As the legal battles in Utah Territory ramped up in the late 1870s and early 1880s, Charles Lowell Walker turned his literary efforts to political commentary. He wrote:
May 17  Rather warm. Went to the Sunday School Jubilee at the [St. George] Tabernacle, which was crowded …
Class exercises, songs, Recitations, Speeches, Music, and dialogues were rendered in a very creditable style by the children. I composed the following lines, which were received with much enthusiasm on account of the attitude of some who think all things will cease in Utah and Mormonism come to an end, because they have the Law in their own hands and so think to overturn the affairs of Utah and her people and are surprised that the people go on in the even tenor of their way minding their own business.
The Sun is still shining,
The Miners are Mining,
And the Liberals are whining,
Expect Not Peace
By Octave F. Ursenbach
Alas! these centuries of Christian freedom,
That fain would teach mankind to live aright,
Result, in lieu of peace, a pandemonium.
Is Christ the author of this awful plight?
Pray what is wrong with all our education
That fails to teach mankind true brotherhood;
Resulting in the wide-spread inclination
To destroy life by shedding human blood.
The vials of wrath are poured upon the nations –
The human heart stalks in the throes of shame –
Sweet virtue valued not – unbridled passions –
Diseased mankind, unfit to bear Christ’s name.
In lieu of deeds of peace, man kills his brother –
War’s dreadful engines of destruction rage –
The acts of fiendish demons mercy smother –
Reluctantly we read each daily page.
Our world wide system of false education,
Must bow in shame to an imperfect plan;
The unclean thoughts and deeds of every nation
Can be attributed to learned men.
Pray not for peace, ’till man shall love man better,
And chaste life build a nobler, cleaner race;
’Till moral deeds shall supersede the letter;
Pure thoughts be read upon the human face.
Why sue for peace, when nations thus have stumbled?
How can peace come when life is valued not.
War must proceed ’till haughty pride is humbled
And secret vice shall cease its fiendish plot.
Charles Lowell Walker served in the Sunday School back when it was an organization for children. He would often address the children of the St. George First Ward Sunday School on a gospel topic. He had a tender spot in his heart for children and suffered greatly at the loss of his children. When his infant daughter Mary died in 1879, he noted in his diary the identity of the speakers at the funeral, but said, “I could not hear or understand much as my thoughts were on the contents of the little black coffin before me, and it seemed to me as tho I shoud choke with grief.”
Walker’s family told the story that Charles was bored one day in Sunday School and penned this little poem. He didn’t tell that story himself; he just noted when it was published in the Juvenile Instructor.
Last September I posted about the bogus claim that the Smithsonian Institution uses the Book of Mormon to guide their research. I identified the origin of that rumor, and traced one path of dissemination.
Today I’ve learned of another reason why that bogus claim was at one time so widespread in Mormon circles: It appeared in a textbook much used in seminaries and institutes. It’s a project for another day to go through the editions of that book and identify when this claim was removed.
This one is going to drive young mothers up the wall … yet it is very reflective of the way my generation grew up.
From the Relief Society Magazine, April 1962 –
By Thelma Grube
Ellen was two and spring not yet born when we began to notice the very old man. Each day at precisely the same time he rode precisely by on an English bike. He looked neither to right nor left, up nor down. He looked, as only the very old can look, directly forward into the past. No matter how chill the east wind, nor how hot the west, the old gentleman always wore the same outfit – dark trousers held at one cuff by a bicycle clip, a brown tweed jacket, and a white silk muffler. He wore no hat.
Charles Lowell Walker was a busy man. In 1863 he noted, “This winter I have been attending to the Seventies Meetings, Sunday meeting, ward Meetings, besides a Lyceum and Dramatic association of which I am a Member, so I havnt had Much time to waste.” Besides attending meetings, he needed to provide for his wives Abigail Middlemass and Sarah Smith and a growing family, build a home in the Southern Utah desert, help build irrigation systems, work as a stonecutter for the St. George Tabernacle and Temple, and fulfill other duties.
In addition to all his duties, he wrote what historian Davis Bitton later called “one of the great diaries of pioneer and territorial Utah.” (more…)
Sow the Field with Roses
By Margery S. Stewart
It was on the third day of October that Tomas Novarro came for his son. It was a bright and brittle morning, with the desert winds blowing hot down the hills, and the sea taking on the deep vital blue that was a sign of autumn as plain as maple leaves on fire.
This was the last time Nina would take down small Joseph’s special bowl, or spoon into it the hot, nourishing cereal. This was the last of the brilliant mornings rich with plans for the day. There would be no more Disneyland expeditions or deep sea fishing with Tomas to show her how to reel in her line. He was taking his son to Europe to show him the world and to have him entirely to himself. He had talked about it, planned for it, writing for brochures, bringing them over in the evenings to see what she thought of the side trips he had planned.
Nina made herself very busy. Today she would houseclean the kitchen cupboards, put down new paper, and tomorrow she would go to the Children’s Hospital and apply for a job. She needed a new car, and now she could afford one. By all these thoughts, like actors on a stage, she fought to keep back the one tall and spectral figure – loneliness.
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Sow the Field with Roses
By Margery S. Stewart
Synopsis: Nina Karsh lives in a small house in the Malibu Mountains of California. The house is owned by Tomas Novarro, a sad and morose man of great wealth, who brings his motherless son Joseph and asks Nina to take care of him. Nina agrees to look after the boy temporarily. Tommy Benedict, a young boy from an unhappy home, visits Nina at times. She tries to help him into a better life adjustment. AT the request of Tomas Novarro, Dr. Craig Jonathan comes to check up on Joseph’s health. Joseph shows gradual but consistent improvement, and Nina feels a deep satisfaction. Dr. Jonathan continues to call and becomes interested in Nina.
Tomas Novarro came home on one of the hottest September days in California history. Nina, unaware of his arrival, had taken small Joseph and Tommy to the beach.
Joseph had come to love the sea with a small boy’s passion for sound and motion. Nina had to watch him every second or he would have been out beyond his depth. She could not understand this heedlessness of danger in one who once trembled at the sound of running water. Joseph had come a long way. He was really talking now, sometimes long furious sentences that were not always clear – but he was talking.
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