Sunday, March 14, 2010

GC Recap #18 - Relief Society: A Sacred Work

Sister Julie B. Beck, Relief Society General President said, " Relief Society is unique because it was organized after the “pattern of the priesthood” and we operate on a general and local level under the direction of priesthood leaders. We work in partnership with priesthood leaders, who hold keys which give them authority to preside in the name of the Lord. We operate in the manner of the priesthood—which means that we seek, receive, and act on revelation; make decisions in councils; and concern ourselves with caring for individuals one by one. Ours is the priesthood purpose to prepare ourselves for the blessings of eternal life by making and keeping covenants. Therefore, like our brethren who hold the priesthood, ours is a work of salvation, service, and becoming a holy people."

I love this explanation of Relief Society. I attended my dad's take conference today. The stake relief society president was one of the speakers. She listed things that the Relief society had taught her over the years. Among which were instruction on keeping a house organized, instruction on baking bread and jam, instruction on rearing children in the gospel, encouragement on how to be a better wife and mother and many others. While she was speaking I began to think of what Relief Society has taught me. In addition to her list, I also was able to add my own, and I have many more years to learn from this great organization.

I guess I have always taken Relief Society for granted. I have never really thought about all the things I have learned and been inspired to do. I was always just a meeting my mom went to every Sunday and once a month on a weeknight. And then when I turned 18, it was just something I did too. But with further contemplation I realize how truly blessed I am to have this organization in my life.

Sister Beck quoted President Pack and said, "President Boyd K. Packer has taught that “the Relief Society has very broad responsibilities.

“Attendance at the Sunday meeting is but a small part of your duty. Some of you have not understood this and have set aside much of what Relief Society has meant over the years—the sisterhood, the charitable and practical parts of it.”

He explained:

“The Relief Society, the Prophet [Joseph] told us, is organized after the pattern of the priesthood. When a man holds the priesthood, . . . it requires full dedication and loyalty. . . .

“Membership in the priesthood magnifies the man and the boy. Wherever he is, whatever he does, no matter with whom he associates, he is expected to honor his priesthood. . . .

“If you sisters follow after that pattern, . . . you will serve your organization, your cause—the Relief Society. . . .

“Service in the Relief Society magnifies and sanctifies each individual sister. Your membership in Relief Society should be ever with you.” I love this.

Sister Beck also said, "Much of the essential Relief Society work we do doesn’t happen in meetings. Let’s focus now on learning about visiting teaching. Because we follow the example and teachings of Jesus Christ, we value this sacred assignment to love, know, serve, understand, teach, and minister in His behalf. This is one duty we have in the Church where we are certain to have the help of the Lord if we ask for it. This is one responsibility that is certain to increase our faith and personal righteousness and strengthen our own homes and families as we become partners with the Lord. A sister in this Church has no other responsibility outside of her family that has the potential to do as much good as does visiting teaching." What wonderful and comforting promises that are contained in that statement!

She concludes by saying, "I feel a certainty that as each sister does her part to ensure that the purposes of Relief Society are fulfilled, angels will be our associates and we will be participants in amazing miracles."

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