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15 May 1872


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

[. . .] Eliza R Snow made the following remarks.

“I was very much pleased, with the minutes of your last meeting. The “Female Relief Society,” is one of the highest schools there is on the Earth. The Sisters, may think it a triffling thing, to meet together, to speak to each other, but that feeling is never from the Spirit of God. We are here on the Earth for a great and noble purpose. This is the greatest dispensation, of all dispensations, and it a most important and responsible one, to have been born in.

When Adam and Eve were brought from the presence of Eloheim, they stood equal, there was no opposing power, or feelings between them, but after Eve partook of the forbidden fruit, Man was placed at the head, and by the order or law of obedience, man and woman, can again be brought into the presence of God our Father

One of the laws of the Gospel is, woman is subject to man, but through obedience, we will attain to the blessings of the Gospel, but after being received into the Church by Baptism if we do not prove faithful, and live righteous lives, It will be worse for us, better had we never Heard the Gospel. Eternal consequences depend on how we act.

A woman being perfected becomes a Queen of Queens, by us associating ourselves in this Society will help us to attain to this perfection. This portion of the Preisthood belongs to woman. This Society is a sacred institution, and if we fail, in honoring it, we will fail in being honored.”

By being faithful in this Society, every woman that will do right, will become a fit associate for Angels, the greatest blessings attain to ourselves, by attending these meetings.

Helping the poor is one great principle associated with this Society, but the sisters cannot come together without its blessing, for the Angels are here in our midst, if our ey[page torn] [eyes] were touched with the Resurection power, we would see the [page torn] [p. 225] but it would unfit us for the dutys of Life.

We have all a labour to perform here, to help the faithful ones. It is a warfare, but by obedience we will gain the Victory

I often think to myself, “What manner of persons ought we to be?” how watchful, and prayerful, that we should overcome our weaknesses, especially, as we are anticipating, to mingle with the ‘Just made perfect’—There is no such thing as being perfected alone. If we ever become Saints of God, we have to learn to work together in Love and Confidence. We must assist each other.—These narrow contracted feelings of envy and jealousy and evil must be overcome by us.

The oftener we come together, the more of the Spirit of God we will have to help us to overcome. There is no sin, in being tempted, the harm is in giving way to it. We are slaves when we give way to our evil passions. We must continue warring and overcoming till, we gain complete mastery over self.

If all the Sisters in this Ward, felt to honor this Society how much power there would be here among you—still I would never recommend a child left alone for the mother to come to meeting. Yet I know my sisters have ingenuity enough, to arra[n]ge matters, so as to come sometimes. They must feel to come to benefit their own dear selves, for when doing good to others we get good ourselves. We want to try and become more Goddess like.

The Kingdom of God, never could be built up without women, she holds an influence over society. Sisters in a family are a great help in refining the brothers of that family.

A pure noble refined enjoyment, is to me, worth more than all the vain nonsence of the world.

For a young Lady to feel and know, that she is destined to shape and form Kings and princes, is a great inducement to her to learn good. all. the time. and to do good, Instead of running to every little party, and reading silly novels and nonsence. she should look after good books, to treasure up something, that would be useful to herself, and those associated with her, every person she met would either impart or receive some good, her mind would be calm, her sleep [water damage]eet [sweet?], the Angels are around her. The Spirit of God, who [water damage]lls [dwells?] in her bosom, shines forth in her countenance.

I would also like her neat in her dress, not given to foolish fashions of the world. I am disgusted at the amount [p. 226] of ornament piled on the back, they look tedious. Young Ladies, good taste is not frivolity. It has often been remarked that the, exterior, is an index of the interior. We want the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit. You may ‘then’ fritter away your girlhood till you grow, so as to go, to, your graves, and be forgotten. Whereas if you take the course you should, you will go with honored remembrance.

If we speak with the Spirit of God, that spirit will increase within us, and if we do wrong, the spirit of evil will increase also.

I am very much pleased to hear by your minutes, so many of my sisters stand up and speak, in this branch of the society. This diffidence, we sometimes feel, is to be overcome by habit. We do not know, where we may be called on to speak yet, we will feel better by standing up to speak, than by giving way, and remaining in our seats, by speaking you edify yourselves. The young sisters do well to speak when called on, they are seeking to be lively stones in the ‘building.’

I am pleased at your Anual Reports, they speak well for you, all who are faithful are millionaires in prospect, for the Saints will inherit the Earth and the riches thereof. We are joint heirs with Jesus Christ.

What you have donated and disbursed is considerable you have been making your mark, in the Kingdom, temporarily [temporally], have you improved spiritually? have you been setting examples before the young? so as to make them useful members of the Church of God.

Our Youths who are now growing up, will yet stand in high official places. God is working among the Nations, He will overturn them, there will be none among them fit for possitions of Trust, and the Saints will take the Lead.

Joseph Smith said “There are more good women on the Earth than men. No matter how many wives a man has, every good woman will be a Queen, and a Queen will represent a Kingdom. If a woman marries a man, that is low in mind and morals, she decends to his level, but if she marries a noble minded honorable man she exalts herself by the union.

This working for the dead is one of the greatest [p. 227] principles, ever revealed, it is more to me than my own personal Salvation.

I rejoice to take up my cross, when it is required of me. Jesus Christ Himself had to be perfected through suffering. You may judge how I felt, as I was one of the first to enter into Plural Marriage. Then, the finger of scorn was pointed at us, that I did not mind, very, much, but now we are looked on with recpect, even by honorable Gentiles.

We cannot talk the Gospel into anybody. We, have five sences, hearing, seeing, feeling, tasteing and smelling, the Saints have another, the Power of The Holy Ghost, only though that can we live and enjoy the Gospel, through that power we have every thing to encourage us, all tho’ the powers of darkness would throw mountains in our way. We can get over them by not neglecting our prayers, our own secret prayers, are our duty to attend to, if we wish to keep up a communion with God.

Before I came into this church, I used to look forward to the dark valley of the shadow “of death’, but now all fear is removed. Paul says, “The Gospel takes away the fear of death which used to hold us in bondage.” Saints do not go alone. An escort of Holy Spirits come for them.

There is little use of us having blessings if we do not appreciate them, or comprehend the value of them.

Supposing our husbands have other wives, the trial is nothing in comparison to the trials of women of the world. We know, our husbands are pure and clean, but they, know of and dread contamination. An Editor from the East said to me, “he wondered how the women here stood Polyg[a]my.” I said ‘we wondered how women there stood, the State of Society. ‘Oh’ said he, “they have got used to it” how revolting to refined feelings.

Fashion can do more to lead away the young than allmost any thing else—A few young Ladies of our community, are cultivating the Spirit of God, they will become the Most Noble Women in ‘Zion’ their name will be handed down to posterity, with honor and respect, they are becoming great in the eyes of Angels. How much better, it is to work for God, and be sure of our pay with [page torn]terest [interest?], than to work for Satan and loose [lose] all.

There is no use professing the Gospel if we [p. 228] cant enjoy the Spirit. It is the privilege of every one, to know, for themselves. This work is true. There is no use talking to young people about fashion, for when the[y] get the Spirit of God, it will tell them the differance between the nonsence of the world, and the things of God. they will, then know for themselves what course to pursue, and not let themselves be led away in forbidden paths. The Spirit of God, will do more, than it is possible for human reason to accomplish.

I can testify the Spirit of God is here. Coals will die out if put assunder, but put them close together and they will burn bright and shining.

Make your homes cheerful and happy. The Lord loves cheerfulness, men love it, and children love it, speak of that, that is good, and calculated to comfort and cheer.

It is a working dispensation, we have to work.

Our sisters feel the influence of our prayers, when we unite here in meeting. Those, who, do the most good, will surely get the best reward, no one can take, what belongs to another.

We are now building two Temples, we will have trials all the time, our faith will be put to the test, the evil one hates Temples, he knows the power given to the Saints in them, it make him mad, but the Lord is the strongest. Father is at the helm, our Relegion is worth as much today, as was 1800 years ago, for the Kingdom will be given to the Saints.

Try and accomplish all you are told to do. Never say “I cant” God will help us. I want my sisters to administer to the sick, it is their privilege and duty, any good faithful sister can wash and anoint the sick use no soap, take clear water, if the sisters, would practice this ordinance more, there would be less sickness.

The Teachers can attend to these matters, when visiting the members of the Society, and lay hands on any that request it, in sickness wash and anoint with oil, then seal it by laying on of hands.

I pray the Lord to bless you. ‘Amen.’

Mrs. [Harriet W.] Brinton bore her testimony to the truth of Miss Snows remarks. [. . .] [p. 229]

Source Note

Big Cottonwood Ward, Granite Stake, Relief Society Minutes and Records (1868–1948), vol. 1 (1868–1882), pp. 225–229, CHL (LR 712 14); Elizabeth A. Howard, Secretary.