~Thoughts by a Mormon man, that were recorded by his wife, Brenda

I’m not a Mormon woman, but I am thankful for Relief Society.

Last year in class for Elder’s Quorum [a local congregational priesthood group for LDS men], we had a lesson on the organization of the Relief Society and the instructor asked how has the Relief Society blessed the lives of men as well as women. Many men raised their hands to express gratitude for the women’s organization of the church. One man raised his hand and was so thankful that there was a place that his wife could attend and feel valued for her contribution to society as a mother. Another man recalled when meals were brought into his home by the Relief Society when his wife just returned home from having a baby. My friend also raised his hand and reminded us of the time the members of the Relief Society came in and watched his children, cleaned his home, and provided for all meals for several days as he rushed his wife to the hospital for emergency treatment. When he tried to explain to his co-workers about the service rendered to his family in this critical time of need, they were astounded that such an organization existed to give aid with such efficiency.

I also raised my hand to add to the discussion. “I am thankful for the Relief Society because it gives my wife the opportunity to mingle with the older and wiser women of our congregation. She gets the benefit of years of experience these women have through the lessons taught, the visiting teaching program and the social activities.”

Last year, my daughter signed up to play soccer at a local league. We were disheartened to learn that the team photos were scheduled on a Sunday. The team parents were upset with us when we did not show up for pictures. My wife spoke to one of the sisters of her Relief Society and asked her what they had done when her children were smaller and playing soccer in the same league. Her friend replied, “OK, let me tell you what we did. My husband was often the coach, and so at the very first meeting we would say, ‘If we make it to the playoff games which are held on Sundays, we will need the assistant coach or a volunteer to coach those games. Several of the other LDS soccer players parents approached the league and asked if the team photos could be rescheduled for another day to accommodate for religious observances. At that time, the league did change the photo policy. Maybe you should try it again. Before we made that agreement however, I would just tell the team that if our team photos were scheduled for Sundays, I would take the team photos myself and have them professionally developed at the various sizes the parents chose. All of the parents we encountered were very happy to accommodate this request.”

Because of Relief Society, my family enjoys the benefits of all of the talents of the women of our congregation. My wife has has attended classes on healthy living offered by the Registered Nurses in our congregation, furniture restoration and home décor, musical training, scripture study, family history classes, photography, cooking, computer and résumé writing workshops.

Joseph Smith taught that, “The Church was never perfectly organized until the women were thus organized” [quoted in this talk on Relief Society]. I believe that.

The Relief Society motto is “Charity Never Faileth.” In our doctrine, charity is defined as the pure love of Christ. I am thankful for this worldwide womens’ organization and its example of Christlike service, it has blessed both me and my family.