18 November 1873

Bountiful Relief Society; Bountiful Tabernacle, Bountiful, Utah Territory

Tabernacle in Bountiful, Utah, circa 1900

Tabernacle in Bountiful, Utah, circa 1900. (Courtesy Church History Library.)

[. . .]

Sister E. R Snow addressed the Meeting as follows—We have met this afternoon in the Capacity of a Relief Society. Joseph Smith said when the Kingdom of God would be organized every branch would be organized according to their different orders. The first Relief Society was organized 2 years before Josephs death—The object of these Relief Societies is for every woman of Moral Reputation to become a member [p. 335] But it does not seem to be understood, another Object is also misunderstood it is not only to work for the Poor. Though the Prophet said, if the Sisters would look after the Poor it would take a burden off the mens shoulders My Sisters it is an Angelic work to seek after the Poor, needy and destitute, and relieve their wants. But it is not only the Poor that we have to seek after. But to save souls, to help build up each other, to enoble womenhood to build up the Kingdom of God. The Sisters posess talents, and abilities which he has given us to work out, our salvation, here upon the earth Salvation is a work of Cooperation, learn to work in union—Union is strenth: by uniting ourselves to gether [together], we can do a great work. I have heard of Branches of this Society that meet only to work. It is good to work but it is far beneath what it is intended for. The Sisters posess the ability to develop womenhood posess the Qualities that will constitute Queens in Heaven, if we call upon the Lord to help us he will answer our Prayers This institution is intended to be a help to us it is a work of Cooparation, we can Cooparate together in this great work we have to accomplish

I was thinking as I looked upon this Audience how much they can accomplish to lighten the Burden placed on the Men. For this purpose we were born, to accomplish the greatest work that ever was accomplished, upon the Earth. We have come forth to be coworkers in the great work of Salvation, and we need avail ourselves of every means in our power to advance that work My Sisters I should counsel you never to speak against any Princeple. [p. 336]

It is true this Society has accomplished a great deal but not as much as it is intended. But it is still in imbryo; and is still on the increase. Every Sister with moral character should belong to it, every Sister ought to be worthy to be a member, and every member, should be willing, to take hold, and do their duty, and help to roll on this work. I know that a great many seem to be ignorant of what is done or ought to be done and are subject to find fault. It is because they are not informed of what is going on.

I know that our curcomstances [circumstances] are such that every one can not attend, there are so many cares that have to be attended to; that it makes it hard on mothers to leave home. I heard Joseph Smith say these Societies were a bea[u]tiful Organization, and if they carried out his counsels they would be blessed, and the Queens of the Earth would contribute to it. When I was abroad a great many Ladies inquired about our Societies. I explained to them how they were carried on. they seemed to be much pleased with the Idea. My sisters you should all feel interested in coming to meeting, and recieve a fresh supply of Instruction, and Spirit, you would feel benefited by it We stand higher than any other women on the face of the earth. I realized it when abroad. I saw grandeur and opulence also Poverty in all shapes. I could see there was no place like Utah. Women have more freedom here than any other Place. My Sisters let us try to have the Spirit of the Lord, and forsake the Spirit of the world. The Lord has blessed us with the comforts of life, he is the giver of all we enjoy, and unless we are on the watch we loose [lose] the Spirit, there is so much to take care of [p. 337] so many wants to supply, that it takes our thought away from better things. Still it is our duty to be on the watch that we may have the Spirit of God in our busoms. My Sisters we believe in Plurality of wifes, it is good for us it places in positions that are likely to advance us in the Kingdom of God, it puts us into a good school it inables us to overcome our failings. Well soppose we dont get quite as much in this world well what of it? Or suppose another gets more than we do, well what of that, as long as she makes good use of it. Let us not fret over it and loose the Spirit, let us realize that we are Born for a higher purpose. We understand womens position, we know the man is the head of the woman. Still we wish to get all the wisdom we can, and overcome all evil, let us remember that we are too noble too near related to God to trouble ourselves with little things. Wasting time that should be implied to better advantage. I have heard it said, show me the Woman of a Nation, and I’ll tell you what that Nation is. Women are responsible to a great extent for their Children Mothers are the ones that train their Minds. Never speak lightly of any Princeple and your Children will be noble and an ornament to Society. I wish when you come together you would speak on these subjects, leave everything that is degrading, let us be a light to the outside world, let us seek after knoledge, and Qualify ourselves for the Sphere that is before us. I feel pleased to see so many Young Ladies here to day. I wish them to Qualify themselves to be noble Mothers, be an example to the outside world, Qualify themselves to be noble [p. 338] Women read good books, not the light reading intended for the outside world, but persue a course to elevate us. We to a great extent make our own Positions. My Young Sisters can treasure up something every day, and by the time they are as old as I am than how much will they know. Select good books. Get the Spirit of God nor farget your Prayers, pray for the Spirit of God pray ernestly., Pray often, speak in meeting when you have a chance, speak with the spirit of God, if you cannot speak select some good moral peice and read it. It will instruct your mind. The advesary is using every means in his power to lead our Young People astray and lead them to destruction, but if they have the Spirit of God there is no danger of there being led away by Gentile Society they have no taste for it But if they are not properly trained they may be led away to destruction. I wish for you to discuss this subject in your meeting. My Sisters do not follow after the fashions of the world or you will loose your influence in the Kingdom of God. I feel sometimes that some of my Sisters are asleep and want waking up, and when, waked, up they are willing to press forward and do their duty. My Sisters let us be deligent; be a patern to our families, make every one happy around us—I wish to speak about the only Paper published by Women, every one should have it in their House. It is not upheld as it ought to be. We wish the Sisters to take it and write for it. There is an opening for the Young Sisters to write on different subjects—I am always glad when the Bretheren can spare a little time to meet with us, and honour us with their Presence [p. 339] I say to my Sisters let us be energetic and keep the straight and narrow way—and finally gain our Salvation—May God Bless you and enable you to overcome everything that is in your way to exaltation

[. . .] [pp. 340–342] [. . .]

Sister Snow said there was a cercumstance she wished to mention, when in Palastine, Brother [George A.] Smith ordered a Tent to be erected on Mount Olives. There Dressed in our Robes dedicated the Land to the Lord. And prayed that everyone should be Blessed that had assisted on that Mission [p. 343]

Source Note

Bountiful Ward, Davis Stake, Relief Society Minutes and Records (1868–1878), vol. 1 (1868–1875), pp. 335–343, CHL (LR 924 14); Mary L. G. P. Carter, Secretary.

See also Jane C. Hale, “R. S. Reports,Woman’s Exponent 2, no. 16 (15 Jan. 1874): 122.

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18 November 1873, Bountiful Relief Society; Bountiful Tabernacle, Bountiful, Utah Territory, The Discourses of Eliza R. Snow, accessed May 22, 2024 https://www.churchhistorianspress.org/eliza-r-snow/1870s/1873/11/1873-11-18