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Relief Society (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

 Organization

Corporate History

The Relief Society is the women's organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints which was initially led by Emma Hale Smith in Nauvoo, IL in 1842. During the group's existance, it has been an organization dedicated to providing lessons, activities, and service opportunities for the women of the Church in both a ward and stake setting.

The Relief Society was established by various women of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Sarah M. Kimball's house in Nauvoo, IL in 1842. After giving their constitution to Joseph Smith, they set up various presidencies within their wards/stakes and selected Joseph Smith's wife Emma to serve as the overall president of the Society.

Between Joseph Smith's martyrdom in 1842 and 1866, the Society fell into disarray under Brigham Young's leadership of the Church. While he did allow various female-led societies to assist in the Church's exodus to Utah to assist in midwifrey (The Female Council of Health) and in developing bonds with the Native Americans, the general involvement of the Relief Society in the Church was weak.

From 1866 on, Brigham Young and later leaders of the Church made more of a concerted effort to make sure that the Relief Society would play a more predominant role in the Church. Not only did he call a new General President of the Society to lead the group (starting with Eliza Snow), but he permitted the Society to create magazines, be more actively involved in the ward, etc. Through the group's involvement of the Church, they contributed to the Church's welfare program, strengthen homes during times of war, and became Red Cross units in wartorn nations in World War I and World War II. They also worked to prevent the passage of the Equal Rights Ammendment, established the Women's Research Center at BYU, and so on.

Citation:
The Encyclopedia of Mormonism, via WWW, August 19, 2016 (Relief Society)

Found in 73 Collections and/or Records:

Mary Ellen Edmunds papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 7643
Scope and Contents Contains personal and professional papers of Edmunds, including resources from her work at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah, especially training in foreign languages and instruction of senior missionaries. Some materials deal with human services missions in countries such as India and Ghana. Collection also contains work from Edmunds' work on the Relief Society General Board, including teaching manuals, cards, and correspondence between various members of the Board. Also...
Dates: approximately 1971-2015

Emmeline B. Wells and Annie Wells Cannon papers, approximately 1877-1963

 Series
Identifier: MSS 2344 Series 1
Scope and Contents

Papers of Emmeline B. Wells and Annie Wells Cannon, including biographies, a pedigree chart, a medal of service, letters, poetry, and a geography coursebook. Materials dated approximately 1877 to 1963.

Dates: approximately 1877-1963

Emmeline B. Wells and Annie Wells Cannon photographs, approximately 1877-1963

 Series
Identifier: MSS 2344 Series 2
Scope and Contents

Contains photographs of the family of Emmeline B. Wells and Annie Cannon Wells. Photographs are of family members, some unidentified. Also contains scrapbooks with photographs and clippings, and loose ephemera from scrapbooks. Date dapproximately 1877 to 1963.

Dates: approximately 1877-1963

Emmeline B. Wells ledger book, 1892-1895

 Item — Box 2: [Barcode: 31197232549466], Folder: 1
Identifier: Vault MSS 805
Scope and Contents

Ledger book used by Emmeline B. Wells to record membership in the Utah Suffrage Association between December 23, 1892 and May 20, 1895 (pages 6-18); and a verbatim handwritten copy of the minutes of the Female Relief Society in Nauvoo, Illinois, taken from the original record created from March 17, 1842 to March 16, 1844.

Dates: 1892-1895

Female Relief Society record book

 Digital Record
Identifier: MSSSSC23
Dates: 1854

Female Relief Society record book

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS SC 23
Scope and Contents

Minute book of the Female Relief Society in Salt Lake City, Utah, which outlines the activities, resolutions and meetings of the society. The record was kept by Louisa R. Taylor, the society's secretary, and includes entries for meetings from January 9-June 13, 1854.

Dates: 1854

Elizabeth Howard diaries and account books

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 360
Abstract

Photocopies of handwritten diaries, memoranda, and lists of financial transactions.

Dates: 1868-1893

Joseph Field Smith Institute administrative records, 1984-2005

 Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: UA 1214 Series 1
Scope and Contents

Contains corporate minutes, reports, schedules, agendas, photographs, letters, memoranda, suget forms, programs and clippings concerning the administrative files of the Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Latter-day Saint History. These administrative files deal with faculty reports, symposiums, lectures, grants, and projects of the various programs and researches of the Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Latter-day Saint History, 1984-2005.

Dates: 1984-2005

Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Latter-day Saint History digital media, 2004

 Sub-Series — Carton 3: Series 1; Series 2 [Barcode: 31197233286498], Folder: 60
Identifier: MSS 8009 Series 2 Sub-Series 8
Scope and Contents

Contains four DVDs of lectures that were part of a 2004 lecture series entitled To Tell the Tale: Preserving the Lives of Mormon Women. Includes lectures on Relief Society, Mormon women's history, and women newspaper editors.

Dates: 2004

Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Latter-day Saint History manuscripts on Latter-day Saint women, 1921-1986

 Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: UA 1214 Series 3
Scope and Contents Contains records from publications concerning Latter-day Saint Women. Includes materials for Women of the Covenant and Within the Households of Faith: Selected Writings of Latter-day Saint Women, 1830-1900. It deals with the beginnings of the Relief Society Organization, the women who organized it and what type of women made up this establishment. It outlines the beginnings of the group in Nauvoo, Illinois, with Joseph Smith presiding and Emma Smith becoming the first General President of...
Dates: 1921-1986