Saturday, January 29, 2011
For some reason this did not post correctly a couple of days ago. Here it is now though...
I mentioned in a previous post that I have been reading the old Relief Society magazines. After thoroughly enjoying the two books about the history of Relief Society I went back through that closet at the church to see what other gems I could find. Find gems I did!
I have just finished reading The Relief Society Magazine vol. 3, 1916. For the last several years I have been pursuing the topic of how to build Zion in my home. Wading through the mindsets of society and deciphering what is truth and what is untruth has been difficult. To this end I have enjoyed hearing the thoughts of our Relief Society women from almost 100 years ago. They were not nearly as entrenched in society and Babylon and so the stories, lessons, and editorials have been eye opening. I have had the keener ability to examine my thought patterns and decide what in my current society I need to reject. I have especially enjoyed their in depth biographies of the "Mothers in Zion."
I have typed below multiple quotes from the book. I present a variety of subjects and columns so that you can get a flavor of the treasures contained in this book. Perhaps one may catch your eye and some with at least make you smile.
"Urge our women to leave all other clubs and movements and join our Relief Society work. All women are eligible and welcome. Do not seek to tear down the house built up by any man, but build your own so spaciously and beautifully that the man will be glad to leave his own poorer house and come and dwell in comfort with you." Page 157
"A chicken thief in Salt Lake City was captured recently after being shot twice by Mrs. Lulu Bradley, and wounded so he could not escape. Mrs. Bradley detected the thief robbing her henroost. She can feel that after this exploit her chicken house will be reasonable safe from marauders, who do not love such receptions." Page 163
"Provoke the brethren to good works, but don't provoke the brethren while doing so." Page 165
"However unsightly a building may appear, or however beautiful the architecture of a home or church or business block may be, its effect may be greatly modified by the landscape. The English ivy, the Boston ivy, a climbing rose, wisteria or honeysuckle vine, or the fruiting grape, may be so successfully placed, that it assists the architecture in creating an atmosphere of sweetness and grace. On the other hand, a badly kept lawn, ugly paths and walks, and sickly, untrimmed tree, poorly placed, can make a poem of architecture look indeed ridiculous. "Page 173
"Latter-day Saint women who have been through the temple know the rules of this Church regarding the wearing of low-necked and short sleeved dresses. When they break those rules, they must suffer the certain consequences of disobedience….There is an alarming number of our Latter-day Saint girls appearing at school and elsewhere in ridiculously low-cut dresses. It seems to me that parents and school authorities are the only one to handle this problem. It is largely a question of "doing as the other fellow does." If a leader in a crowd could be made to see that it were not the right thing and she were converted there would soon be a change." Page 217-218
The subject of the evils and sin of using birth control in any form were outlined with multiple quotes from the leaders of the church from pages 363-368, 433-435.
Crochet Centerpiece Instructions given on pages 382-385.
"This is the month when good housewives will begin to think about fruit drying whether they do it or not. It is a grievous social sin that fruit should be grown and left to rot by the hundreds of bushels on the ground….but the women of the Relief Society can do something towards correcting the evil. We suggest that fruit drying parties be given in every ward…" Page 397
"Stale Bread. Cut your stale bread into finger lengths, dip in milk for a minute, put on buttered tin in the oven until crisp, spread with butter, and serve while hot, with jam or syrup." Page 398
"Down into the pit of our fears, the dear Lord places a ladder of hope. It is there-each round is dully gold in the twilight of our suffering. We set foot there again and again, but we are too weak-too impatient to climb slowly and steadily. And so we thrust it away, and go on suffering, and agonizing. Our darkness is unlit, the pit is too deep, the ladder tumbling about our ears while we are crushed beneath its weight….Think healthful thoughts. Say peaceful words. Say over and over, in your mind, hymns or psalms. Refuse to think of your sorrow or your pain. Tell your will to obey your spirit. Don't be crushed or disheartened by constant defeat…You refuse to allow foul, physical air in your sick room or bed chamber-don't allow disease-breeding thoughts, emotions and whinnings, to taint the spiritual atmosphere. Brace up. Be a good, spiritual sport. Grit your teeth, shut your lips, hold your hands tight, and fight-just plain fight…Suffer if you have to do so, but be a solder about it. Keep your face, your fighting face, to the foe. Not your squirming, cowardly back. The Lord loves a brave soldier-so do all men. God is our help, He can heal and comfort us, if we greatly work and greatly pray." Page 410-411
"Money Wastes. It is extravagant to buy clothing of extreme color or style. Fashion changes so rapidly that one will soon find one's closet filling up with useless clothing. It is more economical to buy staple materials and patterns…The best materials, even though one has to pay more money, are more economical in the end. They wear longer, look better, and can be made better use of after the wearer is through with them. As to buying of furniture, money is wasted by buying an inferior article, with a feeling that it is cheap and need not have special care, consequently it does not last long and soon has to be replaced. It is better to buy a little at a time and buy good furniture. Time Wastes. There is no question but the American housewife is facing a great revolution in the manner of her housekeeping…The modern home needs much less skill and vastly more mental and spiritual qualities….False Economy. One of the most economical things a woman can do is to keep alert to all the new household labor saving devices. They may not all be of use to her and buy all would be foolish, but whenever she sees one that will her time and labor it is false economy to let it go by and save the price. Beware of bargain counters. One is tempted to buy things one does not need, laces, embroideries that are either too little or too much when one come to use them. How many times they are piled into a trunk to be used sometime. This is false economy….The truly economical housewife will plan in her cooking to have left overs, and to make use of these is an art that can only be learned by thought and practice." Page 476-480.
"Immodest Dancing has been condemned by the National Dancing Master' Association. Young men and girls with a claim to respectability should have condemned it long since, from motives of self-protection if nothing more." Page 582
Pages 592-600 discuss how to properly hire and work with a maid or housekeeper. Having a maid to do housework was a common discussion so I believe that many had maids. In fact the suggested cleaning schedule that they presented in one lesson had a maid as part of the schedule.
Pages 622-631 is an essay about the "Cliff Dwellers" by the Four Corners area written by Susa Young Gates.
"Labor-Union leaders in New York counted on having at least 800,000 workingmen out on strike the last week in September, but failed to get one-fourth of that number. Yet even that number shows what great danger threatens should the unions be used as means to get unlawful power and gain." Page 640
"Women's skirts, of ankle length and less flaring, is the promise of fashion leaders; this is at least an extension of the covering factor, for which we are thankful." Page 638
"No true woman enjoys association with cowardly men. She despises white-livered, mealy-mouthed apologizers, who not only turn their third cheek for assaults, but make doormats of themselves for their assailants. " Page 649
"Many mothers think it is necessary to evade truth, or lie to their children concerning such subjects as Santa Claus or The Story of Life-not so…if the clever mother always assumes the "listening attitude" she will know by instinct how to tell just enough and not too much. Always answer a child's questions in a simple, truthful way, not necessarily entering into lengthy detail." Page 703
Suggestive List of Books for Family Library: …Prince and Pauper, Little Women, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Far, Story of My Life (Keller), Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come, Old Fashioned Girl, The Crisis, Ben Hur…." Page 709