Motioned by Sister Whitney and seconded by Sister Packard that Mrs. Emma Smith be chosen President–passed unanimously.
Mov’d by Prest. [Joseph] Smith, that Mrs. Smith proceed to choose her Counsellors, that they may be ordain’d to preside over this Society, in taking care of the poor– administering to their wants, and attending to the various affairs of this Institution.
ess Elect, then made choice of Mrs. Sarah M. Cleveland and Mrs. Elizabeth Ann Whitney for Counsellors–
President [Joseph] Smith read the Revelation to Emma Smith, from the book of Doctrine and Covenants; and stated that she was ordain’d at the time the Revelation was given, to expound the scriptures to all; and to teach the female part of community; and that not she alone, but others, may attain to the same blessings.–
The 2d Epistle of John, 1st verse, was then read to show that respect was there had to the same thing; and that why she was called an Elect lady is because, elected to preside.
Elder Taylor was then appointed to ordain the Counsellors– he laid his hands on the head of Mrs Cleveland and ordain’d her to be a Counsellor to the Elect Lady, even Mrs. Emma Smith, to counsel and assist her in all things pertaining to her office &C.
Elder T. then laid his hands on the head of Mrs. Whitney and ordain’d her to be a Counsellor to Mrs. Smith, and Prest of the Institution–with all the privileges pertaining to the office &C.
He then laid his hands on the head of Mrs. Smith and blessed her, and confirm’d upon her all the blessings which had been confer’d on her, that she might be a mother in Israel and look to the wants of the needy, and be a pattern of virtue; and possess all the qualifications necessary for her to stand and preside and dignify her office. to teach the females those principles requisite for their future usefulness.
Female Relief Society of Nauvoo, Minutes, March 17, 1842, transcript provided by our friend WVS, at the Parallel Joseph. I recommend reading the entire minutes of that day’s meeting; the interaction between the members and the other church leaders is insightful. Happy birthday Relief Society.