willingly or with a very good grace, I fear, but because I thought
I must. I had not been converted to that Puritanical idea — that
it was wrong for little girls to play with dolls when they loved
them so much, and I have always considered this my first sac-
rifice. Sister Smith gave me a new dress, if I would not have
any more dolls while I was there. This soothed my feelings for
430 RELIEF SOCIETY MAGAZINE.
the time being', but did not quench my loviC in the least, for my
little dumb companions.
I had a somewhat strange dream while we were living there.
I would hear a rumbling sound as of chairs moving and people
walking overhead, and the ceiling would open and men would
come down, sometimes one, sometimes two, and again three — and
stand and look at me a few seconds and then return again as they
came. This was repeated several times, and I thought they were
holding a meeting up there — but the strange part of it was, they
were dressed just as our elders are now when they are prepared
for burial. I have never yet found out why this dream came to
me, but I must believe it had some purpose, on account of the
clothing the people wore. During this time my mother had at-
tended one of the prayer meetings in the temple and received her
patriarchal blessing, and also I had received my childhood bless-
ing into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Great
promises were extended to mother in her blessing, and particular
mention of me was made in it also.
As the spring days passed on, my mother went to live in a
part of the house previously occupied by Brother Hyrum Smith's
family — just across the street and a little north of their new home.
And there she began housekeeping", and during the time we re-
mained there many things transpired that fastened themselves in-
delibly in my memory. I was very lonesome. Though 'my
mother did everything she could to amuse and entertain me, still
there was a loneliness not to be overcome in that way. She
taught me my a, b, c's by cutting out letters and pasting them
around the fireplace — k was the hardest — I was used to keys, and
if that letter had been key I should have known it at once. Then
the terrible crickets — they sang so loudly, and seemed to be sing-
ing right at mc. I couldn't understand what they said and im-
agined all sorts of terrible things. They looked harmless enough,
and mother said they wouldn't hurt anyone, but what did they
sing so loud for?* No "cricket on the hearth" for me, if you
please. I had learned to knit and had a pair of stockings nearly
done and mother wanted me to finish them by my fourth birthday.
I knit very tight and mother had to knit around every other time
to loosen up the stitches, but I had them done in time, and was
very glad for a number of reasons — it is quite a task for a little
active girl to sit down and knit very long at a time, and it was
a great relief to have the job ofif my hands, as well as a pleasure
to see what I had done.
In those early days snuff-taking was quite fashionable. My
father had given mother a very pretty snuff box, and though she
had not practiced using snuff herself, she had the box filled and a
nice vanilla bean in it to scent the snuff, and when old ladies
came to see her would pass it round to them. It was also cus-
MARY ANN FROSr STEARNS PRATT. 431
tomary, for people in trouble to smoke or take snuff to soothe
their feelings and pass away* the time (poor souls), and this
course was urged upon mother. Smoking she could not think
of, as it seemed too troublesome a habit, but she had become
quite used to taking snuff before she heard the gospel sound.
Fut now, after hearing "The Word of Wisdom" taught she must
not partake of the forbidden snuff any longer. And in her
patriarchal blessing, too, "Word of Wisdom" was spelled with
large letters, so now the sacrifice must surely begin. It was her
habit, immedia^-ely after eating, to take a good pinch of snuff,
but now instead, she placed the snuff box on the chimney-piece
over the letters and above the crickets — and took the Book of
Mormon and sat down to read till all desire for the snuff had
passed — and thus she gained the victory, with the temptation in
plain sight. And oh how thankful she was in after years for the
knowledge of the evil, and for strength to overcome it. And now
another trial and sacrifice awaited us both. My own father had
been a lieutenant in the State militia and had a nice uniform suit
of blue broadcloth with bright buttons — these mother had kept
and treasured and brought with her from our home in the East,
and with tears of loving memory used often to show them to me
and tell me about him, and at those times I could better realiz.e
that I truly had a father, and it almost seemed that he was with
us in person for the time being. But there was a brother W.
that had been called on a mission, and he was destitute of suitable
clothing for the journey and could not go until he had a better
supply, and a friend that knew about the suit hinted to mother
that it would "just about" fit brother W. and would be very ac-
ceptable at that time. At first mother could not entertain the
idea for a moment, but upon further reflection her conscience
would not allow her to hold back a treasure that the gospel called
for ; and was not the occasion worthy the suit ? Accordingly,
mother removed the bright buttons and replaced them with citizen
buttons, and with many tears we looked upon that suit for the
last time, mother telling me always to remember it as being worn
by my dear father — and our sacrifice was made willingly though
sorrowfully, and I think I will never just know what it cost my
During this time we were constant attendants at meetings
in the temple, and I can especially remember the fast-meetings,
and can recall at this day the great power and good spirit that
were experienced on those occasions — and it was generally known
that Father Joseph Smith, the Patriarch, would not break his fast
and partake of food till the sun went down, and T thought he
was the most wonderful person to willingly go without food for
that length of time, and that he must surely be like Abraham, the
faithful, that mother had told me so often about. And after the
432 RELIEF SOCIETY MAGAZINE.
close of one of the meetings, mother took me to the stand and
sho\yed me the place on the pulpit where the Savior had stood
when He appeared to the Prophet, and where afterwards Moses
and Elias came and delivered the keys for the gathering of the
Saints (Israel), and the redemption of the dead.
One day mother took me to see the Egyptian mummies that
were in the upper corridor of the temple. I was very pleased
to go, for there was much talk about them, and I thought it
would be so nice to go and see them, but when I saw them they
frightened me very much — they had such an unearthly look to me.
They were dark in color, and hard as metal, and the cloth they
were wrapped in was petrified like the bodies. Brother Joseph
explained much about them that I could not understand, and said
they were thousands of years old.
I remember of partaking of the Sacrament of bread and
wine, in the Kirtland Temple, and when I would have liked more
of the wine, mother explained to me that it was in memory of
the blood of our Savior when He was upon the cross. After that
I was always satisfied to partake of the proper quantity — and with
reverence in my heart also. My mother had belonged to a choir
in her Eastern home, but she could not join it now on account of
care of her little girl, but there was much congregational singing,
and I learned many of the Latter-day Saints hymns at that time —
"The Spirit of God Like a Fire is Burning," "Now Let us Re-
joice," "Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken," and "Redeemer of
Lsrael," "There's a Feast of Fat Things for the Righteous Pre-
paring," were all as familiar to me as my daily breath, it seemed,
and I learned them by heart, and I do not need a book when
they are singing ^them now, though I cannot join, but I sing in
my heart, nevertheless, in the singing.
(to be continued)
"Marriage hath been established as the union of the spiritual,
as well as, the physical being.
"The sign of a true marriage is increase, not only of the race,
but also the attributes of the soul.
"It is an eternal marriage, valid throughout all the eternal
(From the writings of the Persian exile and preacher who
adopted the name of Baha Allah, meaning Glory to God. Form
Perhaps no better evidence of the value and importance of
the articles given last month and this month on Birth Control,
from the inspired pens of our Church Authorities, can be adduced
than the animated and sometimes heated discussions which this
subject has already aruosed in this Society.
It may be to the point to relate a story told at the home of
the Editor by the famous lecturer and publicist, Mrs. Charlotte
Perkins Oilman. The lady described a serious experiment made
by a young married c^u.ple who were enthusiastic eugenists, and
who were ideal in lives and characters.
They decided that from the very hour of conception, nay the
preparatory hours before that momentous event, every possible
care should be taken to insure a perfect human baby. Proper diet,
full exercise, fresh air, beautiful scenes, happy thoughts and
associations, pure emotions — these and these only were to sur-
round the prospective mother. Nothing was allowed to ruffle
her spirit or to depress her nerves. She and her young husband
put into active service every known law — physical, moral and
mental — to assist them in their glorious anticipated achievement.
The medical world of Chicago was agog with expectation. At
last the babe was born, and lived two days. The doctors at once
performed an autopsy — and found — not one single thing right in
the little body and not one organ had functioned normally. Every
organ was abnormal. The lesson was obvious — but was not
PRESIDENT HYRUM M. SMITH.
In reply to your request that I "express my views'" upon the
subject of your letter of April 17, I submit the following state
My observations and reading confirms my belief that the
question is not a new one. The "doctrine" of birth control or race
suicide has been taught and practiced for generations, and is as
firmly fixed in the minds of so-called "Christian" peoples as the
many other immoral institutions, e. g., divorce, inebriety, suicide,
For years the birth-rate in France has been smaller than the
death-rate, while in other Christian countries, including our own
New England, the death-rate comes dangerously near oflFsetting
the birth-rate. And the peril is no doubt increasing through the
work of the promoting agencies you refer to.
If, as you intimate, the influence of these agencies is operat-
ing among our people, and there is a calculated tendency on the
434 RELIEF SOCIETY MAGAZINE.
piirt of the least proportion of the young married members of the
Church to follow the lead of the world in such wicked ways ; and
if older parents are teaching and encouraging their married chil-
dren to neglect the primary and ultimate purpose of marriage by
resorting to criminal practices in order to prevent birth altogether
or limit the number of children born, then the Church is facing a
real danger which must arouse the profoundest apprehension, and
all her power should be brought to bear in an effort to overcome
and counteract such tendency.
As one of the watchmen on the towers of Zion, I raise my
voice in warning to both old and young against every such teach-
ing or practice. "Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sad-
ducees," and of the things, "after which the Gentiles seek." These
are the evil tendencies and practices of the world, which, for many
years, have caused the most serious concern among the wisest
and most far-seeing men of Christian lands, making them fear
for the very existence of the race.
The Psalmist declared that, "Lo, children are an heritage
of the Lord: — Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of
them," and conversely, cursed and miserable is the man that, as
the result of his own design, hath his quiver empty. He must
some day awaken to a bright realization that of that which is the
most precious possession of either earth or heaven he is destitute
and forever powerless to obtain, and that where they are who have
inherited Eternal Lives, he cannot come, worlds without end.
The people or nation that follows the false teachers — be they
editors of papers, authors of books, magazine writers, "Eugen-
isls," or what not, of either sex, who advocate, with or without
law, the prevention or limitation of the birth of children, will enter
upon the sure road to ruin and extinction and will deserve their
And to the passing of laws upon the question the first to be
enacted should be one m'aking the advocacy of birth prevention
and restriction a crime, with a severe penalty for the advocate.
Then pass other laws aiming to raise the environment and stand-
ard of all homes, community and industrial life, to the highest
possible plane wherein all children might receive every advantage
for the fullest development of body, mind and spirit, and let the
number born be controlled only by the laws of nature, which were
established by the Divine Creator for the purpose that man should
multiply in the earth and the earth be replenished.
BISHOP DAVID A. SMITPI.
It is with pleasure that T attempt to comply with your re-
quest for an expression as to my attitude towards the feeling
that is ap])arenfly growing that it is a mistake to have large
BIRTH COXTROL. 435
In considering this subject it seems to me that it will be
necessary to look at it from two angles. First, from the point
of view of the man and woman who are selfish and narrow-
minded, and who only care for the gratifying of their own selfish
purposes and who do not know or hope for a future existence
or happiness. If this is the class that is called the rich and cul-
tured. I would say that those advocating birth control are per-
haps nearer right, for the sooner this class can be stamped out,
the sooner will the purpose of the Lord be brought about.
Considering the subject from the point of view of those
who believe in God and in a future existence, those who are living
not to carry out their own human, selfish desires, but are trying
to serve their Creator and obey His laws, surely it can not be
looked upon in the same light. For as the first grow more
selfish and more covetous, which often causes the severing of
the marriage bond or the entering into it for the mere sake of
form, the latter class become more self-sacrificing, their hearts
become more tender, and they possess a greater love and sym-
pathy for the children of God. Their lives are not void with
emptiness for they are living for others. Their lives are filled
with joy and happiness, for they know that they are trying to
fulfill the purpose of their creation. Their sorrows are not the
sorrows filled with bitterness, but sorrows which ten^l to mellow
them in the eyes of God.
A number of years ago it was my privilege to be acquainted
with two young men who were employed at the same place and
wh". were married on the same day. The next day as they re-
t'lrne'' to work they received the congratulations of their asso-
ciates and one expressed the hope that "their troubles would all
Vc little ones." One young man thanked him ; the other said.
"Xot for me. We have agreed that no little ones will come to
our home, until we have had some enjoyment out of life.' and
have laid up something for the future."
A number of years later. I met these young men. The
greeting was. "How are you getting along, and how many babies
have you?" One raised his head with a feeling of pride as he
answered. "Six ;" while the other, with tears in his eyes, said
he would give all of his worldly possessions if his home could
be blessed \vith babies. He said, "I am afraid we have gone too
far, and can now look for nothing but doctors' bills."
I bear testimony of God's mercy to me. I was married in
inv youth and started with nothing but enough furniture to com-
fortably fill two little rooms which were rented, and with an
income of $30 a month. I may belong to the poor and ignorant
class, but I am grateful to Him to whom we must all look for
final judgment, for His mercies, for my father, his family, and
for the wife and nine children the Lord has given me.
Mother Takes Advice.
By Diana Parrish.
Isobel had been married two years before she dared broach
the subject to her mother. She did it then only because she hap-
pened in on her one particularly trying morning. Mrs. Hartley
was washing dishes in the hot kitchen. On the table stood stacks
of unwashed dessert plates, sherbet glasses, and two big heaps
of silverware. Two pairs of brass candelebra drooped down their
shoulders waiting to be rid of the burnt-out candles and the long
beards of wax which clung to the brass like the ghosts of the
evening past. From her own experience, Isobel knew what it
all meant. The girls had entertained the night before. In the
center of the kitchen stool the ironing board with the electric
iron still attached. Mignon had been obliged to iron a blouse
before rushing madly away to the office. On the marble-topped
work table stuck the remnants of a batch of walnut caramels.
The sticky spatula lay just where Viola harl tossed it when she
finished cutting the caramels and packing them into a box for the
girls at school. Isobel knew Viola and her caramels. Indeed
she felt a twinge of remorse when she remembered that she had
taught her younger sister the caramel trick. Against the wall
leaned two cases of peaches to be bottled. A huge basket of
tomatoes cried out for attention. When Isobel, through the din-
ing room door, caught sight of Beatrice, rosy-cheeked and
dreamy, surreptitiously turning the pages of a book as she
dawdled about with a duster in hand, she could hold her tongue
"Mother," she began, "don't you think you should have
some help with this housework?"
Mrs. Hartley surveyed Isobel brightly, noting how well she
looked in her smart little morning frock. She smiled and trilled
to Tsobel's dainty white-clothed baby before she answered.
"Oh, we get on very well, Isobel. I enjoy the housework."
"But mother, don't you see? Fancy you doing this sort of
drudgery! Dishes that those girls have used for company! ^ou
never have any time to yourself. You never have any fun. You
just make a slave of yourself to your family. It's not right."
Mrs. Hartley wiped the perspiration from her face and stared
at her daughter in astonishment. It had not been so very long
since Isobel herself had been one of the offending "girls." Re-
membrances of even more recent times turned the corner of moth-
er's mouth in an odd little smile.
MOTHER TAKES ADVICE. AZ7
"Why, my dear, I'm quite all right. I don't mind in the
"That's just the point. You don't mind, but you should!
Your family is grown up and you should be looking out for your-
self. You should have done so long ago. You'll become old-
fashioned and behind the times. And a woman your age is apt
to lose her looks."
This last bold thrust burst from Isobel's lips unconsciously.
It had been uppermost in her mind for a long time, but she had
not meant to speak so abruptly.
Mother jerked her hands out of the dish water as if she had
been slapped in the face. She glanced instinctively from Isobel's
trim figure to her own fat, matronly shape — from her daughter's
tiny shoes to her heavy ones shielding swollen feet.
"Isobel!" she cried, and without another word left the room.
Tears started in Isobel's eyes. Now she had done it! Done
it very clumsily, too. She was sorry she had hurt her mother's
feelings and yet — she could not help but compare her own house-
keeping with her mother's burdensome work. For example, how
different that very morning had been. Isobel, in her own home,
arrayed in a dainty muslin breakfast slip sat facing beaming Tom
over a tasty breakfast. Red-tinted peaches piled in a bowl of
fascinating design stood at Tom's elbow. Tom was expert in
peeling peaches and always insisted on peeling Isobel's for her.
After the peaches, Isobel whisked into the kitchen for the cereal
which had been cooked in the double boiler while she dressed.
Delicately-cooked with thick cream. Delicious ! The final course
consisted of poached eggs and toast. Isobel poached the eggs
at the table in the electric chafing-dish while Tom made the toast
with the electric toaster. No chef in the land could make a break-
fast bette r than that, and yet there was pratically no labor at-
tached to it. An hour later Tom had departed for his office,
the dishes were washed and the kitchen straightened. Isobel put
the rest of the house in order while she waited for the baby to
awake. But her poor mother. Breakfast to make for five.
Breakfast dishes, dishes from the late supper of the night before,
a large house to attend to, fruit to preserve and no one to help but
a girl of the romantic day-dreaming age. It was shameful the
way mother let her dream, too! Mother must be rescued from
slavery. Being the first married daughter of a family of seven
children. Isobel felt that she was the only one to rescue her.
She knew she must (\o it without the help of her married brothers.
Bob, Parker and Tim had been married a long time, and they had
never done anything to change their mother's condition.
Isobel felt the tears coming faster and faster, so she hur-
ried back to her little home down the road.
438 RELIEF SOCIETY MAGAZINE.
Two (lays later Isobel called up her mother's house on the
telephone. Beatrice answered.
"Is that you Bea?"
"Oh, Bea, how is mother?"
"That's good, I have been worrying about her. I say, Bea,
I wonder if you will do a favor this afternoon?"
"I'll be pleased to, if I can."
"Will you tend my baby for me while I go to Clara Hil-
graves' party ? My little nurse girl promised a week ago to come as
usual but this morning she telephoned to say she was sick. I've
tried everywhere to get someone, but it's too late on such short
notice. I wouldn't bother you, Dot. it's a very Ijeautiful affair
and I hate to miss it."
"Oh, I'm sorry, dear, but I won't be able to. Listen. Isobel,"
Bea whispered, "when I said mother was all right, I meant that
she was about the same. l)Ut something has come over her about
making us work. I have to ]M-epare dinner tonight, and I have
a dentist appointment that will keep me rushing."
Isobel hesitated. Presently she said, "Call mother to the
'phone, will you please?''
It was not long before mother answered.
"Oh, mother, how are you?"
"I'm very well, dear.'
Isobel hesitated again. Finally she stammered.
"Mother, I don't like to trouble you. but I wonder if you
could take care of Tommie for me this afternoon?''
A long pause. Alother was considering her recent decision
that she would change her habit — the decision which came from
tb.e realization of the fact that she had allowed her children to
usurp her rights — that she had made them foolishly dependent
"I'm so sorry, my dear.'' came at last in an even voice, "but
I'm going shop])ing and won't be able to oblige you."
"There's nothing wrong, is there, mother? Nothing from
what I said the other morning?" gasi)ed Isobel.
"Nothing, my dear, nothing." mother hastened to reply.
"I'm so glad, I was afraid — well, goodbye, mother." faltere 1
Isobel hung up the receiver wondering what in the world
could make her mother put shopijing before caring for her little
Mother hung u]) the receiver, grimly determined to stick to
her new resolve, no matter what the cost.
MOTHER TAKES ADVICE. 439
During the weeks that followed Airs. Hartley was tried to
the utmost. The remarks of Isobel had made her most unhappy.
She was offended with her daughter's presumption in daring- to
suggest such a thing to her mother. Her pride was wounded at
the thought that her methods were not perfect in the sight of her
child. She realized, however, that there was truth in Tsobel's
criticism. She had sacrificed herself to her family, to their detri-
ment and her own. It was here that mother's fighting blood rose
magnificently. Having made up her mind that she should change