13 March 1884
Weber Stake Relief Society; Ogden Tabernacle, Ogden, Utah Territory
[Editorial Note: This discourse was reported in two different sources. Both are transcribed below. For more information, see the source note following each transcript.]
I. From the Relief Society Conference Minutes
[. . .] Sister [Jane S.] Richards was pleased to see so many present notwithstanding the inclemant weather. Sisters Snow and [Zina D. H.] Young have had the courage to brave the snow; if they can we ought to. Surely we ought to be here to welcome them and listen to the good instructions which they, no doubt, will be able to impart to us. [. . .]
Sister Eliza R. Snow was very pleased at beholding the faces of the sisters. Thanked God her Heavenly Father, that we, as women of Zion, can meet together, organized by God, through the Prophet Joseph [Smith]; wondered [p. 118] that any should not live up to their duties. How can such expect to share equally with the humble, prayerful, minute women, the reward promised to the faithful? Our hearts reach out after them, praying that they may come and participate in the blessings that God bestows upon those who serve Him. He sends us the comforter, by which we comprehend the past, present, and future. We are here in this land which God reserved for His people. We are a favored few, whose hearts have been touched, but let us be very watchful over those frail natures of ours. The comforter will not dwell with envy, strife, fault finding, &c. We need to have our minds stirred up in regard to our duties. We need to exercise great wisdom in our labors among the poor. It is not always those who complain most that are the most needy. Teachers are privileged to know the circumstances of those whom they visit. If any are downcast in spirit they need comfort and consolation and it is the duty of every teacher to administer such to them. I feel to bless you and hope to be associated with you here and throughout eternity. Asked God to strengthen, bless and prolong your lives until you have accomplished all you were sent here to do.
[. . .] [p. 119] [. . .]
Sister Snow loved to look at so large a congregation. God has called; He has spoken. He that spoke to Moses and other ancient Prophets has spoken to us. This is not the beginning of life with us; we lived before. God’s purpose in this last dispensation [p. 120] is not for us to work for our salvation alone but to work for the dead also. Are we living right? Are our whole souls set upon this great work? or are we a little selfish, like a man who had worked for the Lord enough and now intended to work for himself? Are we wholly devoted to our religion, and every thing not of God purged from our hearts? We are trying to overcome little by little. Some of us have been in the church almost from the first, but are yet very imperfect. Our greatest duty is the cultivation in the young of honesty and truthfulness. Get these established in their characters. Encourage the Primary associations; mothers go with your children—see that they grow up in your <own> faith. Let us be true Latter-day-saints and awake to what is before us.
[. . .] [p. 121]
II. From the Woman’s Exponent
[. . .] President Jane S. Richards [. . .] Thought Sisters Eliza R. S. Smith and Zina Y. [D. H. Young] Smith both had great courage to travel as they did back and forth to our conferences; exhorted us to be as persevering as they were. Felt the Lord would bless them, and us to[o], for all the good we do here, be it ever so little. [. . .]
Sister Eliza R. S. Smith said she was pleased to look and behold so many of her brothers and sisters faces, it being a little over a year since she was here. Thanked God her Heavenly Father that we as women of Zion could meet together in these meetings, organized by the Lord for the good and advancement of women; think of the good they can accomplish when bound together by love and union. We are progressing step by step; we commenced with but little, but have been greatly blessed of the Lord, and are increasing in numbers and financial affairs. Spoke of the average [p. 182] attendance seeming small in comparison with the number of members; but when we take a ward into consideration there is a faithful few minute women ready to do what is required of them, doing their duty, comforting the downhearted and afflicted, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, attending to the wants of the poor, blessing them, not only temporally, but spiritually, speaking words of comfort and of the great goodness and mercy of the Lord unto us; exhorting our sisters to seek Him, the great Father of all, is also a work of the sisters, in connection with the more common affairs of our daily life. What reward can we expect hereafter if we do not earn it? Can we share equally with those who have labored diligently and faithfully? No, we cannot; we must extend the hand of love and charity to those not of us; let them get the refreshings that we get, how strengthening it would be to both body and spirit. She felt to ask Father to quicken their senses; think of the quickened five sense. The world have these five senses, they have the germ; how is it with us? Has not God given us five senses and one more? The Saints have six senses, the comforter, which takes of the things of God and shows us how to comprehend all things in a right and proper manner. We are the favored few whose hearts have been touched; let us be very watchful over these frail natures, lest we go astray; let us culivate and strengthen the six senses. The Comforter will not dwell with envy, strife, faultfinding and many other things not of God. Our first duty as a Relief Society is to look after the poor, watch over them that none may suffer in our midst; this needs wisdom, this God alone can give. Said it was also the duty of every sister teacher to administer to her sick sisters if called upon to do so; they should be prayerful and humble, and, through faith, bring down blessings from heaven. She hoped to associate with her sisters, not only here, but hereafter; hoped to live worthy of the society of the true saints of God for all time. Spoke on many other things of importance; asked God to bless and prolong oru [our] lives that we might be the means of doing all we came here to do.
[. . .] Sister Eliza R. Snow Smith said that it was not the pride of the world, wealth nor fame of the world that brought so large a congregation together, but a more noble object inspired them. God has spoken, has called us, the same God that spoke anciently; this is not the beginning of life with us, we lived before, prior to coming here. Are we here to work for ourselves alone? No; to work for the living and the dead; referred briefly to this work, building of temples, etc.
Sister Smith showed plainly and in a beautiful manner the difference between us and the world. The work of God, and the work of the evil one. Exhorted her sisters to be careful in the training of their children, teaching truthfulness; obedience and a love for only the good, the noble and beautiful here and hereafter.
[. . .] [p. 183]