The visiting teaching message for January 2017 includes quotes from the Relief Society General Presidency and Joseph Smith about the importance of the Relief Society organization.
The purpose of Relief Society is to “prepare women for the blessings of eternal life,” says Linda K. Burton, Relief Society General President. It is through faith, family, and relief that we engage in our “vital part in the work.”
"Relief Society 'is a temporal and spiritual work,'” says Carole M. Stephens, First Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency. “That is what the women did in the Savior’s day, and that is what we continue to do.”
Read the full message on lds.org.
Supplemental Reading: While many talks have been shared about the importance of the Relief Society, Sister Silvia H. Allred's talk "Every Woman Needs Relief Society" from October 2009 general conference may have helpful insights for you and the sisters you teach.
"The deepest desire of our presidency is to help each woman in the Church prepare to receive the blessings of the temple, to honor the covenants she makes, and to be engaged in the cause of Zion. The Relief Society inspires and teaches women to help them increase their faith and personal righteousness, strengthen families, and seek out and help those in need. . .
"The good women of the world are embracing the gospel of Jesus Christ in large numbers across the nations. You are the real heroines he was talking about. We have met you by the thousands as we travel the world. We have seen your good works; we have heard your heartfelt testimonies; we have felt your spirits. We have seen the light of the gospel reflected in your faces. Your example and influence for good are both extraordinary and remarkable.
"But we are also aware of the many women in the Church who are not fully enjoying the blessings of activity in the Church and in Relief Society. To those of you who already attend Relief Society, we extend a call. We ask you to go to the women who are not engaged in Relief Society work in your wards and branches to teach them with love what Relief Society will do for them. Testify to them that Relief Society will enrich their homes and personal lives. Offer your friendship and sisterhood. Watch over and strengthen them. Help us reverse society’s trend of disintegrating families. Help your sisters turn to the Lord and His plan of happiness for His children. They will find guidance, comfort, peace, understanding, and inspiration. They will know Heavenly Father loves them and cares for them in ways beyond measure.
Read the full talk on lds.org.