[Editorial Note: This discourse was reported in several sources. Two versions are transcribed below. For more information, see the source note following each transcript.]
[. . .]
Sister [Margaret F.] Morrison introduzed Sister E. R. Snow
to <and> Sist [Emmeline B.] Wells to the Conregation and fellt glad beyond expresen [expression] to <do> so, hoped that good order will be observed, that all will have a good time
[. . .] [p. 54]
Sister Wells said E R Snow has published a little Songbook in porpose [purpose] for our primary organisation, it is such a good book, mostly of her own poems, urged the Mothers and Childern to get them for our primary.
Sister Snow said it is almost odinery [ordinary] to me to adress a conrgation [congregation] of Latterday Womens, fellt very glad indead [indeed] to see some of the Brethern to
meat <meet> with us, said she alwise [always] liked to be instruxted from them.
Said not any of us can say, that the[y] obey the gospel she did not konw [know] but hoped that she will be able to obey it in world to come, we all have to say, we have not done as much as we whiched [wished] to have done, we must realize that we are missionarys in this world, and we are called to help our Brethern, and so was the R. Soceity [Relief Society] org[a]nized of Joseph Smith the Prophet, said when ever a Church of Jesus Christ where organized the Womens where organizd also, god in his wisdom has given us the great priveligum [privilege] of organisation from the oldest down to the Child in the Mothers arm.
Said all the trials
and of perscutions has not been so dangerous as it is the spirit of the <our> days, where all the evil influenz unity to wicken [weaken] us in our faith.
Mothers dont think your work at home mor[e] importend [important] then to send your Childern to each organization the belong
in to, it is only the Mothers, that has to incourage and sustain those organsation, in teaching their Childern in love and good will, and you will be astoneched [astonished] the improvement of your Childern in doing so, the Spirit of the day time is coming among us, and it needs all the energy of the Mothers to raise your Childern to be good, then have them to grow up, and be Invidels [infidels].
Said J. Smith when he first organized the R Soceity said there dutys devolves not only in feeding the poor but in administring to the sick and aflicted, and not only si[c]k in there body but the nouriching of the souls where far more important.
The dutys of a Teacher is far more important [p. 55] then to go round and ask somthing
to ask for the poor do not ask for anything, let the spirit move your Sisters do give it do you. Said the duty of a Teacher is, if she is called upon to do anything, to go and do it, she should sur[e]ly have so much of the spirit of the Lord, as she enters a House to Know wath [what?] spirit she meets in there, and if you feel you have not that spirit, go to your se◊◊t and I plead before god and the holy G[h]ost to get it, so that you will be able to meet that Spirit that prevails in that House your visiting, and you may feel to talk words of peace and comfort and if you find a Sister feeling cold, take her to your bosom <heart> as you would a Child to your bosom and warm it up
Said our Organsations have to improve us, and if we seek the Spirit of the Lord, our Mision will work one until we will be prepared to come bak to the presents [presence] of our Vather [Father] in Heaven.
Said somthing importet [important] that Sister Wells spoke about it is selestial mariage, it is given to us to improve our life in self denial to become fit to ◊oing
of our ancient Provehts [prophets] as well as them in the Latter days, J Smith had a heart of love that could love in all eteranty [eternity], and she was not <scar[e]d> afraid when he would love anothe others that he would not love her anymore, she knowed that his heart was large enough to love them all, in [and?] if here [her] heart was not taken to the one he lvoed [loved] she would dry [try] to love her for his seek [sake], knowing <that> she must have good quality’s ore [or] he would not love here, said she could not be so [1 illegible word] <selfish> to keep such a noble Man to herself and have others to share of his kind and loving heart.
Incouriged [Encouraged] Silk cultur and homemanufactury [home manufacture] said Silk raising should be more importent to us, we could if we make a succses of it<, we could> weare [wear] the silk a ceap [as cheap] as we can Wool or Cotton.
Said Mothers if you want
to your Childern to become us[e]ful noble and wise Sons and Daughters [p. 56] learn them to be good housekeepers, learn them to cook and learn them to keep everything in its place, said we want our Childern to become great and wise, and be usful when the have to take our place.
urged the Sisters to atend to there Meetings said you will make more in coming to meeting, then to stay at home and run from one end to another, and impart to your families to good you have learned, in Kindnes love and good will, learn day by day a little more and a little more and lay of every day a little more of your imperfection intil we will come to perfection.
[. . .] [p. 57]
[. . .] Sister [Margaret F.] Morrison then introduced Sisters E. R. Snow Smith and E. [Emmeline] B. Wells to the congregation and said she felt glad beyond expression to have that privilege, and hoped that good order would be observed so that all would be benefitted by the rich instructions she felt would be given.
Sister Wells [. . .] [p. 70] [. . .] Said, Sister E. R. Snow has published a Hymn Book expressly for the Primary Organizations, it is a neat little work mostly of her own poems, and urged the mothers to procure these books for their children.
Sister E. R. Snow then addressed the congregation: Said she thought it no ordinary position for her to arise to address an assembly of Latter-day Saint women—was always happy to meet with her sisters, and felt truly thankful to see some of the brethren present. Although she did not propose or presume to edify the brethren she knew it to be very encouraging to the sisters when the brethren manifested an interest in our labors by occasionally attending our meetings. When they are present, instead of feeling greater timidity, she felt more safety in speaking, trusting that if she said anything wrong, those holding the priesthood would correct her, which she would thankfully receive.
Not one of us can truthfully say, “I have obeyed the Gospel.” When we were baptized, we commenced obedience, but to obey the Gospel of Jesus Christ, requires the diligent work of our mortal lives, with the heart, mind and strength, wholly devoted to the interest of Zion. I realize, that if I obey the Gospel it will require all my powers and faculties devoted to the work of God while I live in the flesh, and how much will be required beyond the veil, is not for me to say.
We should all realize that we are here on missions, and, in order to fill these missions, it is necessary that we so live as to keep the spirit of God constantly in our hearts, and that will direct us step by step, until we shall have accomplished the work assigned us.
Sister Eliza said, the Prophet Joseph Smith instructed the sisters, whom he organized into a Society, that wherever the Church of Jesus Christ had been fully organized, the sisters were also organized. Reference is made to this subject, in the New Testament, but we did not comprehend it until God revealed it through his prophet. God in his wisdom, has given us the great privilege of organizations from the oldest member down, almost to the child in the mother’s arms. Said, none of the trials and persecutions we have passed through have been as dangerous, as is the spirit of the times in which we now live.
Mothers do you realize the importance of the early training of your children? What can be of so much consequence to parents than that their children shall be so cultivated as to grow up to be men and women of God? The Primary organizations are designed to assist the mothers in their most responsible duties in this direction, and mothers should not think their work at home more important, than sending their children to the Primary meetings. It is necessary that you, mothers, cooperate with those who are spending their time and devoting their energies in the cultivation of the rising generation. Encourage them by occasionally attending their meetings, and you will be astonished at the progress and improvemeet [improvement] of your little ones. The “civilization” of the world, which is a spirit of corruption is creeping in among us, and it will require all the protection that can be imparted by filling their minds with good, so there will be no place for evil—not only should the children understand the principles of the Gospel, but they must have its spirit in their hearts.
She again spoke of the Relief Society: said, when Joseph Smith first organized it, he said our “duties were not only to look after the poor, but to save souls.” Said, she considered the position of Teacher a highly responsible one, and its duties very important. Some ignorant persons seem to consider it a begging calling, but they are not expected to ask for donations unless they are specially sent to collect means for some special purpose—it is generally understood that the poor are sustained by donations, that if the sisters have anything to impart, they give without being asked, and although assisting the poor, and administering to the sick are the first duties, they are not the most important. To properly fulfill her duties, a Teacher needs the Holy Ghost, that when she enters a home, she may know what spirit prevails there; and then she needs the wisdom of God, that she may benefit those she meets: Are any sorrowful, that she may administer comfort, or if they have “lost their first love” and become indifferent to their eternal interest, take them by the hand and by imparting the kind and sweet influence of her own bosom, lead them back,
Our organizations are designed for our cultivation—to help us on in the road to perfection, they also place us in positions to be great helps to the Priesthood.
Sister Eliza said that Sister Wells had mentioned a very important subject. Celestial Marriage, which, instead of debasing is elevating to woman. Whatever purifies, is ennobling, and to live plural marriage as we should we have to enlarge our hearts—overcome the inherited narrow contractedness of our nature—subdue our selfishness and become more Godlike. She bore a strong testimony to the fact that God had revealed it and required its practice.
She exhorted the mothers to watch over their daughters, and be watchful to protect their purity. Said, if you want your daughters to become noble and useful in their sphere, in the first place, like Queen Victoria, teach them to become good and efficient housekeepers, with “a place for everything, and everything in its place.” Unless they know how to cook, when they employ help, their servants will be sure to take advantage of their ignorance.
She spoke encouragingly of silk culture, and urged the people to promote it, and be in earnest in forwarding Home Manufactures of all kinds, that we might become a self-sustaining people. Exhorted the sisters to attend their meetings, said, you will make more in doing so, than you will in staying at home. Yet I never counsel mothers to leave their children unprotected for any meeting. Your children should be your first care—bring them with you, and they cultivate early the habit, and they will be punctual attendants when they grow up. In attending meetings, if we are humble and prayerful, we are sure to get refreshings from above, the influence of which is carried to our homes, home is made happier. Let no one grow weary in well doing, but let us all be learning day by day; little by little, overcoming our own weaknesses, and short-comings until we attain to perfection.
[. . .] [p. 71]