Relief Society Additional Meetings

Relief Society . . . is the gospel—the gospel in action in the lives of our remarkable women.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “Charity Never Faileth,Ensign, Mar. 2011, 40

Relief Society is more than a class on Sunday. Relief Society is more than a meeting.

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; and
  • Work in unity to help those in need. 

Why Do We Have Additional Relief Society Meetings?

Additional meetings give sisters an opportunity to accomplish the purpose of Relief Society.

During these meetings sisters participate in meaningful experiences that help them grow and progress both temporally and spiritually. These experiences should also allow sisters opportunities to reach out and bless the lives of others.

The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that the Relief Society was “not only to relieve the poor, but to save souls” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], 453). Saving souls is the work and glory of God (see Moses 1:39).

Our prophet today has also taught that we need to be involved in the work of rescuing souls. As God’s covenant daughters we are called to be part of His work by helping individuals and families to enjoy the blessings of exaltation. This is the work of salvation.

President Thomas S. Monson declared: “The world is in need of your help. There are feet to steady, hands to grasp, minds to encourage, hearts to inspire, and souls to save” (“To the Rescue,Ensign, May 2001, 48).

How Should Additional Meetings Be Planned?

Relief Society leaders plan additional meetings based on inspiration they receive through visits, fasting and prayer, and counseling together as a presidency and with the bishop. In these ways, they seek to understand the needs of individuals and families in the ward and how those needs can be met.

Although the Relief Society president oversees additional meetings, she may ask one of her counselors to assume the responsibility for planning and carrying out these meetings. A Relief Society meeting coordinator may be called to assist the counselor with these responsibilities.

In planning these meetings, Relief Society leaders give special attention to topics that the bishop has asked them to address to help meet needs in the ward. (See Handbook 2: Administering the Church [2010], 9.4.2.)

Questions to Ask When Planning Additional Meetings

Relief Society presidencies may want to ask the following questions to help them plan additional meetings:

  • What do our Relief Society sisters need to learn and become in order to be prepared for eternal life?
  • What should the focus of each meeting be? Does the purpose of each meeting align with the purpose and work of Relief Society?
  • What is the best way to teach the principle or skill we want to teach?
  • Which needs of our sisters should be addressed in each meeting?
  • Will the activity we have planned uplift, motivate, strengthen, and inspire the sisters who attend?
  • How can we help our sisters more fully participate in the work of salvation?
  • How will the activity we have planned help to prepare the sisters for the blessings of eternal life?
  • How can we help sisters apply the doctrine and principles of the gospel in their own lives and homes in order to become like the Savior?
  • Video: “I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go

How Can Additional Relief Society Meetings Help Sisters Participate in the Work of Salvation?

The Lord is hastening His work. It is His work, and He will hasten it, but each sister has a part to play to help it move forward. During additional Relief Society meetings, sisters have the opportunity to actively participate in the work of salvation. As they do so, they will better understand the important work they are called to do and become willing participants in God’s kingdom. “As women participate in Relief Society, they serve as valiant disciples of Jesus Christ in the work of salvation” (Daughters in My Kingdom [2011], 7).

Elder M. Russell Ballard 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” (“Women of Righteousness,” Ensign, Apr. 2002, 70).

The purpose of the Church, the work of leaders and teachers, the work of salvation, and the work of Relief Society is one work with one purpose.

Resources to Use When Planning Additional Meetings

The following resources can help Relief Society leaders as they strive to meet temporal and spiritual needs in their additional meetings in order to “relieve the poor,” “save souls,” and accomplish the work of Relief Society.

Other Resources to Use When Planning Meetings

Compassionate Service (Handbook 2, 9.6)

Help sisters understand that visiting teaching is helping to accomplish the work of salvation.

Welfare Needs (Handbook 2, 6)

Provident Living

Member Missionary Work

Convert Retention (Handbook 2, 5.2)

Activation of Less-Active Members (Handbook 2, 5.3)

  • “Less-active members usually still believe in the gospel, but they may be experiencing difficult trials that make them feel uncomfortable attending church” (Handbook 2, 5.3). How can we help sisters reach out and serve those who are experiencing difficult trials?
  • Visiting Teaching Message: Activation,Ensign, Mar. 2013, 7

Temple and Family History Work (Handbook 2, 5.4)

Teaching the Gospel (Handbook 2, 5.5)

  • Teaching in the Savior’s Way (We are all teachers.) How can we improve gospel teaching so that greater conversion can take place in the hearts of our families?

For more information on additional meetings, see Handbook 2, 9.4.2.

For information about additional Relief Society meetings, see Relief Society Auxiliary Training.