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Circa 21 June 1878


Fountain Green Relief Society; Fountain Green, Utah Territory

As we have been honored of late with a visit from our much beloved Sisters E. R. Snow, Z. [Zina] D. Young and M. A. [Mary Ann] P. Hyde, we thought worthy to report an interesting meeting held here. [. . .] After the usual ceremonies of singing and prayer and introducing these sisters by the President of the Society [Polly Ann Johnson], Miss E. R. Snow expressed much pleasure in being with us, and in seeing so many brethren present as we needed their co-operation in our labors. Spoke of the divided interests of the people of the world, compared them with our united interests. Spoke on the organization of the Relief Society; that every sister who had her name enrolled in this kingdom, should become a member of it, and was required to be a live active one; that Joseph Smith said that this organization was designed to help the Bishops relieve the poor, and to save souls; and it was an organization of the kingdom of God. Said many thought we should be judged by our motives, but our motives lead us on to actions, and by our actions we shall be judged. That many a sister thought that if she did not live her religion, her husband would save her, but our reward will be according to our works. Told the mothers to watch over their children from their earliest days, and as soon as they were baptized, have them join an organization that while their minds were pure they might continue to grow up in the knowledge of the things of the kingdom. Said let the mothers arrange their work so that when meeting time comes they may not be hindered from attending, and set them good examples, for they were watching us, and it was small things that ruined the character, “The little foxes spoil the vines.” She counseled parents not to let their daughters go to Salt Lake City to hire out. Said she did not consider herself any better than we were, but had had a great deal more experience. Joseph Smith said that the Relief Society was designed to perfect woman and correct the morals. Every wife that was living up to her duty should be a counselor to her husband, not a dictator; we have set out for a fulness of exaltation in the kingdom of God, and we are heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. Did not like to see the sisters wear sun-bonnets, would like to see their countenances; wanted us to have a class of braiders that had stamina enough to persevere in straw work and let the sisters wear hats; liked to see them look beautiful, but not follow after the fashions of Babylon. Spoke on home manufacture, of winter and summer wear. Said if we planted out mulberry trees in faith the Lord would bless us so we could raise them, as he had done others in some of the northern settlements. Was glad to hear we had some grain stored, as famine was sure to come for the Lord had decreed it; wanted us to raise beans and store up. Spoke of the Lord having a tried people, and we must perfect ourselves and prove our integrity, and that it would be a password for us into the Celestial Kingdon; and we must help and cheer each other all we can for there is enough trouble for us all to pass through.

[. . .] [p. 39]

Source Note

Polly Ann Johnson and Mary Jewkes, “R. S. Reports,” Woman’s Exponent 7, no. 5 (1 Aug. 1878): 39.1

See also “Home Affairs,” Woman’s Exponent 7, no. 3 (1 July 1878): 20.