1858 November 29 Letter to Frederick Schonfield

Title

1858 November 29 Letter to Frederick Schonfield

Description

Concerns education, uniformity of books and the development and reformation of the alphabet by the Regency of the Deseret University.

Type

Correspondence

Sender

Brigham Young

Recipient

Frederick Schonfield

Date

1858 November 29

Location

Great Salt Lake City

Number of Pages

2

Subject

Education
Deseret Alphabet
Printing

extracted text

G. S. L. City, Novr. 29th. 1858

Mr. Frederick Edward Schonfield,
Dear Brother:--
Your letter in relation to Schools and teaching, of the 21st inst. is now before me. The interesting subject, which you have so fully discussed in your highly esteemed epistle, has been often and very fully argued in our Councils and Legislative Assemblies. We are aware of the advantages of true education, and of the importance and necessity of the early training of the youthful mind in the path of intelligence, virtue and all good principles.
We are also aware of the rubbish of ages in which according to the present system of the world, beset both the learner and teacher at every step in the acquisition of knowledge.
We affect no distrust in the principle of assiduous application, but confess our incredibility in the propriety or benefit of compelling by law the flow of intelligence into the human mind. As in the brute creation, the law of kindness is preferable to the brute force in training animals to make them subserve the interests of man, so should intelligence, as well as liberty and freedom flow unconstrained in easy channels. A community should not be dragooned or coerced into a privilege, <a right,> which they already possess, which although a duty yet should be esteemed a pleasure, and be cheerfully exercised. As you very truly remark, children are blessings of Heaven, and a parent falls very far short of his duty if through neglect or careless inattention he suffers them to grow up in ignorance, idleness, and as a usually, and I might almost say, a necessary consequence, vice.
The great blessing which is conferred upon man is salvation; yet we find that this is optional with the human race, and that man is left by our Father, who does all things well, to either receive or reject it. So in like manner, if we would be god-like in administering government we must seek to lead and influence the human intelligence more by precept, example, and by bearing our faithful testimony, than by the stringent enactments of penal law.

Your suggestions in regard to separating large or more advanced scholars from smaller ones, and especially a uniformity of books are doubtlessly correct. To more fully accomplish this latter object the attention of the Regency of the Deseret University has been directed to reforming our language. It was found, upon investigating has been directed to reforming our language. It was found, upon investigating the subject, that to do any thing it was necessary to commence at the beginning, and lay a foundation upon which to build. With this object in view the Regency have adopted an entirely new Alphabet consisting of thirty eight characters, each of which represents its own sound, they have succeeded so far in accomplishing this object that with a very few additions, it is believed, it would represent every sound used in the construction of any known language; and, in fact, a step and partial return to a pure language which has been promised unto us in the latter days.
To this interesting subject I would direct your attention, believing, as I sincerely do, that great good may be effected by bringing it into general use. We have now obtained the matrices, moulds, punches &c., for making the type, and will soon have a small work in print. We think that when you become acquainted with its practices you will have less trouble in translating from the German, and, indeed, from any other language into the English, as it is designed to use no letter in a word except it is sounded in its pronunciation. Thus you see a wide field is opened before you as well as every one who aspires to be a teacher.
I should be happy to see you at almost any time, and will take great pleasure in conversing with you upon this interesting subject. If you could make it convenient to come up some evening with Brother Franklin D. Richards when the Regency meet, you would be welcome, and it might prove interesting to you.
May the Lord bless you with the light of His Spirit, and help you to accomplish all the desires of your heart for the good of Israel.
I remain, very truly, Your friend and Brother in the Gospel of Christ.

Brigham Young

Item sets

G. S. L. City, Novr. 29th. 1858

Mr. Frederick Edward Schonfield,

Dear Brother:--

Your letter in relation to Schools and teaching, of the 21st inst. is now before me.  The interesting subject, which you have so fully discussed in your highly esteemed epistle, has been often and very fully argued in our Councils and Legislative Assemblies.  We are aware of the advantages of true education, and of the importance and necessity of the early training of the youthful mind in the path of intelligence, virtue and all good principles.  

We are also aware of the rubbish of ages in which according to the present system of the world, beset both the learner and teacher at every step in the acquisition of knowledge.

We affect no distrust in the principle of assiduous application, but confess our incredibility in the propriety or benefit of compelling by law the flow of intelligence into the human mind.  As in the brute creation, the law of kindness is preferable to the brute force in training animals to make them subserve the interests of man, so should intelligence, as well as liberty and freedom flow unconstrained in easy channels.  A community should not be dragooned or coerced into a privilege, <a right,> which they already possess, which although a duty yet should be esteemed a pleasure, and be cheerfully exercised.  As you very truly remark, children are blessings of Heaven, and a parent falls very far short of his duty if through neglect or careless inattention he suffers them to grow up in ignorance, idleness, and as a usually, and I might almost say, a necessary consequence, vice.

The great blessing which is conferred upon man is salvation; yet we find that this is optional with the human race, and that man is left by our Father, who does all things well, to either receive or reject it.  So in like manner, if we would be god-like in administering government we must seek to lead and influence the human intelligence more by precept, example, and by bearing our faithful testimony, than by the stringent enactments of penal law.

Your suggestions in regard to separating large or more advanced scholars from smaller ones, and especially a uniformity of books are doubtlessly correct.  To more fully accomplish this latter object the attention of the Regency of the Deseret University has been directed to reforming our language.  It was found, upon investigating has been directed to reforming our language.  It was found, upon investigating the subject, that to do any thing it was necessary to commence at the beginning, and lay a foundation upon which to build.  With this object in view the Regency have adopted an entirely new Alphabet consisting of thirty eight characters, each of which represents its own sound, they have succeeded so far in accomplishing this object that with a very few additions, it is believed, it would represent every sound used in the construction of any known language; and, in fact, a step and partial return to a pure language which has been promised unto us in the latter days.

To this interesting subject I would direct your attention, believing, as I sincerely do, that great good may be effected by bringing it into general use.  We have now obtained the matrices, moulds, punches &c., for making the type, and will soon have a small work in print.  We think that when you become acquainted with its practices you will have less trouble in translating from the German, and, indeed, from any other language into the English, as it is designed to use no letter in a word except it is sounded in its pronunciation.  Thus you see a wide field is opened before you as well as every one who aspires to be a teacher.

I should be happy to see you at almost any time, and will take great pleasure in conversing with you upon this interesting subject.  If you could make it convenient to come up some evening with Brother Franklin D. Richards when the Regency meet, you would be welcome, and it might prove interesting to you.

May the Lord bless you with the light of His Spirit, and help you to accomplish all the desires of your heart for the good of Israel.

I remain, very truly, Your friend and Brother in the Gospel of Christ.

Brigham Young