Many gems among the pages of the Women's Exponent demonstrate that although the magazine had the approval and encouragement of the General Authorities of the Church, the days of correlation had not yet begun. The first edition stated: "The aim of this journal will be to discuss every subject interesting and valuable to women."  It is remarkable how many diverse views and opinions were represented. Recently I came across this little item written by a non-Mormon:
Perhaps you do not know it, but there are women who fall in love with each other. Woe be to the unfortunate she, who does the courting! All the cussedness of ingenuity peculiar to the sex is employed by the "other party" in tormenting her. She will flirt with women by the score who are brighter and handsomer than her victim. She will call on them oftener. She will praise their best bonnets and go into ecstacies over their dresses. She will write them more pink notes, and wear their "tin types," and when despair has culminated, and sore-hearted Araminta takes to her bed in consequence, then only will this conquering "she" step off her pedestal to pick up her dead and wounded. But then, women must keep their hand in. Practice makes perfect.--FANNY FERN 
Affirmation, an organization for Gay and Lesbian Mormons, has suggested that relationships between women within the LDS community in the late nineteenth century were often celebrated or encouraged. They cite the following examples:
- In 1891 the gay-associated Bohemian Club of Salt Lake was incorporated with both women and men included as members. Katherine Young Schweitzer, granddaughter of Brigham Young, was a chief organizer and benefactor.
- Mormon suffragist Emmeline Wells reportedly praised the same-sex relationship of Francis Willard, President of the National Women’s Christian Temperance Union.
- In 1903, the Young Woman's Journal published a poem by Kate Thomas, a devout Mormon who never married, apparently celebrating her same-sex love. Thomas wrote of her lover, "from her lips I take Joy never-ceasing." (Yeah, I would say this was just a poem written from the point of view of a man. But...)
- In 1912 the same magazine paid tribute to "Sappho of Lesbos." (So were the editors just completely clueless?)
- In 1919, the story of Primary general president, Louise B. Felt, and her first counselor, May Anderson appeared in the Children’s Friend. Their loving relationship was described as the "David and Jonathan" of the Primary General Board. 
- From 1920 to 1938 Mildred J. Berryman conducted a study of lesbians living in Salt Lake City. One of the women Berryman interviewed for her study, Cora Kasius, was a staff member of the Relief Society who went on to become a faculty member at Barnard College and a liaison officer for the United Nations. 
It was not until decades later, in 1952, that J. Reuben Clark of the First Presidency officially addressed the existence of lesbianism, warning Church members against the practice.
Do you see these instances as understanding and acceptance by the LDS community of same-sex relationships between women? Did the warnings of J. Reuben Clark represent a change in Church policy, or was it the beginning of a greater awareness of the issue? Include in your response your thoughts on how an article such as "Women Lovers" could appear in the pages of the Exponent.
 The Woman's Exponent 1872-07-15 vol. 1 no. 1, p. 32.
 The Woman's Exponent 1873-04-15 vol. 1 no. 22, p. 175
 Also in the Ranks: Lesbian Mormon History, 1998 Affirmation Gay and Lesbian Mormons. Not having access to the original sources, I have no opinion as to whether these references represented female homo-eroticism or whether they were cases of deep non-sexual friendships among women. Affirmation presents them as examples of acceptance of lesbian relationships in the Mormon community.
 Also in the Ranks. Berryman’s work has the distinction of being the first community study of lesbians performed in America.
 Relief Society General Conference, 2 Oct, 1952. Second Counselor J. Reuben Clark warned the women of the Relief Society against "self-pollution," prostitution, and "homosexuality, which it is tragic to say, is found among both sexes."