Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog

Teacher’s Toolkit: Hectograph

By: Ardis E. Parshall - November 18, 2014

Imagine you are a teacher of a Church class, or chairman of some ward or stake committee, in the 1930s or ‘50s or as late as the ‘70s, and you needed a copy of some paper for everybody – maybe you were sending instructions home for your Cub Scout den’s day camp, or you wanted a line drawing of the golden plates for your Primary class to color, or you wanted your committee to make the same recipe for an elders’ quorum dinner.

Of all the possible ways of making multiple copies (expensive and slimy-papered photocopiers – decent, affordable ones didn’t become common until after 1980; inky mimeographing, which was a messy chore for only a dozen copies; spirit duplicators, if you had access to a machine; handwriting/typing as many originals as you needed, or else using carbon paper and onionskin to make three copies in one typing, thus having to type the thing only a third as many times), no method was especially practical or commonly available …

… except the hectograph. Hectographs were cheap, you could make them yourself, and they made astonishingly good copies as long as you had a steady hand and worked carefully.


Mulek of Zarahemla: Chapter 1 (of 10)

By: Ardis E. Parshall - November 17, 2014

I’m not at all sure how this story will go over with Keepa readers. It does represent a significant strain of Mormon fiction, in using a scriptural setting. Sometimes those settings were used for entirely fictional stories, and sometimes for imaginatively fleshing out a story told in the scriptures.

From the Improvement Era, 1948 –

Mulek of Zarahemla

By J.N. Washburn

Chapter 1

Editorial Note: J.N. Washburn, the author of the serial Mulek, which commences in this issues of the ERA, has long been interested in the Book of Mormon. With his father, J.A. Washburn, he wrote An Approach to the Study of Book of Mormon Geography in 1939, proving himself to be an astute student of this work. IN the novel Mulek, the author has gone into the flora and fauna of the country where Mulek lived, as well as the characteristics of men and women who made the action of the story assume a vigorous trueness to life. J.N. Washburn has been a teacher and knows what will interest people, and has proceeded from this knowledge to weave a fascinating story of Book of Mormon days.

The day was hot, with the copper sun beating down, and only a slight breeze stirring the air to give an illusion of coolness. Small clouds that floated occasionally between sun and earth gave a few moments of welcome relief.


Bureau of Information Building, 1910

By: Ardis E. Parshall - November 17, 2014

This was the Bureau of Information building on Temple Square, sort of a prototype visitors’ center, in 1910.



Guest Post: Cold Water is the Drink for Me

By: Amy Tanner Thiriot - November 17, 2014

I looked over in church and my seven-year-old was reading some LeGrand Richards stories from the 1971 Friend. Elder Richards reminisced:

I was raised on a farm, and we used to sometimes hold Sunday School conferences that members of the general board attended. When I was a boy of about twelve years of age, which is now over seventy years ago, I attended one such conference that made a lasting impression upon my mind.

Our visitors were Brother Karl G. Maeser, who organized Brigham Young University under the direction of President Brigham Young, and Brother George Goddard, who had a beautiful singing voice. I can remember to this day the songs Brother Goddard had us practice in that conference.

The first one is no longer in the hymn-book, but it goes like this: “Take away the whiskey, the coffee, and the tea. Cold water is the drink for me.” This song made such an impression upon me as a boy that I can hardly drink anything but cold water even today.

I was on the train traveling between Salt Lake City and Los Angeles one time when a waiter asked, “Are you ready for your coffee?”

“No, thank you,” I answered.

“Will you have tea?” he asked.


In Our Ward: Lesson 42: “I Will Write It in Their Hearts”

By: Ardis E. Parshall - November 16, 2014

Thanks to Ben Spackman and to Kevin Barney for ideas incorporated into this lesson plan.

Lesson 42: “I Will Write It in Their Hearts”

Jeremiah 16; 23; 29; 31

Purpose: To encourage class members to participate in God’s great latter-day work and to have his law written in their hearts.

Lesson Development

1. Jeremiah foresees the latter-day gathering of Israel
2. God will write his law in the hearts of his people
1. Now is the time to repent
2. Hearkening to the words of the prophets
3. Repeating the sins of previous generations
4. The importance of trusting in God
5. False prophets


A Picture of the Bloggernacle, November 14, 2014

By: Ardis E. Parshall - November 15, 2014

The other day Sam Brunson posted a Wordle at some other blog, Visualizing Conference, October 2014. Sam combined all the text from all the talks at the recent conference, and created a single Wordle. Check it out – it won’t surprise you which words were used most often (the largest ones in the cloud).

Commenter “A Happy Hubby” said “It would be interesting to see a daily word map of the bloggernacle.”

I’m not about to do it on a daily basis (frankly, I don’t think it would change as much as we expect), but I did do it for one day, November 14, the day that Sam posted his cloud and the day that “A Happy Hubby” suggested we map the Bloggernacle. (Methodology explained below the image.)

Here, my friends, is a picture of the Bloggernacle on November 14, 2014. It is what you expected?


Saturday Remix, 1946

By: Ardis E. Parshall - November 15, 2014

Good Morning

“Good morning,” chirped the telephone operator, “this is Williams, Jones, Brown, Spry, Thurston, and Black.”

“Oh,” said the startled voice at the other end of the line, “good morning, good morning, good morning, good morning, good morning, and good morning.”



By: Ardis E. Parshall - November 14, 2014

From the Improvement Era, February 1940 –


By Francis S. Pounds

Will Sheppard often wondered how Con Kelleher did it. He couldn’t understand how Con, no better salesman than the rest of the group, had shot up to the top lately, while he himself had remained half-way to the bottom. Besides this, Con seemed to have so little need for extra money – except for having a good time in general – while he himself had so pressing a need to make good – to make real money for Grace’s sake. He had promised himself to be ready by spring to marry.

Selling automobiles is no sinecure. Still, Con Kelleher had done it, while Will Sheppard had not. That fact was a stern reality. It stood out too sternly. It kept Will guessing. Not that he bore any ill-will whatever toward young Kelleher. On the other hand, despite a wide gap in personalities, Con seemed to like him; liked him, perhaps, for qualities he lacked himself.


The Book of Mormon: A Testimony for God and the Bible

By: Ardis E. Parshall - November 14, 2014

This is the back of an envelope postmarked 1937. There is no return address on the envelope — no mission home, no indication of any sponsoring Mormon organization. Just the back. But oh, the back!


Frank W. Warner: More Samples of Mormon Native Writing

By: Ardis E. Parshall - November 14, 2014

Earlier this week, David G. at Juvenile Instructor shared a post titled Frank W. Warner and the History of Mormon Native Writing. He wrote there about the challenge of uncovering the experience of Native converts to Mormonism because those converts could not leave written records that were not filtered through the minds and attitudes of the whites who wrote down what records do exist.

The second generation of Native members sometimes had literacy skills that did allow them to record their experiences. David G. uses the example of Frank W. Warner, born Pisappih Timbimboo, a son of Sagwitch, who had been a two-year-old, badly wounded survivor of the Bear River Massacre. Frank was raised in a white family and received enough education that in young adulthood he taught penmanship at Logan’s Brigham Young College.

Frank Warner may have been the first Native American to receive a formal call as a missionary. As a very young man, he was called by John Taylor to teach at Washakie. Then in 1914-15 and again in 1917-18, he served as a missionary to the Sioux and Assiniboine in Montana and Canada.

David G. then shares excerpts from Warner’s mission diary of 1914-15 where Warner gives hints of what the Book of Mormon and a Lamanite identity meant both to Elder Warner and to those he was teaching on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation.

Please read David G.’s post – I give this highly compressed summary only to frame my post here.


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