Jane Manning James is a great hero of the restoration. Many know of her story as the most prominent Mormon pioneer of Black African descent. Her life is tragic and I can barely talk about the sensitive issues without choking up.
She participated in the Relief Society and some of the meetings minutes where she participated were reprinted in the Woman’s Exponent. The following is a selection of these minutes:
The sisters sang “The Spirit of God like a fire is burning,” &c. After which Sister Gibson spoke a few encouraging words and bore her testimony. Sister Jane James, said many encouraging things but felt that she could not express her feelings. Said she hoped light would yet reach her people and prayed that her son, might be faithful and go to them, as the Prophet Joseph had predicted. She then spoke in tongues, Sister Paul giving the interpretation. (1)
Sister Jane James, knew her Father in Heaven loved her and blessed her beyond measure. Concluded by speaking in tongues. Interpretation given by President Z. D. H. Young. (2)
Sister Jane James bore a faithful testimony, then spoke in tongues. – Interpretation given by Sister Phelps. (3)
Sister Jane James bore her testimony; felt there was nothing else to live for than this kingdom of God, and knew that the Spirit of the Lord was here. She felt to rejoice that she had the privilege of seeing the prophet Joseph. (4)
Sister James felt to bear her testimony and rejoice that she had beheld the Prophet and Patriarch Joseph and Hyrum Smith, and wished she could go into the Temple; but she felt to wait in patience on her Heavenly Father. Prayed to be faithful unto the end and alluded to the time she embraced the Gospel, and how she rejoiced even until today in the same. (5)
Sister Jane James bore a faithful testimony and said she had been terribly afflicted in her head, and she took her consecrated oil and anointed herself and she was healed. Felt that that was faith, and praised the Lord for her blessings. (6)
Sister Jane James felt she could not keep away from these meetings if she tried. Spoke of her children and the anxiety she felt for them; felt to bless Sister Horne for the teachings she had given to her. (7)
Sister Jane James bore her testimony. She was thankful that she was in this kingdom and desired to be faithful. “I desire to do the will of my Father who is in heaven. I know this work is true, it is all we have worth living for but the Spirit of God.” Concluded by speaking in tongues; interpretation given by Sister Zina D. H. Young. (8)
- Lydia D. Alder, “Ladies’ Semi-Monthly Meeting,” Woman’s Exponent 22 (December 1, 1893): 66.
- L. D. Alder, “Ladies’ Semi-Monthly Meeting,” Woman’s Exponent 23 (January 1, 1894): 226.
- L. D. Alder, “Ladies’ Semi-Monthly Meeting,” Woman’s Exponent 22 (June 1, 1894): 141.
- A. T. Hyde, “Ladies’ Semi-Monthly Meeting,” Woman’s Exponent 25 (September 1, 1896): 34.
- Lydia D. Alder, Minutes of Ladies’ Semi-Monthly Meeting, October 31, 1896, reprinted in Various, “Ladies’ Semi-Monthly Meeting,” Woman’s Exponent 25 (December 15, 1896): 78.
- Zina Hyde, Minutes of Ladies’ Semi-Monthly Meeting, November 14, 1896, reprinted in Various, “Ladies’ Semi-Monthly Meeting,” Woman’s Exponent 25 (December 15, 1896): 79. Emphasis in original.
- Zina H. Bull, “Ladies’ Semi-Monthly Meeting,” Woman’s Exponent 25 (May 1, 1897): 138.
- L. D. Alder, “Ladies’ Semi-Monthly Meeting,” Woman’s Exponent 26 (June 1, 1897): 155.