not in Primary anymore

how the relief society got its name

A summary*, by Hannah Wheelwright

Nauvoo Lodge Room, March 17 1842
(you should also read the actual minutes found here)


Sister Whitney, Second Counselor: Let’s call it the Nauvoo Female Relief Society.

Elder Taylor: Actually I think it should be the Nauvoo Female Benevolent Society.

Joseph Smith: Sound good to everybody? Let’s vote on it!

Everybody: Yep yep, seconded, voted, done

Emma Smith: Actually, no. Elder Taylor, I want to argue with you about that wording change.

Joseph Smith: Woooo, doggy! Is my wife sassy or what. Everyone, forget that last vote.

Elder Richards: *looks up from taking notes* Oh please, this is a waste of time, Elder Taylor’s idea was superb and we should move on

Joseph Smith: Shut it, Willard. People, benevolent is a popular term, but no one knows what relief would mean. So we should probably actually stick with Elder Taylor’s idea. (sorry, sweetheart #1!)

Emma Smith: You fools. When people hear benevolent, they think of the Washington Benevolent Society, which is super corrupt. Do we really want people to have that kind of name association?

Joseph Smith: Oh ho ho! Excellent point. Let’s talk more about this, ladies, and gentlemen who clearly belong in discussions of this FEMALE society.

Sister Cleveland, First Counselor: We should not talk like our enemies!!!

Eliza R. Snow: [Super inspiring speech about separating ourselves out from the corrupt world and being good examples of Daughters in Zion. Valid objection that the word relief might make people think it’s only to help people in disasters and not everyday small problems]

Emma Smith: We are going to do something extraordinary.

Elder Taylor: Okay FINE I admit it, ya’ll probably can actually handle this on your own and I should shut my man self up and let you get on with it. Sorry I objected in the first place.

Joseph Smith: Yep, ladies you were right all along. Heh heh

Sister Whitney: Okay, so after that little interruption… I repeat: We’ll call it the Nauvoo Female Relief Society?

Eliza R. Snow: I think Female Relief Society of Nauvoo would sound better.

Joseph Smith: Sound good to everyone? [everyone agrees] Bueno! Now I’ll organize you under the priesthood and after the pattern of the priesthood except no one will remember that I did that. Oh well. YOLO!

*small liberties have been taken to summarize the actual historical event

If you enjoyed this summary, you might also enjoy reading how D&C 132 came about.

8 Responses to “how the relief society got its name”

  1. Dawn

    The Benvelent Society…..wouldn’t have worked too well to have BS cross-stitched on the wall of all the BS rooms around the world. 🙂

  2. christer1979

    Loving this. Please continue. It’ll be way funnier than Daughters of my Kingdom.


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