This, this is interesting:
It’s from chapter 10 of Daughters In My Kingdom, about a women who received service as a teenager and then looked to her time serving in a RS Presidency as her turn to give service just as she had received it. This story comes in a series of experiences she shared:
“A young mother in the ward, one of my friends, suddenly lost her only child, a beautiful three-year-old daughter, to an infection that took her life before the doctors were even aware of how serious her illness was. The other counselor and I went to the house as soon as we heard of little Robin’s death. As we approached the screened patio door, we heard the father (who was not a member of the Church) sobbing as he talked long distance to his mother. Looking up, he saw us and, still sobbing, spoke into the phone: ‘It will be all right, Mother. The Mormon women are here.’ My turn once more.”
Also from Chapter 10:
The charge to lead out in everything that is praiseworthy, Godlike, uplifting, and purifying is a demanding one. It always has been. But individual Relief Society sisters are not alone in accepting this charge. They are part of a great organization, founded by priesthood authority and strengthened by the teachings and declarations of prophets. They are beloved daughters of God with sacred responsibilities. They are covenant people of the Lamb, “armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory.”15 As they unite with other faithful Saints and learn from the examples of those who have gone before, they can prevail over mortal challenges. They can help build the kingdom of God throughout the world and in their homes. They can say, “Now it is our turn—our turn to serve and write a chapter on the pages of Relief Society’s history.” With an assurance of Heavenly Father’s love for them and a testimony of the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, they can rise above ordinary thoughts and ambitions and be part of “something extraordinary.”16
From Daughters In My Kingdom chapter 10:
President Henry B. Eyring, a counselor in the First Presidency, explained that this true charity is the legacy of Relief Society:
“I will speak to you … of the great legacy those who went before you in the Relief Society have passed on to you. The part … which seems to me most important and persistent is that charity is at the heart of the society and is to come into the heart, to be part of the very nature, of every member. Charity meant to them far more than a feeling of benevolence. Charity is born of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and is an effect of His Atonement working in the hearts of the members. …
“This society is composed of women whose feelings of charity spring from hearts changed by qualifying for and by keeping covenants offered only in the Lord’s true Church. Their feelings of charity come from Him through His Atonement. Their acts of charity are guided by His example—and come out of gratitude for His infinite gift of mercy—and by the Holy Spirit, which He sends to accompany His servants on their missions of mercy.”
This legacy of charity began with the sisters in Nauvoo, who engaged in organized charitable works and received temple covenants. It continued in Winter Quarters and along the arduous trail to the Salt Lake Valley. It sustained Latter-day Saint women as they settled frontier communities, endured political persecution and world wars, and maintained hope during economic depression. It has inspired loving-kindness at home and outreach efforts worldwide. It has motivated Relief Society sisters as they have served in hospitals and as they have helped with adoptions, wheat storage, humanitarian aid, and welfare. The pure love of Christ continues to motivate Relief Society sisters today as they gather to teach and serve one another and as they strengthen and watch over each other one by one.
President Spencer W. Kimball, the twelfth President of the Church, said, “There is a power in this organization [of Relief Society] that has not yet been fully exercised to strengthen the homes of Zion and build the Kingdom of God—nor will it until both the sisters and the priesthood catch the vision of Relief Society.”
Priesthood quorums organize men in a brotherhood to give service, to learn and carry out their duties, and to study the doctrines of the gospel. Relief Society accomplishes these same purposes for the women of the Church.
It hadn’t quite dawned on me to ask why priesthood-holding men were organized into groups; I just knew they were according to the scriptures. But yes, why? Well, to organize service, to teach each other, to study, to counsel. And yes, that is exactly what the Relief Society does as well. We are an organized, authorized, energized group of women ready to do the work of the gospel.
From Daughters in My Kingdom, chapter 5:
War broke out in Europe in 1914. By the time the war ended in November 1918, many nations had joined the conflict, which came to be known as World War I. During this period, when bitterness and intolerance could have threatened the charitable feelings expected from Relief Society sisters, Sister Emmeline B. Wells and her counselors issued the following message to all women in the Church:
“Administer in the spirit of love and patience to your husbands and to your children; guard the little ones; do not permit them to imbibe the spirit of intolerance or hatred to any nation or to any people; keep firearms out of their hands; do not allow them to play at war nor to find amusement in imitating death in battle; inculcate the spirit of loyalty to country and flag, but help them to feel that they are soldiers of the Cross and that if they must needs take up arms in the defense of liberty, of country and homes they shall do so without rancor or bitterness. … Teach the peaceable things of the kingdom [and] look after the needy more diligently than ever.”5
In sending this message, Sister Wells urged sisters to put charity into action, just as the Prophet Joseph Smith had taught over 70 years earlier. She encouraged them to be patient with loved ones and kind toward neighbors—including enemies—and to give service to those in need. Relief Society sisters followed this counsel. They sought to receive and share the pure love of Christ, which they knew would never fail them.6 This love would sustain them through seasons of war and peace.