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"There are now 724 organized wards, and in addition 27 branches, within the stakes of Zion. There are 65 stakes of Zion, and 21 missions, aside from the Iosepa Colony. Of the 724 wards, 607 own meeting houses, most of which are of modern construction and have cost from $5,000 to $35,000 each."

And some of them a great deal more than that.

"There are 117 wards not yet provided with permanent meeting houses."

And we want some of you good brethren of the wards, who are engaged in building meeting houses today, to bear in mind. these 117 wards yet unsupplied with meeting houses, and that they will be calling upon us for help, by and by. Make your burdens as light upon us as you can, unless you decide to increase the tithing. If you will get all the non-tithe payers in your wards, who claim to be members of the Church, to pay a full tithing, and everybody else will do likewise, we will not ask you to call upon the people to build your meeting houses. The Trustee-in-Trust will do it for you. But we cannot do it until more of the people will do their duty.

"During the year 1913, one new stake of Zion (Boise stake,) and 26 new wards were organized; four new stake presidents were appointed and installed, also 115 bishops, and 155 ward clerks."

So we keep changing all the while. Some die, some move away, and this creates a necessity for a new supply of men to fill these positions.

"The Church has not failed in its duty to the worthy poor. The hearts of the bishops are always open to provide for the needs of those who otherwise would be left in want. Our splendid Relief Society organization did more in aiding the poor and ministering to the needy, during the year 1913, than in any previous year since its organization."

I think this is a well deserved word of credit to the Relief Societies of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and possibly if our General Board had been a little more active in their efforts among the Latter-day Saints, going out and setting the proper example before them, even a greater work than this might have been accomplished.

"A very considerable item among the many expenditures of the Church for benevolent purposes is the aid extended to our Mexican refugees.

"The Church has sought to provide, as far as possible, mission headquarters and places of worship in the different missions as the need for such appears. At the present time the missions hold, as the property of the Church used strictly for missionary services and places of worship. houses as follows:

British mission
California mission..

Central States mission.
Eastern States mission
Hawaiian mission
Iosepa Colony
Japanese mission

Netherlands mission
New Zealand mission.

9

5

Northern States mission..
Northwestern States mission..
Samoan mission...
Scandinavian mission.

.10

4

9

Swedish mission...

1

Southern States mission.
Tahitian mission

1

2 Western States mission

3

6

6

8

1

.46

2

3

All 46 places in the Southern States mission, with the exception of the headquarters in Chattanooga, have been provided for by the mission itself. The president of the Southern States mission has made his mission self-sustaining, and is able to send. a portion of the tithings of the people there to the Presiding Bishop's office, besides. I think it is a worthy example for some of the rest of our brethren.

To me these are very interesting facts, and I think they are facts that everybody in the Church, should know. I would like to say that the books in the Bishop's office are open to Latterday Saints. There isn't a Latter-day Saint anywhere who may not obtain information with reference to these matters and others of interest to himself, at any time when he desires to obtain them for his own information and benefit, and for the work of the ministry in which he may be engaged. It is open to him.

Now, the Lord bless you. I hope you will pardon me for occupying so much of your time. God bless Zion. My heart is with this work, and this people. I love God. I know that he is, and I know that my Redeemer lives. May the Lord help us to abide in the truth and be faithful and vigilant and valiant unto the windng up of our labor in life, is my prayer in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Concerning the Book of Mormon Clause-"It Came to Pass"

EDITOR IMPROVEMENT ERA: It is interesting and encouraging, though assuredly not surprising, to find that the articles in course of current publication through your pages on "Hebrew Idioms and Analogies in the Book of Mormon" attract the attention of scholarly readers among both members and non-members of the Church. The author, Brother Thomas W. Brookbank, at present engaged as a missionary called to special service in England, should find satisfaction in the valuable results of his research, and in the assurance of the good he is accomplishing. His analytical study of the language of the Book of Mormon and his excellent contributions to the literature of the subject are of more than present interest; they will continue to be of assistance to students in this important field of investigation.

In a letter recently received from a personal friend, who is a gentleman of high attainments in literature and philology, approving reference is made to Brother Brookbank's writings; and this is followed by a commentary on the connective or continuant clause, "It came to pass," which is of so frequent occurrence in the Book of Mormon as to have claimed the attention of readers of all classes. Although my able and gifted correspondent was not writing for publication when he indited the letter referred to, I take the liberty of transmitting herewith an extract from his communication, knowing that such will be of value to your readers.

SALT LAKE CITY,
APRIL 20, 1914.

THE COMMENT

Respectfully,
JAMES E. TALmage.

I have read with interest the articles on "Hebrew Idioms in the Book of Mormon," by Thomas W. Brookbank, in the IMPROVEMENT ERA. The last installment read by me—“Concerning the Use of the Hebrew Conjunction for 'and'", is very suggestive, and in this same connection, there is an even more suggestive "evidence" to be found. As is perennially familiar, the phrase "it came to pass" has been quoted as an "earmark" of the Book of Mormon, although not common in the English translations of the Old Testament. As this writer probably knows, however, the expression, where it occurs in the Hebrew or Greek scriptures, is a phrase merely. In the Hebrew, there are two words used with this translation, one meaning "to come in," "to befall," "to happen," etc., the other the verb "to be." Altogether there are about thirty examples of this phrase in the Old Testament, and something over one hundred in the New Testament, representing the verb "to come."

To derive a Hebrew idiom, however, from the use of this phrase in the Book of Mormon, one need only consider that the rule with narrative writings in the Old Testament is to begin sentences or clauses with a connective particle. This may be seen by running the eye down a page of Kings, Chronicles, etc., and noting the number of verses beginning with "and." The verbs above mentioned are used in about the same way, as simple continuants or links in the chain of thought.

It may be seen, therefore, that the text of the Book of Mormon exhibits, in the use of a constant connective expression, a close analogy to a regular idiom of the Hebrew language. It would be difficult indeed to establish the contention that a modern writer should burden his mind with the constant repetition of such a stilted phrase, when the direct style of narrative would be much more effective and much easier to write. It would be

absurd to argue that he was doing this merely to be consistent with an idiom, which no one but an appreciative Hebraist could recognize. If, also, he was "attempting to imitate the solemn. style of the English Bible," as President Fairchild suggested, the particle "and" as a connective must have seemed much more familiar and regular.

If, as claimed, the Book of Mormon was actually translated from a text in Egyptian letters, the inference is nearly unescapable that the Hebrew writer used some sort of ideogram or "picture sign" as a connective, instead of the word spelled in phonetic characters. If, as is not impossible on Hebrew analogy, this sign indicated some such idea as "happening," "going forward," etc., the translation "came to pass" (after the analogy of Greek verbs in the New Testament) would seem the most logical rendering.

Such a use of Egyptian signs could be admitted, since the Book of Mormon suggests a Hebrew composition, rather than an Egyptian. This is precisely what it claims to be. An estimate of the number of "ands" in the Old Testament and of "it came to pass" in the Book of Mormon would show effectually that the latter reproduces a familiar idiom of the former; also that the writers were familiar with Hebrew, probably as a native language.

Major Gilbert

Through the courtesy of Superintendent of Church Schools H. H. Cummings, the IMPROVEMENT ERA presents to its readers, as a frontispiece in this number, an excellent photograph of Major J. H. Gilbert, who was the principal compositor of the first edition of the Book of Mormon. Major Gilbert was the son of Russell Gilbert and was an unpretentious, but very interesting character. It was his custom continually, up to his last birthday, to visit each succeeding year the printing office where the Book of Mormon was set, and which is still in operation. Here he would set a stick of type and regale the printers with reminiscences of his early experiences. He was very sociable and a great favorite with the young people, was an expert upon the violin, and in his early days a dancer. It was his custom to get together groups of young people and give them dancing lessons. He was respected by all the citizens of Palmyra. His death occurred when he was ninety-two years, ten months of age. None of his family reside in Palmyra. He gave to Mr. Pliney T. Sexton, who now owns the printing office, as well as the Hill Cumorah, an uncut copy of the

first edition of the Book of Mormon, and Mr. Sexton has frequently, and with great care, since he holds the book very precious, exhibited the volume to visitors from Utah who have called upon him and whom he has treated invariably with the greatest courtesy. Major Gilbert is mentioned in the History of the Church, volume 1, page 75.

A New Book

The Story and Philosophy of Mormonism, by Dr. James E. Talmage has just been issued from the Deseret News and is a work which will be welcomed by both missionaries and other readers who are members of the Church, as well as by inquirers who seek to know the truth concerning the Latter-day Saints. The little volume contains two lectures delivered at different times by Dr. Talmage. The "Story" first appeared in the IMPROVEMENT ERA, and was later issued in booklet form by the Millennial Star, and by the Bureau of Information, and has been translated and published abroad, versions having appeared in Swedish, modern Greek and Russian. "The Philosophy of Mormonism" was first delivered by Dr. Talmage before the Philosophical Society of Denver, and later appeared first in the IMPROVEMENT ERA. Of this also translations have been made into the Danish and German languages. The "Story" contains highly condensed essential events relating to the history of the Latterday Saints, vividly described in a style clear and convincing, and indicating the thorough familiarity of the author with the subject under consideration. The Prophet Joseph Smith, the beginning of "Mormonism," the appearance of the Book of Mormon, the work among the Indians, temple building, the growth and expansion of the Church, the martyrdom of the prophet, and the rise and achievements of Brigham Young, his exodus with the people to the West, the "Mormon" Battalion, the arrival of the pioneers in the valleys of Utah, and the subsequent development of the Church up to recent times, are treated in the usual convincing fashion of the noted author.

In "The Philosophy of Mormonism" the reader and investigator will find a concise statement of the belief of the Latterday Saints. This lecture is particularly valuable to investigators and friends, as well as critics, who desire an authoritative statement of "Mormon" belief in the Godhead, man's mission on earth, free agency, man's eternal progression, and other doctrines of the Latter-day Saints. Those who read it will learn that the principles of "Mormonism" conform to the teachings of the Savior, both as related to the spiritual destiny of man and to that needed service that one should give to another here upon the earth, and

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