School and Fireside: Maeser’s Legacy

A. LeGrand Richards, Called to Teach: The Legacy of Karl G. Maeser (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2014), 565–600.

If it should please my Heavenly Father, I shall be a teacher in heaven.

—Karl Maeser[1]

In November 1898, Maeser was invited to the dedication of a brand-new district school in the southeast section of Provo, Utah. In a day when such public schools were being named after the great founders of America: Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Hamilton, Lincoln, and so forth, this public school was to be named after Karl G. Maeser while he was still serving as the superintendent of Church schools, and not even the Salt Lake Tribune protested against this gesture.[2] Maeser’s life had shown remarkable commitment and dedication to education and it seemed a fitting tribute to show appreciation of the legacy he was developing and would leave. On the occasion, Maeser humbly accepted the honor, spoke a few words, and offered a dedicatory prayer “that nothing unholy might ever find place within its walls.”[3]

Two years later, three months before he died, Maeser was invited back to visit Maeser School during their Founders Day celebration. In each of the four classrooms he wrote a different phrase on the chalkboard: “This life is one great object lesson to practice on the principles of immortality and eternal life”; “Man grows with his higher aims”; “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”; and “Let naught that is unholy enter here.” He signed and dated each. Three months after Maeser’s death, glass frames were placed over the chalkboards,[4] where they remained in this public school for more than 105 years.[5]

The Maeser legacy, however, is so much more than a name on a beautiful old school building and a few wonderful sayings quoted on chalkboards or included in newspaper articles. The legacy he left, even in the midst of great tribulation, is deeply embedded in the history of education in the West and laid the foundation for education in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His sayings and teachings continue to challenge Latter-day Saints to strive to live up to their yet-unrealized, divine privileges. Like the rest of his life, his last few years provide a powerful object lesson to others and the ideas he shared addressed many of the challenges for the twentieth century and beyond.

The Death of Anna

Unlike so many who spend their last few years in disappointment and decline, beaten down by their struggles and robbed of physical vitality, Maeser spent his last five years at full steam. He had often prayed that he would be allowed “to die in the harness,”[6] doing the Lord’s work and while these years were filled with toil and sorrow, they were also interspersed with moments of great satisfaction and accomplishment. From 1896 to 1901, there was no letup in Maeser’s exhausting schedule.

He was returning from a Church school assignment in Oregon on April 2, 1896, when his devoted companion of nearly forty-two years, Anna, passed away peacefully in her sleep, a month shy of her sixty-sixth birthday. She had accompanied him to Salt Lake to visit her sister, Camilla Cobb, while he traveled on. For several months, she had been suffering from an ailment in her stomach, but it was not known that her condition had become so serious. Their son Reinhard was summoned when her condition worsened and was at the home when she passed away. He met his father at the train station to deliver the terrible news. Sister Maeser had joined Karl in his early quest for truth, sacrificed with him to travel to Utah, wept with him at their losses and sorrows, laughed and rejoiced with him at their joys and successes, and supported him in all his assignments. She had been a gracious host, a wise advisor, a faithful mother, and a caring companion.

Franklin D. Richards spoke comfortingly at her funeral. He reminisced about her willingness to follow her husband in baptism, knowing that it would cost them all semblance of family stability. She too had come from a refined home and had to sacrifice it all for the crude circumstances of pioneer life in Utah. She was a woman without guile, generous and kind. For most of their marriage she took in boarders and strangers, opening her home and hospitality to those in need.[7]

After Anna’s passing, Karl threw himself back into the work. He moved his residence to Salt Lake with Emilie and their daughter, Anna Christina. In June, Maeser spoke at the first official meeting of the Utah State Teachers Association (previously the Utah Territorial Teachers Association).[8] He then continued his travels to the various stakes of the Church, demonstrating religion classes, strengthening the Church schools, and encouraging parents and teachers. In the summers, he traveled to the schools in the North, including those in Canada; from October to December, he traveled as far south as the schools in Mexico. This travel was physically taxing, aggravating every physical ailment he had.[9] Though he didn’t slacken his pace, each year the journey seemed to take more and more out of him.

Tragedy struck again on November 19, 1899, one of the saddest days of Karl’s and Emilie’s lives, when their beloved nineteen-year-old daughter, Annie (Anna Christina), died of tuberculosis or pneumonia (“a severe hemorrhage of the lungs”).[10] She was a refined young lady and a very talented musician who was well known in the community. She had been engaged to Dr. Harry A. Young, who was brutally killed in the Philippines while serving as a surgeon in the military. At a party, she had learned of the horrible act and it threw her into a deep despair from which she never recovered.

On December 9, 1899, Maeser lost another pillar in his life. Franklin D. Richards passed away after an extensive illness at the age of seventy-eight. Though President Richards was not that much older than Maeser, he had been like a father to him. He had baptized Karl in 1855, had served with him and called him to be a mission president in 1868, had followed his development, had counseled him in his trials, had attended his lectures as often as possible, and had been given permission by President John Taylor for Maeser to be adopted into Franklin’s family.[11] Often they had shared the same pulpit and preached the same message. Their relationship had been close and tender for decades.

School and Fireside

Maeser’s response to these tragedies was to throw himself deeper into the Lord’s work. Those who knew him best began to notice that the stresses of his position and the sorrows of his experience were beginning to take a toll on him, but he was unrelenting. While maintaining his demanding schedule in 1897, Maeser completed his only book, School and Fireside, though sections of it had already been published.[12] As early as September of 1891, Maeser had expressed the need for a Latter-day Saint–oriented textbook for teachers. In a letter to Wilford Woodruff he wrote, “I have realized for a long time the want of a religious textbook constructed upon correct Normal principles.”[13]

After a great deal of coaxing by friends and former students, in October of 1894, Maeser had “reluctantly” submitted a prospectus for this book to Shelton & Company. In the prospectus, he claimed, “No attempt has been made to present startling ideas, or to urge radical changes in existing educational systems.”[14] Maeser knew that so many other books had been published, but he wanted “to plead for the cause of true education, the education of the whole man” and to unite school and fireside, the school with the home. He wanted “to place on record the characteristic features of the Normal work done in the Brigham Young Academy” and to summarize the “best ideas of educators,” and “the achievements of science in the educational field . . . as far as they are in accord with the principles of moral and religious training.” He did not want to claim credit for creating the Church’s position on education. He wanted to articulate what he believed were the educational ideas that flowed naturally out of the teachings of the Church.

Maeser selected the theme of School and Fireside because of the potential for these two fundamental educational institutions to impact eternal destiny; in his words, “The fireside as an emblem of the future heavenly-home; the school room as the prototype of the house of God.”[15] He was convinced that these two institutions needed to work in harmony for the best education. Of course, he also recognized that the ideal was seldom experienced; therefore, there was a great need to strengthen and supplement the less-than-ideal efforts of each. For him, entering the classroom or the living room was to tread upon sacred ground, because they were places of access to the human mind, heart, and hand where souls could be invited to commune with God. The theme of the book found its way into the lectures he gave during his last few years, and while his educational philosophy is summarized in chapter 13, the main themes in School and Fireside as they appeared in his last lectures deserve special review because they form the basis of his legacy for the future.

Education in the Home

In the travels of his last years, Maeser reminded parents, for example, “the home is the sanctuary of the human race.”[16] Children are loaned to parents as a sacred charge and as “a trust given to the human family and should be cherished.”[17] Parental responsibility begins before the child is even born with the physical, social, and spiritual heritage parents give them that “may prove a curse or a blessing.”[18] This responsibility “never entirely ceases, even with the closing of the coffin lid.”[19] As spiritual stewards, parents become living object lessons for their children, and they will someday have to account for their stewardships and the lessons they had lived. Those who could render an account of faithfully fulfilling their duties “would be blessed individuals, but [as for] those who handed in a report to the contrary . . . great would be their misery.” Latter-day Saints believe that when performed with the proper priesthood authority, families can be sealed for “time and all eternity.” In this context, Maeser taught that parental example has eternal consequences; that parents must be mindful of the seeds they plant in minds of their children. Harsh measures must be avoided in order for parents to “instill into their young hearts a love of God [and] a love of their fellowman.”[20] At the same time, however, children should realize, “Our life here is a kind of kindergarten to prepare [us] for a higher life. . . . Our missions were assigned to us before we came here.”[21] In other words, it is up to us to use our agency to discover the personal missions we have been given and choose to fulfill them. This agency is a sacred gift of God that will never be removed. Our present circumstances, Maeser therefore believed, were the consequences of our previous life just “as the consequences of our future life will be the results of our present life.”[22] Therefore, “the children of light . . . have opening before them an endless perspective limited neither by time, earthly existence, nor degree of earthly progression.”[23]

For Maeser, great learning depends upon humility. Neither student, nor teacher, nor parent should get it into their heads that they are very wise and know everything. As a student for over seventy years, he declared, “Standing as I do and looking back upon fifty years of teaching, I can truthfully say that I now only know where and how to begin my studies.”[24] Constantly seeking knowledge from God was the surest source of truth. Maeser taught that parents and teachers had the right to call upon “the guiding hand of Providence” in seeking to assist their charges in finding and fulfilling their life missions.

Parents, then, need to learn how to allow their children the proper amount of freedom, independent action, and guidance. Agency must be “measured out to them in exact proportion to the grade of accountability which age, intelligence, will power, and moral disposition have developed in them. No more, no less.”[25] Parents must learn the proper balance between overindulgence and dictatorial control.

Though remarkably absent from most contemporary educational texts, the Maeser legacy insists that the home be recognized as the most influential educational institution. Few current topics have a more prominent theme in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints than the importance of “the family as the fundamental unit of society.”[26] Like Pestalozzi, Maeser believed that “nature is the best educator” and that the natural relationship and bond between parent and child is the most fundamental learning relationship. He therefore taught parents to nurture that nature, but he also recognized that regularly “this line of procedure is gradually abandoned, and parents suffer themselves to be guided too often by arbitrary principles.”[27] He could not have imagined the depth of the assault attacking the modern family, but he taught that school and the fireside were “the two great nurseries of the human family;” they must either work in harmony to execute their sacred trust or the society will reap the whirlwind of their neglect.[28]

Two Models for School Education

In both School and Fireside and his last lectures, Maeser turned to the school’s responsibility for learning. He readily admitted that the Church needed to support two almost competing models of education: a public school system that could provide a substantial opportunity for every child to gain access to knowledge and a Church school system that would teach all subjects integrated into the gospel of Jesus Christ. This challenge would last much longer than the nineteenth century.

Public Schools

Maeser taught that next to the home, the bedrock upon which society must “build its edifice of prosperity and progress” was the public school system it establishes.[29] Though public schools were not the highest educational ideal, he insisted, “The common schools reflect, in the average, better than anything else, the intellectual standard of the people.” Too often societies provided great learning to an elite few, “while yet the majority of the people have been left to grovel in ignorance, superstition, misery, and spiritual and temporal servitude. . . . A people can realize the full meaning of liberty only when common education is extended, so that every child may have a chance to acquire a degree of culture that shall give his abilities an even show among his fellow-man.”[30]

To the end of his days, therefore, Maeser was a strong advocate of common, public schools that would provide a solid basic education for all children. He taught that the teachers in these schools should be paid sufficiently well that they might support their families without the need to find outside employment. He also taught that because of the state financial support for these schools, the teachers in public schools should avoid all political partisanship and sectarian doctrine. He saw the biggest danger in such schools, however, in the inadvertent support for agnosticism or disbelief. He wrote that while “the unsectarian character of our educational system” may provide protection from school control by any particular religious denomination, “the law but feebly protects them against the common enemy of all religion.”[31] He continued, “This great defect in our public school system can be remedied only by providing for religious instructions in some way.”[32] For Latter-day Saints unable to attend Church schools, this meant creating religion classes to supplement the daily instruction, but such a system could not be as effective in teaching the inherently religious nature of all knowledge.

Maeser’s support for public schools was recognized and appreciated by civil authorities. It was no accident that the Maeser School, as a public school, was named after him; he had a major role in preparing and supporting public school teachers. In March 1897, Karl Maeser, J. R. Park, and James E. Talmage were appointed by the governor to a committee to decide the site for the southern branch of the state normal school because they were three of the most influential leaders in public education.[33] Maeser not only helped select the site in Cedar City, but had been a major influence in preparing the school’s initial instructors.[34] The school they founded is now Southern Utah University.[35]

Maeser’s support of public schools was dependent upon their compliance with Utah’s constitutional requirement that he helped to draft: “The public schools shall be kept free from partisan politics, sectarian influences, and the inculcation of infidel theories. These sound restrictions guarantee in some measure to the children of our people, a so-called common English education without the bias of sectarianism or the negative tendencies of atheism.”[36]

It is important to note that for Maeser, “nonsectarian” was far different than “secular” as discussed in chapter 11. He believed all knowledge was fundamentally religious; there could be nothing religiously neutral about truth. For him, a secular position presumes that God is irrelevant; it is presumed that a secular subject can be studied without referring to the divine. For Maeser, therefore, the aggregated result of a secular school teaches disbelief by default, in practice, if not in theory. Maeser realized that not all children could have the privilege of attending a church school that integrated the gospel into all aspects of the curriculum, so he sought ways to prepare as many faithful Latter-day Saint teachers as possible to strengthen the experience of children in public schools, believing that teachers taught more by who they are than by what they say. He did not attempt to teach subtle ways of sneaking Latter-day Saint doctrine into the state-sponsored schools. In fact, Maeser remained adamant that denominational church doctrine was not to be taught in public schools, but he felt that Latter-day Saint teachers could do much to counteract the tendency of public schools to become strictly secular.

Church Schools

While Maeser’s support for public schools was constant, he believed that the purest way to deliver true education would be in a Church school that thoroughly blended the development of the whole person within a spiritual, Latter-day Saint context. He wrote that the purpose of Church schools, therefore, was to “provide for the harmonious development of the mental and spiritual faculties of the children of Zion.” He believed that “only by such a system can symmetrical growth be realized.”[37] This system had to derive “its origin and vitality from the Spirit of Eternal Truth.”[38] It was destined “to triumph over seemingly insurmountable obstacles,” and “evolve, step by step.” He did not yet believe the Church schools had reached their “final consummation,” but that by building upon the sacred heritage of the devoted veterans “our youth shall be prepared for their glorious destiny.”[39]

In direct opposition to those who would separate “religious” from “secular” knowledge, Maeser was plain in defending the thesis that “theological, scholastic and domestic education [should be] treated as inseparable.”[40] This thesis was to underlie every aspect of his book and of the church schools he supervised. Maeser defined education as the interwoven “development of the physical, mental, moral, [and] spiritual nature of man.” To him, “even the partial neglect of one [of these aspects] reflects injuriously upon the others.”[41] Countries that had gone to the extreme of excluding religious influence and instruction in public schools “could but lead to the same result among the masses, viz: infidelity,[42] or its modified form, agnosticism.”[43]

The Practical Need to Support Two Competing Models of Schooling

While uncompromising in his moral standards, Maeser was never an ideologue. His educational philosophy was too practical to be very dogmatic. He knew that pioneer life had to be convinced that even the most rudimentary elements of education were important. He was prepared to engage in highly technical or sophisticated scholarship, but that was not the offering most needed from him at the time. He also realized that no matter how desirable it may have been, the Church could not provide a fully integrated learning experience for all children. The amount of money necessary to provide a K–12 Church school for every child in the Church would have been astronomical and logistically impossible.

But rather than opposing public schools, he felt obliged to flood the public system with as many worthy and properly prepared Latter-day Saint teachers as possible. To meet the increasing demand, Maeser recognized that there was insufficient time to train teachers as thoroughly as he wanted, so he sought to warm them spiritually and awaken in them a lifelong desire to continue learning. He wanted the children in the public schools to be spiritually enlightened by teachers who radiated the Spirit of God even while serving in a secular institution. He taught that one of the greatest services that could be rendered an individual was to liberate the spiritual processes of self-education, for ultimately “all men are self-educated.”[44]

Toward the end of his life, Maeser began to believe that as governmental animosity toward Mormonism declined and the methods of primary and intermediate instruction improved in the public school system, the attention of the Church schools should concentrate on higher education. Therefore the Church schools began to surrender primary and intermediate education to the public schools, while developing Church-sponsored high schools and colleges that could provide an educational experience that integrated religion into all subjects.

Supporting a public school system and supplementing the instruction there with religion classes would free the Church from the enormous expense of providing its own schools. In such schools, Latter-day Saint students would have more opportunities to become missionaries to their non-Latter-day Saint peers. Supporting these schools might demonstrate to the world the Church’s desire to be good citizens and to respect education for all, but it would also be an obvious compromise. In practice, a type of compartmentalization might also be inadvertently taught that knowledge is appropriately divided into the secular and the religious and that religion is “across the street.” Such a view would oppose the Latter-day Saint doctrine that all truth comes from God and is part of a whole. Furthermore, Latter-day Saint students would thereby also be exposed to a curriculum dominated by the political whims, social trends, and academic fads of the day. Enormous pressure would thereby be placed on religion classes, Church organizations, and families to avoid false notions. Maeser did not believe that nondenominational public schools could yield better results than Church schools, but that Church members needed to support public schools in areas where Church schools could not be offered.

Without changing its doctrine regarding the nature of knowledge, then, the Church has continued to support public education. Seminary and institute courses are offered throughout the world to supplement secular instruction of the public schools. At the same time, it is no accident that Brigham Young University, one of the largest church-sponsored, private universities in the United States, with its campuses in Provo, Utah; Rexburg, Idaho; Laie, Hawaii; and Salt Lake City, Utah, has become one of nation’s largest sources for public school teachers. Each year thousands of public school teachers are prepared in these church universities. This is an important contribution of the Maeser legacy and anything but a moral compromise.

While strengthening the teachers and students in a less-than-ideal public system, Maeser never surrendered his quest for an ideal education. He boldly proclaimed that faith and reason are not enemies, that science and theology, priesthood leadership and intellectual freedom are not opponents, and that the division of secular and religious holds true only for those who are not truly religious. Maeser also believed that there was no individual salvation without a public spirit—a reaching out to those around us while we reach up to him who must intervene on our behalf.

Maeser therefore supported two seemingly competing models of education, but there was no question in his mind that a system of Church schools that fully integrated religion into all subjects was far superior to one that compartmentalized knowledge into the religious and secular. Because of legal restrictions, public education could not teach a fully integrated approach, but deserved support on practical grounds.

Why Church Schools?

Because the finances of the Church were under such stress, the question of why the Church should sponsor schools regularly arose. Maeser was personally convinced that Church schools could provide an education unavailable anywhere else. Two weeks after President Wilford Woodruff’s death in 1898, for example, Maeser spoke in a stake conference in Salt Lake. He expressed concern that the impression had gone out that “the only difference between the State schools and the Church schools was the fact that in addition to the regular branch of an ordinary education, theology is taught,” but this, he believed, would be a misperception of the difference. He argued, “The fundamental characteristic of the work [of] the church schools was that the Spirit of God permeates all the work done; whether it were class work or disciplinary labor.”[45] It wasn’t merely a secular education supplemented by a theology course; it was fundamentally a spiritual atmosphere that permeated the overall experience. The devotion and faithfulness of the teachers, the concern for their students outside of class hours, and the spirit that pervaded all the activities was a great safeguard against unbelief. Maeser, therefore, concluded his address by urging parents to “avail themselves of the opportunity of placing their children under such an influence.”

As mentioned in the previous chapter, one of the last questions Maeser pursued was how important Church schools were to the purposes of the Church. He addressed this question in January 1901 by sending a survey to stake presidents about their views. He asked eleven questions regarding the specific impact these stake presidents felt that Church schools had on their members. Were the Church schools doing something that could not be done otherwise? Were they preparing good members, missionaries, teachers, and leaders? Were they worth the expense?[46] This survey may represent the first attempt in the Church to conduct survey research among priesthood leaders.

Unfortunately, only three responses to this survey have been found, and Maeser died before a complete follow-up could be carried out, but they were unanimously supportive of Church schools. It should be noted that this support included a response from the Summit Stake bemoaning the fact that they could not afford to continue and had to close their academy.[47] W. W. Cluff, the Summit Stake president (Coalville, Utah), enumerated the ways in which his academy had turned skeptical students into faithful missionaries: 90 percent of the former students were faithful Church members, 95 percent of the young men had served as missionaries, and 90 percent of their students were exemplary in their continued Church service. He claimed, “I do not know any way that money and means can be more profitably and wisely spent by the Latter-day Saints than in the support and maintenance of our Church schools.” He concluded, “I have regretted more than anything else that we have not been able in this stake to maintain our church school.”[48]

The other two stake presidents, David John of the Utah Stake in Utah County and Thomas Ricks of the Fremont Stake in Rexburg, Idaho, shared similar sentiments in their responses to Maeser. They felt that no organization in the Church could counteract the influences that rob young people of faith as powerfully as the Church schools. They agreed that the financial investment necessary to maintain them brought great returns. They also felt that the teachers graduating from Church schools were desperately needed in the public schools of their areas.[49]

Maeser knew that Church schools could integrate the gospel into every subject. They could invite their faculty and students to investigate knowledge through study and faith, through investigation and revelation. Such schools, however, would require enormous funds, and it would be a daunting assignment to prepare a sufficient number of teachers who would be competent in their academic subjects, valiant in their testimonies of the gospel, proficient in their pedagogical skills, and fully capable of integrating these elements across the curriculum. Regularly raising the question of why the Church should invest in its own schools can be a great reminder that such schools must be built on a different foundation than secular schools.

Subsequent to Maeser’s death, as confidence continued to grow in the quality of the educational experience in public schools over the next few decades, the Church began to sell or donate their schools to the public system and to put its energy toward seminary and institute programs that would provide religious instruction to supplement the academic experience young people received in public schools. At the same time, however, the Church has continued to support a few institutions of higher education, which are given the charge to demonstrate, in the words of President Gordon B. Hinckley to the BYU faculty and students, “a continuing experiment on a great premise that a large and complex university can be first class academically while nurturing an environment of faith in God and the practice of Christian principles. You are testing whether academic excellence and belief in the Divine can walk hand in hand. And the wonderful thing is that you are succeeding in showing that this is possible—not only that it is possible, but that it is desirable.”[50]

Revelation and Knowledge

Maeser believed that only a Church school could embody the proper relationship between revelation and knowledge. He agreed with Brigham Young: “Every good and perfect gift cometh from God. Every discovery in science and art, that is really true and useful to mankind has been given by direct revelation from God, though but few acknowledge it.”[51] Maeser taught that the fence placed around Mount Sinai prohibiting all but Moses from the presence of God has been removed; the ascent is now open to all who are willing to make the climb.[52] A Latter-day Saint school could openly invite its students and faculty to embrace this idea in a manner impossible for a secular institution.

For Maeser, a true education must be built upon “the rock of continuous revelation.”[53] For him, this meant that there are many truths in all fields of knowledge that will yet be revealed through our faith and diligence. A Church school ought to be the ideal place for fostering this type of learning. In 1961, Hugh B. Brown of the Church’s First Presidency echoed Maeser’s challenge to the BYU faculty: “You should be in the forefront of learning in all fields, for revelation does not come only through the prophet of God nor only directly from heaven in visions or dreams. Revelation may come in the laboratory, out of the test tube, out of the thinking mind and the inquiring soul, out of search and research and prayer and inspiration.”[54]

Of course, the most critical knowledge one can gain is to know that the course of life they are pursuing is according to God’s will.[55] This great knowledge is strictly personal and not achieved by mere compliance with any institution. The Lord himself has promised to reveal it according to our faith. Nephi, quoting Isaiah, declared, “Thus saith the Lord God, I will give unto the children of men line upon line . . .” (2 Nephi 28:30; emphasis added). James added, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God” (James 1:5). Joseph Smith affirmed, “As well might man stretch forth his puny arm to stop the Missouri river . . . as to hinder the Almighty from pouring down knowledge from heaven” (D&C 121:33) upon those who will properly seek, ask, and obey.

Mortal teachers in any institution need not pretend to control the knowledge that God has promised to provide; schools cannot produce it or prohibit it. Maeser reminded teachers that their stewardship is not to determine what their students must do to fulfill their divine missions. No prestructured curriculum will guarantee a true education. Some basic common skills might be necessary in this process. The skills to sustain life and provide gainful employment are likely needed to fulfill one’s mission as well, but, Maeser taught, “not by bread alone, neither for bread alone does man live,”[56] rather “by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). Everything offered by human teachers amounts to little more than an invitation for individuals to discover for themselves what God would have them become. Secular institutions cannot prohibit this personal inquiry, but they also cannot promote it.

A Latter-day Saint school, on the other hand, can openly invite each person to receive his or her mission from the one who has promised to reveal it. Teachers need not presume that they are the main channels through which God speaks to their students or that they are authorized to reveal to them his will for them. If they hear his voice through their discussions, it still remains his voice they hear. In Nietzsche’s words, many teachers, by adopting traditional, secular practices, seem to prefer the role of the “ventriloquist of God,”[57] speaking for him in his pretended absence. They tend to act as if revelation had ceased and that the heavens are silent. Maeser insisted that Brigham’s charge to seek all knowledge with the Spirit of God will enliven the pursuit, will personalize any curriculum and will enhance any learning experience.

Maeser might suggest that only a teacher in a Church school could properly invite students to follow the Savior’s injunction, “come follow me,” or better yet, “follow the Good Shepherd at least as thoroughly as I do.” If each child of God has a unique mission to discover and perform, and if each comes with a different set of talents, gifts, and potential, what common secular objectives should be imposed upon all, and who would be wise enough to determine them? Personal revelation would then be viewed as the goal of true education and divine accountability would take precedence over standardized test scores and mortal assessments of student performance.

Maeser also believed that personal revelation needs to be placed in the context of priesthood stewardship. Those without legitimate authority had no right to believe that their personal spiritual impressions were binding on anyone else. He believed that the keys of the priesthood brought order to the kingdom of God and deserved to be sustained. Reverence for legitimate authority, then, was one of Maeser’s major aims of a true education.[58] To believe that there are living prophets on the earth and then not to actively seek and follow their counsel was, for Maeser, unthinkable.

Maeser the Mentor

These were the major themes Maeser defended in writing and over the pulpit during his last few years. He offered them in as a clear punctuation of the principles he lived throughout his life. Thousands sought out Maeser for counsel and insights, for inspiration and encouragement. Few men in Church history have been more widely beloved or admired because of the personal interaction he had with them. Many stubborn or rebellious hearts were penetrated by his piercing love and sincere expectations. As an honorary father to hundreds, he sought out his former students wherever he traveled to assess their continued growth and spiritual development. When he observed one wandering from the path, he lovingly invited him or her to return. The introduction referred to a few of those who Maeser mentored and who viewed him as a second father throughout their lives, such as James E. Talmage, Benjamin Cluff, Reed Smoot, Alice Reynolds, George Albert Smith, J. B. Keeler, N. L. Nelson, Annie Pike Greenwood, Camilla Cobb, Susa Young Gates, J. Golden Kimball, Heber J. Grant, and George Sutherland, to name but a few; this is not even to mention anyone from his own large and dynamic family. Typical of those directly influenced by Maeser is the comment by President George Albert Smith, “I love the memory of Brother Maeser. I think I have spoken of him more than any other man perhaps among those who have contributed to my education.”[59]

There are also, however, untold numbers who have become indirectly influenced by Maeser’s personal touch. BYU president Cecil O. Samuelson, for example, was not a graduate of BYU. He was nominally aware of Maeser’s name and a few stories told about him. But with more careful examination, he traced the personal mentoring he had received as a General Authority of the Church from Neal A. Maxwell to Harold B. Lee to J. Reuben Clark Jr. to James E. Talmage and finally to Brother Maeser. President Samuelson wrote, “I doubt that Brother Maeser knew for sure that James E. Talmage would be an apostle. I am sure that he knew that young James had more potential than this young student could then imagine.”[60]

President Gordon B. Hinckley spoke often of the mentoring he received from his father, who had been a student of Maeser and deeply affected him. He wrote: “My father was a student of Karl G. Maeser at this institution long ago. He heard those words [regarding honor and integrity] himself from the lips of Brother Maeser. He repeated them to us again and again. They have become engraved in my mind as if they were words of scripture. They set forth with simplicity and eloquence what this Church expects of me and of you.”[61] The impact on the students mentored by Maeser’s students have become a significant part of Maeser’s continued legacy. Stories and examples of Maeser’s teachings are repeated dozens of times each year at Brigham Young University. Visiting Church authorities, faculty devotionals, and student assemblies often formally cite him in numerous settings. These and many other evidences confirm the question raised by Annie Pike’s poem dedicated to Maeser’s memory, “Who thought the teacher’s work was done?”[62]

Maeser Day at BYA

Some of Maeser’s grateful students planned a special tribute to honor his contribution as an educator while he was still alive. May 25, 1898, was declared Maeser Day at the Brigham Young Academy. It celebrated Maeser’s fifty years as a teacher. The inclement weather precluded the planned processional, so Maeser and some of the guests were delivered to the academy building in carriages. President Benjamin Cluff, Joseph Tanner, James Talmage, George Brimhall, Joseph Keeler, Susa Young Gates, Reed Smoot, and others were there. Fifty students came forward in groups of tens with roses, and one from each group delivered a memorized speech regarding five periods of Maeser’s life: his preparation in Germany, his investigation of Mormonism, his missionary activities, his struggles as a pioneer teacher in Salt Lake, and his founding of the Brigham Young Academy. The last speech concluded, “Just as the rugged, heavenward pointing Wasatch mountains give strength and loftiness of purpose to the children of the valley, so the daily association with this man of God tended to make the lives of his students beautiful and good and true.”[63] At the conclusion, Maeser stood with tears of appreciation in his eyes and with faltering voice thanked them and sat down. The crowd rose to their feet in wild applause that continued for several minutes.

Maeser’s granddaughter Mabel remembered him asking her, “Why do they want to honor me in such an elaborate way? What have I ever done to call forth such undeserved praise? . . . My life has been so poor, so hard, such a constant struggle. . . . I haven’t been able to accomplish all I should have liked to do.” He felt undeserving for simply doing his duty.[64]

Final Graduation

Maeser’s prayer that he could die in the harness was granted. To begin 1901, he was as engaged as he had ever been. On February 12, the seventy-three-year-old Maeser spent the day at the Weber Stake Academy, in Ogden, Utah, observing the classes and meeting with the board. He told them that “he had never visited the Academy when he was any more pleased with the work done; . . . he could not find fault with anything.” The spirit he felt there was “heavenly,” and the order there “stood second to none among all the Church schools,” though they could do a better job at keeping their records. He assured them that “President Snow’s sympathy was with the Church Schools and that his heart was in it.”[65] Incidentally, the benediction at the meeting was offered by the young bishop David O. McKay, who later became a great educator and President of the Church. Then he traveled home to Salt Lake.

February 14, 1901, Valentine’s Day, was a fairly normal day at the office in Salt Lake City. Though for some time, those close to Maeser had noticed his health had been declining, he seemed well and cheery. He attended to his duties, addressed correspondence, presided over the weekly meeting of the board of the Deseret Sunday School Union, and then returned to his home. Shortly before 3:00 three the next morning he awoke Emilie complaining of tightness in his chest. She made him some ginger tea, which seemed to alleviate the concern. He then returned to bed and went to sleep. Rolling on to his side, he lay still, without speaking a word or uttering a groan. “Alarmed at his extreme quietness, Sister Maeser turned to him, and found to her intense grief and surprise that he had passed away to the great beyond. Calmly as a tired child going to sleep he had entered the presence of his Maker.”[66]

Maeser’s Challenge to the Future

Thus in silence ended the profound object lesson of the life of Brother Karl Gottfried Maeser, a life of remarkable faithfulness, sacrifice, service, dedication, devotion, and love, deserving of the greatest scrutiny. The legacy Maeser left us lives on quietly in the major educational institutions of the Intermountain West, in the worldwide efforts of the Church Educational System, and in the hearts and teachings of the thousands who were touched by his personal invitation to discover their divine missions. At the same time, however, he did not want to take credit for a legacy. His invitation to all was to look to God and strive to live up to their potential spiritual privileges. To “look beyond,” he taught, was a “great gift and power,” “not to be obtained by study, by learning, by oratory, by riches, by delving into mines. But it is obtained by putting our trust in God, and exercising that faith which ever has sustained the people of the Lord in the hour of peril.”[67]

When he retired from the Brigham Young Academy, he reiterated the two prophetic principles that he believed were essential to its future: all instruction should be taught with the Spirit of God, and students, instructed in correct principles, should be allowed to govern themselves. These were the colors he nailed to the mast to guide the educational ship of Zion into the future.

When Brigham Young passed away in 1877, his successor, John Taylor, was serving as President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Territorial Superintendent of Schools. Taylor believed that the school Brother Maeser had established in Provo was “a model institution.”[68] He offered a prophecy that he repeated in several settings[69] that set the challenge for Church schools, boldly declaring, “You will see the day that Zion will be as far ahead of the outside world in everything pertaining to learning of every kind as we are today in regard to religious matters. You mark my words, and write them down, and see if they do not come to pass.”[70]

Maeser knew of and treasured the challenges posed by such prophetic statements. He wrote:

The Brigham Young Academy has been a chosen instrument in the hands of the God of Israel to plant the seed for an educational system that will spread its ramifications throughout the borders of Zion, penetrate with its benign influence every fireside of the Saints, and open to our youth the avenues to all intelligence, knowledge and power, that are necessary for them to attain in the glorious future of the Latter-day work, foretold by the prophets.[71]

Since it was originally given, school and Church leaders have repeated President Taylor’s prophecy countless times, laying the challenge before Brigham Young University to fulfill this inspired injunction.

In an address in 1998, for example, BYU president Merrill J. Bateman quoted Taylor’s prophecy and related an experience told by Zina Young Williams, teacher at BYA and daughter of Brigham Young, when she made a plea to President Taylor during one of the school’s early financial struggles.[72] President Taylor told her: “I have been visited by your father. He came to me in the silence of the night clothed in brightness and with a face beaming with love and confidence told me . . . that the school being taught by Brother Maeser was accepted in the heavens and was a part of the great plan of life and salvation . . . and there was a bright future in store for . . . preparing . . . the children of the covenant for future usefulness in the Kingdom of God, and that Christ himself was directing, and had a care over this school.”[73] Taylor’s prophecy was repeated to the faculty in 2012 by BYU president Cecil O. Samuelson, who added, “We still believe this, and our prophet leaders still believe Brigham Young University has this remarkable potential and responsibility.”[74]

Maeser was convinced that the academy (now university), must step up to help fulfill these ambitious goals. He also knew well, however, that few people in the world believed that Mormons were ahead of anyone regarding religious matters at the time the prophecy was given. Certainly no reputable divinity school in the nation during Maeser’s lifetime, for example, would have sought out Latter-day Saint theologians because of their “superior” knowledge. This suggests that the learning advancements prophesied by Taylor may not be fulfilled by the recognition it receives from the esteemed learning institutions of the world.

Maeser condemned the “prevailing system of feverish competition” in schools, because it engendered “a spirit of selfish ambition.”[75] Modern education continues to thrive on competition and comparison. In 1989 President Ezra Taft Benson declared that competition and the comparison with others are the essential elements of pride that become “the great stumbling block to Zion.”[76] Maeser saw these prevailing characteristics as a distraction to the fulfillment of one’s eternal mission. He would decry any effort to distinguish people into “ranks, according to their riches and their chances for learning” (3 Nephi 6:12). Prosperity, praise, and recognition may come from worldly sources, but they should not be sought. The accomplishments of individuals and groups from his perspective should shine forth in demonstration of the glory of God and secular institutions cannot not do this.

Maeser’s life example might also suggest that a consecrated life is not lived primarily for mortal review. All that he did, he tried to do in the name of the Lord and for the Lord’s purposes. Maeser was deeply appreciative of those who valued his service and sacrifice, but the status of the world did not mean much to him. Continual learning had great importance to him, but added degrees did not. He accepted the award of a doctoral degree, but preferred to be called “Brother Maeser.” He measured all practices by their consistency with the spirit of the work and the approval of those with priesthood keys.

Feedback from a respected teacher or institution may be appreciated and helpful, but true accountability is to the eternal judge who measures the soul in the light of eternal possibilities. No human standard is an adequate substitute. For Maeser, a religious motive was the highest and most powerful incentive for education. Rigor imposed by mortals and tied to external rewards or punishments provide a distraction to true accountability.

President Spencer W. Kimball built on this point when he quoted Church Commissioner of Education Neal A. Maxwell at the installation of Dallin H. Oaks as president of BYU: “Brigham Young University seeks to improve and to ‘sanctify’ itself for the sake of others—not for the praise of the world, but to serve the world better.” President Kimball continued by reminding us that Church members are “willing to doubly tax themselves to support the Church Educational System, including this university, and we must not merely ‘ape the world.’ We must do special things that would justify the special financial outpouring that supports this university.”[77]

Maeser insisted that Brigham’s injunction to teach all subjects by the Spirit of God must continue throughout the future of Church education. At the inauguration of President Samuelson, President Hinckley added, “We also must understand President Young’s counsel that we ‘be a people of profound learning pertaining to the things of the world.’”[78] This injunction from President Young did not contradict that of teaching all subjects with the Spirit of the Lord. In 1966 President Marion G. Romney challenged Latter-day Saint teachers in words similar to President Young’s: “We are not only to teach purely gospel subjects by the power of the spirit. We are also to teach secular subjects by the power of the spirit, and we are obligated to interpret the content of secular subjects in the light of revealed truth. This purpose is the only sufficient justification for spending Church money to maintain this institution.”[79] President N. Eldon Tanner challenged the academic teacher in church schools with these words: “Though he may not take the time to teach religion in every class, he has many opportunities while he is teaching his assigned subject to let that student know that he has a testimony of the gospel.[80]

Addressing the BYU faculty in 1967, Spencer W. Kimball urged that “every professor and teacher in this institution would keep his subject matter bathed in the light and color of the restored gospel.”[81] When he returned as the President of the Church to give BYU its “Second Century” address in 1975, President Kimball declared, “The faculty has a double heritage which they must pass along: the secular knowledge that history has washed to the feet of mankind with the new knowledge brought by scholarly research—but also the vital and revealed truths that have been sent to us from heaven.”[82]

Maeser knew that divine personal answers require diligent effort. President Harold B. Lee’s charge at the installation of Dallin H. Oaks as president of BYU in 1971 expands on this principle: “The acquiring of knowledge by faith is no easy road to learning. It will demand strenuous effort and continual striving by faith; . . . in effect, that such a process requires the bending of the whole soul, the calling up of the depths of the human mind and linking them with God.”[83]

Maeser raised concerns about the educators who traveled east to get an education and then returned to teach in the church school system. He suggested that it might take some time for them to “unlearn” some of the ideas they gained there.[84] In his “Second Century” address, President Kimball raised a similar warning. He expressed his expectation that BYU would “become a leader among the great universities of the world,” but added that it should “become a unique university in all the world,” with the charge, “This university is not of the world any more than the Church is of the world, and it must not be made over in the image of the world.”[85] He continued with a challenge and a promise:

We must do more than ask the Lord for excellence. Perspiration must precede inspiration; there must be effort before there is excellence. We must do more than pray for these outcomes at BYU, though we must surely pray. We must take thought. We must make effort. We must be patient. We must be professional. We must be spiritual. Then in the process of time, this will become the fully anointed University of the Lord about which so much has been spoken in the past.[86]

On behalf of those who would yet inherit this legacy, Maeser prayed, “And when this work shall have grown into magnitudes requiring more skillful educators to superintend it, may God give, that they may combine with their greater learning, the same faithfulness to the course which I have endeavored to have as the motive power of my whole course.”[87] Brother Maeser left his life as a powerful object lesson for all of us. He set the bar extremely high, recognizing that academic preparation combined with faith and sacrifice brings great power. He was a veteran, “tested in the furnace of long and bitter trials,”[88] who promised the heirs of his legacy that though much may yet need to be done to strengthen the foundation he helped lay, the education of the people may yet reach altitudes “seen only in the visions of the prophets, . . . which, having cut loose from the vain theories of men, find their inspiration in heaven.”[89]


[1] Heber J. Grant, “Honoring Karl G. Maeser,” Improvement Era, June 1935, 386.

[2] “Maeser School Opened,” Salt Lake Tribune, November 10, 1898.

[3] See the dedicatory prayer in Eilene Thompson, The Life of Karl Maeser, DVD 2; family record in position of the author.

[4] “Sentiments of Dr. Maeser: To Be Perpetuated,” Deseret News, February 23, 1901, 7.

[5] See “Chalkboards Preserved,” The News, David O. McKay School of Education,

[6] Heber J. Grant made this statement at Maeser’s funeral, see “Dr. Maeser Is Laid to Rest,” Deseret News, February 19, 1901, 1.

[7] Reinhard Maeser, Karl G. Maeser: A Biography (Provo, UT: Brigham Young University, 1928), 142.

[8] “State Instructors,” Deseret Weekly News, June 27, 1896, 37.

[9] Maeser continued to have problems with his kidneys. He complained of them in San Francisco in 1894 and was prohibited from sending Cluff off on his expedition to South America in 1900. See Karl G. Maeser to George H. Brimhall, April 18, 1900, UA 1093 box 6, folder 4, no. 52, LTPSC.

[10] “Filipinos Killed Her,” Salt Lake Herald, November 20, 1899, 8.

[11] See Franklin D. Richards, journal, July 29, 1886, MS 1215, CHL.

[12] See, for example, his article “The Theory of Evolution,” Journal of Pedagogy, January 1895, 34–36, or his article “Denominational Teaching for Pupils of High School Grade,” Utah University Quarterly, June 1895, 153–8.

[13] Karl G. Maeser to Wilford Woodruff, September 12, 1891, UA 1094, box 1, folder 7, no. 42, LTPSC.

[14] Karl G. Maeser, School and Fireside (Provo, UT: Skelton, 1898), preface, October 16, 1894.

[15] Maeser, School and Fireside, 45.

[16] Maeser, School and Fireside, 59.

[17] See for example “Sunday Services,” Deseret Weekly News, August 14, 1897, 275.

[18] Maeser, School and Fireside, 60.

[19] Maeser, School and Fireside, 62.

[20] “Sunday Services,” Deseret Weekly News, August 14, 1897.

[21] From a Sunday School conference in Nephi, “Juab Stake Conference,” Deseret Weekly News, May 8, 1897, 661.

[22] “Juab Stake Conference,” 21.

[23] Maeser, School and Fireside, 54.

[24] “Superintendent Maeser’s Remarks,” Salt Lake Herald, November 18, 1899, 5.

[25] Maeser, School and Fireside, 65.

[26] See “The Family: a Proclamation to the World,” Ensign, November 1995, 102.

[27] Maeser, School and Fireside, 64.

[28] Maeser, School and Fireside, 262.

[29] Maeser, School and Fireside, 217.

[30] Maeser, School and Fireside, 149–50.

[31] Maeser, School and Fireside, 130.

[32] Maeser, School and Fireside, 131.

[33] “Jubilee Appropriation,” Salt Lake Herald, March 12, 1897, 5. The cities that wanted the State Normal School were Parowan, Cedar City, Beaver, and Paragoonah. “Branch Normal School,” Salt Lake Herald, May 16, 1897, 8. Each waged a lobbying campaign, and the rivalry became quite intense (especially between Beaver and Cedar City).

[34] Three of the first four instructors were directly trained by Maeser. Howard R. Driggs was inspired to become a teacher while attending classes with Maeser at the BYA. George W. Decker had been sent by Maeser to help establish the Morgan Academy. Annie Spencer was also a graduate of the BYA. See Anne Okerlund Leavitt, Southern Utah University: The First Hundred Years (Cedar City, UT: Southern Utah University, 1997).

[35] The rumor was that Cedar City was selected because it was the only city at the time that had no saloons, but other reasons were cited, including its more central location and the support it had given its stake academy. “State Normal School,” Salt Lake Herald, May 28, 1897, 6.

[36] Maeser, School and Fireside, 167.

[37] Maeser, School and Fireside, 185.

[38] Maeser, School and Fireside, 347.

[39] Maeser, School and Fireside, 348.

[40] Maeser, School and Fireside, preface.

[41] Maeser, School and Fireside, 34.

[42] Maeser used the term “infidelity” to refer to a falling away from one’s religious principles. Perhaps “apostasy” would be an appropriate modern substitute.

[43] Maeser, School and Fireside, 27–28.

[44] Bryant S. Hinckley, “Education at Its Best,” address given at BYU commencement, June 5, 1930, Brigham Young Quarterly, 13, 15.

[45] “Salt Lake Stake Conference,” Deseret News Weekly, September 17, 1898, 441.

[46] The specific questions in the survey include: Does the Church School work in your Stake do what seemingly cannot be accomplished in any other way? What is the relative value of Church School work in your Stake in counteracting the influence of infidelity and skepticism? In putting down intemperance? In preventing unchastity? In making tithepayers and liberal donat[o]rs? In creating reverence for, and obedience to the Priesthood and those who bear it? In preparing missionaries for home and abroad? In preparing young men and women for occupying positions of trust? In creating a beneficent influence among the youth of the communities of the Saints in general? What is your opinion in regard to the profitableness of expending money by appropriations and donations for the liberal support of Church Schools? What do you think of the advisability of maintaining Normal Training Schools in some of our leading Church Schools? (David John to Karl G. Maeser, February 2, 1901, UA 1094, folder 6, no. 2, LTPSC).

[47] Two of the three responses were signed: David John, president of the Utah Stake (Utah County), and Thomas Ricks, president of the Fremont Idaho Stake. The third was from W. W. Cluff from Coalville (Summit Stake).

[48] W. W. Cluff to Karl G. Maeser, February 4, 1901, UA 1094, box 2, folder 1, LTPSC.

[49] David John to Karl G. Maeser, February 2, 1901, and Thomas Ricks to Karl G. Maeser, February 6, 1901, UA 1094, box 2, folder 6, no. 2 and 3, LTPSC.

[50] Gordon B. Hinckley, “Trust and Accountability,” BYU devotional, October 13, 1992.

[51] Brigham Young, address in Salt Lake City, August 31, 1862, in Journal of Discourses, 9:369.

[52] Maeser, School and Fireside, 57.

[53] Maeser, School and Fireside, 31.

[54] Hugh B. Brown, BYU Annual University Conference address, August 1961, 9; cited in Hugh B. Brown, An Abundant Life (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965), 87–88.

[55] This is the last of the three things needed to have the faith unto salvation according to the Lectures on Faith. The first is to know that there is a God. The second is to have a correct understanding of his character and attributes. See Lectures on Faith, comp. N. B. Lundwall, Lecture Third (Salt Lake City: Lundwall, 1940), 33.

[56] Maeser, School and Fireside, 42.

[57] Friedrich Nietzsche, Genealogy of Morals, trans. Horace B. Samuel, in The Philosophy of Nietzsche (New York: Modern Library, 1954), 725.

[58] Maeser, School and Fireside, 250–3.

[59] Francis M. Gibbons, George Albert Smith: Kind and Caring Christian, Prophet of God (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1990), 7–8, citing George Albert Smith to Franklin S. Harris, October 30, 1928, box 54, folder 2. Special Collections and Manuscripts, University of Utah, George Albert Smith Collection.

[60] Cecil O. Samuelson, “The Hearts of the Children Shall Turn to their Fathers,” Devotionals and Speeches, January 20, 2005, BYU–Hawaii.

[61] Gordon B. Hinckley, “To a Man Who Has Done What This Church Expects of Each,” October 17, 1995, BYU Speeches.

[62] Annie Pike, “Karl G. Maeser, Teacher,” Deseret News, February 23, 1901, 16. This poem was also put to music and was included in the LDS hymnbook as “Come, Lay His Books and Papers By” until the 1985 edition.

[63] An account of this celebration was given in edition the 1898 “illustrated” edition of School and Fireside (Provo UT: Skelton, 1898), 358.

[64] Mabel Maeser Tanner, “My Grandfather,” MSS SC 2905, 38, LTPSC.

[65] Minutes of the Weber Stake Academy Board, February 12, 1901, LTPSC.

[66] “Editorial Thoughts: Assistant Superintendent Karl G. Maeser,” Juvenile Instructor, March 1, 1901, 147.

[67] David John, journal, December 18, 1888, 3:169, LTPSC.

[68] John Taylor, address in the Provo Tabernacle, November 30, 1879, Journal of Discourses, 20:358–59.

[69] See for example, John Taylor, address in Ephraim, Utah, Journal of Discourses, 21:100, and John Taylor, address in Logan, Utah, August 4, 1878, Journal of Discourses, 20:47–48.

[70] Taylor, address in Ephraim, Utah, 21:100.

[71] Karl G. Maeser, “Prof. K. G. Maeser’s Report,” Daily Enquirer, May 24, 1889, 1.

[72] Following the fire in 1884 until 1896, Wilkinson recorded that the school almost went under on at least six occasions. One year the teachers taught without pay, and during other years they waited long periods for their meager salaries. See Ernest L. Wilkinson, ed., Brigham Young University: The First One Hundred Years History (Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Press, 1976), 4:399.

[73] Merrill J. Bateman, “Brigham Young University in the New Millennium,” Speeches, August 24, 1998 (Provo, UT: Brigham Young University), citing Leonard J. Arrington, ed., The Presidents of the Church (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1986), 108–9.

[74] Cecil O. Samuelson, “How Are We Doing?,” Annual University Conference address, August 21, 2012, Brigham Young University, 8.

[75] Maeser, School and Fireside, 37.

[76] Ezra Taft Benson, “Beware of Pride,” Ensign, May 1989, 4. President Benson also quoted C. S. Lewis: “Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. . . . It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition has gone, pride has gone.” Mere Christianity (New York: Macmillan, 1952), 109–10.

[77] Spencer W. Kimball, “The Second Century of Brigham Young University,” October 10, 1975, 3.

[78] Gordon B. Hinckley, “Inaugural Address,” September 9, 2003, Speeches, BYU.

[79] Marion G. Romney, “Temples of Learning,” BYU Annual University Conference, September 1966, 1–2.

[80] N. Eldon Tanner, BYU Annual University Conference, September, 1965, 12.

[81] Spencer W. Kimball, “Education for Eternity,” BYU Annual University Conference, September 12, 1967, 11.

[82] Kimball, “Second Century Address,” 5.

[83] Harold B. Lee, “Installation of and Charge to the President,” May 4, 1971.

[84] Benjamin Cluff, diary, April 1890, MS 1667, box 1, folder 1, 1890, 122, LTPSC.

[85] Kimball, “Second Century,” 3.

[86] Kimball, “Second Century,” 8.

[87] Karl G. Maeser to G. Reynolds, April 15, 1889, UA 1094, box 1, folder 5, no. 15, LTPSC.

[88] Maeser, School and Fireside, 348.

[89] Maeser, School and Fireside, 345, 347.