Women’s Voices Ring through the Pages of At the Pulpit

At the Pulpit CoverFrom the banks of the frozen Lake Erie in early May 1831, Lucy Mack Smith admonished the despondent Saints. “Where is your faith in God?” she asked. “If I could make my voice to sound as loud as the trumpet of Michael the archangel I would declare the truth from land to land and from sea to sea.” From the earliest days of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, female members have voiced their testimonies, shared the gospel with friends and family, and spoken in meetings. A sampling of these sermons is presented in At the Pulpit: 185 Years of Discourses by Latter-day Saint Women, the newest publication from the Church Historian’s Press, the publisher of The Joseph Smith Papers. The book contains fifty-four discourses given by Latter-day Saint women throughout the history of the church, with selections from every decade since the church’s founding.

The voices in these pages ring from Nauvoo’s red brick store to the Tabernacle on Temple Square, the National Auditorium in Mexico City, and beyond. And not all the meetings were traditional religious ones. Discourses in the collection were given, for example, before the Utah Woman Suffrage Association, the National Council of Women, and the World's Congress of Representative Women. Each discourse in this volume begins with an introduction providing insight into the historical and theological context of the discourse, as well as glimpses into the vibrant personalities of women who have shaped the church.

Readers will encounter familiar figures from church history and from the contemporary church—including Eliza R. Snow, Sheri L. Dew, and Linda K. Burton—as well as learn from women whose stories are largely unknown to modern Latter-day Saints. One example is Jane H. Neyman, whose petition to join the Nauvoo Relief Society in 1842 was rejected because of gossip about her daughters. More than twenty-five years later, she spoke in a Relief Society meeting in Utah, urging members to be forbearing and forgiving of one another.

At the Pulpit provides a resource for today’s Latter-day Saints as they study, speak, teach, and lead. The volume is available at Deseret Book, Amazon, Store.LDS.org, and many other retail outlets. Several of the discourses in this book, plus photographs and other resources, are also available at churchhistorianspress.org/at-the-pulpit. Eventually, the entire volume will be published on the website.