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David O. McKay Diaries – “Welfare Program”

Below you will find diary entries on the topic of “Welfare Program.” You can view other subjects here.

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Wed., 18 Mar., 1936:

“8:00–In council with President Harold B. Lee and Campbell Brown, who reported their findings on the recent survey made regarding the economic condition of our Church members.  Their recommendations are excellent and far reaching.”

Mon., 27 Apr., 1936:

I. Relief Society Plan

1. Supply employment

a. Improving meeting houses

b. Improving private property

2. Store houses (a) Wards, (b) Stakes (c) Centers

3. Executive secretary

4. Two main objectives

a. Year’s supply

b. Permanent employment

Note:  Correlating Extension Service (UAC) with Church Relief Work.

Mon., 14 Jul., 1947:

“[Telephone call]  Mr. Bell of ‘Time’ Magazine.  He asked the following questions:

. . . .

c. Did the end of polygamy come as a result of divine revelation, or as a manifesto to President Woodruff.

I answered:  President Woodruff stated that it came to him as a revelation; that he prayed, and then he issued the Manifesto.

d. I understand that the Welfare Program started in 1936, and that it came as a revelation to President Heber J. Grant.

I answered:  It was not a revelation; it is just a program of the Church.”

Mon., 3 Nov., 1947:

“[Telephone call]  Mark Peterson–Telephoned to him and advised him that we just received a cable from Pres. Zappey of the Netherlands Mission containing information which I consider is one of the most glorious incidents in our modern missionary work.  The cable reads as follows:

First Presidency:  Just received permission from the Netherlands Government to ship 66 tons of potatoes raised by Dutch Saints in a Welfare Project to Presidents Stover and Wunderlich in Germany for distribution among Saints in Germany.”

Sat., 22 Nov., 1947:

“Marion Romney called again this morning.  He said that requests were coming from Bishops to use Welfare supplies in making up Christmas baskets for widows and others whom they wish to remember in their wards.  Since the War, we have had to watch our welfare supplies pretty closely, and have discouraged the practice of using welfare supplies for this purpose.  It was decided to follow the same policy this year, and encourage the Bishops to get their supplies locally and not use welfare supplies for this purpose.”

Sat., 31 Jan., 1948:

“I received a telephone message from Bishop Larson of Mt. Pleasant called regarding the application for a welfare loan made by Don T. Lund.  Brother Larson said that the Elders Quorum felt that they could not suipport a loan for him, and that hit was the decision of the Bishopric that they would not feel justified in using fast offering funds to support a loan.  Bishop Larson said the Elders’ Quorum had refused once before to make a loan to Brother Lund to save his business as they felt that his business was not a paying proposition, and their judgment proved to be wise, because the business did not prove to be successful.

I asked Brother Larson why Brother Lund could not pay to his creditors as much per month as he would pay the Welfare Department if they gave him a loan.  Brother Larson then called Brother Lund to the telephone and I told him personally over the phone that I thought it would be wise for him to go to his creditors and say to them that you (Brother Lund) can pay, say $25 a month, to each creditor.  If they will not accept that, then you (Brother Lund) will have to take the bankruptcy, and your creditors will lose all.

Brother Lund said that he thought that was the thing to do.”

Mon., 20 Sep., 1948:

“President Glen G. Smith of Texas-Louisiana Mission called–said that a tremor in Dallas, Texas had caused the house belonging to one of the members of the Branch at Dallas–a widow–to slip off its foundation.  She has no children; is alone in the world.  It will take $700 to get the house back on its foundation.  Pres. Smith said they have that amount in the contingent fund.  I said that here is a chance for the members of the Branch to have a lesson in christianity; that they should rally around and help this widow all they can.  After they have done all they can, Pres. Smith should advance the additional money needed to complete the job. This matter could then be made a welfare project.  I told Pres. Smith I would present the matter to the Committee on Church Expenditures tomorrow; that he should send a letter giving full details.”

Fri., 5 Aug., 1949:

“Marion G. Romney called to say they were getting quite a few requests to send labels, canning and sealing equipment to the missions so they may carry on their Welfare work.  They have received a request from the Hawaiian Islands for labels, one from Brazil for some sealing machines, and one of the missionaries in New Zealand said he would furnish canning equipment there.  Brother Romney explained we do not have any way of inspecting in the missions, and no way of knowing whether they understand the canning process, and there is danger of poisoning.  President McKay said, ‘I think you are doing right; and just answer these requests that until the mission Welfare policy is thoroughly established that you are instructed not to send anything to the missions.'”

Mon., 22 May, 1950:

“[Telephone call]  Called Marion Romney of the Church Welfare and told him that we had received an inquiry regarding the selling of garments by the Church Welfare–the question having been asked–‘Why is the Church Welfare manufacturing temple garments for commercial use?’  I asked Brother Romney to prepare an answer in writing and send it over to us.”

Thur., 27 Dec., 1951:

“[First Presidency meeting]  I approved statement in minutes of Welfare Committee to the effect that sponsors of immigrants to this country should take care of such immigrants and not look to the Church Welfare:

From minutes of meeting of the Welfare [Committee]–November 16, 1951:

Brother Harold B. Lee read a letter written by Brother Cornelius Zappey, former President of the Netherlands Mission, in which the question was raised as to what ward bishops should do about caring for sponsored immigrants.  The Committee was advised that the counsel of the First Presidency is that our people remain in their own countries; that the Church does not sponsor any member of the Church coming here; therefore, any man who sponsors the immigration of a member of the Church has the responsibility of seeing that that immigrant does not become a charge on the government.  The sponsor should not pass the responsibility to the Church, as to do so is a circumvention of our position that we will not give sponsorship to immigrants.  Following a full discussion of the matter, it was decided to give bishops the foregoing information and advise them as follows:  In considering the needs of immigrants, consult with their sponsors, and advise the immigrants and their sponsors of the commitments undertaken by the sponsors and urge the sponsors to perform on those commitments.”

Thur., 3 Jan., 1952:

“At 12:25 p.m. I met by appointment Elder Henry D. Moyle, and BIsiop Wirthlin who further discussed with me Social Security matters.

Referring to the Church’s having its employees take social security, Elder Moyle stated that he had no faith in the government; that government bonds would probably become worthless. I answered that I did have faith in the government, and that if government bonds failed, everything would fail!  Also that private insurance companies had invested their funds in the same securities as had the government.

I stated further that we must give our employees some kind of security, and that if we did not associate with the government’s plan, then the Church would have to set up its own plan comparable to what the government had set up.

Also said that in our present Welfare system, assistance is dependent upon the judgment of the Bishop or coordinator–that I felt the Welfare should be put on a firmer basis so that each person will be treated alike and no favoritism shown.  If we find a person or a family in need of more than the government is allowing, the Church Welfare could supplement that help.”

Wed., 12 Mar., 1952:

“At 9 a.m., the regular meeting of the First Presidency was held, an important feature of which was that we decided to tell the General Committee of the Church Welfare not to take any further steps with regard to getting certain doctors to render free service in the Welfare Plan.”

Wed., 15 Oct., 1952:

“[First Presidency meeting]  We discussed at length our Welfare operations.  I said that I felt that the purchase of lands by Wards and Stakes for Welfare purposes should be curtailed, also that if Wards can reduce their expenses for maintenance by using any surplus from Welfare projects, they should be permitted to do so. It was felt that Welfare is being given too much prominence. However, we decided to discuss these matters further when President Clark returns from New York.”

Fri., 7 Nov., 1952:

“[First Presidency meeting]  Some discussion was had in regard to the Welfare Committee.  President McKay suggested that the Committee hold its meetings without the presence of the First Presidency, and submit their recommendations to the First Presidency for consideration the same as recommendations from any other committee.  President Richards thought it was questionable propriety for the Presidency to sit in on a discussion where the Presidency are committed by the acts of the committee.  He felt that if the brethren of the Presidency have any different views on any of the subjects they ought to have an opportunity to state them before the Presidency alone and not before a committee.  President Clark said it had always been the understanding that that was a meeting at which the First Presidency would be in attendance.  He expressed a willingness to do whatever President McKay desired.”

Mon., 14 Sept., 1953:

“At 8 o’clock this morning, in company with Elder Henry D. Moyle, Chairman of the General Church Welfare Committee, left for Orangeville, Utah to attend meeting to be held in the assembly room underground in the mine owned by the Church at that place.

We arrived at the mine at 11:30 a.m., and from then until 1 p.m. inspected the premises, both at Orangeville and the mine.

Lunch was served in the mine at 1 p.m.  The local brethren supplied watermelon and soft drinks.

At 2 p.m.  Meeting in the Assembly room was held.  500 brethren and sisters were present.  A number of the General Authorities and their wives were present.  One representative of each Stake Presidency, and his wife, one representative of each bishopric, or custodian, and his wife, one representative of each Church hospital or school or other institution using Church coal and his wife, members of the coal committee and their wives were invited to the meeting.

The speakers were as follows:

Pres. Angus J. Christiansen, Chairman of the Welfare Region of Spanish Fork

Shirl McArthur – Supt. of the mine

Leonard Adams – Acting head of the Coal committee

Leonard Love, in charge of transportation

Elder Henry D. Moyle, General Chairman of the Church Welfare Comm.

President David O. McKay

Excerpts from report made to the brethren of the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve at their meeting in the Temple, Sept. 17:

‘President said he was sure there was no question about the quality of the coal and certainly no question about the mine improvements, that they can load ten tons of coal in one minute.  He said that while there will be some who will want to use gas in preference to coal, he believed that all who were present, and many Stake Presidents came, some of them from Idaho and Wyoming, were all impressed that our interests would be served by being loyal to the mine so that we can produce coal at the lowest cost possible.  President McKay said that he was surprised at the cleanliness of the mine, and that it is modern in every respect.  He mentioned that it is subject to State inspection all the time, and up until now they have given us an excellent rating.  It is reported that at the present rate of consumption they have enough coal in sight to last 250 years, and with their present holdings, it is believed that they have enough to last the Church 500 years.

President Clark interjected the remark at this point that Brother Moyle had told him that President McKay made one of the most inspiring talks he had ever heard him make to the people on the occasion of his visit to the coal mine, and that those present were built up and inspired by what he had to say.

President McKay said that the sisters deserve great credit for preparing the meal and carrying it down to the place where the banquet was given.  He said that what our brethren have done and are doing is an example of devotion and self-sacrifice characteristic of our Church.'”

Fri., 13 Nov., 1953:

“7:45 a.m. – Brother Delbert Stapley of the Council of the Twelve called at the office.

I told him that for the present he should not go forward with his assignment to make an investigation of the amount we have invested in the Welfare and the number of people we are taking care of as compared to that investment.

Instead he is to make a summary of the replies we have received from the Stake Presidencies regarding the Old Folks Home for each Stake and report that summary to the First Presidency.”

Fri., 13 Jan., 1956:

4 p.m. – Consultation with Bishop George R. Hill, Jr.  The following problems were presented by him:

1.  Does the present ‘award system’ of motivation develop the desired testimonies and attitudes in our young people?

2.  Would it be possible to keep newly ordained Elders active by a formal missionary training experience while they become of age for regular missions?

3.  Has the Welfare Program considered carefully the problem of providing a continuing supply of gasoline and diesel fuel in the event of an emergency?  Our economy has passed the point of no return to horse-drawn equipment for farm production or transportation.

4.  The problem of scientific theory, authority, and academic freedom is still unresolved; the intensity and extent of the discussions are much less than six months ago.

Will give consideration of these matters later.”

Wed., 7 Mar., 1956:

‘Telephone Conversation, Wednesday, March 7, 1956

Telephone Conversation with President William Noble Waite, South Los Angeles Stake, 8:15 a.m.

1.  President Waite said that on his way back to Chicago two weeks ago, he met Bishop Thorpe B. Isaacson who asked him about the Welfare Plan and a number of other things pertaining to the Perris Ranch in California, and he told him that experience had taught the Brethren down there in California that we have bought a ‘white elephant’.  Brother Waite said that in the first place, it is too far out, and he said ‘it never has paid and never will.’  He further said that the consensus of opinion among the Stake Presidents down there is ‘they would like to get rid of it right now and get a ranch that will better suit their needs.’  He remarked that they had put alot of money into that project.  I stated to Brother Waite that ‘absence farming’ never does pay.  I thanked Brother Waite for his confidence.

Sat., 7 Apr., 1956:

“At 7:45 a.m.  Met the following brethren from Los Angeles:

Pres. Wm. Noble Waite, South Los Angeles Stake, President Hugh C. Smith, San Fernando Stake, Pres. John M. Russon, Los Angeles Stake, Pres. Howard W. 

Hunter Pasadena Stake.

These brethren brought up the subject of the Perris Farm, which they feel is not adapted to farming (1) because there is a water shortage, (2) the taxes are $16,000 a year, and there is no possible way to increase the production from a Welfare standpoint.  One asset is a herd of 67 dairy cows.

The brethren were in agreement that from a welfare standpoint, the Perris Farm should be disposed of, and another ranch known as the Liberty Ranch that can be purchased for $225,000 would be much more productive as a welfare project than the Perris Farm.  The Stakes interested in the Perris Farm have already paid out $500,000 on it.

Although I did not so express myself to these brethren, I think if the Church can use the Perris Farm for any purpose, they should retain it because of Mr. Statler’s generosity to the Church, then we could reimburse the Stakes for their cash investments, and let them use that money, for which the Church would reimburse them for the purchase of the Liberty Farm.

These brethren had a meeting with the Welfare officers here in Salt Lake.

Tues., 19 Feb., 1957:

Telephone Conversation with President Stephen L. Richards, Tuesday, February 19, 1957.

“President Richards called me from Boulder City, Nevada where he is on vacation.  He said that he is feeling pretty well and enjoying a nice rest and that the weather is excellent.

President Richards stated that he had something to report to me.  He had attended Church at Logandale Sunday upon invitation of the people, and while there he learned that the members of the Church had just finished one of these ‘store strikes’, and had tried to live for two weeks on the supplies they had on hand, not buying anything from the store.

I asked President Richards how this had affected a little store in that locality, and he answered that the store did not sell much for two weeks.  Then President Richards went on to say further that he had learned that the members of the Church in Las Vegas are just about to go on a ‘store strike’, and live for a period of two weeks without buying anything from the store.  I told President Richards to tell the people at this place not to do it.  These projects have gone to the extreme, and have been carried too far.  Pres. Richards felt that the Welfare Committee should send out instructions pertaining to this, that the people in the stakes have apparently gotten this idea from some of the Welfare Committee visitors at the Stake Conferences.  He felt that it would be better for the General Welfare Committee to send out instructions.  He said it is his feeling that these visitors had gone to the Conferences with such enthusiasm that the people had obtained these ideas from them.

I said that I feel that the rumors which have been circulated about the revelation I had supposedly had has also contributed to this situation.  Pres. Richards repeated that he feels the Welfare Committee should give some instructions out pertaining to this matter in order that the people do not go forward with activities of this nature.  This, he feels, should come from the Welfare Committee inasmuch as he does not want to over-ride anything that the Committee had done.  Word should be sent out by the Welfare Committee to counteract some of these recommendations.  I told President Richards that we should take this matter up in the meeting this morning.

Wed., 20 Feb., 1957:

“Bank Merger and Rumor re:  End of World

I reported at the meeting of the First Presidency this morning my telephone conversation with President Richards, who expressed himself as being agreeable to the release of letters to the heads of our Church Banks regarding the merger of the banks.

President Richards also reported having attended meetings in one of the small wards near Las Vegas where assignment had been made to a family to live for two weeks on stored food.**  The suggestion was considered that the Welfare Committee send out restraining suggestions in view of the uneasiness prevailing because of the rumor of a purported revelation.  I explained that individual letters are being answered informing the writers that there is no foundation in fact for the rumor, and that whenever a revelation comes pertaining to the Church, it will be given to the Priesthood through the proper channels and not by way of rumor (**See telephone conversation with Pres. Stephen L.Richards Feb. 19)

Fri., 22 Feb., 1957:

“At Council Meeting, February 28, 1957 Pres. McKay made the following report:

Food Storage and Welfare Program

Sister McKay and I attended homecoming exercises in the Twenty-seventh Ward, where a banquet was given.  The ward uses this program and banquet as a means of raising their ward expense and their welfare quota.  One unpleasant feature followed the banquet when a representative of the Zion Permapak Food Storage Plant told those present, while they were eating their dessert, that all they had eaten that night was made from dehydrated foods; and then he explained how dehydrated food was the best for storage for the two-year plan that had been given.

In answer to a question asked by a sister as to how much it would cost per year to provide for one person, he answered, ‘One hundred dollars.’  The sister said that there were six members in her family.  It would therefore cost them $600 a year, or $1200 for two years.

I was called on to speak later, between the dinner and picture show that followed, and I told them not to go to extremes in this matter; not to borrow money nor mortgage their property to store food; that this plan had been in existence ever since I was a boy, at least.  I also referred to the story that is going around (which is absolutely false) about a vision that it is reported that I had in which I was told that it was now too late to store food, etc.  The people had all heard about it.

I suggested that we do what we can to ‘soft-pedal’ some of this advertising.  I also said that it was learned today in the First Presidency’s meeting, when the matter was discussed, that the Civil Defense Program under the auspices of the Government is urging the storage of food and other things, and that has emphasized the situation.

In this connection, President Richards reported that while in Las Vegas he visited in Logandale in Moapa Valley, and learned that they had instituted a plan whereby the people were going without buying anything from the stores for a period of two weeks, not even permitting their children to buy ice cream cones, in order to show what they could do in case of emergency, and in Las Vegas they were just beginning a similar movement whereby everyone was pledged to buy nothing from the store for two weeks.

Elder Marion G. Romney, in behalf of the Welfare Program, reported that he had checked on the situation and had written letters to Pres. John L. Clarke, formerly of the Rexburg Stake, it being his understanding that this experiment was commenced there in Rexburg;

that the bishop had asked two families in his ward to live for a certain period on their storage.  He said that following this experiment the Church Section of the Deseret News got hold of the story and published it, and then all over the Church wards began to introduce this plan.  President Clark said there had been absolutely no suggestion by the stake authorities there, and Bro. Romney had asked him specifically if any member of the General Authorities or the Church Welfare Committee had made the suggestion, and he said no; that the bishop had tried the experiment and then these people came to Fast Meeting and bore their testimonies telling how well they had done.”

Wed., 27 Mar., 1957:

“8 a.m. to 11 a.m.  Meeting of the First Presidency with Dr. Wm. F. Edwards, and Elders Henry D. Moyle and Marion Romney of the Welfare Committee.  Elder Harold B. Lee was in New York City.

At this meeting consideration was given to the Study of the Church Welfare Plan that has been made by Dr. Edwards.  This is a continuation of a meeting held last Friday.

Sat., 6 Apr., 1957:

“9 a.m.  The First Presidency met with President Noble Waite of the South Los Angeles Stake in accordance with arrangement made over the telephone April 2.

President Waite stated that he had been authorized by the Regional Council of the Los Angeles Area to see what could be done about the building of a Clinic in Los Angeles where 80% or 90% of their people could go for preliminary examinations before being sent to hospitals.

He said that he was appointed as a committee of one to contact the First Presidency to talk this matter over.  It is the opinion of the Presidencies of the ten stakes in the Los Angeles Area that they should have a clinic — that such a clinic would serve a real need.  Many persons go to the hospital and pay out a lot of money who really do not need to go to the hospitals at all.

All the Stake Presidents are willing to back this project.

This matter will be given very careful consideration by the brethren.”

Thurs., 28 Nov., 1957:

“November 21, 1957 to December 4, 1957

Thursday, November 28, 1957

Another beautiful morning – bright sunshine, but cool and delightful.

Brother and Sister Mendenhall are here this morning.  Brother Henry D. Moyle met them at Orlando at midnight.

The four of us – Brother Moyle, Brother Ellsworth, Brother Mendenhall, and I – held a two-hour-meeting regarding the future, as well as present needs of the Ranch.  Among these needs is the acquiring of a ‘Feeding Yard’ in Georgia where cattle might be placed for ‘fattening,’ and be nearer the market. 

The cost probably will be another one-half million.

1 p.m.  Thanksgiving dinner was served by the members of the Deer Creek Branch.  A program followed the dinner.  A quilt was presented to Sister McKay and me by Sister Wallace Brown, Star Route, Box 1220, Melbourne, Florida.

Following this, we visited the new Church edifice which is a credit to the Church and to the State of Florida.

There was an informal chatting in the parlor until 9 p.m.

Friday, November 29, 1957

Took a day of complete relaxation trying to visualize the ultimate disposition of this 300,000 acre Ranch development.  One objective:  Homes for young folks and others in Southern States Mission who could settle here instead of moving West.

Brother and Sister Fred Schluter drove in from Georgia at Melbourne, with Brother Leo Ellsworth.

Telephoned home for news regarding Thomas E. McKay’s health.  Reported that he was getting along pretty well, despite the fact that he had been failing just two or three days before I left for Florida.

Bishop and Sister Joseph L. Wirthlin, David L. McKay and Walter Dansie met us — they are here for stockholders and Directors’ meeting tomorrow morning.  

President David O. McKay

President McKay, with Sister McKay, left Salt Lake City Thursday, November 21 for Miami, Florida, arriving there Saturday, November 23.  Were met by President Berkeley L. Bunker of the Southern States Mission, and also by Brother Henry D. Moyle.  President McKay said that President Bunker expressed his delight with Brother Harold B. Lee’s recent visit to the mission, and had nothing but words of praise and used superlatives in his expression of appreciation for Brother Lee’s visit.

  President McKay was delighted that day to hear a report from Brother Moyle that he had met with the commissioners of Osceola County and Orange County; that the hall was filled with members and citizens besides the commissioners.  The purpose of the meeting was to have the road, which the County has now paved from Deer Park nearly half way to the Keene Ranch, to continue the pavement up through Keene Ranch to Highway 50.  Brother Moyle presented it as though it would be a favor to the County and not to the ranch, and that the ranch is conferring a favor upon the County in giving them the permission to pave it.  From what Brother Moyle reported he seems to have been highly successful and they accepted it on those terms.  President McKay said that Brother Moyle stands very high with the officials there; that he has the profound respect of the County officials, former senators and others, and the spirit of this meeting seemed to be most favorable and they voted to convert funds in 1958 to the completion of that highway through the property formerly owned by Mr. Carroll up through Mr. Keene’s Ranch, which we have recently purchased, 30 miles through the ranch to Highway 50.  This will take it up to the north and join the other pavement which the Government has put through.

Sunday morning, November 24, dedicated the chapel at Miami, which is a very creditable church edifice built on the 70-30 percent plan.  President McKay reported that President Wilford W. Salter and his associates built a residence to see whether or not they could do it, preparatory to the experience they would have in building this chapel.  It is a small branch with very few male members.  They had no artisans, but they converted before they started to build the house an electrician, a plumber, and a plasterer, and they made a success of it and almost miraculously had an offer to buy it, which offer they accepted, and made $5,000 profit, which they used as the beginning of the cost of the new chapel.  The chapel is built of the very best material, and the workmanship is excellent.  The President said he did not know that he had ever attended a dedicatory service that seemed to be so filled with enthusiasm and encouragement as was the case there.  Over 800 people were present at the dedication.  The building is in a very good location, and in a growing section.  It is said that it is one of the most beautiful sections in Miami.  The parking and landscaping is better, said the President, than he had seen surrounding any new chapel.  They think they will need more parking space.  They brought up the question of making it a stake center, and proposed to buy an area at what seems to be north of the present building, consisting of a vacant lot of five acres, but it did not seem to be the wise thing to do to purchase this additional property.  The building will serve two units when the branch becomes large enough to divide, and there is another branch on the other side of Miami.  The President said he made no commitment during the services regarding making it a stake center, but one week later he received a telegram that they would have to decide whether or not they were going to make the purchase, and it was decided not to do it.

The speakers at the morning meeting were Robert G. Sorensen, Rossi May, Wilford R. Lawrence, President Berkeley L. Bunker, Elder Henry D. Moyle, and President McKay.  The first meeting was held at 10 o’clock in the morning.  The chapel was full of young people.  The President said he did not think there were very many strangers at the morning session.

The dedicatory service came at 2 p.m. and it was a spiritual feast.  The speakers at this service were J.C. Newman, Clifford G. Berkey, George H. Vining, Wilford W. Salter, Elder Henry D. Moyle, and President McKay.  President McKay spoke and offered the dedicatory prayer.

Left Monday morning to go to the ranch preparatory to dedicating a new Church edifice which stands at the entrance to the main highway leading down to the headquarters on the old Carroll Ranch.  The President said it was a delightful drive and the weather was fine.  Brother Moyle had left the night before.  He inspected the new properties on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Thursday there was a Thanksgiving dinner served by the members of that little branch.  Strangers were present and took part.  One man and woman who had attended Sunday School previously were introduced to President and Sister McKay, and in a few moments told of meeting their minister between the Sunday School the week before and the Thanksgiving dinner.  The minister said, ‘Why, you don’t want to go with the Mormons.  They do not believe in Jesus Christ.’  The woman said, ‘I told him you do.’  Sister McKay said, ‘Our name would tell that.’  The woman said, ‘That is what I told him.’  Then the minister said, ‘It is another part of the sect I am thinking about, I suppose.’  This couple were at the Thanksgiving dinner, and she contributed a pie to the dinner.  Had a very enjoyable Thanksgiving.

Sunday morning, December 1, at 10 o’clock, the Ellsworth Branch chapel was filled with children from that area, and the recreation hall, the stage, and the side rooms were equipped with loud speakers.  These rooms were all filled.  Over 900 people were in that service at Deer Park.  Someone suggested–either Brother Moyle or Brother Bunker–that it was probably the largest gathering in the Southern States.  People had come from hundreds of miles.  The President met a young woman who came by airplane to a certain point, and then ‘thumbed’ her way the rest of the distance.  The group was welcomed by President Albert G. McGinnis and President Berkeley L. Bunker.  The following were the speakers:  David Lawrence McKay, Walter Dansie of the General Church Welfare Committee, Fred G. Schluter, Bishop Joseph L. Wirthlin, Elder Henry D. Moyle, and President McKay.  In the afternoon there were present many prominent visitors, non-members, bankers; Senator Carroll, his wife and daughter, and other prominent people whom Brother Moyle knows very well, and Brother Bunker.  Mr. Keene was there also, but he did not come up after the meeting.  Those who participated on the program were President Berkley L. Bunker, Elder Leo Ellsworth, Elder Wendell B. Mendenhall, Bishop Joseph L. Wirthlin, Elder Henry D. Moyle, and President McKay.  President McKay also offered the dedicatory prayer.

The President said that Deer Park is no longer a designation.  Brother Moyle, before the dedication, reported that it had been suggested that the name of Deer Park be changed to Ellsworth, the principal reason being that the Deer Park Ranch adjoins us and belongs to non-members, and that is the only use of the Deer Park name, so the name of the branch was changed in the dedicatory prayer to the Ellsworth Branch of the Southern States Mission.  The President said he did not know to what extent it had been discussed among the members of the branch.  Sister McKay said that when she looked at the members of the Choir she thought there seemed to be some disappointment among them.  The President said he thought it was a merited honor to go to Brother Ellsworth who has saved that ranch, and who will no doubt continue on with it this year, and as reported at the Board Meeting of the Orlando Livestock Company held on Saturday they believe now that they have crossed the peak and from now on it will be a paying investment.  On Saturday the Directors Meeting was held, as also the Board Meeting.

Left Monday morning, December 2, by airplane, and went as far as Chicago.  Came by train from Chicago home.  The President said it was one of the most delightful two weeks that he had spent for a long time.

President McKay said that one singular experience came to him and gave him some worry.  He was thrilled at the chapel, standing out there away from houses.  It will be lighted up at night, and it will be a beacon to the many travelers who go along that highway.  The President said he was rather filled with hopes and assurances when he began the dedicatory prayer; that, however, when he was about half through a vision of the future seemed to leave him.  Whether it was a consciousness of the four o’clock hour, whether it was the absence of any townsite around there, he did not know, but certainly no spirit of prophecy came to him when offering that prayer.  He said nothing to Brother Moyle, and had said nothing to anyone else.  He had never had an experience of that kind when offering a dedicatory prayer, and he expressed the hope that it has no significance as to the future of that place.

The President was delighted with the attitude of the visitors and with the cooperative spirit which they have there, and delighted with what has been accomplished at the ranch.  They have there now some of the finest cattle perhaps in the United States.  Some of them came with the purchase of the Keen property.  They are still clearing more acreage and hope to place sufficient cattle there to bring an income of probably a million dollars a year.  All in all, he thought the ranch has a bright future.  People came to the services from Melbourne, Orlando, Tonopah, and all around.  It is the only chapel standing out there in that entire area.  The president of the branch is a sort of retiring man, but he conducted the services very well.  There are over 2000 members in that area now.

The President said that Brother Bunker is doing a very good work as president of the Southern States Mission; that he acquitted himself well at Miami, and also at the Deer Park meeting.

President McKay said he was pleased with Fred Schluter’s remarks.  He called on him to speak, which was his first address.  He spoke very well and bore testimony of the truth of the Gospel.  He has come through a severe trial lately in regard to income tax, and has been persecuted to the extent that it has almost taken his health.  He is, however, feeling fine now.”

Fri., 23 Jan., 1959:

“Visit of Sister Spafford to England on Welfare Work

12 o’clock noon – Sister Belle S. Spafford came in to report that she had been in communication with Lady Reading of England regarding her forthcoming trip to England, and explained the welfare activities of Lady Reading and what she thinks might be accomplished by Sister Spafford’s visit to London.  (see following report by Sister Spafford)

Sister Spafford also called attention to a letter which she received from Lady Reading, dated January 12, 1959, (copy of which follows) in which Lady Reading remarked:  ‘Isn’t it funny that all the things we talked of should begin to fall into place, and wasn’t I right when I had that feeling about coming to Salt Lake City.  I honestly do think it was much more than a feeling, it was something which was put there on purpose.  It was so strong in me that I couldn’t resist it, and here we are now planning the second venture well under a year from the first one.  I am thrilled and I hope you are also.

I believe that this visit of Sister Spafford’s to England is going to result in much good — not only for England and their welfare plan, but for our Relief Society.  I feel that we shall mutually be benefitted, and that it might result eventually in a world-wide plan of welfare work.  I am delighted with the prospects.

Friday, January 23, 1959



The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

January 26, 1959


TO:        Sister Clare Middlemiss

FROM:  President Belle S. Spafford

RE:         Interview of President David O. McKay with Sister Belle S. Spafford, Friday,

              January 23, 1959, regarding arrangements for the forthcoming trip of Sister

              Spafford to England at the invitation of the Dowager Marchioness of Reading.

President Spafford stated that she had been in communication with Lady Reading regarding her forthcoming trip to England.  It was the considered opinion of both Lady Reading and Sister Spafford that the months of March and April would be the most suitable time for the trip and that Sister Spafford should arrange to be in London by March 1.

Sister Spafford explained as follows the welfare activities of Lady Reading and what Lady Reading felt might be accomplished by Sister Spafford’s visit to London according to Sister Spafford’s understanding:

Just prior to the outbreak of World War II, Lady Reading had been called by the British Home Office to head up the Civil Defense Program for Great Britain using as much volunteer service as possible.  This she had done wtih a high degree of success.  She personally directed the evacuation from London of women and children during the blitz.  Following the war, Lady Reading had been instructed to hold the organization (Women’s Volunteer Services) intact insofar as possible and to convert it into a peacetime welfare organization.

For the past twenty years Lady Reading has been developing welfare programs through this organization that are unique in many respects.  Her great interest has been in programs for children, the handicapped, and the aged.  Her approach to the care of the aged has been through providing services in their own homes, i.e., Meals on Wheels (hot meals prepared by volunteer workers in a small central kitchen and delivered to the aged in their homes); Homemaker Services; Visiting Nurse Services; and Home Visitor Services.  These services are all functioning successfully.

Lady Reading is now recognizing that an aged person’s condition, in some instances, may be such as to require care in a supervised home or a so-called ‘Nursing Home’.  She is now giving attention to this area of hospitals for the aged who are bedridden.

Short-term training programs for the volunteer workers, which Lady Reading refers to as ‘schoolings’, are conducted in connection with the programs now in operation under her direction.  According to Sister Spafford’s understanding, it is Lady Reading’s desire that Sister Spafford shall attend the schoolings, study the organization setup and the recruitment programs and travel about the country with Lady Reading to see the programs in actual operation.

Lady Reading wishes Sister Spafford to interview some of the key workers and also to acquaint them with Relief Society services and procedures, and explain to them the use of volunteer workers by Relief Society.  She wishes Sister Spafford to spend time with her in appraising her welfare programs, particularly those for the aged.  It is Lady Reading’s hope and belief that out of it all will come something highly beneficial to her country, to our Church, to our Nation, and perhaps even beyond this, to the world.

President Spafford read to President McKay excerpts from the attached letter received from Lady Reading.

President Spafford explained to President McKay that Lady Reading advocated having her occupy a little ‘flatlet’ during her two-month stay in England where she would be comfortable, private, free to invite women to come and discuss the work, and within convenient reach of Lady Reading.  

President Spafford asked President McKay’s counsel regarding these matters.  President McKay expressed the opinion that such housing arrangements would be satisfactory and authorized Sister Spafford to go forward with them at Church expense for the two-month period, March through April.

A brief discussion of how services to the aged in their homes might be developed by Relief Society followed.  It was the opnion of President McKay that something of great value to Relief Society might be gained through President Spafford’s visit to London.

Sister Spafford then reported to President McKay that the National Association for Practical Nurse Education had placed her name in nomination as Second Vice President to be voted upon at the annual convention to be held in Cincinnati the last week in April.  She stated that she had also agreed several months ago to speak at this convention on April 29 and to conduct the general session on April 28.  She felt she should keep these commitments.  Therefore, she would plan to stop over in Cincinnati enroute home from England.

President Spafford further advised President McKay that Mrs. Rose Parsons, President of the National Council of Women of United States and Vice President of the International Council of Women, had learned of Sister Spafford’s forthcoming visit to England.  During Sister Spafford’s recent visit to New York, Mrs. Parsons asked her if she would be willing to remain in Europe through May 3 – 5 and, as a delegate from the National Council of Women of the United States, attend the planning meeting at Vienna, Austria for the next triennial conference of the International Council of Women.  Sister Spafford stated that she had explained to Mrs. Parsons that commitments to the national nurses association, which she felt she should not cancel, would interfere with her accepting such an appointment.  Mrs. Parsons, however, had urged Sister Spafford to give further consideration to the matter.  Sister Spafford said she felt she should acquaint President McKay with Mrs. Parson’s request.

President McKay indicated that President Spafford should keep her commitments with the nurses organization and suggested that Sister Spafford might advise Mrs. Parsons that she might arrange to return to Vienna as a delegate of the National Council of Women if the Council felt it could meet travel expenses.

Belle S. Spafford


Friday, January 23, 1959


      41 Tothill Street



SR/MFT 12th January, 1959

Dear Sister Spafford:

I am writing this letter to suggest to you, as I did in my cable, that you should come for March and April.  The reason I say this is that May and June are the months in which a great many celebrations of our 21st Anniversary will be taking place and, therefore, I am afraid that there might be not the same constant and all over schoolings and the sort of things you might like to attend.

If you can fall in with this I will try and get the little residential flat that I talked of and I would like to know from you if you would like a two roomed flatlet or a one room.

There are two or three blocks of these flatlets where we have very good contacts and where, with service, you get a bathroom and a bedroom with a little sittingroom, a kitchenette and full service, but you can prepare the odd meal yourself, which, of course, is always a great saving and each place has, downstairs, a restaurant where you can either have meals or invite people to have meals with you.  Of course, I think, in the long run, this is the better way to live.  To begin with, you can have the undisturbed life of having a little place of your own where you could work or think, or do anything you want and, in addition, you don’t want to have to be everlastingly packing a grip and going away and coming back and all the rest of it, and, if expenditure would allow it, I believe this is the right way to have the background in which little by little you could ask a person in to sit and talk with you without having the difficulty of having to do so in a ‘common room’, by which I mean a hotel room and I would advocate it very strongly if you feel it is possible.

I was very thrilled with your letter because to me the whole strength of these Social Welfare Programmes is the idea of effective mobilisation, the use of volunteer service and, especially, keeping the interest of the volunteers so that, in fact, in turn, they generate the interest in others and this is the thing that, naturally, I am anxious for you to study and to discuss with us because I am absolutely convinced it is one of the things which, on the long term, is of particular need to the world.  I feel that if many of us can think of this thing seriously enough and practically enough, we could supply a very useful antidote to many of the troubles of the Cold War and that is basically why I am so anxious for you to come.

Of all the people I have talked with I have found that you are more interested in the real reason for the work, the real people and, with humble approach, the importance of translating to many individuals the concept of what the living of the tenets one holds really is.

Isn’t it funny that all the things we talked of should begin to fall into place, and wasn’t I right when I had that feeling about coming to Salt Lake City.  I honestly do think it was much more than a feeling, it was something which was put there on purpose.  It was so strong in me that I couldn’t resist it, and here we are now planning the second venture well under a year from the first one.  I am thrilled and I hope you are also.

I am immediately looking into prices and so on of flatlets and, I am awaiting with anxiety your cable back and hoping that it is going to be in the affirmative.

It is thrilling to think, Sister Spafford, that soon you will be here and we will be able to talk of so many things together at leisure, by which I don’t mean not working but with the time to be able to go deep into the reasons, the hows, the whys, and the wherefores rather than having to do them with watching a clock and, therefore, cutting out some of the important things.

With my very, very best wishes and please tell Mr. Spafford how much I realize he is being unselfish and generous in lending you to us in this way.

Every yours,

/s/ Stella Reading

Mrs. Spafford,

Relief Society of The Church of Jesus

Christ of Latter-day Saints,

76 Main Street

Salt Lake City, Utah”

Tues., 12 July 1960:

“8:30 to 10 a.m.

The meeting of the First Presidency was held.  President Moyle is in Florida, so President Clark and I met alone.

We first considered a matter pertaining to the Deseret Industry Building in Provo, Utah.

President Clark reported actions of the Welfare Committee yesterday.  He said that Howard Barker submitted a report regarding the Deseret Industries and made explanations relative thereto.  President Clark asked Brother Barker to submit this memorandum with explanations to me.  The report shows a remarkable amount of work the Deseret Industries are doing in making provision for handicapped people.

Authorization was given to the Deseret Industries Committee and the Provo Deseret Industries Committee to have working drawings prepared for a new building which will be used as a processing area, and to contain about 17,000 square feet of space, to be built at an estimated cost of $123,000.  President Clark said that no commitment had been given other than to make the working drawings.  He said the Committee also discussed the budget, which is practically the same as a year ago.  Effort is being made because of the unsettled international situation to have advance storage facilities for a year and a half.  This storage is merely for welfare-distributed commodities.”

Wed., 28 June 1961:

“8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Attended the First Presidency’s meeting.  Among matters taken up was a statement prepared by the Welfare Committee for presentation to the mission presidents’ seminar to be held next Sunday, entitled Bulletin No. 11, regarding the conduct of Welfare work in the missions.  The Presidency did not feel to approve certain statements in the Bulletin.  I said that we are not prepared to institute the Welfare Plan in the missions.  It was also felt that Church members who cannot be given productive work on Church properties, but who may be assigned to help private individuals, should be paid by the individuals to whom they are assigned, rather than that the individual employer should pay the branch president ‘the reasonable value of such help.'”

Tues., 5 Sept. 1961:

“8:30 a.m.

By appointment the First Presidency met with Elders Harold B. Lee, Marion G. Romney, Henry D. Taylor and Walter Dansie and discussed the following welfare matters:

1)  An application from the presidency of the Bakersfield Stake for approval to purchase 144 acres of land located eight miles south of Bakersfield on the main highway.  The purchase price is $180,000.  The stake has $13,000 to pay down and they want to borrow the balance.

2)  An application from Riverdale Stake and Weber Stake to purchase 83 acres of land northwest of Ogden for $30,000.

3)  Purchase of 303 acres of land in the Ogden Stake for $192,750.

I said there were only two things in my mind regarding these purchases. 

1)  Can the stake people take proper care of them when they receive the properties — which the Brethren think they can, and, 2) The condition of the world.  I said that unless the Lord intervenes, these emissaries of Satan, imbued the Marx philosophy of destruction of capitalism, are determined that now is the time to strike and the Chinese emissaries of the Devil are urging Khrushchev and his associates to strike at the present time.  I said further that of course if they do, all our property will be put into a socialistic state.  I said I did not think we could stop them but that it is our duty to go forward and leave it in the hands of the Lord.  The clouds are pretty heavy and the emissaries of Satan are determined that the poisonous ideas of that Satanic man Marx shall prevail.  I said that I feel that the Lord will take care of it.  When it comes, all that we have will be taken over by the state.  I said, ‘They are going to strike, mark my words!’  However, I gave my approval to buy the property.

Wed., 1 Nov. 1961:

Welfare Problem – I reported that Elders Harold B. Lee and Henry D. Taylor have some welfare matters they wish to take up with the First Presidency tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m.  I mentioned that these brethren are no doubt desirous of appropriating some money for the purchase of some more land.  I said further that I have been somewhat worried, not about purchasing land because land is generally a safe investment, but about the managing of the farm operations, the question of making these operations profitable, that in order for a farm to be operated profitably it must be run by a man who knows the ravines and springs, and cattle, and can take proper care of these things.  And too, instead of the unemployed giving the service required on these projects, it devolves upon the busiest men in the ward or stake, and particularly those who are in positions of leadership to do the work.

Thurs., 7 Mar. 1963:

“10:00 a.m.

Council Meeting

For the first time for several months, we met in the Salt Lake Temple for our regular weekly meeting of the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve.

We then took up the regular order of business.  Among items take up were:

Welfare Committee – Presiding Bishop John H. Vandenberg to be made Chairman.

I presented to the Brethren the recommendation of the First Presidency that Presiding Bishop John H. Vandenberg be made Chairman of the General Church Welfare Committee, succeeding Marion G. Romney, who will become an advisor to the committee.  On motion, the Council approved this recommendation.  (see following newspaper clipping) 

Fri., 29 Mar. 1963:

“9:00 a.m.

Went into the regular meeting of the First Presidency.  President Moyle was absent in London.

Welfare – Production over Budget

I inquired as to what disposition is made of Welfare surplus over the production of the budget assigned to the ward.  Bishop Vandenberg explained that the surplus comes into the general welfare program and the committee uses the surplus for the administration of the welfare program.  I asked why the Bishop should not use the surplus for ward expenses.  Bishop Vandenberg said he had not given that any thought, and that if I would like them to think about it, he would be happy to do so and report.

Priesthood Quorums Selling Projects – Quorum Members to look after welfare of members, widows, etc.

We read a letter from the Associated Nurserymen’s Association, in which they complain about the unfair competition of priesthood quorums selling fertilizer and other commodities.  Bishop Vandenberg said the stake presidents are over the Melchizedek Priesthood Quorums.  President Brown asked if the matter should be presented by the Presiding Bishopric at the meeting of bishops and stake presidents at conference time rather than to have it presented in the General Priesthood meeting.  I mentioned ‘The Messenger’, saying it will go to the bishops.  Bishop Vandenberg said it is sent also to stake presidents.  Bishop Brown said if you wish to put a statement in to the stake presidents in ‘The Messenger’ they will get it.  It could be over the signatures of the First Presidency.

I stated we are now on a weak point, and if it is handled properly we can have a great source of strength.  Referring to the visit of the Grand Exalted Ruler of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks with the First Presidency this morning, I said that quorum membership should be to Church members what lodge membership is to these men.

The elders, seventies, and high priest quorums of the Melchizedek Priesthood, and the priest, teachers, deacons quorums in the Aaronic Priesthood should be to the membership of the Church what membership is to the members of that Order — each looking after the welfare of the members.  They should sit in counsel with the presidencies of each quorum.  A quorum should sit in counsel and consider the welfare, physical and spiritual of each member and see that the member is given care.  If there is a death in the quorum, every members should be made aware.  Yesterday, one of our elders was killed in England.  He had been in the mission field only two months.  He has no father.  The mother is a widow alone.  The members of his quorum should be made aware of that boy’s mother and her need.  That should be emphasized throughout the Church, but we are not doing it.  The High Priests’ Quorum or group in the ward is seeking means for sending to the missionaries help from the quorum, and they all do it.  They can contribute.  The instruction should come from the Presidency of the Stake who has charge of the elders; from the First Council of the Seventy, the Seventies.  How we’re making the president of the stake the president of the high priests’ quorum so they will use the quorum power as it should be used in getting all of the members of the group to take care of members of the quorum.  That is in addition to what you have over the Aaronic Priesthood.

Bishop Vandenberg said this does not absolve the bishop of his responsibility.

I said that it makes the bishop the president of the priests’ quorum.  He is president of these young men; they have a responsibility for the moral atmosphere of the ward.  Bishop Simpson said the bishop is the father of the ward.  Bishop Vandenberg said there is nothing the matter with the organization, it is just a matyer of getting the organization to work.

I said that it is a perfect organization and there is nothing like it in the world.  So here, when the quorums seek ways to make money, be careful.  Bishop Vandenberg said they would prepare something and have the sanction of the First Presidency.”

Fri., 5 June 1964:

“Welfare – Inquiry About Accepting State Assistance by Members Who Receive Part Welfare Assistance

Bishop Vandenberg presented the inquiry of President Ned Winder of the Florida Mission as to whether or not members who receive assistance from the Church but not enough to sustain them should accept Stake assistance in addition.  Bishop Vandenberg commented that he had understood that members should not be encouraged to accept State assistance when the Church gives them assistance.  They should be wholly cared for by the Church and in the missions from the fast offerings.

I advised that it is a personal matter whether individuals take assistance under these circumstances from the State; that the Church stands ready to take care of our people and provide the necessary assistance.  Bishop Vandenberg said, it is then a personal prerogative if they want to accept state relief.

Civil Rights Amendments – Effect upon Welfare Department and other Church Commercial Properties

Bishop Vandenberg reviewed information received by Elder Henry D. Taylor from Senator Wallace F. Bennett about proposed amendments to the Civil Rights bill now being considered in Congress as there may be applicable to employers of more than 25 persons, and the Senator’s inquiry about the effect this might have upon Deseret Industries other commercial businesses of the Church and the Welfare projects surpluses of which are sold on the open market.

Thurs., 18 June 1964:

“9:00 to 9:40 a.m.

Took up First Presidency’s letters with President Tanner.  Among the matters considered, were:

Germany – East Zone

Read a letter from President Tate of the Berlin Mission, bearing the endorsement of President Ezra Taft Benson of the European Mission, recommending that authorization be give for the expenditure of 30,000 DM from the tithing funds in East Germany to buy potatoes and fuel for our members in the East Zone.  President Tate says that this is the same amount that was expended for this purpose in 1963, and the year before.

I said that we should approve of this expenditure.”

Tues., 26 Aug, 1969:

“(Minutes Regarding Mississippi Hurricane Disaster and Church Aid.)

August 26, 1969 9:00 A.M.

A meeting was held this morning in the First Presidency’s Office to give consideration to the problems involved in the recent hurricane disaster in Mississippi. There were present Presidents Hugh B. Brown, N. Eldon Tanner, Joseph Fielding Smith and Alvin R. Dyer; also Elders Harold B. Lee, Henry D. Taylor, Victor I.. Brown, 0. Layton Alldredge, A. Lewis Elggren and Carvel Davis.

Bishop Brown explained that one of the basic questions is that a number of families in Mississippi have lost their homes. The Red Cross has offered to lend them money to rebuild, and the question is whether the Church would be willing, able, or interested in taking care of the situation rather than having the Red Cross provide funds. Bishop Brown said the answer must be given today if it is going to be given. President Brown asked the question if there is any objection to our accepting from the Red Cross such help as they are willing to give and then supplementing this help from our own funds. It was reported that a family of eight members of the Church was wiped out by the flood in Virginia in the Central Atlantic States Mission.

Elder Lee related experiences that we have had in the past where catastrophies have occurred and assistance rendered by the Church through the Welfare. He said that it was difficult from this distance to determine what to do. He suggested that we may have to make some individual loans and that Brother Uhrhan, who handles the loans for the Welfare, is a master in analyzing such things. He thought that he should make an inspection on the ground, taking someone else with him, and see what the Red Cross has done and what the size of the job is and then report back. He thought it would be a mistake to send truck loads or train loads of materials without knowing exactly what is needed.

Brother Alldredge reported having visited the area. He reported that on a temporary basis within two days every person was contacted and everyone was housed by ourselves. He said there was nothing but very minor damage to our chapels, although many people have lost their homes. He said that he obtained a permit from the Red Cross so that he could visit the various areas. He mentioned that people began to come in from New Orleans and other places and brought food and other items to help the people who were in distress. He stated that about half of the people of the Biloxi Ward are military men and they could go everywhere, and a meeting was held at 2:00 to which all the bishops and branch presidents were invited to come. President White of the Hattiesburg Stake was also there. It was reported that every person was housed and there was plenty of food and water and everyone had been accounted for in two days as far as the Church members were concerned. He said that Sears Roebuck had said that they would give the people mattresses at cost. It was further reported that about 80 families have lost their homes and the Red Cross is willing to help them rebuild their homes. The question was asked: Should they accept the Red Cross aid or should the Church take over?

Elder Lee stated that the families can do what they want to do regardless of what we think. He said this is one of the most devastating of all disasters and there will be a nation-wide drive.

It was decided to have Welfare representatives go down to Mississippi and make an investigation of the situation, obtain an accurate picture of what damage has been done, and teach the people what they can do to help themselves.

Elder Lee suggested that Brother Henry D. Taylor, Lewis Elggren and Alfred Uhrhan take over this job. It was suggested that Brother Alldredge supply these brethren with a copy of the report of his visit there so they could pick up where he left off. Brother Taylor and those associated with him will make the trip as quickly as possible and furnish a complete report upon their return. The brethren agreed with President Tanner’s suggestion that this committee have authority to take care of emergencies while there and make such appropriations as seem urgent. It was also agreed that it would be wise to include the presidents of all surrounding stakes in this rebuilding program. Brother Henry D. Taylor was asked to make the necessary arrangements.

President Brown stated that it was his feeling that in all that we do we should keep in contact and have good relations with the Red Cross because there could come a time when there would be a disaster that involved our people that we could not handle.

* * * ..

Minutes by Joseph Anderson”