Articles of the Young Ladies’ Retrenchment Association (1870)

On May 25, 1870, Brigham Young gathered his daughters together and challenged them to “retrench”—or simplify—their “extravagance in dress, in eating and even in speech.” Two days later the girls organized the Young Ladies’ Department of the Ladies’ Cooperative Retrenchment Association (now known as the Young Women organization). While some were not enthusiastic about this new movement, within five years most congregations in major Latter-day Saint settlements hosted their own associations.

Eliza R. Snow drafted this set of articles intended to teach young women to “sustain each other in doing good” and reject the “pride, folly and fashions of the world.” The girls conducted their own weekly meetings and published weekly newsletters and the Young Woman’s Journal. The program proved so effective that a similar association was formed for young men, and both programs continue in the Church today.