Last week’s firestorm about raising children reminded me of a speech I heard by Leonard Arrington, in which he told a story about the Brigham Young household. 
At a time when Brigham Young and his wives had many daughters of courting age, the daughters asked their father for permission to have some young men over to the house for a social evening in the parlor. He gave his consent, and even agreed not to set a time when the evening had to end, but said it could continue “as long as the lamps were not turned down”. He then went upstairs to bed.
A few hours later, he realized that the downstairs parlor was entirely too quiet, and went to investigate. He was not well pleased. The young people had indeed obeyed the letter of the law. They had not turned the lamps down; they had instead taken books off the shelves and stacked them around the lamps, thereby obscuring the lamps’ light and creating a darkened room. His daughters and their beaux had also rearranged some of the furniture to allow for each couple to have a measure of privacy on a sofa or divan. President Young stood on the staircase in his nightclothes, holding a candle while surveying the scene of debauchery that was spread before him.
Arrington reported that Brigham put an end to the evening by stating: “The young women are now excused to go upstairs to their rooms. The young men are now excused to go to their homes.”
Moral of the story # 1: No matter how many rules you lay down, people will find a way around them. This goes double, or maybe even triple, for teenagers. It is much more productive to focus on principles.
Moral of the story # 2: No matter how much trouble you are having with your kids, you should be grateful you don’t have as many teenagers as Brigham Young.
 Sorry to disappoint, but I don’t have a reference. This post is my way of asking the smart people around here if they have ever heard of this story and where it might be documented. I am also curious to see how accurate my memory of the story is.