Born January 21, 1804, Eliza Snow grew up in a religious home in a strong religious area in Becket, Massachusetts. She was influenced by the Bible and other good books, and she went to church and learned about God.
Eliza said of her home life, “although my parents adhered to the Baptist creed, they extended their children to the right, and afforded us every opportunity we desired, to examine all creeds—to hear and to judge—to prove all things” (Davidson & Derr, 2004). Between the years 1825 and 1829, Snow changed dramatically both in her poetry and her religion. She began publishing poems in the Western Courier, an Ohio newspaper, and she committed herself firmly to the Campbellite faith. Shortly after Snow joined the Campbellites, Joseph Smith, the prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints visited the Snow household. He bore testimony of the Book of Mormon, an ancient set of scriptures written by prophets in the Americas. Snow commented that the testimony the prophet bore that day was one of the most powerful she had ever heard. Within a year, Snow’s mother, Leonora, was baptized into the LDS church, but Eliza wanted to wait a while before making such an important life change. She commented that she wanted to see if the work was going to “flash in the pan and go out” (Davidson & Derr, 2004).
Even though Snow had a positive first impression with the Prophet Joseph Smith, she still worried that everything seemed too good to be true. Eventually Snow received personal revelation that God wanted her to join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Her conversion dramatically changed her poetry. The teaching of the LDS church focus on families, eternal life, Jesus Christ, and that God has a perfect, eternal plan for all his children. These teachings and beliefs are evident in her poetry.
Davidson, K. L., & Derr, J. M. (2004). A Wary Heart Becomes “Fixed Unalterably”: Eliza R. Snow’s Conversion to Mormonism [Electronic version]. The Journal of Mormon History, 30, 98–128.