By Deone R. Sutherland
Synopsis: Annie Griffith, whose father, with his family, has been called on a mission to the mountains to cut stone for the temple, is living with the Williams family in Salt Lake City, where she is being educated, with Marie Williams, under the direction of a private tutor. Light-hearted Marie is an indifferent scholar, but Annie makes a fine record in all her studies. Both girls are interested in Parker Josephson, a neighbor, who returns from three years of study in the east to find the girls grown up. Marie has assumed that Parker is in love with her, and that eventually they will marry. However, it is Annie whom he seeks out. Arrangements are made for Parker to teach at the university, but he receives a call to fulfill a mission in the Hawaiian Islands, and leaves for three years. Annie is offered a teaching position at Walton Academy in Salt Lake city, but, since her parents have moved back from the mountains to their farm north of Salt Lake, Annie returns home and becomes a teacher in the Davisville school. At Christmastime Annie attends Marie’s marriage to Billy Johnson
The following winter Aaron Davis, old Mrs. Davis’ grandson, returned home from a mission to England. His grandmother had once been employed by the Queen of England. After she and her husband had joined the Church and decided to travel to America and then West to Zion, the Queen reluctantly had let her go. But she gave Mrs. Davis a pension for life, and even now old Mrs. Davis received her publications and mail from England. So she was more than thrilled when one of her favorite grandsons fulfilled a mission in her native country. Needless to say, she was proud and happy to see him return home. His father operated a small mill and farm in the settlement just below the old Davis house.
By Common Consent is hosting a conversation, Mormon, History, Association, about “the attributes of a good Mormon historical association.” As he has done in other places and on other occasions, Ben – a good friend – has spoken up for the need to professionalize Mormon history, to make it more academic and rigorous, and to strengthen its ties to and dependence on universities and university-trained and -employed professionals. And as I have done in other places and on other occasions, I have spoken up to say that the very last thing Mormon history needs, if it is to remain relevant and increase its audience, is to increase its academic bondage.
Okay, maybe that’s not quite all there in our exchange at the BCC post, but that’s the general idea behind our ongoing difference whenever we run into each other.
I never feel quite free enough to say what I want to say on other people’s blogs, so I’m saying it here, not to raise the heat level, but to keep me from being a rude guest in other people’s houses.
The Mormon history journals and conferences have become increasingly academic in the past few years, and consequently have become less interesting, less relevant to the Mormon community. That’s a shame. That should change. The reason for its taking that unfortunate turn is, I think, a confusion between “scholarly” and “academic.” Mormon history in all its manifestations – devotional, popular, serious, professional, polemical – needs to be scholarly, which is something very, very different from being academic. Academic history has its place, but it has overrun its place in Mormondom.
Here’s a less-familiar rendering of Moroni writing on the plates, from the pencil of Lewis A. Ramsey.
Quite a while ago, we took a look at the idea of Mormon Catechisms, those questions and answers that Sunday School children were sometimes expected to memorize and recite, whether or not they really understood what they were parroting.
The earliest catechism I have seen is one published in 1848, “for the children of the Latter-day Saints school.” This could only have been directed to British Latter-day Saints, who enjoyed Sunday Schools at least since 1844; Sunday School wouldn’t be introduced to Utah until 1849.
There are more early catechisms, to be posted later.
Questions and Answers for the Children of the Latter-day Saints’ School
Ques. What Sunday school do you attend? – Ans. The Latter-day Saints’.
Why are they called Saints?– It is the name by which the people of God were known in all ages of the world (meaning all the holy persons).
Is the name of the Saints mentioned in the Bible? – Yes, above ninety times.
Can you refer me to any place in Scripture where the name of Saint is mentioned? – Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied that Jesus should come with ten thousand of his Saints; also, Jude, v, 14; Daniel, c. 33, v. 3; Psalm 50, v. 5; Daniel, c. 7, v. 21, 22, 27; Revelation, c. 5, v. 8.
By Joseph L. Townsend
My heart beat with a throbbing pain
When my baby passed away!
Within my throat, in a refrain
That choked me o’er and o’er again
Were words that never could be said
About my wee one, too soon dead –
Yet Hope’s bright star shone overhead
When my baby passed away!
What could a mother’s love foresee
When my baby passed away?
All that a fervent love could be
Was bound up in this gift to me!
Alas! a mother’s heart must feel
Realities of woe and weal –
Shall not a future yet reveal
Why my baby passed away?
Some purpose, I had faith to learn
When my baby passed away,
Is cause for early life return;
We may not yet the cause discern,
But this much faith to me is given,
Thought heart be sad, with sorrow riven,
A part of me went up to Heaven
When my baby passed away!
From the Improvement Era, November 1934 —
From the Young Ladies’ Mutual Improvement Association of Monroe Ward, Sevier Stake (Utah):
Monroe, Feb. 15, 1897
Meeting in charge of Pres. Eliza Magleby. Singing “All is well.” Prayer by Coun. Zina Brown. Singing “Guide us O, thou Great Jehovah.” Roll called, 19 members present. Minutes of last meeting read and approved.
Lecture from the Guide, “The Resurrection” by Mary Magleby. Questions and answers on the same. Bro. Charles Bohman, a visitor from the Young Men’s Association, spoke to us a short time, of the necessity of attending our meetings and doing our duty. Bro. Wm. Palmer then addressed us, spoke of the mind, a man cannot be saved in ignorance. Said that the young should be very careful in the company they keep. Also of our conduct in the Ball Room and with whom and how we dance. Spoke how careful we should be in keeping company with a man who drinks liquor, related a story of a fine young lady who married a drunkard, said the greatest education we could have was the education of God. Told us how his eyesight had been restored, and how he obtained his education, showed how necessary it was to be educated religiously. We should read good books and put into practice what we read. Spoke a short time on the Young Woman’s Journal. Prayed the Lord to bless us all.
Pres. Eliza Magleby said she was pleased to have the brethren call in and visit with us. Program was then read. Singing “Now let us rejoice.” Bened. by sister Emma Collings
By Deone R. Sutherland
Synopsis: Annie Griffith, whose father, with his family, has been called on a mission to the mountains to cut stone for the temple, is living with the Williams family in Salt Lake City, where she is studying, with Marie Williams, under the direction of a private tutor. Light-hearted Marie is an indifferent scholar, but Annie makes a fine record in all her studies. Both girls are interested in Parker Josephson, a neighbor, who has been for three years in an eastern university studying to be a teacher of the sciences. Marie has assumed that she is the one whom Parker loves, and that they will eventually marry, but at Parker’s homecoming party, it is Annie whom he seeks out.
The arrangements for Parker to teach at the University were completed. He made frequent excuses to come over to the Williams home, and he greeted Marie and Annie warmly when he happened to meet them outside. Marie always hurried to see him while Annie darted away. Both girls rode with him to Sunday School when Sister Williams was indisposed, and Brother Williams had another meeting to attend. But Annie was very careful to avoid giving Parker any opportunity to speak to her alone or to see very much of her.
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