Commemoration of the 170th Anniversary of Relief Society: Suggestions

Organize and encourage sisters to participate in a temple or family history work experience.


“In temples, Church members receive ordinances and make sacred covenants that are essential for exaltation. Church members also go to temples to perform ordinances in behalf of deceased persons who have not received the ordinances” (Handbook 2, 5.4).

Members are encouraged:

  • “To receive their own temple ordinances and help immediate family members receive theirs.”
  • To know “that the purpose of the endowment is to prepare for exaltation, not merely to prepare for marriage or a mission.”
  • “To hold a current temple recommend and go to the temple as often as circumstances and family needs allow.”
  • To help “unendowed adults and youth ages 12 and older, including new members … have limited-use temple recommends and go to the temple often to be baptized and confirmed for the dead.”
  • “To participate in family history work by identifying their ancestral family members, requesting temple ordinances for them if needed, and providing these ordinances in the temple themselves if possible.” (See Handbook 2, 5.4.)

From Daughters in My Kingdom

“Sarah M. Kimball and Margaret Cook … wanted to help prepare a temple for the people. Under the inspiration and guidance of a prophet and other priesthood leaders, they and their sisters ultimately helped prepare a people for the temple. This work continues today. Guided by the principles Joseph Smith taught, Relief Society sisters work together to prepare women and their families for God’s greatest blessings” (Daughters in My Kingdom, page 25).

Preparing to Enter the Temple

  • Believe in Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost.
  • Cultivate a testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the restored gospel.
  • Sustain and follow the living prophet.
  • Qualify for a temple recommend by being morally clean, keeping the Word of Wisdom, paying a full tithing, and living in harmony with the teachings of the Church.
  • Give time, talents, and means to help build the Lord’s kingdom.
  • Participate in family history work.
  • Be teachable and reverent.
  • Dress modestly and be well groomed. (See Daughters in My Kingdom, page 21.)

“Latter-day Saint women, strong in faith and testimony, have truly been given the 'errand of angels.' Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught: '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, page 25).

Encourage sisters to bring someone back into activity or share the gospel with someone.


“Those who return to activity often do so when they see that something is missing from their lives. As a result, they realize that they need to make changes in the way they live. At such times, they need the love and friendship of caring, active Church members who accept them as they are and show genuine personal interest in them” (Handbook 2, 5.3).

From Daughters in My Kingdom

“President Kimball taught: ‘There are many sisters who are living in rags—spiritual rags. They are entitled to gorgeous robes, spiritual robes. … It is your privilege to go into homes and exchange robes for rags. … You are going to save souls, and who can tell but that many of the fine active people in the Church today are active because you were in their homes and gave them a new outlook, a new vision. You pulled back the curtain. You extended their horizons. … You see, you are not only saving these sisters, but perhaps also their husbands and their homes' ” (Daughters in My Kingdom, page 117).

“Nothing is so much calculated to lead people to forsake sin as to take them by the hand and watch over them with tenderness” (Daughters in My Kingdom, page 23).

Encourage each sister to read and study Daughters in My Kingdom: The History and Work of Relief Society.

Daughters in My Kingdom book
From Daughters in My Kingdom

“We encourage you to study this book and allow its timeless truths and inspiring examples to influence your lives” (“A Message from the First Presidency,” in Daughters in My Kingdom, page ix).

“President Spencer W. Kimball, the twelfth President of the Church, said, ‘We know that women who have deep appreciation for the past will be concerned about shaping a righteous future.’ A study of this book can help women increase their appreciation for the past and their understanding of their spiritual heritage” (Daughters in My Kingdom, page xii).

“As sisters learn from the history of Relief Society, they may discover examples, expressions, and principles that are especially meaningful to them. Inspired by these discoveries and by the teachings of ancient and latter-day prophets, they can seek, receive, and act on personal revelation. They can receive guidance as they strive to become the people the Lord wants them to become and do the things He would have them do” (Daughters in My Kingdom, page xiii).

Invite sisters to share personal testimonies.

From Daughters in My Kingdom

“Today, Relief Society sisters follow the pattern set by Sister Snow, Sister Richards, and other early members of the Relief Society. They diligently seek gospel knowledge and then share that knowledge with others. …

“President Kimball testified that Relief Society sisters will become a powerful influence for good upon the 'good women of the world' as they 'reflect righteousness and articulateness in their lives.' …

“As sisters articulate their beliefs by word and deed, they can strengthen each other’s faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. They can help each other prepare to receive all the blessings available in Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness" (Daughters in My Kingdom, pages 50-51).

Invite wards and branches to submit their Relief Society history.

This history would be collected by the ward or branch clerk for historical purposes and for use in the local unit only.

Encourage the creation of original music, poetry, literature, drama, dance, and other artistic works to commemorate the anniversary.


One of the purposes of Church activities is “celebrating special occasions and commemorating Church or local historical events” (Handbook 2, 13.1).

“One way to encourage participation is to have members use their gifts, skills, and talents in the activity” (Handbook 2, 13.2.3)

“Cultural arts activities provide opportunities for members to develop their talents and interests. … They could include ... performances in dance, music, and drama. They could also include the celebration of local or general Church history” (Handbook 2, 13.2.6).

Organize Relief Society service in the community.


Church members are encouraged to give personal compassionate service to those in need. They should be “anxiously engaged in a good cause,” serving without being asked or assigned (see D&C 58:26–27).

“Some opportunities to care for those in need come through Church callings. Other opportunities are present in members’ homes, neighborhoods, and communities” (Handbook 2, 6.1.2).

From Daughters in My Kingdom

“ 'Charity never faileth.' These three words embraced the charge that the Prophet Joseph Smith had given the Relief Society sisters: to 'relieve the poor' and to 'save souls.'

“In the past, pioneer women had practiced charity for close neighbors. Now Relief Society sisters would organize themselves to extend charity, 'the pure love of Christ,' to worldwide neighbors as well” (Daughters in My Kingdom, page 63)

“One of our Relief Society presidents went to the city council in a California city and said, ‘What are the things that you feel are needed in this community that we could do?’ And the men said, ‘You mean 20,000 groups throughout this world are going to be doing this same thing?’ And she said yes. And [one of the council members] said, ‘You’ll change the world.’ And I think we did … for the better” (Daughters in My Kingdom, page 95).

“A sister in Tooele, Utah, learned that a quilt she made had offered relief to a British family during the war. This Relief Society sister had made the quilt in 1906, tucked a note inside it, and sent it to San Francisco, California, to help victims of a terrible earthquake. Eleven years later, the quilt was given to the Red Cross and sent to Great Britain. When the British recipient found the note, she sent a personal thank-you letter, saying that the quilt 'came in very useful, as I lost my husband at the front.' Left with eight children and no possibility of working, this widow admitted, 'It is as much as I can do to keep going' ” (Daughters in My Kingdom, page 66).

“Relief Society leaders encouraged sisters to continue serving one another in charitable ways, as they had done from the beginning days in Nauvoo. Sisters cared for the sick, sewed for those who needed clothing, and gave relief in other ways to those in need. For example, in 1921 a group of Armenian Latter-day Saints living in Turkey had to evacuate their homes. Joseph W. Booth, the president of the Palestine-Syrian Mission, helped them move to Aleppo, Syria, where he organized a branch with a Relief Society of about 30 sisters. Most of these women were very poor, and yet they felt it was their privilege and duty as Relief Society women to serve those who were less fortunate than they. So they gathered together and sewed clothing from 100 yards of cloth that President Booth had purchased. They also prepared a meal for undernourished fellow refugees” (Daughters in My Kingdom, page 69).

Improve in the ministry of visiting teaching.


“Visiting teaching gives women the opportunity to watch over, strengthen, and teach one another” (Handbook 2, 9.5).

“Visiting teachers sincerely come to know and love each sister, help her strengthen her faith, and give service. They seek personal inspiration to know how to respond to the spiritual and temporal needs of each sister they are assigned to visit” (Handbook 2, 9.5.1).

From Daughters in My Kingdom

"Sister Eliza R. Snow, the second Relief Society general president, taught: 'I consider the office of a teacher a high and holy office.' … Sister Snow hoped that sisters would 'perceive a difference in their houses' after a visit. She counseled visiting teachers to prepare themselves spiritually before they visited homes so they would be able to ascertain and meet spiritual needs as well as temporal ones: 'A teacher … should surely have so much of the Spirit of the Lord, as she enters a house to know what spirit she meets in there. … Plead before God and the Holy Ghost to get [the Spirit] so that you will be able to meet that spirit that prevails in that house … and you may feel to talk words of peace and comfort, and if you find a sister feeling cold, take her to your heart as you would a child to your bosom and warm [her] up' ” (Daughters in My Kingdom, page 108)

How Visiting Teachers Love, Watch Over, and Strengthen a Sister

  • Pray daily for her and her family.
  • Seek inspiration to know her and her family.
  • Visit her regularly to learn how she is doing and to comfort and strengthen her.
  • Stay in frequent contact through visits, phone calls, letters, e-mail, text messages, and simple acts of kindness.
  • Greet her at Church meetings.
  • Help her when she has an emergency, illness, or other urgent need.
  • Teach her the gospel from the scriptures and the visiting teaching messages.
  • Inspire her by setting a good example.
  • Report to a Relief Society leader about their service and the sister’s spiritual and temporal well-being. (See Daughters in My Kingdom, page 123.)

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