THE Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints put a stop to “Rag dances” for good in its ward buildings in 1913, according to an Ogden Standard-Examiner report from March 24 that year.
These masquerade balls were not deemed appropriate at social gatherings by LDS Church leaders, as announced in North Weber Stake Conference in the Ogden Tabernacle by James Wotherspoon, Stake President.
“Masquerade balls have been forbidden in the ward halls,” he said.
(Even today wearing masks in LDS buildings, like for Halloween events, is frowned on, except for special dramatic productions.)
Also, statistical reports 102 years ago by LDS leaders were surprising open. Tithing by stake members was stated to have increased by $1,112.63 in the past year, while the numbers of tithe payers also rose from 1,370 to 1,465. Stake membership was up to 6,229 members, an increase of 410 in the past year.
-Some 13 years later in February of 1926, David O. McKay, then an LDS Apostle, spoke at Weber College and warned parents about the dangers involved with dancing and also with automobile hazards.
He said moral conditions at dances and in automobiles at night were a concern. He also urged the young to avoid alcohol and tobacco.
To parents, Elder McKay said, “Homes make the lawbreakers and also the law abiders.”
Proper nutrition for children and striving to avoid diseases were subjects addressed by other speakers at the meeting.
Other historical tidbits:
-“Mormon Church takes up Boy Scout activities” was a March 4, 1912 Standard headline. This involved the first participation by the LDS Church in the Boy Scouts, with 15,000 boys at the time. (Last August, the LDS Church stated it would still retain its affiliation with the Scouts, despite some concerns.)
--“Kaysville has new tabernacle” was a May 26, 1914 Standard headline. The Tabernacle cost $38,263, while a remodeled Kaysville opera house cost $8,827. Bishop Henry H. Blood and also John R. Barnes both spoke at the Tabernacle’s dedication on May 25, attended by a combined total of 2,421 people during the three meetings held that day.
-“Chapel for dead children” was a Feb. 17, 1915 Standard headline. Just over a century ago, the LDS Church announced plans for a chapel exclusively for the hearing-impaired at 21st Street and Liberty Avenue, near Liberty Park. At a cost of about $15,000, this meetinghouse would be less than two blocks from the State School for the Deaf and Blind.
-A Standard story on May 18, 1914 reported “Contests held in the Ogden Tabernacle on Sunday.” Oratory, singing and retold story competitions were held for 120 participants from eight area stakes.