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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Bradley, Martha Sonntag ; Roberts, Allen Dale
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84 Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought who served as a secretary to Oscar McConkie, recalled that the mission president read his son's letters to the missionaries in the office. According to her, "The elders were sitting around the table saying, If we^eould only do that' [go without purse or scrip]." She explained that vagrancy laWain California prevented McConkie from considering it.25 Eventually, as in New England, McConkie worked around vagrancy laws by asking the missionaries to carry some cash. According to his son, he prayed and asked to have the faith of Enoch. Soon "he realized that he could have prayed until his tongue went dry, but ... he had to have the works of Enoch and Elijah to develop that faith."26 Spencer J. Palmer described McConkie as "a man of unflinching faith" who felt he was "entitled to constant revelation in the administration of the California Mission." The president's request surprised Palmer, but he continued that McConkie "believed that we had a shortage of faith among the missionaries. We were not baptizing as we should because we were not humble or loving enough."27 Douglas F. Sonntag said he used to "kid the president." After getting a "letter from Oscar in New England that told how great this going without purse or scrip was," Sonntag said McConkie felt, "I'll get these missionaries out of their beds one way or another."28 This became the mission story. Carl W. Bingham who arrived in the mission in December 1948 said, "I was told that the reason for us traveling without purse or scrip was because the missionaries were too comfortable in their apartments and were not doing much missionary work."29 In August and September 1948 the mission president visited all the elders and asked them to go without purse or scrip. The mission's quarterly report explained that they voted unanimously in favor of the plan.30 James B. Allen, who had just arrived in the mission two months before McConkie's request, wrote his reaction in a journal. "Boy, what a surprise." While Allen felt, "It's rather strange to think that right now I have no idea whatever as to where I'll be sleeping tomorrow night," he concluded, "this experience is going to humble us and teach us to put our 25. La Rue Sneff Oral History, 5, interviewed by Lynn DeWitt, 14 Oct. 1994, LDS Missionary. 26. Oscar McConkie, Jr., Oral History, 2, interviewed by Lynn DeWitt, 20 Sept. 1994, LDS Missionary. 27. Spencer John Palmer Oral History, 6, interviewed by Lynn DeWitt, 22 Mar. 1994, LDS Missionary. 28. Douglas F. Sonntag Oral History, 10, interviewed by Lynn DeWitt, 11 Apr. 1994, LDS Missionary. 29. Carl W. Bingham Letter, on file in Redd Center for Western Studies. 30. Entry dated 11 Sept. 1948, Manuscript Report, California Mission, Report ending 30 Sept. 1948, LDS archives.