The Church Historian's Press

17 November 1875

Harrisville Relief Society; Harrisville Schoolhouse, Harrisville, Utah Territory

Called by the request of Sister E. R. Snow

[. . .]

Sr. Eliza R. Snow arose and read a memorial of the women of Utah to Congress. This was a petition for our rights as a people, and was to be signed by all the females who wished to, from the age of twelve and upwards. She then said we had some friends not of our religious belief who wondered why we did not rise up as apeople [a people] for our rights, and thought we were very submissive, but we had sent one petition 50 feet long. She did not care if this was one hundred yards long, and if they did not notice this we would send another. Said the sisters were endeavoring to get the names of all the women in Utah who wished to sign. The women were granted the use of the railroads while they accomplished this. Said she saw Bro. [Charles] Rich and asked him if he would assist in getting signers in the North. He said he would render all the assistance he could. Said this was the women[’]s work, but she was glad to have the help of the brethren, for it was for their interest. Men’s and women’s interests are to work together. Women had to work for a salvation as well as men. It was a mistaken Idea that a good man could save a woman and let her do as she would, therefore it was to the woman[’]s benefit to assist the good man.

Sister Snow then said we had no Young Ladies Association here, thought we should have had one before now. As she <saw> the you[n]g ladies coming in, thought them as inttelligent as she had seen anywhere, hoped they would be live members in the work and not dead branches. Said there was a great responsibility resting upon the [n.p.] sisters to improve ourselves and not spend our time in dressing. Said that as the Lord had b[l]essed us with worldly means, it took many all the time to take care of them, and they forgot God and would go to destruction unless they repented.

She further said that the immortal had to be fed as well as the body, that we should feed the immortal soul with the words of Eternal Life, and when the end comes, we shall fell [feel] that we have done our duty fathfully, kept our covenants, and assisted in the work.

Said she liked the comforts of life, if she could get them with out risking her salvation, and that if we would live our religion in this short space of time, God had great possessions for us, but we should have to work for them, and could not sit down on Zion’s ship, with folded hands and in idleness, but must be wide awake, saying woe unto the woman who was at ease in Zion.

She continued to speak in the following words: “We were sorry to see the condition of the young, and undertook to organize them into associations in which they could cultivate themselves. We have accomplished, by great perseverance, much good. Some who have families, may ask what the good is of meeting together, I will answer that God has commanded us to meet together often, and it is our duty to obey his commands. The work has taken good effect with the young, and many of them meet together, the young men and young women having separate organizations. It is the advice of Pres. Brigham Young for the young people to stop round dancing. Many of the young ladies have done so. Sister Young says the girls have got ahead of the young men, I think the girls have the advantage, for if there are a few good men, they can have good husbands. I would rather have a good man with one hundred wives and a half [n.p.] hearted Saint without any.

Those that do most for Zion, do most at home and have more comfortable homes.

I say, God bless the woman who wares [wears] home-made. How much of home-made do you wear? Just so much are you independent. We started straw braiding in Salt Lake City, having some opposition, but the young ladies said that they would make and wear home-made straw hats, and we make a great many of them. I would advise you, my sisters to make coarse straw hats for every day ware <wear> and fine straw-hats for better ware <wear>: have them early in the spring before the brethren buy their summer wear. By not doing your parts, sisters, you tie your husbands hands, you are counsellors to your husbands; then strive to do your duties, and the spirit of God will be poured out upon you and angels bare record. Live so you can face the books, and do not forget to prepare yourselves to fill the missigned [mission assigned] to you.

Young men, set your marks higher than the President of the United States for what we wish to attain <to> is far above that. Fell <Feel> your consequence, but do not be puffed up in pride. Be firm and strong in the right. I wish I could get you to hunger for words of eternal life.”

Sr. Snow then asked if we desired a Young Ladies Society organized; and a vote being taken to that effect, an organization was made.

Sister Harriet Brown arose and expressed herself thankful for the good instruction we had received, and prayed God to give us wisdom to carry it out. Sister [Amelia M.] Frodsham said she thanked God for giving us such a woman as Sr. Snow, said it was the willing ones who did the most good and that [n.p.] we would never regret what we did for the Kingdom of God.

A few remarks were then made by our president [Melissa Shirtliff] and the brethren, in which they felt to indorse all that had been said. All felt to bless Sister Snow. [. . .] [n.p.]

Source Note

Harrisville Ward, Farr West Stake, Relief Society Minutes and Records (1868–1970), vol. 1 (1868–1882), n.p., CHL (LR 3668 14).

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17 November 1875, Harrisville Relief Society; Harrisville Schoolhouse, Harrisville, Utah Territory, The Discourses of Eliza R. Snow, accessed July 16, 2024