The Church Historian's Press

11 September 1871

Provo Third Ward Relief Society; Provo Third Ward Meetinghouse, Provo, Utah Territory

Adobe house, two stories high, 60 by 30 feet, with two large rooms on each floor

Provo Third Ward Meeting House, circa 1901. Built as home for Apostle George Albert Smith. He donated it to the Provo community to be used as a schoolhouse and Meetinghouse of the Third Ward until another chapel was built in 1901. (Courtesy University Archives, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University.)

The sister[s] of the F R [Female Relief] Society met at the meeting house to hear a discourse from Sis E R Snow by vote of the sisters Sis Snow was appointed to preside.

[. . .]

Sr. Snow then arose and made said

Dear Sisters I have been quarreling with this stand it appears so high, I promised once I would not again be exalted so much above my sisters but I study obedience I am happy to see so many of my sister here today, but I would feel better if I was competent to address you as I wish I desire your faith and prayer without it. I could not do much good I realize it is very high time for us to draw our minds from the path of unrighteousness we may forget our high and holy calling, the adversary of all righteousness is always on the alert to find our weak and feeble moment it is a fact that we live in the world it is a fact too that we are saints of God the gospel of Jesus Christ if we live according to it, it will raise woman from degradation and from the fall but through the developement of those attributes we can raise to be queens, us as a people of sisters, we are too ignorant of our existence we must have a developement of those attributes before we can become queens and priestesses we have a priveledge, we are spirit-reserved to come forth in this day to perform a great work we are here my sisters to have husbands to ourselves we are here to assist our husbands and brethren, it is nessesary for us to be a doing there is no time for us to barter away our time what will it avail us if we gain [p. 54] the riches of this world and make to ourselves and trifle with the work of God, we are to redeem the dead, in the beginning woman stood side by side by man they stood as one there was no jealousy, when Eve took the forbidden fruit to give her husband she fell, but says one is my husband always <to> rule me. Man is the head some say it is oppresion. I for one dont know how there should be oppression, we my sisters ought to submit cheerfully to wise government if we do our part in that we shall be elevated to a great deal higher calling, we cannot stand still we must cooperate the F R S is in a great measure is to teach and instruct each other and to cooperate, many look upon it as a small thing I know it is an organization of God Joseph Smith said if the sisters take this and assist the brethren he said the sisters were more capaciated [capacitated] to do this, there is enough in it to develope woman we understand so little of domestic and social life we ought to instruct each other,

because of the ignorance of women we want to discuss on subjects call out the intelegent to speak about bringing up our children, and of all the knowledge we have of truth and righteousness domestic and social life.

In Kirtland the sisters attended the school of the Prophets it is not for us to be idle how much sisters could learn in training their children in the way they should go, boys that are born in the priesthood going around the streets on Sunday with a cigar in their mouth, and the young sisters going around with a parcel of rags on their back they look more like a dromedary than any thing else, the mother I blame very much for this too many of the[m] think more of decorating their [p. 55] own bodies than looking after the welfare of their children, untill she sees her child going this way and that way, the time to teach children is when they are nursed on the mothers lap these things seem small things but they are not my sisters, the young sisr [sisters] that are born to be mothers, teach them to be good and not to trifle with the laws of nature and impart inteligence to each other, we can see some that was once seeking to do good is now seeking wealth with regard to plurality of wives a female can not be called woman if she opposes the princple of plural marriage, marriage in the world is at a low ebb, if things are not checked it will ruin the nation for this good the Lord has revealed plurality of wives, but say one I dont want my husband to have more wives I have heard many girls say they would not <go> in polygamy it is not right for us to set our will against the things of God, when I came in this church I was determined to do what I was called to do, I was soon called to pray, I set my will to set work obedience the adversary tried to put somthing in my way, but obedience is better than sacrifice and to hearken than the fat of rams; the Prest. [Brigham Young] told me he had a mission for me. you told me you may think how I felt, I am the handmaiden of the most high I have no interest out of this church we have it all to learn, the sisters scarcely realize their position the President has had to organize retrenchment, Sis [Mary Isabella Hales] Horne presides that department in the F R Society we want to improve on those things, we want to develope, we have had several giving us an addresses on anatomy I wish all mothers to study it, Joseph Smith said we were very sensative in our feelings, for donations give [p. 56] according to you[r] wisdom, the F & R Societies is not to give to them that make the most noise but to them that need to most, there was a commitee appointed to see into affairs, we found there was one who had made many complaints and had several things, the commitee went in search of Her things and in her trunk was found several things but she flew mad, I was going to speak of the sympathy of the sistters, in some cases you must search and watch, so as to understand thing aright.

I have seen sisters come to me in trouble about polygamy, I say sisrs bare it all and pray for the spirit of God to help you, I have lived thirty years in it, we want to respect others feelings we must watch the feeling of others we want to govern our selves to be one is disipline we shall be rewarded according to the works done in the body there are other recorders besides those clothed in mortal flesh this is our position we shall have our pay, we have to honour ourselves while we are honouring God, I want to say somthing about the temple clothing the The Prophet once said that the clothing would be so changed through neglect & if they are worth wearing they are worth making right. I wish the sisters of the F R Society would get up a suit and keep it so that it would be a right pattern.

Jesus said when he ascended on high if I wont go the comforter will not come, that is a comfort that every latter day saint can enjoy, the time will soon come when we will return to Jackson county that was once the garden of Eden where man made his first appearance where the cloud and pillar will be seen then we ought to prepare ourselves where every one can be a queen and priestess may we be all be prepared and this be our happy lot. amen [p. 57]

Bishop [Abraham O.] Smoot said I am happy and feel it a priveledge [privilege] to rise before you and bare testimony to the able di[s]course of Sis E R S Young She has the spirit of her mission upon her there are many things can be said on those principles but this suffice at present Sis [Margaret T.] Smoot made a few remarks

[. . .] Sister Snow is blest by the faith of sisters she has the spirit of her mission upon her but when I am from home I do not have the spirit of speaking [. . .] [p. 58]

Sis. [Ruia A.] Holden then arose and said I think this will be a time long to be remembered having the priveledge of hearing from Sis E R Snow things that will be for our good I trust they will all be apreciated

[. . .] [p. 59]

Source Note

Provo 3rd Ward, Utah Stake, Relief Society Minutes and Records (1868–1973), vol. 1 (1868–1881), pp. 54–59, CHL (LR 7223 14); Mary W. John, Secretary.

Cite this page

11 September 1871, Provo Third Ward Relief Society; Provo Third Ward Meetinghouse, Provo, Utah Territory, The Discourses of Eliza R. Snow, accessed July 25, 2024