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The role of women in early LDS Church history topic of Lee Library lecture Feb. 8

The Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University will host guest speaker Jill Mulvay Derr in the Joseph Smith Exhibit Lecture Series Wednesday, Feb. 8, at 3 p.m. in the library auditorium on the first floor.

Admission is free and the public is welcome.

Derr, who has researched the history of Mormon and Utah women for more than 30 years, will discuss the important role women played in the early period of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“Joseph Smith's family, friends and followers included devoted women who bore witness of his prophetic calling and lent him their full support in the unfolding restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ and the establishment of Zion,” says Derr.

The exhibition contains manuscripts from women who played important roles in the prophet’s life, including e a family memoir by Lucy Mack Smith, a hymnal compiled by Emma Smith and Emmeline B. Wells’ records of minutes taken from the first Relief Society meetings held in Nauvoo.

Derr is the division director for LDS Church History Research and Development in the Family and Church History Department. She helped edit a collection of writings entitled “Women’s Voices: An Untold History of the Latter-day Saints, 1830-1900” and co-authored the book “Women of Covenant: The Story of Relief Society.”

Prior to her current position, she served as associate professor of Church history at BYU.

The Joseph Smith Exhibit Lecture Series accompanies the current exhibit, “Remembering Joseph Smith Jr., 1806-2006,” a commemoration of the prophet now on display in L. Tom Perry Special Collections through April.

For more information about the exhibition and the lecture series, visit or contact David Whittaker at (801) 422-7774.

Writer: Brian Rust

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