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duties in the Church, under teachers called for that purpose. The educational value of this training in spiritual and practical religion can not be overestimated. All instruction is free.
XIII–Auxiliary Organizations—"Helps in Government
There are six other organizations forming an integral part of Church government which are not councils or quorums of the Priesthood, but which are auxiliary to it and under it. They are "helps in government” in the various bishops' wards, missions and branches of the Church. The frame-work of each organization is three-fold, consisting of a General Board, a Stake Board, and a Ward Board; the latter board presiding directly over the membership in a ward or other jurisdiction. In their operations they are subordinate to the ward, the stake, and the general authorities. Naming them in their chronological order they are:
(1) the Relief Society; (2) the Sunday School; (3) the Young Ladies' Mutual Improvement Association; (4) the Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association ; (5) the Primary Association; and (6) the Religion Class. The titles of these societies pretty well indicate their character—they are agencies for education, culture, and benevolence. The number of the separate societies range from 600 to about 750, the Sunday School Union having the largest number of organizations. A few items relating to these societies may be mentioned. XIV-What the Societies Stand For-What They Are Doing
The Religion class was organized in 1890. The work is the training of children of elementary school age in practical religion and in character-forming habits. The number of pupils at present enrolled is 37,149.
The Primary association was organized in 1878. The object is to promote spiritual development in children, to encourage industrial occupations, and to discourage idleness and careless habits. The age of members is from three years to twelve; the work is graded. The number enrolled is 63,103. They publish a monthly magazine—the Children's Friend.
The Young Men's Mutual Improvement association was organized in 1875. The object, fundamentally, is to provide a means for self-culture and special advancement in the fields of religious and secular learning; especially in the latter, through the activity of reading circles, boy scouts, athletics, musical and oratorical contests; besides each year a course on some phase of sociology, government, ethics, practical religion, or industry, is pursued. Also the object in view, through the activities of the associations, is “to establish in the youth of Zion an individual testimony of the Latter-day Work, to develop the gifts within
them, and to cultivate a knowledge and application of the eternal principles of the great science of life.” The membership is 33,506 THE IMPROVEMENT ERA is the organ of these societies, and is at present in its sixteenth volume, it having succeeded The Contributor which was published seventeen years.
The Young Ladies' Mutual Improvement association was established in 1869. These organizations furnish opportunity for education in the domain of religion, science, history, and of women's work generally. The membership is 33,969. The General Board publishes a monthly magazine—The Young Woman's Journal.
The first Sunday School was organized in 1849, in Salt Lake City. The Sunday School Union Board was formed in 1866, and more completely in 1872. The membership of all schools combined, is 181,152. The Juvenile Instructor has been published regularly since 1866, and is the exponent of this organization. XV–The Relief Society — Among the Oldest of Women's
Organizations “I now turn the key for women," said the Prophet Joseph Smith, on the 17th day of March, 1842, when he organized the Relief Society and sent it forth on its mission of love. It has a membership of 33,674, with 720 separate ward societies. Its work in the world is to manifest benevolence to all, to look after the poor, comfort and help the sick and unfortunate, to minister where death reigns, to assist in correcting the morals, and in strengthening the virtues of the community, and to foster among its members a love for education and refinement. It has given for charity during the year just past, in round numbers, $36,000; it has now stored in granaries and elevators many thousands of bushels of wheat for bread in cases of extreme want or famine. But, as another has said, “written words could no more tell the magnificent work of members of the Relief Society than they could describe the perfume of a flower or the song of a meadow lark; for, like ministering angels, they comfort the sorrowful, relieve the distressed, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, wait upon the sick, scattering glad news and cheer along their daily work, giving in true Christian spirit, letting not the left hand know what the right hand doeth.” There are about 100 societies in the missions.
XVI-Courts-Regular and Special One of the three departments of government is the judicial. A complete system of courts is established, which give final and authoritative interpretation and application of the laws of the Church wherein members are charged with or found guilty of unrighteous conduct, breaches of discipline, of apostasy, and the like. In case of transgression neither layman nor officer, high or low, is exempt from their authority. These courts may be divided into two classes, regular and special. The regular courts are: (1) the ward bishop's court, or common court, the bishop acting as judge, assisted by his counselors; (2) the Stake High Council, composed of the Stake Presidency, and twelve High Priests, having original and appellate jurisdiction. In form of organization it approaches the ancient Jewish Sanhedrin; (3) the Council of the First Presidency. The special courts are: (1) the Presiding Bishop's court; (2) the Council of High Priests abroad; and (3) the Traveling High Council of the Twelve Apostles.
The extreme penalty that may be inflicted is severance from Church membership. Members are counseled to adjust and settle difficulties which they may have one with another, between themselves. Failing in this, two of the “peacemakers” of the Churchthe Teachers—are called to their aid who help to conciliate and arbitrate the trouble. If these agencies fail, the case may be taken to the bishop's court, where an impartial hearing, devoid of technicalities, is had. Should either of the parties feel that the decision is unjust, he may appeal to the High Council, where fifteen men will sit on the case; and even from this high tribunal an appeal may be taken to the Council of the First Presidency, for a review of the whole proceedings. All of this is without cost to either party, the only object in view is to mete out justice and equity to everyone. XVII-Aaronic or Lesser Priesthood-Office of the Presiding
Bishopric-Some Activities Mentioned One more important organic feature of government is yet to be mentioned—the office of Presiding Bishopric, consisting of bishop and two counselors. They are the general board of the Aaronic Priesthood of the Church. Aside from a general supervision of the educational and social activities of the Lesser Priesthood, their chief function is the direction and management of temporal or business affairs of the Church under the direction of the First Presidency. A few of the things that are being done by the Church through the medium of this office may be briefly mentioned:
The tithing, (one-tenth of the net income), voluntarily contributed by the people, is collected and disbursed, as well as other revenues, through the Presiding Bishop's office, and local offices in the various wards and missions.
Once a month, in the respective wards, fast meetings are held; in these assemblies fast offerings for the poor are made. Upwards of $60,000 from this source alone was contributed last year. During the same period there was given to the worthy poor $197,000; and the number of persons assisted temporarily was 4,930; while the number assisted permanently was 12,439, many being non-members. Quick response with generous amounts are often made to people, not considering creed or color, who are overtaken by earthquake, famine, flood, or other disasters.
One of the finest and best equipped hospitals in the West is established in Salt Lake City and is managed through this office. Thousands of dollars of charity treatment is done annually by this institution.
An employment department is conducted through local offices. Its benefits are not restricted to members of the Church; for the month of April, 1913, for example, there were 139 applications for employment, and 130 positions supplied.
This office also gathers, vital statistics, some items of which are interesting. The birth rate shows 59 births per thousand of Church population, which is larger than for the United States as a whole, or than any nation of Europe. Of the women who bore children in 1912, the average in these families is four for each mother. The death rate is 8.4, for the thousand, while the death rate for the United States is about 15 per thousand. The average duration of life taken from deaths reported for 1912, is 35 years.
Twenty-two schools are maintained—three of college grade, and nineteen of secondary grade, with an aggregate registration of about 8,000, maintained at a cost of about half a million dollars annually.
The settlement of lands and the providing of homes for its people have always been among the prominent activities of the Church; through its fostering care large tracts in many regions have been redeemed and colonized. At present there is a department in the Presiding Bishop's Office, the purpose of which is to locate members on land who are unable to help themselves and who wish to obtain homes and engage in farming. In short, under its auspices and by its powers and functions, the Aaronic Priesthood undertakes numerous measures looking to the temporal comfort and well-being of the people.
XVIII—The Final Test The final test of any religious system holding out salvation to the world must be judged by its power to save men, body and spirit. “Mormonism,” so called, embraces the workable doctrine of a temporal salvation, here and now, as well as a soul salvation hereafter. The first part of the proposition should be a matter easily proved, the latter is a matter of faith and individual testimony. PROVO, UTAH
On the summits of the Uintah Mountains, in which rise the big rivers of northern Utah—the Weber, the Bear, the Provo, and the Duchesne, are a thousand clear-water lakes like the lake shown here in the Wasatch mountains. Many of the lakes abound in fish. The rivers and creeks draining the Uintahs on the south empty into the Pacific, while those on the north feed the waters of our great inland