The Church Historian's Press

2 May 1878

Weber Stake Relief Society; Ogden Tabernacle, Ogden, Utah Territory

A long, rectangular building with triangle roof, a single chimney, and three arched, front-facing windows.

Original Ogden Stake Tabernacle. Used by permission, Utah State Historical Society.

[Editorial Note: This discourse was reported in several sources. Two versions are transcribed below. For more information, see the source note following each transcript.]

I. From the Weber Stake Relief Society Minutes, vol. 7

President Jane S. Richards Presiding

On the Stand was Apostle Erastus Snow. [. . .] Sisters Eliza R. Snow, Bathsheba Smith, Zina D Young, Minerva Snow, Emeline [Emmeline] B. Wells, Elvira Barney [. . .]

Sister E R Snow, Suggested that we first finish the Organisation of Weber Stake. Jane S. Richards President chose for her counselors Harriet C. Brown, Sarah A Herrick which were unanimously Sustained by the meeting also Amelia M. Frodsham Secretary, Josephine West Corresponding Sec.

[. . .] [p. 51] [. . .] [p. 52]

[. . .]

Sister E. R. Snow. wished to make one remark Sister Richards had said She was very thankful brother Snow took an interest in us we are working in conjunction with the brethren for the benefit of Zion and we feel he has just as much interest as the Sister.

Brother Erastus Snow [. . .] When I look back to the incip[i]ent organisation [p. 53] of the Society in Nauvoo. When I reflect upon the travels and many scenes we have passed through and that we now have Sister Eliza Snow (who was an active member then and now see her in this Territory, awakens peculiar feelings I feel that her and the Sisters have had great perseverence. Through her perseverence, those now in this Territory within reach are favored with her presence and should profit by the time Sister Snow is permitted to be with them. [. . .] [p. 54] [. . .] [pp. 55–58]

Sister Eliza R. Snow, Sister Zina very justly rema[r]ked were it not for duty womans voice would not be heard in Public. We see a great difference in womans position in Zion I have seen the time when it was admitted women had nothing to do only to preside over the Relief Society. If her husband was a good man she could do as she listed, he was a good man and would save her. This has proved to be a delusion. We have got to look out for our own Salvation, one cannot be saved on anothers merits, A husband cannot save a beloved wife she has got to work out her own Salvation. We have given ourselves to God, we have taken upon us the name of Christ, He has bought us with his blood He requires that we serve him with an undivided heart, all our lives offered as a reward, When we are called to fill a responsible Station we are called to help build up his kingdom. These organisations should comprise old and young. We have several duties besides home duties, we could spend our whole time at home. Does God require it, that should be first and foremost, those duties that collect at home have a bearing on the Kingdom of God.

Even the smallest thing, washing dishes what would Zion be without clean dishes, home is the great starting point, we need great wisdom, when a sister tells me she has no time to go to meeting, to gather the bread of life. Have they been gathered from the Nations to stay at home. It is time we were up and doing, time is short, work increasing.

responsibilities of Woman is increasing we expect to become Joint heirs with Jesus and reign as queens. There is a great deal to be done we should be on the alert as Societies. If Babylon was to fall we should fall with it.

We have got to arouse from our lethargy, no time to talk about pains and aches. We are not going to do it we are waking up to a sence of our condition, the Destroyer is abroad. Joseph Smith said the time [p. 59] would come when mothers would need all their faith to hold their children, they call the Doctor and do not exercise faith we have just as much privilege to exercise these gifts as they had anciently, we must place our minds entirely upon this work Love one another when we love each other we do not see any faults but feel to bless each other. I say Sisters of the Relief Sisters when called to visit the sick it is your privilege to administer to them, you do not need any ordination for that. you can wash and anoint them and dont forget to seal it with prayer, go with faith if the Spirit suggests any thing recommend it whatever you give ask the blessings of God upon it, all be united and trust in God.1 Be united in building up the kingdom of God and a great change will come over Zion I will say to the Sisters in this County it is better to Suffer wrong than do wrong. Dont upbraid, being earth[l]y draws the Spirit down and make it a daily warfare not to pull each other down. Teachers hold a very responsible position Teachers are those that should impart life and comfort have wisdom not only to help the poor but to bestow Heavenly comfort. For the poor you can show record of the finances. Where is the record of the Souls you have lifted up, where you have poured in the wine of consolation one whose light had departed and you have imparted life. Where’s the record? Not on earth There is a book not read there is a record kept.

Dont grow weary in well doing if your labours are not appreciated. A Sister said might as well give up not so I told her in 50 years there might not be a record of where to show where a house or any thing was but your labours will not cease Zion will stand you have been striv[in]g for the young with a might this will tell in generations to come She said thats true. “I can’t,” is a word that should never be used in connection with duty There was a young elder going on a mission [p. 60]

I told him I would give him a key to success that is make it a rule never to shirk a duty consider nothing too small. He done sp[l]endid. We should take just as much interest in laboring if all will take hold and show to God how much we can accomplish. I will now speak of home manufacture I can talk on that as nearly all I have on is home made, I like to see the sisters practice what they preach When I come into the church I made a covenant to always try and do what I was called upon to do Home manufacture has been one thing had we done as we have been counciled we might have been dressed in Silk instead of Babylonish goods When the Silk Association was formed I was one of a committee of three that went round to get means we went to moneyed men, they could not see money in it I told if there was no money in it how many, could be sustained they laughed us to scorn. We worked on. We are too slow there ought to have been hundreds of trees where there is only one. We want our minds stirred up by way of remembrance

Meet together often where you meet once a month it takes a month to get thawed out. It is a day of progression, those that do the most are the ones that can do I would go to that one if I wanted any thing done

I am thankful for the progress of the young sisters when called upon to organise them there was no such thing known in Zion, They were born here under the Priesthood and it seemed natural that <they> liked the same as their Parents but that exproded [expropriated?] Parents began to see that the girls began to see for them selves and <not> depend upon them. When we come we left Babylon, and this went on until some of our young men came out confirmed Infidels their spiritual education was neglected Every one that knows that this work is true has a divine revelation Just as much as Peter had. [p. 61]

A young man that had never prayed or asked a blessing was in Liverpool. It was said there was a young man right from Zion. he was asked to speak, he said bring me a broncho [bronco] and I can ride, but I can’t preach

If the young folks cant learn the gospel there is something wrong.—I rejoice at the change in the young folks. The young folks not only stand <first> but foremost

When Julius [Junius] Wells was sent out to organise Pres [Brigham] Young told him to organise so it would be for both sexes I think a great deal depends upon the mothers I will relate an anecdote one man in the church thought there was no need of organising the young girls when there was so many good brethren laboring in the Gospel and that they would listen to their mothers. About two years ago he came to me and said Sister Eliza cant you get my daughters into one of your societies. He could not get them to attend meeting

We should be diligent not only in the interest of making Silk but in Laying up grain, we know that there is famine ahead the Spirit of God has said it. Wheat is cheap and now is the time to lay it up we dont how soon it will commce [commence] The Lord has called upon the sisters We have made a good beginning and we want to continue it requires a good deal of care. we must do it God requires it. A few have spoken disrespectfully of it, but we cant do much without the assistance of the brethren—the sisters have done well and the thing is to keep doing well, we have got to have the Spirit of God, be punctual to our duties.

Meet often speak one to another there is book of rembrance kept they shall be mine saith the Lord when I make up my jewels. they shall be heirs and joint heirs with Jesus and receive that which will not pass away.

When placed on beds of sickness our thoughts will be have we been faithful in performing every duty. [p. 62]

have we walked in the straight and narrow path I think all my sisters are trying to do right. I am now in my 75th year life seems short at the best. if we fail to accomplish the object we set out for the disappointment seems to me would prove a great suffering. I want to say a few words in regard to plural marriage one of the greatest principles God revealed to the prophet Joseph [Smith]. I was well acquainted with him, knew him to be a man of God and that he would not teach a wrong principle, did not see any chance of being acknowledged as a wife. Now it is looked upon as honorable. Let us support that principle. honor it and not speak one word against it. I am thankful I never spoke against it. I know we cannot speak against it without grieving the Spirit of God

Noble spirits have been reserved to carry out this work on the earth. Shall we refuse on account of plural marriage and go back without accomplishing the mission for which we was sent, it takes a will. Dont ask God to humble you.

Ask him to give you grace to humble yourself. I say God bless you if we are united we can accomplish anything and become a mighty plalanx [phalanx] in accomplishing the work of the Lord whatever we do let us do it in the name of the Lord, let us work to-gether in unison. God bless you my Sisters and help us to gain the reward.

[. . .] [p. 63]

[. . .]

Pres D. [David] H. Peery [. . .]

How many will remember what Sister Snow has said it is the gospel and I hope and pray not any one having the spirit of God but will thank Sister Snow for coming. [. . .] [p. 64]

[. . .]

Sister J S Richards Pres. we have enjoyed a rich time [. . .] Felt to thank the Sisters for coming in behalf of the congregation and to say may the Lord preserve them that they may live long. Sisters Snow and Young had often come and told us the way of life and Salvation

Wanted an expression of the Sisters if they felt [p. 65] to regard and give heed to Sister Elizas council over this Territory. Vote Unanimous.

[. . .] [p. 66]

Source Note

Weber Stake, Relief Society Minutes and Records (1867–1968), vol. 7 (1878), pp. 51–66, CHL (LR 9970 14).

II. From the Weber Stake Relief Society Minutes, vol. 6

[. . .]

Miss Snow spoke very eloquently upon the mission of women in the latter days, and of the power given to the saints and the advantages they enjoy beyond the women of the world. Spoke of the neglect there had been in times past in the spiritual cultivation of the young; of the first organizations of the girls, and the opposition they had to meet; of the great benifits which had resulted already from these associations; of the influence for good the young girls could exercise in the community. Exhorted the sisters to renewed diligence and faithfulness, spoke upon Celestial marriage, the glorious anticipations of those who embraced and lived in it in purity and honored it; spoke of home industries; sericulture, straw work, and other branches, of the storing of grain, and the many subjects of the present day which make up the sum of woman’s work of benevolence, improvement, &c. in the kingdom of God.

[. . .] [p. 36]

Source Note

Weber Stake, Relief Society Minutes and Records (1867–1968), vol. 6 (1877–1900), p. 36, CHL (LR 9970 14); Amelia M. Frodsham, Secretary.

See also Weber Stake, Relief Society Conference Minute Book (1855–1899), p. 39, CHL (LR 9970 29), Amelia M. Frodsham, Secretary; and “Relief Society Quarterly Conference,” Woman’s Exponent 6, no. 24 (15 May 1878): 191–192.

Cite this page

2 May 1878, Weber Stake Relief Society; Ogden Tabernacle, Ogden, Utah Territory, The Discourses of Eliza R. Snow, accessed June 25, 2024