‘Mormon Land’: Historians discuss poet Eliza Snow, the plural wife of prophets who fought for polygamy, women

(Photo courtesy of the Church History Library) Eliza R. Snow portrait by Charles W. Carter, circa 1875.

Eliza R. Snow ranks as the most influential Latter-day Saint woman of her time and after Emma Smith, wife of Mormon founder Joseph Smith, perhaps the best-known woman in the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Snow was a poet and a preacher, a plural wife of prophets and a defender of polygamy, a leader of the Relief Society and a champion of women. Still, there is much Latter-day Saints don’t know about her.

That may change now that the church has launched a new website, called The Discourses of Eliza R. Snow, that brings together her sermons, nearly 1,200 of them.

On this week’s podcast, two of the forces behind the massive project — historians Jennifer Reeder and Elizabeth Kuehn — discuss how a reluctant public speaker became a powerhouse at the pulpit, how she viewed Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, and how she traversed the Utah Territory, building up the faith’s women and rebuilding the Relief Society.

Listen here: