Periodicals; Mormons; Religious thought; Philosophy and religion
Independent national quarterly established to express Mormon culture and examine the relevance of religion to secular life. It is edited by Mormons who wish to bring their faith into dialogue with human experience as a whole and to foster artistic and scholarly achievement based on their cultural heritage. The journal encourages a variety of viewpoints; although every effort is made to insure accurate scholarship and responsible judgment, the views expressed are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of the Mormon Church or of the editors.
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Rees, Robert A.
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Harold B. Lee: An Appreciation, Both Historical and Personal
HAROLD B. LEE: AN APPRECIATION, BOTH HISTORICAL AND PERSONAL James B. Allen When I was asked by Dialogue to write something in memory of President Harold B. Lee, my thought immediately went in two directions: the impact President Lee had upon the Church, and the influence he had upon my personal life. Since I both revered and respected President Lee, I welcome this opportunity to express my feelings. Harold B. Lee will be remembered in Church history for many things, but paramount in my mind is his contribution to the Welfare program and his work in Correlation. In 1930 he became President of Pioneer Stake, and at age 31 he was the youngest stake president in the Church. America was in the depths of its most serious economic depression, and Pioneer Stake was particularly hard hit. Of the 7,300 stake members, 4,800 were either completely or partially dependent upon some kind of relief. But President Lee and his counselors were creative and soon initiated an imaginative and far-reaching new program for relief. Believing in the principle that work should be contributed in return for relief rendered, they obtained a warehouse which unemployed workers soon renovated for work and storage projects. This warehouse was transformed into a beehive of enterprise which provided hundreds of Saints with work, food, and goods to sustain them. Special drives were instituted to collect clothing, furniture, and fruit bottles; and sewing, reconditioning and canning projects were carried out to provide both work and goods for the needy. But the First Presidency of the Church were concerned that many other members were suffering the effects of the depression, and large numbers were receiving public aid. They saw the need for a Church-wide program of relief, and the success of Elder Lee in Pioneer Stake caught their attention. In April, 1935, the Presidency asked Elder Lee to organize and take charge of a Church Welfare program. Here, in his own words, is the way he recalled it many years later: There I was, just a young man in my thirties. My experience had been limited. I was born in a little country town in Idaho. I had hardly been outside the boundaries of the states of Utah and Idaho. And now to put me in a position where I was to reach out to the entire membership of the Church, worldwide, was one of the most staggering contemplations that I could imagine. How could I do it with my limited understanding? With the weight of this new burden pressing heavily upon him, the young stake president sought solitude and inspiration in a walk, and then a fervent prayer, in Rotary Park: As I kneeled down, my petition was, "What kind of an organization should be set up in order to accomplish what the Presidency has assigned?" And there came to me on that glorious morning one of the most heavenly realizations of the power of the priesthood of God. It was as though something were saying to me, "There is no new organization necessary to take care of the needs of this people. All that is necessary is to put the priesthood of God to work. There is nothing else that you need as a substitute."