43990868

Nauvoo Relief Society Minute Book

Sister Stanley said the flax which she had given to the Society is spun and ready for weaving
Sister Lyons said the cotton was ready for the loom
Sister Joshua Smith then rose and proposd that we as a society get to gather materials for for the Saints for bedding that many may not suffer as they did last wintr
Sister Lyons thought so too said in Lima

Area settled, 1828. Platted 1833. Post office established, 1836. Many Saints settled in area, 1839, after expulsion from Missouri. Considered important settlement by LDS church leaders. Lima stake organized, 22 Oct. 1840. Church conference held in town, 23...

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the Sisters were now at work making quilts for this Society
Sister Green said she would give Sister Reed a bed quilt also her daughter a Mantaumaker should cut and help make her dress
Sister Prusia Johnson will give a cotton and woollen skirt to Sister Reed
Sister Simpson 5 lb flowr & soap for Br Hooms
a hymn was then sung
Prayer by Sister Packerd
Meeting Ajournd
[1 line blank]

September 1843 • Undated

Eleventh meeting of the
Society
[1 line blank]
Second Ward
Meeting opend with singing and prayer
Prayer by Sister [Elizabeth] Jones
Phebe M Wheeler rose and said that as the prest

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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and councillors were not present and yet necessary that the Society proceed to business Councillor [Elizabeth Ann Smith] Whitney

26 Dec. 1800–15 Feb. 1882. Born at Derby, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Daughter of Gibson Smith and Polly Bradley. Moved to Ohio, 1819. Married Newel K. Whitney, 20 Oct. 1822, at Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio. Shortly after, joined reformed Baptist (later Disciples...

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having requested her to attend and do the best she could She desird [p. [116]]
Sister Stanley said the flax which she had given  to the Society is spun and ready for weaving
Sister Lyons said the cotton was ready for the loom
Sister Joshua Smith then rose and said proposd  that we as a society get to gather materials for  for the Saints for bedding that many may not  suffer as they did last wintr
Sister Lyons thought so too said in Lima

Area settled, 1828. Platted 1833. Post office established, 1836. Many Saints settled in area, 1839, after expulsion from Missouri. Considered important settlement by LDS church leaders. Lima stake organized, 22 Oct. 1840. Church conference held in town, 23...

More Info
 the Sisters were now at work making quilts  for this Society
Sister Green said she would give Siste[r]  Reed a bed quilt also her daughter a  Mantaumaker should cut and help make  her dress
Sister Prusia Johnson will give a cotton  and woollen skirt to Siste[r] Reed
Sister Simpson 5 lb flowr & soap  for Br Hooms
a hymn was then sung
Prayer by Sister Packerd
Meeting Ajournd
[1 line blank]

September 1843 • Undated

Eleventh meeting of the
Society
[1 line blank]
Second Ward
Meeting opend with singing and prayer
Prayer by Sister [Elizabeth] Jones
P[hebe] M Wheeler rose and said that as the prest

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...

View Full Bio
and councillors  were not present and yet necessa[r]y that the Society proceed  to business Councillor [Elizabeth Ann Smith] Whitney

26 Dec. 1800–15 Feb. 1882. Born at Derby, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Daughter of Gibson Smith and Polly Bradley. Moved to Ohio, 1819. Married Newel K. Whitney, 20 Oct. 1822, at Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio. Shortly after, joined reformed Baptist (later Disciples...

View Full Bio
having requested her  to attend and do the best she could She desird [p. [116]]
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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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