This post originally appeared in April of 2011. It’s a post that has gotten a lot of traffic over the past couple of years, and since yesterday was the birthday of the Relief Society (the organization for women in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), we wanted to post it again.
Note: The video format has changed. We can’t embed it here but you can watch it here. If you want to use it in a Relief Society meeting, the creator of the video gives permission to stream it for such use.
Editor’s note: Natalie kindly consented to share the Relief Society History video she put together for the women in her congregation. But first, we’d like you to get to know her a little better, and hear more about what went into making this video.
I am the “Additional Weekday Meeting Coordinator” (previously Enrichment Leader) in the Relief Society [organization for women] in my ward congregation. Ironically, all but two of my three sisters and two sisters-in-law have the same calling. In my opinion, this is the best calling in the Church. I am the party planner and the person that helps coordinate the activities that allow the women to do both the work of Relief Society and strengthen our bonds as sisters.
I am married with four children. We have lived in Nashville, TN, Northern Utah, and a year ago moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, which we have loved! I enjoy cooking, baking, sewing, reading, traveling, and learning new things, which always ends up adding to my list of things I enjoy doing. My oldest daughter has Celiac Disease and so I also cook gluten free, which has made me a better cook in every possible way. When she was diagnosed our bishop [congregation leader] told us this would stregthen her and us as a family and it has.
When we were planning the Relief Society birthday party in March we decided to focus on Relief Society history. Since history is one of my loves (I have a degree in it), I was in charge of putting the program together. Lucky for me, one of my sisters also had the same theme for their ward’s Relief Society birthday celebration so she was a lot of help and we bounced a lot of ideas off each other. As I started looking for ideas and at information I found this power point presentation on the History of Relief Society that I found interesting. Then I found this Tribute to Relief Society Skit, where there was a narrator and different sisters would read parts of the past Relief Society General Presidents. I loved a lot about both of these resources, and they formed a foundation the video I made.
I did more research and found other quotes from past presidents and information about them. I, of course, couldn’t fit it all into this video so I talked a little about the added info before starting the video. For example Zina Young was asked by President Brigham Young [second president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints] to be in charge of the silk production and she HATED it and had nightmares about feeding the worms, yet she still did it. Or that Amy Lyman worked in Hull House with Jane Adams (one the the principal people associated with the US Progressive Movement in the early 20th century) which made her perfect for both General Relief Society President and her later role with the church’s Social Services department.
To round out the video, I remembered President Henry B. Eyring’s talk a couple years ago about the history of Relief Society. I found this so uplifting and strengthened my testimony of the power the Relief Society has had and can have for good. The other talk is Sister Julie B. Beck’s from Oct. 2010 General Relief Society Meeting which I also loved. For both I read the talks and found the quotes I liked and then cut the talks accordingly.
I hope you like it. The process of making this has been such a testimony builder of the love of our Heavenly Father towards his daughters and the power of Relief Society to do good in the world. I think sometimes women in the Church can get too caught up with what we can’t do that we miss all the good we can do. There is a quote by Belle Spafford in the video where she talks about power vs. influence, about which is greater. To her it was influence, and I felt the same. While some of these women lived over a hundred years ago, so much of their influence is felt today in the welfare program of the church, in the Primary, in the Young Women program and in the emphasis’s we choose to place on the family. So many of them could have spoken the same words today and they would have been just as relevant. There are not a lot of people, men or women, that we can say that about.
I was also impressed with how they managed families and in many circumstances started what became grand programs just from seeing a simple need. They were women of great faith who did what their Heavenly Father asked of them and knew when to speak out when something was wrong. They were radical women in getting the vote, and radical women in fighting the Equal Rights Amendment. They were quiet women who grew wheat and quiet women that helped others to read. I hope you enjoy this as much as I enjoyed making it and your heart is as touched as mine was by the women of Relief Society and feel pride to be a part of such a wonderful organization.