“Relief Society Honored in Brazil,” Ensign, June 2001, 77
On 20 March the Chamber of Deputies of Brazil (comparable to the U.S. House of Representatives) conducted a special session commemorating the organization of the Relief Society on 17 March 1842. More than 300 local Relief Society sisters attended the session, which was televised nationally.
More than 350,000 Brazilian women are Relief Society members. “These wonderful women are dedicated to strengthening families,” said Aecio Neves, president of the Chamber of Deputies, speaking in the session. “There has never been so great a need for such a work.”
The motion to honor the Relief Society was made by Chamber Deputy Moroni Torgan, a fourth-generation Church member from Fortaleza, Brazil. Addressing the session, he said: “In 1937, two women and a girl joined the Church and began to attend Relief Society. One of the women was my great-grandmother Elizabeth Visconti; the other was my grandmother Vilma Visconti Bing. The girl was my mother, Vilma Bing Torgan.”
A Latter-day Saint who works in the Brazilian Congress, Luiz César Lima Costa, said he felt this special session did more to promote a positive image of the Church in Brazil than any other event he had witnessed during his 29 years of Church membership.