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Prophetic Statements

Joseph Smith

#1:

“It is the duty of a husband to love, cherish , and nourish his wife, and cleave unto her and none else. He ought to honor her as himself, and he ought to regard her feelings with tenderness for she is his flesh and his bone, designed to be an help unto him, both in temporal and spiritual things, one into whose bosom he can pour all his complaints without reserve, who is willing (being designed) to take part of his burden to soothe and encourage his feelings by her gentle voice.

“It is the place of the man to stand at the head of his family and be lord of his own house, not to rule over his wife as a tyrant, neither as one who is fearful or jealous that his wife will get out of her place and prevent him from exercising his authority. It is his duty to be a man of God–for a man of God is a man of wisdom–ready at all times to obtain from the scriptures, the revelations and from on high, such instructions as are necessary for the edification and salvation of his household.

“And on the other hand, it is the duty of the wife to be in subject to her husband at all times, not as a servant, neither as one who fears a tyrant or a master, but as one who in meekness and the love of God regards the laws and institutions of heaven [and] looks up to her husband for instruction, edification, and comfort.” (Joseph Smith, Elders’ Journal, August 1838, 61-62)

#2:

“[The Prophet Joseph Smith] exhorted the sisters always to concentrate their faith and prayers for, and place confidence in their husbands, whom God has appointed for them to honor.” (as quoted in Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, (2011), 479–91, and History of the Church, 4:604; from a discourse given by Joseph Smith on Apr. 28, 1842, in Nauvoo, Illinois; reported by Eliza R. Snow; see also appendix, page 562, item 3)

Version 2

“He exhorted the sisters always to concentrate their faith and prayers for, and place confidence in their husbands, whom God has appointed for them to honor, and in those faithful men whom God has placed at the head of the Church to lead His people; that we should arm and sustain them with our prayers; for the keys of the kingdom are about to be given to them, that they may be able to detect everything false; as well as to all the Elders who shall prove their integrity in due season.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Section Four 1839-42, p.226)

#3:

Johanna Southcott professed to be a prophetess, and wrote a book of prophecies in 1804, she became the founder of a people that are still extant. She was to bring forth, in a place appointed, a son, that was to be the Messiah, which thing has failed. Independent of this, however, where do we read of a woman that was the founder of a church, in the word of God? Paul told the women in his day, “To keep silence in the church, and that if they wished to know anything to ask their husbands at home;” he would not suffer a woman “to rule, or to usurp authority in the church;” but here we find a woman the founder of a church, the revelator and guide, the Alpha and Omega, contrary to all acknowledged rule, principle, and order. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Section Four 1839-42, p.209)

#4:

The devil has great power to deceive; he will so transform things as to make one gape at those who are doing the will of God. You need not be teasing your husbands because of their deeds, but let the weight of your innocence, kindness and affection be felt, which is more mighty than a millstone hung about the neck; not war, not jangle, not contradiction, or dispute, but meekness, love, purity–these are the things that should magnify you in the eyes of all good men. Achan [see Joshua 7] must be brought to light, iniquity must be purged out from the midst of the Saints; then the veil will be rent, and the blessings of heaven will flow down–they will roll down like the Mississippi river. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Section Four 1839-42, p.227)

#5:

The female part of the community are apt to be contracted in their views. You must not be contracted, but you must be liberal in your feelings. Let this Society teach women how to behave towards their husbands, to treat them with mildness and affection. When a man is borne down with trouble, when he is perplexed with care and difficulty, if he can meet a smile instead of an argument or a murmur–if he can meet with mildness, it will calm down his soul and soothe his feelings; when the mind is going to despair, it needs a solace of affection and kindness. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Section Four 1839-42, p.228)

#6:

When you go home, never give a cross or unkind word to your husbands, but let kindness, charity and love crown your works henceforward; don’t envy the finery and fleeting show of sinners, for they are in a miserable situation; but as far as you can, have mercy on them, for in a short time God will destroy them, if they will not repent and turn unto him. . . . Let your labors be mostly confined to those around you, in the circle of your own acquaintance, as far as knowledge is concerned, it may extend to all the world; but your administering should be confined to the circle of your immediate acquaintance, and more especially to the members of the Relief Society. Those ordained to preside over and lead you, are authorized to appoint the different officers, as the circumstances shall require. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Section Four 1839-42, p.229)

Brigham Young

#1:

Let the father be the head of the family, the master of his own household; and let him treat them as an angel would treat them; and let the wives and the children say amen to what he says, and be subject to his dictates, instead of their dictating the man, instead of their trying to govern him.  1

#2:

You cannot read in the Bible that women take the lead—that the responsibility is upon the women, for it is not so.  2

#3:

Study order and cleanliness in your various occupations. Adorn your city and neighborhood. Make your homes lovely, and adorn your hearts with the grace of God.  3

#4:

. . . if your husband takes you to live in ever so small and humble a cottage, make it neat and nice and clean, and set out flowers around the doors, and let the husband plant fruit trees and shade trees, and let wives help their husbands that they may be encouraged to take hold of more important business that will create an income sufficient to sustain their wives, and by economy and care become wealthy in a short time, and have your carriage to ride in. What a satisfaction it will be to you to know that what you possess is the result of your industry and economy.  4

#5:

We wish to introduce into this community manufactures and manufacturing so thoroughly that the people will consider themselves under obligation to feed and clothe themselves. Many of us are in the habit of doing only just what we like to do or of sitting with our arms folded, trusting to others to feed and clothe us. It is the duty of the husband to provide for the wife or wives and children, and it is the duty of the wife or wives and children to assist the husband and father all they can. If it is required of the father or husband to furnish his wives and children with flour, it is equally required of the wives, sisters and daughters to be careful in the use of that flour and see that it is not wasted. If it is the duty of the husband or father to furnish his family with cloth to dress themselves, it is their duty to see that that cloth is cut and made prudently and not wasted.” 5

#6:

You may say that it is hard work to please a man; yes, and woman too. But when a man does his duty in providing for a family, there can reasonably be but little complaint on the part of any sensible woman. 6

#7:

It is your right, wives, to ask your husbands to set out beautiful shade and fruit trees, and to get you some vines and flowers with which to adorn the outside of your dwellings; and if your husbands have not time, get them yourselves and plant them out. Some, perhaps, will say, “Oh, I have nothing but a log house, and it is not worth that.” Yes; it is worth it. Whitewash and plaster it up, and get vines to run over the door, so that everybody who passes will say, “What a lovely little cottage!” This is your privilege and I wish you to exercise yourselves in your own rights.   7

#8:

It is not my general practice to counsel the sisters to disobey their husbands, but my counsel is—obey your husbands; and I am sanguine and most emphatic on that subject. But I never counseled a woman to follow her husband to the Devil. If a man is determined to expose the lives of his friends, let that man go to the Devil and to destruction alone.  8

#9:

Were I a woman possessed of great powers of mind, filled with wisdom, and, upon the whole, a magnanimous woman, and had been privileged with my choice, and had married a man, and found myself deceived, he not answering my expectations, and I being sorry that I had made such a choice, let me show my wisdom by not complaining about it. A woman’s wisdom and judgment has failed her once in the choice of a husband, and it may again, if she is not very careful. By seeking to cast off her husband—by withdrawing her confidence and good will from him, she casts a dark shade upon his path, when, by pursuing a proper course of love, obedience, and encouragement, he might attain to that perfection she had anticipated in him.   9

Supporting Statements

Bruce R. McConkie

“A married woman’s place is in the home, where she sustains and supports her husband; a woman’s place is in the Church, where she expounds scripture, writes wise documents, and learns much; a woman’s place is out rendering compassionate service to her fellow beings, in and out of the Church; a woman’s place is in preaching the gospel and doing missionary work; her calling is to do good and work righteousness in every place and under all circumstances.”  10


 

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  1. Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, selected and arranged by John A. Widtsoe [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1954], p. 197-198; Journal of Discourses 4:55
  2. Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, selected and arranged by John A. Widtsoe [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1954], p. 199; Journal of Discourses 9:143
  3. Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, selected and arranged by John A. Widtsoe [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1954], p. 200; Journal of Discourses 8:297
  4. Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, selected and arranged by John A. Widtsoe [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1954], p. 196; Journal of Discourses 12:200-201
  5. Brigham Young, “Southern Missions, Etc.“, Journal of Discourses, vol. 12, pp. 297-301, October 8, 1868.
  6. Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, selected and arranged by John A. Widtsoe [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1954], p. 200; Journal of Discourses 4:314
  7. Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, selected and arranged by John A. Widtsoe [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1954], p. 200; Journal of Discourses 14:105
  8. Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, selected and arranged by John A. Widtsoe [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1954], p. 200-201; Journal of Discourses 1:77
  9. Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, selected and arranged by John A. Widtsoe [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1954], p. 202; Journal of Discourses 7:280
  10. Bruce R. McConkie, Our Sisters from the Beginning, Ensign, Jan 1979

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