Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog
 


“I Take Up My Pen”: Southern California Welfare Region, 1945

By: Ardis E. Parshall - January 06, 2015

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Mrs. Nellie Kidd, Courtesan

By: Amy Tanner Thiriot - January 06, 2015

Workers from all over the world flooded Eureka, Nevada, in the 1870s.

They came together in the unique way a mining town formed, with representation from a broad spectrum of trades and professions. There were miners and coal burners, woodchoppers, rag pickers, saloon owners, brewers, two newspaper editors, one printer’s devil, professional gamblers, physicians aplenty, an undertaker, a Catholic priest, a Protestant minister, and a multitude of prostitutes.

Prostitution in the Old West had a loose racial hierarchy. Scholars of the sex trade noted that the most desirable prostitutes were French, followed by all other whites, Mexicans, Native Americans, African-Americans, and, last of all, Chinese. (more…)

What Were Their Questions?

By: Ardis E. Parshall - January 05, 2015

Today Church members are asked not to write directly to General Authorities, but to speak to their bishops and stake presidents, and let those local leaders decide whether it is necessary to contact a higher authority.

I don’t know all the reasons for that change in practice, but I can guess at some of them – I’ve spent a great deal of time over the past 15 years through collections of correspondence and seeing what members have written. Many people have asked for personal advice (or favors, or cash, or jobs) that are either completely inappropriate or which could hardly be answered without a personal acquaintance with the letter-writer. Responding to letters, even when Church members ask questions that a General Authority can reasonably respond to, must have been terribly time-consuming. Because Church members tended to ask the same doctrinal questions over and over, year after year, some leaders found themselves dictating the same answers over and over again.

Sometimes General Authorities took these questions and answers and turned them into books. John A. Widtsoe wrote his Evidences and Reconciliations first as articles in the Improvement Era and then compiled into book series. Joseph Fielding Smith did the same thing, answering questions in the Improvement Era and compiling many of those columns into his series Answers to Gospel Questions.

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Compromise

By: Ardis E. Parshall - January 05, 2015

From the Relief Society Magazine, March 1949 –

Compromise

By Mildred R. Stutz

Muriel watched her daughter Connie walk up the path toward the front door. Her books were tucked under her arm, her saddle Oxfords scuffed the wet pavement slightly. Her blonde head was stiffly erect and she gave no indication that she was aware of the girls walking down the sidewalk behind her. Muriel sighed and turned from the rain-drenched window. There was no sense in letting Connie know that her lonesomeness was not a secret.

The door opened and Connie came in. “Hello, Mother,” she said, “mmmmm, something smells good – baked ham?”

“Yes, orders from the boss. Is it still raining?”

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Lewis A. Ramsey’s “Liahona”

By: Ardis E. Parshall - January 05, 2015

Published in the Juvenile Instructor in 1918, L.A. Ramsey’s “Liahona” is a simpler, less busy depiction of a scene we’re more familiar with in Arnold Friberg’s style —

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The Sailing of the Enoch Train, 1856

By: Ardis E. Parshall - January 05, 2015

Church history of the emigration of Mormon pioneers from Europe to Utah usually picks up the pioneers as they join wagon companies on the American frontier, and follows them across the Plains and into the Salt Lake Valley – you can follow the progress of individuals and whole companies on the Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel database. Other researchers have specialized in the ocean-travel segment of emigration: You can follow the progress of individuals and ships on the Mormon Migration database.

But those databases, incredible as they are, don’t capture the full story of the emigrant experience. There are very few published glimpses of emigrants as they left Liverpool (or the ports in Scandinavia or Germany) – Charles Dickens provides us one glimpse of one company aboard the Amazon of 1863 (here – the link takes you to mid-chapter; you can scroll upwards to the beginning); this link takes you to an article that briefly follows that company from the Liverpool docks to the Salt Lake Valley. And there has been some study of Mormon emigrant ships arriving in New York and elsewhere, but nothing too systematic.

Here are some glimpses of other parts of the emigrant experience, located in English newspapers.

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In Our Ward: Lesson 1: “That Ye Might Believe that Jesus is the Christ”

By: Ardis E. Parshall - January 04, 2015

Lesson 1: “That Ye Might Believe that Jesus is the Christ”

Isaiah 61:1-3
Luke 3:4-11 (JST)
John 1:1-14; 20:31

Purpose: To encourage class members to strengthen their testimonies of Jesus Christ by studying the New Testament.

Lesson Development

1. Isaiah and John the Baptist prophesy of the Savior’s mission
2. The Apostle John testifies that Jesus Christ is “the true Light.”
1. Overview of the New Testament
3. “He … was sent to bear witness of that Light” (John 1:8)

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Saturday Remix, 1893

By: Ardis E. Parshall - January 03, 2015

“What did the children of Israel do after they came through the Red Sea?” asked a Boston Sunday school teacher.

“Dried their clothes, I s’pose,” replied Tommy Bakebean.

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Best Years of Her Life

By: Ardis E. Parshall - January 02, 2015

From the Relief Society Magazine, April 1954 –

The Best Years of Her Life

By Pansye H. Powell

Aunt Tabitha’s rocking chair had sat in the same spot in the Higgins living room for over seventy years; except, that is, for those brief intervals of housecleaning when it had gone to the front porch along with the horsehair sofa, the whatnots, and the heavy rag carpets. Aunt Tabitha’s mother had brought the chair with her from Kentucky when she moved to Missouri as a bride in 1885.

It was not a particularly handsome chair, but it was comfortable and fitted to Aunt Tabitha’s bony form. She regularly made new covers for the plump cushion that always lay on its seat and for the back-rest that eased the straightness of its back; at intervals she added a coat of paint to freshen the wood. At various times it had been painted red, blue, and green, as her fancy dictated. Its redeeming quality as a piece of furniture was that it was comfortable for her, and that it was unobtrusively a part of the general decor of the room. it was old – but so was Aunt Tabitha.

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“I Take Up My Pen”: Snowflake Stake Presidency, 1942

By: Ardis E. Parshall - January 02, 2015

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