“I was brought up a Baptist,” Eva Rowe Salway wrote to a granddaughter in 1946, “and was always interested in religion, but somehow I could not swallow hell, and the three-in-one doctrine. … After my marriage I stopped that church and tried many others.”
Eva tried Evangelist meetings, and, after leaving her native Guernsey for Southampton, England, she went to the Church of England. She was bitterly disappointed when the preacher of one congregation told her she was “saved,” when she felt no different from before. “I left his home broken-hearted. I had asked for bread, and he had given me a stone. … When my brother was baptized, I felt that if I was baptized I would then feel saved. Perhaps that was what I was missing. I was baptized, but I was in deeper despair than ever after the excitement and novelty was over. I took a class in Sunday school, went to prayer meeting and took part, but gradually fell away.”
She again“went to the Baptist church, but they talked over my head. Went to Plymouth Brethren – I think I liked them best as they seemed more sincere as a congregation. I did not bother with the Catholics then, as I had often gone as a visitor with friends. I tried Wesleyan – they had a good choir, a good preacher and was close to home. … Then I went to an undenominational church. … How I longed for a church! I was surrounded by them, but could find none for me.”
From the Relief Society Magazine, 1939 –
The Shining Heart
By Sibyl Spande Bowen
Before old Philander Maddox would consent to come North and visit his son Tom and his family, he had to be assured that every last vestige of the old family mansion he himself had built in the first flush of his Alaska prosperity had been demolished. He had to know that the face of the estate had been changed entirely by the huge Georgian brick house and the expensive landscaping Tom had undertaken this last year.
The place was finished now, and old Philander sat upon its western terrace facing a superb June sunset on Puget Sound, listening to the soothing and unimportant chatter of Tom’s plump wife, Phoebe, and telling himself that if a man is to keep himself young in this rushing world he has to clear the decks of the old things every so often and surround himself with the new. And old Philander was convinced he had indeed hoodwinked time with the clean sweep of the new house.
The lawns of Oakwood sloped in an almost unbroken expanse of beautiful sod to the beach, where it was separated from the public footpath by a hedge of shrubs. As old Phil gazed over the crimsoned water with his clear, hard, blue eyes, he sat suddenly upright and snorted.
“There’s that old pest Brill Carey coming along the path, Phoebe, or I’m a walrus,” he grumbled, and attempted to get up. “I’m going in.”
One of the women from Church history who is remembered by name by virtually anyone who has even the barest knowledge of Church history is Emma Hale Smith, wife of the Prophet Joseph Smith. She was the loving wife who stood by her husband through 17 years of tumultuous marriage and social upheaval. She was the faithful Latter-day Saint who served as her husband’s scribe for part of his translation of the plates, who compiled the Church’s first hymnbook, who was the first general president of the Relief Society. She is the woman whose tragedies in life inspire sympathy – the woman who lost so many children in infancy, the woman who took in infants whose mother had died, the woman whose husband was torn from her through violence, leaving her to raise her still-young children alone. She is the honored subject of the visual arts, of plays, of descendants’ celebrations. She is the “Elect Lady” of scripture.
That’s all true … in 2015. But that wasn’t always the case. Before 1984, before Linda King Newell’s and Valeen Tippets Avery’s sensitive Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith, Emma Hale Smith was one of the great villains of Mormon history. She was the woman who had stayed behind in Nauvoo, denying Brigham Young’s authority as president of the Church. She was the woman who betrayed Joseph’s memory by marrying an adulterous non-Mormon. She is the one who helped her son establish that wicked and apostate church, the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. She is the one of whom Brigham Young said: “Joseph used to say that he would have her hereafter, if he had to go to hell for her, and he will have to go to hell for her as sure as he ever gets her.” Brigham also supposedly said that “Emma Smith is one of the damnedest liars on earth!” accusing her of twice attempting to murder Joseph Smith by poison. She is the one about whom I said something sympathetic in 2010, only to have my aunt spit back in anger, “That woman kept Joseph’s children out of the Church!”
Lesson 17: “What Shall I Do That I May Inherit Eternal Life?”
Luke 12, 14, 16
Purpose: To help class members understand that we must be willing to sacrifice the things of this world to obtain a place in the kingdom of heaven.
1. Trusting in riches can keep a person out of the kingdom of God.
2. Seek heavenly, rather than earthly, treasures.
3. Followers of Christ must be willing to forsake all to be true disciples.
4. Seek spiritual wealth with enthusiasm and energy.
Scripture Discussion and Application
[Before class begins, write “The Kingdom of God” on the board.] The Kingdom of God – we can be a little vague about what we mean by that, thinking of the Kingdom of God as the current Church and our participation in it, or the Kingdom during the thousand years when Christ will reign personally on the earth, or the eventual Celestial Kingdom where those who have been judged worthy to live in the presence of God throughout eternity will dwell. But taking it all as a whole, what are some of the traits or qualities of the Kingdom of God? What kind of people do we need to become to be worthy of the Kingdom of God? [Accept any suggestions; list six or more suggestions – in one- or two-word terms – on the board. This needs to move quickly, so don’t allow discussion at this point, and settle for fewer suggestions if it drags.]
As Amy alluded in a comment on the original post, there has been some Facebook discussion of the graph included in my post on Women as Actors in Church History. A comment by another critic and first-time commenter was caught in the moderation filter and not posted. In other words, there has been some flak about my intentions and methods.
The purpose of “Women as Actors in Church History” and the posts to follow in the coming week is to highlight some of the ways women’s contributions have been included – or not – in our standard histories. I don’t intend to explore why that is so (although that would be a great discussion to have), and I’m certainly not attributing malice to anybody anywhere for the overlooking of women’s contributions. I simply want to look at how our histories have incorporated women, and, in later posts, explain why including women among the characters in our written history can benefit us all (but especially, not surprisingly, our girls and young women), and, finally, to announce a project to address that need. (I didn’t want to let that cat out of the bag so early, but at least now you’ll see how each post in this series leads to that end.)
Acknowledging that women’s participation is often overlooked in our written history is one thing. Understanding how wide the gap is — getting a mental and emotional grasp of the divide — is a necessary step, I think, to agreeing that there is a need to narrow the gap. But how do you create that understanding?
An Auctioneer advertised: For Sale – A large quantity of oil paintings by some of the most ancient masters of the day.
A boy was asked to write a short essay on pins by way of an exercise in composition, and produced the following:
“Pins are very useful. They have saved the lives of a great many men, women, and children – in fact, whole families.”
“How so?” asked the puzzled inspector, on reading this.
“Why, by not swallowing them,” was the immediate reply.
From the Relief Society Magazine, 1933 –
A Pioneer Trousseau
by Elizabeth Cannon Porter
Roger Hughes drove up to his home – a log house plastered with mud – with a flourish.
“Gwen!” he called excitedly. His daughter, a slim, vivacious girl came to the door.
“See what I’ve got for you.” Hastily alighting he pulled out a bolt of white sheeting from his wagon, followed by one of unbleached muslin, another of turkey red, a parcel of gray linsy-woolsy, some flannel and a roll of gay colored calico.
His wife, who had now come out, exclaimed in wonder.
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