Sarah Granger Kimball- Thank your Lucky Stars,for such Women as her.


Sarah Granger Kimball  portrait in her home Nauvoo

 Sarah Granger Kimball

Sarah Granger Kimball (1818-1898) Utah

Woman's Expoent
The Rights of the Women of Zion, and the Rights of the Woman of all Nations (vol.12. Salt Lake City, UTah, Septemver1. 1883. )

a small new painting in progress (11 x 14 oil on panel )

Sarah Granger Kimball was a newly married woman, living in Nauvoo.  Her husband was wealthy, and with some available money, she and her seamstress, Mary Cook, decided to invite other women to give what service they could to the temple building by making shirts for the workers.  This little sewing group was the impetus of our first Relief Society.

Sarah was born in New York in 1818.  Her parents first learned of the church shortly after the Book of Mormon was published.  It was a vision her father had, of the prophet Moroni bearing testimony of the book to him, that brought the family into the church, and they remained faithful to the end.

Her husband, Hiram, was not a member of the church at that time.  But Sarah was bold and made sure her husband knew where she stood in the gospel.  From her autobiography, written in the Woman’s Exponent, on Sept 1, 1883, she explains:  My husband came to my bedside and as he was admiring our three days old darling, I said, ‘What is the boy worth.’  He replied ‘I don’t know he is worth a great deal.’  I said ‘ is he worth a thousand dollars?’  The reply was ‘Yes, more than that if he lives and does well.’  I said ‘Half of him is mine is it not?’ ‘Yes I suppose so.’  ‘Then I have something to help on the Temple.’ (pleasantly) ‘You have?’  ‘Yes, and I think of turning my share right in as tithing.’  ‘Well, I’ll think about that.’  Hiram went to Bro. Joseph to see what he thought of this tithing donation.  Joseph accepted the child readily and offered that Hiram give the child to the church immediately for $500, or keep the child for a $500 donation.  Hiram asked if he could donate land instead, which again, was readily accepted.  He eventually joined the church and the family moved on to the Salt Lake Valley.

At one point, Hiram, a wealthy man, lost his money and the family became destitute, so Sarah began teaching school in her home.  This provided a simple, yet comfortable, life for the family.  Years later, while sailing to the Sandwich Islands to serve a mission, Hiram’s ship exploded leaving Sarah a widow.

Sarah served as the Relief Society President of the 15th Ward for forty years.  She served concurrently as General Relief Society Secretary and Vice President of the Relief Society for twelve of those years.  She also served as the President of the Utah Woman’s Suffrage Association.

This remarkable woman was there at the first meeting of the Relief Society.  It is through her recollection that we know Joseph Smith said, “The Church was never perfectly organized until the women were thus organized.” (stated in the same Woman’s Exponent article as above.)




A celebration for upcoming:

This year is the 182nd anniversary of the organization of the Relief Society, one of the world’s oldest and largest women’s service organizations. 

A worldwide Relief Society devotional will be held Sunday, March 17, to commemorate the purpose and founding of the Relief Society, which took place March 17, 1842.

President Russell M. Nelson and the Relief Society general presidency — President Camille N. Johnson, Sister J. Anette Dennis and Sister Kristin M. Yee — will speak to women during the event.

Following the messages, women will have the opportunity to participate in a testimony meeting with their fellow Relief Society sisters and share their faith in Jesus Christ.

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