I belong to one of the oldest and largest women's organization in the world. It is the Relief Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints. There are approximately 7.1 million Relief Society members throughout 170 countries in the world.
The Relief Society is for women ages 18 and over whose purpose is to provide support for the temporal and spiritual needs of all women in the Church, as well as others who are in need.
Here is a brief history of it's organization as found in the Newsroom under Relief Society History:
" Mormons believe that in 1830 Joseph Smith Jr. was called by God to reestablish the ancient church and its priestly authority, teachings and ordinances. As part of this “Restoration,” an organization of women was established after the order and “pattern of the priesthood” believed to be a part of the ancient church. Joseph Smith declared, “The Church was never perfectly organized until the women were thus organized.” Eliza R. Snow, the second Relief Society general president, later affirmed: “Although the name may be of modern date, the institution is of ancient origin. We were told by our martyred prophet [Joseph Smith] that the same organization existed in the church anciently.”
The Relief Society, as this institution came to be called, was originally organized to administer welfare needs and quickly expanded to encompass the spiritual as well as temporal needs of the Saints. By the 20th century, John Widtsoe, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, summarized the Relief Society’s purpose as pursuing the “relief of poverty, relief of illness; relief of doubt, relief of ignorance — relief of all that hinders the joy and progress of woman.”
Our Stake Relief Society Service Project in 2016~Relief Society women serve in leadership roles, share the gospel, provide service, teach, train and deliver sermons. The Relief Society women pair together to other sisters and families in the congregation to offer service and support as well as to ensure that their temporal and spiritual needs are being met. Local Relief Society presidencies in congregations throughout the world work with the to help those who have special needs because of old age, physical or emotional illness, emergencies, births, deaths, disability, loneliness and other challenges. They also work to help foster self-reliance, literacy and other needed skills for individuals. At a regional level, Relief Society leaders supervise regional welfare efforts and Relief Society-supported emergency relief. General Relief Society leaders conduct training for local leaders around the globe and assist with general welfare services and Church educational boards, among other responsibilities.
My Stake Relief Society Presidency is made up of myself, two counselors and a secretary; we will be under the direction of our Stake President.
The New Stake Relief Society Presidency~We meet with and train all new Relief Society Ward Presidencies. We attend various meetings and host at least two Stake events per year. We visit the ward Relief Society meetings and activities. Currently, we have 9 wards and 1 branch that we will be working with. Once a year we plan and provide a dinner and guest speaker.We attend Ward Conferences and visit individual sisters in the various wards. I will be over Welfare and Emergency Preparedness and will give on-going training in these areas.
I am very excited about this new assignment and very overwhelmed. However, that being said I won't be as busy as our full time mission. I will be able to spend time with family, take trips and other activities.
I love the sisters in our Stake and look forward to getting to know more of them better.
I hope that many of you will now have an understanding of this marvelous Women's organization. I will share posts about a few of our activities and service opportunities that will be part of this assignment.