About the Collection
Lloyd O. Ivie
by Brian A. Warburton
About the Collection
Lloyd Oscar Ivie was born on October 9, 1890, in Salina Utah to James Oscar Ivie and Annie Catherine Mortensen. He was the second of nine children. When he was young he was involved with the Salina Orchestra, probably playing the trombone. He received his mission call, to Japan, while traveling with the orchestra in Thurber, Wayne County, Utah on December 28, 1910.1
Lloyd only had about a month to prepare for his mission. During that time fund raising parties were held for him by church organizations and the Salina Orchestra. On January 20, 1911, he was set apart as a missionary and ordained a Seventy in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by Seymour B. Young. He left Salt Lake City for his mission the next day, January 21, 1911. He took the train for Portland and then on to Seattle. From Seattle he took the ship S.S. Sado Maru to Japan, where he arrived on February 19, 1911.
Ivie soon came to the realization that much of his mission would be devoted to learning the language and customs. “Missionary life proper begins studying and preparing myself. All work now. Took lesson of Bro. Cutler and studied a few words.”2 Besides preaching Ivie spent time playing the trombone and the organ with a mission orchestra, site seeing, and holding Bible classes. He also records that there was a problem with disobedience on the part of some of the missionaries and several were sent home.
Ivie returned home to Utah in 1914; but he kept Japan and the Japanese people close to his heart. He continued to communicate through letters with the new mission president of Japan, Joseph Henry Stimpson. In these letters Ivie expressed his desire to one day become the mission president of Japan.3 This desire was realized when Ivie was called to become the new Japan mission President in late 1920. But at this time Ivie was not yet married. When President Heber J. Grant found out that he wasn’t married he asked a friend to send his daughter down to Salt Lake from Kaysville, Utah to marry Lloyd Ivie!4
Lloyd Ivie married Nora Blamires on December 24, 1920, in Salt Lake City. This arranged marriage worked out well and Ivie was later heard to comment that if he were ever in need of another wife he would go to President Grant again.5 Ivie and his new wife Nora were soon on their way to serve in Japan, arriving there in March 1921, filled with enthusiasm and optimism. “ We feel that a new era is going to open for the Japan mission and that it will not be long till we shall stand in a more favorable light before the people [church members] in America …”6 President Ivie tried to put a greater emphasis on placing copies of the Book of Mormon with the Japanese people. The mission had been struggling for several years, only baptizing 166 people in 23 years,7 but after a recent visit from Elder David O. McKay the missionaries were filled with renewed vigor. With so few Japanese members of the church and only 10 missionaries to preach to an entire country of over fifty six million people the Ivie’s continued to see limited success, with only ten baptisms in 1922 and six in 1923.8 August 18, 1923, saw Nora give birth to their second child, Janet. Unfortunately both she and Janet suffered from bad health and the Ivie’s were released to go home. Just before returning home, on September 1, 1923 Lloyd was witness to one of the great natural disasters of the time, the Kanto earthquake which caused great destruction in the Tokyo area and killed about 100,000 people. Lloyd reported seeing great chaos and misery as he toured the devastated areas.9 Lloyd later wrote that he was grateful he had been inspired to move his family from the Tokyo area to Sapporo for the summer, and thus avoided the earthquake.10 The Ivie’s returned to Utah in October 1923. The limited success of the mission and anti-foreign sentiments in Japan continued and caused the church to close the mission in 1924. It was not reopened until after World War II, in 1948.
Lloyd and Nora Ivie were the parents of six children. After their mission they returned to Salt Lake City and Lloyd was called upon to speak in the April 1926 General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Much of his talk was devoted to his experience with the Japanese people.11 He worked as chief of wage and excise tax for the Internal Revenue Service and was a member of the church language and genealogy committees. He also taught seminary in Lyman, Wyoming and in Monroe, Utah. Lloyd died on May 7, 1967.12
1 Lloyd Oscar Ivie, “Diaries, 1910-1914,” MSS 871, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, December 28, 1910.
2 Ibid., February 22, 1911.
3 Lanier Ralph Britsch, “Early Latter-day Saint Missions to South and East Asia” (Ph. D. diss., Claremont Graduate school, 1968) , 326.
6 Murray L. Nichols, “History of the Japan mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 1901-1924.” (M.A. Thesis, Brigham Young University, 1957.) , 70.
7 Nichols. 56.
8 Ibid. 123.
9 JFM Org., 2003. 26 November, 2003 available from http://www.mission.net/japan/fukuoka/archives/ivie1923_3.html.
11 Conference Report, April 1926, pg. 94-96.
12 Deseret News (Salt Lake City) , 8 May 1967. (obituary).
Britsch, Ralph Lanier. “Early Latter-day Saint Missions to South and East Asia.” Ph. D. diss. , Claremont Graduate School, 1968.
Deseret News (Salt Lake City), 8 May 1967.
Ivie, Lloyd Oscar. “Diaries, 1910-1914.” MSS 871, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University.
“Former Mission President of the Japan Mission,” in Official Report of the Annual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, April 4-6, 1926, 94-96. Salt Lake City: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1926.
Goecities.com., 1997. 26 November 2003 available from http://www.geocities.com/jldschurch/loydivie.htm.
Japan Fukuoka Mission Alumni Site: JFM Org. 2003. 26 November 2003 available from http://www.mission.net/japan/fukuoka/archives/ivie1923_3.html
Nichols, Murray L. “History of the Japan Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 1901-1924.” M.A. thesis, Brigham Young University, 1957.