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Joseph Smith on Mercy

[From the minutes of the eleventh meeting of the Nauvoo Relief Society:] 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. (Document 1.2, entry for June 9, 1842)

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This collection of original documents explores the fascinating and largely unknown history of the Relief Society in the nineteenth century. The story begins with the founding of the Nauvoo Female Relief Society in 1842, and the complete and unabridged minutes of that organization are reproduced for the first time in print.

The large majority of the print volume covers the even lesser-known period after the Relief Society was reestablished in territorial Utah and began to spread to areas as remote as Hawaii and England. 

This website features the entire contents of The First Fifty Years of Relief Society, including all the documents, the editorial matter, and the photographs. The website also includes videos, a chronology, and two thousand brief biographies (fully sourced) of individuals who appear in the documents.

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