The Church Historian's Press

15 July 1879

Saint Charles Relief Society; Saint Charles, Idaho Territory

[. . .]

Prest. Annie [B.] Laker arose & said she was pleased to introduce to the congregation Sister Eliza R. Snow, Sister M. I [Mary Isabella] Horne, Sister [Sarah M.] Kimball, & sister Haywood [Serepta M. Heywood] from Salt Lake City who had come up to visit & instruct us in regard to our different duties and responsibilities hoped the sisters would pay strict attention & give them their faith & prayers.

Sister Eliza R. Snow said. Brethren & sisters I am very much pleased to meet with you, also to <for> see so many of the brethren present we all have our work to perform, the sisters have a ‘great work to perform’ the brethren cannot do it, for us, we must do our own work. It is woman that gives character to the world. It has been wisely remarked by some show me the woman of a nation and I will tell you what kind of a nation it is. Exhorted the sisters to be united, said everything that pertains to Zion should be of a united order. It is time we all awake to a sense of our duty & come to meeting. We are always pleased when the brethren honor us with their presence. Our interests are all one these Societies should be of just as much interest to the brethren as to the members of the Relief Societies, for they were organized to help the Bishop as well as to elevate and enable woman. The Prophet Joseph Smith said one reason for these organizations, was to save souls, so you see there is a work of salvation. A great many times the sisters feel like their labors were not appreciated; let me say to you sisters; do not harbor any such feelings, for do you not know that all your good works are recorded? we all will recieve credit for the good we do. I would be glad if I could so that I would have no regrets. We should all seek to overcome evil and we will find that we have sufficient work to employ all our time without troubling about the faults of our neighbors; when we can assist in doing good in a kind way we should always do so! There is one subject I wish to speak to my brethren & sisters about it is not polygamy, because that includes a plurality of husbands [p. 277] as well as wives, but it is plural marriage now we do not want a plurality of husbands, but we do believe in a plurality of wives. if there is any here that does not believe in it I would say to you go home and read that revelation that was given on that subject. I knew but little what it was going to effect when it was first started; no matter what law Congress may enact they cannot stop it for it is from God. any woman that lives plural marriage, with a desire to do right & live her religion is the most noble thing on earth, but in order to do this we must draw near to the Lord that we may overcome our selfishness. No woman can speak against this principle and retain the Spirit of God.1 When I was in Athens Greece, I was invited to a ministers house & they were very anxious to inquire about Mormonism; the ministers wife said her father printed the first Book of Mormon when she was a little girl in the State of New York and she had heard but very little about it since. About two years ago the same family passed through Salt Lake City, and I had the pleasure of meeting them again; the lady was still very anxious to learn more about mormonism said there was one thing she did not like & that was plural marriage; asked if the men were commanded to take more wives, I answered certainty they were; she said was Joseph Smith commanded to take more wives. I told her that he was and also that an angel appeared to him with a drawn sword and told him if he did not practise that principle his priesthood should be taken from him. I then explained the great work in which we are engaged and told her we were so absorbed in this work & living our religion that we did not have time to fret over the small trials in this life. Now sisters do we appreciate the gifts God blesses us with I consider our covenants bind us entirely to Him. There is none of you sisters but what have a duty to perform in your Association; come out tomeeting [to meeting] & partake of the bread of life, and who needs so much as the mother who is raising a family; so that they may be enabled to give them such instructions as they need. Some women think they can be a good Latter-day Saint & not go to their meetings but I know that I cannot I do not think they can. She also spoke on the subject of storing grain & home industry give some excellent instructions to the young ladies in regard to choosing their husband; exhorted them to use their influence to elevate the minds of the young men that they may become worthy husbands for the daughters of Zion and fit temples for the Holy Ghost to dwell in; gave some very good instructions [p. 278] for the benefit of the Primary Association. Asked God to bless all who were striving to do right, In the Name of Jesus Amen.

[. . .] [p. 279]

Source Note

Saint Charles Ward, Bear Lake Stake, Relief Society Minutes and Records (1868–1967), vol. 1 (1868–1880), pp. 277–279, CHL (LR 7742 14).

See also “Home Affairs,” Woman’s Exponent 8, no. 5 (1 Aug. 1879): 36; “Home Affairs,” Woman’s Exponent 8, no. 8 (15 Sept. 1879): 61; and “Women Workers,” Deseret Evening News 28, no. 27 (6 Aug. 1879): 425.

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15 July 1879, Saint Charles Relief Society; Saint Charles, Idaho Territory, The Discourses of Eliza R. Snow, accessed June 25, 2024