Though we attend Relief Society meetings each week and participate in related activities, it's important to remember that this organization goes beyond a gathering of women. It's the gospel in action.
Relief Society is not just a class sisters attend on Sunday. It’s not just an additional meeting. “It’s not a program.” Relief Society is something so much more! Relief Society “is the gospel—the gospel in action in the lives of our remarkable women” (Jeffrey R. Holland “‘Charity Never Faileth’: A Discussion on Relief Society,” Ensign, Mar. 2011, 28).
It is our desire, as the Relief Society General Presidency, to raise the sights of all women and men to a greater vision of the purpose of Relief Society during this year’s 175th anniversary of its organization.
Among the many aspects of Relief Society that elevate it beyond a simple gathering of women, there are three we hope you will consider as you remember this anniversary: our history, our work, and our future.
To start to raise our sights, let’s look back 175 years—and even earlier. Before the Prophet Joseph Smith organized Relief Society on March 17, 1842, he explained that the sisters would be organized “after the pattern of the priesthood.”
On March 17, 1842, twenty women assembled in the upstairs room of Joseph Smith's red brick store in Nauvoo, Illinois, were organized as the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo. More than a century and a half later that organization, now known as the Relief Society of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has more than four million members in 165 countries and territories, uniting women all over the world