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Instructions delivered at the Nauvoo Female Relief Society on Thursday April 28, 1842 (Held in upper room of Red Brick Store)
Sources: Relief Society Minutes (Eliza R. Snow) and Manuscript history of the Church
Snow MinutesMs History
Minutes of the Proceedings
of the
Sixth Meeting of the Society

Lodge Room April 28th, 1842

The Meeting met according to adjournment, present Prest. Joseph Smith and Elder W. Richards.

Sisters Prepared to Receive Blessings (Endowment)

President Smith arose and said that the purport of his being present on the occasion was, to make observations respecting the Priesthood, 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 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........aye
Sally Angell................aye      Mary McCarle............. "
Mary Ann Manfield....do      Marianne Chase........... "
Lydia A. Taylor.........do      Elzabeth Musie........... "
Harriet P. Decker........No      Olive Chase.............. "
Sarah D. Rich............Aye      Phebe Woodruff..........."
Philote Pack..............."      Abigail Dippetts......... "
Julia Pack................... "      Catharine Petty.......... "
Sarah Foster............... "      Charity Stoddard............. "
Sarah Boyce.............. "      Elizabeth Rolfe.............. "
Catharine Head.......... "      Jane Judd.................... "
Lucy Scovill.............. "      Emerett L. Randall............ "
Emily Partridge.......... "      Emily Spenser................ "
Louisa Knight............ "      Anna Cleveland............... "
Tryphena Crandall..... "      Rachel Drollinger............ Aye
C    Wood................ No      Mary H. Palmer............ "
Elizabeth H. Barlow.. Aye      Lucinda A Hartwell...... "
Charlotte Higbee....... "      Amida Smith .............. "
Lucinda A. Hartwell... "      Elizabeth Edwards ........ "
Caroline Butler........... "      Roxena Repsher ........... "
Mary Ann Badlam....... "      Ruth Curtis................ "
Maria Gribble............. "      Lydia Knight............... "
Ann Montague.......... "      A    Clements.... "
Sarah Ann Whitney... "      Susan McArthur............. "
Almeda Snider............ "      Angeline E. Robinson....... No

    A Committee was then appointed to inquire into the cases of those persons to whom objections were made

    Councilors Whitney and Cleveland, Mrs. Allred, Durfee[,] Kimball and Hawes to be the committee.

Scriptural Correction First Corinthians 12

¶ Committee retired- 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 them Christ Lord but by the holy ghost," should be translated, no man can know &C

Aspiring to Church Office Foolish

¶ 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 church 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.

Sisters Laying on Hand to Heal Sick - Shadow of Temple Service

¶ He said the reason of these remarks being made was, that some little things was circulating in the Society, that some persons were not going right in laying hands on the sick &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 Temple 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 Society if they could not see by this sweeping stroke that wherein they are ordained, it is the privilege of those set apart to administer in that authority which is conferr'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.1

God had Appointed Him to Guide the Church - Let Him

¶ He said, if God has appointed him, and chosen him as an instrument to lead the church, 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 remarked 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 remarked, 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 reproved those that were disposed 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.

¶ 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 Elders" 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 proclaim the things he had taught them; as their own revelations-- said the same aspiring disposition will be in this Society, 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 P. Pratt O. Pratt, O. Hyde and J. Page had been aspiring__they could not be exhalted but must run away as though 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--

Joseph Predicts His Death

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 church would not have his instruction long, and the world would not be troubled with him a great while, and would not have his teaching"-

Priesthood Order to be Given

He spoke of delivering the keys to this society and to the Church__ that according to his prayers God had appointed him elsewhere

Pray for Leaders

¶ 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--

Endowment Keys to be Given

__ that the keys 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 Elders 2

Be Pure - Resist Evil

¶ He said if one member become corrupt and you know it; you must immediately put it away. The sympathies of the heads of the church 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, man, 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.

Charity

¶ The charitable Society__this is according to your natures- it is natural for females to have feelings of charity__ you are now placed in a situation 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--

Woman can Enter Presence of God without Priesthood

¶ 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 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--

How to get Men to do Good - Purge Iniquity

You need not be teasing 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 [Joshua 7:18-26] must be brought to light--iniquity must be purged out--then the vail will be rent and the blessings of heaven will flow down--they will roll down like the Mississippi river. This Society shall have power to command Queens in their midst--

Joseph's Prophecy of Relief Society if Faithful

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 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 church; saying every one should aspire only to magnify his own office &c. __________

Endure in Goodness to the End

¶ 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 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 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 longsuffering and bear with the faults and errors of mankind. How precious are the souls of man!

What Relief Society Should Teach - Dealing with Husbands

___The female part of community are apt to be contracted in their views. You must not be contracted, but you must be liberal in your feelings.

¶ Let this Society teach how to act towards husbands, to treat them with mildness and affection. When a man is borne down with trouble--when he is perplexed; if he can meet a smile, <not> 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.

¶ 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 key 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.

How Sisters Should Behave

¶ 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 confined mostly to those around you to 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.

Tongues

¶ 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 own comfort but I lay this down for a rule that if any thing 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 laying on of hands--said it was according to revelation--&C. said he never was placed in similar circumstances, and never had given the same instruction.

¶ He clos'd his instruction 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.

¶ The Committee appointed to investigate into the cases of individuals, returned & reported that the objections against A. E. Robinson were removed; and accordingly she was received by unanimous vote.

¶ The following persons names were also read and voted as follows

Lydia Knight............Aye     Hannah A. Dibble..............Aye
Rebecca Reed.........Aye      Polly Sherwood................"
Amy Clothier........... No      Mary C. Miller................."
Mary Smith............Aye       Laura Rupp......................"
Aphia Gale..............."        Jane Miller........................."
Anna Jones............No        Hannah Whitlock................"
Elizabeth Eaton......Aye      Eliza Mores.........................."
Lydia M. Smith......Aye      Abigail Works Johnson......"
Rosetta L. Snow......."
Nancy King.............."

The gentlemen withdrew and the sisters proceeded to business, concerning the poor &c.

¶ Councillor Whitney 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 E. Smith 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. Highman was represented as being destitute

¶ Prest. S. recommended that the widow Highman 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, seconed and carried that we adjourn until next Thurday, 2 O.clock

¶ The meeting arose and was dissmissed by Councillor Whitney.

¶ The following donations were made

            to wit.

                                                                                                                   $

Sally Angell______________________________________________ " 18 3/4

Lydia Anderson____________________________________________ 25

Elizabeth Allred____________________________________________ 50

Abigail Leonard___________________________________________ 25

Eliza Green_______________________________________________ 62 1/2

_ _ Bird__________________________________________________ 25

Nancy Winchester__________________________________________ 50

Olive Garr________________________________________________ 50

Kuhamath Derby__________________________________________ 1,00

                                                                             Wight _ _ appropriates 5,00

2 dollars of which to the schooling of widow Barkdall's children and 3, to widow Baggs' for schooling her children Magdaline Moemer donates pr. week out of the store 25

At two o'clock P.M. I met the members of the "female Relief Society" and after presiding at the admission of many new members gave a lecture on the Priesthood showing how the sisters would come in possession of

Endowment to Follow Faithfulness

the privileges, blessings, and gifts of the Priesthood, and that the signs should follow them, such as healing the sick, casting out devils &C and that they might attain unto these blessings by a virtuous life and conversation and diligence in keeping all the commandments


Notes

1. Compare remarks of 30May42.

2. The "keys" meaning the key-words, etc. mentioned elsewhere. Detecting evil refers at least in part to the instruction given on many occasions regarding detecting false spirits. See 1May42 and notes there. Once again Joseph hints at forthcoming temple rituals.


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