Josephine Booth, Sister Missionary to Scotland (1901)
Gospel Living

She helped elders and sisters to serve well together.

03/19/24 | 1 min read
Meet Sister Booth, an early missionary!

Tens of thousands of women are full-time missionaries today. And Josephine Diantha Booth helped pave the way for these sisters to serve! She served in Glasgow, Scotland, from 1899 to 1901.

There was no missionary handbook back then clarifying how sisters and elders should interact. They spent a lot of time together—eating, teaching, and socializing. Josephine’s outgoing and good-humored nature made it easy for her to be friends as well as co-workers with the elders.

One day, a Church member accused the elders of flirting and “dangling around after the sisters.” Josephine was appalled at the accusation. But then she realized that even the perception of light-mindedness could lose them the trust of others.

So she “gave the boys a talk.” Christ and the message of His restored gospel should be their focus and the purpose of all their interactions.

“We must be more serious,” Josephine said. “Not that we have done anything wrong—but—well, we must work more, think more, and pray more.”

Eventually, her “talk” helped define the relationship between elders and sisters more clearly for future generations.

But the elders didn’t let the changes happen without a good laugh. They came to the sisters’ apartment a few days later, sat down, and took out a copy of the Bible and began to read. Then they also took out a book called How to Behave, and “there they sat as solemn as two owls.”

“It was so funny,” Josephine wrote in her journal, “that I fairly roared.”

We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about some awesome and faithful women this month, as we celebrate International Women’s Day (March 8) and the anniversary of the Relief Society (March 17).

To Think About

What faithful women have made a difference in your life?