More than 50 discourses given by Latter-day Saint women over 185 years are now available online for free. The talks were compiled by Church Historian’s Press for publication in a book a year ago titled, “At the Pulpit: 185 Years of Discourses by Latter-day Saint Women.” The Church Historian’s Press is an imprint of the Church History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.The publication can also be found in the LDS Gospel Library app in the “Church History” section.“At the Pulpit,” authored by Church historians Jennifer Reeder and Kate Holbrook, showcases 54 speeches given by Mormon women since the founding of the Church. The talks focus on doctrinal themes and were selected from every decade from 1831 to 2016.Reeder and Holbrook gathered the early talks by digging through old Relief Society minute books, newspapers, magazines, journals, conference reports and other resources. Two of the newspapers they searched through were the “Millennial Star” and the “Women’s Exponent.”
“‘At the Pulpit’ comes alive when people use it. While we know women gave great talks of doctrinal importance, we recognize the power and meaning of those words when we understand their lives that produced such testimony,” said Reeder.
“I have felt strongly, while working on the book, while giving talks about the book and just while quietly reading from the book, that the words and the stories bring me closer to the power of God — the power to lead, to forgive and to persevere,” said Holbrook.
Speakers include Emma Hale Smith, wife of Church prophet and founder Joseph Smith, as well as his mother, Lucy Mack Smith, who led the Saints from New York to Ohio. Other prominent pioneer women featured are Elizabeth Ann Whitney and Eliza R. Snow. The historians also selected talks from women they had never heard about before they started their research for the book.
International voices include Judy Brummer of South Africa and from Gladys Sitati of West Africa.
Discourses from contemporary Church leaders include Belle S. Spafford, Ardeth G. Kapp, Elaine L. Jack, Chieko N. Okazaki, Julie B. Beck, Bonnie D. Parkin, Sheri L. Dew, Virginia H. Pearce and former Relief Society general president Linda K. Burton.
In addition to the text, 22 original audio recordings allow listeners to hear the talks. Spanish and Portuguese translations will also be available later this summer.