Monday, January 7, 2013

Like Always, Brigham Said What Was on His Mind

The story goes that Brigham Young once stated he would rather have a good six shooter than all the lawyers in Illinois. To be honest, he didn’t pull any punches; he only said what was on his mind and was completely honest in this endeavor until his dying day.

What other profession didn’t he care for?

a.      Ministers

b.      Teachers

c.       Doctors

d.      Government employee’s

Yesterday’s answers:

1.      a.   Sent a petition to Church headquarters

The Murray First Ward had “the remains in a sacrament cup” tested by the Salt Lake County Physician’s Office in March 1916, and the physician found “not less than six contagious diseases.” Disgusted by the results, members of this ward wrote to Church headquarters: “We feel that another Sunday should no pass until we can abolish this most unsanitary practice. We, therefore, subscribe our names to the following amounts.” They then sent three pages of signatures attached to their “petition” as well as a receipt of $75.50 (the equivalent of about $1,450 today) for buying individual sacrament cups with their own money.

Murray [Utah] First Ward, Granite Stake Petition, 1916, LR 5888 31, LDS Church History Library.

2.      a.   The 1918 Spanish Influenza outbreak

The first Presidency was initially reluctant to modify such a sacred rite, but the Spanish influenza pandemic of 1918 accelerated the spread of individual cups Church wide.

Justin R. Bray, “The Lord’s Supper During the Progressive Era, 1890-1930,” Journal of Mormon History, Vol. 38 no. 4, Fall 2012, 90.

3.        d.   1911

Selden, with the help of “a lot of friends,” had a sacrament set made, and on June 18, 1911, individual cups were used officially for the first time. The set consisted of silver trays and glass cups. The Eighteenth Ward accepted it “enthusiastically,” and soon the entire Ensign Stake adopted the new cups.

Selden Clawson, Notes, n.d., Helen Clawson Wells Papers; Ruby K. Smith, One Hundred Years in the Heart of Zion (Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1961), 76.

4.      d.   The Quorum of the Twelve

The committee suggested the idea of individual sacrament cups to the bishop and stake president, but both denied the authority to make a change to the ordinance. Selden and his brother eventually met with President Joseph F. Smith about the matter. President Smith was “impressed but reluctant to change the time-honored method of administering the sacrament water.” He also felt that members would “prefer to use the old system,” and he did not want a failed attempt with individual cups to “be charged against him.” Selden concluded that “the outlook seemed bad for us.” However, President Smith suddenly stopped talking and “Looked at the floor a minute or two, then he looked at us and smiled and said, ‘I have it. I’ll turn the matter over to the Council of the Twelve. Then they can take the blame for the failure.”

Justin R. Bray, “The Lord’s Supper During the Progressive Era, 1890-1930, “ Journal of Mormon History, Vol. 38 no. 4, Fall 2012, 97-8.

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