I belong to the Relief Society organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. All women of the church become members of this organization when they turn 18 years of age. I have been part of this organization since 1963. Through the years I have learned how to be a better women, employee, manager, friend, wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and especially daughter of God. I have grown in my testimony of my faith. The Relief Society is the largest women’s organization in the world and has evolved over the years  to meet  the needs of women throughout the church.  The focus of the Relief Society is to provide opportunities for service, to teach us, and to inspire us as sisters in the gospel to prepare for the blessings of Eternal Life. The Relief Society motto is “Charity Never Faileth”.  In 2008 “The Relief Society Declaration,” The Family: A Proclamation to the World was initiated. The  Relief Society Declaration is a powerful message to us all. Here is that declaration.

“We are beloved daughters of God, and our lives have meaning purpose, and direction. As a worldwide sisterhood, we are united in our devotion to Jesus Christ, our Savior and Exemplar. We are women of faith, virtue, vision, and clarity who:

Increase our testimonies of Jesus Christ through prayer and scripture study.

Seek spiritual strength by following the promptings of the Holy Ghost.

Dedicate ourselves to strengthening Marriages, families, and homes

Find nobility in motherhood and joy in womanhood.

Delight in service and good works.

Love life and learning.

Stand for truth and righteousness.

Sustain the priesthood as the authority of God on earth.

Rejoice in the blessings of the temple, understand our divine destiny, and strive for exaltation.

Just think about how wonderful it is to know that we are beloved spirit daughters of God.  Knowing that we once lived together as children of our Heavenly Father; this answers that age old question of “where did we come from”. In the Relief Society organization we are all sisters in the gospel. Part of our assignment in this great organization is to watch over one another as we go through our individual life experiences. I have been a Visiting Teacher for over 45 years. My mother was a Visiting Teacher in the Relief Society throughout her adult years. She provided for me a wonderful example of faithfulness in watching over the sisters she was assigned to visit. It is wonderful to have the support of our fellow sisters  in our efforts to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and as we strive at all times to be women of faith.

In our Relief Society meetings each Sabbath day we learn from each other more about the Gospel of Jesus Christ as we listen to lessons and share our thoughts on the topics given.  In these meetings we study the scriptures and teachings of our prophets through the ages and also other timely subjects for our era. We are encouraged in our efforts to increase our testimonies of Jesus Christ through daily prayer and scripture study. I have found that when I have my prayers and scripture study each day that I have grown in my love for my Savior Jesus Christ. I have increased love for the scriptures and I have realized that the Scriptures are our  greatest manual for raising our families and finding answers to our daily questions.

I have had many experiences with the promptings of the Holy Ghost. I find that when I am obedient to the commandments and am striving to live a Christ like life; that I recognize the still small voice in my everyday life. I love this quote by President Boyd K. Packer in his conference report in the Ensign, Nov. 1994: “The Holy Ghost speaks with a voice that you feel more, than you hear….While we speak of ‘listening’to the whisperings of the Spirit, most often one describes a spiritual prompting by saying, ‘I had a feeling…'” “The voice of the spirit speaks gently, prompting you what to do or what to say, or it may caution or warn you.” I am so grateful for the Spirit of The Holy ghost.

A few of the goals of the Relief Society is to strengthen marriages, families, and homes. I have learned so much on how to be a better wife, mother and now grandmother. The following are two thoughts from the lessons “The Family Can Be Eternal;” and

” Family Responsibilities”.  President Harold B. Lee taught, “The most important of the Lord’s work you will ever do will be within the walls of your own homes. (Teachings of Presidents of the Church; Harold B. Lee 2000, 134). In the next lesson, President David O. McKay stated that motherhood is the noblest calling. (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: David O. McKay) Just pause for a moment and think about how wonderful it is to hold a new born baby, fresh from Heaven. Motherhood is a scared calling, a partnership with God. We have the calarion call to nurture our children. It is a noble cause. We are all mothers regardless of our status; this is a call for all women.

In the Relief Society we have countless opportunities to provide service to our ward sisters, community and  humanitarian causes. I have felt the sweet spirit of service in my life both as a giver and receiver. Charity Never Faileth is our motto and goal in all that we learn and do. Serving is part of our everyday life experiences. I have found great joy in serving.

We are to stand for truth and righteousness by being examples of our faith in all that we do. We are committed to follow the Savior and do as He would have as do.

We are to sustain the priesthood, counsel with our husband as equal partners and follow our Prophet.

I have the great privilege of working as an ordinance worker in the Jordan River Temple. I love serving in the temple and am so grateful to be able to do this work. There are so many rich blessings that come from temple attendance and work. The temple is a peaceful haven from the world and I have found that within those walls I have found answers to prayers and have been guided in all facets of my life. We all should strive to increase our temple service and strive for exaltation.

I am so grateful to be part of this great  organization and I stand by the Relief Society Declaration.

By LeAnn