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30 August 1873

Retrenchment Association; Fourteenth Ward Meetinghouse, Salt Lake City, Utah Territory

White building with wood trim, Salt Lake City, circa 1890

Salt Lake City Fourteenth Ward meetinghouse, circa 1890. (Courtesy Church History Library.)

[. . .]

Coun Miss E. R. Snow said I will give a brief account of my vist south, Mrs [Elizabeth A.] Howard and myself have been visiting the various R. [Relief] Societies of some of the southern settlements. We had large and attentive audiences composed of both ladies an[d] gentlemen. The first meeting we attended was held last Thursday in Provo. On Friday we met with the brethren and sisters of Payson, the former requesting the privilege of attending, and I really think the brethren need quite as much instruction in regard to the design of the R. So. [Relief Society] as the sisters. Saturday and sunday attended a general two-days meeting at Salem. The following day we met the brethren and sisters at a meeting held at in the Bowery of that place. Tuesday held meeting at Springville; on Wednesday met with their Pres. and Board at Bishop [Abraham O.] Smoot’s residence, and spent the afternoon in an organized meeting Thursday we visited the R. S So. at Pleasant Grove. and on Friday attended meeting at American Fork. In all those places I spoke of our Young ladies’ organizations, and of their success. I told them the minutes of their meetings were instructive to the old as well as to the young. and that in associating together they have obtained the spirit of God, which enables them to understand as we do. I urged the necessity of our young men’s being organized. The Bishops seemed to see that it was necessary that something should be done towards their improvement. The young women of Payson have an organization, and while there we appointed a good motherly lady as Supt. [Superintendent] to whom the young ladies could refer for counsel. In other places the people seemed to realize the importance of something being done to save those born in Zion. I, like Sister [Mary Isabella Hales] Horne, do not believe in enthusiasm but believe in being wide awake saints. I remarked in Springville that I liked whole hearted saints, those who could forget their selfish interests, and seek only for the advancement of the kingdom of God. Would we but look upon things as they truly exist we should [n.p.] find there should be but one mutual general interest. In a city of twenty thousand inhabitants the majority of whom profess to be saints Later day Saints, this room should be filled to overflowing. This organization, in connection with the R. Sos. is one of the aids in assisting the kingdom of God to attain unto perfection, and it is a shame that these meetings are not appreciated by more of the sisters. The sisters of the various Wards have accomplished much, but not one tenth of their duties has yet been performed. These Societies in their organization, are designed to elevate and purify women; to make our daughters ornaments in Zion, instead of being the trifling, good for nothing specimens of humanity which human life, which that, in too many instances, we see in our midst to look after the poor, and administer to their wants, which is an angelic service, is only a tithing of what should be the result of these organizations. If the people understood this subject as Joseph Smith did, the moral character of every woman who is not a Latter-day Saints member of a Society, would be questioned. It is the privilege of woman to give character to society, and she does do it. As sure as the sisters arise and take hold of the work the brethren will wake up, because they must be at this head, and instead of devoting their attention to the gaining of temporal wealth. which is perishable, they will seek first the kingdom of God, and let the Lord add the blessings he has promised.

Coun Mrs Zina D. [H.] Young Dear sisters we have been truly blessed this afternoon in hearing the words of life and salvation, they are just as binding upon us as though they had been given by prophets. [. . .]

Coun. Mrs S. [Sarah M.] Kimball said I am pleased with the privilege of adding my testimony to what has been said. If I may select any subject which has been more interesting to me than another. it is that touching upon the necessity of understanding the organization of the R. Societies. I know of no ward that properly sustain them, and if there is a remedy I don’t know where to find it. [. . .]

Mrs Mercy R. Thompson I have always felt a deep interest in the R. So. and am pleased to hear so good a report from the southern settlements. [. . .] [n.p.]

Mrs Whatmough [Mary A. Watmough] spoke of the interest she had felt for the daughters of Zion. The young ladies of the 19th Ward were once organized into a R. So. but their Pres. having left the city for some time past their meetings had been discontinued. She felt very anxious to have them organize, being willing to open her house for them to hold meetings in, supplying the fire and lights during the winter

Coun Miss E. R. Snow. My sisters here is an opening to do a work of salvation. We all desire to do good, but we have got to take some tangible points. It is good to fast and pray but we must combine some particular acts with our faith. In our efforts to produce a reform among the young we met the greatest opposition from those who should have been saviors on Mount Zion. Let every mother encourage the movement spoken of by Mrs Whatmough. Our young people know nothing of the power of the Gospel. In the early days of the church children as well as parents possessed the spirit of God. Let every sister realize that she is called to be a savior on Mount Zion, and engage in the work of salvation which is needed in our midst every day. It does not do to think, feel, and talk only, but we have got to succeed in our aims. and so sure as the young ladies become saints, the young men will exert themselves to become saints. I am thankful that we have one organization of young men in our city.

[. . .] [n.p.]

Source Note

Minutes of the Senior and Junior Co-operative Retrenchment Association (1870–1880), n.p., CHL (CR 100 904); Harriet A. Woolley, Secretary.

See also “R. S. Reports,” Woman’s Exponent 2, no. 8 (15 Sept. 1873): 58–59.

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30 August 1873, Retrenchment Association; Fourteenth Ward Meetinghouse, Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, The Discourses of Eliza R. Snow, accessed June 14, 2024