Marta Bravo, originally from Chile, was 10 years old when she read a pamphlet about the Church and Joseph Smith. "The moment I read it I knew it was true," she said. Within months, she followed her mother and sister into the waters of baptism.
Her mother immediately began to serve in the Relief Society and Sister Bravo grew up loving the organization.
"For me it was natural and good," she said, noting that a group of older Relief Society sisters taught and strengthened her. "The Church, for me, is a way of living."
After serving a mission, she married and moved to Argentina and then Brazil. Everywhere she lived, she found support from the Relief Society.
Daughters in My Kingdom: The History and Work of Relief Society confirms something she always knew — the feeling that she will never be alone because she has Relief Society sisters across the globe.
"We are part of a worldwide sisterhood," she said. "That is a nice feeling that we are all trying to do our best, in our own way, guided by the Spirit."
She loves the promise from President Boyd K. Packer, president of the Quorum of the Twelve, that "this great circle of sisters will be a protection for each of you and for your families" (Daughters in My Kingdom, p. 86).
"How many times do we need that, times when we feel lonely or sad," Sister Bravo said. "Everyone goes through those times."
And during those times when things are not going so well, Latter-day Saint sisters "need to know we are not alone. We are in this wonderful circle of sisterhood. That is a wonderful feeling for me," she said.
That sisterhood will strengthen every member, she said.
"If you are sick you need help. But we have to go beyond that, especially to see the soul of the people."
Quoting President Thomas S. Monson, she explained charity "impels us to be sympathetic, compassionate, and merciful, not only in times of sickness and affliction and distress but also in times of weakness or error on the part of others."
"There is a serious need for the charity that gives attention to those who are unnoticed, hope to those who are discouraged, aid to those who are afflicted. True charity is love in action. The need for charity is everywhere" (Daughters in My Kingdom, pp. 99-100).