From p. 102 of An Abundant Life: The Memoirs of Hugh B. Brown:
(Brown addressing a group of 75 LDS servicemen during World War II):
Upon assembling, I asked the men present how many of them had been on missions. Fully 50 percent of them raised their hands. I then designated six of them to come up and prepare and administer the sacrament. I appointed another six to sit on the opposite side of the stand and be prepared to speak. I looked at my minister friend, who was sitting on my right hand, and found he had his mouth open with surprise and amazement that I had the audacity to call young men out of a military unit to become suddenly ministers of the gospel.
I then asked what they would like to sing, and almost with one voice they replied, “Come, Come, Ye Saints.” I asked if anyone present had ever led the music, and again over 50 percent of them raised their hands. I selected one of them to take charge of the singing and asked if anyone could play a portable organ. A good percentage of them had had some experience in that field, and I appointed one to play the organ.
We had no books, we had no leaflets or anything else to refer to for the words of the hymn, but those young men sang the four verses of “Come, Come, Ye Saints” without a quiver. [Italics mine]
From “Confessions of a Pious Heretic: A Conversation with
McMurrin: “Darryl Chase, who was later president of the university in
The campus pastors, of which he was one…and the student organizations, were going to have a meeting, to deal with the problem of what should be done about housing for the migrant workers in Arizona. Now this is way back in the 30s… The migrant workers were living in shacks, many of them made of cardboard. I saw them, it was a terrible condition. Now this student organization was going to have a meeting to discuss what should be done. And they were arranging for the program, and they asked Darryl Chase,
‘How many Mormon students will be there?’
‘Oh,’ he said, ‘None of them.’
They said, ‘No, you mean to tell me, none of your students will come out, aren’t they interested in the migrant workers?’
‘Well,’ he says, ‘I’ll tell you. They’re not going to come out and talk about it, but if you should decide to build some houses for these migrant workers, they’ll all be there. They’ll be there with their saws and hammers.’
Now that’s one side of Mormonism, you see, that is a source of great strength, that is, the capacity to do things. It’s a marvelous thing what the Church does, there’s no need of my commenting on it, because it’s perfectly obvious to all of us.” [Italics mine]
Also from “Confessions of a Pious Heretic”:
McMurrin:“My wife and I, we have a cabin up on
He looked in the car, looked around at both of us, and said, ‘Are you folks members of the Church?’
And Natalie said, ‘Oh yes, we’re members of the Church.’
She said, ‘Are you homesick?’
Oh, he was homesick.
‘Where are you from?’
He was from
It’s kind of silly, but this event with this little kid had quite an impact on me.
Now when Natalie said, ‘We’re members of the Church,’ he said: ‘Good! Good!’
She said, ‘Now, you don’t have to worry because all of the people you see up here are members of the Church.
He said, ‘Oh, good.’
Then he turned around and went back.
Now to me, this really indicates something that is very real and very central and very precious about Mormonism. You see, it’s this sense of belonging to something. To be a member of the Church is like being a member of the family and it’s more than a religion in the ordinary sense. It’s more than the acceptance of religious dogma and religious ritual. And it’s more than simply being a cultural Mormon. Now I’m a cultural Mormon; I don’t believe much of the teaching of the Church on matters of doctrine, but I certainly am as much affected by the existence of the Church as anybody that’s in it.
The strength of Mormonism lies in the fact that it can be a haven for people, as it was for this little Mexican kid. It didn’t matter who we were, if we were members of the Church, then he felt good.” [Italics mine]
He gets choked up as he tells these stories. I’ll admit they brought a tear to my eye too. They express something I’ve felt growing up in the
Mormon author Levi Peterson describes one day seeing the sun glinting off the Angel Moroni atop the
I’m interested in hearing what you all have to say about this. John Hamer has remarked on this site (in passing) that his impressions, reinforced by conversations with Mormon scholar Jan Shipps, are that Mormon ethnic identity is declining. I still feel as ethnically Mormon as I did in my youth. Have you felt like me or
Discuss, my friends: