Monday, March 16, 2009

Morgan 4: Heber J. Grant to the Morgan Family

In 1937 a group of friends got together to celebrate B.H. Roberts' eightieth birthday (March 13). Roberts didn't have the privilege of attending the party since he died in 1934.

At the gathering, Heber J. Grant "made some remarks and spoke of Brother Morgan, who was a very intimate associate of Elder Roberts in the Southern States Mission, and afterwards became the president of the Southern States Mission. These remarks were sent to me to be read and corrected, and I have concluded, instead of correcting these remarks, to dictate, for the benefit of Brother Morgan’s family, not only what I said at this meeting, but some other items that I feel would be of interest to the family of my dearly beloved brother, the late John Morgan."

I have decided not to put the entire text online. It includes memories of Morgan's school, an extensive description of a run-in Morgan had with the Godbeites, anecdotes from experiences in the Southern States Mission, and an account of the Three Nephites story that is told in Sunday School manuals from time to time (which I will treat in a separate post). If you would like a copy of the letter, please contact me. Here is a tidbit from the letter:
Bishop Woolley notified the speakers that they did not like long meetings in the Thirteenth Ward [where Grant lived as a boy], an hour’s talking was all they wanted, and he would notify them at the end of the hour—if there were two home missionaries—that he would pull their coat-tails when the time was up. I used to sit in the northeast corner of the meeting house when I was a boy in my teens, and I had a habit of closing my watch very hard in the hope that the Bishop would hear it snap and pull some of the people’s coat tails when they would run over a little. Upon one occasion when Brother John Morgan was there the Bishop allowed him to talk for one hour and a half, and I can truthfully say that I was never more anxious in my life for anything than that the Bishop should not pull his coat-tail. It was one of the most remarkable sermons I ever listened to. When Brother Morgan finished his sermon, the Bishop jumped up and said: “We have had a spiritual feast, come often, Brother Morgan, and talk as long as you want.” And I decided that the Bishop knew whose coat-tails to pull.

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