July 3, 1880—Saturday

[…] Found that it is well to have plenty of friends while travelling, never was in the northern settlements before, hence have no acquaintances; expect to make some before leaving, however.

September 1, 1880—Wednesday

I really do not approve of the plan of saying beforehand what one intends doing […]

November 6, 1880—Saturday

I do not like the vocation of teaching, that is, as a District School teacher […]

Here in the Academy​*​ I am teaching all higher, scientific or philological branches; in order to do which I am necessitated to work up on the subjects myself, thereby opening up to me a field of research which is almost as beneficial as regularly attending school […]

I can see plainly that I will not be enabled to save the least means for a start in life. In fact cannot see my way clear for my future course.

January 24, 1881—Monday

Time passes so rapidly as hardly to be comprehended — half of the present school year gone already, and when I reflect thus I am spurred on to greater vigor in my researches and studies, realizing that such facilities will not last forever. […]

I reprove myself […] for being so unsystematic in my course of study.

February 7, 1881—Monday

Went to Salt Lake City, to attend a series of two lectures to be delivered by Prof. R. A. Proctor​†​. Attended his first lecture the same evening; etc.; “Birth and Growth of Worlds.” Have formed a decided opinion regarding Proctor’s views, though that opinion of mine is certainly immature, and therefore I will refrain from expressing it, for I may change it.

February 8, 1881—Tuesday

Attended the second lecture of Professor Proctor in the evening. 

June 17, 1881—Friday

 […] if I would give way to selfish feelings I would today almost register a vow that I would not serve in the B. Y. Academy again unless I were well paid. […] Then again I think and realize that the training I am receiving in teaching these higher branches benefits me as much, if not more than regular attendance at school would. Have been enabled to save nothing in the way of money during the year.

August 22, 1881—Monday

The authorities have often spoken of my age and diligent labors in public and even President Woodruff was not an exception, but I see one thing, that this very circumstance imposes on me an onerous duty—to keep opinion of self down. […] Some think me conceited, but I think they are those that know me but little. I am not so; indeed, I am impetuous, rushing, energetic, and these trains are often taken for self-conceit. 

November 13, 1881—Sunday

I began to consider how my labors may be laid to greatest advantage during the coming winter months. […] opportunities for study and research will not last long. I may be sent on a mission before winter or my occupation may be varied as to admit of but little time for private study.

December 7, 1881—Wednesday

[…] When she discovered traces of blood, she fainted very nicely, and I changed at once my occupation from that of a public lecturer to an attendant physician. She recovered, however, when ’twas found that the large amounts of blood filling the bowl from which I was bathing her head came from my own hand. Two pieces of glass had struck the index finger of my right hand, one fragment burying itself in the knuckle joint. 

December 12, 1881—Monday

I want to do good among the young — probably lecture amongst the Improvement Associations, and encourage the study of nature. I have to give a first lecture on the subject of harmony between Geology and the Bible — a subject upon which so many of our people have mistaken ideas.

October 11, 1882—Wednesday

[Talmage’s reasons for not attending a dance:]

[…] 1-One must know how to dance: I do not; 2-one must wear a dress suit: I have none; 3-one must have a lady: I have none; 4-one must hire a carriage and pair for going and coming, etc.: I cannot afford it. 



  1. ​*​
    Brigham Young Academy in Provo, Utah.
  2. ​†​
    British astronomer Richard A. Proctor (1837-1888).