Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog
 


Granny Will Be Waiting

By: Ardis E. Parshall - January 21, 2015

From the Relief Society Magazine, 1959 –

Granny Will Be Waiting

By Betty Martin

Amy Willis poured some warm milk in the old mother cat’s bowl and stood watching the cat lap up the milk hungrily. “It is a lonesome old life isn’t it, Tessie, old girl?” Amy mused, half to herself and half to the cat.

Amy was a short, slender woman in her early sixties with shiny gray hair that waved softly back from her face emphasizing her gentle, delicate features. her kindly blue eyes and her sparkling smile were evidence of her lovely countenance. All who knew Amy loved her and sought her friendship.

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On the Program: Dedication of the Institute Building at Laramie, Wyoming, 1936

By: Ardis E. Parshall - January 21, 2015

The opening of an LDS Institute building near the campus of the University of Wyoming was A. Big. Deal. as evidenced by these two programs: President Heber J. Grant was there, as were the presidents of nearby missions and universities, the governor of Wyoming, and other dignitaries. The cooperation of the wider Christian community in Laramie appears in the participation of the Ministerial Alliance at the opening, and the attendance of Institute members at a Union Service in the Baptist Church later in the week.

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Longing

By: Ardis E. Parshall - January 20, 2015

Longing

By Helene MacArthur

Here in the West when the sun
Sinks down behind the purpling hills,
And the twilight creeps
Up the eastern steeps
And all grows calm and still,
Love’s golden star
’Bove the sunset bar
Shines clear through the tender blue.
Then my heart awakes with a thrill and takes
Me away, dear heart, to you.

(1921)

“What’s the Use of Mormonism …?” (1884)

By: Ardis E. Parshall - January 20, 2015

This cartoon from an 1884 issue of Puck magazine may be condemning the easy availability of divorce … but it does so at our expense:

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“Very Ignorant of the Subject”: Brigham Young Corrects a Journalist

By: Ardis E. Parshall - January 20, 2015

Anytime you’re angry or disgusted with 21st century press distortions of your faith and your people, take a deep breath and think sympathetically of your 19th century brothers and sisters. At least responsible people today recognize Bill Maher and Lawrence O’Donnell for the panderers they are; in the 19th century, even the most respectable journals routinely maligned us in every way – and bizarrely expected us to endorse their lies!

In 1860, the British publisher Richard Griffin & Co. was preparing a volume of contemporary biography – one- or two-page biographies of some of the most prominent men and women of the day – “a handbook of the peerage of rank, worth, and intellect.” They included Brigham Young among their worthies. Early in 1860, the company mailed a draft of their proposed biography (they called it a “memoir”) of Brigham Young to Salt Lake, asking him to revise the draft because, they assured him, they wished to publish a history of the “highest degree of accuracy.”

I have not seen the draft biography sent to Brigham Young … but I have seen Brigham Young’s response to it.

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Not What You Get

By: Ardis E. Parshall - January 14, 2015

From the Relief Society Magazine, July 1941 –

Not What You Get

By Mary Ek Knowles

Rachel Andrews’ small veined hand, with the wide gold wedding ring on the third finger, held tight to the carved bedpost, and a feeling of anger, indignation and helplessness welled up inside of her.

“Charles, you can not back out at the last minute. You just can’t!”

Charles Andrews did not look at his wife, but stood by the bedroom window, a picture of obstinacy, his strong-featured profile clear cut against the background of white lace curtain, his feet wide apart, his tall form stooped. He thrust his lower lip out, and an exasperated, “Oh, dear!” escaped Rachel’s lips.

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The Scriptures I Want

By: Ardis E. Parshall - January 14, 2015

The “new” LDS edition of the scriptures came out just in time for me to carry them on my mission – 1979 for the Bible, and the summer of 1981 for the triple combination (I entered the MTC the following New Year’s Eve). The purpose given for the enormous work and expense of preparing that edition was often stated as “improving doctrinal scholarship” among Latter-day Saints. That edition, plus the timing of it to coincide with an intense period of scripture study in my personal life, lived up to its promise in my case.

Sometimes it was the simple things that helped: Having footnotes appear as footnotes, rather than in a central column between two columns of text, as in the layout of earlier editions, seems obvious but was revolutionary, making it clear which footnotes pertained to which verse. For the first time, the Bible and latter-day scripture were cross-referenced and intertwined in ways that unified them – my impression is that it did more to increase our use and affection for the Bible than for the other scriptures, because it tied the Bible to the “more trustworthy” latter-day scripture. It was also the first time that most of us had had much exposure to the Joseph Smith Translation – earlier called the “Inspired Version” — copyrighted by and available only through the RLDS church, it had been held in suspicion and was familiar to only a very few scholars. One of the first things I did with my new scriptures was to search the footnotes page by page; when I saw a reference to the Joseph Smith Translation, I drew a tiny green circle around the superscript indication in the text and a corresponding circle around the footnote designation. That was the only use of green in my marking system, so it instantly drew my attention as I studied.

It’s been a full generation now since that “new” edition, though, and my needs and habits have changed somewhat. I’ve been thinking lately what I would like in a “new new” edition, based on my lived experience with studying and with teaching the scriptures. Here are some of those points.

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James E. Talmage, On Naming His Sons (2)

By: Ardis E. Parshall - January 13, 2015

SPOILER ALERT: If you want to play along, please read Part 1 first: What was the reason James E. Talmage gave for not naming either of his first two sons “James”?

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Friends

By: Ardis E. Parshall - January 13, 2015

Friends

By George H. Brimhall

We were boys together,
Just little lads at play;
We were friends together,
And each one had his way.

We were youths together,
And camped in forests wild;
We were friends together,
Where maidens on us smiled.

We were men together,
In happiness and grief;
We were friends together,
And neither one was chief.

He passed beyond and left me;
Oft times I’m lonely here;
But Death has not bereft me
Of memories ever dear.

(1926)

James E. Talmage, on Naming His Sons (1)

By: Ardis E. Parshall - January 13, 2015

Late in 1891, future apostle James E. Talmage and his wife May Booth Talmage celebrated the arrival of a son, Paul. He was their second child; his older brother was named Sterling.

Several weeks later his Aunt Bessie (his father’s sister) wrote to Talmage to acknowledge Paul’s birth and to send a book as a gift. She asked Talmage why he hadn’t named either of his sons “James,” and reminded him that it was a longstanding Talmage family tradition to name a son for his father.

Talmage explained to his aunt why he had departed from that family custom (although he did give his third son, born in 1898, the name James).1

Care to speculate what his reasons were? I’ll post again late this afternoon with what he told his Aunt Bessie, but it could be fun to see what potential reasons we can come up with.

  1. The Talmages also had daughters Zella, Elsie, Lucille, and Helen, and a fourth son, John. []
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