Important Events in the History of Relief Society

“Important Events in the History of Relief Society,” Daughters in My Kingdom: The History and Work of Relief Society (2011), 182–85

April 6, 1830

The Church is organized.


Emma Hale Smith

Detail from Emma Hale Smith, by Lee Greene Richards. © 1941 IRI.

Joseph Smith receives a revelation for his wife Emma (see D&C 25).

March 17, 1842

Organization of the Relief Society

Detail from Organization of the Relief Society, by Nadine B. Barton. © 1985 IRI.

The Female Relief Society of Nauvoo is organized; Emma Smith is chosen as president.


Pioneer Women

Detail from Pioneer Women, by Julie Rogers. © Julie Rogers.

Emma Smith and her counselors appoint visiting committees in the wards in Nauvoo, Illinois.

June 27, 1844

Martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum

Detail from Martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum, by Gary Smith. © 1984 IRI.

The Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum are martyred at the Carthage Jail.

February 1846

Saints leaving Nauvoo

The Saints begin leaving Nauvoo.


Nauvoo Temple

The Nauvoo Temple is dedicated.

July 1847

early Latter-day Saint pioneers

The first pioneer company reaches the Salt Lake Valley.


Brigham Young calls on bishops to reestablish the Relief Society in every ward.


President Brigham Young

Photograph of Brigham Young by C. R. Savage. Courtesy Church History Library.

Detail from Organization of the Retrenchment Association by Brigham Young, 1869, by Dale Kilbourn. © IRI.

The Young Ladies Department of the Cooperative Junior and Senior Retrenchment Association is established for young women.


Woman’s Exponent

The Relief Society supports the publishing of the Woman’s Exponent.


LDS Hospital nursing graduates, class of 1911

Relief Society sisters are encouraged to receive medical training.


silk harvest Zina Diantha Huntington Young

Detail from Zina Diantha Huntington Young. Courtesy Church History Museum.

The Deseret Silk Association is established, with Zina D. H. Young as president.


The First Meeting of the Primary Association

Detail from The First Meeting of the Primary Association, by Lynn Fausett and Gordon Cope. © IRI.

The Primary organization is established for children.


Deseret Hospital

The Relief Society establishes the Deseret Hospital.


Wilford Woodruff

Wilford Woodruff receives a revelation leading to the discontinuance of the practice of plural marriage.


Salt Lake Temple

Photograph of Salt Lake Temple. Courtesy Church History Library.

ticket for dedication of Salt Lake Temple

Photograph of Salt Lake Temple dedication ticket. Courtesy Church History Library.

The Salt Lake Temple is dedicated.


Relief Society seal

“Charity never faileth” becomes the Relief Society motto.


Relief Society Magazine

The Relief Society begins publishing the Relief Society Magazine.


Visiting teachers begin discussing a gospel message with sisters each month.


The Relief Society sells 200,000 bushels of wheat to the United States government.


maternity hospital

The Relief Society establishes a maternity hospital.


Relief Society sisters at a sewing and canning center

The First Presidency establishes the Church welfare program.


Visiting teachers stop collecting donations and focus instead on ministering to the sisters they visit.


Belle S. Spafford at meeting of International Council of Women

Belle S. Spafford leads the United States delegation at the International Council of Women.


Relief Society Building

The Relief Society Building is dedicated in Salt Lake City.


The Relief Society Social Service Department is incorporated into Church Welfare and Social Services.


preparing a magazine for publication

The Relief Society Magazine is discontinued and replaced with the Ensign.


Monument to Women Memorial Garden

Statue titled Joyful Moment by Dennis Smith.

The Monument to Women Memorial Garden is dedicated in Nauvoo.

September 16, 1978

The first general Relief Society meeting is held.


A monthly visiting teaching message is included in the international magazine (now the Liahona) and the Ensign.


service commemorating 150th anniversary of Relief Society

Photograph of women serving © Jason Swensen.

Sisters celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Relief Society by participating in service projects in their communities.

September 23, 1995

The Family: A Proclamation to the World President Gordon B. Hinckley

President Gordon B. Hinckley reads “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” in a general Relief Society meeting.


Relief Societies, high priests groups, and elders quorums begin to study from the same curriculum on Sundays.


Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting

Relief Society, Young Women, and Primary general presidents participate in the first worldwide leadership training meeting for auxiliaries.


General Relief Society Meeting

Sisters at general Relief Society meeting

Relief Society membership reaches 6 million.


Welfare Square logo

The Church observes the 75th anniversary of the welfare program.