Author: Ardis E. Parshall

Retiring Toscanini

We are a storytelling people. Our Sunday lessons are as often built around a scriptural episode as around an abstract principle. Our General Conference talks and magazine articles are brightened by stories. Our family reunions are celebrations of family stories. We want stories from our returning missionaries, not exhortations on repentance and baptism.

Sarah Day Hall: Southern Mother in Israel

American Southerners have been joining the Church since the 1830s. The Southern States Mission became the most successful mission field in the Church in the last generation of the 1800s. During those years when southern LDS meeting halls were burned and elders and even members were murdered, many thousands of Southerners responded to the gospel. Two elders knocked on a farmhouse door in Lowndes County, Alabama, on a spring day in 1896. The door was opened by Sarah Day Hall, holding her

Our Crown Jewels: The Church Archives

In the fall of 1983, Dialogue published Davis Bitton’s personal memoir of Leonard Arrington’s tenure as Church Historian, “Ten Years in Camelot.� That essay conveyed the excitement of discovering, writing, and publishing Mormon history on a scale never before known. The essay also records disappointment with changes then underway, betraying the uncertainty, even fearfulness, that comes with change.

Geertruida Lodder Zippro: The Extra Mile

Much of the attention of the Relief Society Conference of October, 1945, was devoted to efforts to assist surviving members of the Church in the former war zones of Europe. Contact had been reestablished with some of the European branches, and reports of their experiences and especially of their needs were read to the sisters assembled in Salt Lake City:

Christina Olsen Rockwell: Visiting Teacher

Christina Olsen was a Norwegian convert to the Church who emigrated to Zion before the arrival of the railroad. She was in her early 30s when she married the legendary Orrin Porter Rockwell, a man more than 20 years older than she was. Christina began her short married life by dividing her time between an isolated ranch in Rush Valley, Tooele County, and a home in Salt Lake City.

Secrets from the Research Library

My Utah history columns for the Salt Lake Tribune have a limit of 650 words; the Relief Society articles need to fit a single page. The brevity of these accounts may mask the complexity of the work behind them, so put on your deerstalker caps and I’ll recreate the process, using Frances Swan Clark as the example.

Frances Swan Clark: A Kindness Remembered

Many of Utah’s early pioneers did not remain long in the Valley. In defiance of counsel, some rushed to the California gold fields. A few went to California as missionaries, and the two apostles who founded a ranching colony in San Bernardino found no shortage of volunteers to accompany them there.