Saturday, September 25, 2010

Notes from General Relief Society Meeting

Its short-hand so I will hopefully have time to come back and fill in more coherent thoughts in relation to what I heard. There were some specifically salient points made this evening that I believe are important to me because it was truth I was seeking but it also important in relation to recent happenings among women of the church. Those I will bold for emphasis.

Julie B. Beck, General Relief Society President:
quoted President Barbara Smiths (former Relief Society President from 1974-1984) last council to her family before her death: "Honor and respect the women of the church."
acknowledgement of the oppression and betrayal that women often experience
addressing the criticisms of Mormon women for being weak, too womanly, ineffectual
call and instruction for women to focus on activities within Relief Society [is this an example of retrenchment?]
new policy for church wide Relief Society: women should know and understand the history of R.S., hence a history book is in process of publication
the Lord's vision of R.S.: to perfect the saints through the women of the church
an acknowledged hunger within the women of the church to know women's value, identity and purpose
report on policy changes from last year--has had positive impacts
through studying the history of women in the church, women will find inspiration from historical female church members
in conclusion; The Lord is preparing the R.S. for a glorious future [though the details were not described]

Silvia Allred, General Relief Society First Counselor:
told that she became a member of the church at age 15.
"motherwork is the most important work" and it should be done in partnership with husbands
She asked women of the church: what helps you be faithful?
The answers she received helped her to develop this list: *prayer, *scripture study, *obedience and *service
her description of obedience was to the covenants of baptism and the temple
she emphatically stated that service includes the emotional and spiritual needs of women

Barbara Thompson, General Relief Society Second Counselor:
quotes Jude: "And of some have acompassion, making a difference"
counseled women to have compassions on people's needs, feel love, mercy, sympathy, and a desire to help one another
Christ called his followers to be compassionate
Visiting Teaching is a model of Christ's call to be compassionate
prayerfully consider those we visit teach.

Thomas S. Monson, Prophet and President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:
how do we view each other? are we making judgements without having all the facts?
Judge not
prophet admits none of us is perfect
Do not judge appearances or life circumstances
"if you judge people you have no time to love them."

[insight: it is helpful to have an outside voice of instruction and views, I can see how this talk would have been more difficult for one of the R.S. presidents to give)
paraphrase: we need to have the type of charity that comes from being tolerant and lenient of other's actions
Horace Mann: "to pity distress is to be human, to relieve it is god-like."
"Recognize that each is doing her best to overcome her challenges and we must do our best to help her."
charity is not just providing service to others, but it is also loving them without judgement
be guided by the R.S. motto in everything we do, "Charity Never Faileth."

No comments: