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

2 June 1879


Pleasant Grove Young Ladies and Young Men; Pleasant Grove Meetinghouse, Pleasant Grove, Utah Territory

One-story, light stucco building with a bell turret

Now known as the Old Bell School House, this school constructed in 1861 in Pleasant Grove, Utah Territory, was also used as a ward meetinghouse. This photograph was taken in 2020 by an employee of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

[. . .]

Prest [Margaret F.] Walker then introduced to the association Sister E. R Snow of S. L. City who spoke as follows: In the early days of the Church, both young and old were expected to bear their testimony to the truth of this work.

Men were called to go on missions who could neither read nor write. They were called as Jesus called his deciples to leave their fishing nets to go and preach the Gosple. Related an anecdote of a missionary in the early history of the Church. The first time he gave out an appointment, he went into the woods to pray God to give him strength As the appointed hour approached, he felt too weak, almost, to walk, and, on arriving at the church, he was obliged to lean against the banisters of the pulpit for support; but by praying to God continually for his spirit he was enabled to speak a highly eloquent sermon, two hours long. After the people were driven to Utah their attention of was turned to the advantages of education. Schoolhouses were built, teachers employed and now we have some of the most flourishing schools and the brightest scholars the world contains. Owing to the neglect of teaching our religion, also in our schools (during the past) some of our most promising children have turned [p. 137] out infidels. It was not long before the world and worldly influences were around us. Our young men were becoming ungodly, our girls, filled with the vanity of the world. While the people were in this condition, God inspired Brigham Young to instruct the sisters to organize themselves in a Female Relief Society. After this soon followed the yound folks improvement societies. They were required to meet and praise God. He met with many who opposed, some of our young ladies not having stamina to resist outside influences, and our young men not being inclined to religious worship. The great benefit of these societies is now plainly visable. Our young men are sent on missions, our young ladies taught to rely more upon themselves. The I. A.s [Improvement Associations] are now extended to the children. “Hoped the Youth of Zion will appreciate their blessings.” The faithful among them will be shining lights in the Church. God has given you talents to make Gods and Godesses of you. (To the ladies lay hold of the true principles that you may become true wives, wise mothers. This is the noblest position that woman ever filled. <(general.)> You can attain to any thing you please. As J. Hoon [John C. Calhoun?] once aimed to be president of the United States so you must aim for something higher. Treasure up wisdom. Seek to know God. Fulfill your missions. We are sent here to prove ourselves. Do good every day. We have unbounded influence over the male sex. Keep your bodies fit temples of the Holy Ghost. May God’s spirit grow in your hearts. May you be good wise, great intellectual. That you may have noble [p. 138] positions, and prove yourselves worthy to fill them. I ask in the name of the Lord. Amen.

Bishop [John] Brown. hartily endorsed the foregoing remarks. Thought them true and timely. The position we are aiming for is eternal. Not for a few years here but for Eternity. Sister Snow is spending her whole life for the interest of the sisters. In the world people lecture, preach and teach for money. She does not want it. Her aim is higher [. . .]

Mrs Walker expressed her approval and appreciation of what we had heard. Thanked Mrs Snow for her good council and advice.

[. . .] [p. 139]

Source Note

Pleasant Grove Branch, Utah Stake, Young Women’s Mutual Improvement Association Minutes and Records (1870–1901), vol. 1 (1870–1888), pp. 137–139, CHL (LR 7006 17); Pauline E. Brown and Sarah E. Pearson, Secretaries.