New resources to study (and share) the teachings of Mormon feminist icons Eliza R. Snow and Emmeline B. Wells

Emmeline Wells journals
Journals of Emmeline B. Wells

At the Exponent, we have long advocated that teachers in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) quote women as frequently as they quote men. But finding quotes by LDS women can be challenging because women receive few of the speaking slots in General Conference and many of our manuals primarily quote men.

So I am downright giddy to announce that the LDS Church has released not one but two new online databases brimming with quotes by two of the most influential women in LDS history, Emmeline B. Wells and Eliza R. Snow.

There is no shortage of women’s quotes here. The Eliza R. Snow website contains 1,200 talks, and the Emmeline B. Wells website transcribes 47 journals. I’ve included some examples of stories and quotes you may find as you peruse these websites below.*

Emmeline B. Wells

The Diaries of Emmeline B. Wells

Emmeline B. Wells was editor of the nineteenth century feminist newspaper, the Woman’s Exponent, for which Exponent II is named. She was a suffrage movement leader, working with Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, and led relief efforts following disasters such as the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

Quote from Emmeline

Emmeline B. Wells (center) and Eliza R. Snow (right) together with another Mormon feminist icon, Elizabeth Ann Whitney. Photograph by Charles R. Savage, circa 1876.

“Responsibilities come thick and fast upon the women of Zion. Those who will must take up the burdens and carry them.” (June 12, 1888)

“This morning I presided over the General Congress in the Hall of Columbus—an honor never before accorded to a Mormon woman—if one of our brethren had such a distinguished honor conferred upon them it would have been heralded the country over and thought a great achievement.”
(May 20, 1893)

“I have desired with all my heart to do those things that would advance women in moral and spiritual as well as educational work and tend to the rolling on of the work of God upon the earth.” (August 1, 1895)

Pro-tip: Another great resource for quotes by Emmeline B. Wells is the Woman’s Exponent. Look for essays with the pseudonyms Blanche Beechwood and Aunt Em.

Eliza R. Snow

The Discourses of Eliza R. Snow

Eliza R. Snow was a powerful spiritual leader with the titles of “prophetess” and “priestess.” She was also known as “Zion’s poetess” and is the author of many hymns. Her hymn, O My Father (which was previously called by the less patriarchal title, Invocation, or The Eternal Father and Mother), is the only hymn in the current  hymnal that celebrates Heavenly Mother. (Let’s hope there will be more in the upcoming new hymnal.)

Quotes from Eliza

“Our calling is great and noble. We are called not only to work, but to instruct, counsel and console. The mind needs food as much as the body—indeed must have it, or it will dry, wither and perish.” (May 26, 1868)

“If we have each a little of the right spirit and come together it is like putting coals of fire together. When they are separate they cannot burn and soon go out but when they are put together they soon burst out in a blaze,” (September 5, 1872)

“There are places for a mother to shine outside her home. This Society has a great scope of labor, not only in patching quilts.” (September 26, 1872)

*Spelling and grammar standardized

April Young-Bennett
April Young-Bennett
April Young-Bennett is the author of the Ask a Suffragist book series and host of the Religious Feminism Podcast. Learn more about April at


  1. I’m excited to see this. Thanks for this information.
    Why can’t we have priesthood and Relief Society manuals that are built around female leaders? Like “The Teachings of Eliza R Snow” or “The Teachings of Chieko Okazaki”? I’d actually be excited about priesthood meeting.

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