9.9 Adapting the Relief Society Organization to Local Needs
The following guidelines are provided to help wards and stakes adapt the Relief Society organization to local needs. For general information about adapting to local needs, see chapter 17.
More Than One Relief Society in a Ward
In special circumstances, the bishop and stake president may authorize creating more than one Relief Society in a ward. Special circumstances might include wards with nursing homes, young single adult wards, wards with a large number of single mothers and widows, wards with a large number of active members of Relief Society, and wards that encompass large geographic areas. The intent of creating more than one Relief Society is to facilitate watching over and strengthening the sisters and their families.
In a ward with more than one Relief Society, the leaders in each Relief Society presidency administer the full Relief Society program for their membership. Each Relief Society should have a balance of sisters in terms of age and experience. Each Relief Society president has an equal voice in ward council meetings and works individually with the bishop concerning welfare matters and efforts to strengthen the sisters and their families.
Relief Society in Small Units
In a small ward or branch, the Relief Society presidency may be the only Relief Society leaders and teachers. In a very small unit, the Relief Society president may be the only Relief Society leader. Counselors, a secretary, teachers, and others listed in this chapter should be called when possible.
In a small stake or a district, the Relief Society president may be the only stake or district Relief Society leader. When possible, counselors and a secretary should be called.