I think it's interesting to learn of details from the lives of people from the early days of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The things that people want through are amazing and the strength of the people who went through those things and stayed strong is impressive.
I knew a little about Eliza R. Snow- her connection to the Hymns mostly. Reading about her life really opened my eyes to how much of church history she was a part of (having a strong role in the beginnings of the Relief Society, Young Women program, and Primary as well as having written some of our hymns). She was such a strong woman with her own strong convictions and determination. Her education and ability to express things in writing is great. I loved reading many of the things she had written throughout her life- whether letters, poems, or songs. These and the stories in the book were like windows into the events of history. She was there for so much! From Nauvoo to Utah, she lived at Winter Quarters, she was a part of Joseph Smith's family and later, Brigham Young's.
One that stood out to me was written to a mother whose baby had died. I think it hit me that although I think of Eliza as having lived so long ago, many of the deepest emotional experiences that they faced are the same today. Here is the poem she wrote:
Your sweet little rose bud has left you
To bloom in a holier sphere:
He that gave it, in wisdom bereft you;
Then why should you cherish a tear?
Your babe in the grave is not sleeping,
She has joined her dear sisters above;
Bright beings now have them in keeping
In a mansion of beaty and love.
As you can see in the image below, the inside of the book is beautiful- it's full of artwork, photographs, and scans of Eliza's writing and drawings. The pages are full colour with beautiful, antique lace designs in the borders.
I learned something from Eliza's commitment to work throughout and right up until the end of her life. Hearing of her strong desire to be allowed health so that she could remain useful, I felt I could relate on some level as I have felt the frustration of not being able to do the things I want to do because of the physical limitations placed on me with the pain in my hands throughout the last several months. I, too, pray that I will be allowed good health enough that I may remain useful!
Disclosure: Deseret Book sent me a copy of this book to review.