Julie B. Beck, Relief Society general president, spoke on a number of topics to nearly 10,000 women and priesthood leaders in southeastern Idaho in February 2011. The following is some of what she taught about planning meetings.
“We know this is part of the Lord’s work of salvation. We are not in the entertainment business. Our Heavenly Father said his purpose statement in very clear terms ‘For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man’ (Moses 1:39). We should not ever have any other goal in mind than to help Him in what He does. Our work is to help each other get to eternal life with our Heavenly Father and have the blessings He promised us if we were faithful.”
“As we plan activities and plan meetings our desire is to have people come and be with us. Sometimes we think about what they will like to do that will draw them in. Our focus needs to be what do they need to become and how do we need them to participate? It’s not something we serve out, it’s something that’s going to engage them in the learning and the activity. That’s what’s important. …
“Relief Society should be providing relief … from trouble. We would hope that when our sisters get together they would use that time to provide that kind of relief. If they don’t know something they need to know, then we would help them know it. This is relief from ignorance as well as relief from poverty. So entertainment is nice … [but] we shouldn’t be worrying about the decorating before we worry about the doctrine.”
“Relief Society should be teaching things that are consistent with what the bishop is worried about. If we have a bishop who’s worried about the finances and budgeting and how people are using their money, then Relief Society should be supporting that concern of the bishop by having a Relief Society meeting outside of the Sunday meeting where they’re teaching some specifics of that.”