Here are the original words to this hymn. You can see the original here. (If that link doesn’t get you all the way there, you are looking for page 98 of the November 1st, 1874, Women’s Exponent.)
SONG OF THE SISTERS OF THE RELIEF SOCIETY
by Emily H. Woodmansee
1. As sisters in Zion, We’ll all pull together,
The blessings of God on our labors we’ll seek:
We’ll build up His kingdom with earnest endeavor;
We’ll comfort the weary, and strengthen the weak.
2. We’ll turn from our follies, our pride and our weakness,
The vain, foolish fashions of Babel despise;
We’ll seek for the garments of truth and of meekness,
And learn to be useful and happy and wise.
3. We’ll wear what is sensible, neat and becoming
The daughters of Zion—the angels of light;
We’ll work with a will, while the angels are scanning
Our aims and our actions from morning till night.
4. We’ll bring up our children to be self-sustaining;
To love and to do what is noble and right;
When we rest from our labors, these dear ones remaining,
Will bear off the kingdom and “fight the good fight.”
5. Nor shall our attention be wholly restricted
To training our children or shaping our dress;
The aged, the feeble, the poor and afflicted,
Our labors shall comfort, our efforts shall bless.
6. “The Lord hath established the cities of Zion,
The poor of His people are trusting in Him,”
He makes us a source for His poor to rely on;
Oh! shall we not brighten the eyes that are dim.
7. Oh! shall we not hasten to soothe the condition
Of the humble, the needy, the honest and pure?
Oh! let us remember, whate’er our ambition—
‘Tis our duty, our mission, to comfort the poor.
8. ‘Tis the office of angels, conferred upon woman;
And this is a right that, as women, we claim;
To do whatsoever is gentle and human;
To cheer and to bless in humanity’s name.
9. How vast are our labors; how broad is our mission,
If we only fulfill it in spirit and deed;
Oh! naught but the Spirit’s divinest tuition—
Can give us the wisdom to truly succeed.
10. Then, as sisters in Zion, we’ll all pull together;
The blessing of God on our labors we’ll seek;
We’ll build up the kingdom with earnest endeavor;
We’ll comfort the weary and strenghten the weak.
A few things I found interesting:
(1) The emphasis on caring for the poor, which is completely lost in the current version.
(2) The concept of the office of angels conferred upon woman as a right. (The idea of claiming a gift always seemed off to me–you don’t claim a gift.)
(3) The emphasis on departing from Babel’s fashions. I wish there was more of this sentiment in the current modesty retrenchment (it’s not just about nekkid shoulders, my friends.)
(4) The idea that women’s efforts shouldn’t be restricted to children and modesty is nicely articulated.