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DESERET SUNDAY SCHOOL UNION.
Its Semi-Annual General Conference.
The general semi-annual conference this work throughout the Church has of the Sunday schools of the Church of great cause to be encouraged at the Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was results of their labors. The Sunday held at the Tabernacle Salt Lake City, school work is prospering, and, it is Sunday evening, Oct. 7, 1900, at 7 enlisting, as it should do, the energy, o'clock. General Superintendent Geo. the talent and the skill of a great many Q. Cannon presiding. There were pres- people who labor in this cause, promptent of the general superintendency, ed entirely by motives of love-love for Geo. Q. Cannon and Karl G. Maeser; the salvation of their fellow's. most of the members of the Deseret I pray that while we are together this Sunday School Union Board, several of evening, we may have the Spirit of God the Apostles, and a number of Stake resting upon us, and if there are any superintendents, ward officers and Sun- here who have any subject that they day school workers. The conference would like talked about, we would be was opened by the Tabernacle choir, glad to get hints from them, or have conducted by Prof. Evan Stephens, them come to the stand and mention it, singing, “For the Strength of the Hills so that the subject, if deemed worthy We Bless Thee.”
of attention, may receive some comPrayer was offered by Elder John W. ment from the brethren of the Board. I Taylor. The choir and congregation ask God to bless us in the name of sang, “Now let us rejoice in the day of Jesus. Amen. salvation."
ELDER JOHN M. MILLS. General Secretary Horace S. Ensign
My brethren and sisters: As Lattercalled the roll, which was responded to
day Saints we are all striving to the by thirty-two Stakes and the Iosepa
same end. Our duty here upon earth is colony.
to live in such a way that when we
have finished our work here, we may GENERAL SUPERINTENDENT GEORGE Q. CANNON.
go back into the presence of God. We
have various organizations to help us to We desire whatever may be said this this end, above all, we have a story to evening by those who shall speak to be tell that no other people can tell; and said briefly and to the point. There are unless we are ready and willing to tell several subjects that will be that story, we are not doing our duty. brought before the meeting, and we We should not be of that class of people desire to get through with our business that Rousseau spoke of when he said, so that we can dismiss at the proper "Some men live to be a hundred years time.
old who die at their birth." We ought It is very gratifying to see such a always to be alive to do our duty; and large congregation here this evening. It if we do this we shall find that our is an evidence of the interest that is work will be well accomplished and we taken in the great work of training our shall reach the end we seek. children in the principles that belong The aim in a Sunday school is to to our religion and of preparing them make Latter-day Saints. If we are goby proper instruction for the duties of ing to make Latter-day Saints of the life as Latter-day Saints. We have children, we certainly ought to be Latevery reason to be encouraged. Every ter-day Saints ourselves. Teachers man and woman that is engaged in ought to live up to the minor Cuties.
They should not delve into the myster- from fifty to hundred miles to ies.
These minor duties form a good attend Stake conferences; and foundation for our characters; and if there are usually enough people in we work harmoniously in this respect, these remote parts to form good diswe shall be able to accomplish that trict conferences. Now if we will all which we desire. In our Stake confer- be energetic in our work in the Stake ences. which are held annually, it is conferences, and in the district confernecessary that all officers participate ences, and in our ward Sunday schools, in that work; that representatives be we shall see unparalleled improvement sent from every Sunday school to the in our Sunday school work. If we will annual stake conference, in order that live up to the minutest duties, there is they may get the instructions that are no doubt that we will reach the great given there, and take them back to the end in view. But although this is our various districts from which they come. duty; although we are expected to do But even in this case, not all of the all this work; although we are expectpeople in the Stake can go to the an- ed to go through this life and perform nual Stake conferences; and for that all our duties, still we have our own reason, in some Stakes, particularly in free agency. As officers and teachers the Sanpete Stake, the Weber Stake,
we can do as we please. We should and the Utah Stake of Zion, there have not stand in the road of the progress been district conferences appointed, and of the children placed under our charge. in these district conferences the same
If we can't keep pace with the work of work, largely, is taken up that is taken God, we should step aside, and let the up in the Stake conferences. In these
great work go on. If we do wrong we district conferences more people can be shall have to meet the consequences of enlisted. All of the people of the dis
our wrong doing. If we do right we trict in which the conference is held, shall have our reward. can attend, making comparisons and witnessing the exercises. The exercises "Know this, that every soul is free,
To choose his life and what he'll be; to be rendered here are the best to be
For this eternal truth is given, found in all of the schools of the dis- That God will force no man to heaven. trict, and the superintendents, seeing these, may introduce many things He'll call, persuade, direct aright
Bless him with wisdom, love and lightwhich will improve their own schools.
In nameless ways be good and kind, And always only the best of the exer
But never force the human wind. cises of all the districts ought to be
Freedom and reason make us men; brought before the Saints in the Stake
Take these away, what are we then? conference, and then the Stake officers, Mere animals, and just as well visiting all the district conferences, are The beasts may think of heaven or enabled to see the work that is done in
hell." the various parts of their Stakes better
Let us, then, brethren and sisters, than they can see it in the Stake annual be energetic in the great work the Lord conference; and the members of the
has called us to perform through the Deseret Sunday School Union Board authorities of the Church, and always who visit the district conferences can
be ready to work. I ask that the Lord see the work that is done in these vari
will bless us in our endeavors, in the ous districts. In the central Stakes the
name of Jesus. Amen. work done in the district conferences has been very effective in rousing peo
ASSISTANT SUPT. KARL G. ple to their duties, and this work would
MAESER. be even more effective in the outlying Stakes, if district conferences were held My dear fellow laborers, among the regularly. The general board would many features in the Sunday school therefore urge the holding of such con- work, the importance of concert recitaferences. We have found in our visits tion is, in some of our Sunday schools, to Stake conferences that in some cases not sufficiently appreciated, and I have there is a very poor representation from been instructed by President Cannon to remote sections of the Stake. In lay this matter before this conference, people have to
It is desired by the Sunday School
Union Board that concert recitation be pupils of the whole school, about in the practiced in every Sunday school same way as the singing does. It is a throughout our Union every Sunday, means of disciplining, harmonizing, and for five minutes or so, before the differ- subduing the restless heterogenious ent departments disperse for their reci. spirits of which a school is composed. tations, that all may be together, the Objections have been made by many theological, second intermediate, first of our professional teachers to this intermediate and primary, and all have concert recitation. They think that it the benefit of the training of that par
is too mechanical. Let it be so. If ticular feature. Many of our Sunday
we should not teach any religious prinschool superintendents do not appreci- ciple to the children until they are cap. ate the importance of this feature. A able of understanding it—if that princoncert recitation has the tendency of ciple should be adopted, there would be photographing, so to speak, the subject
a danger of it leading our children on the minds of the scholars, so that away from the Lord. We could not they do not forget it. They are carried
teach them to pray.
We should not along with it, but it is not desirable have the little child, three or four years to make the exercise monotonous by a
old, kneeling at its mother's knee, saytoo frequent repetition of the same sub- ing its evening prayer. We do not ject. The Sunday School Union Board catechise the child; we do not analyze have recommended six subjects, to start
the meaning of that prayer. We teach with: The Lord's Prayer, the Ten Com
the child to repeat it, although it does mandment, the Articles of Faith, the
not understand it thoroughly. If we words by which the bread and the water should wait until the children under
not of the Sacrament are consecrated, the stand all the prayer, we should Testimony of the Three Witnesses and teach them to pray,nor teach them anythe presentation of the Authorities of
thing about God, nor the Ten Comthe Church as published in the Supple- mandments, nor anything of the Di
These are six ment to the Leaflets.
nature, until they are four
teen or fifteen subjects giving material for six weeks
years old, when
they would in succession, one subject each Sunday.
away and Then they can all be repeated three or
have no taste for Divine things. This four times without becoming monoton.
is a wrong principle altogether. Teach ous and wearisome to the pupils. In
them from the beginning. I could bear regard to the Ten Commandments and
my testimony in regard to these mat
ters, from my the
But Articles of Faith, the
own experience. Sun
keep concert recitations up, my fellow day School Board desires that the
teachers, from one Sunday to another. number of each of the Commandments
Commence with those six subjects and of the Articles of Faith should
which the Sunday School Union has be repeated by the schonlthe "first”
recommended. Perhaps a passage from commandment, the "second," the
the scriptures may be judiciously in"third," and so also, the “first” article, troduced by the superintendent once in the "second," and the "third," and so
a while. A passage of scripture, a short on. It would be well if our teachers
one, of two or three lines-not moreconducting the concert exercises would
will occasionally answer for a concert first familiarize themselves with the
recitation. Make your school familiar subjects. Do not stand before the class with good passages of scripture, with and make mistakes. As long as you the sayings of wise men, of servants cannot trust yourself, keep your card
of God. These are the subjects sugbefore you; but let the teacher try as
gested for concert recitation, and the soon as he can to stand before the class
more you practice these, the more good without a note, a book, or a card, so you will find growing out of it. that he may set an example to the pu- A question is asked: "Is it preferable pils. That is what we want them to to repeat the same exercise in concert learn and know, we want to first learn three or four times consecutively, or and to know ourselves. There is this change the subject each Sunday?" If I further benefit to be derived, a concert have not been perfectly plain on that
Change the subject from one Sunday to ity to appreciate and love another; otherwise it would be monot- the words, and I
am deteronous. One Sunday recite in concert the mined to learn to pray to the Lord in Lord's Prayer, the following Sunday the the songs of Zion. My determination Ten Commandments, the next the Arti- to learn is such that I have sung some cles of Faith, and so on. There are of our hymns 115 times in one day. subjects for six Sundays for them, and I have been appointed tonight to then take them over again two or three speak on Cottage Sunday schools. I times, in order not to become monoton- wish to say to the Latter-day Saints ous. The children will thus be made that wherever there is opportunity to quite familiar with them. Any superin- have cottage Sunday schools, and get tendent may introduce other subjects,
our young people to attend, who are as for instance extracts from the Ser
not now attending our regular Sunday mon
the Mount, verses from schools, we want them organized. We standard hymns of the Church, etc.
want all the young people to have the
benefits of attending school. We don't APOSTLE HEBER J. GRANT.
want a single, solitary one of our childI will say that six months ago I ren neglected. We understand that tried to sing "O, My Father," and people who are not of us are estabfailed. I am going to try again, and
lishing schools in private homes. It if I fail tonight, I will try again each
is said that the Catholics boast that if six months from now. (Brother Grant they can have the children to educate then sang the hymn, "O, My Father,"
until they are thirteen years of age, through, with organ accompaniment by they will defy the world to turn them Prof. Stephens.)
away from Catholicism. If they can
make this boast, then if we as fathers PRESIDENT GEORGE Q. CANNON. and mothers and teachers in the Sabbath
schools do our duty, we can defy the I think Brother Grant's perserverance
world to turn our little ones away from in learning to sing is something very
the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Everv misadmirable. I suppose if some of us who
sionary who is sent out into the world have met with him in council and heard
is instructed by the Apostles that, under him join with us in singing had been
no circumstances are they to baptize a asked if it would be possible for him
man's wife without the consent of her ever to be able to do what he has done husband, and under no circumstances tonight, I think the universal reply
are they to baptize children without the would have been in the negative. But
consent of the parents. We do not send he has persevered, and I think it is as
men abroad to steal children from the good an illustration of the success of people of the world; but the missionarperserverance as I ever met with or ies from the world come here, and they heard of in this Church; and I trust he
say, there is no need of getting after will continue, for he takes great these old hard headed “Mormons," as joyment in singing, and he certainly we can do nothing with them, we will has made very wonderful improvement have to work with their children. Let considering the difficulties he has had the Latter-day Saints be alive and lookto contend with.
ing after every one of their children,
and then there will be no danger of APOSTLE HEBER J. GRANT.
their being stolen; and one of the best It is said in the Book of Doctrine & ways is to have these cottage Sunday Covenants, that the Lord delights in schools where there is no opportunity the song of the heart, "yea, the song for our children to get to the regular of the righteous is a prayer unto me,
Sunday schools. God bless you. Amen. and shall be answered with a blessing
ELDER JOSEPH W. SUMMERHAYS.