A very short quiz for Women’s History Month

Name 10 general Relief Society, Primary, or Young Women’s Presidents.

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  1. Stirling says:

    Emma Smith, Eliza R. Snow, Zina Young, Amy Lyman…Julie Beck. Hmm. 50% is a failing grade.

  2. Mephibosheth says:
  3. I can tell who reads 19th century Mormon history!
    I could get the last 5 or 6 RS presidents, and about 4 of each of the Primary or Young Women’s presidents. But, that’s because I’ve written letters to that many. 50% of them wrote back, which, given the context, was very kind on their part.

  4. I can’t do 10. That’s shameful of me.

  5. Elaine Jack, Emma Smith, Barbara Smith (?), Julie Beck, Eliza R. Snow.


  6. Barbara Winder, Susan Winder Tanner, Lavern Parmley, Belle Spafford

  7. Louie B. Felt, Elmina S. Taylor, May Anderson, LaVerne Parmley, Barbara Smith, Amy Brown Lyman, Emmeline B. Wells, Eliza R. Snow, Martha Horne Tingey, Julie Beck.

    With my eyes closed and one hand tied behind my back.

    (Lie. If I hadn’t just been typing lists of these precise sisters, I couldn’t have done it.)

  8. Aurelia Spencer Rogers, Michaeline Grasslie, Barbara Smith, Elaine Jack, Belle Spafford, Susan Tanner, Julie Beck, Elaine Dalton, Emma Smith, Zina Young

  9. I can do all the RS Presidents (and many of the councilors and general board members – at least of the earlier presidencies), the Young Ladies MIA (though not the YWMIA), and only the first decades of the Primary organization.

  10. It’s easier if you lived in Heritage Halls at BYU, all of those buildings are named after prominent women in the church a good number of whom were leaders of the auxillaries.

  11. John Mansfield says:

    Beck, Winder, Kapp, Jack, Stafford, Pierce, Grassli, Snow, Smith (Emma), Smith (Bathsheba). The portraits of all General RS Presidents on the wall of my building’s RS room are running through my mind, but most faces I’m failing to fix a name to.

  12. Eliza

    Wait, Chieko wasn’t RSP, was she? Hmm. What’s Wendy Watson’s position?

    (Wasn’t Susa both? Does that count for two?)

  13. StillConfused says:

    None. I can remember some of the pictures on the Relief Society wall. I love to look at the progression of styles.

  14. Damn! Just looking back at comments, and can’t *believe* I forgot Belle. Sheesh. It must be early in the morning.

  15. Martin Willey says:

    Emma Smith, Eliza R. Snow, Barabra Smith, Belle Spafford, Elaine Jack, Viginia Jensen, Bonnie Parkin, Julie Beck, Cheryl Lant, Susan Tanner. Phew!

    Now, name 10 members of the 2d Quorum of the Seventy!

  16. Julie Beck, Emma Smith, Belle Spatford, Elisa Snow, Elaine Jack, Barbara Winder, Whatsherface Young, Bathsheba Somethingoranother–OK, I’m out.

    Score: 8/15 if you count the partials.

    For comparative purposes: Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Joseph F. Smith, Joseph Fielding Smith, George Albert Smith, Gordon Hinckley, Thomas Monson, Spencer Kimball, Harold Lee, Howard Hunter, Ezra Taft Benson, John Taylor, Lorenzo Snow. 13/16

  17. Oops, make that 14 General Relief Society Presidents.

  18. John Mansfield says:

    Looking up the answers now, for recent leaders Elaine is the name.

  19. While this is a nice intellectual exercise, pragmatically in the patriarchal organization that is the LDS Church it just doesn’t matter. It’s somewhat akin to asking us to name 10 Secretaries of Transportation or Labor, or Attorney General. We only remember the “important” folks – the President and Vice-President, and maybe the Secretaries of State and Defense.

    The same is true with the church. We remember the First Presidency and Qo12, and maybe some of the Seventies. If Church leaders cared about us remembering the women in leadership, then the general membership of the church would hear from more than one woman every six months and their words would be published in the Ensign as general counsel, rather than just the RS visiting teaching message.

  20. Amen, Kari.

  21. Mephibo, if you passed it in 2007 you don’t have to take the quiz ever again.

  22. We just need to create a song to remember their names! I can still do the “Latter-Day prophets are number one, Joseph Smith then Brigham Young…”

  23. We may remember some of the Vice Presidents (Charles Dawes, anyone?) but it’s not because they’re important.

    John Nance Garner was right: it’s not worth a pitcherful of warm spit. Or was it some other bodily fluid?

  24. Kari, the talks of those women who speak every six months are published in the Ensign as general counsel, same as every other conference talk (five such talks were published in the last Conference report). And if the topic is history (as in “Women’s History Month”), is there something trivial about trying to recall the names of a few women? If we can’t remember even their names, it’s pretty difficult to recall their very existence, much less any contribution they may have made. I mean, even if you’re right that Church leaders don’t care about us “remembering the women,” is there anything wrong with remembering them anyway?

  25. There used to be a Relief Society Magazine. I remember reading it in my youth. It included poetry, essays, some really good stuff. I would love to see it resurrected.

  26. Ardis, there is nothing wrong with remembering any of these women, and I’m sorry you took my comments as implying such. I believe wholeheartedly that we should remember them, and am ashamed that I can’t name 10.

    Pragmatically speaking with regards to the church, it is trivial. You only get to five if you include the General RS Meeting. Only two talks of, by my quick count, 25 at general conference. I don’t include the talks at the priesthood or relief societies meetings as general counsel, as they are specifically aimed at a certain segment of church members.

    Maybe someday we’ll even see a “Teachings for Our Time” lesson centered around a Sister’s conference talk (or even one from the general RS meeting). But I won’t hold my breath.

  27. Kari makes my point, which is precisely that we don’t make up songs for the women, we don’t listen to them even though we pay lip service to the idea that they are “leaders.” The thing about second quorum of the seventy only reinforces it–the most important women in the organization are regarded as fitting several tiers down in the org. chart.

    And it’s hard to imagine someone listing the prophets as Joseph, Brigham, John, Wilford, etc.–why the first-name familiarity in #12? (But kudos for getting that many :))

  28. Actually, you can make a pretty good song out of:

    Joseph, Brigham, John and Wilford
    Then Lorenzo, then Jo-seph F.
    Heber-George David, Joseph Fielding
    Singing this is so fun.

    (You have to cheat a little and cram Heber into one syllable, but it’s worth it.)

    Not that I’ve ever suggested such a version in Primary . . .

  29. Emma Smith
    Eliza R. Snow
    Bethsheba Smith
    Emmeline B. Wells
    Julie Beck
    Elaine S. Dalton…

    Wow, this is hard. I’m annoyed this is so hard.

  30. Commenter Scheherazade from last time around — who is, I think, a woman — listed by first name too. (I wasn’t aware of that before, but I just saw it on the last thread.) She described her reasoning as a particularly feminist choice. https://bycommonconsent.com/2007/03/16/pop-quiz/#comment-74687

    I don’t know if my choice was particularly feminist; I see it more as a function of the extent to which the early leaders were really important figures with relatively unusual names, and so they tend to easy transformation into one-name figures. (Like Brigham Young). I probably wouldn’t have listed Amy Brown Lyman as a one-name person, except in the context of the list.

    But really, how many other Elizas are there in church history? How many Zinas? (Well, four of them, we know from the book.) Ditto Susa, Emmeline, Chieko. (And I did put Beck instead of Julie, didn’t I? :) )