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


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.

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

Found in 73 Collections and/or Records:

Women's Research Institute records

Identifier: MSS 3312
Scope and Contents Contains correspondence, reports, and files on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and women, articles, and files on Mormon relations and issues related to women. Includes personal and corporate records produced and compiled by Ida Smith documenting her tenure as director of the Women's Research Institute at Brigham Young University between 1978 and 1983. Also contains personal correspondence and research files, as well as documenting her work with the BYU Alumni Association....
Dates: approximately 1978-1997

Women's Research Institute reports, approximately 1978-1988

 Series — Carton 2: Series 2 [Barcode: 31197225547238]
Identifier: MSS 3312 Series 2
Scope and Contents

Contains reports related to the Women's Research Institute. Materials date from approximately 1978 to 1983.

Dates: approximately 1978-1988

Zina D. H. Young family papers and photographs

 File — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 3884
Scope and Contents

The Zina D. H. Young family papers and photographs included photos and papers pertaining to Zina D. H. Young and her family. Notable items include a letter from Zina D. H. Young to her husband, President Brigham Young, and a photograph of the "Three Zinas": Zina D. H. Young, Zina Young Card, and Zina Card Brown.

Dates: 1876-1898