Part of the Church’s complex history comes to us from stories in the courtroom. In the early Church, the courtroom was a common venue for many of the missionaries and leading brethren. Parley P. Pratt and Ziba Petersen , two of the four missionaries on their way to the Lamanites in December of 1830, discovered fast that they weren’t immune from frivolous charges. In fact, their courtroom session sided on the humorous.
What did Parley request that the Judge and the courtroom do?
A) Let him and Ziba go since they weren’t guilty of the trumped up charges
B) Let him and Ziba lock the Judge and courtroom in the courtroom cell for bringing such ridiculous charges against them
C) Kneel in prayer with the missionaries while Parley asked for forgiveness on the courtroom participants
D) Parley requested that he be allowed to preach from the pages of the Book of Mormon in his defense
A) Through the wringers of washing machines
In April of 1936, every bishop was asked to have in store enough food and clothing to help each family in his ward make it through the next winter. The Relief Society was a huge factor in this undertaking. In southern Utah the Relief Society put up 14,000 cans of peaches and ingeniously shelled their peas by running the pods through the “clothes wringers on [two] brand new Speed Queen washing machines” loaned by generous Sisters for the purpose.
Louise Y. Robison, “Relief Society’s Contribution to the Church Welfare Program,” Relief Society Magazine 25 (November 1938): 765-66; “Notes from the Field,” Relief Society Magazine 23 (November 1936): 775; Relief Society in the St. George Stake, 28; New Views of Mormon History, Edited by Davis Bitton and Maureen Ursenbach Beecher (Salt Lake City, University of Utah Press, 1987), 259.
Additional interesting information relative to the “Dirty Thirties” and the Relief Society:
The church helped to make a house-by-house survey of unemployment in the Salt Lake district and then contributed over $12,000 in cash plus some 420,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables to be delivered to the needy in Salt Lake City during the winter of 1930.
Bruce D. Blumell, “ ‘Remember the Poor’: A History of welfare in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830-1980,” 88, typescript, Library of the Joseph Fielding Smith Institute of Church History, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah; New Views of Mormon History, Edited by Davis Bitton and Maureen Ursenbach Beecher (Salt Lake City, University of Utah Press, 1987), 249.
Belle Spafford remembered how she and other Relief Society sisters in her Salt Lake City ward scrupulously followed church leaders’ counsel to avoid unnecessary waste that fall, gathering windfall peaches and apples, sterilizing collected bottles “in great big tubs with boiling water, and putting up fruit all day long, which needy families lined up to receive “before the bottles were cool.”
Belle S. Sapfford Oral History, interviews by Jill Mulvay [Derr], 1975-76, typescript, 14, James Moyle Oral History Program, LDS Church Archives; New Views of Mormon History, Edited by Davis Bitton and Maureen Ursenbach Beecher (Salt Lake City, University of Utah Press, 1987), 253.
In 1937, in the Salt Lake region, Presiding Bishop Sylvester Q. Cannon praised the Relief Society for producing, among other items on a long list, 4,097 quilts, 8,452 items of new clothing, 15,808 items of remodeled clothing, 102,585 quarts of fruit, and 134,585 quarts of vegetables, representing 40,850 total days of service.
Sylvester Q. Cannon address, Relief Society Magazine 25 (May 1938): 350.