The Church Historian's Press

20 October 1874

Salt Lake City Nineteenth Ward Relief Society; Nineteenth Ward Meetinghouse, Salt Lake City, Utah Territory

Mrs E. R. Snow. said I have met a number of times in this Ward with the sisters and from the first have felt a deep interest in this Society. To minister to the sick and poor is an angelic work that devolves upon woman and there are many other higher and nobler duties to perform. I should be glad to know that every sister was a lively member in the Society but it is the few who do the work. I was pleased with the financial report of the Society. We have had some very good instruction this afternoon & the question how can we live up to them and live so as to have the constant companionship of the Holy Spirit. It is not to be obtained except in the way God has appointed. We are frail and subject to meny trials and temptations, it is no sin to be tempted but the sin is yielding to temptation. Had Jesus yielded when Satan tempted him him he would have lost the smiles of his Father. We should be always on our guard. Paul says, “pray without ceasing and in everything give thanks” and if we do this we shall not have time to brood over our troubles and the little vexations and cares of life would not be noticed. Gratitude is sweet to our fellow beings but it is elevating and ennobling in the sight of our Father in Heaven. What a priviledge to have a knoweledge of the Gospel. When I was a girl and reading the history of the ancient prophets, and of the gifts of the Gospel I felt how I should liked to have lived then and to have seen the Savior. I would have walked to the ends of the Earth. I could read and envy them who lived then, but when I came to realize and understand that there was a Prophet on the Earth I was filled with gratitude and I thought it was too good to be true. When I first saw Joseph Smith he looked like a young boy. I watched his face and thought he looked honest and when I came to know the truth I prayed for some one to baptise me and before the week was out Sidney Rigdon came to our house, An appointment for a meeting was announced, he read the prophecies and explained them down to the gathering of the Jews, and preached baptism for the remission of sins. I thought the subject very interesting [p. 265] and I was baptised. At supper I refused to take tea as I had read the Word of Wisdom. When I went to bed that night, as I lay meditating I felt something commence at my head & pass over my body and go down to my feet. I looked and saw a candle about three inches long and I gazed at it till the interpretation came to me that it was the light of intelligence that should be as a light to my feet. I always had a desire for intelligence. In meeting together we can have more of the Spirit of the Lord and do more good. Then why not all unite together in the Relief Society. I was the first one Joseph Smith ever spoke to about this organization, he said it was designed for the cultivation and benefit of woman, as well as for the poor and to help us to perfect ourselves. I would like to see the young take hold and when we have the Spirit of God in our hearts we are happy. We have the duties of life to perform and we should have an eye single to the Glory of God and do all we do for the building up of Zion and not be so much for self. We should try to realize that we are the daughters of the most High God, that we once dwelt in His presence but not in our gros[s] mortality. We are here now struggling to get back in his presence clothed with crowns of Glory immortality and Eternal lives, but if we fail to come up to the requirements what a loss it will be! It will require all our time minute by minute hour by hour and how many will do this? We all had the priviledge of coming here and proving ourselves and we shall soon get through. We are working for the fulness of Eternal life, for the priviledge of propagating our species, and to prepare ourselves to go forth like Eve to stand at the head of a world, you young sisters do you want to become noble women? to stand as Saviors upon Mt. Zion? then live for it, such as the Kings and Queens of the earth will look up to and delight to honor, be determined to become noble, and not condescend to a mean act. If we would have all of the Glory of the Earth, all Satan offered to Jesus would it compensate for the failure? No! for <Then> how much we have to encourage us. I was acquainted with [p. 266] a brother who had a vision, a messenger came and conducted him to a higher sphere and placed him in a position where he saw every act of his life pass before him and how he regretted ever having committed a wrong act. Let us then who have had experience teach and instruct our young sisters for they will be placed in a position to do a great deal of good. We must be humble in spirit. Pride does not exist in a noble mind, cultivate yourselves in good manners and use good language, be polite to the young and set a good example The women of Utah are placed in a position to enjoy the gifts of the Gospel and it is the priviledge of our young sisters to administer to the sick and exercise faith A little child five years old wanted to administer to her brother, she did so and he was healed. Have the children as soon as they can speak ask a blessing and use their voices so that they will not be afraid before company that they will be called upon to do so, if they are trained to it day by day it will become second nature. It is a shame and disgrace to bring up children without praying. With regard to the United Order I considered when I embraced this work that I laid all at the feet of Jesus. I had considerable means and I offered it for the upbuilding of the Church and thought I was capable of earning my own living and I taught the Prophets [Joseph Smith’s] family. The committee wanted me to take a house and lot for the money I gave them and there was a Providence in that for it made a home for a widow lady and my sister and her children. My brother Lorenzo [Snow] came and studied the Hebrew language and joined the Church. I have always felt myself in the U.O. [United Order] and I expect the sisters will have more time to improve their minds and it will help us the sooner to go back to Jackson Co. [Missouri] and build a Temple where the Glory of God will rest upon it. I hope my sisters that we shall wage a warfare and overcome and I say to you in the 19 Ward that you cannot meet together too often, be humble and prayerful and each day be more diligent and careful to do everything for the interest of Zion and the angels of God will hover over you and bless you and I enjoin it upon the Relief Society to understand the circumstances of the needy for we must be wise as well as benevolent [p. 267] Let our interests be one and live so that we can stand upon Mt Zion and sing the new song of Moses and the Lamb is my prayer Amen.

[. . .]

Mrs E. R. Snow again arose and said she wished to encourage home manafacture, said that Sister [Elizabeth A.] Howard wore a nice homemade dress last Winter to parties and meetings and wherever she went and advised the sisters to do the same as far as they could, that in our organizations we could do what we could not do singly, said the Bishop of Farmington [John W. Hess] said the Pres. [Sarah I. Holmes] had requested him to put down round dances in his Ward, that the young ladies took the matter up in their meetings and voted to put it down that helped the Bishop said the young ladies would do anything they had a mind to take in hand. She then spoke in tongues and blessed the sisters. The interpretation was given by Mrs Zina D. Young

Pres. Mrs A. A. [Ann Agatha] Pratt then arose and said we have an additional testimony that the Spirit of God dwells in the hearts of those who have spoken to us. When I first came in I lifted up my heart to God that the speakers might be led by the spirit of the Lord to give us instruction and when Sister Snow spoke in tongues I thought my prayer was answered [p. 268] [. . .] when I first heard the Gospel I felt that it was something that I could understand and comprehend. When Sister Eliza was giving her experience it brought to mind my own. [. . .]

prayer by Mrs E. R. Snow after which the Pres. officers and visitors adjourned to the stand where they partook of a supper prepared for the occasion [p. 269]

Source Note

Nineteenth Ward, Salt Lake Stake, Relief Society Minutes and Records (1868–1971), vol. 1 (1868–1875), pp. 265–269, CHL (LR 6092 14); Maria W. Wilcox, Secretary.

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20 October 1874, Salt Lake City Nineteenth Ward Relief Society; Nineteenth Ward Meetinghouse, Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, The Discourses of Eliza R. Snow, accessed July 22, 2024