Nauvoo Relief Society Minute Book

9 June 1842 • Thursday

Minutes of the Proceedings
of the
Eleventh Meeting of the Society.
Grove, June 9th. <1842>
Prest J. Smith opened the meeting by pray’r  and proceeded to address the congregation on the design  of the Institution— said it is no matter how fast the  Society increases if all are virtuous— that we must be  as particular with regard to the character of members as  when the Society first started— that sometimes persons wish  to put themselves into a Society of this kind, when they  do not intend to pursue the ways of purity and righ teousness, as if the Society would be a shelter to them  in their iniquity.
Prest. S. said that henceforth no person  shall be admitted but by presenting regular petitions  signed by two or three members in good standing in the  Society— whoever comes in must be of good report.
Harriet Luce and Mary Luce  were receiv’d into the Society by recommend.
Objections previously made against Mahala  Overton were remov’d— after which Prest Smith  continued his address— said he was going to preach mercy  Supposing that Jesus Christ and angels should object  to us on frivolous things, what would become of us? We  must be merciful and overlook small things.
Respecting the reception of Sis. Overton, Prest. Smith [said]  It grieves me that there is no fuller fellowship— if one  member suffer all feel it— by union of feeling we obtain  pow’r with God. Christ said he came to call sinners  to repentance and save them. Christ was condemn’d  by the righteous jews because he took sinners into his  society— he took them upon the principle that they [p. 61]
“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.