The Purpose of Relief Society
Ensign – January, 2006
Why Relief Society?
Blessings of Belonging to Relief Society: The Relief Society serves under the guidance of the priesthood as the Lord’s organization for sisters in the Church. The purpose of Relief Society is to assist priesthood leaders in carrying out the mission of the Church by helping sisters and families come unto Christ. The Relief Society helps sisters and their families receive all essential priesthood ordinances, keep the associated covenants, and qualify for exaltation and eternal life.
The following objectives support the purpose of the Relief Society:
- Build faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and teach the doctrines of the kingdom of God.
- Emphasize the divine worth of each sister.
- Exercise charity and nurture those in need.
- Strengthen and protect families.
- Serve and support each sister.
- Help sisters become full participants in the blessings of the priesthood.
President Joseph F. Smith (1838–1918): “This organization is divinely made, divinely authorized, divinely instituted, divinely ordained of God to minister for the salvation of the souls of women and of men. … Make [Relief Society] first, make it foremost, make it the highest, the best and the deepest of any organization in existence in the world. You are called by the voice of the Prophet of God to do it, to be uppermost, to be the greatest and the best, the purest and the most devoted to the right” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith , 184).
Bonnie D. Parkin, Relief Society general president: “We have been given an organization to build our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, to feel his love, and to extend that love to all. The Relief Society is that organization” (“Transforming Transitions,” in The Rock of Our Redeemer: Talks from the 2002 BYU Women’s Conference , 45).
Eliza R. Snow (1804–87), former Relief Society general president: “What is the object of the Female Relief Society? I would reply—to do good—to bring into requisition every capacity we possess for doing good, not only in relieving the poor but in saving souls. United effort will accomplish incalculably more than can be accomplished by the most effective individual energies” (“Female Relief Society,” Deseret Evening News, Apr. 18, 1868, 2).
How Can You Enjoy the Blessings of Belonging to Relief Society?
Anne C. Pingree, second counselor in the Relief Society general presidency: “When the sisters of Relief Society look ‘with an eye single to the glory of God’ (D&C 4:5), they can experience rich spiritual insights and share deep spiritual strength together. … Connections forged among covenant women in Relief Society can indeed enlighten, enliven, and enrich the journey of life because we can help each other learn how to put the Lord first in our hearts and in our lives” (“Walking towards the Light of His Love,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2004, 112–13).
President Gordon B. Hinckley: “My dear friends of the Relief Society, whatever your circumstances, wherever you may live, may the windows of heaven be opened and blessings come down upon you. May you live with love for one another. May you reach down to lift up those whose burdens are heavy. May you bring light and beauty to the world” (“To the Women of the Church,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2003, 115).