Silvia H. Allred: Every Woman Needs Relief Society
"The deepest desire of our presidency is to help each woman in the Church prepare to receive the blessings of the temple, to honor the covenants she makes, and to be engaged in the cause of Zion. The Relief Society inspires and teaches women to help them increase their faith and personal righteousness, strengthen families, and seek out and help those in need." ("Every Woman Needs Relief Society," General Conference, October 2009; Ensign, November 2009.)
Julie B. Beck: What I Hope My Granddaughters Will Understand"Every day, Relief Society sisters around the world experience the entire range of mortal challenges and experiences. Women and their families today live face to face with unrealized expectations; mental, physical, and spiritual illness; accidents; and death. Some sisters suffer loneliness and disappointment because they do not have families of their own, and others suffer from the consequences of poor choices made by family members. Some have experienced war or hunger or natural disasters, and others are learning about the strain of addictions, unemployment, or insufficient education and training. All of these difficulties have the potential to bleach the bones of faith and exhaust the strength of individuals and families.... In every ward and branch, there is a Relief Society with sisters who can seek and receive revelation and counsel with priesthood leaders to strengthen each other and work on solutions that are applicable in their own homes and communities.
"I hope my granddaughters will understand that through Relief Society, their discipleship is extended and they can become engaged with others in the kind of impressive and heroic work the Savior has done. The kind of work the sisters of this Church are asked to do in our day has never been too modest in scope or inconsequential to the Lord. Through their faithfulness, they can feel His approval and be blessed with the companionship of His Spirit." ("What I Hope My Granddaughters (and Grandsons) Will Understand about Relief Society," General Relief Society Meeting, September 2011; Ensign November 2011.)
Barbara Thompson: Now Let Us Rejoice"Relief Society is not just a class on Sunday. It isn't just a place we go if we are not teaching in the Primary or Young Women organizations. It is the Lord's organization for women. Participation in Relief Society is part of our glorious heritage and blessing as women in the Lord's Church.
"In those early meetings of Relief Society, Joseph Smith advised the sisters to teach one another the gospel of Jesus Christ. He said, 'The... Society is not only to relieve the poor, but to save souls.'1
"Sisters, now more than ever, we need women to step up and be strong. We need women who declare the truth with strength, faith, and boldness. We need women to set an example of righteousness. We need women to be 'anxiously engaged in a good cause.'2 We need to live so that our lives bear witness that we love our Heavenly Father and the Savior Jesus Christ and that we will do what They have asked us to do. We need to rescue 'all that is finest down deep inside of [us]'3 so that as daughters of God we can do our part to build the kingdom of God. We will have help to do this. As Joseph declared, 'If you live up to your privileges, the angels cannot be restrained from being your associates.'4
"Let us bear one another's burdens, mourn with those who mourn, comfort those who stand in need of comfort, and thus keep the covenants we have made.5" ("Now Let Us Rejoice," General Conference, October 2008; Ensign, November 2008.)
1. History of the Church, 5:25.
2. D&C 58:27.
3. J. Reuben Clark, quoted in Providing in the Lord's Way: A Leader's Guide to Welfare (1990), title page.
4. History of the Church, 4:605.
5. See Mosiah 18:8–9.
Bonnie D. Parkin: How Has Relief Society Blessed Your Life?"Women are the heart of the home.
"My belonging to Relief Society has renewed, strengthened, and committed me to be a better wife and mother and daughter of God. My heart has been enlarged with gospel understanding and with love of the Savior and what He's done for me. So to you, dear sisters, I say: Come to Relief Society! It will fill your homes with love and charity; it will nurture and strengthen you and your families. Your home needs your righteous heart. (How Has Relief Society Blessed Your Life?" General Conference, October 2004; Ensign, November 2004.)
Thomas S. Monson: The Mighty Strength of the Relief Society"Sisters, you are assembled tonight in one of the largest gatherings of Relief Society sisters ever held. Your conference has been uplifting and inspirational....
"A thought has gone through my mind as I've prepared for this [talk]. I've expressed it this way: Remember the past; learn from it. Contemplate the future; prepare for it. Live in the present; serve in it. Therein is the mighty strength of the Relief Society of this Church." ("The Mighty Strength of the Relief Society," General Relief Society Meeting, October 1997; Ensign, November 1997.)
Henry B. Eyring: The Enduring Legacy of Relief Society"The history of the Relief Society is filled with accounts of such remarkable selfless service. In the terrible days of persecution and deprivation as the faithful moved from Ohio to Missouri to Illinois and then across the deserts going west, the sisters in their poverty and sorrows cared for others. You would weep as I did if I now read to you some of the accounts in your history. You would be touched by their generosity but even more by your recognition of the faith which lifted and sustained them.
"They came from a great diversity of circumstances. All faced the universal trials and heartaches of life. Their determination born of faith to serve the Lord and others seemed to take them not around the storms of life but directly into them. Some were young and some old. They were from many lands and peoples, as you are today. But they were of one heart, one mind, and with one intention." ("The Enduring Legacy of Relief Society," General Conference, October 2009; Ensign, November 2009.)
Boyd K. Packer: The Relief Society"It is my purpose to give unqualified endorsement to the Relief Society—to encourage all women to join in and attend, and priesthood leaders, at every level of administration, to act so that Relief Society will flourish.
"The Relief Society was organized and named by prophets and apostles who acted under divine inspiration. It has an illustrious history. Always, it has dispensed encouragement and sustenance to those in need.
"The tender hand of the sister gives a gentle touch of healing and encouragement which the hand of a man, however well intentioned, can never quite duplicate." ("The Relief Society," General Conference, April 1998; Ensign, May 1998.)
Misc Historic Church Leaders on Relief SocietyElder Dallin H. Oaks quoted several church leaders from our history during a marvelous talk about Relief Society1. Here are some individual quotes from Elder Oaks' talk, starting with his own words:
"The Relief Society has great significance for every member of the Church. All of us have been blessed through the example and service of its members.
"I am the beneficiary of at least four different generations of Relief Society service: my grandmother, my mother, my wife, and our daughters...."
"From its beginning, the Relief Society has led out in charitable work. At the first meeting, President Emma Smith said, 'Each member should be ambitious to do good.'2 The minutes of those initial meetings are filled with accounts of how the sisters obtained work opportunities for the needy, took in the homeless, and made donations to help those in need of food, shelter, and schooling."
"In the initial meetings of Relief Society, the Prophet Joseph Smith taught that the society 'is not only to relieve the poor, but to save souls.'3"
"Elder John A. Widtsoe later declared. 'Relief of poverty, relief of illness; relief of doubt, relief of ignorance—relief of all that hinders the joy and progress of woman. What a magnificent commission!'4"
1. "The Relief Society and the Church," General Conference April 1994; Ensign May 1994.
2. Minutes of the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo, 17 Mar 1842, p13; Ensign, Mar 1992, p4.
3. Minutes, 9 June 1842, p. 63; History of the Church, 5:25.
4. John A. Widtsoe, Evidences and Reconciliations, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1987, p. 308.