By Ida R. Aldredge
Among the throng of thousands
Who surge the city mart
Mid high and low in station
I stand alone – apart.
Unheralded, unsought for;
Unheeded is my quest,
Man presses ever forward –
Wists not my soul’s unrest.
Oh, take me back to homefolks,
Though humble be my hearth,
Where hand clasps hand in friendship
And takes me at my worth.
Through the 1950s and ’60s (I’ll have to do a little more work to pin down the exact dates), the youngest six classes in Primary were known collectively as the “Skylet-Pilot” years. Skylets were named for the lights in the sky: 3-year-old Moonbeams, 4-year-old Sunbeams, and 5-year-old Stars. The Pilot classes were the next three years: 6-year-old CTR Pilots, 7-year-old Co-Pilots, and 8-year-old Top Pilots. Each class had its symbol, song, and the other colorful swag that went along with weekday, after-school Primary, much of which melted into golden memory when Church growth outside of the Wasatch Front required a more streamlined program that could be followed anywhere, whether in a struggling branch in the eastern states, a ward in Scandinavia (well established, but with cultural needs different from wards in Payson and Provo), or in new mission fields in Asia or South America.
Each class will be the subject of a post, beginning today with the 7-year-old Co-Pilots.
“The purpose of this course,” declares its manual, “is to help children understand the significance of their baptism into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the obligations baptism places upon them. It is hoped that these lessons will help the children to know that baptism is a covenant with the Lord and should be a vital influence all their lives.” There has been such a renewal of emphasis on the making and keeping of covenants in recent years that we might be tempted to think that talking about covenants was a new thing – but obviously that is not so.
From the Relief Society Magazine, June 1947 –
It’s Up to the Women
By Norma Wrathall
Maria Frances Jennings Ware had risen even earlier than usual that morning because this May Sunday, she was celebrating her eighty-fifth birthday. She had crept from her feather bed just as the stars were fading, and had stood at the window of the upstairs bedroom in her granddaughter’s house and watched the first rays of approaching day spread over the Wasatch Mountains. She clutched a little shawl over the shoulders of her long-sleeved nightgown, but her shivering was from excitement, not from early morning air. As a special treat for the day, she was to attend the Tabernacle Choir coast-to-coast broadcast.
Maria Frances J. Ware sighed happily, looking out over her waking world, beautiful Salt Lake City. She was thinking of the days when it had not been a city at all, but just the beginnings, lacking the verdure of green trees, the spires of the Temple, the wide streets upon which early buses were starting to hum. She could close her eyes, even now, and see the groups of immigrant pioneers, of whom her father had been one, camped upon the Eighth Ward Square where the Eagle Gate now arches. Some had slept in covered wagons or tents, but others, like her father’s family, had lain on the ground with only a blanket for cover.
Little Bernard’s mother was giving him a bath, and, just as the process was being completed, he heard his sister at the door.
“You can’t come in now, Nellie,” he called, “I’m Cupid.”
Magnify the Lord to-day,
Cast all doubt and fear away,
Hear glad Angels singing;
Raising high their holy mirth,
O’er the Saviour’s wondrous Birth;
Joy to all men bringing!
On the Shepherd’s vigil lone
Sudden blaze of glory shone,
Sudden light from Heaven:
As, while watching o’er their fold;
Angels’ voices sweetly told,
How a Son was given.
Myriads of the Heavenly throng
Joined in that triumphant song,
High their voices raising:
“Joy to men, goodwill and peace,”
So they sang, and ne’er shall cease,
God in Glory praising.
Then the Shepherds ran with speed,
To the place where Christ indeed,
As a Babe, lay sleeping;
Left their flocks without a fear,
In the meadows lone and drear,
To the Angels’ keeping.
Would we find our King and Head,
Haste we to the “House of Bread,”
With devotion flying;
There Emmanuel we shall see,
Clothed with our humanity,
In a Manger lying.
There the Virgin, full of Grace,
Holds her Son in sweet embrace,
Deepest love expending;
Joseph there, her saintly spouse,
To the Infant lowly bows,
Care with worship blending.
Jesu! wrapt in swaddling bands,
Tending by Thy Mother’s hands,
Lo! We bow before Thee;
Thou the Virgin’s promised Seed,
Cradled where the oxen feed,
Veilest all Thy Glory.
Still, with Thy true Israel,
Dost Thou, God Incarnate, dwell;
Still Thou, Saviour Holy,
Comest here this Blessed Morn,
As of old, Thou once wast born
Of a Maiden lowly!
Still in Eucharistic Feast,
Thou, thro’ Thine ordained Priest,
Art Thyself bestowing;
Veiled beneath the Bread and Wine,
Lies the Infant all Divine,
Faith the Mystery knowing.
Babe of Bethlehem! Ever dwell
In the hearts that love Thee well,
May they close enfold Thee;
Till they reach that glorious place,
Where for ever Face to face
All the Saints behold Thee.
– The Altar Hymnal (1885)
Relief Society Magazine, December 1961
From the Children’s Friend, December 1941 –
Mistletoe and Measles
By Mabel Harmer
Dear Mrs. Price:
I am very glad to have a chance to write you this letter because Mrs. Hampton said that you would choose one of us from our letters to come and stay with you over Christmas. Of course I hope you will choose me. If I’m not chosen, I hope it will be Janey, because Janey is my best friend here at the Home. And she has very pretty yellow hair. I am sure that you would like Janey.
If you were going to adopt one of us, I wouldn’t expect you to choose me because I am not at all pretty. My hair is too straight and my eyes are just plain gray and my nose is too little for the rest of my face and I have some freckles. People just adopt the pretty girls. I don’t mind that, anyway, not very much, because I have a good time here and I don’t know what Penny would do without me. Penny is only two and I take care of her after lessons and help feed her and put her to bed. if you should choose me, though, Janey will take care of her while I am gone.
Christmas Card from a Foxhole
By Dott J. Sartori
I send no midnight scene of Bethlehem
Illumined in the distance by the star,
No tinted picture of the peaceful hills
Where sleeping lambs and watchful shepherds are.
No sapphire arc of sky with amber glow
Suffuses color over this white plain,
Yet here is Christ light bright within my thought
To strike the holy note of joy again.
Here He has passed the years of innocence,
Here lies the pathway of His ministry,
Here holds His word the sure, the just reply
To questioning and all adversity.
Here is the written testament of one
Who learned at last the surety that He,
If called upon, will fill the limpest stocking
Which hangs beneath the smallest Christmas tree.
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From the Relief Society Magazine, December 1936 –
An Old Fashioned Christmas
By Zipporah L. Stewart
It was June. Ebenezer Brown arose very early after a sleepless night in the old rock farm house in Eden Valley. With a heavy step he went out through the kitchen and onto the back porch. The house dog sprang out from the corner for his usual morning greeting, only to turn back disappointedly without a word from the man who did not even see him.
Out through the yard gate past the barn and over the old creek bridge and through the cow pasture he strolled, to a clump of wood at the right of a field of corn that he, with Jim, had planted just yesterday.
Ebenezer sat down, rested his head on two sturdy work worn hands and gazed over his eighty acres. Better than fifty years ago, when just a young man, he had helped grub the sage from these fields. For forty years he had paid taxes on them. Not one year had they been delinquent. They were his very own. He understood and loved them. With Ann by his side he had made a home for six boys and girls, five of whom had left to make homes of their own in the neighboring country side.
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