27 October 1880

Lehi Relief Society and Young Ladies; Lehi Tabernacle, Lehi, Utah Territory

A home-like structure surrounded by picket fence and large trees.

First Ward Meetinghouse, built 1855. This would have served as the Tabernacle for this stake, as no other buildings existed in the area at this point in time. (Courtesy Church History Library, Jay Burrup Postcard Collection, circa 1898–2000.)

Present of the presidency from S. L. [Salt Lake] City Sisters E. R Snow and Zina [D. H.] Young [. . .] [p. 166]

[. . .] [pp. 167–169] [. . .]

Sister E. R. Snow said she presumed everyone present professed to be Latter-day Saints; but as Sister [Margaret T.] Smoot remarked it was not in preaching or practising one or two principles, but by all that we would gain the approbation of God. Did we realize that God had told us how we could attain to a fulness of Celestial Glory? If we attained to this we would have to live strictly according to his plans. Prest. Joseph Smith organized the Relief Society by revelation and after the pattern of the priesthood. Was afraid we did not appreciate this, or many would be more alive to their duties. Woman was not only created as a help-meet for man, but to be one with him in the priesthood. Often thought of the words “How few there are who will gain the highest glory.” She for one would not be satisfied with anything less than the C[e]lestial glory, which would unite husbands to wives, children to parents, and so on through all eternity. There were many young sisters present, and she wished to speak to them. Asked what kind of a record they were making; were they living only for the things of the flesh—to eat, drink and dress. Hoped not. Said, we want them to be joint heirs with Jesus Christ; would they accomplish this purpose? By our works we would be judged; not by long prayers, but by our acts. Advised the young sisters to attend their [p. 170] meetings, to arise and speak and let the sentiments of their hearts be heard; for if they did not attend to the spiritual part of their existence, they would regret it at some future time. If we posessed any personal ability, we did not posess it for our own personal benefit, but for the benefit and building up of the kingdom of God. Spoke of plural marriage, saying there were some who said Joseph Smith did not introduce that principle, this was false.1 He did introduce it, not for his own personal gratification or benefit; but because he was commanded of the Lord to do it. If we want to know if God lives, we must get a knowledge for ourselves. Every one can have a testamony and revlation if they will live for it. We fear because we do not have faith. Hoped there was not one present who would speak against this principle. Recommended every one to read the revalation on Celestial Marriage, and see what the Lord says about it. Hoped the sisters all realized in a measure that we were all placed upon the earth to perform a great mission. Hoped the sisters would never allow a spirit of selfishness to posess them, for their hearts should expand and become wider and wider. There were not as many good men on the earth, as good women. If a good woman gets a mean husband it will not lower her in as much as she does right. Those women who were too narrow & contracted to allow another woman to have their husbands, can never expect to reign an [as] Goddesses in the Celestial Kingdom.2 Spoke of the Prophet Joseph—saying that he had heart enough to love more women than one. She was never afraid for him [p. 171] to get more wives, for he loved his wives, and loved to associate with them. Exhorted the young sisters for the sake of getting a husband to themselves, not to marry a man out of the church. Asked where those sisters were who had married out of the church—they were not wives, unless they came to the altar of God they were not married. For her part would rather have a husband that had twenty wives and was a man of God, than marry out of the church, for you would know your husband would come out all right. If a man apostatized and his wife held on to the Gospel she was free and all would be well with her. How much depended on the marriage of the young sisters—whether they got husbands who were men of God. Asked them not to depreciate themselves by turning away from the Gospel for man, for nothing but obedience to the Gospel of Jesus Christ could save them, and it would require all the energies of our souls to obtain all the blessings in store; we would have to live faithfully and observed every principle God had revealed. Hoped the young sisters attended their meetings, read good books, and were preparing for great usefulness in time to come, for they required much culture to enable them to become mothers capable of rearing children, they needed the spirit of God constantly. When a woman is filled with the spirit of God she feels light and happy. In order to enjoy this spirit, we must keep our hearts and affections continually fixed on God, and not let our affections run after transitory things. The young sisters and especially young mothers should meet together, for those who did not attend meeting did not posess the spirit of God, which was calculated to unite us and make us love one another. Often thought what we would have been [p. 172] had it not been for these organizations. Hoped the young ladies would not bind themselves with resolutions and break them. Every society should be governed by revelation Spoke of the time the ladies wished to have an organization in Nauvoo. Joseph Smith said when the church of God was fully organized on the earth these organizations for woman should be organized. <He> Did not wish them to bind themselves by resolutions or anything written, but be free to be guided by the spirit of God, and not by a constitution or bylaws. There were many things that concerned me; our duties were multiplied year by year. Let every sister who was trying to be a saint come forward and show herself among the sisters. The more we joined hands, hearts and voices the more would we become united, and the more would we go on to perfection and finally stand in the presence of our heavenly father as fathers and mothers [mother] and our brother Jesus Christ. We want to live constantly in the ways of right, our first duty was at home, but every woman could contrive to leave long enough to attend meetings, and have her spirit refreshed. It was only living day by day and hour by hour that we were saved. If we wish to attend meeting we must ask God to enable us to do so, when we want any one thing we must ask God for it. unless we are alive to our duties we do not live, we only exist, in order to live we must be up and doing. Was pleased with the reports. Said this was the temporal report, the spiritual reports were on record in heaven. Spoke of the wicked men who were among us, called them [p. 173] “Sharks,” many of these men in S. L. City would go to the immigrants as soon as they came seeking to discourage them by telling untrue stories about the Mormons. In order to prevent this committees had been organized to go to the immigrants, telling them the truth, before the “Sharks” had the opportunity to mislead them. Spoke of the Hymn books for the children, said the music books to accompany them was almost ready.

[. . .] [p. 174]

[. . .]

Sister Snow spoke in tongues, blessing the sisters and exhorting them to be faithful to their religion. Sister Z. Young interpreted.

[. . .] [p. 175]

Source Note

Lehi Ward, Alpine Stake, Young Women’s Mutual Improvement Association Minutes and Records (1875–1903), vol. 1 (1875–1887), pp. 166–175, CHL (LR 4817 17).

See also Lehi Ward, Alpine Stake, Relief Society Minutes and Records (1868–1892), vol. 2 (1878–1882), pp. 184–192, CHL (LR 4817 14); and “Home Affairs,” Woman’s Exponent 9, no. 11 (1 Nov. 1880): 84.

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27 October 1880, Lehi Relief Society and Young Ladies; Lehi Tabernacle, Lehi, Utah Territory, The Discourses of Eliza R. Snow, accessed May 27, 2024 https://www.churchhistorianspress.org/eliza-r-snow/1880s/1880/10/1880-10-27