Elmina Shepard Taylor

First Young Women General President



“Every one of us should be an angel of charity, every kind act we do will come home to us in blessings, not only in after life but in this life; it will have a sanctified influence upon our character.”

(“Our Girls: YLNMIA Conference,” Young Woman’s Journal, vol. 8, no. 8 [May 1897], 388)


Elmina S. Taylor became a schoolteacher at age 16. In her work as a teacher, she met a Church member who gave her Latter-day Saint literature to read. She bore this testimony:

“Before opening the books I bowed before the Lord and fervently implored Him to give me His spirit that I might understand if they were true or false. My interest was awakened, and the more I investigated and compared the doctrines with the Scriptures, the more I was convinced of their truth. I fought against my convictions, for I well knew how it would grieve my dear parents to have me unite myself with that despised people; and I also thought I should lose my situation [job] which was a very lucrative one. However, I could not silence my convictions, and as the promise was given, ‘If you obey the doctrine, you shall know whether it is of God or man’; I went forth and was baptized July 5th 1856. When I was confirmed by the laying on of hands I received the testimony of its truth which I have never lost from that day to this.”

(Augusta Joyce Crocheron, “Elmina S. Taylor,” Representative Women of Deseret: A Book of Biographical Sketches to Accompany the Picture Bearing the Same Title [Salt Lake City, UT: J. C. Graham, 1884], 49.)


  • 1880—Elmina S. Taylor is called as first Young Women General President (then called the Young Ladies’ Mutual Improvement Association).
  • 1889—First issue of the monthly Young Woman’s Journal is published.
  • 1890—First general Young Women conference is held.
  • 1893—Tuesday night is designated as Mutual night.
  • 1899—Young Women traveling libraries begin.