43990868

Nauvoo Relief Society Minute Book

that the keys

Authority or knowledge of God given to humankind. In the earliest records, the term keys primarily referred to JS’s authority to unlock the “mysteries of the kingdom.” Early revelations declared that both JS and Oliver Cowdery held the keys to bring forth...

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of the kingdom are about to be given to them, that they may be able to detect every thing false— as well as to the Elders

A male leader in the church generally; an ecclesiastical and priesthood office or one holding that office; a proselytizing missionary. The Book of Mormon explained that elders ordained priests and teachers and administered “the flesh and blood of Christ unto...

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He said if one member becomes corrupt and you know it; you must immediately put it away. The sympathies of the heads of the church

The Book of Mormon related that when Christ set up his church in the Americas, “they which were baptized in the name of Jesus, were called the church of Christ.” The first name used to denote the church JS organized on 6 April 1830 was “the Church of Christ...

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have induc’d them to bear with those that were corrupt; in consequence of which all become contaminated— you must put down iniquity and by your good example provoke the Elders to good works— if you do right, no danger of going too fast: he said he did not care how fast we run in the path of virtue. Resist evil and there is no danger. God, men, angels, and devils can’t condemn those that resist every thing that is evil— as well might the devil seek to dethrone Jehovah, as that soul that resists every thing that is evil.
The charitable Society— this is according to your natures— it is natural for females to have feelings of charity— you are now plac’d in a situation where you can act according to those sympathies which God has planted in your bosoms. If you live up to these principles how great and glorious!— if you live up to your privilege, the angels cannot be restrain’d from being your associates— females, if they are pure and innocent can come into the presence of God; for what is more pleasing to God than innocence; you must be innocent or you cannot come up before God. If we would come before God let us be pure ourselves. The devil has great power— he will so transform things as to make one gape at those who are doing the will of God— You need not be tearing men for their deeds, but let the weight of innocence be felt; which is more mighty than a millstone hung about the neck. Not war, not jangle, not contradiction, but meekness, love, purity, these are the things that should magnify us.— Achan must be brought to light— iniquity must be purged out— then the vail will be rent and the blessings of heaven will flow down [p. [38]]
that the keys

Authority or knowledge of God given to humankind. In the earliest records, the term keys primarily referred to JS’s authority to unlock the “mysteries of the kingdom.” Early revelations declared that both JS and Oliver Cowdery held the keys to bring forth...

View Glossary
of the kingdom are about to be given to them, that  they may be able to detect every thing false— as well as to the Elders

A male leader in the church generally; an ecclesiastical and priesthood office or one holding that office; a proselytizing missionary. The Book of Mormon explained that elders ordained priests and teachers and administered “the flesh and blood of Christ unto...

View Glossary
He said if one member becomes corrupt and you know  it; you must immediately put it away. The sympathies of the  heads of the church

The Book of Mormon related that when Christ set up his church in the Americas, “they which were baptized in the name of Jesus, were called the church of Christ.” The first name used to denote the church JS organized on 6 April 1830 was “the Church of Christ...

View Glossary
have induc’d them to bear with those that  were corrupt; in consequence of which all become contaminated—  you must put down iniquity and by your good example  provoke the Elders to good works— if you do right, no danger of  going too fast: he said he did not care how fast we run in the  path of virtue. Resist evil and there is no danger. God, men,  angels, and devils can’t condemn those that resist every thing that  is evil— as well might the devil seek to dethrone Jehovah, as that  soul that resists every thing that is evil.
The charitable Society— this is according to your  natures— it is natural for females to have feelings of charity—  you are now plac’d in a situatio[n] where you can act according  to those sympathies which God has planted in your bosoms.  If you live up to these principles how great and glorious!—  if you live up to your privilege, the angels cannot be restrain’d  from being your associates— females, if they are pure and innocent  can come into the presence of God; for what is more pleasing to  God than innocence; you must be innocent or you cannot come  up before God. If ye <we> would come before God let us be pure  ourselves. The devil has great power— he will so transform  things as to make one gape at those who are doing the will  of God— You need not be tearing men for their deeds,  but let the weight of innocence be felt; which is more  mighty than a millstone hung about the neck. Not war,  not jangle, not contradiction, but meekness, love, purity, these  are the things that should magnify us.— Achan must  be brought to light— iniquity must be purged out— then the  vail will be rent and the blessings of heaven will flow down [p. [38]]
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On 17 March 1842, JS first formally organized Latter-day Saint women in a group with distinct responsibilities and authority. At JS’s invitation, twenty women assembled in the large room above his dry goods store in Nauvoo

Principal gathering place for Saints following expulsion from Missouri. Beginning in 1839, LDS church purchased lands in earlier settlement of Commerce and planned settlement of Commerce City, as well as surrounding areas. Served as church headquarters, 1839...

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, Illinois, to be organized, as one woman recalled his description, “under the priesthood after the pattern of the priesthood” (Sarah M. Kimball, “Auto-biography,” Woman’s Exponent, 1 Sept. 1883, 51). Priesthood quorums—units of men assembled according to priesthood office and usually headed by a president and two counselors—had been organized previously. The women assembled on 17 March elected JS’s wife Emma Hale Smith

10 July 1804–30 Apr. 1879. Scribe, editor, boardinghouse operator, clothier. Born at Willingborough Township (later in Harmony), Susquehanna Co., Pennsylvania. Daughter of Isaac Hale and Elizabeth Lewis. Member of Methodist church at Harmony (later in Oakland...

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president, and she selected two counselors; a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles ordained or set apart the three-member presidency to their new callings or offices. These were the first ecclesiastical positions in the church for women.
The name the women selected for their institution, the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo, paralleled that of contemporaneous women’s benevolent societies in the United States

North American constitutional republic. Constitution ratified, 17 Sept. 1787. Population in 1805 about 6,000,000; in 1830 about 13,000,000; and in 1844 about 20,000,000. Louisiana Purchase, 1803, doubled size of U.S. Consisted of seventeen states at time ...

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. Two or three weeks prior to the 17 March meeting, a group of Nauvoo

Principal gathering place for Saints following expulsion from Missouri. Beginning in 1839, LDS church purchased lands in earlier settlement of Commerce and planned settlement of Commerce City, as well as surrounding areas. Served as church headquarters, 1839...

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women had met to form a “ladies society” to sew shirts for temple workmen, an effort probably informed by the broader benevolent movement. When JS invited these women to be organized as part of the church structure, they abandoned their plans for an independent society with a constitution and bylaws. JS told them at the initial meeting, “The minutes of your meetings will be precedents for you to act upon—your Constitution and law” (Minutes, 17 Mar. 1842). This record of Relief Society “organization and proceedings” includes minutes for seventeen meetings in 1842, thirteen in 1843, and four in 1844. By the last recorded meeting in March 1844, a total of 1,331 women had enrolled as members, most of them joining the first year (Maureen C. Ward, “‘This Institution Is a Good One’: The Female Relief Society of Nauvoo, 17 March 1842 to 16 March 1844,” Mormon Historical Studies 3 [Fall 2002]: 87–203).
JS attended nine Relief Society meetings in 1842 and addressed six of them. These minutes document his instructions regarding women’s new responsibilities, authority, and forthcoming temple blessings—the only record of teachings JS directed specifically to women. The minutes detail donations for and visits with the poor, contributions for temple

JS revelation, dated Jan. 1841, commanded Saints to build temple and hotel (Nauvoo House). Cornerstone laid, 6 Apr. 1841. Saints volunteered labor, money, and other resources for temple construction. Construction directed by committee, which included Reynolds...

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construction, and women’s efforts at moral reform and civic activism. Discussions reported in this record refer explicitly or implicitly to tensions mounting in Nauvoo over JS’s political influence and threatened extradition to Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

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, the defection of prominent church and civic leader John C. Bennett

3 Aug. 1804–5 Aug. 1867. Physician, minister, poultry breeder. Born at Fairhaven, Bristol Co., Massachusetts. Son of John Bennett and Abigail Cook. Moved to Marietta, Washington Co., Ohio, 1808; to Massachusetts, 1812; and back to Marietta, 1822. Married ...

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, and the tumult surrounding the introduction of plural marriage. The record of the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo ends on 16 March 1844; a decade passed before Relief Society meetings resumed in the Salt Lake Valley.

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