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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:

Alice Louise Reynolds collection of travel literature, 1898-1937

 Series — Box 3: Series 2 [Barcode: 31197231038727]
Identifier: MSS 120 Series 2
Scope and Contents

Contains travel guides, pamphlets, maps, and other literature related to Reynolds's travels in Europe and the Middle East. Materials were published between 1898 and 1937.

Dates: Publication: 1898-1937

Alice Louise Reynolds diaries and notes, 1894-1938

Identifier: MSS 120 Series 1
Scope and Contents

Contains diaries, lecture notes, correspondence, and autobiographical materials produced by Reynolds. Includes information on her teaching and travels. Materials dated between 1894 and 1938.

Dates: 1894-1938

Mary Andrus papers

 Collection — Box 1: [Barcode: 31197231581312]
Identifier: MSS 1462
Scope and Contents

Collection contains an autobiography, certificates, family history, legal documents, letters, photographs, talks and tributes. Also includes material relating to the Latter-day Saint Church Spanish Fork, Utah 1st Ward Young Ladies Mutual Improvement Association, 5th Ward Relief Society, Spanish Fork Public Library, the Icelandic Association, and Alma Archibald Andrus' journal (1909-1968).

Dates: 1902-1975

Mary Andrus photographs

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS P 1462

This collection includes photographs of various members of the Erickson and Andrus families, and of the Spanish Fork Relief Society form 1929 to 1962, including photos of the Relief Society presidencies and centennial and birthday celebrations.

Dates: approximately 1929-1962

Moana Bennett papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 3739
Scope and Contents

Collection of personal papers and production materials from Moana Bennett. Includes material concerning the play Because of Elizabeth and other plays.

Dates: 1950-1981

Bathsheba W. Bigler papers

 Collection — Folder 1: [Barcode: 31197230351170]
Identifier: MSS 5869

Photographs, articles, letters, receipts, a patriarchal blessing, and other personal papers of Bathsheba W. Bigler, 1855-1910.

Dates: 1855-1910

Brigham Young University 2nd Ward scrapbook

 File — Folder 1: [Barcode: 31197230321447]
Identifier: MSS SC 2304
Scope and Contents

Bound scrapbook (42 pages) with newsletters, poems, newspaper clippings, programs, brochures, and miscellaneous items relating to the BYU 2nd Ward Relief Society. Materials document the activities of the ward's women between 1956 and 1962.

Dates: 1956-1962

Castle Dale Ward record

 File — Folder 1: [Barcode: 31197230313337]
Identifier: MSS SC 1583
Scope and Contents

Photocopies of the history of the Relief Society, Castle Dale Ward in the Emery Stake, Utah, 1882-1976. The history includes photocopies of photographs of presidents and officers of the organization, an 1894 Sunday School class, and a quilt made in 1976.

Dates: 1953-1976

Collection on Relief Society at Wymount Terrace

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: UA 5447
Scope and Contents

Contains scrapbooks, filmstrips, a record, and recording tape regarding the Brigham Young University Wymount Terrace 1st Ward and 44th Ward, and dates from between 1958 and 1979.

Dates: 1958-1979

Elizabeth Davis letter

 File — Folder 1: [Barcode: 31197230237056]
Identifier: MSS SC 267
Scope and Contents

ALS which asks "Sister Hammond" of Providence, Utah to prepare her local Relief Society for a visit from the Relief Society presidency.

Dates: 1877