Relief Society Organization Research GuideOnline Resources

Online Resources

Relief Society Organization Research Guide

These resources are available digitally through the Church History Catalog or are found on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints website.

Below is a sampling of the records that can be found at the Church History Library.

Church Records (CR)

Emmeline B. Wells record, 1892–1896, CR 11 183

Records kept by Emmeline B. Wells while she was secretary to the Relief Society General Presidency.

Philippines/Micronesia Area histories of Philippines Relief Society sisters, 1992, CR 647 5

Twenty-seven personal histories written in conjunction with the commemoration of the Relief Society sesquicentennial. Users must sign in and select “Request Digital Access” to view.

Relief Society letter, 1894 December 26, CR 11 136

Letter from Emmeline B. Wells (who was serving as the Relief Society General Presidency’s secretary at the time) to Emma S. Smith, president of the Snowflake Relief Society. Contains instructions on dues and annual reports.

Relief Society record, 1880–1892, CR 11 175

Contains records on the organization of the general Relief Society as well as the establishment of local Relief Societies. Also includes information on planning of the jubilee celebration, speeches by Relief Society members, and obituaries for Relief Society members.

Relief Society album, 1933, CR 11 115

Album titled “National Woman’s Relief Society, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: A Compilation of Photographs and Charts Prepared for the Century of Progress (World’s Fair).” Users must sign in to view this collection.

Zina D. H. Young jubilee box contributions, 1878–1887, CR 11 325

List of items Zina D. H. Young contributed to the Relief Society’s jubilee box.

Local Records (LR)

Many researchers search for information about specific local units of the Church; the following sources are a sampling of the local records available.

Annis Ward Relief Society records, 1902–1995, LR 10687 21

Minutes of the Annis Ward, Rigby Idaho Stake, Relief Society. Includes a history of the Annis Ward Relief Society.

Cedar City Ward Relief Society minute book, 1856–1875 and 1892, LR 1514 22

Minutes from the Cedar City, Parowan Utah Stake, Relief Society. Includes minutes from the Ladies Mass Meeting, Feb. 1, 1870, protesting the Cullom Bill.

Central American Mission Relief Society scrapbook, 1948–1982, LR 1534 44

Scrapbook from the Central American Mission Relief Society. Users must sign in and select “Request Digital Access” to view.

East Kilbride Branch Relief Society minutes and records, 1960–1967, LR 2434 14

Minutes from the East Kilbride Branch, Glasgow Scotland Stake, Relief Society.

Fifteenth Ward Relief Society minutes, 1868 March–1869 May, LR 2848 32

Minutes of the Fifteenth Ward Relief Society, Salt Lake City, Utah, including remarks by Eliza R. Snow and ward Relief Society president Sarah M. Kimball.

Gunma Branch Relief Society minutes and records, 1964, LR 3513 14

Minutes of the Gunma Branch, Japan Mission, Relief Society. Users must sign in and select “Request Digital Access” to view.

Hill Spring Ward Relief Society minutes and records, 1910–1973, LR 3809 14

Minutes from the Hill Spring Ward, Alberta Canada Stake, Relief Society.

Kaohsiung Branch Relief Society minutes and records, 1960–1972, LR 4323 14

Minutes from the Kaohsiung Branch, Taiwan–Hong Kong Mission, Relief Society. Users must sign in and select “Request Digital Access” to view.

Lotofoa Branch Relief Society minutes and records, 1922, LR 5062 14

Minutes from the Lotofoa Branch, Tonga Mission, Relief Society.

Luzon District Relief Society minutes and records, 1963–1964, LR 5115 14

Minutes from the Luzon District, Philippines Mission, Relief Society.

Novo Hamburgo Branch Relief Society records, 1938–1942, LR 6254 22

Minutes from the Novo Hamburgo Branch, Brazilian Mission, Relief Society. Users must sign in and select “Request Digital Access” to view.

Paris Branch Relief Society minutes and records, 1937–1965, LR 6742 14

Minutes from the Paris Branch, France Mission, Relief Society.

Safotulafai Branch Relief Society minutes and records, 1964–1965, LR 7727 14

Minutes of the Safotulafai Branch, Savai‘I Samoa Stake, Relief Society.

Salt Lake Stake Relief Society record book, 1868–1903, LR 604 70

Includes minutes and records of the Salt Lake Stake Relief Society, Salt Lake City, Utah. Includes talks by Eliza R. Snow, Emmeline B. Wells, and Zina D. H. Young.

Spanish American Branch Relief Society minutes and records, 1960–1971, LR 8588 14

Minutes from the Spanish American Branch, Provo Central Utah Stake, Relief Society.

Weber Stake Relief Society conference minute book, 1855–1899, LR 9970 29

Minutes from the Weber Utah Stake Relief Society. Includes the organization of the Young Ladies’ Mutual Improvement Association (YLMIA) and Primary organizations for the stake.

Woman’s Suffrage Association minutes, 1890–1891, 1894–1895, LR 3227 25

Includes minutes from the Woman’s Suffrage Association meetings. Also includes minutes from the Mother’s Class and Relief Society meetings.

Manuscripts

Bathsheba W. Smith collection, 1842–1948, MS 20701

Includes Relief Society General President Bathsheba Smith’s scrapbook, correspondence, and poetry. Portions of this collection are closed to research.

Earl and Dixie Olsen papers, 1980–1991 / Africa West Mission / Photographs, 1980–1982, MS 29667

Photographs of early Latter-day Saints in Nigeria and Ghana. Users must sign in and select “Request Digital Access” to view.

Esther F. Keith journal, 1916 December–1919 May, MS 7187

Journal of Esther F. Keith, who traveled with her husband, Willard A. Keith, to a mission in Samoa. In this journal, she discusses her activities with the Relief Society and the Samoan sisters.

Marcia F. de Gonzalez-Chavez papers, 1980–1989, MS 19513

Letters from local Church leaders and Relief Society sisters in Bayamon and Santurce, Puerto Rico, concerning Chavez’s service in the Relief Society. Users must sign in and select “Request Digital Access” to view.

My Gospel Journey, 2018 October, MS 32265

A personal history of Gwennyth Dulice Marshall and her experiences in the Dunedin District, New Zealand, including the organization and growth of the Relief Society in that area.

Relief Society minutebook, 1842 March–1844 March, MS 3424

Account of the organization of the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo, Nauvoo, Illinois. A transcription of this minute book can be found in The First Fifty Years of Relief Society at the Church Historian’s Press.

Relief Society record book, MS 13213

Minutes from the Aunuu, Samoa, Relief Society.

Sarah Jane Selley’s travel journal, 1893, MS 32570

Sarah’s account of traveling with the Tabernacle Choir to the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition (also known as the Chicago World’s Fair). Members of the Relief Society attended the World’s Columbian Exposition, handed out copies of the Woman’s Exponent, and found other ways to share the gospel, such as Sarah singing with the Choir.

Susa Y. Gates and Adele C. Howells correspondence, 1916–1923, MS 27009

Correspondence between Susa Y. Gates and Adele C. Howells concerning the Relief Society Magazine.

Talisay Branch Relief Society history, 1992, MS 28080

History of the Relief Society of the Talisay Branch, Micronesia Guam Mission. Users must sign in and select “Request Digital Access” to view.

Utah Women’s Press Club papers, circa 1901–1928, MS 3339

Minute book, member lists organized by Emmeline B. Wells for women involved in journalism. Relief Society members were active in many women’s clubs, including the Utah Women’s Press Club.

Photographs

Aualofa Relief Society at conference, PH 6489

Photograph of the Aualofa, Samoa, Relief Society.

Cannonville Ward Relief Society, circa 1880, PH 18

Photograph of the Cannonville Ward Relief Society, Cannonville, Utah.

Cape Coast Branch, Africa West Mission photographs, 1978–1988 / Members and chapel, 1988, PH 4317

Photograph of members of the Church, including Relief Society members, outside of the chapel for the Cape Coast Branch, Africa West Mission. Users must sign in and select “Request Digital Access” to view.

Ilirjana B. Tashi photographs, circa 1998–2019, PH 11523

Includes photographs of the opening of the Lushnjë Albania Branch Relief Society. Users must sign in and select “Request Digital Access” to view.

Orderville Relief Society, PH 5794

Photograph of the Orderville, Utah, Relief Society. Names of the persons photographed are handwritten on the left side of the photograph.

Pictorial history of the Church in Teresina, Brazil, 1983–2001, 2009, PH 8706

Includes several photographs of Relief Society presidencies of the Teresina Brazil Ward. Users must sign in and select “Request Digital Access” to view.

Provo Third Ward Relief Society Presidency, circa 1877, PH 720

Photograph of the Provo Third Ward Relief Society presidency, Provo, Utah.

Relief Society presidency and general board, circa 1916, PH 2465

Photograph of the Relief Society General Presidency and general board; includes Emmeline B. Wells when she was President.

Representative women of Deseret, 1883, PH 2657

Montage of portraits of women serving in Relief Society, the Young Ladies’ Mutual Improvement Association (YLMIA), and the Primary, as well as other accomplished women from the Utah Territory.

Taetal and child, PH 815

Photograph of Taetel, Relief Society president at Mahu Tupuai, Tahitian Mission, and a child, 1921.

Thirteenth Ward Relief Society presidency, circa 1872, PH 4124

Photograph of the Thirteenth Ward Relief Society presidency, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Vladivostok Branch photographs, 1996–1998, PH 7925

Includes photographs from Relief Society meetings of the Vladivostok Branch, Asia North Area Mission. Users must sign in and select “Request Digital Access” to view.

Published Materials

A Centenary of Relief Society, 1842–1942, M257.29 C397 1942

Published by the Relief Society organization, this book highlights the history of Relief Society for the first hundred years. It also lists Relief Society board members and stake Relief Society presidents for 1940.

Relief Society Song Book, M285.22 R382 1919

Relief Society song book with music arranged and compiled by Brigham Cecil Gates, 1919.

“The Relief Society Nauvoo Monument to Women,” M257.2 R382rn 1976

A description of the monuments at the Relief Society Nauvoo Monument to Women.

Woman’s Exponent, M205.1 W872 v. 1–41 1872–1914

A newspaper written by women for women. Editors were Louisa Lula Greene Richards and Emmeline B. Wells.

Other Online Church Resources

From Church Historian’s Press:

At the Pulpit: 185 Years of Discourses by Latter-day Saint Women

Publication of women’s discourses, including talks from leaders of Relief Society, Young Women, and Primary.

The First Fifty Years of Relief Society

Includes documents pertaining to the first 50 years of Relief Society, including records from Nauvoo and early records from Salt Lake City.

Diaries of Emmeline B. Wells

Diaries of Emmeline B. Wells, film footage of Emmeline, and documents related to Emmeline.

Discourses of Eliza R. Snow

Discourses from Eliza R. Snow, including religious teachings, political opinions, and encouragement to Relief Society members.

From The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ website:

A Home of Our Own: The Story of the Relief Society Building

Online exhibit of the Relief Society Building.

The Work and Purpose of Relief Society

Produced by the Relief Society organization; includes the purpose of Relief Society, including links to talks.

Daughters in My Kingdom: The History and Work of Relief Society

Produced by the Relief Society. A brief history of the Relief Society.

Relief Society Seal History

Produced by the Relief Society. Includes a history of the Relief Society seal.

Church History Topic: Female Relief Society of Nauvoo

A historical look at the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo.

Church History Topic: Relief Society

A historical look at the Relief Society organization.

Gospel Topic: Relief Society

Information about the organization and purpose of the Relief Society.

Newsroom Topic: Relief Society History

A brief history of the Relief Society.

Revelations in Context: “Thou Art an Elect Lady”

A look at the contextual history of Emma Hale Smith and the Doctrine and Covenants.

Latter-day Saint Women podcasts

Podcasts featuring many historians looking at the history of Relief Society and its historical relationship to women both past and present.

Julie B. Beck, “Relief Society History: A Look at the Lord’s Vision for His Daughters,” Ensign, Sept. 2011, 40–43.

Article by General Relief Society President Julie B. Beck to share a brief history and the purpose of Relief Society.

James Goldberg, “Five People Who Helped Found the Relief Society,” Church History, Sept. 4, 2018, history.ChurchofJesusChrist.org.

Writer and poet James Goldberg shares his insights on five women who helped found the Relief Society.

Rachel Sterzer, “175 Years of Relief Society: General Presidency Reflects on Past and Future of Organization,” Church News, Mar. 10, 2017, ChurchofJesusChrist.org.

Article celebrating the 175th anniversary of the founding of the Relief Society.