From Lebanon to Tokyo: LDS Women Share Personal, Inspiring Ways Relief Society Influenced Their Lives

What a great way to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the Relief Society and show how this inspired organization has changed the lives of women around the world. 

On March 17, 1842, 20 women gathered in the upper floor of the red brick store as the Prophet Joseph Smith, holding the keys of priesthood authority on the earth, organized the Relief Society. Today, the Relief Society embraces more than 7.1 million women throughout 188 countries.

On the eve of the organization’s 175th anniversary, women from around the world share what it means to belong to “the Lord’s organization for women” and how it blesses their lives.

To mark this historic milestone, the Church News is collecting experiences, feelings or insights from LDS women about Relief Society and what it means to belong to this worldwide sisterhood. Please send your comments to Rachel Sterzer by email (rsterzer@deseretnews.com) or postal service (LDS Church News, 55 North 300 West, Salt Lake City, UT 84107).

(Eveline Krell of the Belgrano Ward, Buenos Aires Belgrano Argentina Stake | Photo courtesy Eveline Krell)

Eveline Krell

Belgrano Ward, Buenos Aires Belgrano Argentina Stake

Relief Society in 2017 looks to me as a reliable safety net that provides me with the support and help I need as a woman. It allows me to reach my potential in all areas of my life, such as being a mother, a professional at work, a spouse, or as a member of the community. To be surrounded by women with different talents and backgrounds never fails to amaze me. I learn so much from each of them! Certainly, I devote myself to serve in this organization because of the profound love I feel for my sisters. Service opportunities are all around, whether they could be organizing a food calendar for a new mom, enjoying a classical concert to celebrate our sisterhood, or promoting education among the youth. When I participate in Relief Society activities my faith in the Lord increases and I find joy in womanhood.

(Maroun Akiki, Roula Chalhoub, and Christopher Akiki are members of the Beirut Branch in Lebanon. | Photo Sarah Jane Weaver)

Roula Akiki

Beirut Lebanon District Relief Society president

Because of my calling, I have had the opportunity to travel to different countries in the Middle East … not only to teach the sisters the gospel, their worth in the eyes of their Heavenly Father and their responsibility to help build the Kingdom of God on earth, but also to encourage them, to listen to their worries, struggles and most of the time to wipe their tears and come up with solutions to lighten their burdens. A strong bond with these sisters has been built that will go beyond this mortal life. Their stories and trials have humbled me and made me remember my blessings whenever I felt like murmuring. I have learned a lot from them and grown to love each one of them personally as I served and taught them. After each visit, I return home leaving a part of me with my sisters. Their faces and the look in their eyes asking me to stay longer with them remain with me. I will never be the same person I was before.

Lead image from the Deseret News
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