3 June 1869

Salt Lake City Twentieth Ward Relief Society; Salt Lake City, Utah Territory

[. . .]

Pres [Margaret T.] Smoot said [. . .] as we were favored with the presence of sister E R Snow & Sister [Sarah M.] Kimball. they would give us instructions.

Sister Snow arose and said. Sister Smoot was speaking of our home manufacture She & sister Kimball had brought some straw to sister [Anna A.] Savage to have them some bonnets made. She had read a synopsis of our [p. 76] annual meeting, & was pleased, & gratified to see us progress so well. Since she had been absent she had visited a number of societies. She considered them all Branches of one great Society. We all have one object in view. There was no certain rules, & routine of action, that can be laid out for all; but in the begining Joseph Smith said the organization of the Society was adapted to all circumstances, but still under the direction of the Bishop. While she was away she met with one Society just organizing: she assisted in completing the organization. The Society was composed of Danish sisters. She was pleased with the Spirit manifested She hoped her sisters did not feel to slacken their energies, & to flag in in their endevors to do good. this work will not die out, it will reach into eternity & be felt in generations to come. It is a business that inlists the heart, & sympathies of every sister. Joseph Smith said the organization was not only to help the poor, but to save ourselves: The principles of the Gospel meet us in every circumstance of life; it was suited to the capacity of all: to the most intellegent, & to the most ignorant. Sometimes it seems we make very slow progress. If we are faithful, there is nothing we can desire but what is laid out before us.

Joseph Smith, said every man, & woman, who was faithful in this world, would go fourth on an earth as Adam, and Eve. That is but one item of the blessings God has in store for us if we are faithful. Many years ago the Lord gave the word of wisdom. It was adapted to the weakest, & certainly none of us are weaker than the weakest! It was given optional, but now it is a commandment She considered it very important, that we observe every command of God. If we trifle with one word we will be apt to stumble at the next, & if we are disobedient can we approach God with that [p. 77] confidence! Nothing but obedience will bring us back into His presence. She considered this an important time in the History of the Church. There is just as much responsibility resting upon the sisters, as upon the brethren & sometimes she thought more. It was from the mother the child received its first impressions. The stamp of their character takes more from the mother, than the father As the child sees the mother act, so will the child. We are responsible for the example we set. She read the word of wisdom when it was first given, & felt it her duty to observe it. She was oblige to mingle with the fashionable who were not in the church, & at table tea would be served to her which she did not taste. They would say: Miss Snow you have not drank your tea. Is it not agreeable? She had to round up her shoulders, as it gave her an opportunity to bear her testimony. She kept the word of wisdom for eight years, after she came to the valley she made use of it a little. Since she has quit taking it her health is better than it was when she was in the habit of tag taking it. If we find we come short dont be discouraged. We must have trials & what a blessing to have trials—those that maintain their integrity, & withstand temptation they will be rewarded.

Look at your President, she has had trials. She has not come up on a bed of roses without the thorns—she has been faithful, her hands have been open. She is now called to be an elect lady. An elect Lady, is one who is called to preside over an organization like this [p. 78] so said Joseph Smith. Every sister has the responsibility of being a saviour, & helping to save themselves. When you meet with trials, dont flinch. Sometimes our husbands try us. Who could try us as our husbands, or who could try a husband like a wife—that which will try us the most is the very thing to prove our integrity. If the lesson is hard we must study the harder, till we can turn over another leaf. The church will soon be 40 years old and in Jackson County [Missouri] man will return to his Maker. If we take the commands one by one, they will not trouble us. The small duties lay at the foundation of life. One thing the mothers should think of to bring up their daughters to be good housewives

She was pleased with the specimens of home manufacture she had seen to day. Fashion was one of the most difficult things in this kingdom to contend against. It cannot be done at once, it is a gradual work. It must be imperceptable, & if you do not succeed as you would wish, these workings will accomplish much in the end. If we could only break this tyrany of fashion so the sisters could dress as they pleased, & if they wore anything out of fashion, it would be thought respectable, if we can get that broken, we will have our own fashions! & if any fashion comes from abroad that is good we will have it. All good is for the Saints. She heard Joseph Smith say many times, The time would come the nations would come up to Zion to purchace, because it would be better. The first thing for us to do is to get the Spirit of God in our hearts, & that will correct our judgements, & instead of wishing to follow every gentile fashion, we would dispise them We cannot be one hand for God, & the other for the world, we have got to be whole hearted [p. 79] we must be united. This cooporation she considered one of the greatest blessings. She used to wonder, how we were ever to become one, but she could now see it: and woman her: influence in this is very great, because it is at home at the foundation. Sisters how do you speak of it: Do you uphold it? We must enter into it whole hearted. It is for you to uphold trade in your own ward-store. It is placing the means within your own reach. Our brethren who are merchants, how soon they get rich, this is not going to make zion rich. If we cannot uphold this cooporation, we cannot observe the order of Enoch. If she could make A thousand dollars by trading in a gentile store she would not do it—she would not lose the confidence of this people for all the wealth of the world. It is now sisters we are forming characters for eternity. There is none of us of so little consiquence as not to have a bearing. The smallest who is obedient, would be greater than any monarch on the earth

Let us try to be better, she tried to be better every day. She felt thankful the time had come, that the sisters are convened as to day She felt to bless us, she felt proud of her sisters, & to mothers she would say, Teach your children to pray, & when they grow up they will not be ashamed. If any of you learn something new—of utility, impart it to each other. Hoping we may be faithful, & attain to a fullness in the end.

This is my prayer in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. [p. 80]

[. . .] Sister Kimball made a few remarks. [. . .]

[. . .] When Sister Snow, was asking the Sisters to impart anything of utility, to the sisters that all might be benefited. She thought if she spoke, she would relate an incident which occured with her when her first son was about six weeks old. He was taken very sick one day, the Prophet Joseph came in. He told her to bathe the child, & anoint it with oil, & administer to it, & he would get well. She had always followed that course, since & found it always to be good [. . .] [p. 81]

Source Note

Twentieth Ward, Ensign Stake, Relief Society Minutes and Records (1868–1973), vol. 1 (1868–1877), pp. 76–81, CHL (LR 9455 14); Susan M. Schettler, Secretary.

Cite this page

3 June 1869, Salt Lake City Twentieth Ward Relief Society; Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, The Discourses of Eliza R. Snow, accessed May 24, 2024 https://www.churchhistorianspress.org/eliza-r-snow/1860s/1869/06/1869-06-03