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Nephi Ward Relief Society, Minutes, August–September 1870

Nephi Ward Relief Society, Minutes, Aug. 10–Sept. 1, 1870; five pages; Nephi Ward, Juab Stake, Relief Society Minutes and Records, 1868–1878, vol. 1, 1868–1878, CHL (LR 6002 14).

See images of the original document at dcms.lds.org.


Latter-day Saints began settling Nephi (originally called Salt Creek) in Juab Valley in 1851; by 1870 the community had nearly thirteen hundred residents.1 Heeding President Brigham Young’s 1867 call to organize branches of the Relief Society throughout Mormon settlements,2 Nephi Ward bishop Charles H. Bryan held a meeting of women on June 23, 1868, to organize a society and select officers. Bryan appointed Amelia Hallam Goldsbrough as president, Elizabeth Silcox Kendall and Jane Phillips Picton as counselors, Frances Jane Hodson Andrews as treasurer, and Amy Lorette Chase Bigler as secretary. By the end of the first year, the Nephi Relief Society had 144 members, with 30 teachers on the visiting committee and 3 members of a board of appraisers.3

Featured below are minutes of three meetings recorded in the Nephi Relief Society Minute Book by secretary Amy Bigler. These selected minutes—for August 10, August 24, and September 1, 1870—suggest that the Nephi women, several of whom had recently visited Salt Lake City, perceived differences between their rural society and the Relief Society units of the more prosperous Salt Lake City wards. Nephi residents had limited access to the manufactured goods available in Salt Lake City. For instance, Salt Lake City offered bakeries and clothing patterns, a situation that partly prompted the calls by Brigham Young and other leaders for Latter-day Saints to retrench and focus more on home manufacture.4 The Nephi Saints probably had less need for such reminders. As rural Saints, the women of Nephi worked from scratch: they carded, spun, and knitted their own wool; made their own clothes, dresses, and blankets; tended vegetable gardens; and baked their own bread. The detailed donation list included with the minutes of the September 1 meeting gives a glimpse into the lifestyle and economy of the community.


August 10, 1870 • Wednesday

Fifty Sixth Meeting of the Female Relief Society Nephi Social Hall5 Aug 10, 1870, 1 Oclock PM

Met according to appointment

Called to order by Sister Elizabeth Kendall

Singing And are we yet alive6

Prayer by Sister Eliza Bigler

Singing Prayer is the souls sincere desire7

Roll called minutes read and accepted

By request Sister A L Bigler related (as far as she could recollect) a conversation had by herself Sister A Goldsbrough and Sister Bathsheba W Smith who is first councellor to the Presidentess of her ward in Salt L City8

Remarks by Mrs President said she always felt a diffidence in getting up before the sisters, but felt it a duty

said she was very happy in the society of Sister Smith and that Sister Bigler had given the most of her remarks, said we could see quite a difference in the difference manner of carrying on our meetings to the way they did in the city but presumed we entered into more branches of business than they did have more to do and more to look after, said some might ask what was done with the means that we handled Thought that such people should come and see what was done before they jumped at a conclusion9 Spoke at some length on the duties of the society and of living faithful before the Lord [p. [1]]10

Sister Frances J Andrews being requested gave a short account of a visit which she made to a meeting of the Female Relief Society in salt Lake City spoke of the manner which they carried on their meeting, spoke of having a chat with sister Eliza Snow

Sister Ann Ashdown and Maria Garret were then presented for membership and ac by unanimous vote Meeting then closed

Singing The day is past and gone11

Dismissed by Sister Ruth Hayward to meet again on the 24th of Aug at 1 Oclock PM

A L Bigler Sec

August 24, 1870 • Wednesday

Fifty Seventh Meeting of the Female Relief Society Nephi Social Hall Aug 24 [1870] 1 Oclock PM

Met according to appointment

Called to order by Mrs President

Singing Sweetly may the blessed spirit12

Prayer by sister Elizabeth Grace

Singing Once more we come before our God13

Roll called minutes read and accepted

The matter of collecting Donations before fast day was spoken of by Sister Goldsbrough and thought best to be attended to at that time according to previous arrangement14

Sister Mary Ockey [Okey] was then presented for membership and accepted by unanimous vote also Sister Agnes T Barrowman [Borrowman]

Fold work and close

Singing How will the saints rejoice to tell15

Dismissed by sister Jane Foot [Nancy Jane Foote] to meet again on the 7th of Sept at 1 Oclock PM16

A L Bigler Sec [p. [2]]

September 1, 1870 • Thursday

Fifty Eighth Meeting of the Female Relief Society Nephi Social Hall Sept 1st [1870] 2 Oclock PM

according to previous arrangements the Board and teachers met to attend to whatever business might be on hand, to call in the Donation bills17 and have a testimony meeting Called to order by Mrs President A Goldsbrough

Singing Great God attend while Zion sings18

Prayer by sister A Goldsbrough

Singing We thank thee O Lord for a prophet19

List of donations in Nephi minutes

List of donations in Nephi minutes. This September 1, 1870, entry in the Nephi, Utah, Relief Society Minute Book lists member donations and gives a glimpse into the lifestyle and economy of the community. The handwriting here is that of Amy L. Bigler, secretary of the Nephi Relief Society at this time. (Church History Library, Salt Lake City.)

Donation bills called in as follows

Miss

Maria [Mary] Harley by sack making

90

Harriet Carter by spining 3 skeins of yarn

30

Mrs

Mary Brough 1 skein of yarn

35

Elsie [Mary Elsa] Price 10 lbs of flour

30

Jerusha Bosnell [Gerusha Boswell] soap

08

Hannah Foot[e] 10 lbs of flour

30

Elizabeth Hague 11 lbs of flour

33

Sarah Cazier rolls20

70

Frances J. Andrews 4 doz of apples

60

Harriet Broadhead by spining and washing 3 skeins yarn

50

Maria Love 10 lbs of flour

30

Sarah Tranter ½ doz eggs

09

Esther Ockey 3 eggs

04½

Rebecca Wilson 8 lbs of flour

24

Ann Andrews rolls

55

Sarah Baily 1 qt of mulasses

37½

Eve Riches 1 spool of cotton

10

Alice Atkinson 1 doz of eggs

18

Elizabeth Lunt 1 skein of yarn

35

Susanna Goble 1 doz eggs

18

Emma Beal wool

25

Sarah Berchall [Birchall] 1 skein of yarn

35

Elizabeth Miller 1 skein of yarn

35

Mary Midgley 7 ½ lbs of flour

22½

Hannah Jenkins 2 ½ lbs of flour

07½

Elizabeth [Ashford] Clark 1 doz of apples

15

[p. [3]]

$

cts

Mrs

Anna Wilkey 1 spool of cotton

10

Sarah Ann [Hannah] Andrews 2 skeins of linen thread

20

Charlotte Rollins 1 lb of Butter

15

Mary Ann Ostler 9 lbs of flour

27

Harriet Lunt by knitting

25

Sarah Tolley 2nd 1 spool of cotton

10

Miss

Emma Goldsbrough patches

05

Mrs

A Goldsbrough sundries

65

Ellen Goldsbrough carpet rags

05

Susan Sidwell 1 spool of cotton

10

Miranda Bryan 2 doz of apples

30

Elizabeth Grace 7 lbs of flour

21

Madalene [Mary Madeline] Pyper 1 skein of yarn

35

Sarah McCune 1 skein of yarn

35

Elizabeth Godfrey 〈3 lb〉 corn meal

09

Nancy Ann Bigler 1 doz apples

10

A L Bigler by Indigo21 and labor

30

Elizabeth Howles 1 skein of yarn

35

After the bills were disposed of Sister Goldsbrough said the meeting was now open for all to speak that felt to do so

Sister Jane Picton said she felt thankful for a standing in this church and that she was associated with this society Felt that there were many trials to pass through but said the Lord would assist us if we would call upon him Realized he had strengthened her many times and blessed her abundantly hoped that all might prove faithful and gain a place in the Kingdom of heaven

Sisters [Elizabeth] Sowby[,] Hayward[,] Bigler[,] Jones[,] Kendall[,] Wilkey[,] Heinkie [Kienke][,] Broadhead[,] Bryan[,] Wright all bore a faithful testimony to the truth of the latter day work gave a good reports of their wards Felt to rejoice with their sisters in having the privalege of being associated with the Female Relief Society spoke words of comfort and encouragement to all present [p. [4]] exhorted to faithfulness and obedience to those that are placed to guide the affairs of Gods Kingdom here on earth

Sister A Goldsbrough said this meeting was intended for our mutual benefit hoped all would avail themselves of the opportunity offered them of expressing their feelings and speaking of the blessings of God

said she felt thankful for the organization of this society encouraged the sisters to faithfulness said each one must be saved for themselves22 spoke on predestination and agency felt that she would never give up mormonism whatever she might be called to pass through gave many words of encouragement to the teachers

It being time to close the Choir sung Farewell all earthly honors23

Dismissed by sister A L Bigler Sec