Women of Purpose

    “Women of Purpose,” Ensign, Jan. 1993, 47

    The Visiting Teacher:

    Women of Purpose

    “The women in this Church must be singular in purpose,” says Elaine L. Jack, Relief Society general president. “We must seek first the kingdom of God.”

    For one hundred and fifty years, sisters in the Relief Society have contributed significantly to the building of the kingdom of God. Today we embrace that “holy calling” (2 Tim. 1:9) to be his disciples, to bring souls unto Christ. Our opportunities are many: to exercise faith, nurture others, show compassion, share sisterhood, engage in community service, and develop individual gifts.

    President Spencer W. Kimball reaffirmed that purpose and direction when he said, “It is … important for all of us who are disciples and followers of the Savior, Jesus of Nazareth, to live in such a way that our very lives are a witness by our works and our words that we are indeed believers.” (New Era, Apr. 1980, p. 34.)

    Women of Good Works

    The New Testament tells of Dorcas of Joppa, a woman “full of good works.” For many years, she was known for the “almsdeeds which she did.” When she died and was washed and laid in an upper chamber, “all the widows stood by … weeping, and shewing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them.” The Apostle Peter was called to her side. He knelt and prayed for her to arise, “gave her his hand, and lifted her up, and … presented her alive.” (Acts 9:36–41.)

    As we go about our daily work, we can make a difference, for “out of small things proceedeth that which is great.” (D&C 64:33.) Smiling in line as we wait for the bus, reading with a child, taking a walk with an elderly sister, and standing up for righteous causes in the community are just a few of the ways our lives show the works of God.

    In Lucerne, Switzerland, every Saturday morning Sister Martha Stadelmann is one of the first at the flower stands in the open-air market. She stops first for a few pink baby roses and then at another stall for some bright yellow blooms for two friends who have birthdays. After breakfast she fills her basket with the radiant blossoms and then she tucks in a muffin to give another friend as thanks for her lovely prayer last Sunday. Then Martha is off to visit her sisters. She spreads joy in this small Swiss branch by remembering and thinking of others—and showing her thoughtfulness in acts of kindness. (Related by Hilary Z. Heuston, missionary, Switzerland Zurich Mission.)

    Can you think of a time when your actions have been a blessing to others? How can our kind actions toward others be an evidence of God’s love for them?

    Women with a Holy Calling

    Bearing testimony at all times and in all places is another thing we can do to remain focused on the gospel. We can start at home and in our own neighborhoods. Odalis Caba of Bonao, Dominican Republic, says, “When I share my testimony it’s not the same as sharing an orange, which just gets smaller. My testimony grows, and for this reason I feel full of joy.”

    The world often does not salute our righteous living or our dedication as disciples of Christ. But we are not alone: “Wherefore, be of good cheer, … for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you.” (D&C 68:6.) We are called to serve Christ (see D&C 4:2–3) in an era when we see the increasing influence of the adversary everywhere. But we, sisters in Zion, have the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We can go forward undaunted, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Tim. 1:7.)

    With all the evil in the world, how can we remain focused on the gospel?

    Illustrated by Lori Wing