to muscled thighs.
The blue of unmarked space is in her eyes;
Her browned and agile fingers are the roots
Searching the stony ground for hidden fruits.
The daughter of a re-created land,
She stands as proudly as the mountains stand –
Drawing her vigor from the vast frontiers,
Her courage from the Mormon Pioneers.
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