43990868

Nauvoo Relief Society Minute Book

these should be encourag’d to hereafter live to be honored by this Society who are the best portions of community. Said he had two things to recommend to the Society, to put a double watch over the tongue. No organiz’d body can exist without this at all. All organiz’d bodies have their peculiar evils, weaknesses and difficulties— the object is to make those not so good, equal with the good and ever hold the keys of pow’r which will influence to virtue and goodness. Should chasten and reprove and keep it all in silence, not even mention them again, then you will be established in power, virtue and holiness and the wrath of God will be turn’d away. One request to 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 Society, that you search yourselves— the tongue is an unruly member— hold your tongues about things of no moment,— a little tale will set the world on fire. At this time the truth on the guilty should not be told openly— Strange as this may seem, yet this is policy. We must use precaution in bringing sinners to justice lest in exposing these heinous sins, we draw the indignation of a gentile

Those who were not members of the House of Israel. More specifically, members of the church identified gentiles as those whose lineage was not of the Jews or Lamanites (understood to be the American Indians in JS’s day). Certain prophecies indicated that ...

View Glossary
world upon us (and to their imagination justly too)
It is necessary to hold an influence in the world and thus spare ourselves an extermination; and also accomplish our end in spreading the gospel or holiness in the earth.
If we were brought to desolation, the disobedient would find no help. There are some who are obedient yet men cannot steady the ark— my arm can not do it— God must steady it. To the iniquitous show yourselves merciful. I am advis’d by some 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
to tell the Relief Society to be virtuous— but to save the church from desolation and the sword beware, be still, be prudent. Repent, reform but do it in a way to not destroy all around you. I do not want to cloak iniquity— all things contrary to the will [p. [52]]
these should be encourag’d to hereafter live to be honored  by this Society who are the best portions of community. Said  he had two things to recommend to the Society, to put a  double watch over the tongue. No organiz’d body can exist  without this at all. All organiz’d bodies have their peculiar  evils, weaknesses and difficulties— the object is to make  those not so good, equal with the good and ever hold the  keys of pow’r which will influence to virtue and goodness.  Should chasten and reprove and keep in it all in silence,  not even mention them again, then you will be established  in power, virtue and holiness and the wrath of God will  be turn’d away. One request to 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 Society,  that you search yourselves— the tongue is an unruly  member— hold your tongues about things of no moment, — a little tale will set the world on fire. At this time  the truth on the guilty should not be told openly— Strange  as this may seem, yet this is policy. We must use  precaution in bringing sinners to justice lest in exposing  these heinous sins, we draw the indignation of a gentile

Those who were not members of the House of Israel. More specifically, members of the church identified gentiles as those whose lineage was not of the Jews or Lamanites (understood to be the American Indians in JS’s day). Certain prophecies indicated that ...

View Glossary
 world upon us (and to their imaginatio[n] justly too)
It is necessary to hold an influence in the world and  thus spare ourselves an extermination; and also accom plish our end in spreading the gospel or holiness in the  earth.
If we were brought to desolation, the disobedient  would find no help. There are some who are obedient  yet men cannot steady the ark— my arm can not do it—  God must steady it. To the iniquitous show yourselves  merciful. I am advis’d by some 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
to tell the Relief Society to be virtuous— but  to save the church from desolation and the sword  beware, be still, be prudent. Repent, reform but do  it in a way to not destroy all around you. I do not  want to cloak iniquity— all things contrary to the will [p. [52]]
PreviousNext
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...

More Info
, 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...

View Full Bio
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 ...

More Info
. 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...

More Info
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...

More Info
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...

More Info
, 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 ...

View Full Bio
, 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.

Facts