General Relief Society Meeting Held, Daughters in My Kingdom Highlighted
Important truths never to be forgotten, the role of Relief Society in the lives of Heavenly Father’s daughters, charity, and covenants were the central messages of the 2011 general Relief Society meeting, held on September 24, 2011.
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, used the forget-me-not flower as a metaphor in his address. He compared the flower’s five petals to five things sisters would be wise never to forget:
- Forget not to be patient with yourself.
- Forget not the difference between a good sacrifice and a foolish sacrifice.
- Forget not to be happy now.
- Forget not the “why” of the gospel.
- Forget not that the Lord loves you.
“Sisters, there is something inspiring and sublime about the little forget-me-not flower,” President Uchtdorf said. “I hope it will be a symbol of the little things that make your lives joyful and sweet. Please never forget that you must be patient and compassionate with yourselves, that some sacrifices are better than others, and that you need not wait for a golden ticket to be happy. Please never forget that the 'why' of the gospel of Jesus Christ will inspire and uplift you. And never forget that your Heavenly Father knows, loves, and cherishes you.”
The meeting came on the heels of the release of Daughters in My Kingdom: The History and Work of Relief Society in early September. All three members of the Relief Society general presidency drew from the book in their messages.
Julie B. Beck, Relief Society general president, titled her talk “What I Hope My Granddaughters Will Understand about Relief Society,” with the hope that her granddaughters and others would have “a clear understanding of what the Lord had in mind for His daughters when He organized Relief Society,” she said.
She spoke about Relief Society being organized after a pattern of discipleship that existed in the Church in ancient times; about it being organized “under the priesthood, after the pattern of the priesthood;” about the worldwide sisterhood’s influence and capacity for good; and about the importance of watchcare and ministering, particularly through visiting teaching.
Sister Beck concluded by stating that “these and other essential teachings about Relief Society” in Daughters in My Kingdom.
“This book contains a record of the legacy of Relief Society and the women of this Church,” she said. “It will unify and align a worldwide sisterhood with the purposes of Relief Society and the patterns and privileges of disciples. It is a witness of women’s essential roles in our Father’s plan of happiness, and it provides an immovable standard of what we believe, what we do, and what we will defend.”
Silvia H. Allred, first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, spoke about the Relief Society’s motto, “Charity Never Faileth,” citing examples from Daughters in My Kingdom in talking about how charity became a central point in the organization of the Relief Society. She also drew on the teachings of President Thomas S. Monson; the Prophet Joseph Smith; and Paul, Nephi, and Mormon in the scriptures to talk about what charity is and how to obtain it.
Visiting teaching, she said, is “one of the most important ways to practice charity. Through effective visiting teaching we have many opportunities to love, minister, and serve others. Expressing charity, or love, purifies and sanctifies our souls, helping us become more like the Savior.”
Barbara Thompson, second counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, talked about the importance of “cleaving” to covenants and of the joy and protection that come from doing so. Like Sister Beck and Sister Allred, she drew on Daughters in My Kingdom. She described a sister who had received joy from keeping covenants—Sarah Rich, a citizen of Nauvoo who was called to serve in the temple prior to the Saints’ expulsion from the city. She quoted from Sister Rich’s journal:
“‘Many were the blessings we had received in the house of the Lord, which has caused us joy and comfort in the midst of all our sorrows and enabled us to have faith in God, knowing He would guide us and sustain us in the unknown journey that lay before us.’”
“Keeping covenants is true joy and happiness,” Sister Thompson said. “This is comfort and peace. This is protection from the evils of the world. Keeping our covenants will help us in times of trial.
“I testify that as we have faith in Christ and cleave unto our covenants, we will receive the joy spoken of in the holy scriptures and promised by our latter-day prophets.”
Watch and Listen Again
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