Relief Society: Women of destiny

By Jan Tolman

For Mormon Times

Published: Tuesday, March 22 2011 6:30 a.m. MDT

“Each of us has a vital role, even a sacred mission to perform as a daughter in Zion. It is a new day, the dawning of a new era. It is our time, and it is our destiny to rejoice as we fill the earth with greater kindness and gentleness, greater love and compassion, greater sympathy and empathy than has ever been known before. It is time to give ourselves to the Master and allow Him to lead us into fruitful fields where we can enrich a world filled with darkness and misery. Each of us, no matter who we are, no matter where we serve, must arise and make the most of each opportunity that comes. We must follow the counsel given by the Lord and His servants and make our homes houses of prayer and havens of security and safety. We can and must deepen our faith by increasing our obedience and sacrifice. In this individual process, a miracle will take place. The Relief Society will begin to stretch and reach out to the millions in need. It will continue to become an organization that brings relief and rejoicing. This will happen, one sister at a time. We will unite in our righteousness and truly partake of the fruit of the tree of life together. The fruits of our labors can heal the world, and, sisters, in the process they can heal us too!” — Mary Ellen Smoot, Ensign, November 1999

“Sisters, we have work to do. The time has come for us to be anxiously engaged in the work of saving souls. The time has come for the sisters of Relief Society to stand with and for the prophet in helping build the kingdom.” — Sheri L. Dew, Ensign, November 2000

“In order to be successful in Relief Society work, one must not only partake of the influence of it, but must put one’s soul into the work and give it the stamp and seal of her personal life and character; and be so engrossed with the real merit and beauty of it as to be joyous and make it a part, as it were of herself, a life work — and assuredly a work of love.” — Emmeline B. Wells

“Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity.” — Margaret D. Nadauld

“It is not for you to be led by the women of the world; it is for you to lead the … women of the world, in everything that is praiseworthy, everything that is God-like, everything that is uplifting and … purifying to the children of men.” — Joseph F. Smith, "Teachings of Presidents of the Church"

Jan Tolman is a mother of six who enjoys spending time researching the history of Relief Society. For additional information on Relief Society, visit her blog at www.ldswomenofgod.com/blog.

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