BYU Studies, women's suffrage
On a snowy April morning in 1895, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles gathered within the walls of the Salt Lake Temple and unanimously declared themselves committed to women’s suffrage.1 That same day, a large group of Relief Society women gathered nearby in the Salt Lake Assembly Hall and unanimously stood in favor of including women’s suffrage in Utah’s newly designed state constitution.2 In that defining moment, such unified support for the most pressing women’s rights issue of the day by both the governing body and the official women’s organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was noteworthy. Anomalous circumstances years earlier had stimulated broad support for women’s suffrage among both leaders and lay members of the notoriously patriarchal Church of Jesus Christ. Widespread cooperation between men and women—and the endorsement of the territory’s predominant church—made the suffrage experience of Utah women unique within the national suffrage movement. While this support inevitably varied among individuals in both intensity and motivation, the blending of those distinct voices during Utah’s fifty years of suffrage activism reveals an instructive alliance among Latter-day Saints.
Clark, Rebekah Ryan
"A Harmony of Voices,"
BYU Studies Quarterly: Vol. 59:
3, Article 7.
Available at: https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/byusq/vol59/iss3/7