The Church Historian's Press

26 September 1872

Payson Relief Society; Payson Meetinghouse, Payson, Utah Territory

Eliza R Snow, Mrs [Elizabeth A.] Howard and Miss L Green [Louisa Lula Greene] being Present from Salt Lake City [. . .] [p. 158] [. . .]

[. . .] Eliza. R. Snow addressed the audience as follows

My Sisters I feel thankful to meet with you and to see so many Present also the Brethren it gives me Strength I also ask an interest in your Prayers for A portion of his Holy Spirit while I speak to you

The Female Relief Society was established by vote when the Prophet [Joseph] Smith first Organised the Society

Several of the Sisters had suggested that the word Female be dropped Counsel has been asked of President [Brigham] Young He said it could be But must be done by vote. It was moved and carried unanimously that the Female Relief Society in Payson from this day drop the name of Female. After which the Speaker said

The Sisters in Payson holds A warm Place in my Heart. They have proven themselves ready to sacrifice for Their own Spiritual good. My Sisters Wee have an incomprehensible work before us and much to sa[c]rifice as long as wee differ in opinion wee will not Rise to that perfection wee would. [p. 159]

The most noble the best Educated and the most refined will Sacrifice the most. The greater part of the Human Familey are actuated more by influese [influence] then Judgement Wee have greater means of Educating ourselves then any other People. Woman has most important duties to perform Therefore She Should be Educated not altogether Book knowledge but knowledge of principle and to overcome the weakness of the flesh and prepare to fill high and holy positions not one of us realize the responsibilities that are resting upon us. Woman forms the Character of the Child Society depends upon <Women> for its Rulers Judges Etc My Sisters is this saying too much It is if Womans Sphere goes no farther then for this Life. If my Sisters this had been the case Wee would be no better then the Gentile World The course the Mother persue will be the course of the Children She needs let her wisdom go forth for the good of Zion and for the good of others She need devote all her oportunities for this Position. There are Places for A Mother to shine outside her Home This Society has a great Scope of Labor, not only in Patching quilts Etc Etc one Field is to look after the morals of Woman it is just as necessary as the Relief of the Poor and quite as necessary [p. 160] to study the Laws of nature and Physiogoramy [physiology?] how Little wee know of human nature It has been suggested that the Relief Society take this in hand and it certainly should belong to Woman One reason is wee have very few that takes up that Profession especially as Accoucher [accoucheur] They have taken up A School for this purpose in Salt Lake City. In that Large City there are only two or three that follows that proffesion Those that have done so are dead or gone back to the States The School is free for All that wish to go The Women are Just as capable as the men to fill that Position and more apropriate A Woman can extend Her views beyond the Kitchen. Wee call upon any Young Sister to qualify Themselves to become able to raise their Families In our School in Salt Lake City wee meet twice A Week If you have only Six Sisters with energy enough I would form one in this Place Wee have Prayd that the Lord would bless the move Wee expect to have difficulties and vexations but there is nothing to discourage us from taking the step Wee urge all the Sisters to take it in consideration If the Sisters will only come to the School and my young Sisters enter into it They will be doing Themselves some good but our Young do not see the importance of A Step of the mind and their Mothers Lack courage. The time has been when Mothers had not the oportunities to School their Children as They have now there were no [p. 161] Schools no money to pay the Teacher If Mothers instead of raising their Children as they now do in vanity and pride had taken another stand. This day wee would be much farther advanced then wee now are The Spirit of God would prompt our Young in the Path of duty but if the Young Ladies will endeavor to carry out this Organisation they will have A portion of the Spirit of God and will have an influence over our Young Men and if the Boys would Organise in the Same way wee would advance much faster then wee now do. How many Mothers teach their Boys to Pray when their Father is absent. Mothers If You want Your Children to become noble Men and Women never speak A Falsehood. watch them never let them take A thing that do not belong to them If You study them carefully you can mould A Character that will reach to Heaven President Young gave mee A Mission to instruct the Sisters but My Sisters I feel as weak as any of you I want to have A Portion of the Spirit of God all the time Plurality of Wives is A great trial If You want to sit in the Courts of Heaven honor Polygamy dont Suffer your Lips to say ought even if you do not beleive in it When I entered it I had no anticipation of ever being acknowledged As A Lawful Wife I beleived in it because I felt [p. 162] the work was true and I longed to see a Prophet. I feel proud that I ever embraced it. Polygamy did not hurt me, but to be looked upon as A Woman of light Character that did hurt me The very idea of my not being A virtuous Woman. The Young Girls in this day have not that trial to pass through but they Should acknowledge their Husband as the Head and if the Husband Ruled in wisdom there need be no bondage or Tyranny but Just the oposite. If Women would Rise in her dignity She would overlook many things. Wee are not all Organised alike Wee do not all look alike and Should use Charity. A Woman must be married to obtain A portion of the Priesthood Where There are two or three women bloning [belonging?] to one Man He cannot Spend so much time with the first Wife Wee want true love that seeks true happiness Wee are born in this dispensation to Co operate with Men in zion Wee should Seek to promote happiness do wee ever feel that by doing so it brings happiness to ourselves. When wee are sick the less wee say about it the better it is for us never to tell how wee feel as wee speak wee give the adversary power over us but Pray to God our Father, wee should never be discouraged if wee have weaknesses do not let us be discouraged. If A Physiological Class meet once in two weeks every new Idea will be that much gained. Every Familey Should take A News Paper and if the Mother is a Good Financier She can read A portion of that Paper to [p. 163] Her Children Let Those that are able read the Paper to You get Your Childrens mind engaged in something useful it will be A stepping Stone for something useful and their Future. The Sisters should all belong to this Society if they are virtuous Women The Sister that uses the best influence be She only A member it matters not that Sister is the most good to the Society, in meeting together you gain more of the Spirit of God.

Eliza. R. Snow. then introduced Miss L Green the Editress of the Womans Exponent asking the sisters to become acquainted with and take an interest in the Paper as it is the first Womans Paper printed in Utah The Speaker continued as far as I am able I bless You with Intelligence from on High May that be your happy Lot. Amen.

Mrs. Elizabeth Howard felt edified in Listening to Sis Snow and thought Prayer in A Familey was A great thing [. . .] [p. 164]

[. . .] It was carried unanimously that the meeting be adjourned till 7 O clock in the Evening [. . .]


7 O Clock in the Evening

A full Attendance of Brethren and Sisters

[. . .]

[. . .] Eliza. R. Snows remarks were as follows

I do not Rise before you this Evening to Instruct but to be instructed I want the Prayer of My Brethren that I might Edify You. Satan has taken A Mission in coming to the nations of the Earth and God and his Saints has this to Battle with and Woman has much to do to help Them Wee have much to retard our Progress and much to contend with Wee cannot accomplish all in one Generation In the Early Ages of time Man could Live A Thousand Years but the Human Race has been diminishing ever since. The present time the [p. 165] opening of this Dispensation is just where wee are called to be Co Workers of the Servants of God. Wee are to Prepare ourselves to work with the Saints of God. Faith combined with study will help us to attain A large amount of knowledge in A short time wee dont expect the Lord to pour out upon us that knowledge unless wee strive for it ourselves Therefore it is necessary wee study by Faith and works. Wee want to study The Prolongation of Life My Sisters wee ought to Study every thing that is useful. wee want to study the members of the Body suppose one of us become inactive. Wee must qualify Ourselves so as to understand the Laws that pertain to Human existence Wee want to cultivate every faculty and that Gem that will excel to A God. It requires deep Study to accomplish this. Woman has been too much in the habit of thinking She could not accomplish such things The Women are accomplished in the Principles of Religion but not in Education in Salt Lake City They have Raised A Fund for this purpose but the studies will take years I wish the Sisters to make calculations them that care to study if you care but little do it and bye and by the way will open to study more. The Lord Years Ago told the Saints to study from good Books and Learn all they could for Wee will have to Study in the Spirit World Wee will be the same There as Here [p. 166]

It is A shame for us to study after the Fashons of the World some in Salt Lake City that profess to be Saints cannot be told from some of those imported Weomen. I would recommend to the Mothers in Isreal for I am happy to say in Payson There are wise Mothers to urge their Daughters to attend Meetings They have what They call Retrenchment Meetings in the City They say in the Country They have nothing to Retrench from Have wee no ignorance. I have. I think my Sisters have If I might be permitted to use the expression I would advise the Brethren to have Meetings for the Young Men before the Railroad is Here. I hope my Sisters will be energetic in this Religion of Ours. You My Young Sisters have A Work before You. Mothers You want to stand as Mothers to the Young do not be frustrated by Them for some will Ridicule You and Them as long as wee profess to be Saints Let us be Saints. Wee are not of the World with the Gentiles their God seems to be the God of this World when I embraced The Gospel I felt determined whatever duty devolved upon me I would Live up to it I have found that the Spirit of God has six senses and the Natural Man Five I have passed through many changes I left my Folks and my all Yet it is dearer to me to day then it was 30 Years Ago My desire is to live My Religion every day of my life but My Sisters I live it very imperfectly Wee should be willing to lay upon the Alter not go round it but through it as wee profess to be Saints and Daughters of the most High If wee bear this in mind wee will retain our Nobility Wee want to be Humble [p. 167] and Faithful to the things of God. God bless you

Miss L Green Then Read A Welcome Dedicated to Eliza R. Snow [. . .] [p. 168]

Source Note

Payson Ward, Utah Stake, Relief Society Minutes and Records (1868–1897), vol. 1, pp. 158–168, CHL (LR 6814 14).

See also Mary A. Hardy, “F. R. Society Reports,” Woman’s Exponent 1, no. 10 (15 Oct. 1872): 74–75.

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26 September 1872, Payson Relief Society; Payson Meetinghouse, Payson, Utah Territory, The Discourses of Eliza R. Snow, accessed June 15, 2024