Relief Society has resources, tools to `heal troubled world'

"I have an invitation for you: come to Relief Society!" said Virginia U. Jensen during the General Relief Society Meeting Sept. 26.

Within Relief Society, said Sister Jensen, first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, are programs designed to help women find meaning and purpose in life for themselves and their families."Do we realize what we have, sisters?" she asked. "Do we understand who we are? Do we fully appreciate that within the organization of the Relief Society we have all the tools and resources we need to soothe a single soul or to heal a troubled world?"

During her address, Sister Jensen outlined the six objectives of Relief Society.

The first objective, she said, is to build faith in Jesus Christ and to teach the doctrines of the kingdom of God. "Through Relief Society lessons, activities and shared experiences you can gain a testimony, or you can strengthen the testimony you already have."

The second objective, she added, is to help each sister understand that she is a spirit daughter of Heavenly Father, and as such she has a divine nature and destiny.

"When we fully understand that we are daughters of God with rights and privileges that extend throughout eternity . . . then we will look at the world, and our place in it and our responsibility to it, in a different way."

Sister Jensen said the third objective of the organization is to encourage each sister to reach out and serve those in her family, her ward and her community. "No matter where we live and regardless of our age, nationality, marital status or Church calling, there are those around us who need our love and service."

The fourth objective of the Relief Society is to strengthen and protect families, continued Sister Jensen. "It is my sincere belief that the most powerful protection against the deteriorating condition of the family is a faithful, righteous mother."

Sister Jensen said the fifth objective is to help each sister feel needed, included, valued and loved. "Everyone is welcome in Relief Society," she explained. "There is no one kind of acceptable Latter-day Saint woman. It matters not where you come from, what your weaknesses are, what you look like - you belong here."

The sixth and final objective of Relief Society, she said, is to help each sister understand the importance of sustaining the priesthood, as well as the blessings that come from making and keeping sacred temple covenants. "In the temple we make eternal covenants with our Father in Heaven. We make promises to Him and in return He makes extraordinary promises to us."

She concluded, "Sisters, as we consider the programs of the Relief Society, may we allow them to be a defense, a refuge from the storm for us and for others."

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