The Heritage of the Relief Society

Reading: “The Enduring Legacy of Relief Society,” President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, General Relief Society Meeting, September 2009

Since its inception in 1842, the Relief Society has been actively involved in service. In this talk President Eyring gave a brief history of the Relief Society, including many accomplishments I had never heard of before. Some of these include:

  • Started a hospital system in frontier times (was later passed on to other management)
  • Began what was to become LDS Family Services
  • Created a grain storage system relied upon by the federal government
  • Created their own magazine for women
  • Started the primary and young women programs
  • Started visiting teaching from the beginning

Elder Eyring further explained that while many of those programs are no longer ran by the Relief Society, that the passing on of these programs was necessary because now that the Relief Society is spread across the whole world (versus being centralized in Utah) managing such programs would have become burdensome and difficult.  Today the greatest role of the Relief Society is in reaching out to individual sisters in a time when we all have become more isolated from each other.

As I have moved from place to place it has been a great blessing to count on the local Relief Society for help and for companionship.  While some women find it difficult to build a network of friends to help support them, the Relief Society provides a network of women happy to befriend and help wherever you go. Visiting Teaching, when properly done, helps ensure that every sister has someone looking out for them.

What blessings has the Relief Society brought to you in your life? How can you help the Relief Society in its current efforts?

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