Because of all the requests for this program, I have finally put it all on a separate page for you to see and use if you’d like. Below is a copy of the program that we put on decorated packets of sunflower seeds and put at all the tables as gifts for the women to take home with them to plant. Below that is the program that I created after some hours of research. The sisters in my ward all loved it and I hope you will too! I apologize for the font size but it’s the only way I could make it all fit. You may wish to copy and paste onto Microsoft Word and then increase the font size. If you have any questions, email me at email@example.com
“Sow the Seeds of Sisterhood”
Wednesday, March 3rd, 2004
7:00pm Prayer & Spiritual Thought
Annual Sunflower Seeds
Plant in full sun with 1/2 inch deep and space seeds 6 inches apart. 15-20 days to sprout. Space plants 24 inches apart. Height will grow 8 - 12 feet.
Plant: Direct seed 2-3 weeks before the last spring frost. Firm soil over seeds and keep moist. Small plants can be transplanted with a ball of soil.
Care: Water regularly and fertilize twice during the summer.
Tip: Plants may require staking. Seedheads attract birds to the garden. Harvested seed kernels are edible.
“Sow the Seeds the Sisterhood” HFPE Relief Society Birthday Dinner
Flyers & Posters
Decorations – green tablecloths, Sunflower centerpieces 7 tables (8 chairs per table)
Paper products & food help
Announcements & Buy Food
Food enough for up to 60
Broccoli (¾ - 1 cup per person), 2 elegant Costco Birthday sheet cakes (30 servings per cake), Rolls (60-80) & butter, Rice (3/4 cup cooked per person)
*Times recipe below by 7 since this serves 10
4 Chicken breasts, cubed and browned, 8 oz. cream cheese, 2 cans cream of chicken, 1/3 c Italian dressing packets. Cook in crockpot for 5-6 low or 3-4 hours high
“Good evening sisters. We’d like to thank you for coming to this Relief Society Birthday Dinner and hope you will enjoy tonight’s program.
* (Say the RS declaration)
We dedicate this night to you, our sisters, with the fond hope and firm belief that you are enjoying many advantages and blessings that were not enjoyed by your ancestors. May God abundantly bless you and your labors. Quoting Lucy Mack Smith, “This institution is a good one. We must cherish one another, watch over one another, comfort one another and gain instruction, that we may all sit down in heaven together. We have some special visitors this evening and will now welcome them to come and speak to us.”
Angie– Emma Smith
Nancy– Eliza Snow “O My Father”
Juliann– Zina Young
Wendy– Bathsheba Smith
“Sisters, may we resolve tonight to “Sow the seeds of sisterhood” in our lives. Sow the seed of love in our hearts by always finding ways to serve one another with love, sow the seed of faith that we may be worthy to receive the many blessing the Lord has in store for us if we will develop our talents and put them to good use, sow the seed of gratitude for all the hardships and sacrifices our ancestors went thru so that we might enjoy the many good and wonderful things they could not.”
Sing “As Sisters in Zion” (Pass out in ½ sheets and sing all verses)
Emma Hale Smith
Props: Hymn book, RS symbol
Hello, many of you know my name, Emma Hale Smith. I was the first President of Relief Society and at the very first meeting I told the sisters there that we were “going to do something extraordinary.” I was born in Harmony, Pennsylvania. I married the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1827. I was teaching school at the time we met. I was 5’9 and a soprano. From the time of my marriage to the Prophet until his death seventeen years later, June 27, 1844, I shared in the trials and persecution suffered by the Saints. In July 1830, the word of the Lord was directed to me in a revelation given through Joseph defining my duties and setting forth for me the glorious possibilities of achievement. In the revelation, recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants, Section 25, I was to “lay aside the things of this world, and seek for the things of a better” and I also was called to make a selection of sacred hymns which was published in 1836. Three years later, as a result of increasing persecutions, my children and I were forced to flee to Far West. I crossed the frozen Mississippi River carrying my two babies while the other 2 children clutched my skirts. Joseph’s papers were tied to my waist in cloth bags under my dress. I later sent a letter to my husband telling him, “No one but God knows the reflections of my mind and the feelings of my heart when I left our house and home, and almost all of everything that we possessed excepting our little children, and took my journey out of the State of Missouri, leaving (Joseph) shut up in that lonesome prison. But the reflection is more than human nature ought to bear, and if God does not record our sufferings and avenge our wrongs on them that are guilty, I shall be sadly mistaken.” When Joseph escaped from Liberty Jail and appeared at the Cleveland’s home where we were staying, I immediately recognized the pale man in rags and ran into his arms. In Nauvoo, when a malaria epidemic hit, our son Don Carlos died, yet we opened our home to care for the sick. And when there was no more room in the house, Joseph and I gave up our own bed and slept in a tent in the yard. When the Relief Society was organized in Nauvoo, March 17, 1842, I was made its president. In a day when women had no training nor background in public service, I did my best to perform all duties of a public nature to which I was called. In the summer of 1842, I journeyed to Quincy, accompanied by Eliza R. Snow and Amanda Smith, to present Governor Carlin a petition which had been circulated by the newly organized Female Relief Society and signed by its members. This petition sought the protection of the Governor on behalf of the Prophet Joseph Smith from illegal suits then pending against him – an action which was greatly appreciated by the Prophet. A year later, I was sealed eternally to my husband for eternity and was the first woman to receive the temple endowment. After the martyrdom of my husband, I chose to remain in Nauvoo, and, five months after his death, gave birth to our last son, David Hyrum. One of the greatest sorrows of my life was the fact that, out of eleven Smith children (including the two who were adopted), only four lived through adulthood. I elected not to go west with Brigham Young. Some say it is perhaps due to years of poverty and homelessness, and personal struggles. In my own defense, “You may think I was not a very good Saint not to go West, but I had a home and did not go because I did not know what I should have there.” In my old age the mother of the Prophet, Lucy Mack Smith, made her home with us. She wrote, “I have never seen a woman in my life, who could endure every species of fatigue and hardship, from month to month, and from year to year, with that unflinching courage, zeal, and patience, which she has ever done; for I know that which she has had to endure. She has been tossed upon the ocean of uncertainty... and buffeted the rage of men and devils, which would have borne down almost any other woman.” A few years before my death I told my son Alexander that, “I know Mormonism to be the truth; and believe the church to have been established by divine direction.” In my last recorded testimony I said, “My belief is that the Book of Mormon is of divine authenticity. I have not the slightest doubt of it... it is marvelous to me, a marvel and a wonder.” I died April 30, 1879, in Nauvoo. My children and second husband, Major Bidamon watched me in the early morning light as I murmured, “Joseph! Yes, yes, I’m coming.” My body is now entombed beside my Prophet husband on the sloping bank of the Mississippi River. The greatest desire of my heart was *“wisdom from my Heavenly Father bestowed daily, so that whatever I might do or say, I could not look back at the close of the day with regret, nor neglect the performance of any act that would bring a blessing.” That is my desire for you sisters. (*Repeat if desired)
Eliza R. Snow
Props: Needlework, Book of Poems, picture of Deseret Hospital,
picture of her brother Lorenzo Snow (5th president of the church), “O My Father”
Good evening. My name is Eliza Roxey Snow. I was born January 21, 1804. I was introduced to the Church through Sidney Rigdon and, “It was what my soul hungered for but ... I considered it a hoax – too good to be true.” One evening that year, Joseph Smith came to my parents’ home, and as he sat near the fire and told our family about his vision of the Father and the Son in a grove near his parents’; home in New York, I studied his face. “I decided that his was an honest face.” My mother and sister joined the church soon after. But for four years, I struggled until I prayed to overcome my doubts and then asked to be baptized. After my baptism, a wonderful, indescribable feeling came over me producing inexpressible happiness. From the time of my baptism at the age of 31 until the end of my long life in 1887, my foremost concern was that I might do all possible to advance the cause of the gospel. All my great abilities as an executive, teacher, organizer, poet, writer, and speaker were devoted to the service of the Church. I became acquainted with the Prophet Joseph Smith in Kirtland, and both there and later in Nauvoo, I acted as governess in his home. He referred to me as “Zion’s poetess.” In 1839, Governor Boggs gave the Saints 10 days to leave or be exterminated. Our family was one of the last to leave due to my brother Lorenzo’s ill health. We began our trek on a bitterly cold day, with snow covering the ground, I walked alongside the wagon in order to stay warm and to keep my feet from freezing. Soon the militia overtook us. One of the men shouted at me, “Well, I think this will cure you of your faith!” I stared at him and replied, “No, sir. It will take more than this to cure me of my faith.” The man was surprised at my response and commented meekly, “I must confess, you are a better soldier than I am.” I was sealed to Joseph Smith in 1842. Two years later I was overcome with grief from his death, unable to eat or sleep and desired to die myself, until one night Joseph appeared to me and told me I had not yet completed my mission and that the Lord desired for me to live and help build his kingdom. I was to be of good cheer and help lighten the burdens of others. I then dedicated the remainder of my life to the Lord’s work. I fulfilled my obligation as the first secretary of the Relief Society in Nauvoo by safely bringing “A Book of Records” to the Great Salt Lake in 1847. President Brigham Young called me, in 1866, to aid the bishops in the monumental task of organizing a Relief Society in every ward and branch of the Church. During the ensuing 21 years, as the General President of the Relief Society, I faithfully performed this mission with the help of a group of other leading women. In addition to presiding over the Relief Society, I stood at the head of the Young Ladies’ Mutual Improvement Association (now the Young Women’s) and the Primary Association until the year 1880. I was also in charge of the women’s work in the Endowment House, superintendent of the Women’s Store, and president of the Deseret Hospital. I encouraged the women to support home industry and to make their own apparel and household furnishings. I myself was proficient in handwork, having been taught by my mother to be a skilled needlewoman. As a poetess, I am best remembered as the author of the hymns, “O My Father,” “In our Lovely Deseret,” “How Great the Wisdom and the Love,” “Behold the Great Redeemer Die,” “Through Deepening Trials,” and “Truth Reflects Upon Our Senses.” I was also known as a writer, and the author of the life story of my brother Lorenzo Snow. I always tried to exemplify in my own life the ideals of service, intellectual advancement, and unselfish devotion which are the very foundation of Relief Society. My one wish, which I penned in a poem that I wrote for my own funeral was, “I would not be forgotten quite.” I planned my own funeral down to every detail. The choir was to sing my own masterpiece, “O My Father,” which spoke of returning to live with heavenly parents; it is also the earliest recorded expression of Latter-day Saint belief in a heavenly mother. I also suggested another detail of importance: the Assembly Hall was to be draped in white and filled with white flowers. I wanted no black, only white, the symbol of hope.
“O My Father” soloist dressed in white
Zina D. H. Young
Props: picture of Hyrum and Brigham, silks (worms), obstetrics
Hello sisters, my name is Zina Diantha Huntington Young. I was the third General President of the Relief Society. My parents gave me a religious upbringing. They were strict Presbysterians until a controversy developed between the Presbyterians and Congretionalists. My father decided to join the sect that followed the proper form of worship, and to determine this, he studied his Bible to see what it said. “I can remember my father sitting quietly (studying) the Bible, determined to find the right way, his firm lips closed with the determination to succeed if success was possible. After many hours of study and reading, father one day declared that none of the churches were right according to the way he read the Bible, for none of them had the organization peculiar to the primitive church. Nothing could shake him from this belief.” My father and a neighbor often conversed with each other regarding religion and, about that same time, a rumor was going around about a man that had found a “New and Golden Bible.” Since my father was a farmer with much work to do at the time, and his neighbor was a barrelmaker who was not working in the winter, the neighbor friend left at once and later returned with a copy of the Book of Mormon. I received a spiritual witness of the Book of Mormon’s truth just upon picking up that sacred volume. I was baptized into the Church by Hyrum Smith when I was fourteen, and that same year, 1835, in Kirtland, I received two spiritual gifts, which remained mine throughout my life – the speaking in tongues and the interpretation of tongues. In 1836, I saw the Prophet’s face for the first time. He was 6 feet tall with light auburn hair, a heavy nose, and blue eyes. At Kirtland, I met Eliza Snow. She was 17 years my senior but one with whom I became a very close friend with. I encountered other “friends” in Kirtland. Joseph Smith had purchased 4 Egyptian mummies, together with hieroglyphic texts that were eventually translated into what is now the Book of Abraham; and on one occasion when anti-Mormon sentiment posed a threat, the mummies were removed from the temple and stored in the Huntington home – under my bed. One evening as I entered my room, I discovered the hidden artifacts. But sleeping in the same room with four dead bodies did not alarm me, so I undressed and went to bed as usual. J I married Henry Jacobs when I was twenty. That same year, I was sealed to the Prophet Joseph; three years later I was deeply shocked when he was murdered and wrote in my journal, “My pen cannot utter my grief nor describe my horror. Nevertheless, after a while a change came to us to comfort us in the hour of dreadful bereavement. Never can it be told in words what the Saints suffered in our days of trials, but the sweet spirit of the Comforter did not forsake us.” Eighteen months later we were “obliged to leave the State... Clear and cold we left our house and all we possessed in a wagon with other items left in our house unsold. I shall never forget standing on Major Russell’s porch and watching the little ones get in the wagon at the same time the bells were ringing the Temple was one fire.” I was influenced greatly by the sorrow and tribulation which the Saints experienced, but faced them with determination, which brought out the refining elements of true love and sympathy. My mother died in the explusion from Missouri, and my father died in the expulsion from Nauvoo. I alone of all his children was there to mourn. Sickness was so prevalent, and deaths so frequent that help enough could not be obtained to make coffins. The graveyard on the hillside of our trek was so near that I could hear the wolves howling as they visited the spot. I had two sons by my second marriage, which did not last. I later married Brigham Young and had an only daughter, but I reared four of his other children in addition to my own. Much of my life was devoted to teaching the young, to whom I imparted not only book learning but also a desire for better living. When teachers became numerous, I turned my attention to public service and aided Eliza Snow in her Relief Society organization work, serving as her first counselor. In 1870, President Young gave me the mission of establishing silk culture in the Territory, and silently seeking to overcome my repugnance to silk worms, I succeeded in fulfilling this mission. I was a worker in the Endowment House and later served in the Salt Lake Temple until the time of my death. For many years I practiced obstetrics and was always ready to exercise faith and lend my outstanding abilities as a nurse. My calling in the church sometimes had me journey as far as New York, Canada and Hawaii to instruct the sisters. I rejoiced in the opportunities I had in putting my testimony before the daughters of Zion, so that their faith would be strengthened and that the good work would roll on. “From the day I received the sweet testimony of the Spirit, when grasping the precious Book of Mormon in my hands to my breast, I have never doubted nor faltered in my faith. I know this is the Church and Kingdom of God, and I rejoice in putting my testimony before the daughters of Zion, that (your) faith may be strengthened, and that the good work may roll on. Seek for a testimony, as you would, for a diamond concealed. If someone told you by digging long enough in a certain spot you would find a diamond of unmeasured wealth, do you think you would begrudge time or strength, or means spent to obtain that treasure? Then I will tell you that if you will dig in the depths of your own hearts you will find, with the aid of the Spirit of the Lord, the pearl of great price, the testimony of the truth of this work.” I died at the age of 80, having served for 13 years as Relief Society president. Fittingly inscribed on my gravestone is the Relief Society motto, “Charity never faileth.”
Bathsheba W. Smith
Props: blanket, shawl, picture of George A. Smith.
My name is Bathsheba Smith. When I was a teenager, some Latter-Day Saint Elders visited our neighborhood. I heard them preach and believed what they taught. George A. Smith, a cousin of the Prophet Joseph Smith, was one of the elders who brought the gospel to my father’s spacious home in West Virginia. My whole family was baptized along with my uncle and his family. There I became engaged to Elder Smith, but it was not until after my family had been driven from Missouri and was settled in Nauvoo, in 1841, that my marriage took place, which resulted in enduring happiness and joy for us both. We had only known each other for 6 months when we promised each other that in 3 years time we would be married. George left for a mission to England shortly after but 14 days after he returned, we were married. I was the youngest woman present at the organization of the Relief Society, in 1842, being only 19, and I lived to see it grow from a membership of 18 to over 40,000. I learned the art of Southern hospitality from my mother and I was a meticulous housekeeper. At the request of Joseph Smith, Eliza Snow and I designed the sacred temple garments. My husband and I were among the first to receive our temple endowments and to be taught the principle of plural marriage. Having witnessed so many landmark events in Church history, my husband was called to be the Church Historian. Leaving Nauvoo, we headed to Winter Quarters under the well-known harsh conditions. Many died of scurvy until my husband took an interest in finding a preventive cure – potatoes. Thereafter, he was affectionately known as the “Potato Saint.” My father passed away while we headed to Illinois. At Winter Quarters, my mother died and 3 weeks later (and after 3 days labor) I gave birth to a son. He lived only 4 hours. I was overcome with fever and ague for several months and was never able to bear any more children. I spent 3 three years at Winter Quarters caring for others along with my husband’s 5 other plural wives while he traveled back and forth to the Salt Lake Valley helping other Saints migrate west. Finally he was able to secure enough wagons and supplies. Before we left, I was able to improve our wagons with projections, bed brackets, a door on one end, window on the other, and a stepladder with room for 4 chairs and carpet for flooring. After months of ferrying streams, fording others, traveling over sterile plains, high mountains, and through deep canyons, and enduring a 36-hour snowstorm as well as a cattle stampede, our wagons arrived in the Salt Lake Valley. For a while, our families lived in the wagon beds. Before George could finish the adobe house for us, he was called to colonize Parowan and left with his plural wife Zilpha. I hid in his wagon a package of a small sugar loaf and a bunch of English currants with a poem that read, “Now I give it unto thee, That comfort you may in this, My large great sugar kiss.” My husband wrote of that gift in his journal saying, “For surely, I remember my first love.” In 1860 my life was shattered when I received news that Indians had killed my son, George. He was killed by Indians while on a mission in southern Utah. He was killed by the Indians in retaliation for a massacre of Navajos by other white men. His companion, Jacob Hamblin, was only able to bring back 3 bones and a lock of hair for the burial. My remaining child, my dear daughter, became the mother of 14 children. I loved being a grandmother and enjoyed making gifts for them. As long as my husband was living, I devoted myself to my home, beautifying it with the work of my hands. I made my own carpets, spun, colored and wove cloth, flannel, linsey and jeans, kerseys, blankets, coverlets and shawls. I also wove fringe, made sewing thread, knit stockings and mittens, embroidered, and made netting. I was able to travel with my husband on many church-related trips. A friend described me on one of these trips saying I “was then a tall, stately woman with an abundance of beautiful brown hair, dark eyes, smooth fair complexion, and ... (was) noted for my lovable manner, and ease of approach for (I always) gave a sweet smile. (She also noted that) I loved the beautiful, appreciated refinement, and always dressed in good taste.” After the death of my husband in 1876, I turned to public affairs, dividing my time between temple work and Relief Society work. I served as fourth General Relief Society President from 1901-1910, nine years. Temple work was one of my greatest loves and I faithfully attended all my life. I want to bear you my testimony that “when I heard the Gospel, I knew it was true. When I first read the Book of Mormon, I knew it was inspired of God; when I first beheld Joseph Smith I knew I stood face to face with a prophet of the living God, and I had no doubt in my mind about his authority.” I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
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