S.M.TAYLOR & Co.
Undertakers and Embalmers
Joseph E. Taylor
The Pioneer Undertaker of the West
53 Years in One Location
First South Street
Salt Lake City. Utah
Efficiept Simci.Modarn Mithods,CiBpliti EqiipiHt
Eliza R. Snoiv.
'Tis not the tribute of a sigh
From sorrow's bleeding bosom drawn;
Nor tears that flow from pity's eye,
To weep for me when I am gone;
No costly balm, no rich perfume,
No vain sepulchral rite I claim;
No mournful knell, no marble tomb.
Nor sculptur'd stone to tell my name.
It is a holier tithe I crave
Than time-proof, monumental piers,
Thau roses planted on my grave.
Or willows drip'd in dewy tears.
The garlands of hypocrisy
May be equip'd with many a gem;
I prize the heart's sincerity
Before a princely diadem.
In friendship's memory let me live,
I know no earthly wish beside;
I ask no more; yet, oh, forgive
This impulse of instinctive pride.
The silent pulse of memory.
That beats to the tmutter'd tone
Of tenderness, is more to me
Than the insignia of a stone:
For friendship holds a secret cord.
That with the fibres of my heart,
Entwines so deep, so close, 'tis hard
For death's dissecting hand to part.
I feel the low responses roll,
Like distant echoes of the night,
And whisper, softly through mj' soul,
"I would not be forgotten quite."
NEW PORTRAIT OF ELIZA R. SNOW
In the Sale Lake Temple. Painted by Lewis A. Ramsey.
Relief Society Magazine
Vol. III. APRIL, 1916. No. 4.
The Mother of Mothers in Israel.
Eliza R. Snow.
The study of histories and biographies judiciously perused
gives one a hberal education, for not only are all the activities of
life herein manifested, but the characters of men and women with
the forces and elements which have contributed to successes and
failures, are set before the reader with vivid pen-strokes.
In the study of the greatest women of modern times, nay, the
greatest women of all times, not excepting those Hebrew heroines
whose names shine out on the pages of the Bible, we pass natur-
ally from Lucy Mack Smith to her daughter-in-law, ]\Iary Field-
ing Smith, and, then we come face to face with Eliza R. Snow.
She had no children of her own, but she was indeed by nature
and grace, the mother of all mothers in Israel. She revered moth-
erhood next to fatherhood and her whole life was a dedication
to the service of her sex in its most exalted phases of mother-
Eliza R. Snow was born on the 21st of January, 1804, in
Recket, Berkshire County, Massachusetts, into a scholarly and
refined household. She had every advantage of education and
cultural surroundings. She early showed her poetic gifts and
was invited, when only a girl of 22, to write a requiem for John
Adams and Thomas Jefiferson, whose simultaneous deaths, on
July 24, 1826, afforded a worthy theme for the inspiration and
lofty grandeur of her gifted, poetic pen. Her father had fought
through the whole Revolution, and his stories of the hardships
endured and the purpose thereof, were a never failing source of
patriotic reverence to his studious daughter.
Her parents removed to Mantua, Ohio, and there received the
gospel. Eliza was baptized into the Church on the 5th of April,
1835, and she soon removed to Kirtland. She entered the family
of the Prophet Joseph Smith as a governess for his children
184 RELIEF SOCIETY MAGAZINE.
and opened a select school for young ladies in his home. She
wrote constantly, and all of her poems were saturated with de-
votion to her country and to her newly espoused religion. When
the Saints settled in Nauvoo the young poetess accompanied them
in their travels. What she endured, together with her parents
and her noble brother, Lorenzo Snow — who was later made Pres-
ident of the Church — could never be told. Pen could not write
nor imagination conceive the difficulties which this deli-
cately nurtured lady experienced in common with the others of
her sex who belonged to the hated "Mormon" people.
On reaching Nauvoo she still continued her occupation of
school teaching, and on the 29th of June, 1842, she was sealed
to the Prophet Joseph Smith. She loved the Prophet Joseph with
a deep and wide affection which only such natures may under-
stand. All that others thought about him in honor and praise was
reflected in double measure in her own consuming affection for
this Prophet of God. She once answered a curious young girl,
who had asked her an impertinent question concerning the meas-
ure of affection possible for the Prophet to feel under such
circumstances: "I could not love my husband if I did not know
that his heart was as broad as eternity."
Such sincere and exalted devotion cannot be understood out-
side of those who have embraced the gospel. So well did
she love the Prophet that, although she accepted the generous
offer of protection and a home from his best friend and his suc-
cessor, Brigham Young, after her widowhood, that protection
was in name only, and she did not even take the surname of Pres-
ident Young, but was always called by her public name, Eliza R.
When the first Relief Society was organized on March 17,
1842, Eliza R. Snow was chosen as the secretary, on that historic
occasion. A little incident which shows the high esteem in which
the Prophet held her follows :
When the Prophet came into the Relief Society meeting,
she asked him concerning the time, and taking out his own watch
he laid it upon the table beside her and said, "Here is a time-
piece and you may keep it, from me." That watch was presented
by Sister Snow to her beloved friend and nephew, President
Joseph F. Smith. (See illustration.)
Sister Eliza R. Snow faithfully kept the minutes of the Re-
lief Society meetings held for the next two years in Nauvoo, and
the original records are now deposited in the Historian's office
where they are treasured as a rare relic of those days. When
thti Nauvoo temple was opened just after the martyrdom, Eliza
R. Snow was chosen to officiate as one of the High Priestesses in
that sacred court. After the Saints were driven out she shared
in the dreadful exposures and hardships that followed the expul-
THE MOTHBR OF MOTHERS IN ISRAEL. 185
sion from Nauvoo. She learned to drive an ox team herself,
and while resting for a few months in a miserable log house, laid
up like children's cob houses, with cracks in it from one to four
inches wide and only a tent covering over the top, Sister Snow
THE PROPHET JOSEPH SMITH's WATCH.
Given by him to Eliza R. Snow, in 1844. Given by her to President
Joseph F. Smith, in 1870.
was taken sick with chills and fever. This was in iWinter
Quarters, in August. 1846-7, and here, for some months, her life
was dispaired of. She did not entirely recover for many years
from the dreadful exposures of that awful winter. And yet she
sang! oh, how she sang! of love, of life, of faith, hope and
charity. The sweetness and the benediction of peace fell like
clouds of incense upon every line which she wrote. Her songs
186 RELIEF SOCIETY MAGAZINE.
were sung around the camp-fire, and by weary men, along un-
broken trails ; they were crooned over the cradles by tender moth-
ers, and hymned in the crowded meetinghouses of the Saints,
while even children voiced her psalms of praise, as they trudged
their way to school. Before she left Nauvoo, she wrote, "O, My
Father," one of the most beloved hymns ever written for this
people. And the hymn book discloses for us the wealth of her
imagery, the beauty of her meters, and the exalted piety of her
muse. She is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, hymn writers
that this Church has produced. It would be impossible in the
confines of this little sketch, to do anything like justice to her
poetic powers or to analyze her as poet and writer. We suggest
to the sisters of the Relief Society that they purchase her poems
and read them occasionally, not only in their public assemblies,
but on the Sabbath days, and in the evening hours of restfulness
On arriving in Salt Lake City, in Sept., 1847, she was mar-
ried to President Brigham Young, in 1849, for time only. She
lived first in what was known as the Old Log Row, and there
lay upon a bed of suffering for a number of years. She had con-
sumption and nearly coughed and spit her lungs and life away, but
through it all she was patient and sweet, and gently charitable,
never offering one word of complaint nor criticism. When the
Lion House was completed, in 1856, she was given her quarters
there. In May, 1855, when the Endowment House was opened.
President Young asked Sister Eliza R. Snow to officiate as a
Priestess in the Endowment House. She expressed fears that her
health would not permit her to do justice to so important a mis-
sion, ])ut he assured her that her health should improve, and that
she should have joy in her labors to which the Lord had called
About this time Sister Snow came across a book of Dr. Dio.
Lewis's, recommending daily cold baths and plenty of fresh air.
She immediately adopted this regime and those who sometimes
peeped into her bed-room of a winter morning would find a
wooden tub full of water with a thin coating of ice on it before
her bed, all ready to be used for a morning ablution. Sister Snow
never wholly recovered from the irritating little cough which was
the only result from her long siege of consumption.
She was an exquisite seamstress. Her embroideries were
works of art. and there is still extant a bed-spread embroidered
by her, which is even now a thing of beauty. She made many
temple robes and other garments for the clothing of the dead.
She was never idle. H she were not writing or studying or con-
versing, you may be sure her hands were busy with some delicate
' She was a marvel of patience. At one time a certain sister
THE MOTHER OE MOTHERS IN ISRAEE. 187
turned upon her and administered a bitter tongue lashing. Sister
Snow did not reply, and when asked by a by-stander how she
could endure such a thing quietly, Sister Snow replied that there
was only one injured and that was the person who gave way
to such violence of temper. Even if she was generally patient, it
was not because she had not the wit nor the quick intelligence to
make reply. On one occasion, in the Lion House where Sister
Snow always sat on the right hand side of President Brigham
Young and where they frequently entered into instructing, and
inspiring discourse, there had been considerable discussion in the
family circle concerning the bringing up of children, to which
Sister Snow had contributed : "I notice," said one of the tart
spoken women present, "that it is always old maids and childless
women who know most about bringing up children."
Clearing her throat in her usual deliberate way, Sister Snow
replied, "I would rather go into the Kingdom of Heaven childless
than to bring up one son who would deny the faith," which fate,
as to the son, overtook the tart spoken woman.
When President Young wished to have the Relief Society
organized completely in all its branches, he gave Sister Eliza R.
Snow the mission of assisting the bishops in this great work,
and told her to take Sister Zina D. H. Young as her companion.
This was in 1866, and from that day to her death. Sister Snow
.>lood at the head of all organization work for women in the
Church. President John Taylor organized the General Boards,
in 1888, and placed Sister Snow at the head of the Relief Society
and the women in the Church. It was under her that all the
wondrous departments in sericulture, suffrage, nurse classes, and
woman's newspaper and woman's hospital, co-operative stores.
Women's Relief Society halls, the saving of grain, and indeed
every enterprise and activity known to women even today, ger-
minated, and took root under her beneficent and marvelous or-
Sister Snow visited Palestine, in 1872-3, with her brother.
Lorenzo Snow and his party, and wrote a complete account of this
in a series of letters which were afterwards published. She also
wrote the biography of her brother, President Snow, and many
other books, and volumes of poetry.
Sister Eliza R. Snow was in most respects the greatest wom-
an this Church has produced. To her gifts as poet, writer, public
si>eaker, high priestess in the temples, and ministering angeli
among women, she added the supreme gift of initiation. She
knew how to handle women. When she entered a room or an
assembly, no matter what condition things may have been in be-
fore her entrance, she at once dominated the gathering, and order
followed immediately, for the whole essence of her personality was
dignity and poise. Strife, petty contention, envy, malice, selfish
RELIEF SOCIETY MAGAZINE.
ambition and worldliness, fled from her presence. She was the
high priestess of the rehgion of Jesus Christ and as such she
ministered amongst the people.
She was the greatest organizer among the women this Church
has ever seen. Others might suggest schemes and plans, but with
prophetic poise and essence of values she seized upon the practical
features, and instantly put into successful operation every proper
suggestion and plan for the salvation of women and for the de-
velopment of the home. She was ultra-progressive, and yet, with
it all, she united a rigid adherence to the vital principles of the
relation of the sexes as taught by the gospel. She organized
Relief Societies in every town, village and ward. She traveled
thousands of miles, and sometimes under the most trying pioneer
circumstances, but no complaint ever passed her lips — nothing but
rejoicing and words of peace and sweet sobriety. She encouraged
women, and often suggested that other women should be put in
charge of various departments, leaving them free to develop their
own initiative and to carry on the work. There was nothing petty,
spiteful or mean about Eliza R. Snow. She measured people ac-
curately, and she had the power to inspire those who came near
her, with the desire to do their very best. She had an eloquence
/born of the lambent flame of inspiration ; and when she spoke,
her words were so simple, so direct and so impassioned that her
hearers caught them breathlessly and treasured them forever in
their hearts. She led out in all measures of reform. When Pres-
ident Brigham Young desired the sisters to create their own fash-
ions, and wished them to adopt some local costume. Sister Snow,
together with a few equally courageous ones, developed the hide-
:liza r. snow, ( center), and her close friends.
Elizabeth Howard (left) and Hannah T. King (right.)
THE MOTHER OF MOTHERS IN ISRAEL. 189
ous Deseret costume which was a cross between Mrs. Bloomer's
dress and the clothing- of the Oriental women. She braided hats
and wore them. She crocheted collars and wore them, and always
she believed that the beauty of the raiment of the woman should
be the workmanship of her own hands.
Supreme among all her characteristics was her reverence for
the priesthood. She took no honors to herself. She asked for
no personal glory. She recognized the fact that not only should
the priesthood be honored above all things in heaven and on the
earth, but also she knew that those who were the vicegerents of
God upon this earth had offered to women, without suggegstion
and without request, the highest honors and rights which women
have ever enjoyed upon this earth. She would permit no woman
to take credit for the organization of the Relief Society which had
come as a direct revelation to the Prophet Joseph himself, nor
would she allow any woman, much less herself, any honor for the
reorganization of that Society in the valleys of the mountains, nor
for the inception of the Young Ladies' Retrenchment, later the Im-
provement, Association, nor for the Primary Association. Scan
her writings, examine her reports, study her recorded speeches,
and you will find in them all, that absence of self-glorification, that
quick willingness to give to God the glory, and to accord to his
servants what earthly credit there may be for the various oppor-
tunities given to women and children in this Church.
She possessed great initiative, and yet so quietly and modestly
did she work that few guessed the springs of their own activity,
because she adroitly set them in motion and watched with unselfish
joy the successful results. She despised flattery and adultation,
nor would she permit herself to be showered with honors. She
succeeded completely in losing herself in Christ Jesus. It is this
majestic humility which added so much to the sum of her great-
In and through it all, she was a mother to all mothers. No
night was too dark, no distance too great, for her to go out and
administer to the sick child or to the discouraged mother. She has
waited upon thousands and has washed and anointed multitudes
of prospective mothers for their future confinements. Always her
voice was lifted in praise and honor for full and complete mother-
hood. She gloried in the woman who bore children repeatedly
and continuously. She would often point out in assemblies the
mothers of large families as the bright and beautiful examplars
for the rest of the community. And yet, she had no children of
her own. It may be that when eternity unfolds the doors, we
shall know why she and other childless wives have been denied
this great and priceless blessing-. Ye childless mothers, it is
only when ye turn your hearts and empty arms to minister to
190 RELIEF SOCIETY MAGAZINE.
other women blessed and burdened with little children and cares,
that ye can bear your burdens of loneliness and sad regret.
Eliza R. Snow died on the 5th of December, 1887, in the
historic old Lion House. She was attended, in her later sickness,
by her beloved friends, Zina D. Young-, Lucy B. Young, and
Minerva W. Snow. President Lorenzo Snow asked the latter to
remain with his sister until the last, and this she did.
Sister Snow was tall and slender, with dark eyes and dark-
brown hair. She was deliberate in speech and manner, and very
dignified. Everyone thought of some Hebrew prophetess when
she was near. Herself almost without fault, she was never critical
of faults in others, requiring only justice for herself. She poured
the vial of mercy upon all who came within the radius of her
presence. She was and is a pattern for all Latter-day Saint women
to emulate. May her rest be glorious.
ZION PROSPERS, ALL IS WELL
By Eliza R. Snoiv.
O awake ! my slumbering minstrel,
Let my harp forget its spell ;
Say, O say, in sweetest accents,
Zion prospers, all is well.
Strike a chord unknown to sadness,
Strike, and let its numbers tell,
In celestial tones of gladness,
Zion propers, all is well.
Zion's welfare is my portion,
And I feel my bosom swell
With a warm, divine emotion.
When she prospers, all is well.
'*The Conference Folks."
Elsie Chamberlain Carroll.
"O, I almost forgot to tell you, mother; Conference will be
held here after all. They have an epidemic of measles in Glen-
viJle. Father just got word and wanted me to be sure to tell you.
Two of the apostles are coming and some sisters to represent the
Relief Society and Primary." Young Richard Easton's eyes had
not left the headlines of the newspaper while he delivered this in-
formation, and now he settled himself comfortably in his father's
congress chair to read the war news. But something in his
mother's long, weary sigh, and the way she dropped into the
rocker by the window, made him look up.
'T feel like I'd rather fly than have 'conference folks' just
now," she explained apologetically. "The house is so dirty, and
part of the bedding ought to be washed, and I miss Nellie so
when it comes to cooking for company. She always liked to fix
the fancy dishes and — well I was just feeling so relieved that it
wasn't going to be here this time." Mrs. Easton had just nursed
her husband and four sons through a siege of spring grippe, and
was hardly recovered from a touch of the same malady herself.
Dick studied his mother silently. His two and a half years
in the mission field, he had left but a month ago, had given him a
new understanding. His mind recalled the familiar crowd of
"conference folks" his mother had entertained during the fifteen
years his father had been Bishop of Hilton. There were always
the apostles, and other Church authorities from the city, in whom
he and his younger brothers stood in embarrassed awe. Then
there were usually two or three bishops from some of the other
wards, with their wives, and usually a son or daughter or two.
His father's old missionary companions from Glendon always
came, and his mother's cousins from Freeville. These were their
regular guests. Then there were always others who had no
special headquarters. He recalled many a time when their com-
pany list had exceeded twenty — and there were seven of them-
selves. Where his mother had managed to stow them all, only a
bishop's wife could guess. It had always been a mystery to him,
although he did retain vivid recollections of himself and three
brothers on such occasions, being packed like so many sardines on
the old dining-room sofa with a row of chairs to hold them from
rolling onto the floor. He had his suspicions that his father slept
at such times, in his morris chair in the parlor, and his mother in
the rocker between the baby's cradle and the old sofa.
And the feeding of the multitude ! Conference time had
192 RELIEF SOCIETY MAGAZINE.
always been a synonym for a feasting time in his early years. It
had stood for chicken and custard pie, and chocolate cake, and
fruit salad and creamy puddings. Great scott ! How had mother
done it? Just she and Nellie — and now Nellie was away at col-
lege. No wonder she felt like she'd rather fly. He'd had some
experience himself — cooking in the mission field.
"Well, I mustn't sit here, even if I don't know where to begin.
They'll all be here by noon tomorrow, and maybe some of them
will come tonight. Brother and Sister Duncan usually come early,
and the Davis girls like to come for the dance usually held the
night before conference starts."
"Mother, why is it you always have such a mob? There's no
sense in it. There are enough families in Hilton that conference
need not work a hardship on any one. You never get to a meet-
ing, do you ? Why do they all come here ?"
"Yes, I get to a meeting or two nearly every time, and I sup-
pose the reason they come here is because father is Bishop and it's
a sort of custom. Goodness knows we can't always make them
comfortable. But they are welcome, of course. I really didn't
mean what I just said. I wonder if you'll have time to help a
little this afternoon. We'll have to put some extra beds and cots
up stairs and I'll have to get you to catch some chickens and bring
U]) a sack of flour from the granary." Mrs. Easton left the rock-
ing chair and went into the bedroom where Dick could hear her
opening and closing drawers, taking stock of the supply of bed
and table linen. His face had been serious with his recollections
of the moment before, but it now became grave. Mother was not
well. No wonder she felt unequal to a task two or three women
might well shirk. She ought not to be allowed to do it. He
followed her into her bedroom.
"Mother, why don't you let the conference folks help with
the extra work they make. As I remember it, you and Nellie do
all the dishes and everything else, don't you?"
"Yes, mostly," and another sigh escaped mother. "You see,
they come for the meetings and — "
"Well, they're not in meeting all the time. They shouldn't
sit around and let you wait on them when they are here. It isn't
right." His mother laughed.
"I used to think that, too, Richard. But it's hard to know
how to go ahead in another's home when you are company, even
if you want to." The young man stood thinking while his mother
took a pile of sheets and pillow slips and began to climb the
stairs. He noticed that she stopped twice to get her breath before
she got to the top.
Mother wasn't as young as she used to be, and she wasn't
well now, either. That thought persisted in Dick's mind. She
ought not to have all this extra work and responsibility. Of
"THE CONFERENCE FOLKS." 193
course, he would help what he could — but—. A sudden thought
took possession of him. Why he'd do it all — mission style. He'd
make mother go and spend the three days of conference with
Grandmother and go to all the meetings and have the rest she