It is appropriate to celebrate "the glorious heritage of Relief Society, which has ties back to the ancient Church during the time of Jesus Christ," Sister Julie B. Beck, Relief Society general president told the Church News. "This year marks 170 years since Relief Society was established in this dispensation. The sisters were given authority to preside over the unique work that would help build the kingdom of God and would make a significant contribution to the Lord's work of salvation. The purposes of Relief Society have remained constant through all time."
"We truly are a society of women — a great worldwide sisterhood — who know how to provide relief as our Savior defined it," she said. "We have always been loved and trusted by the Lord and His leaders. We testify that the Lord speaks directly to His daughters who seek for and qualify for personal revelation."
"Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve said, "Latter-day Saint women, strong in faith and testimony, have truly been given the 'errand of angels.' Every sister in this Church who has made covenants with the Lord has a divine mandate to help save souls, to lead the women of the world, to strengthen the homes of Zion and to build the kingdom of God" (Daughters in My Kingdom, p. 25).
Women have a unique role to play in God's plan. We can reach out to people in a way that is like nothing of this earth. It is such a blessing to know that Heavenly Father accomplishes so much good through His daughters. Women reach out and help one another more naturally and when they are organized, there is such a heavenly power there.
In my ward's Relief Society celebration, we had a lovely dinner and learned a little bit about each of the General Relief Society presidents. It was interesting to learn about them and the needs during the time of their presidency. During the 1930's and 40's, there was a focus on organizing the Church's own welfare program. In recent years, the focus has been on making Relief Society a place where women of all ages would feel at home and find a bond of trust, friendship, and support. (My ward does a really good job of that!)
After talking about the history of Relief Society, they brought our focus onto something that our Stake President has been encouraging us to do. He has invited us to read the scriptures and keep a scripture journal as we read. Then while you read, you have the opportunity to record any promptings from the spirit or maybe some different ways you can apply the scriptures in your own daily life. As a gift, they gave each of the women their own scripture journal. I was so thrilled! I wanted one of my own, but for whatever reason was procrastinating on getting one.
I decided to start reading the Book of Mormon again from the very beginning and record some factual things like who is in that chapter and where they are to personal applications. It is such a blessing to have the scriptures and I am glad that I now have the opportunity to get even more out of my personal study!