Handbook 2:
Administering the Church


9.2 Ward Relief Society Leadership

This chapter focuses on administering the Relief Society in a way that will strengthen individuals, families, and homes. Relief Society leaders frequently review chapter 3, which outlines general principles of leadership. These principles include preparing spiritually, participating in councils, ministering to others, and teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.



The bishop and his counselors provide priesthood leadership for the Relief Society.

The bishop calls and sets apart a sister to serve as Relief Society president. He oversees the calling and setting apart of counselors in the ward Relief Society presidency, the ward Relief Society secretary, and other sisters who serve in Relief Society callings. He may assign his counselors to call and set apart these sisters.

The bishop meets with the Relief Society president regularly to discuss Relief Society and welfare matters.


Ward Relief Society Presidency

The Relief Society presidency consists of a president and two counselors. They are spiritual leaders in the effort to strengthen sisters and their families. They work under the direction of the bishopric. They also receive orientation and ongoing support from the stake Relief Society presidency.

Ward Relief Society President

The Relief Society president has the following responsibilities:

She serves as a member of the ward council. As a member of this council, she participates in efforts to build faith and strengthen individuals and families (see chapter 4).

She meets regularly with the bishop to report on and discuss Relief Society and welfare matters.

At the bishop’s request, she visits homes of members to evaluate welfare needs and suggest ways to respond to them (see 9.6.1). In the absence of the Relief Society president, the bishop may assign a counselor in the Relief Society presidency to respond to an urgent need.

She submits recommendations to the bishopric for sisters to be called to serve as Relief Society leaders. She also submits recommendations for sisters to be called as teachers and to fulfill other callings in the Relief Society, as desired and needed. In making these recommendations, she follows the guidelines in 19.1.1 and 19.1.2.

She coordinates ward Relief Society welfare efforts during emergencies.

She teaches other Relief Society leaders and teachers their duties, using this handbook as a resource.

She oversees the records, reports, budget, and finances of the ward Relief Society. The Relief Society secretary helps with this responsibility.

Ward Relief Society President and Counselors

The Relief Society president and her counselors work together to fulfill the following responsibilities. The Relief Society president assigns her counselors to oversee some of these responsibilities. No more than two counselors may be called.

They coordinate ministering efforts with the elders quorum presidency, organize and oversee the service of ministering sisters, and hold ministering interviews.

They oversee efforts to improve gospel learning and teaching in the Relief Society. In these efforts, they follow the principles in 5.5.3 and 5.5.4.

Under the direction of the bishop, and working with the elders quorum presidency, they plan ways to address welfare needs and to provide compassionate service (see 9.6 and chapter 6).

They plan and conduct Relief Society meetings.

They hold Relief Society presidency meetings.

They visit or meet with each Relief Society sister at least once a year. They discuss the well-being of the sister and her family. These meetings should not be combined with a ministering interview in which a companion is present.

The Relief Society president assigns one of her counselors to coordinate the Relief Society’s efforts to help the young single adult sisters in the ward. If the ward has a young single adult committee, this counselor serves on the committee. (See 16.3.3 and 16.3.4.)


Ward Relief Society Secretary

The Relief Society secretary has the following responsibilities:

She consults with the Relief Society president to prepare agendas for presidency meetings. She attends these meetings, takes notes, and keeps track of assignments.

She may schedule ministering interviews for the Relief Society president and her counselors.

Each quarter, she compiles a report of Sunday meeting attendance and ministering interviews. She reviews this report with the Relief Society president and submits it to the ward clerk..

She ensures that the Relief Society presidency is aware of young women who will be entering Relief Society.

She assists the Relief Society presidency in preparing an annual budget and accounting for expenses.


Relief Society Teachers

Relief Society teachers teach doctrine and lead discussions as assigned by the Relief Society presidency. They follow the principles outlined in 5.5.4.


Other Ward Relief Society Callings

The callings listed in this section are optional. The bishop and Relief Society president may decide not to fill every position, or they may determine that additional callings are needed. The Relief Society presidency recommends sisters to serve in these callings.

Assistant Secretaries and Ministering Secretaries

The Relief Society presidency may recommend calling one or more assistant secretaries to help with secretary responsibilities (see 9.2.3).

If the presidency needs additional help organizing ministering interviews and preparing the quarterly report (see 9.5), they may recommend to the bishop that one or more ministering secretaries be called. Ministering secretaries do not conduct ministering interviews.).

Compassionate Service Coordinator and Assistants

A sister may be called to help the Relief Society presidency identify needs and coordinate compassionate service. Assistants may also be called.

Relief Society Meeting Coordinator and Committee

A sister may be called to help the Relief Society presidency coordinate the planning of Relief Society meetings that are not held on Sunday. These meetings may include service, classes, projects, conferences, and workshops. The Relief Society presidency may request that committee members be called to assist the coordinator. Committee members may be given specific areas of responsibility.

Music Leaders and Pianists

Sisters may be called as music leaders and pianists for Relief Society meetings. Appropriate music helps invite the Spirit in Relief Society meetings.

Other Callings and Assignments

As needed, the Relief Society presidency may assign or recommend calling sisters to help accomplish the work of salvation. For example, they may counsel with the bishop about calling sisters to assist with strengthening young single adults, doing temple and family history work, and sharing the gospel. Sisters with short-term assignments do not need to be called and set apart. Sisters who lead or serve in long-term assignments are called and set apart by a member of the bishopric.