Today is the 172nd birthday of the Relief Society. As we celebrate, let's think about how we can tailor Relief Society to fit the needs of our sisters.
By definition, Relief Society is "one size fits all." Its membership is every Latter-day Saint woman over eighteen and mothers under eighteen. But differences among us abound: ages, cultures, occupational status, ethnicity, education, incomes, church involvement, social skills, political beliefs, hobbies and interests . . . and the list goes on! Creating an inclusive, nurturing environment for everyone can be a challenge. But solutions can be found when we apply President Gordon B. Hinckley's formula for involving new Church members: give each sister "a friend, a responsibility, and nurturing with 'the good word of God.'"
Renee Harding was new to Raleigh, North Carolina and feeling alone and sad, says her friend Michal Thompson. Then a Relief Society sister invited her to play tennis. "She was tempted to decline because of her lack of tennis skill," says Michal. "However, this sister insisted that neither skill nor tennis fashion applied!"
Renee started playing. Later, when Michal moved into her ward, Renee invited Michal to play, too. "She seeks me out to make sure I can come," says Michal. "I feel like she thinks I'm important."
The Relief Society president of a newly-organized ward used a similar idea to help sisters get acquainted. Her Enrichment committee organized hobby groups. Sisters signed themselves up and planned their own get-togethers. Some groups eventually fizzled out, but they served their purpose: to introduce like-minded sisters in casual settings.
Recently, the debate on "Reconsidering Sleepovers" has resurfaced in a viral way. So now we're following up: have you reconsidered sleepovers?
Sleepovers. They can be tons of fun for kids and a great night off for parents. Or they can turn into an uncomfortable, unsafe, or even downright dangerous evening when children are left unsupervised or, worse, when the supervising adult behaves inappropriately.
If you missed our first article about the potential danger of sleepovers, here's a quick recap:
- At sleepovers, family doesn't equal safety. Many, many cases of child molestation happen where the child knows their attacker.
- Standards vary from home to home. As a guest, your child is placed in an environment that may have standards that are drastically different from your own.
- Sometimes other kids are the problem. Supervising adults eventually go to sleep, and children want to impress their friends--sometimes in questionable ways.
- Experimentation is more likely to occur. When children know that they will not have to face their parents until the next day, they may be more likely to experiment with things they shouldn't like drugs, alcohol, or sex.
Elder Bednar sits down with LDS couples and answers questions about personal improvement and coming closer to Christ in five new videos.
Twenty-four-year-old returned missionary Alex Orme never imagined he'd ever have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to sit in a small room with a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
"I found it to be a very humbling experience sitting at the feet of an Apostle," Alex recounts.
"I really didn’t know what to expect. However, the Spirit was strong and my nerves we put at ease as Elder Bednar explained he was there to answer [our] questions … and help us in any way possible. It was a wonderful experience that I will always cherish."
Helen Keller, a well-known advocate for the deaf and blind, was presented with a Braille edition of the Book of Mormon. The following day, March 12, 1941, she shared a spiritual experience with many in the Tabernacle.
Photo from library.byui.edu.
In 1936, The American Printing House for the Blind printed a seven-volume Braille edition of the Book of Mormon. When it was printed, President Heber J. Grant said, “I am very thankful that the Book of Mormon has been printed in Braille…I am convinced that wonderful book, full of inspiration from Almighty God…will cause many a person to rejoice who has never been able to read the Book of Mormon heretofore.”
President Grant made sure one notable person was able to take advantage of the Book of Mormon in Braille—Helen Keller.
On March 11, 1941, President Heber J. Grant presented Keller with a copy of the Book of Mormon in Braille. The Deseret News reports that she “expressed her pleasure at the gift and read from the text with rapidity.”
The next day, under the direction and patronage of organizations like the Utah Commission for the Blind and the LDS Society for the Sightless, Keller visited Utah and answered questions in the Tabernacle on Temple Square. After answering questions about being deaf and blind and learning to read, type, and talk, Keller had a question of her own.
After the response to our first LDS inventions blog, we searched high and low to confirm more inventions made by Latter-day Saints like you! From artificial diamonds to Goretex fabrics, find out what things you use (some everyday!) that were invented by Mormons.
1. Improved Firearms
Often called “The Father of Modern Firearms,” Ogden-born John Moses Browning is credited with over 120 patents for firearms. His most noted achievement was the invention of the automatic gas-powered machine gun. Semiautomatic pistols and shotguns also litter Browning’s list of inventions and his guns were manufactured by both the well-known Winchester and Colt companies. His contribution to military weapons was vastly important during the outbreak of World War I, and his name is still familiar to firearm users today.