Imatges de pÓgina

think there has been any publications in our Church that have exceeded in value the Leaflets as they have been issued from time to time by the Union. I think they are invaluable. I would like all the superintendents and teachers to take every pains in their power to have these Leaflets thoroughly studied and mastered by the young people.

I do not wish to trespass upon your time, as there are many items of business that have to be attended to, but I say as I have said before, God bless you in your labors and give you great success and great joy in continuing your labor in this direction. I ask it in the name of Jesus. Amen.

SECOND ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT KARL G. MAESER. The use of the Children's Sunday School Hymn Book.


The Sunday school superintendents at the Stake Sunday school conferences sometimes report that the Sunday school hymn books are left at home by the children and have gradually gone out of use in their Sunday shools. Now, the Sunday School Union Board has spent considerable means in distributing these hymn books amongst schools. A great many thousands, included in several editions have been published. Why has this been done? There is a principle involved in the use of these hymn books to which I wish to call your attention. Look over the congregations of the Latter-day Saints in their public meetings and you will perhaps see some old brother or sister using the standard hymn books of the Church and following the choir in the singing, but by far the great majority of the congregation have no hymn books with them, and cannot, therefore, understand the words which the choir are singing. This is all wrong. Singing is a part of the prayer-pleasing in the sight of our Heavenly Father. When there is a prayer being offered to my Heavenly Father, I for one always want to share in it; I want to be counted in that prayer, whether it is offered on the stand by one of the brethren or whether it be in the form of a song. How can this be possible if I do not understand the words that being sung? Well, I always have


my book with me and follow the choir in the singing. Now, this is the point: We older Latter-day Saints have got into the habit of going to meeting with our hymn books, and we are going to endeavor to get the rising generation into the habit of going to meeting with their hymn books, and, in order to do this, we must train them in our Sunday schools. Sunday school superintendents have come to me and said, "Well, brother Maeser, that is all very well, but how is it to be accomplished? We have talked, and talked and talked, but it has done no apparent good. What course would you advise us to pursue?" I have advised them as follows: "My brethren and were sisters, if I Sunday school teacher and had been as signed by the superintendent to take charge of a certain department, and I had found since my appointment that the children in my department were not in the habit of bringing their hymn books with them. I would say, "My dear pupils, I am going to ask you a question, and that question is, which of you have a hymn book with you? Hold it up and let me see it. That is all. I am going to ask you this question again next Sunday. If any of you have a hymn book bring it along and let me see it." Next Sunday comes. I have sixty pupils in my department. My question comes. "What question did I say I would ask you today?" one says, "You was going to ask who had a hymn book." "Well, how many of you have them?" Four children have hymn books and are able to hold then up; the other fifty-six have none. would not find fault or scold, or make any discouraging remark, but I would thank and bless these four. "Now next Sunday shall ask you this same question again. You four will please bring your hymn books, and if the rest of you will do so I will be obliged." Next Sunday comes. "How many of you have hymn books with you today?" Seven. I have gained three now. I would continue this from one Sunday to another. I have got eleven perhaps the next Sunday, then seventeen, and so on, until three or four months have passed. Never occupy too much time in asking these questions, only about two minutes, no longer. After three or four



months there are just five boys without hymn books, now I will suppose myself one of these five boys. The other fifty-five have their books, I cannot stand this any longer; I am getting ashamed of myself. All are beginning to hold up their hymn books but me and the other four. I cannot stand it. I go home and ask my father to give me ten cents with which to buy a hymn book. I get one and hold it up next Sunday with the rest, and then there are only four now without books. My brethren and sisters, it is not hard to do this, but we must persevere; must never leave off asking this question. Neither must we think that our


labor ends when all bring their hymn books, if we do the scholars will become discouraged that no one takes any notice of their books, and they will, by and by, leave their hymn books at home again. Before the year is ended

we are in the same fix-the children have no books with them. We have to

where I was doing so was next to that of a dentist. The people in the hall decided that some one was having his teeth extracted. (Laughter.) When I was a little boy Sister Eliza R. Snow exercised the gift of tongues, and the interpretation was given by Sister Zina D. Young; and therein I was promised that I should be chosen to be one of the leaders of the Church, and I stand here tonight in fulfillment of that prediction. All the days of my life I have tried to sing "O My Father," written by Sister Eliza R. Snow. When I was a child, next to my own mother, no woman that ever lived took as much interest in me, gave me as much motherly advice or seemed to love me more

than did Sister Snow. I loved her with all my heart, and loved her hymn, "O I remarked My Father." some four months ago to Brother Horace S. Ensign that I would be willing to spend four or five months of my spare time if I could only learn to sing that one

keep constantly at it. The children hymn. He told me that any one could

are as full of human nature as we are. They must be noticed, and they need some encouragement. We Sunday school workers, the grown up men and women, like a little encouragement in our labors, once in a while. So do the children. They must be noticed and encouraged in their work as much as we older ones. God bless you all is my prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.


We find on the 137th page in the Doctrine and Covenants, the following:

"For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart, yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads."


I have, all the days of my life, enjoyed singing very much. When a little boy ten years of age I joined a singing class, and the professor told me that I could never learn to sing. Some years ago I had my character read by a phrenologist and he told me that I could sing, but he said he would like to be forty miles away while I was doing it. (Laughter.) I was practicing singing a few weeks ago in the Templeton building, and the room

learn to sing that had perseverance. I said to him if there was anything that I had it was perseverance. So I suggested that we sit down and I would take my first lesson of two hours on that song. I have been continuing the lessons on it ever since. (Laughter.) I have sung it as high as 115 times in one day. I have practiced on the "Doxology" between three and four hundred times, and there are only four lines, and I cannot sing it yet. (Laughter.) I traveled from Holbrook, Arizona, to St. John, with Brothers Clawson and Kimball, some months ago, and I sang one hundred times that day and gave them nervous prostration. (Laughter.) Now I tried to sing "O My Father" at Snowflake, Arizona, and I only got as far as the "O," and I did not get that right. (Laughter.) I have been delighted tonight with the songs of these little children, and I am delighted with the singing that we have in our Sunday schools. A few months before Brother Goddard died I asked him to let me copy the songs contained in his song book, and I told him that, though I could not sing, yet I would read them to the children and would perpetuate his memory by reading these songs. He made some excuse at the time, but shortly before


he died he presented me with a copy of his song book, written in his own hand-writing. I prize it more highly than money. I would not exchange it for its weight in gold. I intended to fulfil my promise, but when I learned, after five or six weeks of hard study, and after singing one hymn thousands of times, to sing a little I decided not to read these songs to the children, but to learn to sing them in the Sabbath Professor Heber S. Goddard is now teaching me to sing, "Who's on the Lord's side, Who?" I do not know how many months it will take him, but I propose to learn it some day, whether it takes six months or six years. (Laughter.) When I do, if I get the opportunity, I will sing it here. I make these remarks because I feel that we ought to encourage our young people to learn to sing. From the standpoint of a singer, I have lost thirty-three years of my life. I was told when ten years old that I could never learn to sing. I did not learn until forty-three years of age, and I have spent four or five months trying to learn to sing the hymns, "God moves in a mysterious way," and "O My Father." I have learned one because of the sentiments and my love for the author, and the other because the late President Wilford Woodruff loved it better than any other hymn in the hymn book. Now all singers say it is a mistake to speak before you sing, and therefore if I do not sing very well it is because I spoke first. (Laughter.)

Brother Grant here sang two stanzas of "O My Father."

Now, when Brother Goddard used to sing, when he got off he would try again. I have sung this two or three times with Brother Ensign, and I know that I am not singing it right; I have not pitched it right. Brother Goddard would try sometimes half a dozen times to pitch a song. think I had better try and get this in a different key. (Laughter).


Brother Grant then sang the concluding stanzas. (In the same key.)

Now I expect many of you would like to take a trip of thirty or forty miles when you leave here. (Laughter). Now some people will say Brother Grant has made an exhibition of him


self by singing here. I have but object tonight in speaking and singing, and that is to encourage the young men and young ladies not to waste thirty or forty years of their lives before undertaking to sing. If I had told the congregation that I had learned to sing and had not tried they would not have believed it; and many do not believe it now. (Laughter.) But the fact remains that by continued effort one can learn to sing that has no knowledge of music whatever, as was the case with me. I did not know one note from another, and could barely distinguish one tune from another. When I first began to learn to sing this song ("O My Father") I would get off on nearly every line, and did not know it. I have learned to know when I am off. I have been off two or three times tonight. (Laughter). I have been troubled this evening with stage fright and have been very nervous. I have sung this song at least twenty times in this building. Brother Ensign has been behind me to help me tonight. Probably next time I will not have this stage fright.

I want to repeat to the superintendents and teachers that the Lord says "the song of the heart" is a prayer to Him and that it shall be answered with a blessing upon our heads. I have a song in my home every morning, since I learned to sing, and I feel that it is a nice part of the family worship, and I feel that we can increase the capacity of our children to sing and to praise the Lord in the songs of Zion, if we will only teach them to sing over and over again. May the Lord bless you, I ask it in the name of Jesus. Amen.


"All Sunday School lessons should have a bearing on the Gospel or its principles.

We are engaged in the instruction of something like one hundred thousand children. When the population of the Latter-day Saints is taken into consideration, this is unquestionably the largest organization of children in the world, and our Sabbath school has its distinct objects, and, among the aims of our labors is the cultivation of the faith of the Latter-day Saints among

our children.

the Sabbath school teacher to rouse
within the hearts of his children those
intense feelings that are engendered by
a strong conviction of the truth of the
work as he has received a testimony of
it. And how we can teach the children
to feel to feel as we feel? In the first
place we must have strong convictions
ourselves, and we must be intensely in-
terested. It must be a work of love
and come from the heart. It must be
with ourselves a question of correct
living, and above all things we must
be pure in heart, pure in our thoughts
and undefiled in our feelings, constant-
ly, within ourselves, dedicating our lives
to God and to His work. The Sabbath
school teacher has to deal with child-
ren who are pure, who are pure from
their infancy, whose lives have not been
contaminated with the ways of the
world, and he should be a man, or she
should be a woman, qualified in every
respect to come in contact with the pur-
ity of youth, and for that reason there
should be a constant effort on our part
to so conduct our thoughts and feelings
that they shall be pure and sanctified
before God. Therein lies our safety;
therein lies our success. Every man
carries with him a certain influence.
There is within his character those
qualities that make up his general dis-
position. We cannot always define that
influence, but we know that every man
carries with him an influence coming
from his own individuality, and that in-
dividuality comes from his own
thoughts and feelings. Those subjects
upon which his thoughts dwell are the
subjects that reach, through the influ-
ence of our presence, the feelings of
others. Hence the necessity of correct
living. If there is a Sabbath school
teacher that is not constantly striving
to better his life, to purify his thoughts
and feelings, he is not fitted for the sub-
lime work of a teacher in the Sabbath
school. For that reason, therefore, we
should constantly keep before us the
thought, the idea, that we are directing
the feelings of the children, and that
convictions are forming within them
that will carry them through life, that
we are making impressions upon their
young minds that will be lasting, and
those impressions should be of the very
purest and chastest kind. I hope, the

It is our aim to teach them the principles of the Gospel as we have learned them, and to make of them followers of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and to inculcate a love of that religion as it has been taught to us and as we understand it. It is therefore desirable that all of our Sunday school lessons should have some direct bearing upon our faith. They should have those distinct qualities and characteristics that impress upon the little ones the thoughts and feelings associated with the religion of their parents. For that reason pamphlets have been prepared, courses of studies have been mapped out and instructions have been given in the methods of presentation, and yet there is found, very frequently, a disposition to make this work in the Sunday schools purely an argumentative work, and it would be oftimes very difficult to discern any difference in the qualities of those lessons as taught by us and those taught by other denominations in the world. It is distinctly our aim and purpose then, to give a direct quality and bearing to this work and make the lessons correspond with the spirit of the faith which we have. Naturally enough, therefore, we should adopt those means that will best aid us in this direction. We want to know, then, how to present a lesson from a "Mormon" point of view. We want to know how to give these lessons a direct application to our faith, and that is the object of my remarks tonight. I cannot enter into the details, as time will not permit, but I can mention two means by which this may be brought about. The first, and perhaps most important one is that we understand at the outset that the purpose of religion, the purpose of teaching religion, is that our children may be taught to feel as well as to think; for religion is not a system of philosophy, however much scientists or revolutionists may desire to reduce it to a scientific basis. Religion is the Gospel of correct living, thinking and feeling, of correct lives, if you please, including all that we are, including our feelings as well as our thoughts, and for that reason we ought to be instructed how to think correctly and how to feel correctly. It is particularly the duty of

fore, that the teachers will feel, when they have their classes before them, that they are to carry convictions to the hearts of their listeners, that they will remember that it is an important part of our teaching to instruct the children how to feel as well as how to think, for both are necessary in a complete life. Then again the Sabbath school teacher should be familiar with the history of the Church. If the Sabbath school teacher has had experience as a missionary he will find striking comparisons between the sayings of the ancient Apostles and Prophets and the Apostles and Prophets of the present time. The missionary will find that the conditions of life among ancient Israel were very similar


to the conditions of life among us. He will find many striking peculiarities in the system of worship of the apostolic age that are also characteristic of our own system worship at the present time. In other words, the Sabbath school teacher should be familiar with our own history, with the history of the Church, its organization, the labors of the Elders abroad, and so on, that in bringing up these lesons either from the Old or New Testament he can point constantly to the parallel existing between ancient and modern Israel, and in this way he will have constant illustrations that will enable the scholars to understand how we are like ancient Israel, for if one thing has impressed the Elder in his labors it is the great similarity that exists between us and ancient Israel, the similarity of organization, teachings, etc. The student should understand that if persecution overtook us it also overtook them; that if we were unpopular, they were unpopular; that if they had Prophets and Apostles, we have them likewise. The children should understand that if they believed in continuous revelation, we believe in continuous revelation, and in this manner bring constantly to their attention the similarity that exists between them and us, between our methods and theirs, our

lives and theirs, our missionary work and theirs. This similarity may also be shown forth in teaching them geography. The location of ancient Israel was among the mountain tops, as is the case with us; their lakes resem

our lakes; their lake Mermom our

Sevier Lake, their Galilee our Utah Lake, their Dead Sea our Salt Lake, their River Jordan our River Jordan. The impressions and ideas that they imbibed and that grew up in them on account of their homes and surroundings are peculiar to the Latter-day Saints today. All these things may be shown, and the constant comparisons that may be made in teaching these lessons to the Sabbath school children may reveal and will reveal to the minds of the children the great similarity between us, and these evidences will actually carry with them a conviction of the truth of our religion, and they will be more firmly convinced of its truthfulness than ever before. I hold, then, that these two means may, and ought to be, adopted everywhere in promulgating our doctrines and faith among the children, whatever the subjects may be in the Sabbath school. We are teaching the Old and New Testaments as well as our Church works, and it is as necessary, therefore, that these books-the Old and New Testamentsshould be as valuable in establishing the truth and the evidences of that we believe, as those books known to us as the Doctrine and Covenants and the Book of Mormon.

I take it that the purpose or aim in asking me to speak upon this subject tonight was to call your attention to the disposition, on the part of some of the teachers to make our exercises in the Sunday school argumentative rather than to keep them in the line of our faith, that we shall have a distinct purpose in view in the education of our children in the Sunday school, and that purpose is to make every one of our Sunday school children firm in the faith of our fathers and faithful and lasting Saints. God bless you. Amen.

Miss Judith Anderson sang in good style, a contralto solo entitled, "The Children's Friend," which was much ap. preciated, showing a well trained and beautiful voice.

Elder John M. Mills read the program of the exercises of the annual Sunday school Stake conferences of 1900.


If you remember, one year ago last November, we had a Sunday school con. vention which lasted two days. The

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