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General Relief Society Meeting Highlights

Watch and read excerpts from President Thomas S. Monson and the general Relief Society presidency from the September 2010 meeting.


Each of You Is Unique

My dear sisters, each of you is unique. You are different from each other in many ways. There are those of you who are married. Some of you stay at home with your children, while others of you work outside your homes. Some of you are empty-nesters. There are those of you who are married but do not have children. There are those who are divorced, those who are widowed. Many of you are single women. Some of you have college degrees; some of you do not. There are those who can afford the latest fashions and those who are lucky to have one appropriate Sunday outfit. Such differences are almost endless. Do these differences tempt us to judge one another?

Mother Teresa, a Catholic nun who worked among the poor in India most of her life, spoke this profound truth: “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” The Savior has admonished, “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” I ask: Can we love one another, as the Savior has commanded, if we judge each other? And I answer—with Mother Teresa—“No; we cannot.”

—President Thomas S. Monson

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Charity: The Pure Love of Christ

I have always loved your Relief Society motto, Charity never faileth. What is charity? The prophet Mormon teaches us that “charity is the pure love of Christ.” In his farewell message to the Lamanites, Moroni declared, “Except ye have charity, ye can in nowise be saved in the kingdom of God.”

I consider charity—or the “pure love of Christ”—to be the opposite of criticism and judging. In speaking of charity, I do not at this moment have in mind the relief of the suffering through the giving of our substance. That, of course, is necessary and proper. Tonight, however, I have in mind the charity that manifests itself when we are tolerant of others and lenient toward their actions; the kind of charity that forgives; the kind of charity that is patient.

—President Thomas S. Monson

Watch, read, or listen to the entire address.


Charity Needed Everywhere

There is a serious need for the charity that gives attention to those who are unnoticed, hope to those who are discouraged, aid to those who are afflicted. True charity is love in action. The need for charity is everywhere.

Needed is the charity which refuses to find satisfaction in hearing or in repeating the reports of misfortunes that come to others, unless by so doing the unfortunate one may be benefitted. The American educator and politician Horace Mann once said, “To pity distress is but human; to relieve it is Godlike.”

Charity is having patience with someone who has let us down; it is resisting the impulse to become offended easily. It is accepting weaknesses and shortcomings. It is accepting people as they truly are. It is looking beyond physical appearances to attributes that will not dim through time. It is resisting the impulse to categorize others.

—President Thomas S. Monson

Watch, read, or listen to the entire address.


History Teaches Us Who We Are

There is a worldwide hunger among good women to know their identity, value, and importance. Studying and applying the history of Relief Society gives definition and expression to who we are as disciples and followers of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Our faithfulness and service are signs of our conversion and commitment to remember and follow Him. In July of 1830, at the beginning of the Restoration of His Church, the Lord selected His first female leader and in a revelation to her, He said, “I speak unto you, Emma Smith, my daughter; for verily I say unto you, all those who receive my gospel are sons and daughters in my kingdom.”

The history of Relief Society teaches us that our Heavenly Father knows His daughters. He loves them, He has given them specific responsibilities, and He has spoken to and guided them during their mortal missions. Additionally, the history of Relief Society elevates and validates the standing of women and demonstrates how they work in companionship with faithful priesthood leaders.

—Sister Julie B. Beck

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History Teaches Us What We Are to Do

We study our history to learn what we are to do. Through our history, we learn how to prepare for the blessings of eternal life. The Relief Society as an organization has always had the responsibility to organize the energies of the sisters in the wards and branches of Zion. Through Relief Society meetings, the ministry of visiting teachers, and their combined service, daughters of God are taught, watched over, and inspired in their responsibility in the Lord’s work and kingdom.

It has always been a responsibility of the Relief Society to participate in the work of salvation. From the beginning of the restored Church, the sisters have been there first, last, and always in responding to the happenings of everyday life. From Relief Society sisters go forth to serve in Primary, Young Women, Sunday School, and other efforts, and they are beacons of light and virtue to the rising generation. Personal service builds each individual sister, and the united service of millions of faithful women creates a formidable force of faith in the Lord’s work.

—Sister Julie B. Beck

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We Have a Vital and Essential Role

I know that each of us has a vital and essential role as a daughter of God. He has bestowed upon His daughters divine attributes for the purpose of forwarding His work. God has entrusted women with the sacred work of bearing and rearing children. No other work is more important. It is a holy calling. The noblest office for a woman is the sacred work of building eternal families, ideally in partnership with her husband.

—Sister Silvia H. Allred

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Follow the Example of the Savior

The Savior has asked us to do the things which He has done, to bear one another’s burdens, to comfort those who need comfort, to mourn with those who mourn, to feed the hungry, visit the sick, to succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and to “teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom.” To me these words and actions describe visiting teachers—those who minister to others.

Visiting teaching gives women the opportunity to watch over, strengthen, and teach one another. Much like a teacher in the Aaronic Priesthood is charged with the responsibility to “watch over the Church always” and to “be with and strengthen them,” a visiting teacher shows her love by prayerfully considering each woman she is called to serve.

—Sister Barbara Thompson

Watch, read, or listen to the entire address