On Learning to Sing

One of the leading Church officials, upon hearing me sing, when I first started to practice, remarked that my singing reminded him very much of the late Apostle Orson Pratt’s poetry. He said Brother Pratt wrote only one piece of poetry, and this looked like it had been sawed out of boards, and sawed off straight.

—Elder Heber J. Grant Improvement Era October 1900, p. 887

MEALTIME: When youngsters sit down to continue to eat.

Visual Activity

The other day I read in a local newspaper about a sarcastic lawyer who was making it pretty tough for a witness. The lawyer said, “Did you see the accident?”

The witness replied, “Yes, sir.”

“How far away were you?”

“Oh, about thirty feet.”

“Well, how far can you see anyway?”

And the witness replied: “I do not know, but in the morning when I wake up I can see the sun, and they tell me it is about ninety million miles away.”

—Elder Alma Sonne Assistant to the Council of the Twelve April Conference, 1957

Foreign Aid: Money paid by poor people in a rich country to rich people in poor countries.

—Daily Telegraph, London

From examination papers of sixth-graders:

The dinosaur became extinct at the time of the flood because he was too big to fit in the ark.

A person should take a bath once in the summer, and not so often in the winter.

Manhattan Island was bought from the Indians for $24.00 and I do not suppose you could buy it back for $500.00.

—Los Angeles Times

Anybody can become angry—that is easy; but to be angry with the right person, and to the right degree, and at the right time, and for the right purpose, and in the right way—that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.


Until the other day, a lady, aged one hundred and eight, had never seen an automobile, which explains why she is one hundred and eight.

At a stake presidency and high council party recently, we heard the story of two morticians traveling in their family truck when the back door opened and the casket in back dropped to the street. Said one mortician to the other: “I guess we should go back and rehearse that.”

—Charles E. Bradford Bountiful, Utah

At a recent meeting I attended, a talk was given which seemed to be lacking in real conviction. At its conclusion the chairman of the day characterized the experience as “the bland leading the bland.”

—Elder Marion D. Hanks Assistant to the Council of the Twelve April Conference, 1960

In the window of a Maryland loan company: “We serve the man who has everything—but hasn’t paid for it.”

—Lucille S. Harper Cheverly, Md.