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

11 May 1878


Richmond Young Ladies and Young Men; Richmond Hall, Richmond, Utah Territory

Two-story, wood building with covered entrance

Richmond Relief Society Hall, Richmond, Utah Territory, circa 1920–1978.

[. . .]

Sister Eliza R. Snow arose and spoke as follows. Brothers and Sisters, I am not capable of edyfying the Saints of God, but if you will give me your faith and and prayers I will try and do the best I can.

All the future of Zion depends upon our young Brothers and Sisters. And they must be cultivated not only mentaly but spiritually so <that> they may become useful and have wisdom and knowledge to carry on the work in the kingdom of our God. The young Brothers should be educated so that they would will make wise men, good husbands and kind fathers. And the young Sisters should be educated so as to make good wives and mothers in Israel. When the Saints first gathered to the mountains the first thing done was to find bread and water, and the next was to erect School houses So that the Children of Zion might become educated, and understand the principles of the principles of the Gospel. The young Brothers and Sisters did not have the privelege of rising and bearing their testimony before each other <then> as we have now. We should be thankful for this privelige: We can tell each how we feel, and can talk of the first principles of the [p. 53] Gospel. Some of our young Brothers are going <growing> up in fidelity, and some of our young Sisters in vanity. The question is now, what is to become of our young Saints? They will have to be educated and instructed so that when the young brothers are called to go on a mission to foreign lands they will know the principles of the gospel and how to pray and can teach and instruct those who have not heard the word of God. God, through his Servant, President Brigham Young called on the elder Sisters to instruct the younger Sisters in all the things pertaining to his kingdom. These Meetings are a great benefit to you if you will take an interest in them and try to make them successful. It is a pleasure for the young ladies to get <meet> together to speak, pray, and sing and bear their testimony before each other. We continued our efforts when we first came to Utah and we continue them today with a good effect. President Young, after hearing the minutes of one of our meetings, said we could read them better than men that stood in Congress. A Brother talked to me one time about this organization: He said his daughters were so vain and extravagant they had gone beyond control and he wanted them to join our meetings and try and over come this vanity and pride. Nothing would please me better than to see the young men organized into some association as well as the girls. I hope the young men here do not indulge in the use of tobacco, liquor and other bad things. My young Sisters and brothers, may you all grow up in wisdom, power and glory before your God. I was speaking this afternoon with my sisters of the Rilief Society about the culture of silk. It is little labor after the trees are planted to raise silk. I hope we will be able to promote more home Industry so we can be clothed in Zion made. I do not require the Sisters to plant out the trees, but to cause it to be done. If you have faith enough I think you could raise trees here. I want my young sisters to help the Elder Sisters in doing this great work, to provide for the poor so that by our diligence [p. 54] they may have something to sustain themselves with.

I want to give some advice to my young Sisters: If you have a duty to do do not shirk it. I would reccomend every young sister after being babtized to be organized into some Association. The essential elements of a young lady are to know how to keep house, how to cook, how to sew and every thing pertaining to housekeeping, by this they will make good <house>wives and mothers. No man would be ashamed to have such a wife. The daughters of Zion are to become polished so that they may grow up in wisdom and knowledge. I would rather have a child know that this Gospel is true, that God liveth and to know how to pray and to keep all his commandments than to have all the Book knowledge they could learn and not know anything about the spiritual faculties. I would recommend the Presidentess [Martha A. Lewis] and Counselors to appoint a secretary to keep account of all those who read from the Bible, Book of Mormon and other Books since they were at the previous meeting. Those who read such, to report to the secretary what they have read. The younger sisters should have some Reading matter to learn or to commit to memory. If you all could be taught to be punctual it would prove a great blessing to you. Always be punctual in all things and at all times, for punctuality is the key to business. Now my young Sisters you could set a good example before the young men in cultivating, instructing and informing yourselves. If there is only one young man who is worthy of a good sister, seven or eight sisters could take him for a husband while the rest would have to seek elswhere, for a wife. There is no standard to great for you if you cultivate yourselves as men of God. Some have thought that our Sunday Schools were sufficient <for our young> to learn the principles of Gospel, but our meetings are indispensible. Many who do not believe in our religion rise up and oppose us, but it does not amount to anything. Now my brothers and sisters if you try to become great and good before God you will do a great work. May God’s blessings ever be with you is my prayer Amen.

[. . .] [p. 55]

Source Note

Richmond Branch, Cache Stake, Young Women’s Mutual Improvement Association Minutes and Records (1874–1973), vol. 1s (1874–1888), pp. 53–55, CHL (LR 7478 17).

See also Abigail Pond and Betsy Brower, “R. S. Reports,” Woman’s Exponent 7, no. 8 (15 Sept. 1878): 58; and Elizabeth Davis, “The Sisters’ Visit North,” Woman’s Exponent 7, no. 1 (1 June 1878): 3.