Emma was 'elect lady' in era of restoration

Section 25, revealed in July 1830 and manifesting the Lord's will to Emma Smith, is the only revelation in the Doctrine and Covenants specifically directed to a woman. That reflects the lofty position held by Joseph Smith's wife in the unfolding of the Restoration.

In the revelation, she was designated the "Elect Lady."An entry in Encyclopedia of Mormonism notes:

"[EmmaT was told that her calling was to be a support and comfort to her husband, to continue to act as his scribe, and `to expound scriptures and to exhort the church.' She was also commissioned to prepare a hymnal for the Church, which was published five years later.

" . . . At the inception of the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo in 1842, Emma was elected president of the organization. As the Elect Lady, she was to preside during good behavior' andas long as [sheT shall continue to fill the office with dignity' (Record of the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo). From March until October, Emma presided regularly and Joseph frequently attended, counseling the women on the charitable mission of the society and how they would `come in possession of the privileges, blessings, and gifts' associated with the priesthood (History of the Church 4:602). Emma pressed for vigilance in watching over the morals of the community and diligence in succoring the poor. She saw the organization grow from a charter membership of 20 women to more than 1,100 at the end of the first year."

After the Prophet was martyred, Emma became estranged from the Church because of conflicts with the leadership, refusing to go West with the majority of Church members. But she was polite to the "Utah Mormons" who occasionally visited her in Nauvoo.

"Still devoted to her mother-in-law, Emma cared for her until Lucy [Mack SmithT died in 1856. The Prophet's mother had always admired Emma. I have never seen a woman in my life, who would endure every species of fatigue and hardship, from month to month, and from year to year,' she wrote,with that unflinching courage, zeal, and patience, which she has ever done' (Lucy Mack Smith, History of Joseph Smith, pp. 190-191)."

In Elect Ladies, a book on the general presidents of the Relief Society, Janet Peterson and LaRene Gaunt wrote this in their chapter on Emma Smith:

"Although Emma no longer affiliated with the main body of the Saints and her sons later led the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, she continued to testify that Joseph was a prophet and that the work he was instrumental in restoring was divine. A few years before her death, she was quoted by her son Alexander Hale Smith as declaring, I know Mormonism to be the truth; and believe the church to have been established by divine direction.' To Parley P. Pratt she reportedly said,I believe [JosephT was everything he professed to be.' In her last recorded testimony she said, `My belief is that the Book of Mormon is of divine authenticity. I have not the slightest doubt of it. . . . Though I was an active participant in the scenes that transpired, and was present during the translation of the plates . . . and had cognizance of things as they transpired, it is marvelous to me, "a marvel and a wonder," as much so as to anyone else.' " (p. 20.)

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