It is appropriate to celebrate "the glorious heritage of Relief Society, which has ties back to the ancient Church during the time of Jesus Christ," Sister Julie B. Beck, Relief Society general president told the Church News. "This year marks 170 years since Relief Society was established in this dispensation. The sisters were given authority to preside over the unique work that would help build the kingdom of God and would make a significant contribution to the Lord's work of salvation. The purposes of Relief Society have remained constant through all time."
On March 17, 1842, 20 women gathered and heard the Prophet Joseph Smith announce the official establishment of the Relief Society organization. Nearly 170 years later, more than 6 million sisters around the world still strengthen each other and build the kingdom of God.
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