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4 Functions of the Mormon Relief Society

By Mormon.org

The Mormon Relief Society is the women’s organization of the Mormon Church. All women ages 18 and older may participate in Relief Society, which involves Sunday worship, community activities and service, and local and global conferences that share uplifting messages for women.

The Relief Society was organized on March 17, 1842 and is now the largest women’s organization in the world. Since its founding, the Relief Society’s main functions have been to provide a place where women could learn and grow, increase their faith in God and Jesus, strengthen their families, and help people and communities in need.

1. Increase Faith in God and Jesus Christ

As Christians, Mormons believe that salvation and eternal life are made possible by Jesus Christ. The Relief Society is one way The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints testifies of Christ and shares the principles of His gospel.

Every Sunday, Relief Society members of local congregations meet together for a one-hour lesson related to the teachings of Jesus and His gospel. In addition, the Relief Society provides opportunities for women to share spiritual perspectives, gain additional insight about their Heavenly Father and the Savior, and learn how to apply the gospel in their lives. General leaders of the Relief Society speak during LDS General Conference twice a year, including one session that is dedicated to women members of the Church.

2. Strengthen Individuals, Homes, and Families

In addition to faith-promoting activities, the Relief Society provides a place where women of all ages can teach one another, learn, and develop new skills. Self-improvement Relief Society activities may include homemaking skills, financial independence, or emergency preparedness.

Women are encouraged to develop their talents and be self-reliant not only as individuals, but as dedicated wives, mothers, daughters and sisters in their homes and families. The LDS Church emphasizes the importance of family in God’s plan and in society. The Relief Society helps women support the spiritual, moral, and temporal values that strengthen families. The Relief Society encourages women in any family role (daughter, sister, aunt, mother, wife) to uplift others, help them overcome weaknesses, and provide needed support.

3. Prepare for Ordinances and Covenants

Helping women gain faith in God and Jesus Christ is part of the Relief Society’s purpose. But believing is not enough. The Relief Society encourages women to keep God’s commandments. This includes making covenants with God such as baptism and partaking of the Lord’s sacrament. Additionally, LDS members make other covenants in Mormon temples. The Relief Society helps women prepare themselves spiritually to receive sacred ordinances and be sealed to their husband and children for eternity.

4. Work Together to Help Those in Need

One of the goals of Relief Society women is to become true disciples of Jesus. One way they try to do this is by following Jesus’s perfect example of love and service to those in need. Henry B. Eyring has said, “This society is composed of women whose feelings of charity spring from hearts changed by qualifying for and by keeping covenants offered only in the Lord’s true Church. . . . Their acts of charity are guided by His example—and come out of gratitude for His infinite gift of mercy.”

By working within this worldwide organization for women, as well as with other auxiliary organizations in the Mormon Church and organizations around the world, the Mormon Relief Society strives to help those in need. Its members deliver meals to people who are sick. They make blankets and hygiene kits and send them to people who have been affected by natural disasters. They serve in local soup kitchens. Out of the love they have for others, which simply mirrors the love that Jesus has for everyone, these women continually serve people in need with their time, talents, and monetary donations.