We had a great time at our Quarterly Relief Society Activity "Discovering Relief Society and the Divinity of Womanhood." Here's the recap if you missed it!
First we enjoyed our divine desserts with the Chocolate Fountain
Once we had chatted with one another and eaten our sweets, we started our program.
Sara Fultz began by powerfully bearing her testimony on how cleaving to our covenants brings great power and blessings to our lives during our times of hardship. Using examples of stores found in Daughters in my Kingdom (DIMK), she shared how the only way the women of the church were strong enough to withstand the adversity that came from migrating west and burying family members, was due to the strength from The Lord for honoring the covenants they had previously made in the temple before their exodus. These women give us great examples of how we can find strength to withstand our 'travails in the wilderness' by our faith and commitment in the covenants we have made.
Connie Thorneloe then shared her experience studying DIMK and how profoundly moved she was by how much she enjoyed the book (which she wasn't expecting!) Connie shared how our legacy as women in the church gives every one of us a role to be a guardian of the hearth by protecting the family, because we are ALL part of a family. Not only is it significant that the proclamation on the family was first given at a Relief Society general meeting, but we are given opportunities inherent in our gifts as women to bless the lives of all families everywhere, especially in our ward family. Connie bore her testimony of how important this purpose is that we've been given, but on how truly it takes all of us working together to support our homes and the youth of the church (just like it takes many willing hands to out together a RS activity!)
Like Connie, Marie Tiller also explained that she was surprised by how much she enjoyed reading DIMK. Marie then shared with us how our heritage as Relief Society sisters is interwoven with our service and efforts to help those on need. She used an analogy of an apple tree, and how each of the many hundreds of kinds of apples from the many different trees then produce seeds, and those seeds are like the service we give. One seed is not the same as another seed, and also no two acts of service are identical. Each act of providing relief, whether it be a meal, a ride, watching children, a hug or smile, or a listening ear...all are as important to The Lord as another person's offering. It is our willing hearts that matter, not our specific actions of service. We need to also remember that we can't always see the results of our labors. As we serve those around us as disciples of Christ, we can become an instrument for The Lord and receive His peace.
As an introduction to our reading challenge, we then watched:
"Daughters in my Kingdom" Reading Challenge
From Devon: As a presidency, we have decided that it is important for our ward sisters to read and treasure this book and use it in our lives. We would like to issue a challenge to all sisters read the book "Daughters in my Kingdom" together with us over the next 53 days, starting this upcoming Sunday. We passed out booklets for everyone that outline the reading schedule for each day (about 2-3 pages a day), along with questions that can really help us each apply and ponder the reading each day. We want to encourage everyone to read along with the assigned day if possible and to think about the questions asked, even if you don't have the time to write out the answers. For those not at the activity, you can receive your booklet from their Visiting Teachers this week or get it from us on Sunday (which is the start of the reading challenge). Reminders of the daily reading will be emailed each week.
As a presidency, we have been praying for each one of you sisters and we have faith that as we read this book together each sister will:
1) Become a more united Relief Society Sisterhood, which will bless the lives of all of us collectively and individually.
2) Find personal, specific answers to your current burdens and trials in your own life.
3) Be able to clearly see how much The Lord loves you and views you as His daughter and disciple, and by so doing have the enabling strength to act as He wants needs us to in everyday life.
We love you Sisters, and hope that you will feel our love as a manifestation of the Lord's love for you. We truly hope you will see for yourself the special spirit that lies in the book Daughters in my Kingdom. There is power and a connection to revelation in reading the inspired pages, and we hope you will each gain a testimony of your personal heritage as you read it as we have. You will LOVE this book if you don't already, promise!!!
HAPPY READING! There will be a small gift for all those who even try to participate in the challenge, so we can celebrate together when we're done!
FOR DOWNLOADING THE BOOK OR AUDIO: