The Church Historian's Press

18 September 1872

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

[. . .]

The following remarks were made by E. R. Snow,

“We are sisters, doubly sisters, we are sisters. by being the daughters of God. His children by birth, in the spirit world, by being associated before we came here. And sisters, by receiving the Everlasting Gospel in its fullness, by this profession, we seperate ourselves from the world. this distinguishes us vastly, from our sisters in the world. do we, distinguish ourselves, as widely by our practice, as by our profession? This question is very important.

The Lord desires to have a peculiar people, a people that will gather, out of the Land of our Nativity, does this, make us a peculiar people? how do we differ from the Gentile World? we differ from them in our profession, do we in practice? The influences of Salt Lake City are spreading far and wide, some of our Citys are getting, to be like the principle one. It is very difficult to distinguish between the Gentile, and Mormon, now, and the powers of darkness, are determined, if possible to overthrow the Kingdom of God.—President [Brigham] Young once said, He wished the Saints to plant their feet, in every nook and corner of the Territory, that was practicable, he said he was glad. water was withheld, in a measure, if this land was well watered. The Gentiles would own it. Now that the Saints, have by their energy and perseverance, made it beautiful, they are trying to take it from them. They come now as friends [p. 253] They want to enter our habitations. They make us presents. They try every way they can think of to lead astray. Their influence is far more dangerous than the sword.

We have got to learn by experience, whether those who have gone through poverty, will be able to stand, our present circumstances. When prosperity comes, we should be as thankful, for our blessings, as we were anxious for them.—I wished to day to meet my sisters in their every day dress. I know it is a widely scattered settlement, and I am glad to see here today as many as there are.”

The more the Lord blesses us with, the more we have to take care of. It is only the few who do the work, and are obedient. There is a great deal required of us.

The farther we go forward, the more extended womans sphere becomes, the more her influence exerts itself. woman has as much to do in the Kingdom of God, as man has. Those sisters who are seeking after God, are the ones, that will rejoice when Jesus Christ makes His appearance on the Earth.

As daughters of Zion, we stand at the head of the world. Those who are going forward, acting their Relegion, are at the head of Zion. Only for those, we would be in a sad condition.

The more the sisters come together, the more they will love each other. Truth begets Truth, Love begets Love, Integrity begets integrity. We should not take those, who are asleep as patterns. we should take those, who live up to their Relegion.

When we say, we will dress plain, we should act it. And what is of great importance to us, we should treasure up intelligence. The time will come, when the Sisters will be like polished stones.

We have now, in Salt Lake City, a class of Ladies for the Study of Physiology and Anatomy. As many of them who have strength and nerve, we want to become Lady Physicians, it will give us, something to talk of, and think of, beside vanity, and dress, every young Lady should understand her own body, so as to make useful Mothers. We expect to raise a fund, to establish a Library, we intend having schools and every, and using every available means for improvement

Instead of using our means for forcing emigration, we will try and use it, to instruct our own women to administer to women. Fevers prevailed on this Continent when first discovered, and the Inhabitants learned the use of herbs, and we should learn the same science. [p. 254]

My cousin, Mrs. [Hannah T.] Cutler, when here last summer, had a ‘manikin,’ and she could shew by it, the evil resulting from crowding the body and vital organs, by corsets and tight dress. the ribs are sometimes caused to lap over so that health never can be established in the system. We as a people should shew a better example.—70 years is the set age for man or woman, but we are promised to go to the age of a tree, one thousand years, is a day in Kolob. Where God dwells, and when He said, “In that day ye shall die,” He meant inside the thousand years, but now many of us are seeking to prolong life. if we expect to become Immortal, we should not forget the care required for our mortal bodies. I fully beleive some came here, for a short mission, they are wanted to work at the other side, and if life only lasts an hour, it has a right to the blessings of the Preisthood, still, we should try and not let those we have in our care, die, through our ignorance. Many are saved by the power of Faith. Now we have the means to learn these things, the sisters here are improving upon it.

I want each one to have something to communicate that will do good, by continuing in prayer and study, this will increase, and we will be able to instruct those who think themselves wise.

What is so beautiful, as a plain dress, or an intelligent women. A doll can be dressed up because it has no expression, but sencible Saints should dress plain. A woman that is living her relegion. can make any place, a place of happiness. We should control ourselves, so as to be able to keep Heaven in our bosoms, with Hell all around us, then we have got a pretty good victory.

We expect to live for ever. We are laying a foundation for Eternity, then, let us, study and pray, and God will pour out, on us, a Spirit, of Knowing these things.

Any woman who is a good financier, should have time to perform social dutys. The Releif Society, is the finest organization on the Earth. It is a great deal for the sisters, to take care of the poor, but we can also assist each other, no promoting elevated aims, dignity of character should be cultivated. It will place everyone who has it, above the rich, proud and vain With dignity of character, if I have not a farthing in my pocket, I am still, Fathers daughter. And a sister of Jesus Christs. He will divide His inheritance. I will have all, I am capable of managing, the thing for me, is, if I want a great deal to edu[p. 255]cate, my own self by enlarging my heart, and devoting all, my faculties, to the building up of the Kingdom of God, and to be a Saviour of others. Not to court the favour of those, who are at enmity, with the Church of God.

We want to be a peculiar people. We want to be <as> differant from the outside world, as it is possible, so that we, may be known by our countenances. I am sorry to say, that in Salt Lake City, we can hardly tell, the daughters of Zion, from the Strimpet [strumpet]. It is a shame, and a disgrace, that the Saints in Zion should imatate them. I sometimes feel, I want to tell the Sisters, to wake up, and see where their children are

A bishop said to me, “It was dreadful, to see the way our boys are acting by smoking, and visiting these dens of infamy What is to be done? I told him, If I might do so, I would organize them into Societies, as the young Ladies had been and see what effect that would have on them.

Our wild boys, who go on missions, come home, (with very few exceptions,) men of God, wise men, they have to depend on the Spirit of God, so if our boys had meetings, it would teach them to speak and be useful to one another. when they are brought together, it places them in a position to examine their Relegion.

We have many meetings in the City for improvement. There is salvation in this society. Our intelligence is increasing all the time. Instruction comes from the Spirit of God. Whatever way others go, we should pay no attention to them. All those girls who attend their meetings regular, will by and by be called on to visit the sick, and administer to them. Although they may be ridiculed, but what of that. Those, that are faithful, God will, give power to, not to the triffling.—by and by, those things will prove a test for us, Jesus Christ said, “The time would come, when our offerings, will burn, and that of the unfaithful, will not.” God cannot be deceived, we will be rewarded, according to our works. There is another record, beside the one kept here, we need not be affraid, we will loose [lose] our reward, for that is sure.

For me to know that God, is looking down on us in love, is worth more than all the riches of the world.

The Sisters should be Anxious to improve, themselves, by reading the news of the day, for it is women gives stamp to society, if the Sister reads, the brothers get their attention, [p. 256] attracted, and it is in laying a foundation for universal intelligence.

My young sisters, begin now, and learn to speak, at first two or three words, next four or five, and so on. A very loquacious sister, who called on me, said she could not get up and speak, in the “Fourteenth Ward.” I told her, she should exercise the faculty God had endowed her with. I want my sisters to take every oppertunity of speaking. You want to grow up into greatness, and be hon[o]red from generation to generation.

I pray God to comfort your hearts, in every trial, and that you may be a blessing, light and comfort in Israel.” “Amen.”

Mrs. Lavina [D.] Harper said, “I have been led, to ask myself “how do we stand”? are we ready to be wieghed, in the ballance?

God is no respecter of persons. Brother [David] Brinton picked out those he thought, would prepare themselves for being Teachers in Israel. We have all the chance to be as good Teachers as Sister Eliza.

It is for us to be up and doing, that we may have the same blessings.”

[. . .]

Mrs. Martena [Maren Marthine] Bitner said “I have been well paid for coming to meeting. We should not only be hearers, but we should put into practice what we are taught, that we may become noble women in Israel.”

Miss Snow said “I am proud of Brother [Breneman B.] Bitners two wives [Maren Martine Bitner and Sarah Ann Bitner]. They live together in harmony and love, and are an honor to Plural Marriage. They will attain to a fullness.

Without Plural Marriage, God could not save the human family. Such women are setting an example, worthy of being imatated by all good women, and they will be honored throughout all Eternity.

Allow me to introduce to you Miss Green [Louisa Lula Greene], Editor of Womans Exponant.” She has been faithful in the Releif Society and ‘The Young Ladies Retrenchment Society.’ I want to hold her up, as an example to my young sisters, she has progressed step by step untill she gained her present position.”

Miss Louisa L Green said, “We have heard [water damage] [p. 257] good. Sister Snow, has given us, many good ideas, and much good instruction. It is a great sacrifice and trial to me to get up to speak. [. . .]

Remarks by Mrs Harriett W. Brinton, “Who would exchange our situation with the world? Not one, that now hear me. What Sister Snow, said, has given me fresh courage, to go on

I am proud of being one in this Society, and to be a worker. [. . .] [p. 258]

Source Note

Big Cottonwood Ward, Granite Stake, Relief Society Minutes and Records (1868–1948), vol. 1 (1868–1882), pp. 253–258, CHL (LR 712 14); Elizabeth A. Howard, Secretary.

See also “F. R. Society Reports,” Woman’s Exponent 1, no. 9 (1 Oct. 1872): 66–67.

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18 September 1872, Big Cottonwood Relief Society; Big Cottonwood Meetinghouse, Cottonwood [Holladay], Utah Territory, The Discourses of Eliza R. Snow, accessed June 16, 2024