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21 October 1868


Big Cottonwood Ward Relief Society; Big Cottonwood Ward Meetinghouse, Big Cottonwood [Holladay], Utah Territory

[. . .] Present, Presidentess Eliza R. Snow, Mrs. Margaret Smoot of Salt Lake City [. . .]

Presidentess [Harriet Brinton] said she was very glad to see so many of the sisters present but she did not wish to take up the time & would give up the meeting to Sister Snow.

Presidentess Snow said she was pleased & happy to see so many sisters at the meeting. she considered it no ordinary thing to see them there. she was present when the first society was organized in this dispensation—said it was no new thing on the earth, but it was new to us, that it was always on the earth when the Priesthood was. she then read the minutes of the society of Nauvoo. She said the society was no trifling thing but there was a great responsibility resting upon the sisters. The Bishop stands in the same place to this society that Joseph Smith did to the Society in Nauvoo. said it was the first duty of mothers to take care of their children & not leave young children at home without some one to take care of them to attend the meetings but if they could leave them properly cared for they would be greatly benefitted by coming—for a mother needs all the intelligence she can get for she makes the first impressions on the minds of her children. said there had not been as much attention paid to the education of the children as should have been & the time has come when people should have wisdom for they have had the privilege of learning & the Lord will not excuse them the time is gone by that he will put wisdom in our hearts without our seeking for it. it is the duty of your presidentess to instruct you & you to instruct each other. if you do not know much at present you will learn. she wished to say a few words to the teachers. a teacher that goes from house to house needs to be filled with the Spirit of God. when you finds those that are downhearted it is your duty to comfort them. discouragement never belongs to the spirit of God—the sisters should improve themselves in order to be helpmates to the men for they are improving & if we do not improve we we shall not be companions or associates for them. Mothers should <be> well educated for [p. 28] on them depends in a great measure the future greatness of the child. first lay the foundation for industry, truthfulness, integrity & economy & you will have a good foundation to build upon. we should be the best educated people in the world because we are at the head. we are the best in matters of religion, but far behind in other things. the President wishes the people to get rich. if we improve in home manufactures that is one step towards wealth. we do not wish to dress inferior to the world, but want it to be home manufacture. said that queens and rich people of the earth would come & visit the society to learn wisdom. she saw when she joined the church that if she ever attained to the fullness of the gospel she would have to give up every thing earthly. we ought to be up & doing day by day. it is no relief to be supported in idleness but the sick must be taken care of. there is one kind of sympathy she wished to guard them against. when you meet with a sister that is in trouble, do not say I would not submit to it, but tell her she can bear it. everything that is put upon you is for your good. you should not try to get out of every trial. the Lord is manufacturing a set of saviors to stand on Mount Zion & those who fly the track are not fit to be at the head. as soon as we are able to exert a saving influence in the society we are acting as saviors. Joseph Smith said that by the sisters being united they would have power to heal the sick. it was the prerogative of the sisters to administer to each other in meeting. she urged them to be united for in union is power & let all your conversation be in a direction to do good. She charged the sisters to pray & to teach their children to pray. Exhorted them to be contented with their lot in life whatever it maybe for the woman that stays at home & tends to her business no matter how obscure her position may be is just as much in the line of her duty as the Elder that is baptizing his thousands. The Garden of Eden is in Jackson County, Mo. & when the saints get back in to the presence of God it will be there, for there is where they were driven out. when Adam was cast out of the Garden, he went north & built an altar & called it “Adam-ondi-Ahman.” there he offered up his first sacrifice after he was cast out of the Garden of Eden & blessed his children before he departed this life. we should so live as to have the confidence of our brethren & sisters. our religion does not wear out, it is growing brighter. we are approximating very near unto the time when Angels will visit us & we will not be prepared for them with all our diligence. a great many people complain of things here & say they would rather put up with a less glory than submit to them, but they do not realize what they [p. 29] are saying for if they attain to anything less than a Celestial glory they will not get to where little children are, for the Savior says “of such is the Kingdom of Heaven”. said she felt like blessing the people with all the authority she had to bless. [. . .] [p. 30]

Source Note

Big Cottonwood Ward, Granite Stake, Relief Society Minutes and Records (1868–1948), vol. 1 (1868–1882), pp. 28–30, CHL (LR 712 14); Mary Boyes, Secretary.