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Foundational Texts of Mormonism$
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Mark Ashurst-McGee, Robin Jensen, and Sharalyn D. Howcroft

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190274375

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190274375.001.0001

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The Textual Culture of the Nauvoo Female Relief Society Leadership and Minute Book

The Textual Culture of the Nauvoo Female Relief Society Leadership and Minute Book

(p.154) 7 The Textual Culture of the Nauvoo Female Relief Society Leadership and Minute Book
Foundational Texts of Mormonism

Jennifer Reeder

Oxford University Press

Jennifer Reeder’s “The Textual Culture of the Nauvoo Relief Society Leadership and Minute Book” provides a foundation for a deep understanding of the social production of the Nauvoo Female Relief Society’s minute book, which exemplifies the broad activity and discourse among Mormon women in Nauvoo, Illinois, in the 1840s. Typical of contemporary women’s organizations, the Relief Society was led by formally appointed officers who kept careful records of their benevolent efforts and theological discussions. Reeder shows that the Relief Society’s minute book was much more than a ledger of names and donations. Of particular interest is the way relationships played out among the women and how the practice of polygamy influenced the Relief Society, though never openly discussed in meetings. Reeder examines the polygamist relationships of several of the Society’s leaders and clerical officers in order to read between the lines of what was and was not written.

Keywords:   textual culture, Nauvoo, Relief Society, minute book, Mormon, women, officers, records, polygamy

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