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March 16, 1844 • Saturday

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Minutes of Preceedings of Se[c]ond

Meeting of the Society

Room over Brick Store March 16th 〈1844〉

10 oClock A.M

Meeting Opend with singing.

Prayer by Prest Emma Smith.

Mrs Prest— the〈n〉 arose and adress’d the Meeting upon the Nec[e]ssity of being united amoung ourselves and Strenthing [strengthening] each others hands in ordor that we may be able to do much good amoung the poor— [blank] again read the Epistle in Defence of the virtues Female part of the community of Nauvoo1 exhorted them to cleanse thier hearts and Ears and said the time had come when we must through throw the Mantle of Charity round to shield those who will repent and do so no more Spoke of J. C. Bennets [John C. Bennett’s] Spiritual Wife system, theat some taught it as the Doctrene of B Joseph—2 She advised all to abide the Book of Mormon— Dr Coven’ts [Doctrine and Covenants] &c3 then read that Epistle of Presedent J. Smiths; rewritten in this Book of Record—4 Meeting then closed to reopen— 12 OClock—

One OClock Meeting calld to order Pres Emma Smith again adressed. the Society Read Boath the former Epistles;— Desired none shluld [should] lift their hand or voice; to adopt the princples unless they where willing to maintain their integrity through time & Eternity Said thease contain the princples, the Society started upon; but was sorry to have to say [p. [125]] all had adhe

all had not adhere’d to them—

again exhorted— to follow the teachings of Presedet J Smith— from the Stand— said their could not not be stronnger Language used than that just read— and that was these are 〈the〉 words of B. Joseph her Husband— &c Said she wanted to see a reformation in boath men & woman— also exhorted— to look affter the poor— also to examin the conduct of their Leaders of this Society— that you may sit in judgement on their heads— and said if thier ever was any authourity on the Earth she had it— and had yet— Prest. E. S. closed her remarks by say[i]ng she should like to have all the Society present to geather— she said it was her intention to present the Officers of the Society for fellowship— when a place can be obtaind that all can be present— [blank] Meeting ajou [adjourned] until a suitable place can be obtaind—

H. [Hannah] M. Ells


the followig names were rece’d

Sophia, M. Burgess

Hareet Hamilton

Seliana [Silence] Ward

Sarah Gabbit

Rushton Margrett [Margaret Rushton]

Mary C Allen

Eliza Odercark [Odekirk]

Jane Roadiback [Rodeback]

C Elmira Babitt [Almira Babbitt]

Ammy Chase

Adelia Bently

Sarah M Jhonson [Johnson]

Clarrisia Hught [Haight]

Chastina Hollylike [Hadlock]

Mary Grove

Maria M [Emmoliza] Green

Cathrine Harty

Lucy Merrill

Harriet Pixson

Cyantha [Cynthia] Osborn

Mary Robins

Maryann Greenhouch

Orpha Davies

[p. [126]]

Diana Cole

Mary A. Rilands [Roylance]

Mary Cole

Eliza Booth

Rosana Marks

Sarah Sheffild

Adelia Cole

Ann Pine

Charlott Portor [Potter]

Mary A Yearsly

Mary Oldige [Aldridge]

Ann Miles

[blank] [Suritta] Colum

Susana Slater

Mary A Preist

Larata [Floretta] Green

Lavina Willson [Lovina Wilson]

Mary Parker

Martha L More

Mary A Powers

Elisebeth Kelting

Emely Davis

Ellen Hartly

Mary Rus[s]ell

Alice Willding

E♢mira Prentic [Almira Prentiss]

Elisebeth White

Caroline Parsons

Sarah M Noris

Maria M Green

Mary Travis

Cidny [Sidney] Jones

[p. [127]]


  1. [1]Document 1.10.

  2. [2]Following Bennett’s excommunication in May 1842, Relief Society members publicly condemned his conduct and teachings. Likewise, church leaders emphatically disclaimed any connection between “spiritual wifery” and plural marriage, as Parley P. Pratt explained a year later in the Prophet. Pratt stated that Bennett’s “Spiritual Wife Doctrine” was “another name for whoredom, wicked and unlawful connection, and every kind of confusion, corruption, and abomination” and was “as foreign from the real principles of the Church as the devil is from God.” (Joseph Smith et al., “Notice,” May 11, 1842, Joseph Smith Collection, CHL; Document 1.2, entry for June 23, 1842; Parley P. Pratt, “This Number Closes the First Volume of the ‘Prophet,’” Prophet, May 24, 1845, [2]; see also Documents 1.5 and 1.6.)

  3. [3]The Book of Mormon forbids the taking of more than one wife, with one exception: “For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people.” Otherwise, “there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife.” The 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants also defines marriage as a union between one woman and one man: “We declare that we believe, that one man should have one wife; and one woman, but one husband, except in case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again.” Joseph Smith’s revelation concerning eternal and plural marriage, recorded in 1843 (Doctrine and Covenants 132 in the modern Latter-day Saint canon), was first included in the 1876 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants. (Jacob 2:27–30; “Marriage,” ca. Aug. 1835, in Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of the Latter Day Saints, comp. Joseph Smith et al. [Kirtland, OH: F. G. Williams, 1835], section 101; Revelation, July 12, 1843, in Revelations Collection, 1831–ca. 1844, 1847, 1861, ca. 1876, CHL; The Doctrine and Covenants, of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Containing the Revelations Given to Joseph Smith, Jun., the Prophet, for the Building Up of the Kingdom of God in the Last Days [Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1876], section 132.)

  4. [4]Emma Smith read “The Voice of Innocence” (the “Epistle in Defence of the virtues” mentioned earlier in the paragraph) and the March 1842 letter to Relief Society members (the “Epistle of Presedent J. Smiths” mentioned in this line) because both warned women against seducers. The latter document, addressed “To the Hon., the President of the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo” and signed by Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and other church leaders, appears following the minutes for the Relief Society meeting of September 28, 1842, but was read at the March 31, 1842, meeting of the society. (Document 1.10; Document 1.2, entry for Mar. 31, 1842, and letter copied into the minutes following the Sept. 28, 1842, entry.)