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Nauvoo Relief Society Minute Book

of God, should be cast from us, but dont do more hurt than good with your tongues— be pure in heart— Jesus designs to save the people out of their sins. Said Jesus ye shall do the work which ye see me do— These are the grand key words for the Society

A church organization for women; created in Nauvoo, Illinois, under JS’s direction on 17 March 1842. At the same meeting, Emma Smith was elected president, and she selected two counselors; a secretary and a treasurer were also chosen. The minutes of the society...

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to act upon.
If I were not in your midst to aid and council you, the devil would overcome you. I want the innocent to go free— rather spare ten iniquitous among you than than condemn one innocent one. “Fret not thyself because of evil doers.” God will see to it.
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Mrs. 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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rose and said all idle rumor and idle talk must be laid aside yet sin must not be covered, especially those sins which are against the law of God and the laws of the country— all who walk disorderly must reform, and any knowing of heinous sins against the law of God, and refuse to expose them, becomes the offender— said she wanted none in this Society who had violated the laws of virtue.
The following persons were receiv’d, to wit.
Sarah Ann SpearsFidelia Cotten
Mary M. SawyerEvaline Carter
Mary A. PeckDisly Allen
Margaret BrushJudith Benjamin
Ruth RobyMatilda Fausett
Sophia ClaridgeMary Holt
Rachel AllenNancy Drysdale
Electa MurdockElizabeth Pierce
Sylva BeecherHarriet Pinkam
Mary E. BeecherJane Sherwood
Polly ChittendonMary Lowry
Jane F. PeaMary Dewell
Sarah SweatLydia Bair
Mary ReedRucinda Hurr
[p. [53]]
of God, should be cast from us, but dont do more hurt  than good with your tongues— be pure in heart— Jesus  designs to save the people out of their sins. Said Jesus  ye shall do the work which ye see me do— These are  the grand key words for the Society

A church organization for women; created in Nauvoo, Illinois, under JS’s direction on 17 March 1842. At the same meeting, Emma Smith was elected president, and she selected two counselors; a secretary and a treasurer were also chosen. The minutes of the society...

View Glossary
to act upon.
If I were not in your midst to aid and council  you, the devil would overcome you. I want the innocent  to go free— rather spare ten iniquitous among you than  than condemn one innocent one. “Fret not thyself because  of evil doers.” God will see to it.
[1 line blank]
Mrs. 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
rose and said all idle rumor and  idle talk must be laid aside yet sin must not be  covered, especially those sins which are against the law  of God and the laws of the country— all who walk disorder ly must reform, and any knowing of heinous sins against  the law of God, and refuse to expose them, becomes the  offender— said she wanted none in this Society who  had violated the laws of virtue.
The following persons were receiv’d, to wit.
Sarah Ann SpearsFidelia Cotten
Mary M. SawyerEvaline Carter
Mary A. PeckDisly Allen
Margaret BrushJudith Benjamin
Ruth RobyMatilda Fausett
Sophia ClaridgeMary Holt
Rachel AllenNancy Drysdale
Electa MurdockElizabeth Pierce
Sylva BeecherHarriet Pinkam
Mary E. BeecherJane Sherwood
Polly ChittendonMary Lowry
Jane F. PeaMary Dewell
Sarah SweatLydia Bair
Mary ReedRucinda Hurr
[p. [53]]
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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

21 Jan. 1804–5 Dec. 1887. Poet, teacher, seamstress, milliner. Born in Becket, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Daughter of Oliver Snow and Rosetta Leonora Pettibone. Moved to Mantua, Trumbull Co., Ohio, ca. 1806. Member of Baptist church. Baptized into LDS ...

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, 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

21 Jan. 1804–5 Dec. 1887. Poet, teacher, seamstress, milliner. Born in Becket, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Daughter of Oliver Snow and Rosetta Leonora Pettibone. Moved to Mantua, Trumbull Co., Ohio, ca. 1806. Member of Baptist church. Baptized into LDS ...

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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

24 June 1804–11 Mar. 1854. Teacher, lecturer, doctor, clerk, printer, editor, postmaster. Born at Hopkinton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Joseph Richards and Rhoda Howe. Moved to Richmond, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts, 1813. Moved to Chatham, Columbia...

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provided the ledger to Relief Society secretary Eliza R. Snow

21 Jan. 1804–5 Dec. 1887. Poet, teacher, seamstress, milliner. Born in Becket, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Daughter of Oliver Snow and Rosetta Leonora Pettibone. Moved to Mantua, Trumbull Co., Ohio, ca. 1806. Member of Baptist church. Baptized into LDS ...

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for the purpose of keeping a minute book. Snow maintained possession of the minutes. In 1855, at the request of church president Brigham Young

1 June 1801–29 Aug. 1877. Carpenter, painter, glazier, colonizer. Born at Whitingham, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of John Young and Abigail (Nabby) Howe. Brought up in Methodist household; later joined Methodist church. Moved to Sherburne, Chenango Co., New...

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, 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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