[. . .]
Sister Elvira Barney read a circular, that they were about to send to the various Relief Societies, on commencing in the manufacture of Straw Hats &c. Said we wanted to know who would be willing to put their names down to sustain this branch of Home Industry. Those who were not prepared to do so, hoped they would not throw cold water out to discourage others. Sister Barney expressing herself namely on the Subject
Sister Eliza R. Snow, said she was amused at Sister Barney’s earnestness in speaking on the subject of Straw Hats, thought she would excel as an auctioneer. Felt that it would be good to teach the little boys to braid the course Straw, she had done some braiding herself in Leghorn. It was generally considered that the Rye Straw was the best for braiding and in every respect preferable. The time had come when the Sisters must take hold in earnest in home manufacture. The Brethren had been engaged in some spheres, but they could not do what belonged to the Sisters It was comfortable to meet together and enjoy the speaking to edify eachother, but our energies must be put forth towards the building up of [p. 223] the Kingdom or we do not accomplish much. We are a peculiar people but not independent enough. Have we not regard enough for the Kingdom to have our own fashions and not imitate after the world? Felt ashamed when she reflected how we had followed the fashions of the world. Spoke of President [Brigham] Young desiring her to bring the subject of Home Industries before the Relief Societies, said he knew she could do it, he also knew that the Societies could accomplish considerable towards establishing Home Industries, therefore she urged the Sisters to use every exertion and their influence in this direction, for she felt they would perish and their names would perish, who did not regard the wishes of the Authorities of this Church.
She had remarked to President Young of the inconsistency of some of the Brethren who would put on homemade and preach on the Subject, and the next thing at a Party, would pay the most attention to those most fashionably dressed.
Thought that persons should wear what they have, but in recruiting patronise homemade. Realised it required an union in the matter, one single individual wearing it would not accomplish much. She also spoke of the making of knitted jackets, Sister Thomas being willing to teach the Young Ladies in the Retrenchment Association. Was aware that the young people’s time was pretty much engaged and was not expected that they could devote all their time to this, but thought that Mothers could do considerable to aid them, and encourage them to learn.
The Kingdom of God had to get out of debt to our enemies, until then Zion cannot be established. Referred to Sister [Jane S.] Richards of Ogden using her energies to accomplish the straw work. Thought we ought to act on our own agency and not be forced to build up Zion, and have stamina enough to go to and wear home made.
Sister Lidia [Lydia] Ann Wells endorsed the remarks of Sister Snow, and felt willing to sustain every thing that the Authorities required of us. [. . .] [p. 224]