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2 April 1878


Salt Lake City First Ward Young Ladies; First Ward Schoolhouse, Salt Lake City, Utah Territory

[. . .]

Pres, Mrs, Sarah Graham said, [. . .] it is four years since we were organized, and we thought it would be well to invite some of the sisters from the City to speek to us, as we live so far from them that a grate many of us do not get to hear them speek as often as those who live nearer, and we know [p. 246] that you would all like to hear from them, and I pray God to bless those who speek, that they may say those things that will be edifying to us.

Miss E. R. Snow, then made the following remarks; “I always take pleasure in meeting with my Sisters, when we meet for the worship of God, and to assist each other; in our most holy faith, we occupy a very important position, each one that has been baptized, into the church, it is not a trifling thing to take upon us the name of Jesus Christ, we take upon us many responsibilities, the young have no time to while away in foolishness, and vanity, then certainly the middleaged, and the aged have no time. The design of God, is to manufacture a set of Saviors to save the human family, and we assay to fill that position, but this requires sound thought, a determined purpose, and constant action, and devotion Then what is expected of us? if we want to become Saviors, can we be a Saint today, and a woman of the World tomorrow? if we think so we will soon find ourselves mistaken, and when we find out our mistake what a sorrow there will be, and I do think there is danger of some of us meeting with this disappoentment. The Lord wants us to be a peculiar people a zealous people, that will work for Him, not only when it suits our convenence, but every day of our lives, yes every hour of our lives. Having been bought by the blood of the Saviour, we must no longer follow our own feelings, but must follow the dictates of the Spirit of God, which will lead us to rely wholy on God, and put a very small price upon the things of this world. Now if every Mother feels this way, if her children see that she thinks more of the kingdom of God than any thing else, she makes an impression on their minds that will last forever, but when the children see that Mother can attend meeting when she has nothing else to do, or can find nothing else to amuse her self with, but attend as a kind of pass time the children understand this and it gives the stamp to their future lives that [p. 247] What is of as much importance to a mother as to see her children grow up with the inspiration of God in their hearts, to become men and women of God, and to be filled with honor, not the honor of the World, but that honor that comes from God that will be eternal, and will not pass away with the things of this World. Nothing on Earth is of as much importance. I am as much interested in having the youth in Zion brought up in the ways of the Lord, as any of the Mothers, and I am sorry to say more so, than a great many of them, the Lord has in his mercy revealed this organization of the young Ladies. He seems to realize, that the young Ladies can have a great deal of influence among the young men. I have recieved a letter from a Lady in Denver, who visited Salt Lake City a short time ago, and called on me. She complained of the rudeness of the young men in the cars, and thinks something should be done in the matter, in replying I told her, that legislative enactment, would not produce the desired result, but we where trying to cultivate the young Ladies who are to be the future mothers, that we might produce a higher type of men. Brother [A. Milton] Musser proposed in Toele that the young Ladies discuss the habits of smokeing and chewing tobacco, now if the young Ladies would manifest their disapproval, of such habits, they might accomplish a great deal,

Do the young Ladies realize these things. Do the mothers realize the Necessity of their Daughters attending meetings? in a great many instances they do not, if the young sisters have been punctual in attending these meetings, and have been prayerfull, and humbles, they will have a knowlege for themselves, of the truth of this Work. we donot want you to put on faces as long has hoe handles we want you to be cheerfull. the gospell makes us happier than any thing else can we want you to be happy, and in order to be happy, keep your bodies pure that they [p. 248] may be but dwelling places for the Spirit of God, now my young Sisters, you in time will become mothers, and will bring up children, that will become men, and women of God, then you must prepare yourselves for it, and the one that is the most humble, will be the one that the heavens are the best pleased with. we want to be among those that stand upon mount Zion; you may decorate yourselves with all the finery, you can get but it will perish, and we want something that will not pass away, but we must work for all we get. It is the duty of the presiden[t] of the associations and her councilors to furnish something for each one in the associations to do. Suggest to the girls, such books, as will be useful for them to read, during the week, and appoint a clerk to record the number of chapters, that each one in the association has read during the week, and from what books, and the next time, that I come here, to meeting I want to know how many chapters each girl has read. The young girls can read a great many things now that they can not after their years begin to increase, and if they will read the Bible through they will find many chapters, just as enchanting as any novel, and they will get to so interested that they will look upon the New York Le[d]ger as trash. The young girls only want their merits directed towards the good, and they will grasp and treasure it up, and it will do them good. I see that the young men and young ladies, turned out en masse in Jordan ward, and cleared a field, and set out mulberry cuttings and here laid a foundation, that in a short time will furnish something for them to do, and will amount to considerable. Now could the young ladies here start out in something of this kind and the young men no doubt would help them, and they would accomplish a great deal.

Mrs. M. I. [Mary Isabella] Horne: [. . .] Sister Snow has been talking of our duties in life, and it is a very important subject for our consideration. [. . .] It is the duty of every mother to teach her children the principles of the gospel in [p. 249] their early childhood that we may become a peculiar people. Teach them not to drink of the intoxicating cup, and to repair from all evil, and set them the example, for if we teach our children one thing and practice another, they will have no confidence in us. [. . .] The organization of the associations has a tendendancy, tendency to improve the young ladies, and to elevate their ideas, and they can have a great deal of influence over the young men. Do not countenance smoking or drinking, for the spirit of God will not dwell in unholy temples, Let us be humble and prayerful, before our God, and fearless to do right at all times.”

Miss E. R. Snow: “There is one Principle that I am sorry to have omitted and had hoped sister Horne, would have spoken on, for if I take [p. 250] more pride in one principle of the gospel than another, it is in the principle of plural marriage. The young ladies have the advantage of the young men for if the young men do not improve themselves, the young ladies can have the few who do. I would not have a man who has so small a heart that he could only have one wife. He never can become a god for that is for those, who have this principle. Girls don’t be afraid that you can’t get good husbands for it is better to be the fiftieth wife of a good man than the first and only wife of a man that is not worthy of you.1 I have wondered many times, when I came so near to a brother or sister whose breath smelt so strong of tobacco that I could had to dodge back to get my breath, if the angels ever come near them. I have met with such cases in the Endowment House, but not very often I am thankful to say and could I bless such a woman with protiction of angels? No! I would not insult an angel by asking him to come near such a person. Tell the young men that you don’t like that, and that the Lord don’t like it and they should stop such filthy habit. If they use tobacco, it deproves their stomachs, so that they crave something else and I beleave that as a general thing, all drunkards begin with tobacco first. Do not marry a man who says he will never take another wife for those who honor their principle will become kings and queens and the spirit <of God> will not abide with those who speak against it. It is no trifling thing, but is as important as any principle in the gospel. The kingdom of God can not be established without it, and I hope there is no sister here who will ever defile her lips by speaking a word against this high and holy principle. It places a woman in a position that she has to overcome the many contracted feelings of the world and if we want to become queens in Heaven these feelings must be overcome.”

Mrs. M. I. Horne: “As sister Snow has spoken on this subject I would also like to say a few words on it. No matter how much you are tried in plural marriage never let your children tongue lisp one word of your trials be heard before your children, but raise them free from prejudice. I have been tried as much as any one, but my children never had to hear my trials. I p[r]ayed for strength, and set my heart like flint to overcome my trials and I now can see what a blessing plural marriage has been to me. It has its trials but it also has its blessings and I can do a great many things now, that I could not do now if it had not been for plural marriage and every thing that the Lord reveals. I hope I will be able to receive that I may live so that I will be worthy of His presence. [p. 251]

[. . .]

Mrs. Cordelia Matthews bore a faithful testimony to the truth of the gospel, said that when she was a little girl she once said that she did not want aman with another wife, but her father told her that Joseph Smith said, that those who spoke against it would see the day, that they would regret it. Sinse then she had never said a word against it, and she said we did not like the company of those who would speak against it; for she knew it was a great and glorious principle.

[. . .]

Mrs. Elizabeth Higgs [. . .] knew that plural marriage was a pure and holy principle, had never said a word against it, but felt thankful that God had revealed it, for it was something that would purify and make us and make us humble before our Heavenly Father.

[. . .]

Pres. Mrs. S. Graham [. . .] mentioned that the suggestion of Sister Snow in relation to reading what we could during the week and reporting and each meeting the number of chapters read be accepted. [. . .]

Miss Minnie Smith was appointed clerk to record the number of chapters read by each member of the association and from what books A vote of thanks was returned to Sister Snow and Sister Horne for their visit.

[. . .] [p. 252]

Source Note

First Ward, Park Stake, Young Women’s Mutual Improvement Association Minutes and Records (1874–1972), vol. 1 (1874–1884), pp. 246–252, CHL (LR 2871 17); Amy H. Adams, Secretary.

See also Amy H. Adams, “R. S. Reports,” Woman’s Exponent 6, no. 24 (15 May 1878): 186.