Sister Burton: Relief Society Leaders Need to Prepare Spiritually

  By Sarah Jane Weaver, Church News assistant editor

  • 10 April 2013

Stake and ward relief society leaders listen to counsel from the general Relief Society presidency and board at the Spring 2013 auxiliary training April 4.  Photo by Sarah Jane Weaver.

Article Highlights

  • Webcast of the Relief Society auxiliary training April 4 is available on LDS.org.
  • Leaders have a responsibility to “shore up the homes of the sisters.”
  • Leaders are encouraged to prepare spiritually, share testimony, and communicate with priesthood leaders.

“We have the ability to bless people’s lives as we testify of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, which makes all things that are unfair in this life right.”—Sister Linda K. Burton, Relief Society general president

The Lord is moving His work forward a piece at a time, said Sister Linda K. Burton, Relief Society general president, during the Church’s general training for auxiliary leaders on April 4.

“We have a great responsibility to shore up the homes of the sisters,” said Sister Burton.

Speaking in the Tabernacle on Temple Square, Sister Burton and her counselors—Sister Carole M. Stephens and Linda S. Reeves—offered counsel and direction to ward and stake Relief Society leaders. The training was designed to help leaders learn their duties and to introduce resource materials that could be used for auxiliary leadership training. The training was available live and on demand at https://www.lds.org/broadcasts/auxiliary-training via webcast and was translated into Spanish. Also participating in the training were members of the Relief Society general board.

The leaders told the women in attendance to try to find one thing from the meeting that would help them in their callings. “We hope you have come with a question you want answered,” said Sister Burton.

She told the local leaders the most important thing they can do is prepare spiritually, noting that spiritual preparation would help them in their personal, family, and Church responsibilities.

“You see how important it is that we become prepared spiritually,” she added.

One way to prepare spiritually is to “treasure up” the scriptures and direction from current Church leaders, she said.

“If we are prepared, the Lord can put things in our minds at the very time we need them,” she said.

Sister Burton also asked the women to be bold as they share their testimonies. “We testify of Jesus Christ. We testify of the power of the Atonement in our own life,” she said. “We have the ability to bless people’s lives as we testify of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, which makes all things that are unfair in this life right.”

Sister Burton said by acting on the “nudging from the Spirit,” women can help others come unto Jesus Christ.

“I know He loves you and you are enough,” she said. “He will bless you in this marvelous work because this is His work.”

During her remarks, Sister Stephens reminded the congregation of the importance of the work of Latter-day Saint women. “Our purpose, as you know, is to prepare women for the blessings of eternal life as we increase faith and personal righteousness, strengthen families and homes, and seek out and help those in need.”

She also asked the women to prepare spiritually. “Spiritual preparation is your most important responsibility,” she said.

This comes as ward and stake Relief Society leaders do what they already know how to do—pray, study the scriptures, be obedient to the Lord’s laws and commandments, attend the temple, and fast, she said.

Making reference to the work accomplished by small honey bees, Sister Stephens said, “Small and simple things matter.”

“Sisters, let’s not make the gospel of Jesus Christ so difficult,” she said. “Relief Society is not just a class on Sunday. Relief Society is an everyday work of salvation, and we are all blessed to partake in this work.”

Sister Reeves spoke of the Atonement and covenants and asked the women to be unified. “What are the blessings of unity?” she asked. “What is so important about unity?”

She recalled the day five years ago when Church members across the globe participated in a solemn assembly and sustained President Thomas S. Monson as President of the Church. “What power,” she said. “Where else on earth do we have the opportunity to be unified in such a way, with such power?”

She also reminded the leaders to speak up and communicate with their priesthood leaders. “They are anxious to hear from you,” she said.

The board also presented several topics using Church resources—Daughters in My Kingdom, Handbook 2, Preach My Gospel, and Come, Follow Me—and reminded women of their influence in their homes, wards, and communities.