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24 August 1870

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

There were present Mrs. E. R. Snow, Mrs. Margrett [Margaret] P. Young, Mrs Sarah [M.] Kimball [. . .]

Mrs. E R Snow said “We are here in this world, and what we came for, we should try and learn—some came here by [paper damage]ersion [coercion?] but we came by choice, so as to come forth in [paper damage] [this?] dispensation. God has a work to do and He has [page torn]sen [chosen?] men and women to do His work—God said [paper damage] [man?] and woman “shall be one flesh” in prosess of time the woman partook of the forbidden fruit—for this reason [p. 120] woman had a curse pronou[n]ced on her, in consequence of which we are subject to a great many trials and difficulties—

The Gospel has been restored for us to obey—and receive its Blessings—It was disobedience brought the curse, and only obedience can remove it—some look on obedience as slavery but it is not slavery. This earth was cursed for mans sake through obedience to the Gospel, he will turn that curse to a blessing—man must be <as> obedient to those in authority, over him, as woman must be to man—we must submit to it when we have the spirit of Jesus Chirst [Christ] in our hearts we obey from choice—it is the absence of this that causes apostacy they have lost the spirit of God, and an apostate spirit enters in—Wemen are counslors to their Husbands only through obedience—Last week, a Gentile called on me I told her the women here felt like Queens. I said “you do not comprehend the position of woman on the earth. if you see slavery in Polygamy—The first instruction given to man and woman was alike, but after the fall the were different—I told her I was married to my Husband just the same as the first wife—the man and his wife are one flesh—and if we could be purified by the Gospel we would be one spirit. Then when a man has more than one wife, say 5 or more, look at the power there is there—we have to overcome those fleshly dispositions which prom[p]ts to jealousy and envy—When we come to unity there will be peace prosperity and happiness—it is a great warfare—we must come to the line laid down in the Gospel. We must try to gain a victory over all our evils, by bringing ourselves into subjection to the law of Christ—we want to go on conquering and to conquer, we must control our passions not subdue them. God requires us, to do nothing, that is impossible, but with His help, we have to get the victory over our fallen natures. It takes suffering to perfect us. I can tell tell you one thing, as a sure rule, if there is one thing more than another we dislike, it is that we will have to go through—we have a sweeping consolation [paper damage] in all our trials, we acknowled[g]e the Hand of the Lord there we find our consolation.

I knew plural marriage would be revealed in the last days, but I did not think it would be in [p. 121] my day. When I heard it coming in my time, I wished my life shorter—but I then considered, it is better to pass through the trials here than to wait for some other time—The way I feel about it today I would not for 10,000 worlds have that principle blotted from our relegion. I now rejoice in it, I can see a great deal of good resulting from this principle—The world can not be saved without it—it is for the living and the dead—There is no place on Earth women are so pure and chaste as in Utah.1 Wise men of the Land have tried their utmost to stop the wickedness now going on in the world, but have failed—women are there trampled under foot— We can boast of a better state of things here—Unless women take hold of, accept and encourage, plural marriage this cannot be acknowledged, the responsibil[it]y is laid on us, let us cooperate and save all we can—it is for each of us to begin with ourselves, let our hearts flow out in Philantrophy—let us conquer the little petty things that darken the human mind—Let us lay aside self—our minds ought to be so engrossed in the good of Zion that we should forget ourselves—We are the noble spirits God reserved for this time, then how noble we should act and not condesend to the little narrow contracted things that bring trouble—We stand at the head of this dispensation, the records of this Society are to be as an example to coming generations. We must lay aside every thing that is low and vulgar—get the inteligance of the day that we may cultivate our mind our children will be sure to follow. The mother gives character to the child—one sister said in her remarks at the last meeting, “A person that is too proud to be counseled there is not much hope for them,” but the humble will attain to perfection, what we do not learn in this life, we will have to learn in the next. The sisters have every inducement for improvement now speak when ever you can, and the Lord will put words into your mouth, impart what you know and more will be added—when we rise and try to keep [paper damage] connexion of thought, it leaves us, so we must acquire [page torn] [the?] habit of speaking. We want to impart inteligance—[paper damage] [the?] more we learn the more there is for us to learn every thing we do is for our mutual benefit—[p. 122] Down at Kanab they are organizing a co-operative settlement the time will come, when every faithful sister, will have all the means she will know how to control. Co-operation is a preperation for the Law of Enoch—We are not affraid to trust our salvation to the Preisthood—but we are our means, God is going to control all the means we have got. He will dictate who shall do this, and who shall do that we shall come to be like the leaves of a book easily controled—We want to teach each other the little things of life—Its not by following Gentile fashions we can do this, the Angels love to see the beautiful. Joseph Smith said “The people of the world will yet come to the Saints for fine fabrics, if we not what we profess—we are the salt of the earth, it is not dress, it is worth that constitutes a character. We are labouring for a crown that is laid up for the faithful—we are cultivating a knowledge of God and prepairing oursleves for living in His presence—We do not fear death, it is only a portal to a better existance—When I was young I dreaded death, after I came to the knowledge of Christ, I had no care for the hereafter—recollect one time when we were preparing to leave Kirtland, I was with my sister in a room, I felt quite like fainting—and imediately such a feeling came over me, as if I was in the presence of happiness—When I thought I had to return to this world Oh! how sorry I was, death shall be sweet to the Saints they will have an escort to take them home—It is only in the Highest Glory, that we attain to the blessing of propagating our species, and increasing continually”

“May the Lord Bless you Amen”

[. . .]

Mrs. S. Kimball Said “What Sister Snow said is true [. . .] [p. 123] [. . .] I rejoice that I have no fear of death. As the work rolls forward women will have to study, put into practice and defend Polygamy.”

Mrs. Snow said “I wish to speak of our attendance to meeting—those who do not attend, are depriving themselves, of an oppertunity of learning to do good—if you want to be worthy of having your names handed down to posterity as worthy examples, it is nesessary you should be punctual—by being punctual the society will feel they cannot do without your presence—Now my sisters I want you to establish a character for usefullness that will be better than all the riches of this world. When there is any thing important to be done it is those who are punctual, who will be called on to accomplish it—It is not every sister who can attend “Wisdom is justified of her children”—bring something useful to read if you cannot have faith that you can speak for awhile till you gain more confidance “Sister Kimballs society meet once a week and there are none of them feel the poorer for it. I am happy to hear of your welfare, and I say may God Bless you” “Amen”

[. . .] [p. 124]

Source Note

Big Cottonwood Ward, Granite Stake, Relief Society Minutes and Records (1868–1948), vol. 1 (1868–1882), pp. 120–124, CHL (LR 712 14); Elizabeth A. Howard, Secretary.

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24 August 1870, Big Cottonwood Relief Society; Big Cottonwood Meetinghouse, Big Cottonwood [Holladay], Utah Territory, The Discourses of Eliza R. Snow, accessed June 20, 2024