Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog

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.


A Cigarette

By: Ardis E. Parshall - November 13, 2014

A Cigarette

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!


How We Handled Bare Nekkid Art Before Photoshop

By: Ardis E. Parshall - November 13, 2014

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 magazine1 in 1901. (Of course, five years later they were printing this).



  1. I think The Juvenile Instructor, but my notes are incomplete []
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