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9 September 1871


Payson Ward Relief Society; Payson, Utah Territory

[. . .] The following Ladies addressed the Meeting Eliza R Snow the Sisters [Margaret T.] Smoot and Sister [Elizabeth A.] Howard There were many strangers Present Ladies an[d] Gentlemen

[. . .] Sister [Betsey J.] Simons in introducing Sister Snow to the Congregation said that Sis Snow had been invited several Months Past to pay the Society in Payson a visit

Sister Snow in rising said My Sisters, in standing before you to day I hope to benefit Myself. I cannot do it unless I have the Power and Spirit of God resting upon me. Wee have the Gospel with all its blessings and Privileges. I am pleased to see the Brethren Here it gives Me strength. I ask an interest in your Prayers that What I might say might prove beneficial? I was the first Person that Joseph Smith too [told?] respecting the Female Relief Society. In Nauvoo He spoke to me of the orgenisation several years before the Society realy was organised which did not take Place two years before his Death. This Organisation is not only to relieve the Poor but to relieve the Brethren in the Priesthood help take the Burthen [burden] of [off] them [p. 109]

The Sisters are more sympathetic hence can do more good. No Woman is to[o] Poor to belong to the Society. Show me the woman that cannot add her mite if not in means in work. it is the little that accomplishes the much. Wee sometimes undervalue our responsibilities

Wee do not belong to Woman Rights. Yet wee believe in Womans divinity before the Fall it seemed Man and Woman were one. The same as the Father and Son are one. After the Fall a Curse came upon Woman She became subservient to Man, since that time Woman has differed in feelings sometimes even in interest which should not be. I use the Phrase Woman because that name embodies every thing that is good and Beautiful. In Barberous Countys [countries] Woman was a Slave. The Gospel although in a mutilated form has done much in elevating Woman The Gospel is calculated to bring back the Union which was the day before the Fall. Some Ladies in the States Lecture Woman is to be supreme The Mans Position is to rule but through wise government there need be no oppression especialy if Woman will honor their head as She should do. Still wee anticipate through the Gospel that Woman will hold the same Position as Eve did before the Fall. When wee thoroughly live our Religion wee not only honor our selves but the Gospel of Jesus [p. 110]

I consider the Mother has much to do in forming the Character of Her Child for its future weal or woe, if such is the case wee need develop ourselves. It takes all the wisdom, goodness, intelligence there is to constitute Woman A Queen and Goddess in Eternity, and every one that hears the fullness of the Gospel might attain to that fullness. The fullness of the Gospel brings all that can be attained too. Wee are called Saints are wee live Saints or sleepy ones. If wee would attain to the fullness of the Gospel wee have got to live our Religion and use our faculties wisely.

This Organisation will improve Woman. It is necessary to act in organised capacities it is new to us. The men they have experience in this matter Wee can learn it, it is important wee should do so. If there is any that look upon it as a trifling pay no attention to it. If there are any that feel if they could not relieve the Poor they can do no good they are mistaken Wee should belong to this Society for our own individual interest. it is as much for our interest as the Relief of the Poor. I consider it a grand Institution one to Elevate mankind. There is no Sister but what could find A little time. I do not believe in A Woman who has A Family of little ones, to leave them at Home uncared for, but few Women who has any buisness tact Whatever could manage to spare one Hour or two to attend Meeting and if the Society was it should be you would all feel to honer the Institution

The President and her Council should be one and act in concert with her Coucellors [Counselors] [p. 111] and the Society should uphold them with their Prayers. If the Society should see any mistake in their President the Sisters should not blaze it abroad but Pray for them Wee cannot expect perfection At first Wee have to learn by littles The Secretary is the Historian of the Society She has to keep an accurate account of all disbursements and have it in black and White to whom disbursed and what and let your Judgement govern when you give It is the duty of the Teachers to ascertain what they realy need There was A case in Salt Lake City A few weeks back of a Woman who was constantly complaining At last She had drawn to the amount of $200 The Ladies of the Society thought it was time to look into the affair A Committee was chosen to search her House when they wished to look into her Box She refused them which act of course disfellowshiped Her from the Church. It was not more then 2 months after that till she opened A Store in Main Street. Wee ought to guerd ourselves against such things but give to them that are realy needy. The Poorest are generally the most delicate to complain. The Office of the Teacher is not particular to beg but to carry A good influence. A teacher is A most responsible Officer I myself feel incapable of filling such an Office still were I called I would not shrink, but humble my self before the Lord that I might have A Portion of his Sp[i]rit to guide me A Teacher must be full of the Holy Ghost

I presume there is not A Teacher that feels competent but if she were called whold [would] act The Teacher wants enough of the Spirits warming [p. 112] influence to give A little when needed and to impart A Portion of her spirit to cheer and bless if called upon to admonish do it in meekness and kindness. It has seemed A drowsy time I think by the number I see before me that all are not sleeping There is a sympathy with some that is demoralising in effect, for instance one sister will say to another, I would not bear that directly that Sister feels I am abused, I cannot bear it if that Sister was in the line of her duty She would say yes. You can acknowledge the hand of God in all things, by doing so wee can find consolation what, even if my Husband abuse me, Wee ought to have Confidence in our Heavenly Father that all will be right and be for our Good. Do right suffer no Jealousy or selfishness to creep into your Hearts. Keep the Spirit of God in Your Bosom It matters not young or old happiness never proceeds from selfishness. Each Sister has A Mission Not to procure Husbands and keep them to Ourselves. Wee came Here to be Saviors on Mount Zion in conjunction with our Husbands and Brethren Wee have A Work to do for the living and the dead. What A blessing Saviours, but my Sister to be so wee must honor Plurality of wives from this source emanates every thing that is noble and honorable, but says one if wee cannot have a Husband to ourselves wee might as well be living in the Gentile World. Not so my Sisters.

It is through this Principle that degraded woman will be redeemed and elevated The time will come that Thousands will be reclaimed from A Shameless grave. God alone can save Woman. The Mother has much [p. 113] to do in forming the Character of her Child for its future weal or woe. She can make her Son a Priest to God or A Vagabond it must be done while the Boy is young. Never was there a time when Children required more care and anxiety then at the Present so many opposing influences in our midst. Be honest and truthful be firm never allow the Confidence of Your Child to be broken. Teach Your Girls the Art of Housekeeping It is often the case that the Mother neglect the most essential Part in looking after the fashons of the World. There are some exceptions I see an exception in this Please Mothers Teach Your Daughters Economy and Industry, and endeavor to make their Homes cheerful and not follow after the fashons of the World. Wee want our Daughters to fill their Positions as Future Eves. Mothers study the Interests of your little Ones Encourage them to read not novels but the Newspaper, ask them What the news is in it, by doing so you will help them to acquire knowledge When they ask a Question answer them and explain the nature of it Children are curious, their minds are active and the first impression seldom forgotten.

The Temple Clothes has been quite deranged Joseph Smith said it will be so that the Pattern cannot be seen I think it is so at the Present time. I think the Pattern which was given to Joseph Smith the most beautiful Pattern I ever saw. The original Pattern should be used by all latter day Saints

The Sacrament is no light thing Wee [p. 114] Should not partake of it unworthily. It is not for allaying the thirst of your Child. You should take the cup with your right hand and take of [off] your Glove

There are others to speak if I should talk two Hours longer I could not begin to tell you all There is so much before us. I do not wish my sisters to think they cannot come up to me You are good happy Women. Our religion makes us happy. The Religion of the World takes away that happiness that wee feel. I cannot begin to tell neither can you conceive the blessings the Lord has in store for us Our Children Sisters should be our first care Make Your Homes Cheerful and Life pleasant if You are good financiers You can find time to attend your Meetings I pray that You might honor your Lives before God. Amen.

Mrs. Maragarett [Margaret T.] Smoot said she felt pleased to meet with the Sisters and felt proud to be in the Company of Sister Snow and felt to congratulate the Sisters in Payson in having Sister Snow to address them She felt if Sis Snow spoke two Hour longer She would not tell one half there had been much said if She attempted to speak She would undo what had been said and that they had all they could do if they would only put it into practice [. . .] [p. 115–116]

[. . .] Sis [Agnes] Douglas felt blessed and thankful to hear from Eliza R Snow and hoped that all would be blessed and edified

Br Warren Dusonbery [Dusonberry] thought thet it would not try him one particle to speak to Ten Thousand Gentlemen but He felt delicate in addressing A Company of Ladies. He had heard Men speak but never had been so well instructed as He had while sitting under the Teachings of Sister Snow He would not say more in case He might Eradicate from their minds the good instruction [. . .] [p. 117]

Source Note

Payson Ward, Utah Stake, Relief Society Minutes and Records (1868–1897), vol. 1 (1868–1877), pp. 109–117, CHL (LR 6814 14).