Celebrating Our Purpose as Women Since 1842


On March 17, 1842, Joseph Smith founded Relief Society, an organization devoted to preparing women for the blessings of eternal life, strengthening families and helping those in need.

Every spring, women across the world celebrate the organization’s birthday, but as the organization turns 173 years old today, General Relief Society president Linda K. Burton wants everyone to celebrate much more than just a birthday. She wants us to celebrate women. Sister Burton told churchofjesuschrist.org,

We are celebrating who we are and what our work is. We are celebrating those who have gone before. And we are celebrating our purpose.

This month, Burton met with her counselors, Carole M. Stephens and Linda S. Reeves, and the Church News to talk about the importance and relevance of Relief Society. Burton encourages Latter-day Saint women to celebrate the history of Relief Society as well as the fact that we have living prophets teaching us today. “We have the opportunity to learn together their words in our meetings, just as our sisters in Nauvoo were taught by the Prophet Joseph, the living prophet in their day.”

Stephens also told churchofjesuschrist.org that we should learn more about the creation of the organization, and the role women played when the Savior was on Earth. “Women were vital participants in the Savior’s day,” she said. Stephens also suggested studying the women in the scriptures and learning from their examples. She told the Church News that Relief Society is full of important temporal and spiritual work that was vital in the Savior’s time and continues to be today.

The Relief Society presidency, together with the First Presidency, reminded women that they are “beloved daughters of Heavenly Father and dedicated disciples of Jesus Christ.” Burton said there are almost seven million Relief Society members today in 185 different countries, and they “are all sisters” and “covenant women.”

Burton added,

Think of it. We are beloved daughters of a loving Father in Heaven. We are dedicated disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. And we are part of a great worldwide sisterhood. We are sisters.

The Relief Society presidency also highlighted the importance of celebrating our vital part in His work, to be unified in the temporal and spiritual work and to celebrate those who have gone before.

In order to celebrate this important day, lds.net published a video, posted above, about the unique way women from the Relief Society in the YSA 97th ward celebrated the organization’s birthday.

Giulianna is an international student at Brigham Young University where she studies Broadcast Journalism. Originally from Uruguay, Giuli has lived in the United States for four years (time passes by so fast!) and she loves it (except for Winter). She loves working on TV but also likes writing because it is something she can do in her pajamas.