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Ask Angela: I'm not comfortable with Relief Society yet, but trying to change

Published: Saturday, March 16 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

Women attend the General Relief Society Meeting at the Conference Center on Temple Square in Salt Lake City in September 2012.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

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Dear Angela:

I made the resolution this year to attend Relief Society. So far I have been unsuccessful. How do women get themselves to go? I want to attend all of my meetings, but frankly I don’t see the point when it comes to that portion of Sunday service. Do other people feel this way? How can I change my attitude?

Sincerely,

RSlady

Dear RSlady,

First, for those who aren’t familiar with the Relief Society organization, here is a quick definition taken from Mormon.org:

"The Relief Society is the oldest and largest women's organization in the world. Relief Society was established in 1842 for women 18 years of age and older. Its purpose is to build faith and personal righteousness, strengthen families and homes, and help those in need."

Second, no, you're definitely not the only person who has struggled with attending all of their Sunday meetings — Relief Society being one of them. People cite reasons such as, “It’s too early,” "I don’t fit in," “I get enough from the other Sunday meetings," “No one says 'hi' to me” and “It’s a class for my mom” to keep themselves from going. These reasons aside, Relief Society can be a wonderful time of the week.

Consider this quotation from Elder John A. Widtsoe, in "Daughters in My Kingdom": “The (work) of … Relief Society … (is the) relief of all that hinders the joy and progress of women.”

Are there things that hinder your joy? Are there things that hinder your progress? Wouldn't you like weekly help with those things?

Experiment with that above quotation and use the promise of relief from your troubles as motivation to help you keep your goal.

Here are some other things you might try:

1. Volunteer to bring another sister to church, agree to take her home, this will at least physically keep you in the building, which is a good start.

2. Anytime you skip Relief Society, read a page from "Daughters in My Kingdom" — pray about how Relief Society can help you personally.

3. Volunteer to say a prayer in the meeting, or play the music, create a responsibility for yourself. The more you put in, the more you'll get out of it.

4. Tell your bishop and/or Relief Society president (or your visiting teachers) about your goal and ask them to help you.

5. Try a new perspective, consider what you might bring to Relief Society as opposed to what you're hoping to get out of it.

Also remember that this is a network of women who are seeking self improvement, connection with God and with one another and you will greatly benefit from associations with them and they with you.

We posed your question to some other YSA womenand visit our Facebook page to see more comments, and try the above steps. You'll reach your goal in no time.

Love,

Angela

Readers: How has being involved in Relief Society helped you? Have you ever struggled with going? How have you overcome that challenge?

Angela Trusty is the author of the advice column Ask Angela that appears Saturdays in the Deseret News and Tuesdays and Fridays in The Washington Times. Submit questions to askangela.dn@gmail.com, Follow @ Facebook.com/askangelaslc

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