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SUNDAY SCHOOL JUBILEE.
SEMI-CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION OF THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE
SUNDAY SCHOOLS OF THE CHURCH.
The general jubilee celebration com
On the stand were, of the general aumemorative of the establishment of the thorites of the Church: Presidents Sunday schools of the Latter-day Lorenzo Snow, George Q. Cannon and Saints, in the Rocky Mountains, was
Joseph F. Smith; Patriarch John held in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Smith; members of the Council of Utah, Sunday evening, October 8, 1899, the Twelve Apostles, Francis M. Lythis year being the fiftieth anniversary
man, John Henry Smith, Heber J. of the organization of the first Sunday Grant, George Teasdale, Anthon H. school in Utah.
Lund, Matthias F. Cowley, Abraham 0. The large Tabernacle was filled to its Woodruff, and Rudger Clawson; memutmost capacity, before the opening bers of the First Council of Seventies, hour, chiefly by Sabbath school work- Seymour B. Young, C. D. Fjeldsted, ers, and very many people were unable George Reynolds, J. Golden Kimball, to gain ingress. In addition to the gen- Rulon S. Wells and Joseph W. McMureral decorations of the building, there rin, and Presiding Bishop Wm. B.
placed in promiment positions Preston. large portraits of the Prophet Joseph Of the Deseret Sunday School Union Smith, the Patriarch Hyrum Smith, officers there were: George Q. Cannon, and Presidents Brigham Young, John
general superintendent; Karl G. Taylor, Wilford Woodruff and Lorenzo Maeser, assistant general superintenSnow; also a heroic bust picture of
dent; George Reynolds, general treasRichard Ballantyne; life size portraits urer; George D. Pyper, general secreof General Superintendent George Q. tary, and Leo Hunsaker, assistant genCannon, President Joseph F. Smith, eral secretary; of the members of the Elders George Goddard, John Morgan Sunday School Union general board, and most of the members of the Quor- George Q. Cannon, Karl G. Maeser, um of the Apostles and Deseret Sunday George Reynolds, Thomas C. Griggs, School Union Board. Besides the gen- Joseph W. Summerhays, Levi W. Richeral and Stake officers of the Sunday ards, Francis M. Lyman, Heber J. school organization in places reserved, Grant, Joseph M. Tanner, George there were also seats reserved for and Teasdale, and Joseph F. Smith; aids to occupied by those who had been mem- the general board, L. John Nuttall, bers of the first Sunday school, those James W. Ure, John F. Bennett, John who had been Sunday school workers M. Mills, Wm. B. Dougall, Wm. D. forty-five, forty, thirty-five, thirty and Owen and Seymour B. Young. twenty-five years, and for the hus- General Superintendent George Q. bands, wives, and children of members Cannon presided. of the first Sunday school, and reciters, At 7 p. m. Held's Military band, from different nations, of the Articles which had kindly volunteered its serof Faith, prize winners, awarding com- vices for the occasion, and which ocmittees, the blind and deaf representa- cupied a place in front of the choir tives; also the families of the late El- seats, played an overture by Suppe, ders Richard Ballantyne, George God- “Poet and Peasant." dard and John Morgan.
At 7:20 p. m. General Superintendint George Q. Cannon announced the open- Sunday schools, or with the lack of ining hymn, “Our God, we Raise to terest manifested by those who ought to Thee,” which was sung by the Tab- take interest in it. Everybody recogernacle choir and the congregation, un- nizes the value of the Sunday school, der the leadership of Prof. Evan and of its teachings, but there remains Stephens, Prof. Jos. J. Daynes being a great deal yet to be done. As Sunday the organist.
school workers we should not be content Prayer was offered by Assistant Gen- until we have brought all the children eral Superintendent Karl G. Maeser. of the land into the Sunday school and
The Tabernacle choir sang the hyinn, under its influence, so that these little “For the Strength of the Hills we fellows that now grow wild may be Bless Thee."
humanized and made to feel the responThe roll of Stakes in the Church was sibility that will rest upon them when then called by Secretary George D. they grow to manhood. I am sure that Pyper, there being present representa- everyone that labors in the Sunday tives from all the forty Stakes of school feels the importance of training Zion, as follows: Alberta, Bannock, their children and getting them to obBear Lake, Beaver Bingham, Box
serve the Sabbath day and to refrain elder, Cache, Cassia, Davis, Emery, from visiting the street corners, behayFremont, Juab, Juarez, Kanab, Malad, ing rudely and boisterously, or going Maricopa, Millard, Morgan, Oneida, fishing or hunting on the day which Panguitch, Parowan, Pocatello, Salt has been set apart by the Almighty for Lake, San Juan,
Luis, San- His worship, and which ought to be pete, Sevier, Snowflake, St. George, sacred in all our hearts. Our children St. John, St. Joseph, Star Valley, Sum- should be impressed with the sacredness mit, Tooele, Uintah, Wasatch, Utah, of this day. I hope to see the time when Wayne, Weber, and Woodruff.
we shall have less of this unruly eleGENERAL SUPERINTENDENT GEO. ment in our streets and in our homes, Q. CANNON
and when our children shall become
students in the Sunday school. The then spoke as follows:
Sunday school is dear to the hearts of "It is gratifying to know that every
those children who do attend. They feel Stake has a representative here this
interested in it, and the influence of our evening. “I see that I am on the program for teachings in the Sunday school is going
to make, it may be said, a new generasome introductory remarks. The time
tion. It is but a few years from childis so short that what I shall say will
hood to manhood, and in our hands, be very brief.
Sunday school teachers and superin“I am sure that everyone present
tendents, is the formation of the charmust be profoundly impressed with this
acter of the rising generation. As we assemblage of people this evening. Of
impress them with the proper feelings the many sights we have had of a
and thoughts and teach them correct gratifying character, connected with the habits, so will they grow up to manSunday schools, this certainly excels hood and womanhood, and their influthem all. It is exceedingly delightful
ence will be felt for good wherever they to see the interest that is taken by the
move. whole people in this grand work. The
"I pray God to bless this Sunday Sunday school has become an institu
school movement, to bless every man tion that is very dear to the hearts
and woman who labors in this cause of this entire people. Every day that
and who devotes himself and herself passes impresses its importance more
to the promotion of righteousness in the and more on the minds of all. Every midst of the rising generation. I ask parent that has right conceptions con
this blessing in the name of Jesus. cerning the future of their children, Amen." feels a deep and abiding interest in the Sunday school. The Sunday School
ELDER FRANCIS M. LYMAN Union board has very little occasion to read the following paper: find fault with the management of the "Today we celebrate the Jubilee of the
establishment of Sunday Schools in moved his two wagons there and about these mountain vales. In attempting to the last of May commenced to gather briefly review the progress and develop- materials and erect a building that was ment of the Sunday School cause among to be his home and school house. From the Latter-day Saints for half a cen- then until early winter he labored to actury past we cannot hope to more than complish this purpose. The rock was glance at the most prominent events hauled from Red Butte, and adobes and refer to a few of the pioneers and from the old adobe yard, the lumber leaders in this great work. Fifty years from Mill Creek canyon, which he paid ago the Saints, after being driven from for by hauling the logs on shares. Extheir homes in the East, were settled cepting the doors and windows he did here in peace but not in a land of the work of building with his own plenty. In search of that peace and re- hands. In front of his lot he placed a ligious liberty they had come to a land neat pole fence. Not unmindful of the dry and barren, a land that was for- good influence of pleasant surroundings bidding to all who did not put their and with all other labors before him, in trust in the true and living God, and the spring he procured cottonwood show forth their faith by hard and per- trees from City Creek canyon and sistent toil. Yet amid the struggles and planted some for shade in front of the privations of pioneer existence they did lot and others for a small grove near not forget the education of their child- his future school and home. The house,
But how meagre were their facil. when finished, was built of adobes, with ities for education then compared with a dirt roof, the windows and paneled those we now possess! More than three doors were painted; in size it was 18 years had passed since they left their feet wide by 20 feet long outside, bebeautiful city of Nauvoo, on the banks sides a smaller room used by the family of the Mississippi, and set their faces for a living room. The school room, towards the wilderness to find a haven for those times, was well lighted. The of rest in the wilds of the Rocky Moun
seats were long benches, made of slabs, tains. All their supplies had to be haul. extending the width of the room. ed by team more than a thousand miles.
“On the morning of the second SunTheir houses were necessarily small and day in December, 1849, all was ready. poorly lighted. They had but few books; He with his wife and babe and the and, as a people, their numbers were members of the school were gathered small.
there. In their presence he solemnly "While the Saints were in the midst of dedicated by prayer the room for the these adverse circumstances, Brother purpose for which it was designed. The Richard Ballantyne, then in the prime Sunday school numbered about 50 puof life, saw and felt the need of religi- pils, among whom were members of the ous instruction being imparted to the families of Apostles John Taylor, Wilyoung. When he arrived here in 1848 ford Woodruff, Parley P. Pratt, Frankhe settled in the Old Fort, and while lin D. Richards, and others. They furstill there, in the month of May, 1849, nished their own books. The lessons he formed the purpose of starting a were from the New Testament, Book Sunday school for the education of the of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenyouth in the principles of the Gospel ants, mostly from the New Testament. and a knowledge of the scriptures. In The children were willing to attend. speaking of this he said, “That was the They were seldom absent although the main purpose,-to teach them the Gos- school began at 8 o'clock in the mornpel, because I felt it was very precious ing, closing in time for those who to me and I thought it would be precious wished to attend the general meeting to them, and it was my duty to do of the Saints. His Bishop, John Murthat.' Having suitable place in dock, to whom he was second counselor, which to carry out his noble design, he was in hearty accord with him in all determined to build one. He had a city his efforts. He carried on the school lot in the Fourteenth Ward,-now des himself successfully for about a year. ignated as the northeast corner of First In the meantime the Fourteenth Ward West and Third South Streets. He had erected a meeting house, and in the
fall of 1850 the Sunday school moved various points connected with the SunInto it. Bro. Ballantyne was the Sup- day school movement, and the cause of erintendent, assisted by Bro. Joseph education in general. He was followed Horne, Bro. Phineas Richards and sev- by Elder George A. Smith and George eral teachers. When Bro. Ballantyne Q. Cannon. The latter stated that left on a three years' mission to Hin- Elder David O. Calder had kindly voldustan, in 1852, Bro. Horne succeeded unteered to teach the tonic sol-fa syshim as superintendent of the Sunday tem of music to the Sunday school school.
teachers, as soon as a sufficient num“In succeeding years, many others in- ber came forward to form a class. spired with a similar interest in the “It was not until 1872 that the Suneducation of the children, became day School Union assumed a more compioneers or leaders in Sunday school pact and definite shape. In the June work in other wards and settlements. of that year a committee, appointed at Bro. Ballantyne, after his return home, a meeting of Sunday school officers and organized a Sunday school in 1856, in teachers, and composed of Brothers the Fifteenth Ward, which he thought George Goddard, John Morgan and was one of the best he had ever seen, John B. Maiben waited upon General because of the outpouring of the Holy Superintendent George Q. Cannon, preSpirit upon it, and especially in the sented the minutes of the meeting for spirit of testimony that rested upon the his approval and invited his counsel pupils. Thus other Surday schools were and co-operation in bringing about a organized and maintained amid the wider concert of action to give greater many privations, hardships and charges impetus and solidity to the efforts of that marked the early settlements of the Union. The result was that from the Saints. With the increase of pop- that time the efforts and labors of the ulation and facilities for education the Union assumed a more practical shape, interest in Sunday schools has grown and thereafter monthly meetings of the until a ward is not considered complete teachers and superintendents were held without one or more live Sunday schools in Salt Lake City with great regularity; in it.
at first in the City Hall, then in the 14th "On the 4th of November, 1867, a Ward Assembly Rooms, afterwards in meeting of those interested in the Sun- the Council House, and still later in the day schools of the Saints was held at Assembly Hall. These meetings conthe Thirteenth Ward Assembly Hall, tinued to grow in proportions and interSalt Lake City, for the purpose of or- est until they were among the most ganizing a Sunday School Union. This popular and most largely attended of was the first meeting held for that pur- any of the assemblies of the people of pose. There not being so many present Zion.
was anticipated, the meeting ad- "In reading the minutes of the regu'ar journed until the 11th of that month at meetings of the Union, it is exceedingly the same place. On the latter occasion interesting to note that the same subthere was a large attendance; among jerts that are still considered among the those present were Presidents Brigham most important were then canvassed Young and Daniel H. Wells, also Apost. with much vigor, and that the instucles George A. Smith. Wilford Woodruff, tions given were, to a very great extent, George Q. Cannon, and Brigham Young the same, slightly differing according Jr. At this meeting the first steps were to altered circumstances, as those that taken towards a permanent organiza- it is still found necessary to inculcate. tion, and Elder George Q. Cannon was The subjects of punctuality, the grading elected president, with a secretary and of the schools, prizes, rewards, the nec. two corresponding secretaries. A com- pesity of readers adjusted to the use of mittee of three were also appointed to the Sabbath schools of the Saints, of a examine and decide upon books suit- collection of hymns and songs composed able for use in our Sunday schools. by members of the Church, with suit
"During the meeting President Brig- able music: of a primary catechism, and ham Young spoke at considerable the publication of other suitable works, length, instructing those present on keeping better registers of attendance,
improved records, correct and punctual It was directed that this should be done reports, selection of suitable books for by the Bishops or under their direction. Sunday school libraries, securing larger The effects of this counsel, where caraverage attendance, and the use of the ried out in the spirit of the instructions scriptures for text books in the classes- given, have been marked for good. A all these and many other subjects that better understanding of the divine misstill have to be considered, are to be sion of our Lord and Savior Jesus found among the teachings of the gen- Christ and of His atonement for the eral superintendency and others of the sins of the world has been given to our brethren from the time that these meet- children, and they are constantly reings were first held. These instructions minded by partaking of these emblems, have not been in vain. Not only has together with suitable hymns sung, and the Union increased in numbers, year instructions given on this subject at by year, but in compactness also, and a these times, of the necessity of honorgreater uniformity has been reached in ing their Savior, of reverencing His the methods of teaching and in the name, and obeying His laws. modes of conducting the schools. At
"Nor in our review of what the Union first there was considerable diversity of has accomplished must we forget the operation in the Sunday schools situat- impetus it has given to the development ed in the various Stakes of Zion; but of musical talent in the midst of the today, through experience, better me
Saints. We feel satisfied, we can say thods have been attained which secure without undue vanity, that no single greater uniformity and more satisfact
agency has done so much in this direcory results. Class readers, such as tion as it has and the results are eminthose used in the day schools, and which ently satisfactory, showing as a people, were once so widely used in the Sunday we have many among us whose comschools are now almost entirely exclud- positions are worthy of high praise, ed from the latter, and in their place we
with a constantly developing standard have the First and Second Readers pub- of excellence. The means adopted by lished by the Union.
the Union to accomplish this have been "The organization of schools into the various. Among others, the constant Union for some time proceeded slowly inculcation of the necessity of good In the more remote settlements, but singing in the Sunday schools by ail in the more complete organizations of the teachers and pupils; the establishthe Stakes of Zion, which took place a ment of the Deseret Sunday School short time previous to the death of Musical Union and the organization of President Brigham Young, was found the Union's brass band; the holding, for the means by which the good influence many years, commencing in 1874, of of the Union could be extended to the musical festivals in the Large Tabermost distant schools, through the pre- nacle in Salt Lake City, an example siding officers of those various Stakes; which has been followed in many of and Stake superintendents of Sunday our other large settlements; the awardschools are now almost invariably ap- ing of prizes for the best original muspointed when the organization of ical compositions and poetry; the publiStake is perfected; so that, today, in cation in the Juvenile Instructor of every Stake of Zion, as there is a Stake numerous pieces of original music; the president, there is also a Stake superin- issuance of scores of thousands of musitendent of Sunday schools, subject to cal cards; later of a Union Music Book, the president of the Stake, with assis- then a Hymn Book, and still later the tant officers to look after and care for publication of the Song Book and the the Sunday school interests in that Hymn Book now in use. Of these sevStake.
eral editions have been already publish"In the year 1877 a new feature of ed. much importance was introduced, by "With pleasure we refer to the value direction of the First Presidency of the that the Juvenile Instructor, edited by Church, into the services of the Sunday Elder George Q. Cannon, has been in schools. We refer to the administration aiding the great Sunday school work. of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper. Its advent in January, 1866, antedate!