150 years ago today - Jul 24, 1871

[Eliza R. Snow gives] an address carefully distinguished between the efforts of Latter-day Saint women to build the kingdom of God and the actions of national women's rights reformers. She likely was responding, at least in part, to the words of Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton when they visited a month earlier. They came at the invitation of the anti-authoritarian Godbeite reformers, a group of intellectual dissenters from the Latter-day Saint community, but also met with Mormon women and spoke in the Salt Lake tabernacle. Anthony and Stanton praised the women for receiving the right to vote, but Stanton "did not skim the surface" in one address, voicing her opposition to early marriage and her support for family planning. From Salt Lake City, Stanton wrote a letter criticizing patriarchal religious leaders from Moses to Brigham Young and advocated that women establish "their own constitutions, creeds, and codes, and customs," without priestly male intermediaries, saying that women would not be in their current state of dependence and degradation except "by man's free and fraudulent use of the authoritative 'Thus saith the Lord.'" The continued subjection of Mormon women within a patriarchal religion, Stanton warned, would be their own fault if they did not vote to abolish the practice of plural marriage. In one Utah speech, Anthony remarked that "she had as good a right to receive revelations, direct from God" as did Joseph Smith or Brigham Young, and that "revelations which came exclusively to men would never satisfy her."

Though alarmed by the hostility toward religion of some women's rights reformers and suspicious of portions of the agenda of national women's rights activists, Snow approved of woman suffrage and of the political involvement of Mormon women...

[Eliza R. Snow, Discourse, July 24, 1871, in "Celebration of the Twenty-Fourth at Ogden," Deseret News [weekly] (Salt Lake City, UT), July 26, 1871, vol. 20, no. 25, pp. 287–288, Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City as quoted in Matthew J. Grow, Jill Derr, Carol Madsen, and Kate Holbrook, editors, The First Fifty Years of Relief Society: Key Documents in Latter-day Saint Women's History, The Church Historian's Press, 2016, https://churchhistorianspress.org/the-first-fifty-years-of-relief-society/]

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