[Editorial Note: This discourse was reported in several sources. Two versions are transcribed below. For more information, see the source note following each transcript.]
[. . .]
[. . .] on the stand, [. . .] Pres E. R. Snow and Mrs E. [Elizabeth A.] Howard of Salt Lake City and several Presidents of Branch Societies. [. . .]
[. . .] On nomination by Pres E. R. Snow, Mrs E. Howard was appointed Secretary pro tem. Sec. [Amelia M.] Frodsham being too ill to perform the duties of her office. [. . .]
[. . .]
Pres. <E.> R. Snow made a few remarks; had been much interested in listening to the reports; counseled the sisters to be diligent in attending to their meetings, for in so doing they would receive a blessing which they could get in no other way.
Afternoon session: [. . .] E. R. Snow said to the Presidents of branches, that they were expected to report verbally, and she wished to hear of the moral status, of society in their several places of residence. The Statistical and financial reports which had been read, did not tell of the spiritual influence exerted by the sisters, of the increase of good acts among them, nor of their feelings towards each other.
[. . .] [p. 60] [. . .]
Mrs. Pres. E R. Snow <then>addressed the Conferance, she said, it is not the talented alone, but the willing, that are most useful. What ever ability we posess is for the general interest, and in order to improve society we should improve ourselves. She considered that the Presidents, in reporting were educating themselves to do more good; it was not for their aggrandizement but to make them more useful. Jesus said “let him who would be greatest among you be the servent of all.” We work in the light of revelation, and God requires us to make use of such material as we have to get knoweledge. she counseled mothers to read good books, and to seek for wisdom and understanding. we are too apt to run in the direction of the world. We are formed of the earth, and are inclind to give the rule to the flesh instead of the spirit. we should reflect upon these subjects. and guard against extremes. she made some remarks upon the principal of Plural Marriage. the fulfillment of prophcey, and the necessity of keeping our covenants sacred.
[. . .] [p. 61]
[. . .] Bro [Lester J.] Herrick said he felt well in hearing the reports of the sisters felt they were doing a good work & endeed [indeed] were more energetic than many of the brethern said he wished we would be carful in speaking ill of one another not to tell all we heard for it caused us to lose confidence in one an other prayed the Lord to bless us all.
Sister E R Snow arose & said she did not know wether she understod Bro Herrick rightly in saying that we overstept our bounds & that we had performed labors belonging to the men she hoped that during confrence it would be better explained. [. . .]
Afternoon meeting opened [. . .]
[. . .] Sister Snow said the presidents would be called on to report verbaly it was not neccessary to report what had been read in the reports said that the more importants duties of the society are not reported one of the duties of the relief society was to was to improve morrally & spiritualy the condition of the sisters we want to know spiritualy minded the sisters are when they come together whether we are holding on to the rod of iron said the power of darkness would bind our toungs from doing good when we would devote all our faculties to each other the enemy is ready to overpower us [p. 95] it is a great thing to keep this knowledge with us.—we want continualy wakeing up, bearing our testimony to the truth It is a very difficult thing to keep these things in sight she then said we will hear from the first ward.
[. . .] [p. 96] [. . .]
Sister E R. Snow desired all to pray for her for she could not say any thing of herself but the Lord made use of weak instruments it is not the most talented but those that can be used what ever abilities we posess is not for advantage we should be willing instruments in the hands of God let us cultivate ourselves realise that the verbal report is an exersice when called upon we should respond for in doing so we benifit ourselves we want to understand our duties God requires us to learn if we do not read and store our mindes we are not capable of instructing our children we should gain inteligence if we realize the importance of our condition we would do a little different it requires a great deal of wisdom we do not stop to decide
, what is of most importance Zion has got to be built up. We should let our minds be active we should make the most of our time by directing our efforts we can benefit each other we w hant that portion of the spirit of the gospel we need it all the time with us what is the results of covanant breakers, we are all subject to temptation one duty neglected there is an opening felt thankful to be as csociated with the sisters she has a right to be proud of them those that never attend meetings itsis. God and them for it it is better to suffer wrong than do wrong the world is down on the principle of Plurality what of that. there is no principle we should hold dearer than life spoke of Daniel in the lions den said that the principle of plural mairiage is a true principle we must not speak against that principle if it was the last testimony that she should bear she could bear it in confidence for she knew it was true let us live nearer to God than we have here to fore did we fear any result not if we had confidence. Spoke of Job,s integrity he was steadfast he proved his own integrity we know God overrules all for our good. Invited the primary at two Oclock wished all the little children to take the middle seats.
Sister [Amelia M.] Frodsham felt to thank God her heavenly Father [p. 97] rejoiced in hearing Sister Snow [. . .]