Lorin F. Jones, accompanied by his wife Ivie Huish Jones, served as president of the Spanish-American Mission – with responsibility for all Spanish-speaking members and the proselytizing of Spanish speakers from California east through Texas and beyond – from 1943 through 1951. This couple was well prepared for their mission. Having grown up in the Mormon colonies of northern Mexico, and having fled Mexico in the Revolution to live in New Mexico, they spoke Spanish fluently and had experience with and sympathy for the difficult economic circumstances along the border.

The Joneses organized the first Spanish-American Mission Day in the Arizona temple (an event we should post here – it was a moving experience), and were later responsible for the first non-English language temple sessions conducted anywhere in the world. Sister Jones taught the members of her mission both the importance of and the practical skills necessary for recording genealogical information and taking family names to the temple – under her guidance, many thousands of ordinances were performed by members of the mission.

In the late 1940s, Sister Jones developed a craft that became very popular in the mission for a couple of years. Inexpensive, practical, easy to do, involving adults and children, and very decorative, she taught the sisters of her mission how to make simple quilts for their children. These quilts used inexpensive muslin squares sewn together with contrasting bands of fabric. Illustrations in outline form of scriptural stories – Sister Jones used drawings obtained from a Kansas City craft house, but you could easily duplicate the technique using coloring book pictures – were traced onto the fabric. Adults or older children used a simple backstitch to embroider the designs. Younger children colored the designs, using ordinary waxy crayons. Then blotting paper was placed over the designs, and the crayon was “fixed” onto the fabric by means of a hot iron.

But the fun of making the quilt was only half the purpose:   After a child was tucked in at night, he or she could choose one of the pictures, and a parent or older child would tell the scripture story as a bedtime story. Eventually the small children could tell the stories themselves. In this way, the gospel stories were reinforced for all members of the family.

Below is a sample of Sister Jones’s quilts, based on the New Testament. I wonder if any similar ones survive in the childhood possessions of Latter-day Saints of that era?

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