The Church Historian's Press The Church Historian's Press

1.2.12 June 9, 1842

See images of the original document at josephsmithpapers.org.


June 9, 1842 • Thursday

Minutes of the Proceedings

of the

Eleventh Meeting of the Society.

Grove, June 9th.

Prest J. Smith opened the meeting by pray’r and proceeded to address the congregation on the design of the Institution— said it is no matter how fast the Society increases if all are virtuous— that we must be as particular with regard to the character of members, as when the Society first started— that sometimes persons wish to put themselves into a Society of this kind, when they do not intend to pursue the ways of purity and righteousness, as if the Society would be a shelter to them in their iniquity.

Prest. S. said that henceforth no person shall be admitted but by presenting regular petition signed by two or three members in good standing in the Society— whoever comes in must be of good report.1

Harriet Luce and Mary Luce were receiv’d into the Society by recommend.

Objections previously made against Mahala Overton were remov’d— after which Prest Smith continued his address— said he was going to preach mercy Supposing that Jesus Christ and angels should object to us on frivolous things, what would become of us? We must be merciful and overlook small things.

Respecting the reception of Sis. Overton, Prest. Smith It grieves me that there is no fuller fellowship— if one member suffer all feel it— by union of feeling we obtain pow’r with God. Christ said he came to call sinners to repentance and save them. Christ was condemn’d by the righteous jews because he took sinners into his society— he took them 〈up〉on the principle that they [p. [61]] repented of their sins.2 It is the object of this Society to reform persons, not to take those that are corrupt, but if they repent we are bound to take them and by kindness sanctify and cleanse from all unrighteousness, by our influence in watching over them— nothing will have such influence over people, as the fear of being disfellowship’d by so goodly a Society as this. Then take Sis. O. as Jesus received sinners into his bosom.

Sis. O. In the name of the Lord I now make you free, and from this hour if any thing should be found against you

Nothing is so much calculated to lead people to forsake sin as to take them by the hand and watch over them with tenderness. When persons manifest the least kindness and love to me, O what pow’r it has over my mind, while the opposite course has a tendency to harrow up all the harsh feelings and depress the human mind.

It is one evidence that men are unacquainted with the principle of godliness, to behold the contraction of feeling and lack of charity. The pow’r and glory of Godliness is spread out on a broad principle to throw out the mantle of charity. God does not look on sin with allowance, but when men have sin’d there must be allowance made for them.3

All the religious world is boasting of righteousness— tis the doctrine of the devil to retard the human mind and retard our progress, by filling us with selfrighteousness— The nearer we get to our heavenly Father, the more are we dispos’d to look with compassion on perishing souls— to take them upon our shoulders and cast their sins behind our back. [blank] I am going to talk to all this Society— if you would have God have mercy on you, have mercy on one another.4

Prest. S. then refer’d them to the conduct of the Savior when he was taken and crucified &c.5

He then made a promise in the name of the [p. [62]] Lord saying, that soul that has righteousness enough to ask God in the secret place for life, every day of their lives shall live to three score years & ten— We must walk uprightly all day long— How glorious are the principles of righteousness! We are full of selfishness— the devil flatters us that we are very righteous, while we are feeding on the faults of others— We can only live by worshipping our God— all must do it for themselves— none can do it for another. How mild the Savior dealt with Peter, saying “when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren”—6 at an other time he said to him “lovest thou me? “Feed my sheep”.—7 If the sisters love the Lord let them feed the sheep and not destroy them. How oft have wise men & women sought to dictate br. Joseph by saying “O if I were br. Joseph I would do this and that.” But if they were in br. Joseph’s shoes, they would find that men could not be compel’d into the kingdom of God, but must be dealt with in long suff’ring— and at last we shall save them. The way to keep all the saints together and keep the work rolling, is to wait with all long suff’ring till God shall bring such character to justice. There should be no license for sin, but mercy should go hand in hand with reproof.

Sisters of this Society, shall there be strife among you? I will not have it— you must repent and get the love of God. Away with selfrighteousness. The best measure or principle to bring the poor to repentance is to administer to their wants— the Society is not only to relieve the poor, but to save souls.

Prest. S. then said that he would give a lot of land to the Society by deeding it to the Treasurer, that the Society may build houses for the poor. He also said he would give a house— frame not finished— said that br. [p. [63]] [Reynolds] Cahoon will move it on to the aforesaid lot, and the Society can pay him by giving Orders on the Store— that it was a good plan to set those to work who are owing widows and thus make an offsett &c. &c.8

The following names were receiv’d.

Violetta Burgess

Ann Bowberry [Rowberry]

Rosanna Lyman

Mary Bowberry [Rowberry]

Sarah Fisher

Charlotte Jenkins

Elizabeth Edwards

Zilpha Jacobs

Mary Moore

Charity Bickmore

Sabra Prior

Mary R. Maxton

Marina Prior

Mary Ann Stevens

Elizabeth Crafton

Betsey Foot

Flavilla L. Leavitt

Jane Jenkins

Roxana Huntsman

Wealthy Pratt

Lucinda E. Cole

Agnes Moss

Persis Stiles

Mary Moss

Sarah W. Gibbs

Sarah Zundal

Sophia C♢♢t♢ Catharine Pope

Mary Ann Greenwell

Phebe Rannals [Reynolds]

Mary Ann Green

Rhoda A. Fulmer

Margaret Smoot

Martisha Smith

Sarah Bullard

Nancy Houghton

Elizabeth Mittwell [Withnell]

Mary I. Horne

Harriet Little

Catharine Nicolson

Lucy Seel[e]y

Eliza Canfield

Elizabeth Lemon

Anna Demill

Lydia Hadlock

Elizabeth Maudsley9

Martha J. Powers

Nancy Henderson

Maria Clark

Margaret Avery

Nancy Simpson

Elizabeth Avery Gates

Elizabeth Browett

Lydia Badger

Margaret Stow

Mary J. Melks

Maria Hodson

Betsey Bidwell

Ann Slater

[p. [64]]

Lydia Edwards

Mary H. Hoyg

Eleanor Edwards

Mary Winterbotton

Phebe McNall

Mary Ann Allen

Araminta Vorth [North]

Eda Sweat

Eunice Cone

Mary Henderson

Sarah Rawlins

Naomi C. Price

Julia Owens

Mary Wilson

Nancy Stewart

Amanda Wilson

Agnes Wilson

Elizabeth Scott

Philinda Stanley

Lydia M. Luce

Elizabeth Hendricks

Esther Wood

Mahala Dudley

Sarah Meeks

Mary Ann Maxton

Susanna Adams

Catharina Wilson

Mary Thompson

Nancy Karr [Kerr]

Elizabeth Wilson

Tirzah Chase

Emily Wilson

Eliza Chase

Mary Wilson

Nancy Chase

Margaret Wilkinson

Diana Chase

[Nancy] Ann Smithies

Sarah Buthrick [Bathrick]

Sarah A. Murply [Murphy]

Polly Leach

Mary Owins

Diana Camp

Chara Owens [Owen]

Elizabeth Merrills

Mary Mitchell

Abigail Bradley

Abigail Burbank

Mary Hustin [Houston]

Susanna Wakefield

Lydia F. [Ann] Gibbs

Huldah Judd

Candace Evans

Susanna C. Boyce

Jane Judd

Elizabeth C. Allen

Mary Ives

Nancy M. Murphy

Mary Jane Morris

Talitha C. Garlick

Mahala Morris

Sarah K. Taylor

Mary Blake

Catharine Minnerly

Lodemia Barnet

Catharine Mulliner

Elizabeth Helm

Margaret Myers

[p. [65]]

Mary McIlwrick

Martha H. [Kelley] Wilson

Clarissa Smith

Sarah I. [Jane] Weeks

Mary Smith

Margaret Willis

Caroline Smith

Lavina Boren

Louisa Camfield [Canfield]

Alice El[l]ison

Charity Shepherd

Hannah A. Che[e]sebrough

Lucinda Kinyun

Alice Martin

Jane Jones

Eliza Jenkins

Mary Carter

Mary Richardson

Mary Tytle10 [Lytle]

Ann Vowles

Mary Owen

Mary Davis

Mrs. Gay

Ruth Stoddard

Mrs. [Sarah] Winter

Malinda Chipman

Sarah Marsden

Charlotte Chase

Ann Delany

Esther Gleason

Mrs. Worthington

Ann E. Hoskinson

Mary Stilly

Abigail Woolsey

Mrs. Williams

Polly Woolsey

Mrs. Richards

Elmira Meacham

Jane Gandolf

Polly Meacham [Mecham]

Jane Roberts

Mary Jane Butterfield

Mary Evans

Betey A. [Elizabeth Ann] Burkett

Susan Wallace

Sarah J. Burkett

Margaret Butterfield

Catharine Skinner

Harriet Roberts

Eleanor Taylor

Elizabeth Frampton

Mary Burkett

Sarah Cox

Jane Burkett

Margaret Empey

Mary Ann Bracken

Jane A. Foot

Elsey Ann Curtiss [Curtis]

Mary Allred

Lydia M. Luce

Nancy W. Allred

Hannah M. Swasey

Orissa A. Allred

Louis Judd

Sarah L. Taylor

Charity Sharp

Mary C. Egbert

Mavy [Mary] Roles

[p. [66]]

Eliza Ann Dusette

Abigail D. Hovey

Abi Salina Burk

Sarah Rockwell

Jane Tidwell

Sarah Remington

Susan Strong

Katharine [Catherine] Walker

Mary Mayberry

Cyntha Yeamans

Sophia Anderson

Deborah Leithead

Sarah H. Head [Sarah Head Bracken]

Eliza J. Wilber

Mary Head

Mary Wall

Elizabeth Wilson

The following donations were then receiv’d, to wit—

$

Lucinda E. Cole

..

50

Mrs. Chase

..

75

Elizabeth Romley [Romney]

..

75

Mary Rollins

1,

00

Roxana Repsher

2,

25

Mrs. Curtis

1,

.50

Maria C. Perry

..

50

Maria Scholes

1,

87

Cyrena Merrills [Merrill]

..

31

Albina Merrills [Merrill]

..

25

Rhoda Bentley

..

50

Lodemia Barnet

..

25

Mary Ann Peck

..

25

Mary Greenwell

..

25

Amanda Rogers

1,

00

Diantha Billings

..

25

Sophronia Drake

..

37

Hannah Smith

..

50

Sarah Head

..

75

Loisa Pratt

..

50

Hannah Pierce

1,

00

Mary Woolley

..

50

[p. [67]]

$

Elmira Miller

1,

25

Unknown—

..

25

do [ditto]

..

50

Philena Stanley

1,

50

Jemima Newcomb

4,

00

Julius Guinand

2.

00

Mrs. [Mary] Felshaw

1,

00

Hannah Ells

1,

00

Mary Smith

1,

87

Ann Bosley

1,

50

Footnotes

  1. [1]The question of vetting potential members had arisen earlier. Eliza R. Snow later wrote, “The Society soon became so popular that even those of doubtful character in several instances applied for admission, and to prevent imposition by extending membership to such ones inadvertently, stricter rules were adopted than seemed requisite at first. Each one wishing to join the Society was required to present a certificate of her good moral character, signed by two or more responsible persons.” (Document 1.2, entry for Mar. 31, 1842; Eliza R. Snow, “The Female Relief Society,” Woman’s Exponent, June 15, 1872, 1:9; for an example of an application for membership, see Document 1.9.)

  2. [2]See Mark 2:16–17.

  3. [3]See Alma 45:16; and Doctrine and Covenants 1:31.

  4. [4]See Matthew 6:14; and Doctrine and Covenants 82:1.

  5. [5]See Luke 23:34.

  6. [6]Luke 22:32.

  7. [7]John 21:15–17.

  8. [8]Eliza R. Snow later recalled that plans to build “comfortable houses for homes for the homeless, sick and destitute” and to furnish labor “adapted to the strength and capacities of such as were able to work” were abandoned. “The sudden death of the Prophet, and subsequent expulsion from Nauvoo, blasted all these fond anticipations,” she wrote. (Document 3.6.)

  9. [9]text: Possibly “Mandsley”.

  10. [10]text: Possibly “Teytle”.