Saturday, May 8, 2010

Name the 3 Lifelong Responsibilities of RS

Quick! It's a quiz...

Okay, okay, nice try. The answer can be found in a recent talk by Julie B. Beck. She speaks with conviction about how we can fulfill our sacred responsibilities as Relief Society Sisters.

3 Lifelong Responsibilities
As Latter-day Saint women we have the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and testimonies of the plan of salvation.
We are responsible for the female half of that plan.
It cannot be delegated to others.
We are accountable before the Lord for the discharge of our duties.
And the first Sunday of the month [and every Sunday] is the Lord’s gift of time to us as Relief Society sisters to learn how to fulfill our responsibilities.
I hope that we will use that gift of time to fulfill our three lifelong responsibilities as members of the Relief Society: (1) increase faith and personal righteousness, (2) strengthen families and homes, and (3) seek out and help those in need. 
The pattern for study and teaching in our homes
I hope we will turn to the scriptures and approved Church resources for the examples, principles, and doctrines that will help us accomplish these responsibilities and learn how to meet the challenges of the latter days.

Emma Hale Smith, our first Relief Society president, was told to “expound scriptures, and to exhort the church, according as it shall be given thee by my Spirit” (D&C 25:7). We can follow her example.

...[I would] prayerfully decide what we should be learning [in my home].

I would then search the scriptures to discover what they have to teach [me] on that topic.

I would learn what prophets and Church leaders have taught.

Then I would pray for the Spirit’s guidance as I wrote down some discussion questions we could use as we study [in our families]...
Use this pattern to study in [your] homes and teach [your] families.
Increase faith and personal righteousness
[Do you] frequently have questions about how to live through the experiences of this mortal life in a faith-filled way? [Turn to] the combined faith that exists in each Relief Society. The wisdom of all present can help answer real questions and provide inspired answers.

My grandmother, Isabelle Bawden Bangerter, was known to be a woman of great faith. She acquired her faith as a child and worked to increase it all her life. She taught Relief Society for many years, and among Relief Society sisters she was known as a theologian, a woman who knew the gospel well and could teach it from the scriptures. She was still studying the scriptures when she died at the age of 97.

Grandma Bangerter was a woman who was confident in her eternal roles and responsibilities. When I was a young mother, I asked her if it was possible to rear a righteous posterity in a world filled with wickedness. She raised herself up, and pointing at me, she emphatically said, “Yes! You must! That is why you are here!” Her teaching inspired me to become more intentional about my responsibilities and to approach life with greater faith.
Strengthen families and homes
When I was a young Relief Society sister, we had a mother-education class once a month. Though I had a wonderful and skilled mother, I still learned from my teachers in Relief Society how to be a better mother and how to improve my home. We learned homemaking principles and skills, we learned how to be better parents, and we learned how to strengthen our marriages.
Young mothers often ask me if we can ever have mother education again in Relief Society. My answer is yes. We can learn how to uphold, nourish, and protect families [in our Relief Society lessons.]
Seek out and help those in need
[Relief Society] lessons are our opportunity to strengthen one another and find answers to life’s difficulties. At any given time many of the sisters in each Relief Society are experiencing trials and disappointments.
President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, has called each ward Relief Society a “circle of sisters.”
He said: “Each sister, no matter where in that circle she stands, can look to either side and feel the spirit of inspiration coming back as she extends the gentle hand of charity to those on either side. …
“… You will serve your organization, your cause—the Relief Society—this great circle of sisters. Your every need shall be fulfilled, now, and in the eternities; every neglect will be erased; every abuse will be corrected. All of this can come to you, and come quickly, when you devote yourself to Relief Society.”
It has been my experience that each ward Relief Society has the capacity to give to one another the support that is needed.
If we seek and receive the help of the Holy Ghost, all answers can be found in each circle of sisters.
We have the responsibility to provide relief—relief of poverty, illness, doubt, ignorance, and all that hinders the joy and progress of woman.
Relief Society has always been engaged in providing relief to others.
Purifying, refreshing
At a wonderful Relief Society meeting, Eliza R. Snow recorded in the minutes that ‘nearly all present arose and spoke, and the spirit of the Lord like a purifying stream, refreshed every heart.’

We hope you, our sisters, feel nourished, edified, and uplifted every time you attend a Sunday lesson.

(And if we are not helping you fulfill the 3 lifelong responsibilities as members of the Relief Society, you let us know.)


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