President Henry B. Eyring: ‘Enduring legacy of Relief Society’   Leave a comment

(Photo Courtesy Deseret News;)
Published: Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009

Speaking of the great legacy early Latter-daySaint women have passed to women today, President Henry B. Eyring askedRelief Society members worldwide to remember that charity never faileth.

“I testify that charity is the pure love of Christ,” said President Eyring,first counselor in the First Presidency. “As we serve others with Him wefeel His joy.”

Thousands of women gathered in the Conference Center in downtown Salt LakeCity for the Church’s General Relief Society meeting Sept. 26. The meetingwas translated and broadcast, via the Church’s satellite system, tomeetinghouses across the globe. In addition to President Eyring, thegeneral Relief Society presidency — Sister Julie B. Beck, Sister Silvia H.Allred and Sister Barbara Thompson — also addressed the worldwidecongregation.

During the meeting, President Eyring spoke on the enduring legacy of ReliefSociety, an organization that was founded in 1842.

“I will speak to you tonight of the great legacy those who went before youin the Relief Society have passed to you,” said President Eyring. “The partof the foundation they laid for you which seems to me most important andpersistent is that charity is at the heart of the society and was to comeinto the heart, to be part of the very nature, of every member.”

He said charity meant to early Latter-day Saint women far more than afeeling of benevolence. “Charity is born of faith in the Lord Jesus Christand is an effect of His Atonement working in the hearts of the members.There are many benevolent groups of women who do great good. There are manywho have overpowering feelings of sympathy for the unfortunate, the sickand the needy. But this organization is unique and has been from itsstart.”

The foundation of the organization – “charity never faileth” — is at thecenter of the work, he said. “It served them at the beginning; it servedthem in the great period that followed; it serves them now in a new time;and it will serve the Relief Society in all the periods ahead.”

President Eyring said the Relief Society is composed of women whosefeelings of charity spring from hearts “changed by qualifying for and bykeeping covenants offered only in the Lord’s true church.”

“Their feelings of charity come from Him through His atonement. Their actsof charity are guided by His example and come out of gratitude for Hisinfinite gift of mercy and by the Holy Spirit, which He sends to accompanyHis servants on their missions of mercy. Because of that, they have doneand are able to do uncommon things for others and to find joy even whentheir own unmet needs are great.”

President Eyring said the history of Relief Society is filled with accountsof such remarkable selfless service.
Early Latter-day saint women “came from a great diversity of circumstances.All faced the universal trials and heartaches of life. Their determinationborn of faith to serve the Lord and others seemed to take them not aroundthe storms of mortal life but into them.

“Some were young and some old. They were from many lands and peoples as youare today. But they were of one heart, one mind, and with one intention.They were determined to help the Lord build His Zion.”
President Eyring said the love of God dwelt in the hearts of early membersof the Relief Society.

Then, he said, because of hard circumstances, for nearly four decades,Relief Society ceased to function as a Churchwide organization. After thatperiod, Brigham Young called Eliza R. Snow to assist bishops in organizingRelief Societies.

“The record of Relief Society shows that when the leaders approached thesisters across the Church to begin again formal Relief Society work theyfound that charity in their hearts was undiminished. They had continued toreach out in mercy to those in need. For those who stayed faithful to theircovenants, the gift of charity, the pure love of Christ, had endured. Itwas still theirs.”

In the years that followed, the Relief Society grew in numbers and in powerto serve those in need, said President Eyring. The women created a smallhospital and supported women in going to the east to get medical trainingto staff it. They began the worldwide Church social services programs. Theycreated a grain storage system. They organized the Primary and Young Womenorganizations. And the Relief Society was at the heart of the beginning ofthe Church’s power to give humanitarian aid across the world.

President Eyring said it is clear from the record that the Lord was in thework with the women of the first period of Relief Society. “He prospered itand they felt joy and light.”

President Eyring said it must have been hard for Relief Society sisterswhen the Lord led them to another season. The hospital system, for example,was handed to others as the women had faith that the Lord saw a greaterneed for their service elsewhere.

“A precious part of your Relief Society heritage is that same faith in thehearts of the leaders and the members of the Relief Society. The Lord hadknown where their great talents would be needed in the next season andwhere they would find an even greater joy than in the wonderful enterprisesthey had begun and built.”
For a new season, the Lord provided a way to provide succor and comfortacross the Church. This would come as two sisters would accept theirassignment to visit another as a call from the Lord, he said.
“The members of the Relief Society have always been trusted by localpriesthood shepherds. Every bishop and every branch president has a ReliefSociety president to depend upon. She has visiting teachers who know thetrials and the needs of every sister. She can, through them, know thehearts of individuals and families. She can meet needs and help the bishopin his call to nurture individuals and families.

“A wonderful part of the heritage of Relief Society is evident in the waythe priesthood has always shown respect and received it from the ReliefSociety in turn. I have seen it as you have.”
President Eyring then asked the worldwide congregation to pass “thismarvelous and sacred legacy of Relief Society” on to those who will followthem.

“It will take small and simple things. Just remember that it is passed fromheart to heart. Charity, the pure love of Christ, is part of the mightychange of heart which the Lord promises to His faithful disciples.”

Ultimately, he said, Relief Society members pass their heritage along asthey help others receive the gift of charity in their hearts. “They willthen be able to pass it to others.”
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    As far as my personal opinion, I know that the Relief Society and all that are in it, are inspired of righteous Priesthood Leaders and are given revelation not only as Mothers, but also as leaders. I have seen many wonderful examples of how this program is truly inspired of God. Sister Black was inspirational to me. She always did what she could, and seemed to exceed the need requested. I have also seen that calling of the Relief Society Branch Presidency change and inspire others. Sister Sharp is wonderfully dedicated, and I see the Spirit with her in all she does, and know her counselors are very inspired. Even women whom are simply regular members of the Relief Society, show that charity doesnt stop at callings, but outside of everything we do in church, charity should be clearly visible – I say that a miraculous example of this, whom now is my inspiration (As a dedicated Teacher) Sister Masters shows us all, how much our spiritual investment of time and study, will definativly increase our Spiritual Stock; May the Lord continue to guide us all!

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Plainview Texas Branch; Lubbock Stake Announcements;

October 3rd :Saturday General Conference; 11:00 & 3:00
October 3rd :Saturday Priesthood Telecast 7:00pm

October 4th :Sunday General Conference; 11:00 & 3:00

October 7th :Leadership Training @ Stake Center

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Posted September 30, 2009 by rexfordgbeardsleyjr in Uncategorized

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