Arick Sherinian Kezerian was born November 6, 1887 in Zara, Turkey, to Nishan K. and Rebecca N. Sherinian. In that same year, Arick's family received missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints into their home, and they later joined the Church. As a child, Arick was weak and sickly, but her grandmother took care of her. When Arick was thirteen, she was engaged to be married to Nishan Gagaian, a distant relative of her family's. Yet, it was decided that the family would travel to America first. The family left October 8, 1902, and they reached New York on November 20, arriving in Salt Lake City on November 25. There, Arick attended school. She refused to marry Nishan, however, and so the engagement was cancelled. In Provo, Arick worked as a clothes-maker and dishwasher. She later worked as a clothes-washer and in a canning factory. On December 18, 1913, Arick married Armenag Kezerian. Following, she and Armenag rented their house from Arick's father, and they later had eight children. In May of 1921, the family moved to a different house, where they completed several renovations. Arick was later asked to teach theology, which she did for four years, prior to being called to do stake missionary work. Arick died on December 3, 1976.
This 111-page typescript autobiography begins with an index and an explanation of the reasons for which the manuscript was being written: Arick writes that owing to her daughter's encouragement and after reading the journal writings of George Albert Smith, Arick was inspired to write her autobiography. She begins with a pedigree chart and an account of her ancestors and their migration to Turkey from Russia, beginning with her great-great-grandfather. Arick provides several names of missionaries who served in Turkey, and she writes further concerning the Turkey mission, including some newspaper clippings. She writes of happy childhood memories, recounting the beauty of the Zara valley and the river that ran through it. Arick also writes concerning the racial distinctions between the Armenians and Turks. She describes the land geographically and also writes of people's activities and homes. She recalls several childhood memories, such as playing with cousins and making round bread. When she was older, Arick was given tasks such as bread-making, and she writes specifically of another time during which some of the young girls and elderly women would take long trips on foot through the canyons and hills to search for various herbs. Arick also writes of several experiences when she went to the river to wash clothing. Arick provides details of Turkish baths and also describes the process of harvesting wheat and baking bread. Arick also writes of a particular experience when the Armenians feared a massacre; Arick and other Church members gathered and prayed for deliverance, and they ended up being spared. Similarly, Arick writes that Zara was 'drenched in blood' because of the persistent persecution of the Armenians. Concerning her engagement to Nishan, Arick was extremely distressed, and when they reached America, she successfully discouraged Nishan from wanting to marry her. While her family was rather annoyed with Arick because of this, she worked hard and stayed home from school to help her mother. When Arick met and became friends with Armenag, Arick's family again wanted her to marry him; although she did later consent, she was resistant at first because he was poor and had no trade. She later writes of the blessings she received from having lived in poverty, and she writes that she does not regret it. Following, she describes each of her children and their accomplishments. She includes the typescript of several letters from her children. She also includes some talks and poems. There is also an excerpt from 'The Woman's Exponent,' and several aphorisms from a piece entitled, 'Gems of Thought.' Also included are letters of recommendation for Arick to be considered the 'Mother of the Year.' There is a photocopy of a letter written by Arick's grandfather to her mother, and a translation. Arick concludes by relating the experiences she had while writing this biography, and she bears her testimony of the Gospel. Last, are six recipes, and two pages of photocopies of pictures of Arick's family. The collection was written from 1951 to 1956.