43990868

Nauvoo Relief Society Minute Book

withdrew while the females went into an investigation  of the motion and decided that all present, be adm itted according to the motion, and that
Mrs. Sarah [Ward] Higbee
Thirza [Stiles] Cahoon
Kezia A. Morrison
Abigail Allred
Mary Snider
Sarah Granger
should be  admitted; whose names were presented by Prest. Smith.
Prest. Smith, & Elders Taylor & Richards  return’d and the meeting was address’d by Prest.  Smith, to illustrate the object of the Society— that  the Society of Sisters might provoke the brethren to  good works in looking to the wants of the poor— searching  after objects of charity, and in administering to their wants — to assist; by correcting the morals and strengthening  the virtues of the female community, and save the  Elders the trouble of rebuking; that they may give their  time to other duties &c. in their public teaching.
Prest. Smith further remark’d that an organization to  show them how to go to work would be sufficient. He propos’d  that the Sisters elect a presiding officer to preside over  them, and let that presiding officer choose two Counsellors  to assist in the duties of her Office— that he would ordain  them to preside over the Society— and let them preside  just as the Presidency, preside over the church; and if [p. 7]
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“A Book of Records, Containing the proceedings of The Female Relief Society of Nauvoo,” Nauvoo Relief Society Minute Book, 17 Mar. 1842–16 Mar. 1844; handwriting of Eliza R. Snow, Phebe M. Wheeler, Hannah M. Ells, and an unidentified scribe; 124 pages; CHL. Includes redactions and archival marking.
Account book or ledger, 12½ x 8¼ x 1 inches (32 x 21 x 3 cm). The text block, containing 132 leaves, measures 12⅛ x 7¾ inches (31 x 20 cm). Tooling design around edges of cover. Spine, red stamp. Edges of pages, green, with some wear.
Alphabetic tabs appear on the initial twelve leaves, left blank with the exception of three entries. Written on the recto of the “A–B” leaf is a note concerning provenance of the volume, described below. Two other notes, one on the reverse of the “A–B” leaf (“Jane Easton commenc’d work August 9th 1852”) and the other on the recto of the “L–M” leaf (“Mc Intire Geo. 2”) were penned by Eliza R. Snow in the Salt Lake Valley when she briefly appropriated the volume to record her temple ordinance work in the Council House. The last verso page of this section begins the pagination of the volume through page 127. The leaf with pages [2] and [3] is missing from the volume. It is unknown what, if anything, was written on this leaf. Nor is it known when pagination was added. Nine lines penned by Snow in very small script appear on the final page of the volume. The first of these lines reads “Commenc’d in C.H.”, with dates and numbers on subsequent lines.
Church apostle Willard Richards provided the ledger to Relief Society secretary Eliza R. Snow for the purpose of keeping a minute book. Snow maintained possession of the minutes. In 1855, at the request of church president Brigham Young, the minutes were handed temporarily to those compiling the official history of the church for publication in the Deseret News but were then returned to Snow. At the time of her death in 1887, the book came into the hands of Dr. Romania B. Penrose, Relief Society assistant secretary, who gave the book to Bathsheba W. Smith when Smith became general Relief Society president in 1901. The note inscribed on lines 2 through 6 on the recto of the “A–B” leaf (the first page of the volume) indicates the final disposition and location of the volume: “This record was obtained from Bathsheba Merrill who received it in the effects of her Mother Sister Bathsheba W. Smith after her death, and was filed in the Historian’s Office July 3, 1911. Joseph F. Smith, Jr.”
At least three verbatim copies have been made: a manuscript copy penned by Emmeline B. Wells (sometime after 1872), in Emmeline Wells Papers, BYU; a typewritten copy prepared under the direction of Relief Society general secretary Amy Brown Lyman, as described by Lyman in Relief Society General Board, Minutes, 11 December 1929, with some redactions, CHL; and a typescript completed by Edyth Jenkins Romney for the Church Historical Department, 15 November 1979, Edyth Jenkins Romney Typescript Collection, CHL, which formed the basis of this transcript.
In the 1842–1844 Relief Society record, some names have been erased, probably by light scraping with a penknife, and then rewritten correctly or more neatly. There are almost no strikeovers or additions, though some words were later inserted in pencil or different ink. Those apparently later redactions do not appear in this transcript.

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