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

19 February 1879


Weber Stake Relief Society; City Hall, Ogden, Utah Territory

Two-story, stone building with balcony and clock tower

Ogden City Hall, circa 1866–1906, Ogden, Utah Territory. Photograph by Charles R. Savage.

[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 Ogden Second Ward Relief Society Minutes

[. . .]

Sister Jane [S.] Richards. Then arose and said, my beloved Brethren & sisters, I feel pleased to meet you all again, this is the 17th meeting we have had since Sister Snow came up, but on account of the hurry in organizing, did not think there had been proper time to give the counsel necessary, therefore she had remained here to enable the sisters to listen & to carry out the plans required at their’ hands, wondered if we were benefited by Sister Snow’s being here, Yes indeed, if we carry out the counsel given, the Sisters have been placed in position’s where they can do a great deal of good, felt thankful that the minds of the sisters was to press press forward and do all the good that lay in their power, would have liked to have had all the Sisters present if there had been room, was truly grateful to Sister Snow for remaining over. felt she could not have accomplished what Sister Snow had, for one she was determined to obey all the counsel given her by Sister Snow. [. . .]

Sister E. R. Snow, my beloved Brethren & sisters. I feel to need your faith & prayers. for without the outpouring of the Holy Spirit it would be useless to rise to give the desired instruction’s to the Sisters, the Sisters of Utah to-day occupy the most important position’s of any women on the face of the Earth, we want to understand our position’ to God, when we recieved baptism we Covenanted with God to do his will, we recieved the call to come out from Babylon, that we might not recieve of her [p. 26] plagues, but I think we brought a little portion of Babylon with us, I hope d we do not hanker after the “Leaks & Onions of Egypt,” I look upon the women of Zion as holding responsible position’s because we are the sisters of Zion, we want to thoroughly understand our position’s that we may roll on in perfect order, our organization’s are perfect when we comprehend them we shall be harmonious, not a jar, not a discord, In recieving our Endowments, we had a little specimen of the order that reigns in heaven, if we could understand our relationship one towards each other there would be no clash, but we would move on in the Priesthood of God as a great power in the midst of Zion, All now in Ogden City are organized. Sister Jane Richards presides over this Stake. she & her board, where shall we go for Counsel, to the Bishop. No. for these societies are to relieve the Bishop, all cases we cannot decide among ourself. go to those who preside over us, do all the good we can but never usurp the authorities placed over us. we <the> sooner we can bring our lives in perfect union the sooner we shall become the children of God instead of the Sisters ru[n]ning with every little thing to the Bishop, think for themselves; Joseph Smith said the sisters would be doing a great work to care for the poor, sick & distressed, If we have ill feelings one towards another purge it out, if not we hurt ourselves. let the sisters hold each others Character Sacred we have no time for fault finding. & speaking Evil of each other, Search after the evil in our own hearts, so the Holy Ghost will have free intercourse then there will be no trouble, Precept without Example has very little weight, the young sisters should observe these rules, the little children if they are taught as they should be will grow up pure and spotless, a holy generation unto the Lord, how important then that those having charge of there little ones should be filled with the power of the [p. 27] Spirit of God. it requires a great deal of tact to care for the little ones, a great deal of ingenu[i]ty, as well as wisdom, let the children do all the voting themselves, let them feel their own power, if not they will lose their’ ambition; you Sisters as the leaders should be holy women of God. Promote home industries, dont draw one against the other, but you 4 wards be united as one, sustain the store, it is your duty to lay before the sisters what they ought to do, to unite is the work of God, to divide that of Satan, and you officers will be held responsible for the influence you create for as (Webster) said there is no (Betweenity) we have trifled with the commands of God long enough, it is for us to lay the foundation so when the people arrive here from other lands they may have work to sustain themselves by. try to do that which God will approve of & the Powers of Darkness cannot Divide, now I want to hear from the Presidents, of the different Wards.

[. . .]

Sister [Henrietta P.] Lamonte, said I for my part feel well and glad of the good counsel given, if she could only carry it out [. . .]

Sister <M. [Mary] A.> West [. . .] should like to have Sister Snow with us always [. . .] [p. 28] [. . .]

Sister [Hulda M.] Ballantyne [. . .] hoped we would all carry out the counsels of Sister Snow.

Sister [Harriet C.] Brown [. . .] was thankful to Sister Richards for her influence in having Sister Snow among us.

Sister Sarah A Herrick [. . .] felt benefited and instructed in the counsel given, & if we only remember and put in practice half what Sister Snow had said we would do well [. . .] [p. 29]

Sister [Ann R.] Bickington, was happy to meet with Sister Snow and the Sisters, could say if we prayed to God he would help us, was ready to carry out the counsel given by Sister Snow, & Richards [. . .] thanked Sister Richards for Sister Snow’s presence here [. . .]

Sister Snow, said Sister Richards had worked like a tiger for the int<e>rest of Zion and if we could know how much our interests are her’s we would feel for her, My Counsel to Sister Richards is, to take hold of that store, I would’ent have that store go down for all the wealth of Babylon, for I know it was dedicated by the Priesthood, the Silk factory will be established at Brigham City, because there is not so much of Babylon there

Bro L. [Lester] J. Herrick, offered a few words in response to Sister Snow’s call, felt we had heard enough to last us until we came together again. As regards the Straw Store, felt thankful that Sister Snow had made the open declaration, let all support it, buy every hat & bonnet there, then Sister Snow would not have to come and ask us to buy [. . .] [p. 30]

Source Note

Ogden Second Ward, Weber Stake, Relief Society Minutes and Records (1867–1968), vol. 2 (1879–1880), pp. 26–30, CHL (LR 6392 14).

See also Weber Stake, Relief Society Minutes and Records (1867–1968), vol. 8 (1879–1888), pp. 3–5, CHL (LR 9970 14); and “Home Affairs,” Woman’s Exponent 7, no. 19 (1 Mar. 1879): 203.

II. From the Ogden Fourth Ward Relief Society Minutes

[. . .]

[. . .] Sister Eliza R. Snow addressed the meeting, giving much excellent advice and instruction, in regard to our duties as Latter-day Saints. Said we were engaged in a great work, and should be alive to our duties. We should not look for faults in others, but seek to purge out iniquity from ourselves, and endeavor at all times to be in possession of the spirit of the Lord, that we might [p. 19] be united in every good work, devoting our time and talents for the benefit of Zion, and try to fully realize that to divide is the work of Satan. but to unite is the work of God. Said there were so many good and important subjects upon which to talk that we had no time to speak of the failings of our brethren and sisters

We should hold each others characters sacred. and set a good example. Precept without example is of little weight. Said the R. S. [Relief Society] was calculated to be a help to the Bishops. Joseph Smith said if the sisters would care for the poor, they would do a good work. Hoped the Presidents of the four societies of Ogden, would be united and strive to see which could do the most good. Advised them to sustain the straw Store, and teach the societies the necessity of doing so. When they need counsel in regard to the Societies, they should go to Sister [Jane S.] Richards. Spoke at some length on silk culture. Said if the people would plant mulberry trees, it would not be long before they could make silk cloth, cheaper than woolen or cotton. Gave much valuable instruction to the Presidents of the Y. L. M. I. A. [Young Ladies Mutual Improvement Association] and Primary Associations, and exhorted all to be diligent, as a great reward awaited the faithful. Wished to hear from the Presidents of the different societies.

The Presidents of the four societies of Ogden. each made a few remarks, expressing their willingness to obey the counsel they had rec’d from Sister E. R. Snow. to sustain the straw Store. and do all the good in their power.

Sisters [Harriet C.] Brown & [Sarah A.] Herrick endorsed what had been said by sister Snow. [. . .]

Sister [Ann R.] Bickington. President of the R. S. of Marriott Settlement, felt that Sister Snows’ counsel if carried out, would do us good. [. . .] [p. 20] [. . .]

Sister Snow said she wished to say a little more about the Straw Store. She was anxious to see it prosper. Would not see it go down for the wealth of Babylon. It was her wish that Sister Richards should continue to superintend it as she had done. And if the sisters felt as she did, and voted for her, she trusted they would sustain her. Knew those who sustained that store, were doing that which was pleasing to the Lord. Sister Richards had labored faithfully, and felt a great interest in the society, still she would rather some one else should take charge of the store now.

She for one did not feel like releasing her, and if the sisters would do all they could to assist her she would get along all right. She would not take more time, for there were others she wished to hear from.

President [Lester J.] Herrick was pleased that Sister Snow desired sister Richards to continue in charge of the store. [. . .] Prayed the Lord to bless Sister Snow and all interested in the society.

Bishops McQuary [Robert McQuarrie] and [William] Critchlow, and Bro Richard Ballantyne [. . .] Exhorted them to treasure up the good counsel they had rec’d from sister Snow [. . .]

Sister Jane Richards said she did not feel as if she could take charge of the store longer. and was really in hopes Sister Snow would release her. She knew she had not always pleased the people, and thought they could find someone who could do better than she could. [. . .] [p. 21] [. . .] She desired always to do her duty, still she felt this a great charge, (to go on with the store.) and if the sisters voted for her, they must sustain her, for she could do nothing alone.

Sister Snow then motioned that sister Richards act as superintendent of the Straw Store, for the coming year, which motion was seconded and carried by a unanimous vote.

[. . .] [p. 22]

Source Note

Ogden Fourth Ward, Ogden Stake, Relief Society Minutes and Records (1879–1973), vol. 1 (1879–1885), pp. 19–22, CHL (LR 6394 14).