Relief Society History Chronicled in New Book

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This article was originally written for Mormon Newsroom. The following is an excerpt. 

“They’re not just sunbonnet pioneer women that just kind of trudged along in the dirt with their covered wagon. They were well read. They were articulate. They knew what they believed in. They knew how to move forward.”

That’s how Carol Cornwall Madsen, a professor emerita of history at Brigham Young University, describes the 19th-century Mormon women who are featured in a collection of documents outlining the history of the Relief Society of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

A compilation of documents has been published for the first time in a new hardcover book, “The First Fifty Years of Relief Society: Key Documents in Latter-day Saint Women’s History,” which was released this week by the Church Historian’s Press, an imprint of the Church History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Digital selections of the book are now available for free online at Additional digital selections will also be released online in the coming months.

This volume is the culmination of years of work by many people, including scholars, writers and the editors of the volume.

Read the full article on

Kylie is a writer at and graduate of BYU with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. She grew up in a Chicago suburb where she gained a passion for the Chicago Cubs. She enjoys writing and live event video production.