Sisters for Suffrage Research GuideEnduring Legacy

Enduring Legacy

With over seven million members in nearly 200 nations, the Relief Society continues to be a force for good.

In their History of Woman Suffrage, published in 1887, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton formally acknowledged the role of the Relief Society in the suffrage movement, stating, “Women in Utah always have been conspicuous in organized work.”13

Letter from Susan B. Anthony to Elmina S. Taylor, March 30, 1900. Susan B. Anthony expressed appreciation to Elmina S. Taylor, president of the Young Ladies’ National Improvement Association (now the Young Women organization). Miss Anthony’s affection for Latter-day Saint women is evidenced by her reference to “Aunt Zina” and others.

The Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony, Volumes 1 and 2, Ida Husted Harper, 1898. Susan B. Anthony’s secretary sent these volumes of her biography to the Relief Society with a personal inscription: “To the women who were loyal and helpful to Miss Anthony to the end of her great work.”

Banner (Facsimile), 1905. The original banner, from which this replica was created, was made of Utah silk. It celebrated the relationship between the Relief Society and national organizations. The original banner may have been carried in parades or displayed at special events.

Even after the Nineteenth Amendment passed, Latter-day Saint women remained active in national organizations. The Relief Society had a close relationship with the National and International Councils of Women until 1987, when the Relief Society General Presidency shifted focus to the increasing needs of its own internationally expanding organization.

Jean B. Bingham addressing the United Nations “Focus on Faith” panel on April 13, 2017.

With over seven million members in nearly 200 nations, the Relief Society continues to be a force for good. In 2017 Relief Society General President Jean B. Bingham spoke on the world stage at a United Nations panel, echoing sentiments from her Relief Society predecessors: “While individually we can do great good, collectively we can accomplish so much more.”14

Whether by voting or volunteering, Relief Society sisters today carry on the legacy of positive action in homes, communities, and countries throughout the world.