The Church Historian's Press

22 May 1879

Salina Relief Society; Salina Schoolhouse, Salina, Utah Territory

[. . .] Present. Miss Eliza. R. Snow & Sister M. I. [Mary Isabella] Horne from Salt Lake City. [. . .] Sister E. R. Snow addressed the Meeting, saying she was glad to meet with the sister’s here. did not expect to meet with any one she knew, but had met with some she had been acquainted with before. she hoped all the sisters were living their religion, for there was a great difference between living the life of Saints, and professing to be Saints

The Prophet Joseph Smith said he had organized the Relief Societies in his day, according to the Order of the Church, and said it was designed to become one of the most useful societies in existense.

We find from the New Testament that there were sisters who were helpers, and elect ladies, but we do not know what they were elected too. You will probably be organized in a Stake Capacity this conference, if you do, you will require representation there. We used to think, we had enough to do at home, but our sphere widens, as the Societies keep pace with the onward progress of the Church. A good woman will help her husband to fill every duty devolving upon him, and will endeavour to remove all obstacles that may be in his way as far as possible. to enable him to fill every obligation resting upon him. such a woman will attend her meetings, and do all she can in her own sphere. Some may think that it is a small matter to get up and speak in meeting to each other, this is not so, it is a great blessing, we strengthen each other by so doing [p. 122] and we all know, that when a young Sister gets up, and attempts to speak in a meeting, that the spirit of God prompts, and the adversary knowing this, try’s to smother the spirit within them. A daughter of Sister Young’s was called upon to speak at a Mutual Impt [Improvement] Meeting, and got up and trembled all over and sat down. the next meeting she determined to speak and did so, saying a few words, she continued and overcame this weakness and can now bear a strong and faithful testimony to the work of God. And now my dear Sisters, I want you to live, so as to become Queens & Priesteses to God. and improve yourselve’s, and when you go to your meetings get up and speak, and do your duty in this respect. it is a priviledge and God will bless you. &c. This society has a work, and a mission to perform, I presume you are doing the best you can most of you. I look around me and see too much Babylonish head dresses, I dont want any Babylonish hat on my head. I feel too much respect for my brains, I feel free’er to use my brains when I have a home made hat on my head. as regards Sun-bonnets I will tell you, I have one at home, but have not worn it for two years. because I dont like them. and you have to import the Material, even if you make them yourselves.

If we had kept the counsel given 30 Years ago, we might have been wearing silk now, and cheaper than we wear calico. I understand there are a few Mulberry trees here, there ought to be thousands, every little boy and girl should be making silk when they are not at School. In most places the Y. Ms &Y. L.s Assns. [Young Men and Young Ladies Associations] Join together and set out Mulberry trees. If you get some trees and set them out, and they kill down with frost. plant out some more, and if you have faith, they wont winter kill [p. 123] last year there was more trees set out than ever before. and this year there has been still more set out. We have Machinery imported that will make all the Silk, that the Territory can raise for years to come. Now in regard to Storing grain, it is our duty, and God has commanded it; it is quite a trouble to take care of it, but nevertheless we must do it, and we have also another Matter to lay before you. and Presdt John Taylor has requested it, that is, to endeavour to raise means to build a Hospital, – a Church Hospital. The outsider’s have two—is’nt it a shame!. We want to find out what every ward would do. Shares are Ten Dollars each, when the brethren want to do any thing, they want a capital to commence with, we sisters dont, we commence with comparitively nothing. fifty-cents, or a few eggs &c. &c. Now Sisters take the subject into consideration, and see what you can do for this hospital, it is the counsel of John Taylor and I have visited a good many settlements North and have laid this matter before them. and what you gather for this purpose, report the same to your Stake Presdt. for you will have one.

That we may all be faithful and so live, and enjoy the comforter, and overcome every evill with good, is my prayer in the Name of Jesus—Amen.

Sister Horne being called upon made the following remark’s. [. . .] Sisr. Snow has been telling you what was required of us, and it is all to be accomplished by labour. its a labour to perform any thing in the Kingdom of God. and to [. . .] [p. 124] build up the waste places of Zion. [. . .]

[. . .] and there is no better way to receive the Holy Ghost, than by speaking to each other in our meetings, as Sistr Snow had exhorted the Young Ladies. [. . .]

[. . .] and as sistr Snow spoke upon Silk Culture. we might as well be clothed with silk, and as it takes three years to raise the tree’s. we ought to have them set out. [p. 125] [. . .]

Bp. E. [Ezra] H. Curtis said [. . .] he was well satisfied with the Relief [p. 126] Society here, they have done a good work. helped the poor, helped build the Temple [. . .]

Sistr Snow—said, she was proud of the R. S. in this place, for the good reccommend the Bp has given you. it is not all Settlements that have this recommend. I want to speak of another principle that has not been spoken of, and that was plural Marriage. she had embraced it in an early day, when she had not the least show of ever becoming recognized as a wife. She knew that no one who would speak against it, could retain the spirit of God. let us take a proper course—for we shall yet see the day, we shall be thankful for not speaking against it. it is one of the most ennobling principles we can practise. When Joseph Smith was commanded to enter into it, he hesitated for a time, and an Angel stood before him with a. drawn sword, commanding him again to establish Polygamy. He choose to keep the commandment of God and face the world rather than lose, his salvation through disobedience.1

I met a Lady at Athens in Greece, when on the Mission to Jerusalem. she was the wife of the American consul, who told me that her father printed the first book of Mormon, and was very anxious to know about the Mormons. I conversed about two hours with her. She and her husband passed through Salt Lake City since, and she was Just as anxious to learn about the Mormons as before [p. 127] she said, She did not like Polygamy, did not know what she would do, if her husband should come home and tell her, he was commanded to take another wife. she would faint &c. &c. She was a woman of a deep thinking mind. I told her how we spent our time, establishing Relief Societies, helping the poor, preaching the gospel, administering in its ordinances, and doing all the good we could. she contrasted this with her life of pleasure, and concluded she was living a useless life, she felt bad, she and her husband were then on a tour of pleasure around the world &c. &c. We Latter Day Saints live for something, and all we need fear is that we should not live as faithful as we ought to live. but death has no terrors to a true Latter Day Saint, they always have an assurance within them that they will overcome and triumph over the enemy. May God bless you, and enable you to live the lives of Saints &c &c. Amen

[. . .] [p. 128]

Source Note

Salina Branch, Sevier Stake, Relief Society Minutes and Records (1873–1911), vol. 1 (1873–1880), pp. 122–128, CHL (LR 12527 14).

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22 May 1879, Salina Relief Society; Salina Schoolhouse, Salina, Utah Territory, The Discourses of Eliza R. Snow, accessed June 16, 2024