For much of the 20th century (into the 1950s, at least; I haven’t yet followed this forward in time) one of the MIA’s (Mutual Improvement Association = youth activities) regular actives was formal debate. Just as baseball might occupy a season in the summer, debate was a winter activity to which the young people would devote a month in addition to their usual classwork.
In 1921, that month was December.
Here are the instructions distributed to ward MIAs to guide their debate season in 1921.
Purpose—Debating as practiced in the associations should have two main purposes: First, to train the young men and women in public speaking, and, second, to train them in clear, logical thought based upon accurate information.
Before a debate, the two teams, or associations, or sides, should formulate a written agreement covering the following points:
The Old Hooked Rug
By G. Gwen Kelsey
In years to come you will see it there –
This old hooked rug by the rocking chair,
And all you will see is a faded rug,
Making the room look comfy and snug;
While I see mother bending there
Over the rug, with her silver hair,
Hooking a pattern of her joys and care,
Trying to ease the heartache and pain,
Looking back over the years again,
Unfolding the pictures and hooking them in,
Making the flowers as neat as a pin.
A soft old blue brings back memories dear;
Her work-worn hands brush aside a tear;
Then with a deep, soul-rending sigh,
She bows her head and begins to cry;
For the old coat sleeve she is hooking on
Was once worn by her soldier son;
So she tucks in the ends and makes them fast,
Colors and rags, so the rug will last.
You would never know, on seeing it there,
This old hooked rug by the rocking chair,
Of the years of living that are hooked between
The blues and browns, with the soft moss green.
The colors will fade with years, my son,
But the pattern within will never run.
(The Banyan is BYU’s yearbook.)
Discussion No. 7
Objective: To show that Joseph Smith was a Prophet because of the restoration of the priesthood or authority to act for God and the setting up of the church organization as it was instituted by the Savior Himself in the meridian of time.
1. Review the story of the restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood by John the Baptist on May 15, 1829. D. & C. 13.
2. Tell that during the following month Peter, James and John came as John the Baptist had said, and did confer on them the Melchizedek Priesthood and the Apostleship. Peter, James and John received that authority from Jesus Christ who said to them, “Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven.” Matt. 18:18; Matt. 16:19; D. & C. 132-46; D. & C. 20:3-4; D. & C. 27: 12-13.
From the Relief Society Magazine, February 1953 –
Trite, But True
By Iris W. Schow
After getting out of Madge’s new red and tan convertible, Karen Moore lingered, holding the large box from Clarrell’s Apparel absently, while everyone talked about the trip. Her short chestnut hair, gently waved at the very ends, made her slender face look a little rounder, she thought hopefully.
For, perhaps, the dozenth time the idea had been expressed by one girl or another. Karen said, “The main point is to have everybody picked up and be actually leaving town by five a.m.”
“Sure thing!” agreed Shirley, bounding out of the back seat and moving up in front, followed by Jane Ann.
An unsigned editorial in the Relief Society Magazine, published late in 1917 just as the United States was finally entering World War I, advised the Church’s women on setting their personal and family priorities in the face of constant, high-profile demands in other publications. You can tell what those other publications were urging women to do, based on this side of the debate. What advice do you think is wise? What makes you cringe?
ARE YOU CONSERVING YOURSELF?
The Nation’s Most Valuable Asset
The post valuable piece of property this nation possesses today is You, yourself. The most costly sacrifice which could be made would be the loss of health or life. The most precious gift you can turn over at your country’s call is your vigorous service in your home, first; in the Relief Society, and Temple, next; and then in ways of conservation and what public service you can render, after the demands made upon you by home and Relief society are satisfied. No woman will help the war cause if she neglect her children or her home. No woman will aid the nation by neglecting her regular contributions to the needy in this Society, nor by attending war charity meetings when she has to stay away from Relief Society meetings to do it. And over and above all these – no woman will be justified before God, angels, or men, who crowds herself daily to the breaking point and beyond it, no matter how good her motive, nor how unselfish the labor she may be engaged in. The Father of our spirits is also custodian of our bodies, and He will hold us to strict account if we knowingly and deliberately shorten our days or make invalids of ourselves for others to nurse. We have just so much time, strength, and nerve force; it is our duty to wisely administer those resources.
Lesson 20: “Woe Unto You … Hypocrites”
“Additional reading”: Mark 14:3-9
Purpose: To help class members recognize and avoid hypocrisy and thus strengthen their commitment to Jesus Christ.
1. Mary anoints Jesus’ feet.
2. Jesus makes a triumphal entry into Jerusalem.
3. Jesus gives the parable of the two sons and the parable of the householder.
4. The scribes and Pharisees try to trap Jesus.
5. Jesus condemns the sin of hypocrisy.
1. Jesus curses a barren fig tree, a symbol of hypocrisy.
Mother – Johnny, how is it you stand so much lower in your studies in January than you did in December?
Son – Oh, everything is marked down after the holidays, you know, mother.
Nr. Wm. Crooks, a well known British M.P., narrates an amusing anecdote about one of his children. He once questioned his little girl, recently arrived from school, on the effects of heat and cold. “Heat expands and cold contracts,” answered she, after a little thought.
“Very good,” said the father, “now give me an instance.”
“In hot weather, the days are long, and in cold they are short,” was the unexpected reply.
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Coinage of the Year
By Helen Marin
The coinage of the year is varied metal:
Nickel of springtime, copper of summer grass,
Gold of autumn leafage; and in winter
The coins of silver while the snowstorms pass.
The mint is God’s; the spending for our pleasure –
Wealth of the seasons coined for beauty’s treasure.
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