Amanda Inez Knight

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Amanda Inez Knight and her friend Lucy Jane "Jennie" Brimhall were called as the first young, single female proselyting missionaries to officially serve in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. At the time, more than 200 women had served, but they were either married or served in other capacities, such as genealogical or mission school teachers.

In 1898, informed by the contributions other women missionaries had made, President George Q. Cannon announced: “‘It has been decided to call some of our wise and prudent women into the missionary field.’[1] Knight and Brimhall had been planning a trip to Europe, but when their calls came, they didn’t hesitate to set aside their plans. They were set apart as missionaries on April 1, 1898, and served in Great Britain. Inez was nervous to speak in street meetings at first, but she soon adjusted. They experienced opposition—a mob attacked them with mud, sticks, and rocks, but they were undeterred. While in England, Knight served as a delegate to the 1899 International Council of Women held in London.

Brimhall was honorably released in November 1898 due to her health, and Liza Chipman became Knight’s companion. Knight served another fourteen months in London, Kent, and in North London. She sailed for home from Glasgow, Scotland, May 19, 1900.

Knight was born on September 8, 1876, near Payson, Utah. She was the fourth child of Jesse and Amanda Knight. Her father wanted to give his six children an education at Brigham Young Academy, so the family moved to Provo and Inez enrolled. Her studies were interrupted with her mission call.

She became Dean of Women at Brigham Young Academy following her mission. While studying at the Academy, she met R. Eugene Allen. They married in June 11, 1902, and had five sons. Two daughters were born prematurely and died the same day they were born.

She was active politically and served as a delegate to the 1924 Democratic Convention in New York, a delegate in the 1938 Democratic Convention in Houston. She was also a candidate to the Utah State Senate. During World War I, she served as county chairman of the Women’s Liberty Loan Committee, the Women’s Council of Defense, and as vice-chairman for the Utah County Red Cross.

She also served in the Church her entire life, primarily in the Relief Society. She was a member of the Relief Society general board until her death on June 5, 1937.