Sister Jean B. Bingham: ‘United in Accomplishing God’s Work’

Relief Society general president

Notable quotes:

“When women and men work together we accomplish a great deal more than we do working separately. Our roles are complementary rather than competitive.”
“Becoming more in tune with the divine pattern of working together in unity is critical in this day of ‘me-first’ messages that surround us.”
“We can actively work to value women as God does: as essential partners in the work of salvation and exaltation.”

Summary points:

  • Over time, Satan has worked to distort the truth that men and women are equal partners in God’s plan.
  • Women and men have essential, unique and interdependent responsibilities appointed by God, and both women and men act with priesthood authority in their callings.
  • When women and men work and counsel together and strive for unity, they make more inspired decisions.

Talk summary: 

When Adam and Eve entered mortality, they learned to counsel and work together, teaching their children gospel principles and accomplishing God’s work for them in partnership.

Over time, Satan has largely succeeded in dividing men and women, pitting them against one another and enticing them to make comparisons rather than build unity. This division destroys families and creates confusion about individuals’ divine purpose and identity.

As Satan devalued women’s contributions to the family and society, women became subservient to men in many societies, which reduced their influence for good and slowed spiritual progress.

The Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which began with Joseph Smith’s First Vision in 1820, has shined light on the truth that women and men are equal partners in God’s plan. God gives priesthood authority to both men and women as they labor together to accomplish His work.

Sister Jean B. Bingham, Relief Society general president, and President Russell M. Nelson discuss the role of women in the restoration of priesthood authority in a video shown during the Saturday evening session of the 190th Annual General Conference on April 4, 2020.
Sister Jean B. Bingham, Relief Society general president, and President Russell M. Nelson discuss the role of women in the restoration of priesthood authority in a video shown during the Saturday evening session of the 190th Annual General Conference on April 4, 2020. Credit: Screenshot, ChurchofJesusChrist.org

The Relief Society is a unique organization because it operates under the priesthood authority of God, giving women the power necessary to fulfill their responsibilities. Men also receive this power as they serve in the Church under priesthood authority.

President Russell M. Nelson has cited Lucy and Emma Smith as examples of women who played vital roles in the Restoration. Emma served as a scribe to her husband Joseph while he translated the Book of Mormon, and Lucy set an example of prayer and faith as his mother. Men and women today can engage in the same kind of partnership, like riding a tandem bicycle and learning to support one another as they progress toward mutual goals.

Achieving unity between men and women will not happen on its own — it requires effort to counsel together — but the resulting decisions will be more inspired. Both women and men must see each other as true partners in order to experience the joy and unity God intends for His children.

In the news:

About the speaker:

  • Sister Jean B. Bingham has served as the general president of the Relief Society since April 1, 2017.
  • She has a master’s degree in education with which she has taught children and adults English as a second language, including immigrants and refugees.
  • She met her husband, Bruce Bingham, at BYU, and they were married in 1972 in the Provo Utah Temple. They have five children of their own and have fostered several children who have become part of their family.

Recently on Social:

  • In a March 28 Facebook post, Sister Jean B. Bingham welcomed home the many missionaries returning in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Your safety is important, and we are grateful for your return,” she wrote. 
Welcome Home!

Welcome home, you wonderful army of missionaries! Young adults or senior citizens, we know you’d rather be out sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with those who “know not where to find it” (Doctrine and Covenants 123:12) and are anxious to continue your service for the Lord. Your safety is important, and we are grateful for your return. We are confident there is a divine plan that will enable you to be instruments in His hands to accomplish His work regardless of where you are located. Please ask your sisters wherever you are to help in that work. It will be a blessing to each of us! We love you and send hugs to welcome you and reassure you of the worth of your work! My own ward welcomed home three missionaries this week with this new tradition. I extend the same personal welcome to each of you.

Posted by Jean B. Bingham on Saturday, March 28, 2020
  • Sister Bingham commemorated the 178th anniversary of the Relief Society on March 17 by posting her thoughts along with a Church-produced video on Facebook.

As today marks the 178th anniversary of the Relief Society, may we always remember who we are.May we allow that truth…

Posted by Jean B. Bingham on Tuesday, March 17, 2020
  • “Have you ever met someone who impressed you so much that you wanted to be a better person?” Sister Bingham asked in an Oct. 22, 2019, Facebook post. Sharing her experience meeting Astrid S. Tuminez, president of Utah Valley University, Sister Bingham highlighted how individuals can learn from one another. 

Have you ever met someone who impressed you so much that you wanted to be a better person? It happened to me when I met…

Posted by Jean B. Bingham on Tuesday, October 22, 2019
  • In an August 29, 2019, Facebook post, Sister Bingham reminded readers of the dangers of comparison. “Despite my imperfections, our Heavenly Father always sees my value, and I promise He sees yours,” she wrote. 

Ever scroll through social media and feel kind of, well, ordinary? Seeing the picture-perfect accomplishments,…

Posted by Jean B. Bingham on Thursday, August 29, 2019