What have we found wanting in our present world demand for the high
level of efficiency? First of all we are reminded that we are physically
unfit. We must, according to present estimates, examine 2,500,000 men to
raise an army of 500,000. It did not require a war to bring home to us the
fact that there has been for a loug time a deterioration in our physical man-
hood. Not long since we had forced upon our notice that there was a
great increase in the death of men along about the ages of from 45 to 50.
It speaks of a race rapidly run.
Physical Side of Education. The city is gathering into its great mael-
strom of vice an ever increasing percentage of youth who seek employment
of a genial nature, employment as free from physical toil as possible. Vice,
PROBLEMS OF THE AGE 43
impure atmospheric conditions, and ease, are making great inroads into the
physical powers of life. It is the business of education to give the proper
direction to life. Our educators seem to think that if they give a young
man a start he will keep on going. Do they help him to move along the
road of his permanent well-being, or do they simply give him a vision of
things that he may think about or talk about without doing them? Educa-
tors are forever focusing the eyes of the youth upon the pages of a book,
till they not only force an ever increasing number to wear glasses, but
actually force them more and more to see by the vision of others.
Evils of Our Present System. Not long since I picked up a so-called
curricula of studies for our public schools. It contained thirteen subjects
to be taught to children under fourteen years of age. What a lot of super-
ficial dabblers our schools must turn out in an age of intensive application!
If you object, you are told that the law makes it so. Who made the law?
It was put through by our legislators. But who told our legislators it was
what we really needed? A bill was deferentially put into their hands by
some committee of school men. Who are these school men? They are
those who have studied books during all the years of their youth, and in
manhood went back to teach from the same books with which they had been
educated. The people have grown to think that what our educators recom-
mend must be for the best good of our children. It is just as if we started
out to make all our children school teachers. Only a few become such, and
the great masses of them are thrown out into the struggle of life after they
had been fitted not for what they really have to do, but for the things they
rarely think about after they leave the school room. If we further object,
we are sagely counseled that the real mission of education is culture, an
Culture. Some years ago a number of young men knocked at the doors
of Harvard University for admittance. They were duly referred to a dean
who would pass upon their entrance. In assigning the young men to their
work, one of them asked about some "cultural" subject. The dean was
unsympathetic, and told them plainly what he thought of culture. He was a
man of affairs who had been in active life and knew something of what men
really needed in a partical world. To emphasize his point he related the
following story of two farmers. "These men," said he, "had met one day
at a partition fence between their farms to talk. One addressing the other,
asked John what culture was; 'these people going up to Arlington for a
summer outing are always talking about culture. They say, he's cultured,
she's cultured, and oh my, how I do love culture! What do they mean?'
'Well, you know what wheat culture and potato culture is, don't you?' came
the prompt reply. 'If you take out the wheat and the potatoes, then you
have culture.' "
The story had a very pronounced effect. Some effort has been made
along the line of industrial training in recent years, but there has been a
constant opposition to any suggestion that such a training should bear any
relationship to a trade-school. In agricultural training, men fit themselves,
more frequently for a position in private or governmental employment
rather than for the farm, thus keeping theory and practice as far apart as
A Suggestion. A change is certain to come. It would be hazardous to
prophesy just what that change will be. It is not unlikely that at some
future time we may witness a school something on the following plan: Let
us imagine a school on a 10,000 acre tract of land divided into lots of from
five to twenty acres each. These lots might be set apart for the growth of
wheat, alfalfa, fruit, sugar beets and a variety of other farm and orchard
products. In the center of the farm could be located administration and
school buildings. About the farm could be located houses for the boys and
barns for live stock. Here each boy, upon entering the school, would be
assigned to a lot according to the class of industry preferred by him and
44 PROBLEMS OF THE AGE
his parents. Under a skilful teacher he would begin his work at the school
farm in such a practical way as to make him master of the kind of work
he had chosen. If he raised beets a certain share would be turned over
to him as a remuneration, and the balance kept by the school for its
support. During a number of successive years he would change from one
lot to another and thus acquire special knowledge in fruit raising, animal
industry, or farming. Certain hours of the day he might receive class
instruction from seed time to harvest along the lines of his professional
work. In winter the school room would be open to him where, during
certain hours of the day, he would enjoy scholastic and manual training.
Such a school might be confined to summer work and the boy return to
his home for the regular school, provided always that manual training be
a compulsory part of his education. His physical upkeep would thus be
assured, and the artificial training in a gymnasium would be eliminated.
A Change Needed. Another reformation that is likely to come is the
introduction of men of affairs into the preparation of our school curricula.
They should not be left entirely to school teachers. Such a body of men
might well act as a sifting committee in all work to be submitteed to the leg-
islature, and to be adopted by school superintendents for the use of schools.
We must educate into life, not away from it. Too much time is given to
books and too little to the practical side of our natures. From the age of
twelve, half the training should be on a school farm and only half the time
in the school rooms. Life in action should be the aim of all our education.
Our young people enter the public school at the age of six. At about
fifteen they pass into the high school, and at about twenty into the university,
where they remain till they are twenty-four. Then, if they want a pro-
fessional training, they take four or five years abroad. At thirty they take
up the real work of life. They really begin life too late. The business or
economic side of life has been wholly neglected. As they naturally become
leaders of thought they are poorly equipped for the practical leadership of
those whom they greatly influence. Our peculiar system of state education
eliminates religious instruction which is after all the basis of moral force.
Education is not simply a business that has to do with the intellectual side
of life. To supplement our imperfect methods, the Latter-day Saints have
introduced the religion class movement where children after regular school
hours may receive instruction in religion and morals. There is a new
awakening to the fact that our youth are deficient in spiritual insight. All
the God-given attributes of man's life must be cultivated if he is to fulfil
the law of his creation.
It is further a fact that our schools are making dangerous inroad into
the nervous energy of our young people. Whether nervous energy is lack-
ing in them, or whether the call upon their energy is too great, the fact re-
mains the same. Our educational system grinds all children alike through
the same mill, because the system has become a machine that must work at
a given speed.
Revelation of God to Joseph Smith. "That whoso having knowledge,
have I not commanded to repent?" (Doc. and Cov. 29:49).
It is devoutly to be wished that some of our educators having knowl-
edge would repent.
"And truth is knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and
as they are to come" (Doc. and Cov. 93:24).
The words are put in italics by the writer to accent the value of the
knowledge of things. We prattle too much about ideals that have little
reality in them. The slogan of our educators is ambition for those intellec-
tual refinements which relate more to the speculative side of life, than to the
useful and practical.
"And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life
through his diligence and obedince than anothr he will have so much the
advantage in the world to come" (Doc. and Cov. 130:19).
We believe in the eternal value of things, a knowledge we may take
PROBLEMS OF THE AGE 45
with us to another world, a world in which we shall work, and not sit and
fold our hands and sing forever. "Faith without works is dead," so is knowl-
XIX. The Home
Abandonment. Of all the old fashioned homes of the past generation
it would be interesting to know what percentage is left, homes devoted to
domestic industry and child life. Even the difference would not be so start-
ling as the present movement to vacate home life. Word comes to us
through public print, which is confirmed by individual observation, that in
the great cities of the world the beautiful homes of the well-to-do along
charming boulevards are empty because their inmates have abandoned them
for hotel life. They were already devoid of child life, whose pleasures
would have made them interesting as well as habitable. The Latter-day
Saints, whose religious duty makes home life an obligation as well as a joy,
little realize what the abandonment of the home means to the world at large.
They hardly sense the change of this part of our social structure. World
temptations will come to them with such striking force that many of them
may find them quite overpowering. Against this and other insidious changes
that the new age is bringing, they must brace themselves as if for a con-
flict in which they may lose. Too many will not believe the dangers till
the jolt of a breakdown jars them by its destruction to their senses.
God Speaks. A great struggle is on in the world, and our troubles
will not end with the war. There are more terrible dangers ahead of us.
Why do we not proclaim these dangers from the house tops? Why do we
not tell the people at home what it all means? Do we not instinctively feel
by the spirit that has instilled itself into our lives for nearly a century that
the day of which God hath spoken is near. Why do we not speak aloud,
and not move in silence in the presence of such catastrophes as are threat-
ening the whole world? It is because we feel that God has the platform,
that it becomes us to remain silent in the midst of his great judgments
which the world has insisted on bringing upon itself. In the din of social
uproar and confusion the world could not, would not, stop to listen, would
not heed his voice when he had spoken. "Let the sin be upon us and our
children" were the sentiments of those who defied God and crucified the
We need not feel surprised that in the raging conflict of social destruc-
tion one of the earliest of God ordained institutions for the perpetuation
of life and happiness the home should be threatened with annihilation
in the great upheavals of the age. Is it all pessimism and despair when we
draw in such dark coloring a world threatened and going to ruin? History
and life teach us that only an infinitesimal part of sin is revealed to the pub-
lic eye. If what we see is full of evil, what must be the secret, hidden con-
ditions of life. If what we see annoys us, how would we feel if God per-
mitted us to see it all. We are wholly incompetent to judge, but we may
listen and speak of the things which God has declared. We have eyes to
see and ears to hear the things that are flagrant. One of the great dangers to
the home is the deterioration of the body. What is the evidence of com-
petent witnesses in the courts of public opinion? Listen to the evidence of
one of America's greatest physicians, Dr. Howard: "Wom-n don't take ca're
of themselves in regard to the changes of weather. They don't get proper
food. They overeat, and nowadays more and more of them overdrink and
Some one has said that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach,
but this is much more true of women. The box of candy is one of the most
acceptable strangles of courtship.
Effects of Home Abandonment. Take any of the big restaurants; who
fill them? They are crowded with women at the lunch hour. Crowded
46 PROBLEMS OF THE AGE
with the same sex at 4 p. m. for tea and sweetmeats. At the dinner hour
and again after the theatre the restaurants are crowded again. There are
now men with the women. We compare what is eaten in these places of
mixed patronage with what is eaten in places exclusively patronized by men,
and we'll find proof of the contention that it is the women who overeat,
and overeat heavy, indigestible food.
"This over indulgence, I believe, is one of the grave evils of the day,
at any rate, here in America. It is bad for the present generation, and bad
for the coming generation. We molly-coddle our women too much. We
have let them live too long in a steam heated atmosphere.
"Some may object that I am putting undue emphasis upon the physical.
But these objectors must remember that mental and moral man gets his
strength and efficiency only from the physical man. Nature has no use for
sickness. And remember that the greatest struggle for existence that the
world has ever seen is going to begin when Verdun has passed into history.
'If women could acquire the physical strength and could be disciplined
(make note of that) and could be disciplined they would dominate the
earth. I believe it would be easier for them to acquire the necessary
strength than for them to subject themselves to the necessary discipline."
From such an indictment it is easy to believe that women are in not
much better position to maintain a salutary home life than men. From al-
most every angle at which we look at home life there are to be seen serious
symptoms of its decay.
Nowadays so many children are born out of the home, and left en-
tirely to the care of mothers, that the element of mental life is constantly
decreasing. The unmarried mother is not a disturbing factor here, as it is
in many European countries. However, there is a growing disinclination
everywhere to hold girls to the same accountability as there was a few
years back. Today the unmarried mother is becoming more and more a
pioblem to society. From the Chicago Sunday Herald of August 26, 1917,
I quote the following: "The unmarried mother can scarcely be said to have
won the approval of the modern world, but at least she is not greeted with
the fury accorded her predecessors."
Illegitimacy. Dr. Werner of Columbia University recalls the fact that
before the present war there were born in Germany 177,000 illegitimate
children annually ; in France, 80,000 ; in England, 38,000 ; in Sweden, 18,000 ;
in little Norway, 5,000. In American cities the illegitimate birthrate is said
to be about 3 percent of the total, but this is counterbalanced by the high
divorce rate of one divorce to every twelve marriages.
"Illegitimacy is now not only widespread, but a general effort is
being made to eliminate the disgrace which attaches to the unmarried
mother and to her child."
"The Norwegian law of 1915, which aimed at giving every legit-
imate child two legal parents, inspired the recent Illinois attempt to
deal with the situation. During 1913 France repealed the hard Na-
poleonic edict, which forbade all investigation into the paternity of
children born out of wedlock.
"The same social feeling itself in the abolition of the Austrian
law, through which illegitimate children were excluded from family
and relationship rights. The Muttershutz movement in Germany,
and in Scandinavia, attempted in various legal ways to accomplish a
similar end. The modern world is intent upon lessening the hardships
which unmarried mothers so long endured."
The cruelties which aroused the protests of the men who saw the
American revolution were, however, but a heritage of a more terrible
time. Simple decapitation was considered a merciful punishment. Unmar-
ried mothers were sometimes condemned to die on a bed of thorns. If
the mother killed her child she was buried alive or drowned in a sack. If
the child lived she had to undergo a humiliating church penance.
PROBLEMS OF THE AGE 47
Finally the world was aroused, and gradually the most savage forms of
punishment were relinquished. The old laws were repealed, and toward the
beginning of the nineteenth century homes of refuge and maternity houses
began to appear in Europe testifying to the gradual approach of what we
hope is a humane civilization. In parts of Europe today the government
provides by law for the limitation of children by what is called a homeless
process. Austria was not mentioned in the table above given, but it is said
by public journalists that fully forty percent of its children are illegitimate.
New York has recently been wrestling with the question of child birth con-
trol. A prominent woman was sent to prison because of her propaganda on
that subject. The doctors had the question before them for discussion and
were divided on it.
In modern cities the movement from homes to apartment houses has
increased very rapidly within the past decade. Restaurants have greatly
multiplied because of the increasing number of women to whom housekeep-
ing has become an unbearable drudgery. Domestic science taught in our
schools is not able to stay the movement "'away from the home." All these
conditions are merely symptoms of a disease which is consuming home life.
The situation is becoming so serious that thoughtful men are beginning to
ask, "Is the home doomed?"
Dangers Outside the Home. The sex instinct is a dominating force in
all social life. It does not decrease and there is positive evidence that it is
growing stronger. Will its legitimate exercise be confined as it properly
should be to the home? If the home should go how shall this instinct be
regulated? Will it be regulated at all? Will its exercise go on while men
and women occupy separate homes? It begins to look as if illegitimate
childbirth would not only be protected but encouraged as an effort to save
the race. Would it be a less serious evil than race suicide? Approach the
subject from any side and its perplexities increase. It seems idle to talk of
any other form of marriage than monogamy. How could men be induced
to marry more than one woman when they refuse the responsibility of one
wife? It is a characteristic of the age to shirk responsibility. Men laugh
at the thought of "a duty to marry." In the eastern cities marriage by men
before they have reached the age of 40 or 50 is very unpopular. We are
told that men often marry late as a last resort. Such marriages too often
mean childless homes. Women resent the charge that they are responsible
for race suicide. They stoutly affirm that motherhood is after all the dearest
thing to a woman's heart. Against the dangers here described the Latter-
day Saints are employing every means. Something must be done to save
mankind from its own destruction. The destruction of 12,000,000 men to
Europe in the war, compared with the destruction of the race through
avoidable disease and prevention of life, is not so startling. When the two
p ocesses are combined it is not difficult to forecast the doom of the home.
The evils of present conditions are not so menacing to the present generation
ati they will be to the succeeding ones. However, the world will experience
in the immediate future a crisis of world sorrows and losses that will bring
home to it universal calamities. There is too much of a French king's con-
solation that things "will last our day." Today we are confronted with the
most wicked indifference to future generations. We seem to care absolutely
nothing about the future. The sense of duty is being lost to the human
race. How can the world hope to escape punishment for the sins of its
Home a Burden. Complaint is often made through public print that
there is a growing calousness on the part of parents toward their children.
They appear too often willing to part with them rather than with social
pleasures with which children interfere. I pick up, as I write, the Chicago
Sunday Tribune of August 26, 1917: "The Miller family Wants to get rid of
their baby," says the paper. "Two weeks ago the parents applied to the
court for leave to place their child for adoption, giving as a reason that
they were unable to care for him, and also wanted to go to their home in
48 PROBLEMS OF THE AGE
Wausau, Wis. Mr. Miller said he is the son of a dentist in Wausau. He is
employed in the wholesale establishment of Marshall Field & Co., at $12.00
a week." They were severely reprimanded and decided to keep their child.
Such conduct is a question of pleasure versus the home. What is the love for
home life? The testimony is quite general that it is vanishing.
XX. Woman's World
Alarming Changes. There is in rapid progress the creation of a new
world for women. It has not been brought entirely by the war. Her
grievances date back many years, for she has long felt certain inequalities
with men which she has been striving for decades to overcome. The war
has helped her into a wider circle of employment, but she heretofore has
been extending her activities in new fields, and the farther she has gone
the greater demands she has made for improved opportunties. The po-
sition she plans for the future will not be won without strong resistance.
In political life she sees a means to a higher aim than office. It is in the
industrial world where she feels an unjust discrimination and a wrong.
Politics might help her, but it will not remove the evil she seeks to cure.
Political opportunities do not furnish a world at all large enough for her
activities. They may help her, that is all. There are two chief obstructions
to her industrial progress. One is public sentiment; the other her own sex.
For centuries there has been thrown about her an exclusiveness which con-
fined her services mostly to the home. In European countries, where she is
employed more in outdoor life she is confined to the family circle. Grad-
ually, in the nineteenth century she began factory life, then store life, sep-
arating herself more and more from domestic pursuits. In each industrial
step she has been met by the objection that she was out of her sphere. In
each step, too, she has met temptations that have undoubtedly told against
her moral well-being. Public sentiment would balk today at women street
car conductors, motormen, hotel porters and all forms of employment that
bring her into indiscriminate contact with men. The law might not prohibit
her, but she would lack the support of the public sentiment which would
assist her in claiming the same remuneration as men. Then there are pa-
rental objections, and disfavor of friends and relatives. Public pressure
has been too great for her, however willing she may be. A fundamental
power in all our social institutions is public sentiment. Many things might
be done, and some would perhaps be done, were it not for social disfavor.
Such prejudice has been built up for centuries and it is not easily thrown
down, even when all reason for its continuation ceases to exist. Such
sentiment has of course its good and bad sides. It is more powerful than
law, indeed, it is often the principal source of law. It may also be more
severe than law, and somtimes it is cruel, but always more or less a tyrant.
It is against this sentiment that women are battling today. To their aid
a great war has come, and one of the things it will do is t:- turn topsy-turvy
a great mass of public opinion. "We shall change our minds about things"
is one of the common expressions of conversation and of public journals.
How and where will it let women work? Will it let her don male attire
and doff her own? The women of ancient Israel were taught that it was an
abomination for women to dress as men, and the world ever since has said