120 years ago today - Thursday, Nov 20, 1902

[Rudger Clawson]
The council took up a question from the Y.M.M.I.A general board, as follows: Apostle Merrill had recently advised the young ladies of the Benson Stake to meet in the afternoon instead of the evening as heretofore. The young ladies were rather opposed to this change as it would interfere with the preliminary program provided in the manual for conjoint use by both organizations. The question to be determined was this, should the young ladies be required to hold their meetings in the afternoon, thus interfering with the plan followed generally throughout the church or should they meet in the evening? Apostle Merrill said in defense of his position that the young ladies—his own daughters among them—through attendance at said meetings were often out until 11 and 12 o'clock at night, and he objected to it. He referred to the many evils that usually grow

out of the habit of keeping late hours. Apostle Jno. H. Smith spoke strongly in regard to the many evils practiced among the young people of the church. He endorsed Apostle Merrill's position. He thought some steps should be taken to stem the tide of evil.

Apostle Clawson said that he appreciated the fact that evils existed among the young, but he did not think that this unfortunate condition was enhanced by the Mutual Improvement organizations. He believed that the objection offered by Apostle Merrill might be met in part, if not altogether, by commencing the meetings at a uniformly early hour—6:30 or 7 p.m. instead of 8 and 8:30 p.m. Pres. Smith expressed the view that the sexual evils in our midst did not arise from or because of the M.I.A. meetings, but rather from other causes. These organizations certainly have a restraining influence upon the minds of the young.

After some further discussion, Apostle Clawson moved that the general board of the Y.M.M.I.A. be instructed to make a special effort to establish a uniformly early hour for commencing the evening meetings throughout the stakes of Zion. The motion was seconded, but was not carried for the reason that Pres. Smith suggested that a committee be appointed to investigate the matter and report. Suggestion approved.

[Stan Larson (editor), A Ministry of Meetings: The Apostolic diaries of Rudger Clawson, Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, Salt Lake City, 1993, http://bit.ly/rudgerclawson]

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