Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog
 


They Had “Peculiar” Questions, 1912

By: Ardis E. Parshall - March 27, 2014

In 1912, a letter filled with questions was received in Salt Lake City, sent from someone in Australia. Charles W. Penrose of the First Presidency elected to answer the questions “so that it may not be truthfully claimed that we avoid them,” but he also chose to answer them briefly and without elaboration. Calling them “peculiar,” he thought they seemed designed to “promote controversy rather than to obtain information … Some of them are not subjects of discussion among the Latter-day Saints, but are brought forward usually by persons who desire to cavil and contend, and rarely from a real desire for information.”

It’s largely1 a different set of questions than we generally see today, and maybe we’d try to be more tactful than to say “you’re just trying to pick a fight,” but we’ve all see lists of questions with similar intent – questions about Kolob and underwear and what somebody somewhere might have said sometime about something that is completely tangential to the gospel as we know and teach and discuss it, but which the question attempts to paint as “what Mormons really believe.”

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  1. Not entirely – I’ve seen versions of three of these questions thrown up as “gotcha” points within the last two weeks []

Out of the Wilderness: Chapter 8

By: Ardis E. Parshall - March 26, 2014

Out of the Wilderness

By Shirley Thulin

Previous chapter

Chapter 8

The next few weeks were hard ones for Marian. She was growing weary, and she was remembering Charles, and she could not straighten out her feelings about him.

Jim was more excited than ever, though, and talked of little else than how proud he was of all the things they had been able to accomplish.

“It will only take me a few days to finish replacing the timber at the mouth of the mine,” he said. “The road is done, the water is drained out of the mine, and next year I can retimber the next level.”

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If Mothers Had Their Choice

By: Ardis E. Parshall - March 26, 2014

From January 1940 –

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A Few Minutes in Menan, Idaho: 18 August 1907

By: Ardis E. Parshall - March 26, 2014

SUN, AUG. 18TH [1907]

Regular Sunday meeting commenced at 2:05 P.M., full bishoprick present. Counselor Clark in charge.

Choir sang hymn, “Behold the Saviour Comes.” Opening prayer was offered by —

Choir sang hymn, “Joy to the world the Lord will come.” Sacrament was administered by Elders N.C. Geisler and M.C. Clark.

Elder M.B. Poole was first speaker, said he felt it a burden to attempt to speak as one must be familiar with subject to speak intelligently upon it and also be in sympathy with it.

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Big-Man Shoes

By: Ardis E. Parshall - March 25, 2014

Big-Man Shoes

Rose Thomas Graham

Clomp, clomp, clomp, clomping down the long street,
Big-size shoes with little-size feet.
Where are they going? What is their plan?
Big-man shoes with little-boy man.
Way up high in a blue airplane?
On a green boat? In a red train?
Off for a year, a month, or a day?
The world is so small – time far away.

He has his secrets. I wouldn’t dare
Question the how, the when, or the where
Man-shoes are taking little-boy feet
Clomp, clomp, clomp, clomping down the long street.

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Eagle Gate

By: Ardis E. Parshall - March 25, 2014

Here’s an early picture of Eagle Gate, the entrance to Brigham Young’s properties in Salt Lake City. His family schoolhouse is visible to the right; the Beehive House is just out of the picture to the left. Today, the Eagle Gate is much higher and wider, spanning State Street and corralling much of the traffic headed to the Utah State Capitol.

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Eminent Women: Lucy Bigelow Bunch and Sarah Creagh Philpot Curran

By: Amy Tanner Thiriot - March 25, 2014

They were eight cousins: Dora, Susa, Mabel, Mary, Lucy, Martha, Hannah, and Emily Aurilla. They were talented, clannish, and — simply put — did not live dull lives.

The eight cousins, born into two families in Utah Territory, were well-connected and experienced both the privileges and the difficulties associated with those connections. Their mothers, Martha and Lucy, were sisters-in-law. Martha Mecham was married to Hiram Bigelow, and Hiram’s sister Lucy was married to Brigham Young. (more…)

Out of the Wilderness: Chapter 7

By: Ardis E. Parshall - March 24, 2014

Out of the Wilderness

By Shirley Thulin

Previous chapter

Chapter 7

Synopsis: Marian Morgan, a widow and mother of six children, has come to Montana to supervise assessment work on the mining property owned by the family. They encounter many difficulties and they mistrust Jake Hadley, the owner of a neighboring mine, who has made protestations of friendship. While Marian and the older boys are repairing the roof on the cabin, three-year-old Jill wanders away and becomes lost in the wilderness. She is found by Jake and his friends and returned to Marian. After this experience and the problems of work at the mine, Marian feels that she must leave the wilderness and return to the city.

Sue came out of the bedroom and rubbed her eyes. “You’re making so much noise I woke up. What are you doing, Mother?”

“Lots of things,” Marian said, trying to sound normal.

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“I Take Up My Pen”: Holbrook and Fort Apache Stage Line, 1897

By: Ardis E. Parshall - March 24, 2014

I don’t know that this quite qualifies as Mormon letterhead, but with the name of that proprietor and the romance of the Old West tied up in every word, I couldn’t resist!

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“But Don’t You Want the Priesthood?”

By: Ardis E. Parshall - March 23, 2014

Some version of this question, or a declarative answer – affirmative or negative – comes up in the comment thread of just about every discussion of OW. No question could be more irrelevant to the issue of Latter-day Saint women and the priesthood.

One of the first scripture verses I memorized, as long ago as when I was an eight-year-old Gaynote in Primary, earning a jewel for my bandlo, was Hebrews 5:4: “And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.” This concept is foundational to my understanding of the gospel. Then, and now, it had nothing to do with any distinction between male and female, and everything to do with the distinction between the Restored Gospel and every other manifestation of Christianity: God had called Joseph Smith; Joseph Smith had received his authority under the direct ordination of priesthood bearers who held that authority in ancient days; he could not have summoned that ordination through his own desires or demands or his convictions or his own reading of the Bible, but only because God decreed it and sent his messengers.

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