Emma Smith

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“Just a few months after the Church was organized, a revelation was received by the Prophet Joseph Smith for his wife Emma. The Lord directed her ‘to make a selection of sacred hymns, as it shall be given thee, which is pleasing unto me, to be had in my church.’

“Emma Smith assembled a collection of hymns which first appeared in this Kirtland hymnal in 1836. There were only 90 songs included in this thin little booklet. Many of them were hymns from Protestant faiths. At least 26 of them were written by William W. Phelps, who later prepared and assisted in the printing of the hymnal. Only the lyrics were written; no musical notes accompanied the texts. This humble little hymnal proved to be a great blessing to early members of the Church.

“The latest edition of our English-language hymnal was published in 1985. Many of the selections which Emma chose so many years earlier are still included in our hymnbook, such as ‘I Know That My Redeemer Lives’ and ‘How Firm a Foundation.’ ”

Steven E. Snow, General Authority Seventy
Be Thou Humble,” April 2016 General Conference

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“On the day Relief Society was organized, Emma Smith declared: ‘We are going to do something extraordinary. … We expect extraordinary occasions and pressing calls.’ Those pressing calls and extraordinary occasions presented themselves frequently then—as they do now.”

Linda K. Burton, Relief Society General President
I Was a Stranger,” April 2016 General Conference

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“Emma Smith said, ‘I desire the Spirit of God to know and understand myself, that I might be able to overcome whatever of tradition or nature that would not tend to my exaltation.’ We must develop bedrock faith in the Savior’s gospel and move forward, empowered by temple covenants, toward exaltation.”

Neill F. Marriott, Second Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency
What Shall We Do?”April 2016 General Conference

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“As the Lord began restoring His Church through the Prophet Joseph Smith, He again included women in a pattern of discipleship. A few months after the Church was formally organized, the Lord revealed that Emma Smith was to be set apart as a leader and teacher in the Church and as an official helper to her husband, the Prophet. In her calling to help the Lord build His kingdom, she was given instructions about how to increase her faith and personal righteousness, how to strengthen her family and her home, and how to serve others.”

Julie B. Beck, Relief Society General President
What I Hope My Granddaughters (and Grandsons) Understand about Relief Society,” October 2011 General Conference

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“Sister Emma Smith said, ‘We are going to do something extraordinary. When a boat is stuck on the rapids, with a multitude of Mormons on board we shall consider that a loud call for relief. We expect extraordinary occasions and pressing calls.’…

“Just as Emma described the boat stuck on the rapids and the people needing help, we can liken that to our day when we see such things as a neighbor who is ill, a child who needs instruction, a teen needing a friend, or a family who has lost their income and needs assistance to get back on their feet. We hear of calamities, storms, or personal tragedy in the lives of our sisters everywhere. We need not rush about trying to find things to do or causes to take up.

“Remember, most often the help needed is in our own homes, neighborhoods, and communities. A kind word of encouragement, a note of thanks, a phone call, a loving smile, a helpful deed, and a reminder that God loves us are often what is needed most. We can lift and bless others in so many ways.”

Barbara Thompson, Second Counselor, Relief Society General Presidency
Now Let Us Rejoice,” October 2008 General Conference

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“In a revelation given in 1830, the Lord told Emma Smith that the Prophet would authorize her ‘to expound scriptures, and to exhort the church, according as it shall be given thee by my Spirit.’ (D&C 25:7) When she was later selected to lead the Relief Society, her prophet husband referred to this revelation that she would ‘expound the scriptures to all’ and ‘teach the female part of the community.’ He declared ‘that not she alone, but others, may attain to the same blessings.’ ”
Dallin H. Oaks, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

The Relief Society and the Church,” April 1992 General Conference

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“In a revelation given in 1830, the Lord told Emma Smith that the Prophet would authorize her ‘to expound scriptures, and to exhort the church, according as it shall be given thee by my Spirit.’ (D&C 25:7) When she was later selected to lead the Relief Society, her prophet husband referred to this revelation that she would ‘expound the scriptures to all’ and ‘teach the female part of the community.’ He declared ‘that not she alone, but others, may attain to the same blessings.’ ”
Dallin H. Oaks, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

The Relief Society and the Church,” April 1992 General Conference

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“We, like Mary, Eve, Sarah, and Emma, are unique. We have ripples to make and water to share. Given our eternal heritage, we must remember how powerfully our simple, righteous actions can ripple through the hearts and homes of those around us. We have such a great opportunity to do so much good…”

Virginia U. Jensen, First Counselor, Relief Society General Presidency
Ripples,” October 2000 General Conference

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“I suppose that Emma Smith had more than her share of frustration and disappointment. Her life couldn’t have been easy as she suffered persecution along with her husband, the Prophet. It is reported that shortly before his martyrdom, Joseph sent a message to Emma in answer to her request for a blessing. He was not able to give her a blessing, but told her to write one, and when he saw her again he would sign it. I am impressed with the faith and the righteous intent revealed in her words:

” ‘I desire the Spirit of God to know and understand myself. … I desire a fruitful, active mind, that I may be able to comprehend the designs of God, when revealed through His servants … I particularly desire wisdom to bring up all the children that are, or may be committed to my charge, in such a manner that they will be useful … in the Kingdom of God … I desire … that I may wear a cheerful countenance … and be a blessing to all. …’ “

Barbara W. Winder, Relief Society General President
Becoming a Prepared People,” October 1988 General Conference

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“Emma was called ‘an elect lady.’ That is, to use another line of scripture, she was a ‘chosen vessel of the Lord.’ (See Moro. 7:31.) Each of you is an elect lady. You have come out of the world as partakers of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. You have made your election, and if you are living worthy of it, the Lord will honor you in it and magnify you.”
 
Gordon B. Hinckley, Second Counselor, First Presidency
If Thou Art Faithful,” October 1984 General Conference
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“Emma was to be ordained under the hand of Joseph ‘to expound scriptures, and to exhort the church, according as it shall be given thee by my Spirit.’ (D&C 25:7.)
 
“She was to be a teacher. She was to be a teacher of righteousness and truth. For the Lord said concerning this calling to her, ‘thou shalt receive the Holy Ghost, and thy time shall be given to writing, and to learning much.’ (D&C 25:8.)
 
“She was to study the gospel. She also was to study the things of the world in which she lived. That was made clear in subsequent revelations applicable to all of us. She was to devote her time ‘to learning much.’ She was to write, giving expression to her thoughts…
 
“In the language of the revelation, she was to ‘expound scriptures, and to exhort the Church, according as it shall be given thee by my Spirit.’
 
“What a remarkable charge to her and to all of the women of this Church. There must be learning, there must be preparation, there must be organization of thought, there must be an expounding of the scripture, there must be an exhortation to good works as directed by the Holy Spirit.”
 
Gordon B. Hinckley, Second Counselor, First Presidency
If Thou Art Faithful,” October 1984 General Conference
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“Emma Smith, the beloved wife of the prophet, who literally lived in and with and through this translation period, and assisted at times as a scribe, bore this testimony:
 
“ ‘I am satisfied that no man could have dictated the writing of the manuscripts unless he was inspired. For when [I acted] as his scribe, [Joseph] would dictate to me hour after hour; and when returning after meals or after interruptions, he would at once begin where he had left off, without either seeing the manuscript or having any portion of it read to him. … It would have been improbable that a learned man could do this, and for one so … unlearned as he was, it was simply impossible.’ ”
 
Mark E. Petersen, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
It Was a Miracle!” October 1977 General Conference
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