A Thursday afternoon Facebook post from the account of Sister Linda K. Burton, Relief Society general president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, announced changes to the Relief Society Purposes document that provides guiding principles for the largest women’s organization in the world.
Changes have been made to each point of the document. It now states that “Relief Society helps prepare women for the blessings of eternal life as they: Increase faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and His Atonement; Strengthen individuals, families, and homes through ordinances and covenants; Work in unity to help those in need.”
Sister Burton explained that these changes stemmed from her presidency’s effort to seek the Lord’s guidance in knowing “what essential things he would have us focus on to continue moving his work forward.”
“We were impressed that He would first have us help His beloved daughters understand the doctrine of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, that their faith and righteousness might increase,” the Facebook posts reads. “Second, we considered the critical need to strengthen families and homes and felt that the Lord would have us encourage His beloved daughters to cheerfully cleave to their covenants. When covenants are kept, families are strengthened. Finally, we felt He would have us work in unity with the other auxiliaries and with our priesthood leaders, striving to seek out and help those in need to progress along the path. Focusing on these things helps prepare us for the blessings of eternal life.”
Sister Burton, who has served as Relief Society general president for nearly five years, said she hopes the changes will be studied and will result in a better understanding of “the divine identity and eternal work and purpose that each sister in Relief Society has.” The post concludes with a question: “How does understanding this purpose bring hope and meaning into your daily life and actions?”