Sisters develop literary and musical talents

"If you can read, you can go anywhere," said Ruth Warner, former Relief Society president of the Jonesboro Georgia Stake.

However, Relief Society sisters here aren't just reading - they're creating.From 1991 to 1994, Sister Warner served as stake Relief Society president, and as such she helped promote a stake gospel literacy project during which sisters wrote original poetry, literature and music. About 75 members produced 165 of their own works. Stake Pres. Bryce D. Gibby then compiled the pieces into a bound book. Sisters in the stake today cherish their own copies of the book.

"To have the privilege of reading these original works was the best thing I got to do while I was Relief Society president," Sister Warner said. "I knew the sisters better and I love them more for sharing their feelings. We encourage them to keep on writing, and I hope they will."

The project began in early 1993 under the direction of Pres. Gibby, who also initiated the idea. Sister Warner said that Pres. Gibby wanted the stake Relief Society sisters to "discover the talents that were in them that they hadn't used since they were young or hadn't discovered, and then they would pass a love of good literature to their children.

"In our stake, we don't know of a problem with illiteracy, and that's why we did this."

The project was introduced to the stake during a Relief Society stake cultural event in February 1993. "Pres. Gibby read his poetry, and then my counselors and I read our poetry to the sisters. Then we challenged them to compose original poetry, literature or music."

The response was "magnificent," Sister Warner related. "At our sisters conference in August, we read the poems and played the music. The sisters loved it."

Pres. Gibby told the Church News he initiated the project because of his love for good literature.

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