Nauvoo Relief Society Minute Book

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

[front cover]
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Book of Records.
the proceedings
The .
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The following appropriate frontispiece, was found lying on an open Bible, in the room appropriated for the Society; at its first meeting.
<​Written on a scrap.​>
“O, Lord! help our widows, and fatherless children! So mote it be. Amen. With the sword, and the word of truth, defend thou them. So mote it be. Amen.”
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This Book,
was politely presented to the Society by
on the 17th of March, AD. 1842.
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17 March 1842 • Thursday
A Record of the
Organization, and Proceedings of
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Lodge Room
March 17th 1842.
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Present— President Joseph Smith, , , and others.
was call’d to the chair by Prest. Smith, and elder appointed Secretary,
Meeting commenced by singing “The spirit of God like a fire is burning” &c.— Prayer by .
When it was mov’d by Prest. Smith and seconded by , that a vote be taken to know if all are satisfied with each female present; and are willing to acknowledge them in full fellowship, and admit them to the privileges of the Institution about to be formed.
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The names of those present were then taken as follows
Mrs. Bathsheba W. Smith
Phebe Ann Hawkes Phebe M. Wheeler
Elizabeth Jones Elvira A. Co[w]les
Sophia Packard Margaret A [Norris] Cook
Philinda Merrick Athalia Robinson
Sarah M. Kimball
Desdemona Fulmer
Sophia Robinson
Leonora Taylor
Sophia R. Marks
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Prest. Smith, & Elders and [p. 6] withdrew while the females went into an investigation of the motion, and decided that all present, be admitted according to the motion, and that
Mrs. Sarah [Ward] Higbee
Kezia A. Morrison
Abigail Allred
Mary Snider
Sarah [Stiles] Granger
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should be admitted; whose names were presented by Prest. Smith.
Prest. Smith, & & return’d and the meeting was address’d by Prest. Smith, to illustrate the object of the — 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 them to preside over the Society— and let them preside just as the Presidency, preside over the ; and if [p. 7] they need his instruction— ask him, he will give it from time to time.
Let this Presidency serve as a constitution— all their decisions be considered law; and acted upon as such.
If any Officers are wanted to carry out the designs of the Institution, let them be appointed and set apart, as , &c. are among us.
The minutes of your meetings will be precedents for you to act upon— your Constitutio[n] and law.
He then suggested the propriety of electing a Presidency to continue in office during good behavior, or so long as they shall continue to fill the office with dignity &c. like the of the .—
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Motioned by and seconded by Sister Packard that Mrs. be chosen President— passed unanimously—
Mov’d by Prest. Smith, that proceed to choose her Counsellors, that they may be to preside over this Society, in taking care of the poor— administering to their wants, and attending to the various affairs of this Institution.
The , then made choice of Mrs. and Mrs. for Counsellors—
President Smith read the Revelation to , from the book of Doctrine and Covenants; and stated that she was ordain’d at the time, the Revelation was given, to expound the scriptures to all; and to teach the female part of community; and that not she alone, but others, may attain to the same blessings.— [p. 8]
The 2d Epistle of John, 1st verse, was then read to show that respect was then had to the same thing; and that why she was called an Elect lady is because, elected to preside.
was then appointed to the Counsellors— he laid his hands on the head of and ordain’d her to be a Counsellor to the Elect Lady, even Mrs. , to counsel, and assist her in all things pertaining to her office &c.
then laid his hands on the head of and ordain’d her to be a Counsellor to , the Prest. of the Institutio[n]— with all the privileges pertaining to the office &c.
He then laid his hands on the head of and blessed her, and confirm’d upon her all the blessings which have been confer’d on her, that she might be a mother in Israel and look to the wants of the needy, and be a pattern of virtue; and possess all the qualifications necessary for her to stand and preside and dignify her Office, to teach the females those principles requisite for their future usefulness.
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Prest. Smith then resumed his remarks and gave instruction how to govern themselves in their meetings— when one wishes to speak, address the chair— and the chairman responds to the address.
Should two speak at once, the Chair shall decide who speaks first, if any one is dissatisfied, she appeals to the house—
When one has the floor, occupies as long as she pleases.
Proper manner of address is Mrs. Chairman [p. 9] or President and not Mr. Chairman &c.
A question can never be put until it has a second
When the subject for discussion has been fairly investigated; the Chairman will say, are you ready for the question? &c.
Whatever the majority of the house decide upon becomes a law to the .
Prest. Smith proceeded to give counsel— do not injure the character of any one— if members of the Society shall conduct improperly, deal with them, and keep all your doings within your own bosoms, and hold all characters sacred—
It was then propos’d that vacate the chair.
Prest. and her Counsellors took the chair, and
mov’d— secd by Prest. J. Smith that we go into an investigation respecting what this Society shall be call’d— which was
carried unanimously
Prest. Smith continued instructions to the Chair to suggest to the members anything the chair might wish, and which it might not be proper for the chair to put, or move &c.
Mov’d by , and secon’d by , that this Society be called The Nauvoo Female Relief Society.
offered an amendment, that it be called The Nauvoo Female Benevolent Society which would give a more definite and extended idea of the Institution— that Relief be struck out and Benevolent inserted.
Prest. Smith offer’d instruction on votes— [p. 10]
The motion was seconded by and unanimously carried, on the amendment by .
The then suggested that she would like an argument with on the words Relief and Benevolence.
Prest. J. Smith mov’d that the vote for amendment, be rescinded, which was carried—
Motion for adjournment by and objected by Prest. J. Smith.—
Prest. J. Smith— Benevolent is a popular term— and the term Relief is not known among popular Societies— Relief is more extended in its signification than Benevolent and might extend to the liberation of the culprit— and might be wrongly construed by our enemies to say that the was to relieve criminals from punishment &c. &c— to relieve a murderer, which would not be a benevolent act—
Prest. , said the popularity of the word benevolent is one great objection— no person can think of the word as associated with public Institutions, without thinking of the Washingtonian Benevolent Society which was one of the most corrupt Institutions of the day— do not wish to have it call’d after other Societies in the world—
Prest. J. Smith arose to state that he had no objection to the word Relief— that on question they ought to deliberate candidly and investigate all subjects.
arose to remark concerning the question before the house, that we should not regard [p. 11] the idle speech of our enemies— we design to act in the name of the Lord— to relieve the wants of the distressed, and do all the good we can.—
arose and said that she felt to concur with the , with regard to the word Benevolent, that many Societies with which it had been associated, were corrupt,— that the popular Institutions of the day should not be our guide— that as daughters of , we should set an example for all the world, rather than confine ourselves to the course which had been heretofore pursued— one objection to the word Relief is, that the idea associated with it is that of some great calamity— that we intend appropriating on some extraordinary occasions instead of meeting the common occurrences—
Prest. remark’d— we are going to do something extraordinary— when a boat is stuck on the rapids with a multitude of Mormons on board we shall consider that a loud call for relief— we expect extraordinary occasions and pressing calls—
arose and said— I shall have to concede the point— your arguments are so potent I cannot stand before them— I shall have to give way—
Prest. J. S. said I also shall have to concede the point, all I shall have to give to the poor, I shall give to this
mov’d, that this Society be call’d The Nauvoo Female Relief Society— second. by
offer’d an amendment by way of transposition of words, instead of The Nauvoo Female Relief Society, it shall be call’d — Seconded by Prest. J. Smith and carried— [p. 12]
The previous question was then put— Shall this Society be call’d ?— carried unanimously.—
Prest. J. Smith— I now declare this Society organiz’d with President and Counsellors &c. according to Parliamentary usages— and all who shall hereafter be admitted into this Society must be free from censure and receiv’d by vote—
Prest. J. Smith offered $5.00 in gold piece to commence the funds of the Institution.
Prest. requested that the gentlemen withdraw before they proceed to the choice of Secretary and Treasurer, as was mov’d by Prest. J. Smith—
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The gentlemen withdrew when it was Motioned and second. and unanimously pass’d that be appointed Secretary, and Phebe M. Wheeler, Assistant Secretary——
Motioned, second. and carried unanimly. that Elvira A. Coles be appointed Treasurer—
Prest. then arose and proceeded to make appropriate remarks on the object of the Society— its duties to others also its relative duties to each other Viz. to seek out and relieve the distressed— that each member should be ambitious to do good— that the members should deal frankly with each other— to watch over the morals— and be very careful <​of​> the character and reputation— of the members of the Institution &c.
P. A. Hawkes— Question— What shall we reply to interrogatories relative to the object of this Society?
Prest. replied— for charitable purposes. [p. 13]
Mov’d and pass’d that Cynthia Ann Eldridge be admitted as a member of this
Coulr. donated to the fund of the Society $ 12½
Sarah M. Kimball do [ditto] 1. 00
Prest. do 1. 00
Counlr. do 50
Prest. said that Mrs. Merrick is a widow— is industrious— performs her work well, therefore recommend her to the patronage of such as wish to hire needlework— those who hire widows must be prompt to pay and inasmuch as some have defrauded the laboring widow of her wages, we must be upright and deal justly—
The business of the Society concluded— the gentlemen before mentioned return’d—,
appropriated to the fund of the Society, the sum of $1, 00
do 2. 00
then arose and address’d the Society by saying that he is much gratified in seeing a meeting of this kind in — his heart rejoices when he sees the most distinguished characters, stepping forth in such a cause, which is calculated to bring into exercise every virtue and give scope to the benevolent feelings of the female heart— he rejoices to see this Institution organiz’d according to the law of Heaven— according to a revelation previously given to Mrs appointing her to this important calling— and to see all things moving forward in such a glorious manner— his prayer is that the blessings of God and the peace of heaven may rest on this Institution henceforth——
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The Choir then sang “Come let us rejoice in the [p. 14] day of salvation[”] &c.
Motion’d, that this meeting adjourn to next week, thursday, ten o’clock— A M.
The meeting then arose and was dismiss’d by prayer by .—
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24 March 1842 • Thursday
Minutes of the proceedings
of the
Second Meeting of the
Lodge Room
March 24th 1842.
Meeting open’d with singing “How pleas’d and blest was I” &c.— Prayer by Prest. .
Prest. then rose and said that measures to promote union in this Society must be carefully attended to— that every member should be held in full fellowship— as a society, hop’d they would divest themselves of every jealousy and evil feeling toward each other, if any such existed— that we should bring our conduct into respectability, here & eveery where else— said she rejoic’d in the prospect before her——.
Prest. continued by saying, that those wishing to join the Society could have the privilege—
Mov’d, seconded & unanimously carried that the following persons be receiv’d as members of this Society— to wit.
K [blank] [Catherine] Walker, Jane Law
[p. 15]
Elizabeth Eldridge Mary Woolley
Cirinda Murrill
Sarah Hillman Sarah Brown
Sarah Roberts Fanny F. [Maria] Huntington
Sarah Ann Higbee
Eunice Wilber [Wilbur]
Elizabeth Hills
Diantha Billings Emeline Corlin [Carling]
Eliza Ann Mills Lucy Millican [Millikin]
Sophia F. Wilber
Julia Ann Sessions Sally Davis
Ma◊◊ Smith Lucy A. Munjar Sabra Gribble
Mary Smith Kezia A. Morrison
Martha [Patty] Sessions Caroline Ballard
Elizabeth C. Lee Melissa Dodge
[Mrs.] A [blank] P. Rockwood [Nancy Rockwood] Katharine Wilkie
Hannah Mark[h]am Elizabeth Allred
Cynthia Baggs Cyrena Murrill [Merrill]
Loisa Follett Sylva Lyons
Mary Jane Warner Sarah Brown
Sarah Moon Soloma Chapman
Abigail Leonard Abigail Kelsey
Mrs. Mary Smith then rose and said the had her hearty concurrence— that nothing was more laudable than feeding the hungry, clothing the naked &c.— that she desired to aid in accomplishing objects so generous.
Mrs. said she had not fully understood what were the objects of the Institution but desired to be found aiding in every benevolent cause [p. 16]
Prest. said, no one need feel delicate in reference to inquiries about this — there is nothing private— its objects are purely benevolent.
Mother arose and said she rejoic’d in view of what was doing— as she came in and look’d upon the sisters, it gave her feelings of deep interest— Wept— said she was advanc’d in years and could not stay long— hop’d the Lord would bless and aid the Society in feeding the hungry, clothing the naked— that her work was nearly done— felt to pray that the blessings of heaven might rest upon the Society.
Prest. rose and read from the Book of records, the proceedings of the first meeting of the Society— She then proceeded to read to the honorable body, a report, wherein Clarissa Marvel was accus’d of scandalous falsehoods on the character of Prest. Joseph Smith, without the least provocation, praying that they would in wisdom adopt some plan to bring her to repentance— said she presum’d that most of the Society knew more about Clarissa Marvel than herself——
Mrs. said Clarissa Marvel had liv’d with her nearly a year— she had seen nothing amiss of her—
propos’d that some one be appointed to go and labor with her and if possible reform her——
Mov’d and carried that Mrs. Markam be one to go and converse with C. Marvel.
Mrs. Markam objected on the ground that she was unacquainted with the circumstances. [p. 17]
said that would make no difference— she could attend to it— that it should be be done in a private manner, with great prudence—
continued, by saying that we intend to look into the morals of each other and watch over each other— that she intended to walk circumspectly and to shun the appearance of evil— all are required to be very careful in their words and actions at all times— said she believed Clarissa Marvel might be reform’d.
Mrs. Billings inquired if C. M. had parents.
said she has no parents— she is under our care and observation— she needs friends——
Mrs. [Elizabeth] Jones enquired if the proceedings of this should be divulged out of the Society
said all proceedings that regard difficulties should be kept among the members— as to the Institution, its objects are charitable— none can object to telling the good— the evil withhold— hoped all would feel themselves bound to observe this rule.
said she felt deeply interested— thought we could not take too much pains in this matter— to avoid all evil— We must avoid the appearance of evil— we must pray much for each other that we may succeed in the work before us and have wisdom given us in all our pursuits.——
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Mother said— this Institution is a good one— we must watch over ourselves— that she came into the , to do good— to get good, and to get into the . She said we must [p. 18] cherish one another, watch over one another, comfort one another and gain instruction, that we may all sit down in heaven together.
Mrs. Hillman rose and said she was contemplating the blessings with which we were surrounded— the privileges of this — said she desir’d to be watch’d over and aided in the better performance of her duty.—
said all who wish’d should have informatio[n] respecting this Society; as they would be published.— She hinted the propriety of having Auxiliary Societies form’d in other parts of the any one who felt dispos’d might send in a request to this effect— said it was the duty of every person to inquire into the condition of the poor and represent their true state.
call’d on the members to contribute to the fund
The following appropriations were made to the fund of the Society——
Mary Jane Warner .. 25
Martha Sessions .. 25
Sylva Lyons 1. 00
Jane Law 1. 00
Sophia Robinson .. 25
.. 50
Sarah Brown .. 25
Mary Woolley .. 25
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Mrs. [Phebe Ann] Hawkes arose to represent Mrs. Drury as an object of charity, being sick and destitute of food. [p. 19]
Mrs. Wooley corroborated the testimony of Mrs Hawkes—
Motioned and seconded that the board direct the Treasurer to give an order on the Store— carried unanimsly.
Motioned that 2 dollars be appropriated to Mrs. Drury—
said we want the names of those widows who want work—
Mrs. solicited the patronage of the as a Milliner and Dressmaker.
said we should assist each other in this way— said Mrs. Solome Chapman was in want of work, knitting, sewing &c.
Mrs Jones represented Mrs. Baggs as needing assistance—
enquired whether anything except money would be received into the Treasury; such as jewelry, clothing &c. &c.
Mrs. Warner said her means were limited but would give provisions.
hinted the propriety of placing such provisions as should be donated, into the hands of the Treasurer—
Mrs. Higbee suggested the propriety of having an Auxiliary Society—
Councillor remark’d that as many were present who were not at the previous meeting; it was necessary to refer to the order established at the organization of the Society. Viz. that of addressing the Chair.
Mrs. suggested the propriety of procuring Palm leaves for the benefit of individuals [p. 20] spoke of sister Daviss as soliciting that work—
said the object was to supply the poor with money— provisions, cloathes, old cloathes &c. that it was wisdom to keep all the money we could, for the purchase of materials to do with.
Mrs. represented widow More, as needy and deserving charity— said she would work; understood the business of braiding Palm leaves——
Mrs. Hillman corroborates ’s statement——
Mrs Markam exprest her satisfaction in being in a situation to bring her abilities into action— said it was her aim to walk humbly before God. desired the prayers of the that she might be enabled to do whatever the Lord should require at her hands—
suggested the propriety of appointing at the next meeting; persons who may wait on those who represent the poor—
Motioned that the meeting adjourn until next thursday, 2. o’clock—
Mov’d, seconded & pass’d that Prest. Joseph Smith be call’d in, to close the meeting.
Prest. J. Smith and , , & entered— The choir sung—
Prayer by Elder .
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31 March 1842 • Thursday
Minutes of the Proceedings
of the
Third Meeting of the
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Lodge Room March 30th [31st] 1842.
Meeting opened with Singing—
Prayer by Prest. Joseph Smith—
The house full to overflowing.
Prest. J. Smith arose— spoke of the organization of the Society— said he was deeply interested that it might be built up to the Most High in an acceptable manner— that its rules must be observed— that none should be received into the Society but those who were worthy— propos’d that the Society go into a close examination of every candidate— that they were going too fast— that the Society should grow up by degrees— should commence with a few individuals— thus have a select Society of the virtuous and those who will walk circumspectly— commended them for their zeal but said sometimes their zeal was not according to knowledge— One principal object of the Institution, was to purge out iniquity— said they must be extremely careful in all their examinations or the consequences would be serious
Said all difficulties which might & would cross our way must be surmounted, though the soul be tried, the heart faint, and hands hang down— must not retrace our steps— that there must be decision of character aside from sympathy— that when instructed we must obey that voice, observe the Constitution that the blessings of heaven may rest down upon us— all must act in concert or nothing can be done— that the Society should move according to the ancient , hence there should be a select Society separate from all the evils of the world, choice, virtuou[s] and holy— Said he was going to make of this Society a kingdom of an in Enoch’s day— as in Pauls day— that it is the privilege of each member to live long [p. 22] and enjoy health— Prest. Smith propos’d that the ladies [gentlemen] withdraw, that the might proceed to business— that those wishing to join should have their names presented at the next meeting.——
Prest. J. Smith withdrew—
Prest. rose & said she would like to hear from those appointed to enquire into the case of Clarissa M[arvel]
Mrs. [Diantha] Billings said— we visited her, questioned her closely— she appear’d like an innocent girl—
Mrs Markam [Hannah Markham] corroborated the statement of Mrs. Billings.
Prest. said, We are call’d upon to find the origin of the report—
Mrs. Billings refer’d to Mrs. Winchester, with whom C. M. had resided—
Mrs. W. Had heard C. M. speak of Prest. J. Smith & family in the most respectful manner.
propos’d that the rumor be trac’d out— and the innocent clear’d—
Mrs. Gribble said Laura Jones & Hannah Burgess have reported against C. M.
motion’d that 2 persons be appointed to see L. Jones & H. B. carried unanly.
motioned that Mrs. Allred and be appointed to see them and cite them to appear at the next meeting.
Prest. said we were going to learn new things— our way was straight— said we wanted none in this society but those who could and would walk straight and were determined to do good and not evil— said that must serve unless she could provide [p. 23] a better person to officiate in her stead—
remark’d that they had put their shoulder to the wheel and exhorted them to do with their might— we have entered into this work in the name of the Lord let us boldly go forward——
After appropriate remarks Prest. , said she had an Article to read which would test the ability of the members in keeping secrets; as it was for the benefit of the , and that alone——
Read the Article.— Then gave strictures on female propriety and dignity &c. &c.
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rose and said she was glad the time had come that iniquity could be detected and reproach thrown off from the heads of the — We come into the church to be sav’d— that we may live in peace and sit down in the kingdom of heaven— If we listen to, and circulate every evil report we shall idly spend the time which should be appropriated to the reading the Scriptures, the Book of Mormon— we must remember the words of Alma— pray much at morning, noon and night— feed the poor &c.— She said she was old— could not meet with the Society but few times more— and wish’d to leave her testimony that the Book of Mormon is the book of God— that Joseph is a man of God, a prophet of the Lord set apart to lead the people— If we observe his words it will be well with us; if we live righteously on earth, it will be well with us in Eternity——
arose and address’d , returning thanks for her testimony, and counsel— express’d many good wishes; that she [p. 24] might receive much comfort and consolation in this — that the Lord would lengthen her days— that she may cheer the Society with her presence, aid it by her counsels and prayrs long before she shall take her departure to sit down by the side of her beloved Partner.
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made mention of a lone widow with one child, late from England, without friends, in want of a home.
Mrs. [Sarah] Brown proposed to take her in
Mrs. [Elizabeth] Jones laid before the Society her expectations of soon journeying to , to visit friends who were moving in the higher classes of Society; and requested the prayers of this Society that her testimony may be instrumental of good. &c.
Motioned by and seconded by the , that Mrs. Jones have a recommend from this Society— carried unanimly..
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Upon Motion of , the meeting adjourn’d to thursday, 15th 14th of April 2. o.clock.
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The following is a copy of the recommend, to for Mrs. Jones
The Female Relief Society of Nauvoo, recommends Mrs. Elizabeth Jones, as a member of said Society, in good standing;— and she is hereby Authorized to receive all such donations as friends abroad shall feel disposed to put into her hands, to be appropriated to the Fund of the Institution; for the benefit of the poor, the widow, and the fatherless.
By Order of the Board.
, Secretary. [p. 25]
14 April 1842 • Thursday
Minutes of the Proceedings
of the
Fourth Meeting of the .
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Lodge Room, April 14,th 1842.
Meeting opened with singing “How pleasant ’tis to see” &c.
Prayer by Prest. — after which arose and address’d the meeting, informing them that the case of Clarissa M[arvel] had been satisfactorily settled she having testified in her own hand writing that she had said no wrong &c. continued by cautioning the Society against speaking evil of Prest. J. Smith and his companion— that it would not be a light thing in the sight of God— that they had prov’d themselves; and the case of C. M. should be a warning, how we hear and how we speak— express’d her fears that the Lord would cut off those who will not take counsel &c.
Motioned by , seconded by , that the following persons be received into this Society—— passed unanimously,
Clarissa Wilcox Lydia Anderson
Phebe Knights [Knight] Catharine Mellon [Malin]
[blank] Wight Hannah Pierce
Lydia Huntington Betsey Roundy
Phebe Miller Phebe Chase
Phebe Angell Nancy H. Rockwood
Drusilla Hendricks Nancy Winchester
Polly [Knight] Stringham Martha Peck
Asenath Sherman Cornelia J. Fisher
Lydia Anderson Electa E. Whiteside
Charlotte Hawes
Prest. arose and address’d the meeting by saying that the disagreeable busines of searching out those that were iniquitous, seem’d to fall on her— [p. 26] said it was an unpleasant task, but her desire was to do good— wish’d all the members of this to assist her— said it was necessary to begin at home— to eradicate all evil from our own hearts— and warn those who wish to join, with us, to come calculating to divest themselves of every thing wrong and unite to expose iniquity, to search it out and put it away— She said the Society had other duties to attend to than seeing to the wants of the poor. Exhorted the members so to conduct as to have the honor of commencing a good work and of carrying it out— enforc’d the necessity of walking in a manner that would be approbated of God.
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While the Officers of the Board were examining petitions of various persons who applied for membership call’d on the Society to occupy the time; which was spent much to the edification of those present, by and others, by way of exhortation, admonition, encouragement &c. &c.
After passing examination on the various petitions presented; the following names were presented to the Society, and the persons received as members, to wit.
Mercy Ann Bruce Sarah Head
Nancy N. Tracy Sarah Davis
Olive Farr Sophronia Norris
Susannah Be[ckel]hymer Mary Sloan
Julia Stone Delia Curtis
Emily Whitmark [Whitmarsh] Catharine Wood
Charlotte Curtis Mary Munjar
Jane Allen Mary C. Coray
Elizabeth Johnson Caroline Kingsbury
Lo[u]isa M. Lyman Jane Ann Green
Mary E. Lightner Amy Clothier
[p. [27]]
Magdalene Moesser Mary H. Felshaw
Ruth Sayers Eliza Grant
Caroline M. Bullard Susan Younger
Mary Ann Bullard Asenath Sherman
Mary Smith Cornelia J. Fisher
Mahitable Calkins Electa G. [Eleanor] Whiteside
Kuhamath B. Derby
Eveline Rollin Rebecca Reed
Huldah Harmon Sarah Ann Waitt
Eliza M. Green[e] Amanda M. Pierce
Elizabeth Bills Hannah Smith
Ruth Williams Anna Partridge
Hannah Marsh Elizabeth Fory
Marcia Allen Sarah Noe
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then call’d on those, if any present who knew of cases of the poor to be represented.
Mrs. [Phebe Ann] Hawkes spoke of the Drury family— still sick needing our prayers— if nothing more—
Mary Smith said her husband had given her the privilege of donating weekly one bushel of corn meal for the poor— wish’d to know where it should be deposited.— also mentioned the case of a motherless child needing a home— whereupon,
It was decided that for the present it should remain in the care of Mrs. Eldridge— decided also that the meal offered by Mrs. Smith as well as all other provisions, should be put into the care of the Treas. where the needy may apply for the same——
The following donations in money were made, to wit,
Caroline Kingsbury .. 25
Sylva Lyons [Sylvia Lyon] .. 50
[p. [28]]
Athalia Robinson .. 25
Charlotte Hawes 1. 25
.. 50
Catharine Wilkie 2. 00
4. 75
The meeting adjourn’d to thursday, the 28th of April, at 2 o.clock, P.M.
Donations • 31 and 29 March 1842
The following donations were made at the Third meeting of the ; inadvertently omitted in the proper place of insertion.
to wit.
Eliza Mills .. 37½
Martha Knights 1. 00
1. 25
.. 25
Elizabeth Jones 1. 00
Mary Wool[l]ey .. 25
Margaret A. [Norris] Cook .. 25
Abigail Kelsey 3. 00
Abigail Leonard 1. 12½
Phebe Hawkes .. 37½
Kezia Ann Morrison .. 50
9. 37½
The following is a
List of Articles
given to the
by Dr. .
March 29th 2 Quilt covers— 4.50 9. ..
1 Gown 6. ..
1 Bonnett 1. 25
16 Skeins of Silk— 1
[p. [29]]
1 Basket .. 50
1 Gold Ring 87
1 pr Wristlets 2[.] 25
[6 lines blank]
19 April 1842 • Tuesday
Minutes of the Proceedings of the
Fifth Meeting
of the
[1 line blank]
Lodge Room, April 19th.
[1 line blank]
A special meeting of the Society being conven’d agreeably to previous appointment; Prest. not being present, presided—
The meeting was opened with singing— prayer by .— singing by the choir—
The names of the following persons, were then read— no objections offered, they were unanimously received—
C[ouncillor] Clnd [Cleveland] then [arose and addressed] the meeting by [sa]ying that as this meeting
Judith T. Haven Mary Ann Fulmer
Nancy Lyons
Dulcina Sherman Almira Corey [Covey]
Mary Nobles Priscinda Buel [Presendia Buell]
Mary M. Smith Jane Benbow
Fanny M. Redfield
Sarah Ripley
then arose and address’d the meeting by saying, that inasmuch as the [p. [30]] meeting was specially called for the admission of Mrs. Buel who resided at a distance— was deprived of the privileges enjoyed by the sisters in , and wished to become a member of this ; there was not much business to be attended to, therefore we might spend the time in religious exercises before the Lord— spoke of the happiness she felt in the present association of females, and made very appropriate remarks respecting the duties & prospects of the Society— that it was organiz’d after the order of heav’n &c. &c.
also made many interesting remarks and invited all present to speak their sentiments freely—
Mrs. Buel arose and said that she rejoiced in the opportunity— that she considered it a great privilege she felt that the spirit of the Lord was with the Society, and rejoic’d to become a member altho’ residing at a distance and could not attend the meetings.
spoke very pathetically of her lonely situation, and the feelings she had as she reflected on the care which always felt for the sisters when in life he presided over the meetings.
bore testimony to the great blessing she received when administered to, after the close of the last meeting, by Prest. & Councillors and . she said she never realized more benefit thro’ any administration— that she was heal’d, and thought the sisters had more faith than the brethren.
after making observations with regard to the Society— the importance of acting in wisdom & walking humbly before God &c. said she had a blessing for Mrs. Buel, that inasmuch as she had become a member of [p. [31]] this , as the spirit of a person pervades every member of the body, so shall the Spirit of the Lord which pervades this Society be with her— she shall feel it and rejoice— she shall be blest whereever she is, and the Lord shall open the way and she shall be instrumental in doing much,— thro’ her own exertions by the instrumentality of others, she shall be enabled to contribute much to the fund of the Society— she shall warm up the hearts of those who are cold and dormant, and shall be instrumental in doing much good—
Mrs. [Abigail] Leonard, and bore testimony to the truth of what had said to Mrs. Buel—
stated that she many times felt in her heart, what she could not express it in our own language, and as the Prophet had given us liberty to improve the gifts of the gospel in our meetings, and feelings the power resting upon, desired to speak in the gift of tongues; which she did in a powerful manner.
Mrs. Sessions arose and gave the interpretation of what had spoken in an unknown tongue, and said that God was well pleas’d with this Society, that if we would be humble and faithful the Lord would pour out upon the members generally the gift of prophecy— that when the speaker laid her hand on the head of , she said that not only she should have the spirit but that all should have it also— that the speaker then address’d herself to saying that the prayers of were now answered upon the members of the Society— that the days of should be prolong’d and she should meet many times with the Society, should enjoy much in the society of the [p. [32]] sisters & shall hereafter be crown’d a mother of those that shall prove faithful &c.
The meeting was very interesting, nearly all present arose & spoke, and the spirit of the Lord like a purifying stream, refreshed every heart.
Mrs. Mary Smith recommended Elizabeth Eaton to the patronage of the , as a person skilful in needlework—
The meeting clos’d with prayer by and singing by the choir— after which
Mrs. Leonard was administered to for the restoration of health, by Councillors & .
[1 line blank]
Donations by $
Mary Snider .. 94
Fanny Huntington 25
Cynthie Eldridge 50
20. 87
Martha Sessions 75
Desdemona Fulmer 1. 25
[11 lines blank] [p. [33]]
28 April 1842 • Thursday
Minutes of the Proceedings
of the
Fifth Sixth Meeting of the .
[1 line blank]
Lodge Room, April 28,th 1842.
[1 line blank]
The Meeting meet met according to adjournment, present Prest. Joseph Smith and
President Smith arose and said that the purport of his being present on the occasion was, to make observations respecting the , and give instructions for the benefit of the Society That as his instructions were intended only for the Society; he requested that a vote should be taken on those present who were not members, to ascertain whether they should be admitted— he exhorted the meeting to act honestly and uprightly in all their proceedings— inasmuch as they would be call’d to give an account to Jehovah. All hearts must repent— be pure and God will regard them and bless them in a manner that they could not be bless’d in any other way—
A vote was then taken on the following names, to wit,
Hannah Dibble aye Elizabeth Sprague ay
Sally Angell ay Mary Mc.Carle [McCarroll] "
Mary Ann Man[s]field do [ditto] Marianne Chase "
Lydia A. Taylor do Elizabeth Music "
Harriet P. Decker no Olive Chase "
Sarah D. Rich ay Phebe Woodruff "
Philote Pack " Abigail Tippetts "
Julia Pack " Catharine Petty "
Sarah Foster " Charity Stoddard "
Sarah Boyce [Boice] " Elizabeth Rolfe "
Catharine Head " Jane Judd "
Lury [Lucy] Scovill " Emerett L. Randall "
Emily Partridge " Emily Spencer "
Louisa Knight " Anna Cleveland "
[p. [34]]
Tryphena Crandall— aye Rachel Drollinger— aye
C [blank] Wood No Mary H. Palmer— "
Elizabeth H. Barlow aye Lucinda A Hartwell "
Charlotte Higbee " Amida [Amanda Barnes] Smith "
Lucinda A. Hartwell " Elizabeth Edwards "
Caroline Butler " Roxena Repsher "
Mary Ann Badlam " Ruth Curtis "
Maria Gribble— " Lydia Knights [Knight] "
Ann Montague " A [blank] Clements "
" Susan McArthur "
Almeda Snider [Snyder] " no
A Committee was then appointed to inquire into the cases of those persons to whom objections were made
Councillors and , Mrs. Allred, and [Charlotte] Hawes to be the committee.
Committee retir’d— and Prest. J. Smith arose and call’d the attention of the meeting to the 12th Chap. of 1st Cor. “Now concerning spiritual gifts” &c.— Said that the passage which reads “no man can say that Jesus is the the Christ <​Lord​> but by the holy ghost,” should be translated, no man can know &c
He continued to read the Chap. and give instructions respecting the different offices, and the necessity of every individual acting in the sphere allotted him or her; and filling the several offices to which they were appointed— Spoke of the disposition of man, to consider the lower offices in the dishonorable and to look with jealous eyes upon the standing of others— that it was the nonsense of the human heart, for a person to be aspiring to other stations than appointed of God— that it was better for individuals to magnify their respective callings, and wait patiently till God shall say to them come up higher. He said the reason of these remarks being made, was, that some little thing was circulating in the , that some persons [p. [35]] were not going right in &c. Said if he had common sympathies, would rejoice that the sick could be heal’d: that the time had not been before, that these things could be in their proper order— that the church is not now organiz’d in its proper order, and cannot be until the is completed—— Prest. Smith continued the subject by adverting to the commission given to the ancient apostles “Go ye into all the world” &c.— no matter who believeth; these signs, such as healing the sick, casting out devils &c. should follow all that believe whether male or female. He ask’d the if they could not see by this sweeping stroke, that wherein they are , it is the privilege of those set apart to administer in that authority which is confer’d on them— and if the sisters should have faith to heal the sick, let all hold their tongues, and let every thing roll on.
He said, if God has appointed him, and chosen him as an instrument to lead the , why not let him lead it through? Why stand in the way, when he is appointed to do a thing? Who knows the mind of God? Does he not reveal things differently from what we expect?— He remark’d that he was continually rising— altho’ he had every thing bearing him down— standing in his way and opposing— after all he always comes out right in the end.
Respecting the female laying on hands, he further remark’d, there could be no devil in it if God gave his sanction by healing— that there could be no more sin in any female laying hands on the sick than in wetting the face with water— that it is no sin for any body to do it that has faith, or if the sick has faith to be heal’d by the administration.
He reprov’d those that were dispos’d to find fault with the management of concerns— saying if he undertook to lead the church he would lead it right— that he calculates to organize the church in proper order &c. [p. [36]]
President Smith continued by speaking of the difficulties he had to surmount ever since the commencement of the work in consequence of aspiring men, “great big ” as he call’d them, who had caused him much trouble, whom he had taught in the private counsel; and they would go forth into the world and ploclaim [proclaim] the things he had taught them; as their own revelations— said the same aspiring disposition will be in this , and must be guarded against— that every person should stand and act in the place appointed, and thus sanctify the Society and get it pure—
He said he had been trampled underfoot by aspiring Elders, for all were infected with that spirit, for instance , and had been aspiring— they could not be exalted but must run away as tho’ the care and authority of the church were vested with them— he said we had a subtle devil to deal with, and could only curb him by being humble.
He said as he had this opportunity, he was going to instruct the Society and point out the way for them to conduct, that they might act according to the will of God— that he did not know as he should have many opportunities of teaching them— that they were going to be left to themselves,— they would not long have him to instruct them— that the would not have his instruction long, and the world would not be troubled with him a great while, and would not have his teachings— He spoke of delivering the to this Society and to the church— that according to his prayers God had appointed him elsewhere
He exhorted the sisters always to concentrate their faith and prayers for, and place confidence, in those whom God has appointed to honor, whom God has plac’d at the head to lead— that we should arm them with our prayers.— [p. [37]] that the of the kingdom are about to be given to them, that they may be able to detect every thing false— as well as to the
He said if one member becomes corrupt and you know it; you must immediately put it away. The sympathies of the heads of the have induc’d them to bear with those that were corrupt; in consequence of which all become contaminated— you must put down iniquity and by your good example provoke the Elders to good works— if you do right, no danger of going too fast: he said he did not care how fast we run in the path of virtue. Resist evil and there is no danger. God, men, angels, and devils can’t condemn those that resist every thing that is evil— as well might the devil seek to dethrone Jehovah, as that soul that resists every thing that is evil.
The charitable — this is according to your natures— it is natural for females to have feelings of charity— you are now plac’d in a situatio[n] where you can act according to those sympathies which God has planted in your bosoms. If you live up to these principles how great and glorious!— if you live up to your privilege, the angels cannot be restrain’d from being your associates— females, if they are pure and innocent can come into the presence of God; for what is more pleasing to God than innocence; you must be innocent or you cannot come up before God. If ye <​we​> would come before God let us be pure ourselves. The devil has great power— he will so transform things as to make one gape at those who are doing the will of God— You need not be tearing men for their deeds, but let the weight of innocence be felt; which is more mighty than a millstone hung about the neck. Not war, not jangle, not contradiction, but meekness, love, purity, these are the things that should magnify us.— Achan must be brought to light— iniquity must be purged out— then the vail will be rent and the blessings of heaven will flow down [p. [38]]— they will roll down like the Missisippi river. This shall have power to command Queens in their midst— I now deliver it as a prophecy that before ten years shall roll round, the queens of the earth shall come and pay their respects to this Society— they shall come with their millions and shall contribute of their abundance for the relief of the poor— If you will be pure, nothing can hinder.
After this instruction, you will be responsible for your own sins. It is an honor to save yourself yourselves— all are responsible to save themselves.
Prest. Smith, after reading from the above mentioned Chapter, continued to give instruction respecting the order of God, as established in the ; saying every one should aspire only to magnify his own office &c.——
He then commenc’d reading the 13th chapter, “Though I speak with the tongues of men” &c; and said don’t be limited in your views with regard to your neighbors’ virtues, but be limited towards your own virtues; and not think yourselves more righteous than others; you must enlarge your souls toward others if yould [you would?] do like Jesus, and carry your fellow creatures to Abram’s bosom.
He said he had manifested long suffering and we must do so too—— Prest. Smith then read, “Though I have the gift of prophecy” &c. He then said, though one should become mighty— do great things— overturn mountains &c and should then turn to eat and drink with the drunken; all former deeds would not save him— but he would go to destruction!
As you increase in innocence and virtue, as you increase in goodness, let your hearts expand— let them be enlarged towards others— you must be longsuff’ring and bear with the faults and errors of mankind. How precious are the souls of men!— The female part of community are apt to be [p. [39]] contracted in their views. You must not be contracted, but you must be liberal in your feelings.
Let this teach how to act towards husbands to treat them with mildness and affection. When a man is borne down with trouble— when he is perplex’d; if he can meet a smile, an argument— if he can meet with mildness, it will calm down his soul and soothe his feelings. When the mind is going to despair, it needs a solace.
[1 line blank]
This Society is to get instruction thro’ the order which God has established— thro’ the medium of those appointed to lead— and I now turn the to you in the name of God and this Society shall rejoice and knowledge and intelligence shall flow down from this time— this is the beginning of better days, to this Society
When you go home never give a cross word, but let kindness, charity and love, crown your works henceforward. Don’t envy sinners— have mercy on them, God will destroy them.— Let your labors be confin’d mostly to those around you in your own circle; as far as knowledge is concerned, it may extend to all the world, but your administrations, should be confin’d to the circle of your immediate acquaintance, and more especially to the members of the Society.
Those ordain’d to lead the Society, are authoriz’d to appoint to different offices as the circumstances shall require.
If any have a matter to reveal, let it be in your own tongue. Do not indulge too much in the gift of tongues, or the devil will take advantage of the innocent. You may speak in tongues for your comfort but I lay this down for a rule that if any thing is [p. [40]] is taught by the gift of tongues, it is not to be received for doctrine.
Prest. S. then offered instruction respecting the propriety of females administering to the sick by the — said it was according to revelation &c. said he never was plac’d in similar circumstances, and never had given the same instruction.
He clos’d his instructions by expressing his satisfaction in improving the opportunity.
The spirit of the Lord was pour’d out in a very powerful manner, never to be forgotten by those present on that interesting occasion.
[1 line blank]
The Committee appointed to investigate into the cases of individuals, returned & reported that the objections against were remov’d; and accordingly she was received by a unanimous vote.
The following persns <​names​> were also read and voted as follows
aye Hannah A. Dibble aye
Rebecca Reed aye Polly Sherwood "
Amy Clothier no Mary C. Miller "
Mary Smith aye Laura Russ "
Aphia Yale " Jane Miller "
Anna Jones aye no Hannah Whitlock "
Elizabeth Eaton aye Eliza Moses "
Lydia M. Smith aye Abigail Works "
Rosetta L. Snow " [blank] Johnson "
Nancy King "
[1 line blank]
The gentlemen withdrew and the sisters proceeded to business, concerning the poor &c. [p. [41]]
call’d on those who could represent the poor, to do so.
The family by the name of Drury was represented as being very needy.
Prest said there was some provision in the treasury— and call’d for a vote whether some should be appropriated for the above object.
Carried in the affirmative.
Mrs. Nighman [Jane Neyman] was represented as being destitute
recommended that the widow Nighman should be visited to inquire if she was dispos’d to reform the order of her house.
After several exhortations by individuals and many comforting words &c., it was motioned, secon[d]ed and carried that we adjourn until next thursday, 2 o.clock.
The meeting arose and was dismiss’d by .
The following donations were made
to wit.
Sally Angell .. 18¾
Lydia Anderson 25
Elizabeth Allred 50
Abigail Leonard 25
Eliza Green[e] 62½
—— [Melissa] Bird 25
Nancy Winchester 50
Olive Farr 50
Kuhamath Derby— 1. 00
[blank] Wight— appropriates 5. 00
2 dollars of which to the schooling of widow [Prudence] Barkdall’s children and 3, to widow [Cynthia] Baggs’ for schooling her children
Magdalene Moesser donates pr. week out of the store .. 25
[p. [42]]
12 May 1842 • Thursday
Minutes of the Proceedings
of the
Seventh Meeting of the .
[1 line blank]
Lodge Room, May 13th. [12th]
The meeting opened with singing, “Thy mercy my God is the theme of my song.” &c.
Pray’r by Prest. Joseph Smith.
The following names were then presented to the Society and were unanimously receiv’d— to wit.
Eunice R. [Bagg] Shurtliff Adoline Roundy
Phebe Woodworth Elizabeth [Harris] Henderson
Dorotha [Duritha] Lewis Hannah Lytle
Elizabeth Malam [Milam] Abigail Goldsmith
Jane A. Moore Harriet Rice
Malinda Lewis Esther S. Morrill
Hannah Drolinger Maria Haven
Caroline Tippets Sarah Mellin
Electa Peck Eliza Ann Mellin [Malin]
Fanny Hartshorn Eliza Rolfe
Jane Twist Fanny Lytz [Litz]
Elmena [Elmira] Miller Selina [Sabina] Adams
Eunice Baldwin
Martha B. [Paine] Thomas Eunice Holbrook
Hannah Annis Elizabeth Gillett
Jane Olmstead Maria Ferry
Elizabeth King Arminta Graham
Mary King Dorcas Dykes
Elizabeth Lee Mary Younger
Nancy B. [Daniels] Andrews Mary Mayberry
Lucy Foot [Lucia Foote] Nancy Alexander
Sarah Peck Deonicia [Dionitia] Plumb
Henrietta Rich Polly Gaylord
Margaret Dany [Dana] Betsey Green
[p. [43]]
Mary Kelsey Alvira Alexander
Kezia Burk Harriet Stratten
Lois Sherman Abigail Jackson
Phebe Merrill Margaretta Wilcox
Barbara Evans Esther Franklin
Mary Ann Hyde Olive B. Hale
Elizabeth Matthews Julia A. Jencks
Elizabeth Balla[r]d Elizabeth Whiteside
Mary Ann Ivings [Ivins] Emily [Emelia] Parks
Irona H. Cowles Christiana Winn
Betsey Ann Eldridge Susannah Parish
Caroline Tomlinson Aurelia Harmon
Betsey Tomlinson Eliza Hill
Annis Roberts Sarah Brown
Sibyl Stephens [Stevens] Sally King
Huldah Butler Mary B. King
Lucy McOlney Mercy Jones
Lydia Carter Jane Nelson
Pamela [Permelia] Drury Mary Duke
Ruth Drury Anna Potter
Sarah Harmon Huldah Nickerson
Sarah Mackley Huldah A. Barrus
Lucinda Baggs Mary Ann Nickerson
Betsey Baggs Louisa Pratt
Mary Clapp Clarinda Phillips
Margaret Clapp Nancy Gardner
Elizabeth Coolage Loisa Leavitt
Lucinda Turner Aurelia Curtiss [Curtis]
Loisa Hildreth Elizabeth J. Burnes
Lois Cutler Maria Thompson
Lomira Cutler Elizabeth Brady
Sarah Hayle Kezia Hendricks[on]
Dorothy Hoyt Sarah Roberts
Caroline Weeks Hannah Carroll
[p. [44]]
Margaret Ault Olivia Evans
Polly Perry Margaret Hulet
Adoline L West Amelia C. [Caroline Amelia] Webb
Sally M. Anderson
Nancy Johnson Margaret Stuart [Stewart]
Abigail Hawes Anna Harmon
Nancy Bagley Sophronia M. Harmon
Hannah Carter Amanda Rogers
Anna Wight Eda Rogers
Jemima Peck Annis Thompson
Sarah Ann Billings Abigail Bingham
Clarissa Chase Anna Landers
Sarah Lincoln Betsey Clough [Cluff]
Julia Ann Hale Rhoda Bentley
Sophia Billings Elizabeth Owens
Selina Chase Lucy Ann Alldred [Allred]
Alice Wal[l]work Julia McMurtin [McMurdie]
Lucy Clemons [Clements] Julia Ann Allred
Lucretia Marsh Abigail Allred
Margaret Fosset [Fausett] Deborah Blakeman [Blackman]
Catharine Hendricks Harriet Finch
Nancy Booth Sabra Morrison
[blank] Fordham Olive Farr
[blank] Spencer Sally Foster
Harriet Decker Luena Luce
Margaret Hurr [Herr] L. [blank] Newman
Amarellar [Avarillar] Casper Abigail Thornd [Thorn]
Elmira Daily [Almira Daley] Mary Southworth
Elizabeth A. Hall Huldah Teeples
Sophia Reels [Reals] Sabra Vooheers
[1 line blank]
The cases of the poor were then represented
Prest. J. Smith said that in his opinion, all men now considered in good standing, holding notes [p. [45]] against <​whom​> widows, hold notes; if they will not pay them, ought to be discountenanc’d by the
[1 line blank]
Sister Chapman’s case was represented—
Mov’d & carried that Sister Chapman’s garden should be plowed.
Kezia Morrison said if some one would plow said garden, she would pay from the store
Sist. Matthews propos’d to send a man to plow it.
Motion’d & carried that those persons who refuse to pay poor widows what is due them, be forever discountenanc’d by this Society.
Mov’d & carried that those men who refuse to pay sister Hillman, what she holds in notes against them, be complain’d of at the Masonic Lodge.
The following donations were then received
Amanda [Barnes] Smith— donated 1. 00
Martha Sessions— d[itt]o .. 62
Catharine Wilkie 2. 00
Percinda Ball . 62
Mary J. Warner 75
Susan McArthur 25
Elizabeth Rolfe 50
Adah Coleman 12½
Sarah Higbee children’s clothes 25
Hannah Marsh 12½ 25
Mary A. Hyde 12½
Emeline Carlin[g] Gold Pin
Nancy King 25
Annis Thompson 62½
Caroline Tomlinson 1. 75
Sabra Gribble 1 Bed Quilt 2. 00
After singing by the choir & pray’r by Prest. J. Smith, the meeting adjourn’d at 6 o.clock [p. [46]]
19 May 1842 • Thursday
Minutes of the Proceedings
of the
Eighth Meeting of the .
[1 line blank]
Lodge Room, May 19th.
Meeting open’d with prayer by
Singing by the choir—
The following names were then receiv’d, to wit.
Caroline Angell Sybil Jacobs
Eleanor Daviss Eliza Wilber
Pamela [Permelia] Dayton Ruth Tyler
Anna Buck Betsey Motley
Charity Butler Caroline Ha[r]mon
Hannah Huntsman Ann Abbott
Irena E. Lincoln Martha B[o]yington
Elizabeth Dana Rebecca More
Catharine C. Brush Elizabeth Romney
Martha A. Hovey Sally Ann Chamberl[a]in
Abiah Porter Julia Fish
Delia DeVol Jane Bolentine [Ballantyne]
Mary Abbot Lucy Groves
Lovina Johnson Polly Sweat
Mary Littlefield Sarah Roberts
Lettice Bent Ruth Tyler
then rose and said, she was burthened in mind in thinking of existing evils in the — was desirous that this Society become more obedient to the gospel in keeping all the — exhorted them to humility and watchfulness— said the more she had heard and seen of corrupt members, the more she was stimulated to faithfulness— that the gifts and blessings of the gospel were ours, if found faithful and pure before God &c.
said this day was an evil day— that [p. [47]] there is as much evil in this as in any other place— said she would that this were pure before God— that she was afraid that under existing circumstances, the sisters were not careful enough to expose iniquity— the time had been when charity had covered a multitude of sins— but now it is necessary that sin should be expos’d— that heinous sins were among us— that much of this iniquity was practiced by some in authority, pretending to be sanction’d by Prest. Smith.
continued by exhorting all who had err’d to repent and forsake their sins— said that satan’s forces were against this church— that every saint should be at the post
said the same stratagems were now employ’d, as anciently in Balaam’s time, when he was required to curse Israel and could not— yet they were drawn into sin thro’ the propensities of their natures— so with this people the cannot curse them— but can draw them into iniquity.
Motion’d, seconded and carried that Lucy Ann Munjar be suspended for a time—
The following donations were then receiv’d— to wit
Mary Snider .. 94
Sally [Polly] Angell 2, 18
Lydia Anderson . 25
Elizabeth Allred 50
Abigail Leonard 25
Eliza Green[e] 62
Mrs. [Melissa] Bird 25
Nancy Winchester 50
Olive Hurr 50
Kuhamah [Ruhamah] Derby 1, 00
Anna Wight 5, 00
[blank] 25
[p. [48]]
Sis. [Cynthia] Baggs was represented as in want of shoes
A Scotch family destitute of food.
Nehemiah Harmon’s family represented destitute of clothing, sheets, pillow cases &c
Sister Anderson gives to br. Whitlock an order on Prest. Joseph Smith’s Store. .. 25—
The meeting adjourn’d at 6 o’clock—
[27 lines blank] [p. [49]]
26 May 1842 • Thursday
Minutes of the Proceedings
of the
Ninth Meeting of the .
[1 line blank]
Lodge Room May 26th.
Meeting opened with singing “How firm a foundation” &c.— Prayar by not present— House full to overflowing.
arose and propos’d that the necessities be considered and donations received— that all other business be defer’d on account of the absence of the — She also propos’d that a few of the congregation retire to ’s and engage in prayer.
The following Donations receiv’d.
Sylvia Lyons [Lyon] .. 50
Mary Snider .. 50
Margaret Hurr [Herr] .. 25
Sarah Granger 1. 00
Mary M. Smith 2. 00
Sarah Davis .. 62½
Mrs. [Hannah] Whitlock .. 50
Lydia Anderson 1. 51
Nancy Rockwood .. 50
Nancy King .. 25
Martha [Patty] Sessions 12[.] 00
Sylva Lyons in clothing 2, 00
.. 35
children’s clothes
Eliza Mills bed Quilt 3. 00
gave an exhortation to humility and watchfulness &c.— rejoic’d at the numbers present who were uniting their faith with their works, alluding to Donations just receiv’d. [p. [50]]
Prest. J. Smith & then entered.
Prest. J. Smith rose, read the 14th Chap. of Ezekiel— said the Lord had declar’d by the prophet that the people should each one stand for himself and depend on no man or men in that state of corruption of the Jewish church— that righteous persons could only deliver their own souls— app[l]ied it to the present state of the — said if the people departed from the Lord, they must fall— that they were depending on the prophet hence were darkened in their minds from neglect of themselves— envious toward the innocent, while they afflict the virtuous with their shafts of envy.
There is another error which opens a door for the adversary to enter. As females possess refin’d feelings and sensitivenes[s], they are also subject to an overmuch zeal which must ever prove dangerous, and cause them to be rigid in a religious capacity— should be arm’d with mercy notwithstanding the iniquity among us. Said he had been instrumental in bringing it to light— melancholy and awful that so many are under the condemnation of the devil & going to perdition.
With deep feeling said that they are our fellows— we lov’d them once. Shall we not encourage them to reformation?
We have not forgivn them seventy times— perhaps we have not forgiven them once. There is now a day of salvation to such as repent and reform— they should be cast out from this , yet we should woo them to return to God lest they escape not the damnation of hell!
When there is a mountain top there also is a vally— we should act in all things an a proper medium— to every immortal spirit. Notwithstanding the unworthy are among us, the virtuous should not from self-importance grieve and oppress needlessly those unfortunate ones, even [p. [51]] these should be encourag’d to hereafter live to be honored by this 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 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 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 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 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]] 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 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]
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 Spears Fidelia Cotten [Colton]
Mary M. Sawyer Evaline Carter
Mary A. Peck Disly [Disey] Allen
Margaret Brush Judith Benjamin
Ruth Rob[e]y Matilda Fausett
Sophia Claridge Mary Holt
Rachel Allen Nancy Drysdale
Electa Murdock Elizabeth Pierce
Sylva Beecher Harriet Pinkam
Mary E. Beecher Jane Sherwood
Polly Chittendon Mary Lowry
Jane F. Pea Mary Dewell
Sarah Sweat Lydia Bair
Mary Reed Rucinda Hurr [Horr]
[p. [53]]
Fanny Crosby Mary Newberry
Mary Albridge Lucretia Young
Sarah Van [Van Blaracom] Eliza Ann Cheny
Mary A. Pearce [Pierce] Prudena Oaks [Prudence Oakes]
Rebecca Hoop[es] Sally M. Clark
Ferra Dana Beulah Hoyt
Polly J. Younger Priscilla Chase
Mary Ann Hadfield Eliza Douglas
Mary D. Guimore Adaline Perry
Lucinda Dudley Betsey Pedigrue [Pettigrew]
Elizabeth Rosin [Rawson] Elizabeth Taylor
Meeting adjourn’d to meet in the on the following day.
[4 lines blank]
27 May 1842 • Friday
Minutes of the Proceedings of the
Tenth Meeting of the .
May 27th.
Meeting in the — open’d with singing— prayer by Prest .
Prest. arose and address’d the congregation, said all must have grace for themselves &c.— that the first business is to finish the business commenc’d yesterday— requested if any were present who came to make ridicule of the Society, that they would withdraw.
The following persons were receiv’d. to wit.
Nancy Flemming Almena Haskins
Sophia A. [Bundy] Packard Sarah Powers
Elizabeth Barnum Sarah Lyons
Marcia A. Root Mary Ann Bigler
Elizabeth Bullard [Ballard] Sally Hawley
Eliza Odercark [Odekirk] Asenath Janes
[p. [54]]
Lillis Barney Sarah Ames
Eliza Kelley [Kelly] Sarah Dodley [Dudley]
Mary Jinkins [Jenkins] Lovina Dodge
Anna M. Hulett Dorcas Averett
Mary Pearsons [Parsons] Catharine Raymond
Mary C. Rawson Mary Asherley [Ashley]
Martha Murdock Loisa Stout
Eliza Pace Mary Wilson
Jane V. Lee Almira [Lucy Alvira] Atwood
Lydia Stewart Violette O. Harding
Celinda Hoyt Thomazin Downing
Sally McArthur Sarah Brinton
Mary Ann Call Lucy Ann W. Cutler
Hannah Ames Clarinda Cutler
Elizabeth Ames Amanda Babcock
Betsey Arnold Asenath Babcock
Nancy M. [Case] Winchester Sarah Morrison
Patience Johnson Eunice Warnuth [Warmouth]
Clarissa J. More Nancy Wilson
Dolly Wightman Sally Baker
Rebecca Reed Phebe Harding
Elizabeth Pilkington Eliza Harvey
Caroline Partridge Frances Humphrey
Eliza Delany Betsey Rhodabank
Charlotte Allen Frances Kelley [Kelly]
Rachel McCall Sophrona Daviss [Davis]
Lydia M. Brown Mary Johnson
Desdemona Gleason Juliet Johnson
Sylvia Vanfleet Beulah A. Clark
Esther Russell Margaret Carn [Garn]
Nancy Baldwin Esther Huse
Mary Ann Dimick Mary Lower
Sarah Hadfield Polly Ann Butler
Phebe Curtiss [Curtis] Jemima Johnson
[p. [55]]
Ann Powers Sarah L. Hoyt
Susanna C. Perry Caroline Butterfield
Christianna Lytle Olive Newell
Deborah Houghton Sarah Strong
Mary M. Carpenter Elizabeth Walker
Mary Houghton Katharine Huntsman
Charity Riley Julia Ann Shumway
Mary Hardman Sarah Burket
Abigail Bentley Lavinia Clough [Lavina Cluff]
Mary Winnegar [Winegar] Martha Nelson
Isabel Strickland Rhoda Nelson
Melissa J. Bigler Betsey Stephen
Margaret Moon Susannah Cummings
Mary Okey Mabel Sharp
Ann Birch Mary Parsons
Eliza A Allen Mary Wilcox
Julia Ann Chapman Mary Aldridge
Elizabeth Ann Dort Hannah Henderson
Sarah Wild Mary Ann Dixon [Dickson]
Abigail Abbott Levina W. Murphy
Anna Gifford Polly M. Colton
Lucy Parker Albina Merrill
Maria Empey Caroline E. Grover
Mary Ann Empey Nancy Timmon
Ellen Parker Sophronia Drake
Lorena Barrows Flora Drake
Hannah B. Merriam Dolly [Polly] Daniels
Rebecca Hodge Sarah Earl
Delecta Clark Mary Ann Coons
Huldah M. Clark Polly Vaughn
Elizabeth H. Hyde Elizabeth Stewart
Melinda Stewart
Lucy [Turner] Atwood Rebecca W. Holman
Terissa Judd Ann Bosley
[p. [56]]
Cynthia Clyde Rebecca Wight
Abigail Dow Rachel Worthington
Rebecca Holman Rebecca Warner
Nancy Green[e] Sarah Lytle
Ellen Rockwood Sarah Higgins
Sarah M’Gill [McGill] Phebe Leavitt
Mary Newberry Mary Peck
Clarissa C. Cutler Mrs. John [Harriet] Luce
Nancy Gilbert
Tanor [Tamer] Washburn
Susanna Rigby
Polly McLellin [McClellan]
Maria Sc[h]oles
Melissa Bird
Eliza Ann Haven
Ann Parry
Sarah Dodge
Sarah Ann Wood
Julia E. Stone
Sally Ann Reed
Elizabeth Hugh
Amanda Higbee
Margaret Shirts
Celinda Fuller
Mary Jones
Caroline Huntington
Harriet Clark
Rhoda Pearson
Hester Myers
Phebe Madison
Elizabeth Pool
Amelia Green
said the case of L. A. [Lucy Ann] Munjar was put over— read a certificate and spoke [p. [57]] of dropping the subject. She impress’d the necessity of being united in doing good to the poor— said she had hired a poor man to plough <​and fence​> lot at $.22,60, and solicited the in behalf of the payment which might be made in provision, clothing and furniture.
Prest. J. Smith and then came upon the stand.
arose and after some preliminary remarks, proceeded to address the congregation by saying that he rejoic’d and did rejoice at the formation of the Society that we might improve upon our talents and to prepare for those blessings which God is soon to bestow upon us.
In the beginning God created man male and female and bestow’d upon man certain blessings peculiar to a man of God, of which woman partook, so that without the female all things cannot be restor’d to the earth it takes all to restore the . It is the intent of the Society, by humility and faithfulness; in connexion with those husbands that are found worthy. Rejoice while contemplating the blessings which will be pour’d out on the heads of the saints. God has many precious things to bestow, even to our astonishment if we are faithful. I say again I rejoice in the prospect of what lays before. It becomes us to prepare by striving for union one with another, that we may be prepar’d for the day of choosing— man will not choose but God will say who is and who is not worthy.
We must humble ourselves and live by the rule given for our practice— we must lose sight of vain things and remember that the eye of God is upon us. If we are striving to do right, altho’ we may err in judgment many times yet we are justified in the sight of God if we do the best we can according to our judgment. We need not go astray [p. [58]] if we will strive in all the energy of our souls to do right.
I rejoice that God has given us means whereby we may get intelligence and instruction. It is our privilege to stand in an attitude to get testimony for ourselves— it is as much our privilege as that of the ancients saints. We must prove all things and hold fast that which is good. There are blessings lying before which are worth striving to obtain. It is our duty to humble ourselves— it is our most reasonable service to do it— must proceed to receive grace for grace, light and intelligence— if we have intelligence we have pow’r— knowledge is power: if we understand all things we shall not be barren or unfruitful in the knowledge of God. I desire all evil things may be done away; but far as possible throw the vail of charity over failings— when we see one out of the way, we ought in humility to go to, and counsel, and strive to bring back those who have stray’d from the holy principles— we must do as we would wish to be done by, this is the way to win souls and bring them back. There are many things to be taken into consideration. Far be it from me to harbor iniquity and outbreaking sins. We may have different views of things, still there is some criterion which all may come to, and by bringing our minds and wills into subjection to the law of the Lord, may come to unity.
It is impossible while finding fault with one another to be united. Would to God I had pow’r to bridle my tongue— We are <​am​> too apt when I hear anything, to make remarks, but of late have decreed to set a double watch on my tongue and not offend one of the little ones. I wish nobody harm— wish it were in my pow’r to save all within the reach of mercy— would glory in it. Perhaps some would say from my past life that I had not been so faithful as I might have heen, or my voice would [p. [59]] oftener have been heard in the congregation of the saints, but I rejoice in God that it is as well with me as it is. I assure you there are great blessings before, that would astonish you if you could behold them. I came here for the purpose of hearing Prest. Smith and of being instructed by him. I wish to encourage you to persevere in the ways of righteousness. I tell you there are blessings before to be confer’d as soon as our hearts are prepar’d to receive them.— you have my heart’s desire for the prosperity of the and pray my heav’nly Father that you may go on and glorify your profession.
The meeting then adjourn’d.
[23 lines blank] [p. [60]]
9 June 1842 • Thursday
Minutes of the Proceedings
of the
Eleventh Meeting of the .
[1 line blank]
, June 9th.
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 righteousness, 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 petition 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 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 <​up​>on the principle that they [p. [61]] repented of their sins. It is the object of this to reform persons, not to take those that are corrupt, but if they repent we are bound to take them and by kindness sanctify and cleanse from all unrighteousness, by our influence in watching over them— nothing will have such influence over people, as the fear of being disfellowship’d by so goodly a Society as this. Then take Sis. O. as Jesus received sinners into his bosom.
Sis. O. In the name of the Lord I now make you free, and from this hour if any thing should be found against you
[1 line blank]
Nothing is so much calculated to lead people to forsake sin as to take them by the hand and watch over them with tenderness. When persons manifest the least kindness and love to me, O what pow’r it has over my mind, while the opposite course has a tendency to harrow up all the harsh feelings and depress the human mind.
It is one evidence that men are unacquainted with the principle of godliness, to behold the contraction of feeling and lack of charity. The pow’r and glory of Godliness is spread out on a broad principle to throw out the mantle of charity. God does not look on sin with allowance, but when men have sin’d there must be allowance made for them.
All the religious world is boasting of righteousness— tis the doctrine of the devil to retard the human mind and retard our progress, by filling us with selfrighteousness— The nearer we get to our heavenly Father, the more are we dispos’d to look with compassion on perishing souls— to take them upon our shoulders and cast their sins behind our back. [blank] I am going to talk to all this Society— if you would have God have mercy on you, have mercy on one another.
Prest. S. then refer’d them to the conduct of the Savior when he was taken and crucified &c.
He then made a promise in the name of the [p. [62]] Lord saying, that soul that has righteousness enough to ask God in the secret place for life, every day of their lives shall live to three score years & ten— We must walk uprightly all day long— How glorious are the principles of righteousness! We are full of selfishness— the devil flatters us that we are very righteous, while we are feeding on the faults of others— We can only live by worshipping our God— all must do it for themselves— none can do it for another. How mild the Savior dealt with Peter, saying “when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren”— at an other time he said to him “lovest thou me? “Feed my sheep”.— If the sisters love the Lord let them feed the sheep and not destroy them. How oft have wise men & women sought to dictate br. Joseph by saying “O if I were br. Joseph I would do this and that.” But if they were in br. Joseph’s shoes, they would find that men could not be compel’d into the kingdom of God, but must be dealt with in long suff’ring— and at last we shall save them. The way to keep all the saints together and keep the work rolling, is to wait with all long suff’ring till God shall bring such character to justice. There should be no license for sin, but mercy should go hand in hand with reproof.
Sisters of this , shall there be strife among you? I will not have it— you must repent and get the love of God. Away with selfrighteousness. The best measure or principle to bring the poor to repentance is to administer to their wants— the Society is not only to relieve the poor, but to save souls.
Prest. S. then said that he would give a lot of land to the Society by deeding it to the Treasurer, that the Society may build houses for the poor. He also said he would give a house— frame not finished— said that br. [p. [63]] will move it on to the aforesaid lot, and the can pay him by giving Orders on the Store— that it was a good plan to set those to work who are owing widows and thus make an offsett &c. &c.
The following names were receiv’d.
Violetta Burgess Ann Bowberry [Rowberry]
Rosanna Lyman Mary Bowberry [Rowberry]
Sarah Fisher Charlotte Jenkins
Elizabeth Edwards Zilpha Jacobs
Mary Moore Charity Bickmore
Sabra Prior Mary R. Maxton
Marina Prior Mary Ann Stevens
Elizabeth Crafton Betsey Foot
Flavilla L. Leavitt Jane Jenkins
Roxana Huntsman Wealthy Pratt
Lucinda E. Cole Agnes Moss
Persis Stiles Mary Moss
Sarah W. Gibbs Sarah Zundal
Sophia C◊◊t Catharine Pope Mary Ann Greenwell
Phebe Rannals [Reynolds] Mary Ann Green
Rhoda A. Fulmer Margaret Smoot
Martisha Smith Sarah Bullard
Nancy Houghton Elizabeth Mittwell [Withnell]
Mary I. Horne Harriet Little
Catharine Nicolson Lucy Seel[e]y
Eliza Canfield Elizabeth Lemon
Anna Demill Lydia Hadlock
Elizabeth Maudsley Martha J. Powers
Nancy Henderson Maria Clark
Margaret Avery Nancy Simpson
Elizabeth Avery Gates Elizabeth Browett
Lydia Badger Margaret Stow
Mary J. Melks Maria Hodson
Betsey Bidwell Ann Slater
[p. [64]]
Lydia Edwards Mary H. Hoyg
Eleanor Edwards Mary Winterbotton
Phebe McNall Mary Ann Allen
Araminta Vorth [North] Eda Sweat
Eunice Cone Mary Henderson
Sarah Rawlins Naomi C. Price
Julia Owens Mary Wilson
Nancy Stewart Amanda Wilson
Agnes Wilson Elizabeth Scott
Philinda Stanley Lydia M. Luce
Elizabeth Hendricks Esther Wood
Mahala Dudley Sarah Meeks
Mary Ann Maxton Susanna Adams
Catharina Wilson Mary Thompson
Nancy Karr [Kerr] Elizabeth Wilson
Tirzah Chase Emily Wilson
Eliza Chase Mary Wilson
Nancy Chase Margaret Wilkinson
Diana Chase [Nancy] Ann Smithies
Sarah Buthrick [Bathrick] Sarah A. Murply [Murphy]
Polly Leach Mary Owins
Diana Camp Chara Owens [Owen]
Elizabeth Merrills Mary Mitchell
Abigail Bradley Abigail Burbank
Mary Hustin [Houston] Susanna Wakefield
Lydia F. [Ann] Gibbs Huldah Judd
Candace Evans Susanna C. Boyce
Jane Judd Elizabeth C. Allen
Mary Ives Nancy M. Murphy
Mary Jane Morris Talitha C. Garlick
Mahala Morris Sarah K. Taylor
Mary Blake Catharine Minnerly
Lodemia Barnet Catharine Mulliner
Elizabeth Helm Margaret Myers
[p. [65]]
Mary McIlwrick Martha H. [Kelley] Wilson
Clarissa Smith Sarah I. [Jane] Weeks
Mary Smith Margaret Willis
Caroline Smith Lavina Boren
Louisa Camfield [Canfield] Alice El[l]ison
Charity Shepherd Hannah A. Che[e]sebrough
Lucinda Kinyun Alice Martin
Jane Jones Eliza Jenkins
Mary Carter Mary Richardson
Mary Tytle [Lytle] Ann Vowles
Mary Owen Mary Davis
Mrs. Gay Ruth Stoddard
Mrs. [Sarah] Winter Malinda Chipman
Sarah Marsden Charlotte Chase
Ann Delany Esther Gleason
Mrs. Worthington Ann E. Hoskinson
Mary Stilly Abigail Woolsey
Mrs. Williams Polly Woolsey
Mrs. Richards Elmira Meacham
Jane Gandolf Polly Meacham [Mecham]
Jane Roberts Mary Jane Butterfield
Mary Evans Betey A. [Elizabeth Ann] Burkett
Susan Wallace Sarah J. Burkett
Margaret Butterfield Catharine Skinner
Harriet Roberts Eleanor Taylor
Elizabeth Frampton Mary Burkett
Sarah Cox Jane Burkett
Margaret Empey Mary Ann Bracken
Jane A. Foot Elsey Ann Curtiss [Curtis]
Mary Allred Lydia M. Luce
Nancy W. Allred Hannah M. Swasey
Orissa A. Allred Louis Judd
Sarah L. Taylor Charity Sharp
Mary C. Egbert Mavy [Mary] Roles
[p. [66]]
Eliza Ann Dusette Abigail D. Hovey
Abi Salina Burk Sarah Rockwell
Jane Tidwell Sarah Remington
Susan Strong Katharine [Catherine] Walker
Mary Mayberry Cyntha Yeamans
Sophia Anderson Deborah Leithead
Sarah H. Head [Sarah Head Bracken] Eliza J. Wilber
Mary Head
Mary Wall
Elizabeth Wilson
The following donations were then receiv’d, to wit—
Lucinda E. Cole .. 50
Mrs. Chase .. 75
Elizabeth Romley [Romney] .. 75
Mary Rollins 1, 00
Roxana Repsher 2, 25
Mrs. Curtis 1, .50
Maria C. Perry .. 50
Maria Scholes 1, 87
Cyrena Merrills [Merrill] .. 31
Albina Merrills [Merrill] .. 25
Rhoda Bentley .. 50
Lodemia Barnet .. 25
Mary Ann Peck .. 25
Mary Greenwell .. 25
Amanda Rogers 1, 00
Diantha Billings .. 25
Sophronia Drake .. 37
Hannah Smith .. 50
Sarah Head .. 75
Loisa Pratt .. 50
Hannah Pierce 1, 00
Mary Woolley .. 50
[p. [67]]
Elmira Miller 1, 25
Unknown— .. 25
do [ditto] .. 50
Philena Stanley 1, 50
Jemima Newcomb 4, 00
Julius Guinand 2. 00
Mrs. [Mary] Felshaw 1, 00
1, 00
Mary Smith 1, 87
Ann Bosley 1, 50
[5 lines blank]
23 June 1842 • Thursday
Minutes of the Proceedings
of the
Twelfth meeting of the .
[1 line blank]
, June 23d.
Meeting commenc’d with singing “Awake ye saints of God awake” &c.— Pray’r by
propos’d that the Society place funds in the hands of the Treasurer, for the purpose of preparing the house in contemplation for the poor.
On motion of , resolved that all applying to the Treasurer for relief, without a recommend, shall be aided at the discretion of the .
said the time had come that all must live by faith alone— the pow’rs of darkness were array’d against us, but said she fear’d nothing.
rose— encourag’d the sisters to look for long life to do good— spoke of the glory to come &c. [p. [68]]
said she was rejoic’d to see the increasing union of the — hop’d we should live right before God, among ourselves and before the world.
said we should be extremely careful in handling character— be merciful and not oppress any especially those persons objected to by some, yet considered virtuous, such should be held in their place— should not feel themselves numbered with the vile— said we would have none among us who would speak against the prophet of the Lord, or the authorities of the &c——
propos’d that a Circular go forth from this Society, expressive of our feeling in reference to ’s character— requested all who could wield the pen, to write and send in their productions, out of which, a selection should be made— said had proclaim’d that the Relief Society would be the means of a mob forth-coming— said she could not be afraid of mobs— desired the objects of the Society— the true situati◊◊ of matters might be represented— said we had nothing to do but to fear God and keep the , and in doing so we shall prosper.
Mrs. Chase prophesied that henceforth, if the sisters are faithful, the gifts of the gospel shall be with us, especially the gift of healing— &c. &c.
The following persons were then receiv’d by petition and recommend.
Nancy H. Davidson Mary Edgar [Eager]
Mary Kempton A. [blank] Parker
Maria Champlin Mary C. McCall
Olive Cathcart Lucinda Harmon
[p. [69]]
Mary J. [Isabella] Horne Mary Ann Hales
Susan Stillson Sally Killien [Killian]
Louisa Butterfield Adah Phippen
Betsey Ogden Ann Mc.Caslin
P[atience] D. Palmer Susan Mc.Caslin [Susannah McCauslin]
Hannah Driggs Eliza Mitchell
Sarah Gibbons Milly Knight
Sally Allred Phebe Cole [Phoebe Van Alstyne Cole]
Abigail Hovey Mary Brown
Polly Meckand [Meacham?] Mary Ann Lumereaux [Lamoreaux]
Mary Ann Hubbard Cynthia Mc.Lellin
Lovina Thayre [Thayer] Harriet Ellis
Esther Briarly Lucinda Page
Eleanor Simmons [Helenora Symons] Polly Vanansdale [Van Ausdall]
Sarah Sagers Lucina Snow
Martha Rogers Amy A. Smith
Margaret McCall Mary Ann Nickerson
Amanda Simmons Polly Leach
Barbara Study Martha Helsen [Helsor]
Mary Ann Russell Rhoda Smith
Eliza Hough Emily J. Burke
Leah Childs Christiana Wood
Patience Childs
Objections were remov’d against the following persons, to wit.
Elizabeth Garlick Hannah Garlick
Mary Garlick Talithacuma Garlick
[7 lines blank] [p. [70]]
Hannah Huntsman .. 50
14, 00
14 00
.. 50
Sarah Lincoln 1. 00
Sarah Foster 71. 00
Martha Sessions .. 25
Catharine Wilkie 4, 00
Mary Abbott 6, 00
Susan McArthur 6, 00
Irene H. Cowles 1, 50
Sarah Higbee 2. 00
Bulah Hoyt 25
Mary Ann Hadfield 2, 00
1, 00
Elizabeth Corey 1, 25
Eunice Holbrook 25
Matilda Case 1, 75
Catharine Spencer 1, 25
Lucy Foot .. 50
Lydia Huntington .. 25
Mary Greenwell .. 25
Nancy Winchester .. 50
Sophia Aldridge . .6
Ruth C— .. 12
Louisa Knight .. 12
Loisa Pratt .. 50
Catharine Spencer .. 50
Sybil Jacobs .. 12
Susannah Cummins .. 50
Abigail Bradford 12
Elizabeth Matthews .. 50
[p. [71]]
Catharine Raymond .. 80
Mary Wooley 1, 00
Philinda Stanley .. 12
Mary Wooley 1, 25
Rebecca Hodge .. 62
Amanda [Barnes] Smith 1, 00
Emeline Carlin[g] 2. 50
Nancy King .. 12
Drusilla Hendricks .. 12
1. 00
Rachel Allen .. 31
— Chase .. 25
E[lizabeth] Maudsley .. 20
Elizabeth Burn[e]s .. 20
Melinda Lewis 2 33
Susan A. Chapman .. 12
[16 lines blank] [p. [72]]
7 July 1842 • Thursday
Minutes of the
Thirteenth Meeting of the
[1 line blank]
July 7th
Meeting opened by singing “When I survey the wondrous cross” &c.
Pray’r by sister [Sophia] Packard.
not present, the busines of the Society was defer’d, and the time spent in exhortation and speaking, singing and prayer, much to the comfort and edification of those present.
The following Donations were made to wit.
Mary Akerly .. 50
Catharine Spencer .. 20
Sophia Packard appropriated 20 lbs. flour
to Mrs. Birch
Mrs. D[e]uel appropriated 27 do [ditto]
to Mrs. Birch
Mrs. Winchester appropriated 25 do
for Mrs. Hawkes.
Prayer for the children earnestly recommended by Councillors , and others.
Meeting adjourn’d to next week.
[8 lines blank] [p. [73]]
14 July 1842 • Thursday
Meeting of the ——
[1 line blank]
, July 14th.
Meeting opened by pray’r by
The following persons receiv’d as members of the Society, to wit.
Rebecca Shirtliff Patty Gates
Susan Thornton Harriet Scovill
Ann Wormsley [Wamsley] Lucetta Murdock
Sarah Dunn Sarah M. Chaffin
Louisa Clark Jane Barber
Nancy Hamer Sally S. [Briggs] Alvord
Eliza Ells Amanda Sanders
Frances Campion Abigail Shelton
Elizabeth Boice [Boyce] Roxcy Keller
Nancy Jackson Caroline McCaslin
Elizabeth Cox Mary Ann Case
Elizabeth Hardy Dorothy Fry
Lucinda Bingham Elizabeth Sumner
Mariah Sirine Elizabeth Blackhurst
Mary Ann Dunn Tamina Miner
Angeline Holden Elizabeth King
Lydia Gates Polly King
Matilda Case Maria Lane
Celestia Baken [Bacon] Laura McGeer [Laura M. Geer]
Mary Ames Johanna Bennett
Nancy A. Co[u]lson Cynthia Durphy
Elizabeth Corey Almira J. Cairns
Louisa McCarty Mary Whittle
Sophia Lanyon Ronana [Roxana] Freeman
Rosetta Glazier Mary Baldwin
Adaline Bonn[e]y Olive Baldwin
[p. [74]]
Rene Baldwin Mary Stoddard
Mehitable Duty Mary Ann Price
Julyanna Fenswith [Julia Ann Farnsworth] A[ggatha] A. Lee
Mary Clark Almeda Stringham
Mary Rogers Betsey Ann N. Pettigrew
Amy Porter Caroline K. Pettigrew
Sylvia Carter Lucinda S. Knights [Knight]
Lucinda G. Pace Eliza Harrower [Harrover]
Ruth Luce Martha Wilcox
Abigail Whaley Mary Henderson
Jane Mills Martha T. Workman
Esther S. Tyler Lovica Butler
Eliza Robberd [Roberts] Susanna Butler
Maria Hendricks Mary Middleton
Mary Barton Sarah C. Ellsworth
Susan Brown Martha Jane Garrett
Caroline Crosby Mary Ann Cole
Jane Hanks Phebe A[manda] Cole
Polly [Dolly] Brown Sally Fisher
Nancy Brown Sarah Ellsworth
Rebecca Tryon Mary Lance
Eunice Eaton Sarah Thompson
[Elizabeth] Matilda King Mary Ann [Mariam] Deming
Caroline H. Robinson Polly [Knight] Stringham
Olive Martin Mary Ann Munghar
Ellen Carter Jennett Kelsey
Evaline Palmer Diana Kelsey
Elizabeth Outhouse Mary H[o]uston
Anna Downey Anna H[o]uston
Susanna H[o]uston Ellen Neibaur
Nancy Porter Betsey Ames
Elizabeth Bullard Mary Hawley
Kezia Hunter Abigail Abbott
Charlotte E. Magary [McGary] Peggy Patten
[p. [75]]
Jemima Brace Delana Parker
Verona G. [Jemima] Brace Mary M. Hoyt
Sally Fowler Susanna Green
Lucretia C. Bartholomew Sarah Ann Wilcox
Lucy Hawkes Sarah McLure [McClure Killian]
Lydia Fido
The case of Sis. Brown was then laid before the meeting— sis. [Sophia] Packard objected— After many very pointed remarks concerning the necessity of acting upon the principle of forgiveness, the case was again presented upon the consideration that sis. Brown had manifested deep repentance for whatever imprudence she had been guilty of, and solicited forgiveness of the . Sis. A. Smith objected to her reception, on the ground that former objectors had not been satisfied—
The case of sis. Nighman [Jane Neyman], wishing admittance, was als[o] presented and objected.
said she could not urge fellowship where the sisters could not feel to fellowship— but where we cannot fellowship as a christian, we must not let the persons suffer in our midst. She then recommended old sis. [Prudence] Oakes to the charity and the watch care of the Society.
Meeting adjourn’d—
Donations. $
Rebecca Shirtliff 1, 00
Ann Wurmsley [Wamsley] 25,
Sarah Dunn 2, 25
Louisa Clark 75
Eliza Ells 4, 00
Frances Campion 3, 00
Elizabeth Boice 25
Elizabeth Cox 50
Elizabeth Hardy 25
[p. [76]]
Lucinda Bingham 3, 00
Mary Ann Dunn .. 50
Angeline Holden .. 37
Lydia Gates 1, 62
Matilda Case 1, 75
Celestia Baken .. 37
Elizabeth Corey 1, 25
Sophia Lanyon 11, 00
Patty Gates 1, 00
Harriet Scovil 1, 25
Lucetta Murdock .. 75
The above contributions were received from the sisters, by Mrs Jones.
[6 lines blank]
4 August 1842 • Thursday
Fifteenth Meeting
of the .
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, August 4th, 1842.
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Meeting open’d with singing.
Pray’r by Prest. .
arose and address’d the Society upon the necessity of being united among ourselves— said we shall have sufficient difficulty from abroad without stirring up strife among ourselves and hardness and evil fee[l]ings, one towards another &c.
The following persons were then receiv’d,
Charity Taylor Abigail Andrews
Margaret M. Rainey Diana Bloxham
[p. [77]]
Mary Pitt Christiana Allaman
Caroline Pitt Mary J. Drake
Sarah Hickeson Sarah Jolly
Evelina Boggs Almira Higgins
Betsey Mackley Elizabeth C. Allen
Mary Ann Mackley Amanda C. Clift
Harriet Stevens Elizabeth Bracken
Eliza Deuel Lucretia C. Maxwell
Mary S. Chapman Ruth B. Kimball
Fanny Herryman Harriet Knowlton
Hannah Flint Elizabeth Meeds [Meeks]
Mary Call Martha Outhouse
Hannah Webb Frances Green
Lucretia Lindsey Elizabeth Hinson
Rosannah Forge[u]s Sarah Wixom
Hannah Fish Sally Levett [Leavitt]
Sarah Fish Lucina Meehum [Mecham]
Mercy Baker Susan Daniels
Louisa Sessions Sarah Daniels
Phidelia [Elizabeth Fidelia] King Electa C. Williams
Mary Wood Roxcinda White [Rosina Wight]
Susanna Merrill Susan L. Merrill
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The case of sister Brown was presented to the — many voted in the affirmative— an objection made, when call’d for an expression of the meeting, to ascertain how many think best for sis. Brown to see her objectors, as had been propos’d by some individuals.
Vote pass’d in the affirmative. Mrs. [Catharine] Wilkie requested the privilege of being present at an interview between Sis. Brown and a Sister who had told scandalous tales on Sis. B. in company with — said now her obj’s were greater against that person than [p. [78]] sis. B.
said she could have the privilege as she was one that had objt.
then proceeded to make observations respecting her visit to — that she was prosper’d— was cordially rec’d by the who assured us of his protection &c. She said we could govern this generati[o]n in one way if not another— if not by the mighty arm of power, we can do it by faith & prayer. If we will try to live uprightly, said she believed we should not be driven.
continued by Saying God knows we have a work to do in this place— we have got to watch and pray and be careful not to excite feelings— not make enemies of one another &c.
Mrs. [Roxsena] Repsher motion’d a vote of thanks to Prest.
said she does not want the thanks but the prayers of the .
recommended to the sister to sustain by their diligence and faithfulness, that character before the world, which our has represented abroad.
Mrs. Parker was requested to state the result of her visit to sis. Miller’s
Reported that sis. M. was glad to have the Society watch over her— acknowledg’d she had done wrong and determin’d to do better.
Meeting adjourn’d.
[7 lines blank] [p. [79]]
31 August 1842 • Wednesday
Sixteenth Meeting
of the
, August 31st.
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Prest. Joseph Smith opened the meeting by addressing the Society. He commenced by expressing his happiness and thankfulness for the privilege of being present on the occasion. He said that great exertions had been made on the part of our enemies, but they had not accomplished their purpose— God had enabled him to keep out of their hands— he had war’d a good warfare inasmuch as he had whip’d out all of ’s host— his feelings at the present time were, that inasmuch as the Lord Almighty had preserv’d him today. He said it reminded him of the Savior, when he said to the pharisees, “Go ye and tell that fox, Behold I cast out devils, and I do cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.” &c.
He said he expected the heavenly Father had decreed that the Missourians shall not get him— if they do, it will be because he does not keep out of the way.
Prest. S. continued by saying, I shall triumph over my enemies— I have begun to triumph over them at home and I shall do it abroad— all those that rise up against me will feel the weight of their iniquity upon their own heads— those that speak evil are abominable characters— and full of iniquity— All the fuss and all the stir against me, is like the jack in the lantern, it cannot be found. Altho’ I do wrong, I do not the wrongs that I am charg’d with doing— the wrong that I do is thro’ the frailty of human nature like other men. No man lives without fault. Do you think that even Jesus, if he were here would be without fault in your eyes? Th[e]y said all manner of [p. [80]] evil against him— they all watch’d for iniquity.
How easy it was for Jesus to call out all the iniquity of the hearts of those whom he was among? The servants of the Lord are required to guard against those thing[s] that are calculated to do the most evil— the little foxes spoil the vines— little evils do the most injury to the . If you have evil feelings and speak of them to one an other, it has a tendency to do mischief— these things result in those evils which are calculated to cut the throats of the heads of the church.
When I do the best I can— when I am accomplishing the greatest good, then the most evils are got up against me. I would to God that you would be wise. I now counsel you, if you know any thing, hold your tongues, and the least harm will be done.
The has taken the the most active part in my welfare— against my enemies— in petitioning to the — These measures were all necessary— Do you not see that I foresaw what was coming beforehand, by the spirit of prophesy?— All had an influence in my redemption from the hand of my enemies.
If these measures had not been taken, more serious consequences would have resulted.
I have come here to bless you. The Society has done well— their principles are to practice holiness— God loves you and your prayers in my behalf shall avail much— Let them not cease to ascend to God in my behalf. The enemy will never get weary— I expect he will array every thing against me— I expect a tremendous warfare. He that will war the christian warfare will have the angels of devils and all the infernal powers of darkness continually array’d against [p. [81]] him. When wicked and corrupt men oppose, it is a criterion to judge if a man is warring the christian warfare. When all men speak evil of you, blessed are ye &c. Shall a man be considered bad, when men speak evil of him? No: If a man stands and opposes the world of sin, he may expect all things array’d against him.
But it will be but a little season and all these afflictions will be turn’d away from us inasmuch as we are faithful and are not overcome by these evils. By seeing the blessings of the rolling on, and the kingdom increasing and spreading from sea to sea; we will rejoice that we were not overcome by these foolish things.
Prest. S. then remark’d that a few things had been manifested to him in his absence, respecting the baptisms for the dead, which he should communicate next sabbath if nothing should occur to prevent.
Prest. S. then address’d the throne of Grace.
Prest. then rose and presented the following names, which were unanimously receiv’d
to wit.
Lucy Stevens Jane Manhard
Rachel Page Mary Chipman
Cherrizade Averett Mary Wilsey
Polly W. Hyde Hannah York
Eunice S. Hyde Nancy Walker
Martha Stafford
Hannah Price Sarah Phelps
Catharine Harwood Jane Melling
Margaret Copeland Elizabeth J[ane] Henderson
Mary Hoover Emily Morgan
Sabina A. Harrison Laura Kelly
Susannah Bigler Mary E. [Mc]Mullin
[p. [82]]
Mary Goff Mary M. Dodge
Sarah Stewart Esther Ann Gheen
Catharine Head Elizabeth Study
Nancy Dickson Ann Green
Loisa Eager Martha J. Corey [Coray]
The prayers of requested in behalf of Mrs. [Roxsena] Repshar.
Prest. J. S. remark’d that sis. Repshar had long since been advised to return to her husband— has been ascertain’d by good evidence that she left her husband without cause— that he is a moral man and a gentleman— she has got into a way of having revelations, but not the rev. of God— if she will go home we will pray for her, but if not our prayers will do no good.
Prest. S. said he had one remark to make respecting the baptism for the dead— to suffice for the time being, until he has opportunity to discuss the subject to greater length— that is, all persons baptiz’d for the dead must have a Recorder present, that he may be an eye-witness to testify of it. It will be necessary in the grand Council, that these things be testified— let it be attended to from this time, but if there is any lack it may be at the expense of our friends— they may not come forth &c.
Prayer by .
Meeting adjourn’d
Donations $
Mrs. Winnegar [Mary Winegar] 1, 00
Delany Parker .. 12½
[blank] Newell 1, 25
Polly T. Hyde 1, 00
E. Modsley [Elizabeth Maudsley] 6
Anna Smith 50
[p. [83]]
Agnes Marsh .. 12½
Myrza Alexander 12½
[blank] Chapman 37
[blank] Green 50
Hannah Ann Dibble
Susanna Be[ckel]hymer 1, 50
[blank] 50
Eliza Hills 2, 50
[24 lines blank] [p. [84]]
28 September 1842 • Wednesday
Eighteenth Meeting
of the
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, Sept. 28th.
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not present. Councillors and presided— the following persons were received into the Society— to wit.
[1 line blank]
Jerusha Dalyrimple Caroline L. Curtiss
Margaret Dunn Margaret West
Adaline Dunn Polly Meecham [Meacham]
Clarissa Herriman Ann F. Kinsey
Jennette C. Russell Surviah Taylor
Melvina C. Snow Maryette Coray
Susan Hervey [Harvey] Permelia M. Dayton
Sally G. Canfield Mary Vanansdall [Van Ausdall]
Sarah Mowerry Anne Vanansdall [Anna Van Ausdall]
Elizabeth Robbins Maria Harris
Harriet Marsh Naomi Kellogg
Sally Peacock Elizabeth Packer
Julia Daniels Catharine Mikesell
Elizabeth Mount Hannah Page
Lodema Winnegar [Winegar] Saria Garner
Susanna Yocom Catharine E. Crouse
Lucy J. Leonard Mary Fose
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Meeting adjourn’d Sine Die.
[5 lines blank] [p. [85]]
Epistle • 31 March 1842
The following Epistle was read before the , early after its organization— but was not forwarded to be recorded; the Secretary not being present at the time of its reading; else it would have appear’d in its proper place.
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To the Hon., the of the Female Relief Society of , Greeting:
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Can the “Female Relief Society of ” be trusted with some important matters that ought actually to belong to them to see to, which men have been under the necessity of seeing to, to their chagrin & mortification, in order to prevent iniquitous characters from carrying their iniquity into effect; such, as for instance, a man who may be aspiring after power and authority, and yet without principle,— regardless of God, man, or the devil, or the interest or welfare of man, or the virtue or innocence of woman?
Shall the credulity, good faith, and stedfast feelings of our sisters, for the cause of God or truth, be impos’d upon by believing such men, because they say they have authority from Joseph, or the , or any other of the ; and thus, with a lie in their mouth, deceive and debauch the innocent, under the assumption that they are authoriz’d from these sources? May God Forbid!
A knowledge of some such things having come to our ears, we improve this [p. [86]]
favorable opportunity, wherein so goodly a number of you may be inform’d that no such authority ever has, ever can, or ever will be given to any man, and if any man has been guilty of any such thing, let him be treated with utter contempt, and let the curse of God fall on his head, and let him be turned out of Society as unworthy of a place among men, & denounced as the blackest & the most unprincipled wretch; and finally let him be damned!
We have been informed that some unprincipled men, whose names we will not mention at present, have been guilty of such crimes. We do not mention their names, not knowing but what there may be some among you who are not sufficiently skill’d in Masonry as to keep a secret, therefore, suffice it to say, there are those, and we therefore warn you, & forewarn you, in the name of the Lord, to check & destroy any faith that any innocent person may have in any such character; for we do not want any one to believe any thing as coming from us, contrary to the old established morals & virtues & scriptural laws, regulating the habits, customs & conduct of society; and all persons pretending to be authoriz’d by us, or having any permit, or sanction from us, are & will be liars & base impostors, & you are authoriz’d on the very first intimation of the kind, to denounce them as such, & shun them as the flying fiery serpent, whether they are prophets, , or revelators; , , , , Mayers, Generals, City Councillors, Aldermen, Marshalls, Police, Lord Mayors or the Devil, are alike culpable & shall be damned for such evil practices; and if you yourselves adhere to anything [p. [87]]
of the kind, you also shall be damned.
Now beloved Sisters, do not believe for a moment, that we wish to impose upon you, we actually do know that such things have existed in the , and are sorry to say that we are obliged to make mention of any such thing, and we want a stop put to them, and we desire you to do your part, and we will do ours, for we wish to keep the of God in all things, as given directly from heav’n to us, living by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord.
May God add his blessing upon your heads and lead you in all the paths of virtue, piety & peace, that you may be an ornament unto those to whom you belong, and rise up and crown them with honors, & by so doing, you shall be crown’d with honor in heav’n and shall sit upon thrones, judging those over whom you are plac’d in authority, and shall be judg’d of God for all the responsibilities that we confer’d upon you.
At a more convenient and appropriate season, we will give you further information upon this subject.
Let this Epistle be had as a private matter in your , and then we shall learn whether you are good masons.
We are your humble Servants in the Bonds of the .”— Signed by
Joseph Smith, of the
, Prest. of the of
P.S. If the Lord be God, serve him; but if baal, then serve him. [p. [88]]
Certificate • 2 April 1842
Copy of a Certificate, which was also read before the , at the same time that the preceding Epistle was presented.
, April 2th 1842.
This is to certify that I never have at any time or place, seen or heard any thing improper or unvirtuous in the conduct or conversation of either or Mrs. .
I also certify that I never have reported any thing derogatory to the characters of either of them.
Signed, Clarissa Marvel
her mark.
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The foregoing, closes the record of the proceedings of the during the first year of its organization.
Recorded by
, Secretary.
[13 lines blank] [p. [89]]

Editorial Note
When the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo resumed meeting in June 1843 following a winter hiatus, more than a thousand women were enrolled as members. The group soon divided into four sections that met separately in rotation. Because Sarah M. Cleveland, first counselor in the women’s presidency, had moved from Nauvoo, second counselor presided in the absence of President , who battled sickness, traveled to purchase goods and visit family, and wrestled with JS’s introduction of the practice of plural marriage. Following the first two meetings in summer 1843, society secretary moved to Morley settlement, twenty-five miles south of and assistant secretary Phebe M. Wheeler recorded minutes and donations. Relief Society visiting committees, appointed in each ward in July 1843, began to report needs of Nauvoo families and collect contributions for the poor and destitute, particularly new immigrants. Between 1840 and 1846, nearly 4,800 immigrants came from the British Isles, more than half of them during 1841 and 1842.
Relief Society members also made donations toward construction of the in and helped temple workmen and their families. With the temple far from completion, JS introduced temple rites in other consecrated rooms. On 28 September 1843, became the first woman to receive the temple ordinance known as the endowment; nine men had received the ordinance in May 1842. JS’s promise that Relief Society members would see “the blessings of the endowment rolling on” (Minutes, 31 Aug. 1842) was confirmed as Emma Smith began to administer the sacred ordinance to other women. These significant events, documented in other historical sources, inform women’s comments regarding the temple as recorded in these minutes.

16 June 1843 • Friday
The of , resumed its meetings— June 16th 1843.
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Minutes of the Proceedings
of the
First Meeting of the Society.
[1 line blank]
June 16th 1843.
Meeting convened according to previous instructions of Prest. , who not being present, presided.
Meeting opened by singing “Let Zion in her beauty rise” &c— Prayer by Mrs. Chase.
rose and address’d the meeting by saying that she felt alone in consequence of the absence of the , from whom she had received instructions that we might not only relieve the wants of the poor but also cast in our mites to assist the brethren in building the — said she had felt a deep interest on the subject since last sabbath hearing Prest. Smith’s remarks— wished the sisters to express their feelings— our Prest., said we might speak to the , and whatever they wished and we could, we might do— then presented the case of Mrs. Mills whom several of the sis. in company with , visited in the morning.
Sec. E. A. [Elvira Annie Cowles] Holmes, then rose— said she was not altogether prepared to give a full and correct statement of the Receipts and Expenditure of the Society but would make a statement so soon as she could see and adjust some unsettled accounts— suffice it to say about 500 dollars have been recd. and nearly 400 expended during the first year of the Society— much good had been [p. [90]] done and the hearts of many made to rejoice.
The sisters express’d their feelings one by one an unanimous sentiment seem’d to pervade the hearts of all present, to wit, a desire to assist in forwarding the and in aiding the cause of .
Sis. Jones said she would be willing to go about and solicit material, if counsel’d so to do— she also offered to board one to work on the .
said if the heads of the wished, she is willing to go abroad with a wagon & collect wool &c. for the purpose of forwarding the work.
Mrs. Smith suggested that merchant’s wives donate material that others may be employ’d.
Miss [Phebe M.] Wheeler— said she is willing to give any portion, or all of her time—
Mrs. Granger willing to do anything, knit, sew, or wait on the sick, as might be most useful.
said she had felt willing to go out and solicit donations &c.
Mrs. Angell said she was willing to repair old clothes if necessary when new material cannot be obtain’d.
Mrs. Smith propos’d getting wool and furnish old ladies with yarn to knit socks to supply the workme[n] on the next winter.
Sis. [Polly Knight] Stringham offered to make men’s clothes and take work on the .
Sis. [Mary] Felshaw proposes to give some soap.
arose and corroborated the testimony of Sis Chase respecting the glorious manifestation in behalf of Sis. Mills.
Mrs. Chase then spoke in a very animated strain, by way of encouragement to the sisters, saying the angels are rejoicing over you &c. [p. [91]]
Sis. [Philinda] Stanley proposed giving every tenth pound of flax, also one qt. milk per day
will make clothes
Sis Smith propos’d getting muslin &c. from merchants not belonging to the , who were friendly— proposed calling on Mr. Orr.
then address’d the on the subject of Mothers’ discharging their duties towards their daughters, in teaching them to be sober as cultivate a realizing sense of the necessity of conducting with propriety in the ,— exhorted to instruct them in love &c.
Sis. Geen [Esther Gheen] offered to donate thread of her own spinning— requested prayers for a paralytic daughter—
Pray’r by Mrs. Smith— Meeting adjourned without day.
[20 lines blank] [p. [92]]
7 July 1843 • Friday
Second Meeting of .
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Meeting of the
First Ward.
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In consequence of having no room sufficiently commodious for the whole Society, it was recommended by the that the Society be divided for the purpose of meeting, according to the 4 City Wards, and meet by rotation, one Ward at a time, that all might have equal privileges: Accordingly notice was given at the on sunday the 2d of July that the members residing in the first City Ward, would convene at the room occupied as a Masonic Hall, on the friday following, at 2. o,clock.
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Agreeably with the before mentioned appointmment, the members of the Society residing in the 1st Ward, and a few individuals of other Wards, who had not understood the recent arrangement; convened in the room under the Hall, the Hall being occupied by the Masonic Fraternity.
Friday July 7th 1843.
Present , Mrs. Billings &c.
Meeting opened by singing “Redeemer of Israel” &c.
Pray’r by .
then arose and after expressing her regret that we were not favored with the presence of our on this occasion, and after many appropriate remarks, requested the sisters to speak and express to each other their feelings as the members of one family.
Mrs. Pratt mentioned the needy circumstances of br. Henderson, a widower with nine children— she recommended him as an industrious, and worthy person &c.
presented the case of [p. [93]]— express’d much feeling of sympathy awakened in her heart by recent recitals of his sufferings— recommended the sisters to unite like the ancient saints in faith & pray’r for his deliverance.
Mrs. Sessions mentioned the case of a man whose name she did not know, who had been fo[r] some length of time begging— had heard he had plenty of money— She described his dress.— Mrs. Pratt said she knew him— that his appearance bespoke deep poverty.
Mrs. Sessions spoke of some articles of clothing, to wit. 2 pr. pantaloons and 1 shirt, which she designed either to donate to the or to the , as Society shall think proper.
Sis. Pratt recommended an English family, mostly females, who wished the influence of the Society in supplying them with work— can do millinery— fine washing &c.
Mrs. Pratt proposed taking the responsibility of overseeing the cutting & making of clothes, being herself a tailoress.
Sis. [Anna] Downey wishes to take sewing & knitting for Society.
Sis. Abbott wishes the same
Sis. Wooley [Mary Woolley] said she has red yarn which she purpos’d for a carpet, but thinks it will do more good in mittens, & will contribute it for the sisters to knit.
Sis. Geene [Esther Gheen] said she has some coarse linnen which will do for pantaloons, which she will donate, also thread to make it.
spoke of a young man from England, who had been sick for a year— now at her house— he came from Mr. Ivan’s, who said he had sooner pay his board than keep him. said she wished to do all in her power, but her family being large, thought perhaps he might be better accommodated at another place. She said was soliciting means for his support.
Sis Jones said she is willing to take the sick man [p. [94]] to her house if it is thought wisdom— that her house is not so still as desirable for a sick person.
Sis. Markham said— has been requested by a sister of to ask of the for a girl from 12 to fourteen to live with her till of age.— recommended the sis. as a suitable person for the charge of such a girl.
Sis. Allen recommended a daughter of br. Parks, who wants to get situations for 2, who are now in
Sis. Lyons said when the poor come to and sis. [Elvira Cowles] Holmes, if they cannot supply them, send them with orders to her.
said it is the counsel of Prest. to keep accounts of small donations, when the sisters are call’d upon at their homes to assist from time to time; and bring such accounts to the Treasurer.
Sis. Snow said she will do knitting & sewing
Sis. Granger is willing to do any thing that is needed
Sis. [Olive] Farr has flax which she will contribute
Sis. Kelsey proposes to spin said flax upon shares.
Sis. Farr has tow more than she needs.
Sis. Smith proposes to spin said tow, which the sisters think advisable to make into pantaloon cloth.
Sis. Lyons will give one Bunch cotton yarn and Sis. Wooley one do [ditto], to fill the tow on, for sd. cloth,
Sis. [Mahala] Overton will weave said cloth as a donation.
Sis. Geen will give some flax and
Sis. Chase will spin it.
Sis [Lucinda] Turner will donate in work when needed.
Sis. Jones said Miss Fulmer [Desdemona Fullmer] wished needlework and proposed giving to Society one third of the price of making pr. pantaloons which Sis. Jones furnished her to make.
Sis. Esther Smith donated 12½
[p. [95]]
Sis. Sarah Kimball do 50
A union of feeling prevail’d through the meeting, all present manifested a disposition to do all in their power towards assisting the poor and in forwarding the building of the .
Meeting closed with prayer by Sis. [Sophia] Packard.
, Secy.
[27 lines blank] [p. [96]]
15 July 1843 • Saturday
Third Meeting of
Meeting of the
Second Ward
July 15 1843
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Meeting conven’d according to previous appontmt [appointment] prest. being detaind p[r]esided
Meeting opend by singing “come thou fount of every blessing” prayer by
then rose, said she rejoiced that we could enjoy the pr[i]vilege of associating together to converse on things of th[e] Kingdom to comfort and edify each other while passing through this vale of tears, made many appropriate remarks said could we abide a celestial baw [law?] and be made meet for the how glorious will it be requested the sisters present to free their minds as the spirit of the Lord should direct that all should make known the wants of the <​poor​> said that though prest was absent yet that she requested the society to do all the good in their power regretted her abscence &c
The sisters expessd [expressed] their minds one by one a union of sentiment seemed to prevail among them all (viz) in forwarding the and in relieving the wants of the want of the poor
Sis King said she would knit or sew half th[e] time
Sis Duel [Mary Deuel] said she would do sewing she also represented an English Sister Br who is suffer[i]ng extreme poverty
Sis Gribble donates $1 per month to the poor
again said— it is the council of prest to keep accounts of small donations given at their homes from time to time [p. [97]] and bring such accounts to the Treasurer
Sis James [Drusilla] Hendricks spoke in a pathetic manner upon the subject of the <​​> refered to the revelation concerning it— that if we faild in keeping the the consequences would be serious
again remarked appropriately spoke of the blessings in reserve for us if faithful in keeping the commandment concring [concerning] these Houses to be built &c
Sister King called to mind the past suffering of the Saints when they were driven from — (all wept) and greatly desir’d that we might avoid the inevitable consequenses of disobedience
continued said that prayer and faith together withe our efforts must agree proposed that some should pray to this effect
One of the sister’s p[r]ayed
Sister Malissa King donated calico ap[r]on 25
Sister Boice <​will give​> a pr linnen pantelloons
Sister Orson [Catherine] Spencer donates 4 yds bleach, a cotton cloth and vest pattern 1 75
Sister Barrass [Huldah Barrus] will give shingles
Sister Nickerson will give 4 lb candles and 1000 shingles—
Sister Husted rose wept said She had nothing to give spoke of her trouble in the Death of her Husband &c
seaid it was not her duty to give not even her mite but rather— she should be helped then reccommended her to the charity
Sister King said Sister Husted kneeded help
Sis Elisabeeth [Elizabeth] King will give Sister Husted flowr
another sister Sis [Philinda] Stanly offerd a bushel of corn
Sister P[hebe] M Wheeler a calico dress [p. [98]]
Sister [Mahala] Overton said she would color or weave for the
Sister Corrol [Hannah Carroll] said she would weave for the Society
Meeting closed— prayer by sister Wheeler
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P M Wheeler assistant Secy
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21 July 1843 • Friday
Meeting of the
Third ward
July 21st 1843
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Meeting conven’d not present & Mrs Billing’s present
rose Spoke of the Privilege of the Sisters Hoped we should be one and <​feel​> a freedom to speak of things that mostly concerned us and realise the wants of the Poor
Sis Miller named that she would do any thing that she could do—
There was a case of Widow Warner living at Br ’s with 5 small children that kneeded assistance verry much
The case of was then mentiond that she was in the decline of life and that she requested the prayers of the that she might yet be ennabled to prove a Blessing to those who may enquire of the things of the Kingdom
said she would give some rolls for the Society
Sister Wolly [Mary Woolley] namd that she would spin 2 lb
Sister Lee said she would spin 2 lbs—
Sis Rhoda Ann Bentley will donate a counterpain to be appropriated as the Society shall direct [p. [99]]
Sister Abagail Wollsey [Woolsey] said she would knit what 2 lb would make
Sister Stewart will give a pr socks
then rose and remark’d appropriately on the privileges of the kingdom said we should be up an<​d​> doing.
Sister Lee donat’d cash 31
Nancy Wilson will donate pr panteloons and babes petticoat
Sister [Rebecca] Hodges will donate Table cloth to the Society [blank] closed by prayer
[1 line blank]
28 July 1843 • Friday
Fifth Meeting of
Meeting of the
Fourth ward
July 28 1843
Meeting commenced with singing “This Earth was once a garden place”
Prayer by Sister J [Sarah] Smith
requested the sisters to improve the time to advantage regretted that so few were met hoped the meetings might not be discontinu[e]d Suggested the propriety of having the separate wards meet togather said she was sorry that the Prest was not here to preside— and cheer us Said we had her approbation that she would have the Society be active & persevering in doing good &c
Sister Billings made some verry appropriate remarks desired we might remember the poor in particular represented the case of Sister Harmons whose family is sick
Sis Joshua [Sarah] Smith said as it is a sickly time we are called to the alleviation of the poor and suffering many are suffering at this presant time said that [p. [100]] Sister Modley [Elizabeth Maudsley] and Sister [Mary] Mc Ewen were sick & distress’d in want of help
Donations $
Sister Lyons [Sylvia Lyon] 50
Selinda Simpson 8 yds calico 2 00
Clarrissa Eastman 1 pr Shoes 1 25
Dolly Markum [Dorothy Meacham] said she would spin 2 or 3 pounds wool said she had givn all her Jewelry for the was willing to do any thing she could
Sister Meecum said our Salvation depended on our Liberality to the poor &c
continued the subject refered to one of the revelations “said “by this shall ye know that ye are my deciples[”] The Lord confirms it again & again he is delighted with our acts of charity &c
Sis Joshua Smith requested widow Meecum [Lucina Mecham] to open her heart to the as she had been sick Sis Meecum wept
Sister Meecum said she could sustain herself if the Society could furnish her work would like Spinning
Sister Lyons donates patent Wheel head— 75
Sister Jones— 100 lb pounds of wool can can be procur’d on condition that half of it can be returnd in cloth to the owner
suggested the necessity of having a committee so appointed to search out the poor and suffring— To call on the rich for aid and thus as far as possible relieve the wants of all
Accordingly appointed a Comittee (to wit)
First ward
Harriet Marcum
Sophia Packard Elizabeth Jones
Second ward
Mrs James [Drusilla] Hendricks Ms [Rebecca] Hodge
[p. [101]]
Miss P[hebe] M Wheeler Mrs Orson [Catherine] Spencer
Third— ward
Selinda Simpson— Sister Peck
Sister Winchester— Sister Rice
Fourth ward—
Sister Allred Siste[r] Joshua Smith
Sister Stephen Meecum [Dorothy Meacham] Sister Billings
then rose, said when you go to those who have means tell them you are appointed to releave the needy— call on them— the Spirit of the Lord will bless you in it and stimulate the hearts of the rich— provoke them to good works— Let us try to do it
Donations $
Sister [Mahala] Overton a Bed Spread 1 00
Elisabeth Allred Soap 00 50
Sister [Abigail] Forges— Cash 12½
2 small dresses 62½
Sister [illegible] Widow Meecum will spin 50 lb Wool for the and thake [take] her pay in provisions of th[e] Society
Meeting then ajournd
[11 lines blank] [p. [102]]
5 August 1843 • Saturday
Sixth meeting of
Meeting of the
Fourth <​First​> Ward
August 5th 1843
Meeting commenced with singing “Thou Lord through every changing scene”
Prayer by Sister Joshua [Sarah] Smith
Agreeably with a prior appointment the Members of the Society residing in the first ward and a few Individuals belonging to other wards conven’d at the dwelling house of Sister [Elizabeth] Jones
The House full
and her Councillors absent
Mrs Holms [Elvira Cowles Holmes] Treasurer absent
But deeming it important to hear the report of the Committee who were appointed at the Meeting of the 4th ward to search out the poor, sick, and distress’d and to alleviate them also to receive the donations of th[e] first ward the Society proceeded to attend to most important business omitting all that could be omitted to a future time
Committee of the 4 ward reports as follows
Sister Joshua Smith found many sick in the 4 ward & some destitute in want of things to eat and to use went and visited Sister [Mary] McEwen and Sis Modley [Elizabeth Maudsley] found them and their families in suffering want they kneed attendance every day
Sister Meecum visited Nehemiah Harmons found them poor sick & distressd and no bedding nothing comfortable entirely destitute
Sister Meecum and Sister Billings solicited Donations for the same
Sis Anderson gave 1 pr stockings 00 25
[p. [103]]
Sister Far [Olive Farr] a calico Dress and cape
Sister B Ammer a peck of onions 1 lb sugar
Sister Clayton 14 lb flowr $ 52
Lydia Moon one Shirt 00 50
Margaret Moon one Shawl
Sarah Mendanhall a pr of pillow slips 00 25
one toweel one Shirt 00 50
Ester Ann Geen [Esther Ann Gheen] 3 pillow slips bolster slip 2 little shirts 2 mens shirts one dress 2 small dresses 2 aprons tape and thead 2 50
Abagail Forges 2 lb sugar— 00 14
Report of the committee of the first ward
Sister [Elizabeth] Jones— Sister [Harriet] Marcum and myself have visited our ward went to eve[r]y house found many sick but more comfortable than we expected found and Sister Miller and old Lady sick with bed or bedding no changes of cloothing found Sister Broomley very sick nothing at all to eat calld on Sister Morrisson who gave things for her relief
Sister Marcum— reports to corroborate with Sister Jones said they found few suffering ones
reports that there were 2 families by the river sick & no thing to eat nothing but one cup of coffee A Mrs Holt & Child are great sufferers
The Comittee of the first Second and third ward not prepad [prepared] to report
Sister Jane Michael representd a Br who had been sick some months
Sister Angel rose said she had lately found a sister late from England destitute a widow of late soon expecting to be confind who had just been to prest s [Hyrum Smith’s] for help said she had no home had had 6 children lost several of them; her husband just before she [p. [104]] left England and one child on the water
Sister [Jane] Olmsted will give soap 50 worth & wash McEwen <​family​> for
Sister Jones will take her in and take care of her
Mrs Woolly [Mary Woolley] will give 1 yd fine Muslin a flannel petticoat pinning blanket 00 60
Rosanna Lyman quarter lb tea 00 25
Sister Sweat will 50 cents worth soap
Sister German [Rachel Jerman] will give a suit of cloaths to old Mrs Miller 4 yds bleach’d muslin 3 yds Canton flannel 2 Spools cotton thr[ea]d 1 00
Sister Pratt representd Br Hendersons as destitute for cloathing offerd to cut and make old garments for them
Philinda Simpson cotton flannel & sugar 00 75
Catharine Miller 2 lb sugar 14
Delinda Parker Pair cotton stockings 25
Salvina Adams 3 yds cotton drilling 75
Martha Thomas soap & provisions 1 00
Sister Charles rich [Sarah Rich] then rose and reqestd requested a reccommend from the as she was soon to leave for Ottoway a vote was calld expressive of thei[r] minds and carried in her favo[r]
Sister Chase then rose and spoke on the necessity of prayer and faith exhorted the Sisters to faithfulness to be much in prayer said she stood a living wittness for Jesus of Nazereth knew he had pourd his Spirit upon her Inasmuch as we visit the sick we shall be blesst I mean to do all that I can to releave their necessities we must be humble and and overcome the powers of darkness & live by faith
Meeting adjourned [p. [105]]
13 August 1843 • Sunday
Minuets of proceedings of the
Seventh Meeting of
Second Ward
At the House formerly occupied by Father Snow
August 13 1843—
Present and Mrs Billings
Meeting opend withe Singing
Prayer by Sister Chase
said she had hoped the would be present this afternoon desird the Sisters would remember her in th[e]ir preyers that she was pleasd with our last Meeting (viz of the First ward then address’d the Society on the priviliges and blessings of this Kingdom
Sister Billings rose said I can say with we are called to rejoice notwithstanding the trials Sickness and death thro which we have been calld to pass thro in I am thankful we have lived it through and now it becomes us to be faithful and to walk humbly befor God I feel my unworthiness desire that I may war a good warfare and at last be receivd into the Kingdom of God exhorted the sisters to be bold not timid or fearful in bearing their testimony
Sister Orson [Catherine] Spencer rose said she had been appontd [appointed] as one of Commttee— of the 2d city ward was willing to do all in her power for the relief of the poor sick and distressd but that her health was delicate <​&​> could not do much said she had thought we were taking the place in looking after the poor & solicitting donations &c said as the wards were extensive felt she was not adequate to the burthen desird some on[e] might be appointed in her place reportd a sick family which she had visited and hand[e]d in her donations [p. [106]]
P[hebe] M. Wheeler of the 2d city ward reports as follows I visited some few families some were sick, some not Sick found one family Br. Chatmans—; verry poor and destitute would represent them to the charity of the relief society Br Chatman is constantly employd on the walls of th[e] he has 4 small children not quite 5 nearly destitute for cloathing also would reccommend to the charity of of this Sis Francis Lew Law who is sick & without a home an aged widow Lady at present destitute of money
Sister Reed offerd to take her and Nurse her if some one would provide her board
Sis [Drusilla] Hendricks then rose said she had understood that she was one of the Commtee. appointed to look after the poor but said she had a great burthen uppon her, did not know what she could d do felt that as her family was situated she could not do much desird that some one might be appointed in her place
verry feelingly remarked that they were only directed to <​do​> the little that they could without Injury to themselves &c
Sister Billings said none were requird to go beyond their strength
Sister [Elizabeth] Jones of Commttee of the first city ward reports that many were sick and suffering the necessarry Comforts of life and receivd Donations as follows
Sister Wolly [Mary Woolley] 11 lb flowr 00 28
Sister [Margaret] Smoot 6 lb flour 00 15
Sis German [Rachel Jerman] 1¾ lb butter —8
Sister Chase donated a Calico dress to Sis Miller 1 50
Sis Rice gave 4 lb butter loaf bread 5 lb flour 00 40
said as Committee of the 3d city ward she meant [p. [107]] to go forward in this benevolent work said she had found the people as far as she had gone generly comfortable
Sis Olive Frost represented a a sick family whom the Comttee had overlooked a Br Burgess & family
Eliza Duel donates 2 lb Sugar 12½
Sis Jones a Chicken to Sister Longden 00 6
Sis Simpson 1 lb butter 00 8
and Sundry articles 00 40
Sister Wolly 10 lb flowr 00 25
Sis Smoot 6 lb flowr 00 15
Mrs Dan gave several small articles for a child 00
00 30
Mrs Coolage [Elizabeth Coolidge] 3 yds Shirting 00 37
Widow Nights [Martha Knight]— cash 00 15
Mrs Cowls crackers 00 25
Mrs Mc entile 8 lb flowr 00 20
Mrs [Catherine] Orr sundry articles for the sick 00 31
also 3 yds. cotton cloth 00 30
Mrs Orson Spencr sundry articles for the sick 00 51
The following names were then presented to the and the persons receivd as Members
Eunice S Baxter Belinda Newel
Mary Stewart Louisa Sangers
Maria Ferry Phebe Groves [Graves]
Sarah L Mendenhall Eliza A Groves [Graves]
Thirsa McNoll Elizabeth Thompson
who had been invited to attend rose and said that he felt a delicacy in rising to address the society but was rejoiced to see their Benevolent exertions said he was as perfectly satisfied withe the order of this society as that of the gospel on the commencement of this [p. [108]] said there are many Benevolent Societies abroad designd to do good but not as this ours is according to the order of God connected with the according to the same good principals & knowledge will grow out of it reproved the Sisters for their fearfulness said they were not acting in the ’s place nor intruding upon them in their calling That the was organised according to the mind of God that had directed to the appointment of this Comtee that Joseph had appointed to direct—; the society had covenanted to follow Joseph that they had nothing to do but to move forward said the objects and principles of this society are vast not fully understood a most important part of the to look after the sick without— Notwithstanding th[e] Bishops there would be a lack in the Church the Order of th[e] is not complete without it; let every one act in their place, then all will move on most gloriously the purposes of God will be accomplished chided the Committee who had expressed fears of acting out of their place— In the Bishop’s place sa[i]d they were in their place and those who would act perseveringly in their place— Should be bless’d with great blessings more than they could conceive The organisation of this Society & the Church is similar according to the mind & order of God in it every want may be suppli[e]d every place filled— take couredge and use every exertion within your power Every on[e] has their duty and place you may do much good in cheering the hearts of the pilgrim Saints who come to Zion as stran[g]ers a word of consolation may ennable them to rise up in the Spirit of God with cheerfulness How long will it be before a this society will want a store house to store the[i]r goods I am far from thinking the Bishop will have th[e] only [p. [109]] The time will come when all persons will find reliefe thro this — Why should not this prospect buoy you up above the difficulties which may cross your way I am unable to express my feelings on this vast subject The Lord has set his hand to accomplish this very object Then act with all cheerfulness I contend you have a perfect right to relieve the poor in the name of the Lord to claim assistance of each other for this object without any hesitation This is the design in the almighty in forming it you kneed not doubt but this Society is raisd by the Lord to prepare us for the great blessings which are for us in the in the Temple be faithful and comfort and edify one annothe [another] in all things be faithful in reporting the sick that each may know and do their duty in all things That; that, Can be Shaken will be shaken hereafter we shall have enough to try every power of our Souls here is the use of the word of Comfort
I have no more to say
The committee then rose (namely) sister O Spencer Sister Hendricks and P M Wheeler said they had not understood clearly what was expected of the Committee but would do what they could most cheerfully P M Wheeler presented case of Sister Lew to the Society Siste[r] [Harriet] Marcum said she had no more; to no more objections to make in doing her duty as a com[mit]tee
The Comttee all seemd to have gaind new courage desird to remain in their places and do with their might all they could do—
Meeting closed
Prayer by
[2 lines blank] [p. [110]]
August 1843 • Undated Meeting
Meeting of the
of the third Ward
commenced Singing “the Glorious day is rolling on” Prayer by Sister Peck—
The following names as members were receiv’d by unanimous vote
Jane Rawlins
Ann Hunter Mary Graham
Margaret P. Downing Sarah Wellfery
Almira Palmer Mary Knowlton
Polly A Sabins [Mary Ann Sabin] Lucinda Cunningham
Julia A [Foster] Hampton Hannah Smith
Abagail C Owens Leah Rawlins
Elisa Evans Susan Winegar
Polly Canklin [Conklin] Ester Moraletile [Esther Maleta Johnson]
Clarrissa Miller Emily Worton
Martha Akes Lavinia Haze [Lovina Hayes]
Penina Frost Elizabeth Welker
Maria Vansal [Vancil] Jane Stocker
Darinda Kimball Asennath [Asenath] Burt
Spoke of the disappointment on account of s Sickness
Mrs Billings Spoke of the case of a little girl who lived with Mrs Sheour
Miss Frost spoke of the sick said Mrs Burgess & family were disstressd
Mrs Pratt gave Sugar & coffee
Mrs J [Sarah] Smith said many of the sick were suffring and some were getting better
Mrs Meecum said she had been sick had not been able to attend to her duty but said Mrs Charles [Elizabeth] Ivins would assist from time to time when calld upon Spoke of a Mrs Nickerson Who had no home [p. [111]]
Mrs Webb said she would take her in
of the first ward said she had visited the sick in her ward many were suffering some getting better
Mrs Heaps donated one dollar order on Mr Law
Mrs Lyon one Wheel head $ 75
Dr [Robert] Foster do [ditto] 8 00
Which was given to Steers mentiond by sister Simpson
Sistr— Peck reported Mr Cuyes and family as sick and destitute administerd to th[e]ir relief
Eunice Holbrook gave 2 lbs sugar 00 20
Mrs Sessions said that Mr [Joseph] Dobson was sick & destitute had 3 chairs which he wanted to sell for provisions
Mrs [Elizabeth] Jones said a little girl was brought to her as an object of charity
Mrs Hunter gave calico for a dress for her
Mrs Jones said she had obtaind 40 lb of wool as a donation to the by Mrs Elvira Saxon Who wishes to become a member of the Sister Saxon was received by unanimous vote
Mrs Aldridge said she had visited the sick in the 4th ward and administerd to their wants
Mrs Kimball stated a Mr [John] Charleston & family were sick his wife very low & in great need of a nurse said she had assisted them
Mrs [Rebecca] Hodge gave on[e] pr of pillow slips and table cloth— 2 50
a Hymn then sung “Mortals awake with angels join”
Prayer by
Meeting closed [p. [112]]
2 September 1843 • Saturday
Tenth meeting of the
of the First Ward
Snow House Sep 2d 1843
The fourth ward were prevented meeting at the Lodge room from the rain
Meeting opend by prayer and singing
prayer by Sister Joshua [Sarah] Smith
In compliance with s [Elizabeth Ann Whitney’s] request proceeded to business
Prest absent also he[r]— Counsellors
Mrs [Elvira Cowles] Holmes the Treasurer not presant
The Committee then proceeded to report as follows
& Sister [Elizabeth] Jones of the first ward found that many were sick and suffer[in]g said there were some imposters Spoke of Hannah Jones who is late from England a widow and <​had​> applied to this society for help had found her to be a corrupt <​person​> as they had enquird into her Character and knew it to be corrupt
Sister Meecum Sister Joshua Smith of th[e] 4th ward report that about 20 families are very sick and others getting sick Br Law and the have supplied some so that they are mostly supplied with meal & flowr at present
spoke of Sister Broomley as destitute of dresses $
said she would donate one of her own 1 00
also one shirt 00 50
She also represented a family of Holts as of objects of charity
Sister Joshua Smith mentiond the case of N Nicholson [p. [113]]
P[hebe] M Wheeler represented Siste[r] Reed as an object of charity to the
Sister Lyons donated 00 50
to Siste[r] Reed for a dress
Sister Reed desird to get work of the Society
Siste[r] Jones rose said she had an orphan boy on her hands James Bayley who had been with her 3 weeks and now inclining to drepsey [dropsy] could eat nothing but crackers and was in need of medicine which she could not get without money solicited help for him
Sister Packerd [Sophia Packard] spoke of Mrs [Clarissa] Merrifield as poor & needy Spoke of annother family and destitute and <​had had​> no thing but potatoes and roasted corn in 4 days has money due him but cant get it Sister Packard said she desird to do her duty and magnify her calling faithfully
Sister Fordham representd a family near her in extreme want Also a Br Willcox with a large family in extreme want <​near to​> and Jeremiah Curtiss, North East from the
spoke of a family of Wights the Man very sick nothing to eat
Sister Jones suggested the propriety of of taking measures to detect imposters said that had a counciled all to report to whom donations were given
Sister Chase rose & said that she was willing to do all she could for the sick herself and sis Geene [Esther Gheen] had Given 1 00
to Sister Miller
Said she had had a family dependant on her hands who were poor and needy
Sis Packard said that Martha Thomas will donate of provision 00 50
[p. [114]]
Donations $
Sister Warner 12 lbs flowr— 00 30
Sister [Mary] Snider 3 lb sugar— 00 36
Sister Risen [Sophia Riser] 12 lb flowr 00 30
Sister [Mary Ann] Oakley 3 yds Shirting 3 yds calico 00 75
Sister Simmons 8 lb flowr 00 20
Sarah Bayley [Bailey] 1 lb sugar 1 lb of coffee 00 25
Mary Yearsley 1 pr sheets & cash 31 cents 1 37½
Hannah Pierse one Quilt one shirt pr pillow slips and sundries 12½ cents 2 50
Sister Chandler Rodgers [Amanda Rogers] 15 [k]nots of white Stocking yarn 00 50
Sister [Sylvia] Lyon Sundry articles for th[e] sick and distress’d handed ov[e]r to Sister Longdon [Sarah Langdon] Sis Riley Sis [Sarah] dobson and the blind brother 4 81½
Thirsa McNol flowr & Meat 00 20
Charity Stoddard in tin ware 1 00
Irena Cowley [Cowles] 1 lb rice 6 00 60
Sister Brosier [Sarah Brazier] cash 12½ 00 12½
Sister Dan 12 apples 00 6
Martha Thomas meat 00 10
Mrs Ferry meat 00 8
Mrs Nickerson bread & butter 00 6
Ruth Williams flowr & meat 00 75
Sophia Packard bread and meat 00 18
Mrs [Mary] McKenzie 1 lb sugar— 00 12
Sis Husted 8 lb pork 00 12
Anothe[r] Sister 8 lb flowr 00 20
Siste[r] Brewster 4 lb flowr 00 10
Sister [Keziah] Morrison cash 00 25
Mr [John] Finch Merchant 2 lb rice 00 12
Sister Daniel [Maria] Hendricks 1 lb candles 12
[p. [115]]
Sister [Philinda] Stanley said the flax which she had given to the 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 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 [Persis] 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 Meeting
Eleventh meeting of the
[1 line blank]
Second Ward
Meeting opend with singing and prayer
Prayer by Sister Jones
P[hebe] M Wheeler rose and said that as the and councillors were not present and yet necessa[r]y that the Society proceed to business having requested her to attend and do the best she could She desird [p. [116]] that some one might be appointed by the voice of the society to act for the present time for the Society
It was motion’d and seconded by sister Orson [Catherine] Spencer and unanimously carried thas [that] sister M. Peck act for the for this pressent time
The following names were receiv’d by vote
Margaret McDougall Agnes Hill
Mahala D More Nancy Bradly
Artemisia Wiscom [Wixom]
Sister Peck rose said we would like to hear from the sicke poor— that our sympathies may be awaken’d for them that they may be relievd and comforted
said she had only visited a few families
Sister Huntsman said Br Levi Stalts [Stilts] family were in a suffering condition— living in the 2d Ward on road
Sis King said she had visited the sick of 2d ward found but few suffring families
said the sick of th[e] 4th ward were no better their sufferings verry great
Sis Wheeler spoke of the situation of Sistr [Francis] Lew Law Who is late from left her funds there $300 which is due her this present season said she desired to get to and from thence to it being the voice of the first ward that should be cunsulted Sister [Sophia] Packard was appointed to see her
Sister Packerd rose said that she had laid her case before the that as she <​Mrs Lew Law​> was now in reduced circumstances and had money due her it was her council that the Society help her to
Sister Sessions said she would give her 00 50
[p. [117]]
Sister Simpson 00 25
Sister Orson Spencer 00 25
Phebe M Wheeler 00 25
Sister Hunter 1 25 00
The Society 1 00
Society Cash 00 50
Donations receiv’d
Millicent Parks 00 18
Mrs Hovey 00 25
Mrs Leathhead [Deborah Leithead] 00 06
Fanny Parks 00 1 12½ 00
Mrs Jolly [Sarah Jolley] 00 12½
Sis Sarah Brown 3 lb pork 00 81
Sis Maria Barnum 7 lb flowr 00 14
[illegible] ◊◊ched [illegible] Mrs Elizabeth Huntsman 2 fowls 00 20
00 12½
Mrs Ann Hunter 29½ yds of unbleachd cotton cloth 11 <​cents​> yd and 17 yds of calico 12½ cents yd 5 24
Susan Hunter 1 00
Sister [Sophia] Packard rose said she had a great burthen on her mind it was the situation of the sick and bereav’d Mentiond a family or 9 children late orphans Sister Sessions spoke most tenderly of our Prest said She was verry sick and desird that the Society would unite in faith and prayer for her that she may be heal’d
Prayer was made in her behalf
A hymn sung
Prayer by Sister Sessions
[1 line blank]
P M Wheeler Assistant Secy
[1 line blank] [p. [118]]
15 September 1843 • Friday, First of Two Entries
Minutes of the
Twelfth Meeting
of the
Sept 23d 15th.
Meeting commenced with singing and and prayer by
The following members were received into the Society
Juliet Balis [Bayles] Cinthia Weston
Christiana Riser Sarah Meekam [Mecam]
Alvira Meekam [Elvira Mecham] Mary Devenport [Davenport]
Mary Pugh Eliza Elvira Allred
The minutes of the last meeting read spoke very feelingly exhorting to unity & trust in the Lord and have faith that our sick may be healed & our lives prolonged & to remember that her life be spared that she might be with us
Mrs Smith rose said, she had visited the sick said they were getting better she had carried Tonic & pills 3 dollars worth she could not go on foot to gather donations & distribute to the poor but would go when she could
[7 lines blank] [p. [119]]
15 September 1843 • Friday, Second of Two Entries
Minuts of the
Thirteenth Meeting of the
August [September] 15
Meeting commenced with singing prayer by
The following persons receivd into the Society to wit
Juliet Balis [Bayles] Christiana Riser
Cynthia Weston Sarah Meecum [Mecam]
Mary Devenport [Davenport] Alvira Meecum [Elvira Mecham]
Mary Pugh Elisa Alvera Alred [Eliza Elvira Allred]
The minuets of the last meeting read spoke verry feelingly to the Society upon the necessity of being united in faith that sickness may be turnd aside lives prolonged desird the Society to pray for Sister Joshua [Sarah] Smith said she had visited the sick found them better but had carried them tonicks and pills 3$ worth spoke of her inabilaty to visit the[m] as She had done as her strength was failing said that Sister [Elizabeth] Jones had to[o] hard a task desird some one would take the young man who was sick on her hands Br Willcox family was represented as extreme<​ly​> poor Sister Pack proposed that Sis [Mary] Woolley & Siste[r] Geene [Esther Gheen] be added to th[e] Committee to look after the poor also that the 1 2d 3d & 4th ward be join’d as one and all meet togather which was carried—
Donations $
Sarah Meeks sundry articles 1 00
Sister [Lucy] Hatfield to flowr 00 90
Sister Price sundry articles 00 50
Sis Lyons sundries 00 50
Br Heaps [Thomas Heap] 1 pint wine 00 25
Sister Ivins flour 00 50
Sister Smith for keeping Sister Nickeson two weeks 3 00
[p. [120]]
It was proposd that the comittee go forwa[r]d and do all the good they can
[1 line blank]
A union of feeling prevaild in behalf of the poor and afflicted
[1 line blank]
Donations $
To Sundries given by Br felshaw [William Felshaw] for poor 00 50
Sundry articles by Sis [Susanna] Yocum 2 00
To Sundry articles & attendance on Sister [Elizabeth] Dobson 2 25
To attendance on Sister [Phebe] Emmet 1 25
To sundry articles persons names unknown 00 75
Meeting ajournd
Prayer by Siste[r] J Smithe [Sarah Smith]
[1 line blank]
14 October 1843 • Saturday
Fourteenth Meeting
Oct 14 1843
Lodge Room
Comenced with singing with singing “Come Holy Spirit Heavenly dove”
Prayer by Sis J [Sarah] Smith
persons receivd as members of society
Catharine Clawson
Susan Culbertson [Cuthbertson] Elizeabeth Carbey
Prest abs[e]nt rose said she was happy to again meet the Society but sory the is not present Spoke of th[e] blessings that awated the Saints exhortd all to faithfulness and humility that we may be prepard for th[e] trials & temptations which surroung [surround] us [p. [121]]
desird the Committee to report
Sister J Smith said many of the sick which had been better were getting worse with ague and were destitute for of food said she felt deeply interested for th[e] sa[i]d O that we might rouse to action and thus call down th[e] blessings of God upon us
Sister Peck said that this Society had done a great good in relieving the distressd we have not said “be ye warmd and cloathed[”] without trying to do it
Siste[r] Pratt represented th[e] situation of Sis Jones Siste[r] Ann Jones who is in extreme want
Siste[r] M— Dougall [Margaret McDougall] offers to work for widow Nights [Martha Knight] desird pray[er]s for Sister Hormans who is sick has long been sick some 8 months
Siste[r] Smith mentiond Sister Langdons family sick and without food
P[hebe] M Wheeler proposd the the that a sew[i]ng Society be appointd that garments and bed coveri[n]g may be mad[e] and given to such as are suffer[i]ng cold and nakedness
Movd secon[de]d and unanimously carried that the sisters meet on Thursday afternoon of nex[t] week at 1. o clock to comfort th[e] poor
Donations omited
Meeting ajournd
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P M Wheeler assistent secry
[4 lines blank] [p. [122]]

Editorial Note
After a second winter hiatus, the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo reconvened 9 March 1844. During the interim, work on the quickened and the vanguard of women and men participating in sacred temple ceremonies expanded. The Saints continued their ongoing appeals to the federal government to recuperate properties lost after their expulsion from the state. To assure protection of Saints’ rights and property, JS reinforced ’s local police and militia, fortified Mormons’ political presence in local and state government, and even became a candidate for the presidency of the . These measures, combined with the expanding practice of plural marriage, heightened tensions with neighbors and among church members. Rumors regarding Mormon polygamy precipitated slander against the women of Nauvoo, which Relief Society members assembled to refute.
The society’s last four recorded meetings, held morning and afternoon on two consecutive Saturdays in March 1844, were nearly identical. All four centered on the reading and ratification of a statement titled “The Voice of Innocence.” Composed by , a clerk and scribe for JS, the epistle already had been read and approved at a general meeting of priesthood leaders and “about eight thousand Saints” on Thursday, 7 March. Beginning two days later, at the overflowing women’s meetings, the preamble and three resolutions comprising “The Voice of Innocence” were presented so that “all might have the opportunity of expressing their feelings.” The 1,200-word document refuting allegations against the women of was “unanimously adopted at each meeting” (“Virtue Will Triumph,” Nauvoo Neighbor, 20 Mar. 1844, 187).

9 March 1844 • Saturday
The resumed its Meetings— March 9th 1844
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Mienetes [Minutes] of the First Procidings of the
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First Meeting of the Society
Room over Brick Store
March 9 1844
Meeting conveind— Presedent . Proceeded to Open the Meeting— appointed— , Sectary
Stated the object of the Meeting, read an Epistle called the Voice of Innocence— adressed the Meeting on the late Slander, of &c by O F Bostic [Orsamus F. Bostwick] w[h]ich calld forth— the <​of reading of​> above Epistle— it was then asertaned by vote, who would be willing to receeve the princples of vurtue, keep the of God, and uphold the in puting <​down​> iniquity— was received by unanimous voice— Prest Said her determination was to do her Duty Effectully— in puting down transgresion
— requested the Sisters to Pray that might be supported, to teach us the princples of Righteousness expressed her fears, that Jugement would bgin at the house of God— said it was high time for Mothers to wach over their Daughters & exhort them to keep the path of virtue— the present Meeting then ajourned in order to make room for those who could not get admitance in the fore part of the day—
12 o c A M— th[e] following Persons were then received by vote—
Rachel Foster Clarsesa Labanno [Clarissa LeBaron]
Mary Ann Shefflin Nancy [blank]
Mary All[e]y Mary S. Nelson
Hannah [blank] Mary Stuart
Catharine Tuttle Harriet Carter
Sarah Har Susan Ashby
[p. [123]]
Brick Store Affternoon
1 oclock Meeting Called to order by
Prest— — again staded the object of the <​Meeting​> that it was on account of the Slander of P. by a vile man— Bostwic— wich had ex[c]ited th[e] indignation; of the Breatheren against him; and called forth the present remarks; the [‘]Voice of Inocence’ was then read and approved— continued firther by exhorting all to take heed to their ways; and follow the teachings of Broather Joseph; and when he Preacheas against vice to take heed to it; and said; he meant what he said; concludid her remarks by requ[e]sting all to use theire common senses; and they would teach us right princples if we would adheare to them— further that we must be willing to forgive <​what has past​> in consideration of repentance & reformation— Meeting— adjoured to meet again Next Saty 10 OClock
Abigal Gray Elisabeth Moss
Eliza Gray Emly Jacobs
Catharine A. Curtis Rachel Swaner
Jane S Richards Elisabeth Miles
Mary Cole Emily Merrell
Susanah Cambill Mary Guinomd [Guinand]
Ann Cotten [Cottam] Sophia Pollard
Sarah Littlewood Catherine Jameion [Jemeion]
Mary Bundys Dolly Duncon [Duncan]
Isabela Willby [Isabella Wilkie] Alice Robinson
Ann Bushby [Busby] Sarah Gibbs
Lidia Savery [Lydia Severy] Sally Pollard
Mary Bedford Sarah Stuart
Dellia [Amelia Delilah] Mikesell Mehaatable Chase
Ester McMin [Esther McMeans] Rebeca Romand [Rebecca Raymond]
Elizabeth Clark Ennice Leffinwell [Eunice Leffingwell]
Amy [blank]
[p. [124]]
16 March 1844 • Saturday
Minutes of Preceedings of Se[c]ond
Meeting of the
Room over Brick Store March 16th <​1844​>
10 oClock A.M
Meeting Opend with singing.
Prayer by Prest .
— the<​n​> arose and adress’d the Meeting upon the Nec[e]ssity of being united amoung ourselves and Strenthing [strengthening] each others hands in ordor that we may be able to do much good amoung the poor— [blank] again read the Epistle in Defence of the virtues Female part of the community of exhorted them to cleanse thier hearts and Ears and said the time had come when we must through throw the Mantle of Charity round to shield those who will repent and do so no more Spoke of Spiritual Wife system, theat some taught it as the Doctrene of B Joseph— She advised all to abide the Book of Mormon— Dr Coven’ts [Doctrine and Covenants] &c then read that Epistle of Presedent J. Smiths; rewritten in this Book of Record— Meeting then closed to reopen— 12 OClock—
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One OClock Meeting calld to order Pres again adressed. the Society Read Boath the former Epistles;— Desired none shluld [should] lift their hand or voice; to adopt the princples unless they where willing to maintain their integrity through time & Eternity Said thease contain the princples, the Society started upon; but was sorry to have to say [p. [125]] all had adhe
all had not adhere’d to them—
again exhorted— to follow the teachings of Presedet J Smith— from the Stand— said their could not not be stronnger Language used than that just read— and that was these are <​the​> words of B. Joseph her Husband— &c Said she wanted to see a reformation in boath men & woman— also exhorted— to look affter the poor— also to examin the conduct of their Leaders of this — that you may sit in judgement on their heads— and said if thier ever was any authourity on the Earth she had it— and had yet— Prest. closed her remarks by say[i]ng she should like to have all the Society present to geather— she said it was her intention to present the Officers of the Society for fellowship— when a place can be obtaind that all can be present— [blank] Meeting ajou [adjourned] until a suitable place can be obtaind—
the followig names were rece’d
Sophia, M. Burgess
Hareet Hamilton Seliana [Silence] Ward
Sarah Gabbit Rushton Margrett [Margaret Rushton]
Mary C Allen Eliza Odercark [Odekirk]
Jane Roadiback [Rodeback] C Elmira Babitt [Almira Babbitt]
Ammy Chase Adelia Bently
Sarah M Jhonson [Johnson] Clarrisia Hught [Haight]
Chastina Hollylike [Hadlock] Mary Grove
Maria M [Emmoliza] Green Cathrine Harty
Lucy Merrill Harriet Pixson
Cyantha [Cynthia] Osborn Mary Robins
Maryann Greenhouch Orpha Davies
[p. [126]]
Diana Cole Mary A. Rilands [Roylance]
Mary Cole Eliza Booth
Rosana Marks Sarah Sheffild
Adelia Cole Ann Pine
Charlott Portor [Potter] Mary A Yearsly
Mary Oldige [Aldridge] Ann Miles
[blank] [Suritta] Colum Susana Slater
Mary A Preist Larata [Floretta] Green
Lavina Willson [Lovina Wilson] Mary Parker
Martha L More Mary A Powers
Elisebeth Kelting Emely Davis
Ellen Hartly Mary Rus[s]ell
Alice Willding Emira Prentic [Almira Prentiss]
Elisebeth White Caroline Parsons
Sarah M Noris Maria M Green
Mary Travis Cidny [Sidney] Jones
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[back first flyleaf, recto]
[back first flyleaf, verso]
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[back pastedown]
[back cover]


  1. new scribe logo

    Eliza R. Snow handwriting begins.  

  2. new scribe logo

    Eliza R. Snow handwriting ends; Phebe M. Wheeler begins.  

  3. new scribe logo

    Phebe M. Wheeler handwriting ends; unidentified begins. Ink changes from blue to black ink.  

  4. new scribe logo

    Unidentified handwriting ends; Phebe M. Wheeler begins.  

  5. new scribe logo

    Phebe M. Wheeler handwriting ends; Hannah Ells begins.