By J. Alfred Jacobson
I am only just a cigarette,
A tiny little thing,
And yet the pow’r I have o’er men,
Is mightier than a king.
I rule not with an iron hand.
I boast no kindly claim.
Yet thousands found in every land
Pay homage to my name.
I have no court around my throne,
No armies drilled to fight.
The secret of my pow’r be known,
‘Tis in man’s appetite.
When subject I would make of man,
I test his vertebrae,
And if he be too weak to stand,
Then I have won the day.
I bend his shoulders to a curve,
I hollow out his chest,
I play upon his every nerve,
I never let him rest.
I make a dim and bloodshot eye,
I stain his fingertips.
I make his lungs feel parched and dry,
I spoil his shapely lips.
I neutralize his natural will,
I blight his intellect,
And then I do him more things still,
I take his self-respect.
I leave a stench about his clothes,
A foul, distasteful smell,
I have him marked where’er he goes,
So everyone can tell.
I rob him of his richest dower,
Bring failure and regret.
Now can you see what mighty power–
A simple cigarette!
Rather than photoshopping a nice missionary suit or even a modest toga onto Michelangelo’s David, this is how the editor chose to present that work of art in a Church magazine in 1901. (Of course, five years later they were printing this).
Glen Nelson of Mormon Artists Group finds a fascinating story about a Mormon’s musical reaction to the world of Nazi Germany. You can sign up through the above link to have a newsletter with Glen’s articles delivered to your email box.
In 1930, an American Mormon student in Oldenburg, Germany shook hands and chatted with Hitler. Out of curiosity, Wendell Cannon Irvine of Salt Lake City, Utah had attended a large Fascist rally on a Saturday afternoon in October, and then he returned to his hotel. A few hours later, when he went down to supper, he learned that Hitler was staying in the same hotel, and jokingly, he mentioned that he’d like to meet “this Herr Hitler.” A few minutes later, Hitler strode through the lobby, and the hotel attendant interrupted the procession to introduce “a young American scholar.”
Irvine recounted the experience in an article that appeared in The Improvement Era the following November (all the Church’s early magazines have been scanned and are available for viewing at archive.org. Here’s a link to “Adolf Hitler: The Man and His Ideas”). The article is interesting for many reasons, but principally because it documents an early Mormon encounter with a terribly evil human being.
From the Relief Society Magazine, March 1961 –
Close to the Angels
By Norma A. Wrathall
“For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways” (Psalms 91:11).
Lisa Britton’s face was flushed as she took the large round lid from the sterilizer kettle, allowing a cloud of steam to billow into the kitchen. Some of it drifted into the dinette and settled on the cold window pane, where five-year-old Andrew was drawing with his chubby forefinger. Lisa’s thin arms tensed as she lifted out the rack of nursing bottles, still trembling from the heat. She placed the rack on the counter, and then laid the back of her wrist against her moist forehead.
“Andrew, dear, tiptoe ever-so-softly into the hall, and listen if baby sister is crying. Ever-so-softly, now.”
From 1915 —
I ran across the autobiography of Annie Berry Chesnut Day more than 15 years ago, when I was researching the families of Piute County, Utah. I’ve never talked about it with anyone, and hope that many of you will feel free to comment on one aspect or another of her story.
It’s a little longer than the average post, and it will be difficult to read because I decided to post it as she wrote it, with the barest minimum of added punctuation. I predict that if you can struggle through the first screen, you’ll be hooked and want to know what happens next.
In discussion, please remember blog guidelines: Keepa is a community of believing members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and friends who are willing to respect our beliefs, including how we speak about our church and its leaders and doctrines. If you’re not a regular Keepa commenter, please moderate yourself … or I will.
Circleville, piute Co. utah. Well after 34 years, I have bin impresed by my feelings to try and write up a part of my life as neer as I can remember it and a nother thing I am not well and by taking up part of my time in writing may help me to regain my strength again. Annie E. Berrie
No Half Loaf, This
By Virginia Newman
Friendly were the words you said,
Tendering the loaf of bread,
Oven warm and savory;
how much that gesture meant to me,
Almost a stranger, lonely too,
And Gladdened by the sight of you.
I would repay you if I could.
Oh, yes, the bread was extra good.
(I’d like the recipe some day.)
But let me ask you if I may,
How you acquired the finer art
Of nourishing the hungry heart?
I never had the knack, somehow.
(I’d like that recipe right now.)
A rare surviving cover —
From the pages of the Juvenile Instructor 1903. I’m not sure I’ve seen a set of questions and answers that shows greater differences between “then” and “now.”
Question: What is “Higher Criticism”?
Answer: The words “higher criticism are used with reference to another kind of criticism which is the lesser or inferior criticism. As for example, the criticism of the use of words by Shakespeare, his illustrations, or his philosophy belongs to the lower criticism. Whether Shakespeare wrote the books attributed to him, or whether it was Bacon, would be classed as higher criticism. One has to do rather with interpretation and literary laws; the other, a higher criticism, has to do with the source or authorship.
Higher criticism used with reference to the Bible discards Moses as the author of the books attributed to him, and it denies that John wrote the “Gospel according to St. John.” Higher criticism assumes to deal with the Bible the same as with any literary production, and thus eliminate the authority in which the book has been so long held among the Christian world. Among the advocates of this new cult the book is regarded in an entirely new light. With them the old time reverence for the book is gone. In some measure the book is to be used as a code of morals, nothing more.
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From the Relief Society Magazine, April 1949 –
And All Eternity
By Carol Read Flake
The sharp trill of the telephone brought Kathy Gordon stumbling from bed, her sleep-drugged mind groping to identify a heavy feeling of depression. The girl shivered in the chill, autumn air as she felt her way into the dining room. It was something – some dreadful thing that lay ahead of her.
“Hello.” Her voice was low and husky with sleepiness.
“Is this 402M?”
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