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

8 May 1878


Newton Relief Society; Newton Schoolhouse, Newton, Utah Territory

Single-story, rock schoolhouse with children playing outside

Newton Rock School, 1873–1907, Newton, Utah Territory. (Courtesy Utah State University Digital Collections, Merrill-Cazier Library.)

[. . .] This meeting was called on the occasion of <a visit> from sister E. R. Snow & Company.

[. . .]

Sister [Mary A.] Parsons made some introductory remarks said that she felt pleased to have the visit of sister Snow & sister [Elizabeth A.] Davis and hoped that we would be benefited, thereby.

Sister Snow then addressed the meeting. & said that this was her first visit to this settlement. Said that they had come rather unexpected; she desired the faith & prayers of the people, that she may be dictated to speak the things of God. She felt gratified in the few words of conversation she had with the Bp [Bishop William G. Rigby] & the Pres of the Relief Society [Mary A. Parsons], and felt pleased to see the fine nursery of trees, the Bishop had in his lot but was rather sorry there no mulbury trees, and she advised sisters to get them.

She said the Relief Society was orgenized by Joseph <Smith> and by revelation we can find in the scriptures; that the sisters were an aid to the priesthood in the work of God.

And that the R. Society was not only to help the poor but also to save souls and assisting in moralizing, and forming the character of the people. She said the people had been asleep in Zion and that Satan, has been trying to tempt them and lead them into darkness, but if we as A people had been as faithful on the part of the cause of God, as our opponents have been to the opposite there would be different state of things in our midst to what it is

We would not have had to suffer from grasshoppers and the mildew and other things that has come upon us. She said that we have complied with the first principles of the Gospel whereby we have been prepared to receive the Holy Spirit, but we have been in the habit of neglecting our duties and fail to come to gather and <failed to> enjoy our meetings as we should do.

And have the strength & power <we> ought to have, [p. 7] to do good and resist evil. She said tha[t] many of the sisters were inclined to follow <after> the fashions and costoms of the world. (but perhaps this did not apply to the sisters in Newton).

She spoke of the responsibility that rests upon the Relief Society’s even every member that they Should sustain home industries.

The Lord has commanded that our clothes should be the workmanship of our own hands, and that it was the privelige of the sisters to raise a fashion of their own, and not depend and follow after the outside world

The Lord calls on R. Society to store up wheat and [not] depend on Babylon, but should be working & saving and preparing ourselves for the great day that is approaching. Said that there would sure to be a famine. Said so in the Name of the Lord. & counseled the sisters if there should be a crop for them to glean the sisters in many places have <done> much good in gleaning and we will—need all the grain we can save. Sister Snow gave good instructions to the sisters as house keepers & mothers that their houses and their homes were depending upon how they lived their religion, that when the sisters were faithful in the performances of their duties and attending their meetings that they would have the spirit of the Lord within them in such abundance until it would be made manifest in their appearance that their countenance would Shine. & that it would cause them obedient to & respect their husbands, and as mothers would use kind words, to their children & see that they attended their meetings and they would keep their house in order.

She said that the children knew when there was religion in their mothers hearts [p. 8]

Sister Davis also addressed the meeting for a short time. she did not feel very able to instruct the people. said that sister Snow is more able to do so. [. . .] She said that with the instructions of sister Snow and others that we receive, we would learn to realize our duties and keep the covenants we have made before God. [. . .]

Bishop Rigby, said that <he> was very well pleased to have the visit of the sisters that we have so long expected, said that he was very much interested with in the instructions that we have received he also felt to encourage home-manifacture and that he wished to sustain and practice it.

[. . .] [p. 9]

Source Note

Newton Ward, Smithfield Stake, Relief Society Minutes and Records (1873–1968), vol. 2 (1877–1881), pp. 7–9, CHL (LR 6075 14).

See also Elizabeth Davis, “The Sisters’ Visit North,” Woman’s Exponent 7, no. 1 (1 June 1878): 3.