A Parent’s Place
By Inez Stevens Cooper
Baby hands reach eagerly
To grasp the world.
The hands of humankind
Stretch toward the child.
The parent stands between
To assure the handclasp
Shall be firm
From the Juvenile Instructor, January 1921 —
The Spanish Fork Relief Societies were organized in 1857 to outfit the local militia as it prepared to defend the Territory against the US Army.
What has your ward Relief Society done recently?
I confess that I have been unable to feel the same emotions that have been expressed, to mourn with those who mourn. I’ve tried – I can understand the hurt, the surprise, even the anger, and understand that it is real, and that there is legitimate cause for some part of it, but I haven’t been able to feel it myself. The closest that I’ve come is bewilderment that Church leaders didn’t anticipate the response, and didn’t prepare us for it in any way, and haven’t provided any real explanation – Elder Christofferson’s initial interview was sincere, but instead of answering my questions it only raised new ones. So instead of reposting tear-filled links, I’ve been trying to puzzle out the reasons behind the policy.
I think the main reason why I haven’t felt the same emotions is because I’m single – without spouse, without children. If I could imagine the policy affecting my marriage, or especially a child I loved – say, if I had a sensitive daughter Suzy who would feel ostracized from her peers because of the policy, or a faithful son Davy who just learned that he couldn’t be a deacon – maybe the policy would carry more emotional smack for me. But I don’t risk having a marriage condemned or having children shut out, so it’s hard for me to put myself in the place of those who do.
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?
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