Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog

Guest Post: Joan Florence Prangnell Farbus: “Pioneering” Ulster Hostess

By: Coffinberry - July 22, 2014

A post in 2011 featured a 1961 photo of Irish Saints dressed for the westward trek on a parade float that didn’t quite get off the ground. (See “It’s Still Tough Going West”).

Sister Joan Farbus (1926-1996) was one of the sisters in pioneer garb. Her daughter recently shared a story about Joan published in the Millennial Star, April 1966.




The Lantern in the Tower: Chapter 1 (of 4)

By: Ardis E. Parshall - July 21, 2014

From the Children’s Friend, 1950-51 –

The Lantern in the Tower

by Elizabeth Cheatham Walton

Chapter 1: The Dark Sea

Patty’s eyes opened wide.

“Belle,” she called softly. “Belle.”

There was no pad, pad of the big white setter’s feet, nor any low friendly whimper answering her call. She was wide enough awake now to remember. Belle had gone back to the lighthouse with Andy. It couldn’t have been the dog.

Outside, the waves crashed on the beach with a steady roar. Inside, the windows were pale gray squares and the furniture dark, shadowy blotches, like crouching, shapeless forms poised to spring. but Patty was not afraid of the dark, or of strange noises in the night. She was afraid of only one thing – the sea. She, a fisherman’s daughter, was afraid of the sea! Do what she would to hide it or batter it down, the ugly fear was there. She slid down in her bed and drew the soft checked quilt up around her neck, glad that she was safe inside in the warm, comfortable dark.


Elizabeth Kane Meets the Madonna Dolorosa

By: Amy Tanner Thiriot - July 21, 2014



In the early 1870s, Brigham Young invited his ailing friend Thomas L. Kane to spend the winter with him in St. George, Utah Territory. Kane headed west from Pennsylvania with his wife, Elizabeth, and their two young sons. During their trip, Elizabeth wrote a journal and sent regular letters home to her father filled with witty and sometimes biting portraits of the people she met in Utah. These accounts of her trip are available in two books: Twelve Mormon Homes and A Gentile Account of Life in Utah’s Dixie.


In Our Ward: Lesson 27: The Influence of Wicked and Righteous Leaders

By: Ardis E. Parshall - July 20, 2014

Lesson 27: The Influence of Wicked and Righteous Leaders

1 Kings 11-12; 2 Chronicles 17, 20

Purpose: To encourage class members to develop good leadership qualities so they can influence others to live righteously.


1. The kingdom of Israel is divided, primarily because of Rehoboam’s harsh leadership.
2. Jeroboam and Rehoboam lead their kingdoms into idolatry.
3. Jehoshaphat leads the kingdom of Judah to follow the Lord and His prophets.

What parts of the Old Testament are most familiar to Latter-day Saints? Why do you think that is so?

We are now entering a part of the Old Testament that is much less familiar to most Latter-day Saints than the books we have looked at so far this year – yet the history we’ll talk about today is some of the most important history in the Old Testament, at least so far as concerns our understanding of why the Old Testament. [Sketch the following on the board.]


Andrew Sproul, Missionary: February-March 1842

By: Ardis E. Parshall - July 20, 2014

previous installment

Thursday night, Febr. 3, 1842 – E.G. & myself went [to] Charleston & held meeting at Mrs. Eccles’ house. I opened meeting with a hymn & prayer. E.G. preached to the meeting. A number of strangers was there & told them all what was a-doing in these days. After he was done I bore testimony to the truth & read the “Dialogue with the Saint & Inquirer” to them & etc. & closed our meeting.

Saturday, Febr. 5th, 1842 – Margaret Eccles & William Eccles was baptised for a remission of their sins in Miclerigs burn by A Sprowl. This is the woman who has given us her house to meet in at Charleston. Lord bless her & him.

Sunday, Febr. 6, 1842 – Was appointed a day of fasting & prayer at Paisley, & E.G. & I made appointment with the Saints at Nielston to come who could, for we would be there. Therefore we met with the Saints in fasting & prayer 7 we had a happy day of it while we was together. We had many exhortations from the Elders & priests & the spirit of supplication & prayer was manifest amongst the Saints. It continued from 8 morning till 4oclock evening.


Keepa’s Schedule

By: Ardis E. Parshall - July 19, 2014

We have some new readers, and I’ve received a couple of queries lately that suggest it might be useful to outline Keepa’s weekly schedule. I’ll link to this from the “About” page for future reference.

Monday through Friday

6:30 a.m. (Mountain Time; or later, if I’m lazy) – the day’s main post goes up.

10:00 a.m. – Usually something visual: an advertisement from an old Mormon publication; historic Mormon letterhead, a photograph that doesn’t need much explanation.


Saturday Remix, 1923

By: Ardis E. Parshall - July 19, 2014

In the Restaurant

Diner – This ham’s bad!

Waitress – Rubbish, it was only cured last week.

Diner – Well, it must have had a relapse!


The Young and the Old

By: Ardis E. Parshall - July 18, 2014

From the Relief Society Magazine, October 1954 –

The Young and the Old

Carolyn C. Lewis

It was one of those spring mornings that seem to have been all scrubbed and shined by some special servant during the night and set before the world with the words, “Here is a perfect day without a flaw.”

That’s what it seemed to me – a perfect day – warm, bright, beautiful. And I was young and thrilled with being alive. Only yesterday my mother – a sentimentalist, if you’ve ever met one – had said to me, “I wish I were your age again.”

Half-seriously I had answered, “I am glad I’m not your age.”


Sugar in War, Sugar in Peace, Sugar Now, Sugar Forever, Amen and Amen

By: Ardis E. Parshall - July 18, 2014

From 1942 –

Old Folks’ Day (Utah history)

By: Ardis E. Parshall - July 18, 2014

In the very heart of Salt Lake City, at South Temple and Main Street, stands a monument topped with a bust of Charles R. Savage. The monument does not honor Savage’s considerable achievements as one of Utah’s pioneer photographers, but is a tribute to his concern for Utah’s most elderly citizens.

As a young man, Savage cajoled merchants into donating food and coal to widows. He convinced friends to join him in purchasing other supplies. His sympathies took a new turn when, day after day, he noticed an elderly neighbor sitting quietly on her porch; he wondered whether the old woman ever left her home, and whether she ever had an outing to look forward to.

In 1874, he discussed his thoughts with two friends, George Goddard, a fellow worker in the LDS Sunday Schools, and Edward Hunter, the LDS presiding bishop. The men conceived an annual holiday for Utahns age 70 and older, a day for an excursion away from home, with transportation and entertainment furnished by the young. Although the day originated with LDS planners, intentions were to honor all elderly Utahns, free of religious or political or racial divisions.


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