We greet each of you, our sisters, with love. The work of Relief Society has never been more important than it is now. We know that as each of you participate in this work by building personal testimony, feeling blessed and valued as an individual, developing and exercising charity, strengthening yourself and your family, and enjoying a unified sisterhood, your life will be enriched.
“Testimony is a result of choice, not circumstance,” says Elaine L. Jack, general president of the Relief Society. “In all seasons of my life, testimony has been a conscious choice—and this choice has given everything else in my life meaning.”
Building a testimony is the beginning of building a happy life. Testimony grows step by step as we invest the effort to exercise faith and hope as active parts of everyday living. Prayer is a major tool to help us gain faith and hope.
How does your testimony bless your life?
Each woman is faced with the task of living worthily enough, as an individual, to know the Lord’s will regarding her. President Jack observes that “each woman is blessed as she understands that there is value in all righteous life-styles. Without this understanding, we create barriers that stymie our individuality and our true progression. It is so refreshing to be able to say, ‘This is who I am, and I am happy to live with me.’”
The Lord loves us as individuals. Knowing that should bring us peace and understanding and help us find the strength to do all that life demands of us.
How can you know the Lord’s will regarding your life?
“Charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it in the last day, it shall be well with him.” (Moro. 7:47.)
It is no minor thing that the motto of Relief Society is Charity Never Faileth. When we make charity the primary focus of our efforts, the fruits will be many, happy, and eternal.
Each of us can give important service to someone else. But to be most effective, we must constantly strive to develop ourselves to our full potential, enlarge our intellect, and improve our character.
What does it mean to develop and exercise charity?
The family is a major anchor for all of us, whether or not we live close to our immediate family or whether or not our families are all members of the Church.
“Home is a place for all that is good and enlightening and true,” says Chieko N. Okazaki, first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency. “It should provide a climate for constant growth and learning for all who live there. Whether or not it provides such a climate depends on each individual. Each of us must make the right choices in life.”
How can families become stronger?
“Scriptural examples of sisterhood, such as the friends of Jephthah’s daughter (see Judg. 11:37–40) and Mary and Elisabeth (see Luke 1:39–42), have shown me the eternal value available to women through today’s Relief Society sisterhood,” says Aileen H. Clyde, second counselor in the Relief Society general presidency.
A unified sisterhood blessed by the “living water” offered by our Savior (see John 4:10) can be a meaningful part of each woman’s life. It joins us together to rejoice in our diversity and to enjoy our commonalities.
What are the benefits of diverse types of friends in your life?