From the Children’s Friend, November 1941 –
Three Bags of Apples
By Mabel S. Harmer
Hugh and Connie threw open the door and burst into the kitchen chattering like a pair of excited magpies.
“School is out! School is out! All the children laugh and shout!” chanted Hugh, tossing his cap in one direction and his books in another.
“I can think of a better one than that,” laughed Connie. “Sing a song of Thanksgiving, with turkeys, nuts and everything. Don’t you think mine is the best, Mother?”
Mrs. Reynolds held up the pie she was making and cut carefully around the edge. “I think that it’s very good,” she said with a smile, “if you will just change the word ‘turkey’ to ‘roast.’ That is – if you are making it up about the Reynolds’ household.”
Someone has compiled polygamy-related extracts from various LDS Handbooks from about 1900 to the present, and that timeline is circulating in various media. I won’t link to it – if it’s a big deal, you’ll find it on your own. You don’t need it to understand what follows.
Those who are using that compilation of extracts as a pattern for discussing gay marriage policies misunderstand the history of those Handbooks, which is leading them to faulty conclusions. I discuss the history of the Handbooks here so you can better evaluate the arguments, and will not attempt to clean up the ever-changing faulty conclusions themselves.
Since about 1980 or so, each new Handbook has been a direct revision of the previous one. That is, it appears as though the text of the previous Handbook was taken as a rough draft, to be edited, updated, and expanded for the newer issue. These most recent Handbooks can therefore be seen as a continuous, more or less complete, development of the types of matters covered in them.
This post illustrates how a local Relief Society – the one in Susanville, California, when my mother was in its presidency – adapted and extended the program prescribed by the general Relief Society plan, in 1971-72.
In the 1970s, one Relief Society per month – the week called Cultural Refinement – focused on the culture and Church in a non-US country. This old Keepa post tells a little about the Cultural Refinement lessons of 1976-77.
I haven’t confirmed this by checking the old manuals, but 1971-72 may have been the first year of that program, because the countries selected were the “easiest” or most obvious by American Mormon standards: Scandinavia (as a whole, not as individual countries), England, Scotland and Ireland, Mexico, Japan and China (together), etc. By the time these lessons ended, the manual writers were scrambling for material – they would never have lumped Japan and China together in later years, but would have gladly had two such different cultures to feature in two different months.
The Gathering Saints
By Emily Hill
Our God is greatly to be feared
By all the nations round;
His laws must ever be revered
Where’er His Church is found.
And now those laws do us command,
To gather home to Zion’s land.
Old Israel did His name adore,
For, with an outstretched hand,
He brought them out from bondage sore,
To Canaan’s promised land;
The sea beheld His power and fled,
And Jordan rolled back to its head.
What ailed thee, sea, that thou didst flee,
And leave thy proper track?
And Jordan, too, that thou shouldst be
Arrested – driven back?
Ye mountains that rejoiced like rams?
Ye little hills that skipped like lambs?
I would guess that most people aren’t immune from deeply troubling issues and experiences. I offer that nothing has helped me quell or learn from storms like music. Here, I’ll share some insights about feeling incited to write. Note that I use “incited as much as inspired” for a reason. Yes, I’ve found solace in quiet meditation, but unsettling storms of pain and questioning have often prompted the greatest progress.
Here’s an organ improvisation on my recent hymn, featuring text I found on Keepapitchinin, debuted November 6, 2015 by Taylor Harvey, Director of Music at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church [note: this is a Facebook link; Jared has this set to public view so you should be able to access it even if you don’t have a Facebook account]:
Some readers can access Keepa from one computer (usually home) but get this notice when they try to access Keepa from another computer (usually work):
From the Relief Society Magazine, 1933 –
A Teachers’ Visit in Early Days
By Edna May Irvine
CHARACTERS: Dicey Brown and Mary Ann Williams, Relief society teachers, Sarah Jane, housewife, and her mother, Sister Richards.
SCENE: An old-fashioned combination kitchen and dining room. Dining table prepared for ironing, water bucket and dipper on bench or stand, old chairs, homemade rugs, etc.
(As curtain rises, Sarah Jane is discovered ironing and her mother is seated, sewing carpet rags.)
Sarah Jane: My, it’s hot ironing.
Mother: It ud be a lot worse if the stove wasn’t in the shanty.
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