The Church Historian's Press The Church Historian's Press

1 February 1877


Salt Lake City Twelfth Ward Relief Society; Twelfth Ward Schoolhouse, Salt Lake City, Utah Territory

[. . .] Roll called 24 members present. Also Miss E. R. Snow, Mrs. Zina D. Young, Mrs. Emeline [Emmeline] B. Wells and Bro. Joseph Young Sen. [. . .] [p. 254]

[. . .]

By invitation Miss. E. R. Snow addressed the meeting. Said I have been thinking while listening to the report just read of the first society that was organized in this City in the 14th Ward. The people were very poor, crossing the plains in wagons in which they brought all their earthly possessions. The crickets were here coming down from the mountains in solid phalanx. The sisters commenced with a few pieces of print a bed quilt, and went to the butchers stalls and gathered hair which they made into cloth. [p. 255]

Now they have purchased land and built a house upon it and I believe at the present time they are putting an addition to it. That is about the way it is with all the Relief Societies. The Society have contributed more to the poor than any ward in the City or than any other Society except one in San Pepe [Sanpete] as I found last year when I was making out a general report. The Prophet Joseph Smith turned the key of knowledge for the Relief Societies; their begin[n]ing was small but now they are a power in the land. Queens will be proud to honor them. Strangers have donated to them. These Societies are for the Relief of the poor and saving of souls, it is the few who are faithful who will accomplish it, those who were held in reserve to come forth in this last dispensation. The Prophet Joseph [Smith] said no one but those who were virtuous were to be admit[t]ed. Today, those who belong to these societies are cooperating with God to benefit the whole human race <family>. We are forming a Nucleus to gather to from the nations of the earth when the Lords time comes. It is the duty of each and all of us to take hold and assist in rolling forth this work, and not for one to stand off and see the rest work. The Relief Societies and Retrenchment Societies work together. Who would have thought five years ago the sisters would have been called upon to save up grain. Today there is not so much home manufacture here according to the people as there was fifteen years ago; we have been paying out our money as Bro H. C. [Heber C.] Kimball would say for flumididles [flummadiddles] ‘till the money is drained of[f], if we had saved this money to purchase machinery to work our silk with we might now have many articles of apparel of our own manufacture of silk which would <be> beautiful useful and durable. I have a scarf upon my neck made of silk (showing the same) which will wash and its beauty be unimpaired for years. There has been manufactured about sixty yds. of fringe for decorating the Temple at St. George. We have to prepare for the coming of the Lord, he does not come haphazard. It is the duty of the sisters [p. 256] to know the circumstances of those to whom they minister; those who are free to tell their wants you need not fear for, but there are those who are very sensitive in their feelings and reserved about their necessities who will suffer before they will ask for assistance, such should be sought out. The calling of a teacher is a high and holy calling. I always feel honored when I am visited by them; their calling is to minister to the poor relieve their wants, to comfort the depressed and to council and instruct, they should have enough of the Spirit of the Lord to know just what is their duty in every circumstance.

In speaking of the order of the kingdom of God, and records being kept Sr Snow said and there is another book that will be opened and there it will be found recorded all about your meetings and who attends them; we have a great deal to accomplish but if our bosoms are warmed up with the spirit of the Lord we shall be able to accomplish all that is required of us and eventualy meet at the marriage supper of the Lamb

[. . .]

Mrs. Emeline B. Wells said I do not wish to take up the time, I hope the time will come when we can condense our language so as to convey our ideas in a short time. (Sr. E. R. Snow said when we have the pure language we can.) [. . .] [p. 257] [. . .]

Bro Joseph Young Sen. Said I do not like to say one thing and do right opposite Sr. E. R. Snow said fifteen years ago the people made their own clothing more than now, there is something wrong, what is it? We do not patronize our home institutions, we must begin down to the bedrock of honest economy. [. . .] [p. 258]

Source Note

Twelfth Ward, Salt Lake Stake, Relief Society Record Book (1868–1877), pp. 254–258, CHL (LR 12908 24); Harriett A. Hardy, Secretary.