On the evening of 31 August 1842, JS met with the in , Illinois, to express his gratitude and to bless the members of the organization. In late July, the Relief Society had drafted a petition, which was signed by approximately one thousand women, defending JS and urging Governor to refuse to allow him to be extradited to . Representing the Relief Society, , , and Amanda Barnes Smith traveled to , Illinois, and presented the petition to Carlin on 28 July. Despite their pleas, however, Carlin issued a writ to arrest JS. Unable to maintain his freedom through legal efforts, JS spent much of August in hiding, finally returning to his home on 23 August.
At the 31 August meeting, which was held in the near the , JS gave a discourse recounting his return to from exile—after having avoided extradition—and thanking the society for all they had done to aid him while he was hiding. In his discourse, JS condemned his enemies, namely and his supporters, and expressed his confidence that he would triumph despite the adversity he faced. He also spoke of additional instructions regarding for the dead, which he said he planned to share with the Latter-day Saints soon. , president of the Relief Society, then rose and read the names of women who hoped to become members of the society; they were unanimously accepted by a vote of the women present. She also asked the assembled sisters to pray for Latter-day Saint Roxsena Higby Repsher, who had separated from her husband, Daniel Repsher. At that point, JS resumed speaking; he made additional remarks about Roxsena Repsher and spoke further about baptisms for the dead, emphasizing the importance of having someone present to record the names of those who were baptized by proxy.
As secretary for the Relief Society, took minutes for the meeting, including the account of JS’s discourse. It appears that Snow initially took notes during the meeting on loose paper and then copied them into the Relief Society’s minute book shortly afterward.
Derr, Jill Mulvay, Carol Cornwall Madsen, Kate Holbrook, and Matthew J. Grow, eds. The First Fifty Years of Relief Society: Key Documents in Latter-day Saint Women’s History. Salt Lake City: Church Historian’s Press, 2016.
In condemning his enemies and stating that he would ultimately triumph over adversity, JS echoed sentiments he had expressed in a 29 August discourse to the elders of the church. In that sermon, he denounced all those who had worked against him. (See Discourse, 29 Aug. 1842.)