[Editorial Note: This discourse was reported in two different sources. Both versions are transcribed below. For more information, see the source note following each transcript.]
[. . .]
Present on the stand the following sisters from S. L. [Salt Lake] City, Sister Eliza R Snow, M I [Mary Isabella] Horne, Pricenda [Presendia] Kimball, Sarah Kimball, Emeline [Emmeline] B. Wells L. [Louisa Lula] Greene Richards & Zina Williams [. . .]
[. . .] Sister A. [Amelia] M. Frodsham Secretary read the Report of Ogden City Relief Society which was as follows
[. . .] [p. 300]
[. . .] [p. 301]
[. . .] October 17th 1872. Through the council of Sister E. R. Snow and by approval of President Brigham Young. The word Female was unanimisuly [unanimously] dropped from the Female Relief Society henceforth to be known as the Relief Society.
[. . .] [p. 302]
[. . .] [pp. 303–307]
[. . .] [Sarah Kimball.] The Sisters thought it best to get up some sort of a society we met and thought we would get up a Constitution I visited Sister Snow and she wrote it. We took it to Brother [Joseph] Smith He said the Lord accepts your offering, but I have something better for you. He met with us and elected Emma Smith President. [. . .] I remember being here some years ago, Sister [Jane S.] Richards was sick Sister Snow washed and anointed her and told her if she would take hold of the Relief Society she should get well and be blest. [. . .]
Sister E. R. Snow spoke as follows Sister Richards who is virtually President of this Conference asks me to speak. I am pleased with the reports and am thankful to God for without his assistance our efforts would be in vain.
Union is strength by uniting our energies faith and prayers we can accomplish much It is by the blessings of God.—We have not the wealth of the world nor money capital but we have faith the bone and sinew. Father Smith [Joseph Smith Sr.] said faith was energy.—Energy was faith. I have watched and those that have energy have more faith.
God has endowed us with every faculty to endow us [p. 308] to become Goddeses in Eternity. But we must cultivate our faculties.—Without revelation we should not know this work was true. When we have this faith it lifts us out of a deal of the sufferings of life.
When we give ourselves to the things of earth we are poor, we stumble, we are unhappy. We have an atmosphere around us that weighs us down it is not pure
I have been thinking what great things grow out of a little. I think this meeting is a precedent of a great thing. When Sister Richards invited President Young to come up and speak to the sisters she did not think a conference would grow out of it. President Young said adjourn your meeting for three months. I consider that a key to the Society.
He was with you then now he has gone behind the vail He paid the sisters the compliment of carrying out his instruction even better than the men. Woman stands as counselor to man. Every woman stands as a counselor to her husband not Dictator.—What wisdom we should have.
I consider this is placing us in a very responsible situation.—We have no time to waste to talk over troubles every pain and ache. Such
feel to seem to feel that sympathy is what they seek. If I was a Physician it is the duty for that sister to tell me all her pains and aches As I am not a Physician it is not worth while for me to listen.—I think the more we talk over our pains, troubles & trials the more we have—
When we get up and speak with the Spirit the more it accumulates, let us seek to give light to those around us, have love in God faith in the Priesthood. When we meet each other let our countenances glow with the Spirit of God.
We should not let our countenances be sad it is a great mistake.—When we acknowledge the hand of God in all things there is nothing but what we can find consolation for. When we lay our little ones down pure to come forth free of the sins of the world. They will partake of the glories [p. 309]
Young Joseph Smith said the Society was also to save souls what the sisters have done to win back those that have gone astray, taking those that lost their faith and warming up their hearts another book is kept of your faith, your kindness, good words and works. Nothing is lost all is kept <sacred> nothing is lost Nearly two years ago I called for all the reports in the Territory. From ninety to a hundred thousand dollars had been disbursed.
We commenced with sewing carpet rags and other little things no capital.
In regard to laying up grain it is a very important calling, as we have been called upon let us be faithful and energetic.
I will relate some items of a vision
A young man poor & sicly [sickly] lay sick. he thought a messinger came and told him to go with him he told him he could not go the messinger told <him> he must go he went with him, they went from one stage to another This messinger talked a good deal. The messinger then asked him what the greatest object of his life was he answered money, he asked him again he told him money, he asked him the third time, and he answered money. The messinger showed him a great deal showed him a terrible famine. They came to a large pile of gold a bag of flour stood by it. He told him the time would come when that much gold would would be given for that much flour—He went to laying up wheat, he began to deal it out by cup fulls, from the poor he took nothing One Lady came to him covered with jewelry she stripped off all her jewelry and said take these but give me bread,—and then he came back to his body—
I think it is a great duty to lay up wheat. There is another thing of great importance the culture of silk.[p. 310]
President Young told me to teach the sisters how to get silk. I think we have done harder things than to set out mulbury trees if not I think we can persuade Fathers, sons, or husbands to put them out, it will give employment and be better than greenbacks, when Uncle Sam breaks.—The strike shows us a little what can be done. The world dont see what we do they cant they dont see plural marriage. We do.
We have 6 senses they only five, we want to keep the sixth bright.
We want to put out trees, it takes three years to be of any worth—Had trees been put out twenty year ago we could dress in silk to-day cheaper and better than in woollen or cotton. We want machinery and the question with many of the brethren is, Is there money in it. Now we have specimens of silk, of work we sent it and had it tested, they said it was the best specimen they had had from the United States.
Wealth is here all we have got to do is to draw it out.—Put out the trees.—
If I could only get my sisters excited not only to bring out the wealth, but to work for future generations—Speaking of Sister Richards I would like a vote taken—You have led out in a new direction this meeting is a new thing.
President Smith said he was going to turn the key of knowledge he said the world will not be troubled with me long, nor the Church.—
You may imagine the feelings of the people I was Secretary I could scarcely hold my pencil Afterwards I asked him what he meant, he thought I must be mistaken. I read it to him—I then remembered what he said about the Camp of Zion He said if they did not repent, they would drop down [p. 311] like rotten sheep. When they were so sick and many died he did not remember it until he was taken down himself. I then felt he had forgotten it.
I motion Sister Jane S. Richards takes the position over the Society & takes the dictation of the Conferences. It was seconded.
Sister Snow then gave it out as follows
It is motioned and seconded that Sister Jane S. Richards preside over the Weber County Societies taking the dictation of the Conferences Semiannually and exert a Motherly influence, and fill all the offices of an Elect Lady. Vote was unanimous.
Sister Snow then said Sister Richards has accepted the position and chosen Sisters Mary Isabella Horne and Eliza R. Snow as her Counselors a vote was taken which was unanimous. Then said one more thing I must speak of the sisters have contributed to the women of Mormondom; or it would not been published had it not been for the sisters.
That is likely to come back. We must not slacken but double our diligence none of us will lose our reward.
[. . .] [p. 312] [. . .] [p. 313]
[. . .]
Sister L. Greene Richards said [. . .] This is a meeting that Sister Snow calls Pic nic meeting I like them, and the more baskets opened the better as I like to hear my sisters speak. [. . .] [p. 314]
[. . .] [p. 315]
[. . .]
Sister Snow then said it was Moved and Seconded, that this Conference adjourn to the 31st <instead of 30th> of Jan 1878 in honor of Sister Richards as that is her birthday vote unanimous.
[. . .] [p. 316]
There were present on the stand, Apostle F. [Franklin] D. Richards—Pres. D. [David] H. Peery— Sisters E. R. Snow—Sarah Kimball—M. I. Horn [Mary Isabella Horne]—E. [Emmeline] B. Wells—L. [Louisa Lula] G. Richards—Zina Y. Williams, of Salt Lake [. . .] [p. 23] [. . .]
Meeting was then adjourned until 2 o’clock [. . .]
[. . .] [p. 24]
[. . .]
Sister Sarah Kimball said [. . .] [p. 25] [. . .]
When the Nauvoo temple was about a foot from the ground, there was a great want of means—a few of the sisters thought they would organize themselves into a society of some kind, that they might be better able to assist the brethren in the work of building the temple—We met, drew up a constitution and Sister Snow showed it to Bro. [Joseph] Smith [. . .]
I remember being here some years ago.—Sister [Jane S.] Richards was then sick. Sister Snow washed and annointed her, and told her if she would take charge of the Relief Society in Ogden—she should have health and the Lord would bless her. We can testify that her words have proved true—I ask the Lord to continue his blessing on her and upon you all.
Sister Eliza R. Snow said—Sister Richards, who is virtually president of this Conference, asks me to speak. I am pleased with the reports, and am thankful to God, for without His assistance our efforts are vain—Union is strength. By unity, our energies, faith and perseverance accomplish much. But it is all by the blessing of God. We have not the wealth of the world, but we have faith [p. 26] bone and sinew, Father Smith [Joseph Smith, Sr.] said, faith is energy—and so, also, energy must be faith; for the more energetic a person is, the more faith he has.
We believe that God has endowed us with every faculty that is necessary to enable us to become Goddesses in eternity; but we must also cultivate and improve ourselves. By revelation we know this work is true, and this faith lifts us out of much of the suffering of this life. Still, we are inclined to the things of earth. We are gross, we stumble, we live in an atmosphere that is not pure; that weighs us down
I have been thinking what great things grow out of seemingly unimportant events—I consider this meeting a precedent of a great thing. Sister Richards invited President [Brigham] Young to come and talk to the sisters of Weber County. She did not think that Relief Society Conferences would be the result.—He said adjourn your meeting for three months—I think it a key to the Society.—He was with us then, now he has passed behind the vail—Let us carry out his instructions—
Woman stands in a responsible position—every one as counselor to her husband. What wisdom we should have! There is no time to waste, no time to talk over our pains and troubles; the more we dwell upon them, the more we wish to. When we arise and speak by the spirit of God, we give light to those around us—When we meet, let our countenances glow with the spirit, and not give way sadness. If we acknowledge the hand of God in all things, we find consolation under all circumstances.
I am well aware that a great deal is donated that never reaches the books. President Joseph Smith said this society was organized to save souls. What have the sisters done to win back those who have gone astray?—to warm up the hearts of those who have grown cold in the gospel?—Another book is kept of your faith, your kindness, your good works [p. 27] and words. Another record is kept. Nothing is lost. Two years ago I called for reports from all the Relief Societies—From $90 to $100 thousand dollars had been disbursed—and we commenced by saving carpet rugs—no other capital—
In regard to laying up grain—it is a very important calling which has been placed upon the women of this Church, and we should be faithful and energetic.—Sister Snow then related some things seen in a vision by a young man, pertaining to laying up grain, the famine, &c.—
Another duty, of great importance, which is required of us, is the culture of silk. Pres. Young told me to teach the sisters how to get rich. Wealth is here; we can draw it from the elements by our own labor and the blessing of God. The cultivation of mulberry trees would be better than green backs, for us, and for future generations. If we had attended to this twenty years ago, we might now be clothed in silk. We have specimens of silk that have been tested—said to be the best from the U.S.—There is wealth in it, if we will only labor and be patient.
Speaking of Sister Richards—I wish to have a vote taken. You have led out in a new direction. This is a new thing. I motion that Sister Jane Richards preside over the Relief Society of this Stake of Zion,—and fill all the offices of an elect lady. The motion was seconded and a vote taken which was unanimous. Sister Snow said, Sister Richards has accepted the position, and has chosen M. I. Horn and E. R. Snow as counsellors. The vote for their acceptance was unanimous.
One thing more to those who have contributed to the “Women of Mormondom”—That work would not have been published, had it not been for the sisters. We must not slacken, but double our diligence, and none of us will lose our reward.
[. . .] [p. 28] [. . .]
Sister L. G. Richards said [. . .] This meeting is what Sister Snow calls a picnic. I like such meetings; the more baskets opened the better, for I like to hear my sisters. [. . .] [p. 29]