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JUNIUS F. WELLS,
THE CONTRIBUTOR. price of subscription charged.
A MONTHLY MAGAZINE.
EDITOR AND Publisher.
Two Dollars a Year,
Organizations it represents and for the
WITH the present number the CONTRIBUTOR enters upon its second year. The favor with which it has been received during the past, has been most gratifying to the publisher. It has shown that such a publication was needed and that it has a large field in which to circulate and do good. The response of the young ladies and gentlemen to the invitation and opportunity extended them to write for publication, has been such, as at all times to supply the editor with suitable copy, and at the same time to manifest their appreciation of such advantages and their ability to make good use of them.
The voluntary assistance of the officers of the Associations, in canvassing for and collecting subscriptions, evinces the interest they take in the publication; the appreciative manner in which they have received it demonstrates that it is of use to them, in the work of mutual improvement. It is indeed to be observed that where Associations take and read the CONTRIBUTOR, their progress is more marked in many particulars than in other places. Some of the Stake Superintendents have stated that from such Associations, they receive better and more satisfactory reports than from any others.
Mingled with the almost universal approbation of our first volume, wherever it has circulated, we have occasionally heard the murmur of a complaint. ` It has not been in the form of objection to the contents, nor the style of the magazine, but to the size. Some have thought that it was rather small for the
To an extent we have also entertained this opinion, knowing that its columns did not afford room for the publication of many deserving articles handed in, and that it was not equal in extent to others of our home papers, issued at the same price. Our excuse has been that the magazine was in its infancy; only just commencing its life, and that we wished to lay a sure foundation upon which to build, that it might become all that could be desired. Not, however, by trying the first year to do too much, and so exhaust ourselves that it would be impossible the second year to do more.
This policy, we are pleased to state, has enabled us to present the first number of volume two in a much improved form. The addition of about ten pages of reading matter, entirely removes the objection of its diminutiveness. Its contents are now as extensive as those of any similar magazine published in the West, while the paper, type, and general appearence of the publication is not surpassed by any.
The contents, so far as may be foretold, of this volume, will be of the same interesting, solid, readable quality that has made the first volume a success. Elder Moses Thatcher commences a historical and descriptive series on Mexico and the Mexicans, which his mission to that country and people, enables him to present in a manner most instructive and entertaining, while the prospective missionary relations of our people with the Mexicans, descendants of ancient Israel, will enhance the interest and profit with which such a series will be read.
A number of articles upon the first principles of the Gospel will be presented under the heading, Leaves from the Tree of Life, treating an old subject in a new manner, that will perhaps make plain to many, important truths that all should understand. That this series is from the talented pen of Elder C. W. Penrose, is sufficient indication that it will be, not only orthodox and instructive, but interesting as well. The contribu
tions of Quebec on popular scientific | good ground-work for a life charicaturist
as the poor London reporter. Editorials upon subjects relating to the work of mutual improvement, and interesting Association Intelligence, will constitute a feature of each number. Besides these, the budget of matter from all parts of the Territory, will afford a great variety that will help to make the CONTRIBUTOR the genuine, sterling, representative publication that it is our desire and intention to make it, with the assistance and encouragement of the young, which we are sanguine will greet all our endeavors.
subjects, with common illustrations, will be a feature of the magazine as heretofore. Travels in Italy from De Vallibus will be a continuation of that young author's tour of the continent of Europe. Book of Mormon characters and incidents will form the subject of several contributions from our esteemed and worthy friend, Elder George Reynolds, whose thorough researches in that sacred record, qualify him to cull from its pages appropriate and entertaining matter, that is calculated to arouse the interest of the young and to encourage them in their studies of holy writ.
In addition to Prof. Riggs' educational treatise, within the pages of this volume, we shall endeavor to present an epitomized statement of the educational status of our Territory; beginning with the University of Deseret, followed by the Brigham Young Academy of Provo, and the Logan College, the history and character of those institutions will be given by students of the respective schools; and will be succeeded by a sketch of our district school system and workings, so far as developed at the present time. There will be the usual variety of matter upon Literature, Art, Music and Biography, with Character Sketches, Correspondence, and original and selected poetry.
In addition to the above, a new departure will be observed, in the introduction to our pages of a lighter kind of reading matter, the first article appearing in the present number, under the title, Sketches from Life. Our object in doing this, is to add variety to the contents of the magazine, without descending to trash, and to amuse our readers as well as instruct them; besides encouraging those having the ability to take up the common occurrences of every day life, and to direct attention to the various phases of humanity which we daily meet. This remarkable faculty, carefully cultivated, made Charles Dickens famous, and his works sought after by the masses, among whom they have done a world of good, in praising virtue and ridiculing We may have among us just as
MEMBERSHIP AND SYSTEM. THE season for resuming the winter meetings of the Associations is approaching; during the present month most of them will have commenced active work. Now is the time for the officers to carefully consider the instructions that have been given, and to prepare their winter's programme in accordance with them, and the true spirit of mutual improvement.
deIn some places we are informed parture has been taken from the original design and object of our Organization, and innovations permitted upon the plan given by President Young, and since approved by the Apostles. We, shall notice some of these and give our reasons for objecting to any material variance, from the pointed and comprehensive instructions that have been given from the beginning.
First of all, in relation to the membership of the Young Men's Associations. In a few wards in the Territory, Literary Societies had been organized prior to the general organization of the young men in 1875. These had usually a mixed membership, consisting of ladies and gentlemen, young and old; and when the instructions were given to organize young men's associations in each ward, some of the members of these older societies objected to any change in their membership, or particular alteration in their methods of conducting meetings and carrying on their exercises. There being but one plan suggested by the
authorities, this matter of mixed membership was brought before them, with the arguments of those who favored it, such as increased attendance, more entertaining meetings, etc. And in reply, President Young said, so far as those societies that had already been organized were concerned, it would be better not to make any radical changes in them, but give them time and they would change themselves. In relation to those we were called upon to organize in the future, however, he was most emphatic in regard to the membership. He wished to see an organization of the young men of Israel, in which they would be brought together to cultivate themselves in the principles of the Gospel, and to obtain and bear testimony of the truth. He plainly indicated that the matter of an evening's entertainment was very far indeed from the chief object of the organization, and seemed to associate the latter idea with mixed societies, to which he was strongly opposed, saying, "If you run into a mixed membership I will have nothing whatever to do with you." In accordance with these instructions, the brethren who were instrumental in organizing the majority of the Associations in the Territory, never thought of admitting any but male members, except in a very few instances, where the population seemed so small that two associations could not be officered only at the expense of the membership.
Wherever mixed membership prevails, systematic exercises are almost impossible; at least they are seldom found together. The young ladies in their own Associations take up subjects, and continue their studies upon them with a degree of regularity and method, but as members of the Young Men's Associations, which is rather paradoxical, they require entertainment and amusement, and too frequently the exercises in such Associations will be found to pander to this disposition rather than to be of a systematic, progressive character, that involves study by the members and regularity in the manner of presentation. Further, the very evil that the President said would ensue, from admitting the
young ladies as members, is to be observed in many places.-The boys go to meeting to take the girls home, and the girls go to be taken.
That we should have amusement and that our meetings should be entertaining we perfectly realize, but this can be provided for without subverting the more important interests of our Organization in our efforts to supply it, and without destroying its character or making a laughing stock of its name. It can be done by universally adopting the system that has been very generally presented to the Associations throughout the country, but which has not been thoroughly reduced to practice in but a few places.
The successful operation of this system pre-supposes the Organizations to be established upon the original plan of distinct and separate membership; that the two Associations - Young Men's and Young Ladies' are holding regular weekly meetings, and that once a month a conjoint session is held by them, for the purposes of recreation, entertainment and the delivery of competitive exercises, showing the progress of each. Thus organized, the systematic exercises proposed are easily adopted and are found to give great satisfaction wherever carefully conducted. The leading features of this programme consist of Bible, Book of Mormon and Church History subjects, so arranged that they can be taken up chronologically, and carried through in about two seasons, leaving each attentive member at the end of that time, with a knowledge of the leading events, recorded in their order, within the pages of those sacred records; besides being familiar with many passages, and not at a loss to find any. This, as the basis of our programme, maintains the character of the Associations, and does more than anything else to qualify the members for missions, or any other position they may be called upon to occupy in the Kingdom. In addition to these chief features, the exercises may be diversified to any extent; admitting the reading of select pieces, essays, declamations, addresses, answering questions, testimonies, songs, etc., so far as
THE PRODIGAL'S PRAYER.
the time will admit.
At the monthly conjoint sessions, a
This is for regular | practically carrying them out. Plans for missionary labor should be perfected, and the regular routine of visiting commenced. This will have the effect of bringing the Associations together in closer and more familiar relationship, and will create a mutuality of purpose and plan that cannot fail to produce the most gratifying results. A great deal depends upon how we commence our winter's work; if it is started systematically, upon a correct basis, it will be found easy to carry it on and retain the interest of the members until the close of
We trust the Stake officers of the Associations everywhere will, at the beginning of this season, begin to trim up their membership, revise the old rolls so as to have them represent the genuine attendants, and not a long list of names that are never responded to; and that they will at once communicate with the general officers, through the Territorial Secretary, upon the systematic order of exercises to be adopted, where they have not already received instructions, and are
THE PRODIGAL'S PRAYER.
Husks, only husks! Oh, for life-giving bread;
But the quality, surely, should differ indeed.
For the halls of my father I languish and pine,
While I perish of hunger, of toil and of care.
I will fall at his feet, I will tell him my woe;
the season. If left alone and no system is adopted, we are almost sure to witness the waning of interest, if not the collapse of our Associations. Hence we strongly urge the officers to give their attention to the renewal of their meetings, the perfection of their rolls, the introduction of systematic exercises, the carrying on of missionary visiting, providing good lectures and conjoint entertainments on the best plans, and are sanguine if they do so, they will have joy in their labors, and will after many days, see the fruits thereof, in multiplied intelligence among the people, who shall know the truth and be able to give a reason for their faith, through having learned correct doctrine and true principles in the Mutual Improvement Associations of the young.
Ah! woe, to the son, should the father not care-
But his father beholds him, towards him has flown
His arms for protection around him has thrown;
"In the very best robes, let my son be arrayed;
VALUE OF MOMENTS.
'Tis meet that our welcome, and joy, be profound
When the dead is restored and the lost one is found.
How many are lost in the darkness of nightBecause there are none, who will read them aright.
Grief, from Indifference, hideth her need;
"To righteousness many," that pity divine,
And only the Lord hears the cry of despair; Only the Lord, heeds the prodigal's prayer.
So the prodigal's brother, in anger drew near, And questioned the servants, almost with a sneer; "Wherefore this feasting, this music and mirth; Measured with mine, is this renegade's worth?" "Son! said the father, why should'st thou repine?
The virtuous, even, are slow to discern
That well timed compassion, and counsel, may Love's intuition doth make us to feel,
My substance, my all, is assuredly thine. With me thou art ever, and what would'st thou more?
But my lost and my dead, has returned to my door;
Tis meet that the halls of his father resound
With feasting and mirth, when the lost one is found.
MANY a youth flings away the finest opportunities of life, by not realizing the value of moments. If a piece of work is assigned one of this class, he thinks it too great to be done at once, and excuses his delay by saying, "I haven't time." When, if he would seize the minutesin other words, if he would "make time," there is no computing the amount of work he might accomplish. The following extract from Dr. Matthews' "Getting on
Which of us ne'er has gone out of the way; Which of us ne'er had occasion to say— "My father, I've sinned, I am worthy no more, Thy child to be called, turn me not from thy door?
As a servant, I fain would my faithfulness prove, Wilt thou only vouchsafe me this proof of thy love?
That yet I may labor, that yet I may beSomewhere, or something, belonging to thee?"
Hear how Jehovah doth sinners invite"Though as scarlet your sins, they as wool shall be white;
Come, saith the Lord, let us reason together, And I will forget your transgressions forever."
Let us meet the repentant with welcome and cheer
To encouarge their hopes and to banish their fear;
If we make not a feast let us give them a crust; Nor drive them again unto hunger and husks. Though justice is stern, yet our mercy 'twill wait; If the famished and starving are close at our gate. When the soul like the body is hungered and cold,
Shall we stop to reprove, and due comfort withhold?
Lest we kill such with coldness, oh! let us beware,
There are many who echo the prodigal's prayer. Emily Hill Woodmansee.
the World," affords illustrations of the value of moments that ought to impress every one.
"It has been truly said that the great moral victories and defeats of the world turn on minutes. Fortune is proverbially a fickle jade, and there is nothing like promptness of action, the timing of things at the lucky moment,-to force her to surrender her favors. Crises come, the seizing of which is triumph,