top of page

Youth Organizations

Religious and social developments in Nauvoo occurred for youth and children, too. While most Sabbath services occurred in homes throughout town, there is evidence that children’s “Sunday Schools” were being used as early as 1841. Emmeline B. Harris (later Wells), Stephen Goddard, Almon W. Babbitt, and other inspired teachers often led Sunday School meetings under the direction of Nauvoo Stake President William Marks.

On March 28, 1843, “The Young Gentlemen and Ladies Relief Society of Nauvoo” was organized for single men and women under 30 years of age. With Apostle Heber C. Kimball’s direction and Joseph Smith’s endorsement, it followed the example of the Relief Society in assisting the poor and needy. One of their first charitable acts was building a home for Sutcliffe and Elizabeth Maudsley’s family.

Secular education was begun by 1840. Common schools were held in homes, shops, or wherever space allowed. Parents would pay teachers directly, often in produce or goods.

These early Nauvoo programs were the precursors to the Primary, Youth programs, and even the Church Education System. They were the fulfillment of a commandment given to the Saints to raise their children “in light and truth.”

5 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Years of tensions between Mormons and their Hancock County neighbors came to a head in June 1844. On June 7, the Nauvoo Expositor was published at its office on Mulholland Street. This newspaper sough


In the early 20th century, the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (now known as Community of Christ), headquartered in Independence, Missouri, began to acquire property in Nauvoo.


bottom of page