3 December 1868

Salt Lake City Seventeenth Ward Relief Society; Joseph Heywood Residence, Salt Lake City, Utah Territory

In the center of the image is a white, two-story home with two chimneys and a covered porch

Joseph Heywood residence (center), Salt Lake City. (Courtesy Church History Library.)

[. . .] Present—Sisters Snow, [Bathsheba W.] Smith and others. [. . .]

President Mrs [Marinda N.] Hyde arose and said, that this being all the business of the meeting, she would now like for some of the sisters present as visitors, to give us some good advice, that we might profit by their experience. Mrs. Hiram Kimball [Sarah M. Kimball] <president of the 15th Ward Relief Society> arose and said, I stand before you at the request of Sister Snow, and I would say that as you so much desire to build a house specially for your Relief Society, I will tell you how we came to build ours. [p. 131]

[. . .]

Sister E. R. Snow being requested to make a few remarks arose and said, My sisters being invited I stand before you, and thankful to be present. I feel honored to be in your midst, and that I feel able to instruct you. My sisters who have spoken, uttered rich sentiments, every sentence all most could be taken as a text. Every Society needs a house that is subject to their control. If your work is to do good and save souls, why is not have a place in which to put your donated articles that you may work and manage with them, and here. I will give you a maxim “those who wait to see through what they desire to accomplish never accomplish anything at all.” You should first ascertain whether a desired thing is requisite and advisable, then go to with your might and with God’s blessing you shall accomplish it. If one step is open before you take that step, having faith that the next step will follow in its course. When in the world a building is undertaken they can see where they suppose the last cent will be put, but with us it is different. We start in faith and with [p. 132] the Lord’s blessing attain to what we desire. These Societies are not organized by the world, but by the Priesthood, and you should not be satisfied with small things. Your mission is to look after the poor and watch over the souls of all with whom you are associated. Therefore be watchful, and cultivate confidence, and put under your feet, my sisters, all thoughts that are to the contrary for they are of the adversary. The most noble minds are the most condescending. Let nothing arise between you that will tend to disunion. It has been said that the sisters are more jealous than the bretheren, but I do not believe it; but we must watch ourselves and not look for failings, look for the best side, for when this fleshly tabernacle is laid off we are free from failings, we will have gained the victory over them, and we will see with other kind of spectacles. so watch over and help each other in love, and have an interest one in the other. Not try to crowd each other down, for that is against your own interest, for the more one advances the more society advances. It is silly to try to hold each other back, thus weakening our own influence. Instruct each other as far as you can not to hurt feelings, for you stand in important positions as the daughters of God. Then how noble, pure, and just we ought to be! We see how the bretheren are progressing, then let us be diligent and improve every opportunity we have, and if you are united, one heart, and one mind you shall see the effects of your exertions. You have taken the poor off the hands of the bishop, and you are in a position in Society to instruct. When I was at the 15th Ward, I wondered how they were going to do much, judging by their donations, and yet see what they have accomplished, in circumstances not as flattering as yours. Then take hold with force, for union is power. You my sisters are laboring for Eternity. your doings effect in the other world. Itelligences are looking down upon you, and noting your doings in pen and ink. Joseph [Smith] said we have nothing here but they have there only on a more improved plan, and they study out of books there as we do; and the accounts you keep are not the only records of your acts. Our bodies are composed of a gross and a pure substance, the gross substance returns to its native elements, earth, air, fire and water. The pure matter which we cannot see, does not pass through this transformations, but is retained in the bosom of mother earth. Grass grows out of the grave, cattle eat the grass, and people eat the cattle, but the pure part of the body if resurrected before me now, I could not see unless my sight was quickened by the Spirit of God. [p. 133] If we live faithful we shall be called forth in the morning of the resurrection, then what shall we not do for this great blessing. Let us enlarge our hearts and calculations, be noble in mind and walk over all that would lessen us with holy beings, and become more and more like God. Angels mingle with us when we see them not, then let us so walk and so live that we may always have these Heavenly messengers near us to care for and shield us. Faith and energy and obeying the commandments of God, gives us power over disease, that our lives may be prolonged upon the earth, that we may accomplish what those who died without the Priesthood could not. Then all of you take hold and help and Joseph will take cognisance of your works. Do your duty here and at home, and you will be better and your homes will be better. Each one of you impart to the other that portion of the spirit which is in your bosom, that all may be edified and encouraged on in the path of life, and your duties will be lightened and you will carry a good spirit to your homes. These Relief Societies are after the pattern of Heaven and have always been on the earth whenever the Gospel was here. In days gone by we read of the elect lady, meaning those who were called to preside over Societies. In the days of Nauvoo Emma Smith was the only elect lady, but we were told by revealation that others would be called to this work: which was the case when the society was reorganized in the Valleys of the Mountains. You are all one Relief Society, and by cooperation can do more than one can. Therefore double your diligence and grow up to a holy order, leave all bad feelings behind, let go the past, except the experience you have gained, that let us retain for experience is the only wealth we take beyond the grave. then turn it to good account to help us in what is to come. Gain strength of character and honorably acquit ourselves and fill those positions destined for noble woman. Then do not be satisfied with anything short of a fullness, for eternal lives and the propagation of our species those loose who do not attain to a fullness. Then live day by day according to the law of God, and there will be no failure. We have the ability, we have the gems within us to make us Goddesses if cultivated. Love and keep the commandments of God, that we may all meet where Celestial beings are, and that we may come back into the presence of the Father. [p. 134]

[. . .]

Mrs. [Mary S.] Hindly, President of the Relief Society in American Fork, being requested arose and said, In one sense I am a stranger to you, but I am glad to be present with you, for I know it is good to meet together in such a capacity. We are doing very well in our Society although not properly organized, until Sisters Snow and Kimball visited us. I am glad to say we do better since. I know we are a branch of the great whole and as such I ask an interest in your prayers, that we may be equally blessed with you.

[. . .] [p. 135]

Source Note

Salt Lake City Seventeenth Ward, Salt Lake Stake, Relief Society Minutes and Records (1856–1973), vol. 2 (1868–1871), pp. 131–135, CHL (LR 8240 14).

Cite this page

3 December 1868, Salt Lake City Seventeenth Ward Relief Society; Joseph Heywood Residence, Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, The Discourses of Eliza R. Snow, accessed May 27, 2024 https://www.churchhistorianspress.org/eliza-r-snow/1860s/1868/12/1868-12-03