*This article is being offered free as a courtesy to lds.org as it was footnoted in an expanded Gospel Topic on their site.
Women composed a significant portion of the early converts who would follow Joseph Smith over hundreds of miles and through the fires of persecution. Lucy Mack Smith, Rebecca Williams, Phebe Peck, and Melissa Dodge represent well the dedication and testimony of such early Latter-day Saint women. Despite separation from loved ones and the dangers and difficulties they would face as Church members, religion was the guiding factor in their lives. These women testified of the value of their experiences and exhorted others to “give up all and follow your Lord” regardless of the trials that were required of them.