Handbook 2:
Administering the Church

9. Relief Society

The Relief Society is an auxiliary to the priesthood. All auxiliary organizations exist to help Church members grow in their testimonies of Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the restored gospel. Through the work of the auxiliaries, members receive instruction, encouragement, and support as they strive to live according to gospel principles.


9.10 Additional Guidelines and Policies


Sisters Who Have Special Needs

Sisters who may have special needs include those who are ill, elderly, widowed, divorced, homebound, or bereaved and those who care for chronically ill family members. Other Relief Society members should offer help.

Sisters who have these and other special challenges may come to the Relief Society president with their concerns. She should listen, offer love and encouragement, and maintain appropriate confidentiality. If she learns of possible concerns with worthiness or sensitive family matters, she refers the sisters to the bishop.

For information about helping sisters with disabilities, see 21.1.26 and disabilities.lds.org.


Dress Standards

The Relief Society presidency teaches sisters to be well groomed and modest in their attire. Presidency members help sisters understand that at Church meetings, their appearance and clothing should show reverence and respect for the Lord. Relief Society leaders also help sisters understand that when they go to the temple, they should wear clothing that is suitable for entering the house of the Lord. On these occasions they should avoid wearing casual clothes, sports attire, and ostentatious jewelry.


Offering Support at Times of Death

When a death occurs in the ward, the bishop may ask the Relief Society president to contact the family to give comfort, assess needs, and offer assistance. He may request similar assistance from the elders quorum president. Elders quorum and Relief Society leaders coordinate these efforts.

In preparing for a funeral, the bishop may also ask Relief Society leaders to give service such as helping with flowers, meals, or care of children and providing a simple meal for family members after the funeral service. For additional information about funerals, see 18.6.

If possible, deceased members who were endowed should be buried in temple clothing. In some circumstances, the bishop may ask the Relief Society president to assign an endowed woman to dress or oversee the proper dressing of a deceased endowed woman. The bishop and Relief Society president ensure that this assignment is given to a person who will not find it objectionable. Guidelines for dressing deceased members are provided in Instructions for Clothing the Dead Who Have Received Their Endowments. Leaders may obtain these instructions from Church Distribution Services.

For additional instructions on dressing the deceased in temple clothing, the bishop may refer to Handbook 1, 3.4.9.

The Relief Society president, ministering sisters, and other sisters continue to offer support, comfort, and assistance to the bereaved during the period of adjustment following the death.


Young Women Who Are Pregnant out of Wedlock or Who Are Unwed Mothers

See 10.12.4.


Instructions about Temple Clothing and Garments

See 21.1.42.



See 13.2.8.