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Weekly Excerpt

Joseph Smith on Humility

[From the minutes of the sixth meeting of the Nauvoo Relief Society:] [Joseph Smith] said don’t be limited in your views with regard to your neighbors’ virtues, but be limited towards your own virtues; and not think yourselves more righteous than others; you must enlarge your souls toward others if yould [you would?] do like Jesus, and carry your fellow creatures to Abram’s bosom. . . . As you increase in innocence and virtue, as you increase in goodness, let your hearts expand— let them be enlarged towards others— you must be longsuff’ring and bear with the faults and errors of mankind. How precious are the souls of men! (Document 1.2, entry for April 28, 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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