Under the direction of Brigham Young and Eliza R. Snow, the LDS Church organized the Young Ladies Retrenchment Society on November 28, 1869, for young women ages 12-25. First organized within the family of President Brigham Young, the group sought to improve "order, thrift, industry, and charity," and to "retrench from extravagance in dress, in eating, and in speech." Ella Young Empey presided over the first chapter, directing activities among Brigham Young's daughters. The organization subsequently was extended into the larger Utah Mormon population in the 1880s. Eliza R. Snow organized the first stake board in Salt Lake City on September 14, 1878 which lead to the development of associations within several local wards and stakes throughout Utah, eventually becoming a general feature of the Church's organization.
With the formation of a general M.I.A. board in June 1880, activity rapidly increased. Weekly events were organized which centered on arts, literature, and entertainment. In 1889, Susan Young Gates issued the Young Women's Journal which focused on literary development, health, hygiene, and home management. Sales of the journal raised funds which contributed to book acquisitions for the M.I.A library located in the Church's headquarters. These funds helped to cover the expense of sending a representative from the Y.L.M.I.A to the National Women's Council meeting held March 25, 1888, in Washington, D.C. Even further, monies from the journal sales and general Church funds provided for the printing of study manuals which were distributed annually and focused on theology, history, human physiology, and hygiene.
The Young Men's Improvement Association was formed in 1878 after President Young counseled that a group similar to the Young Ladies Retrenchment Society be formed among the young men. The group, with Junius F. Wells as president, was involved in activities similar to the women's group. After the formation of the young men's group, the name of the young ladies' group was officially changed to Y.L.M.I.A The focus of the M.I.A. encouraged members to learn about cultural and intellectual issues within the context of the Church's organization. The group still exists within the Church under the name of Young Women's and Young Men's program.
Sources: Gates, Susan Young. History of the Young Ladies' Mutual Improvement Association of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, from November 1869 to June 1910. Deseret News: Salt Lake City, 1911.
This collection contains several handwritten newspapers from the Young Men's and Young Women's Mutual Improvement Association in Hyrum, Utah. There are five uniquely titled journals: The Evening Star, The Knowledge Seeker, The Educator, The Young Ladies Thoughts, and The Mutual Guide. While the collection as a whole covers the years 1884 to 1897, the different newspapers span various time periods. Primarily their content is oriented toward religion and self improvement. Most of the issues also contain a local happenings section, which provides information on such items as music, dancing, and courtship.
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Permission to publish material from the Mutual Improvement Association manuscript newsletters of Hyrum, Utah must be obtained from the Special Collections Manuscript Curator and/or the Special Collections Department Head.Preferred Citation :
Mutual Improvement Association manuscript newsletters of Hyrum, Utah, 1884-1893. (COLL MSS 67). Utah State University. Special Collections and Archives Department.
Arranged chronologically by title.
Detailed Description of the Collection