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Sarah M. Kimball Encourages Women to “Continue in Well Doing”

[From her 1868 annual message to the women of the Salt Lake City Fifteenth Ward:] When we think upon the magnitude of the work before the little handfull of men and women here in the mountains, we sometimes tremble for the result. We are so slow to understand the ways of God and to obey his commandments. . . . To our sisters who have met with us both in sunshine and storm, and to all whose hearts are with us in this cause we feel that the blessings of heaven are upon you. You know by the feelings of peace and joy that you have experienced after performing some act of kindness that it is “more blessed to give and to do good than it is to receive.[”] We would encourage you to continue in well doing, and we extend an invitation to all the Sisters of the ward who can come to meet with us, we know that we are benefitted by meeting together and that you would be likewise. (Document 3.10)

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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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