Women constituted a significant portion of the membership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during its first decade of existence. However, little historical analysis exists to document the contribution and experience of these women as a whole. Janiece Johnson's work examines the religious experience of some of those early Mormon women through the documentary editing and analysis of nineteen letters written between 1831 and 1843.
Three themes dominate these women's correspondence: spiritual knowledge, bearing witness of the restored gospel, and sacrifice. The women exhibited knowledge of the existence of God as a Heavenly Father, His Son Jesus Christ as a Savior of the world, and Joseph Smith Jr. as God's direct mouthpiece.
The women's conviction was explicitly demonstrated through their personal writings, proffering an intimate glimpse of a unique religion and belief as the motivation of these women.