Unqualified endorsement given to Relief Society

Helps bring women, families to Christ

Reinforces defenses in home- Carries immunizing, healing influence

President Boyd K. Packer gave "unqualified endorsement to the Relief Society" in his Sunday afternoon address.

President Packer, acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve, encouraged all women to join in and attend, and priesthood leaders to administer so that Relief Society will flourish.

He told of having visited a Relief Society in Czechoslovakia when it was behind the Iron Curtain and having explained to the small group of sisters there that they belonged to the largest, "and by all measures, the greatest women's organization on earth." He said that he quoted the Prophet Joseph Smith as having said that he turned the key in behalf of all women when he and the Brethren organized the Relief Society in 1842.

President Packer noted that there are many community causes worthy of support, but there are others that are flawed and erode values essential to a happy family. "Do not allow yourselves to be organized under another banner which cannot, in truth, fulfill your needs," he counseled. "Do not drift from the course established by the general presidency of the Relief Society. Their stated purpose is to help bring women and families to Christ."

Further, he said: "However much priesthood power and authority the men may possess - however much wisdom and experience they may accumulate - the safety of the family, the integrity of the doctrine, the ordinances, the covenants, indeed the future of the Church, rests equally upon the women. The defenses of the home and family are greatly reinforced when the wife and mother and daughters belong to Relief Society."

President Packer said that in the home and in the Church, the sisters should be esteemed for their very nature. He cautioned against influences and activities that tend to erase the masculine and feminine differences nature has established.

Distinguishing the differences in the way the priesthood functions in the home as compared to the way it functions in the Church, President Packer said: "In the Church our service is by call. In the home our service is by choice. A calling in the Church generally is temporary for there comes a release. Our place in the home and family, which is based on choice, is forever and beyond.

"In the Church there is a distinct line of authority. We serve where called by those who preside over us. In the home there is a partnership with husband and wife equally yoked together, sharing in decisions, always working together. While the husband, the father, has responsibility to provide worthy and inspired leadership, his wife is neither behind him nor ahead of him but at his side."

President Packer counseled priesthood and auxiliary leaders and parents to make certain that Church-sponsored activities are not over-demanding of time and money, and that such sustain and support the home rather than supplant it.

"Strong Relief Societies carry a powerful immunizing and healing influence for the mothers and the daughters, for the single parent, for the single sisters, for the aging, and for the infirm," he said.

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