The history of women in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a history of serving, said Sheri L. Dew, who served in the Relief Society general presidency from 1997 to 2002.
This legacy of service has been “woven into Relief Society from the earliest days,” she added while narrating a video about the legacy of the women’s organization founded in 1842 in Nauvoo, Illinois, and that now has approximately 7.1 million members in more than 188 countries and territories.
Read the discourses of Eliza R. Snow to learn how she empowered women in the early days of the Church
For example, Brigham Young asked Emmeline B. Wells to store wheat. “I’ve tried to get the men to store wheat, and it just hasn’t worked. Could the sisters store wheat?” he said.
Several decades later, the United States government turned to the Relief Society amid a food shortage. “There’s a pretty great letter, written by Herbert Hoover, thanking Emmeline B. Wells for the wheat that actually saved lives,” said Dew.
There are many examples of women serving, she said.
“Our sisters see a need, and they’ll meet a need, and they jump in immediately,” she continued. “There are so many examples. We could go to any country in the world today and you could find places where you can look and see, ‘Wow, there is power in a group of women who really believe the first and second commandments — to love God and to love our neighbor.’”