Melissa is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (“Mormon” woman).
Relief Society Organized for Mormon Women
Organized in 1842, and consisting of more than 6 million members, the Mormon Relief Society is the oldest and largest women’s organization in the world (Kimball, P. 2011. Examiner). Membership consists of female Latter-day Saints ages 18 and above. It is an organization within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (nicknamed the “Mormon Church” by the media) dedicated to faith, charity, good works, and the uplifting of women through their divine roles of womanhood and motherhood.
When Joseph Smith, prophet and leader of the early church, organized the Relief Society—the Mormon global organization designed divinely to help serve the needs of the poor and to lift women spiritually—he stated that its purpose was to see to “the relief of the poor, the destitute, the widow and the orphan, and for the exercise of all benevolent purposes.” The accomplishment of this great purpose is dependent upon all the sisters within the Relief Society, and it is by the small deeds performed by each and every one of them on a daily basis that they are able to offer relief and aid those around them.
The welfare of Latter-day Saint women is looked after by pairs of sisters known as Visiting Teachers. I would like to share a personal experience I had with a visiting teacher:
I was immensely blessed by one of these sisters in particular when I was going through a very difficult time. I was pregnant, in a very unhealthy relationship, and had no income. She gave me rides to my appointments with the doctor and to the Bishop’s Storehouse—where I was able to receive food and necessities—and she was a wonderful support as I made the very important decision to put an end to my relationship in favor of safety for my child. Now, I am constantly strengthened by the sisters of the Relief Society and strive to do my best with my own Visiting Teaching, so that I may perhaps be that support and strength that another sister may need in a time of hardship.
Relief Society goes far beyond Sunday meetings, where members are taught about many important principles of the gospel and the history of the Church and its organization. If a Mormon woman’s mission began and ended only within the Relief Society room each Sunday, she would never accomplish what this organization is meant to help her accomplish.
All women are given opportunities to improve their talents, learn from one another, and grow in their capabilities as wives, mothers, sisters, and daughters. Each of them has a unique background and can apply themselves in individualized ways. Each has something to offer one another. Sisters of Relief Society are known for visiting the sick in hospitals and in their homes, providing meals for those in need, performing small acts of kindness and service like helping with housework, groceries, babysitting, etc., and for always striving to improve themselves through hard work, charity, and compassion.
I am honored to be a member of this great organization and only hope that my contributions will have a positive impact on others’ lives so that they might come to know the Savior through me and recognize His hand in all things. Through the sisters of Relief Society, the work of Christ continues on the earth, and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (or “Mormons”) strive to make the world a better place by bettering themselves and devoting their time and talents to service.