Why Relief Society?

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“Why Relief Society?” Ensign, Mar. 2005, 51

Why Relief Society?

It had been a day punctuated by interruptions and demands from my four young children. Because I was lonely and feeling more than a bit sorry for myself, my thoughts became increasingly negative as the day wore on. Did my daily work really matter? Were my efforts appreciated? Was being a stay-at-home mother really the best decision for me?

Although that night was Relief Society enrichment meeting, my eagerness to attend waned as my fatigue grew. With my husband’s encouragement, however, I changed my clothes and began feeling a stirring of anticipation.

The evening was wonderful. Well-prepared and enjoyable, the activities left me with fresh insights, delicious refreshments, and a project I was well on my way to completing by the end of the evening. More important, I regained my perspective and sense of balance. Talking with and listening to the other sisters, I realized my frustrations were neither unique nor insurmountable. Feeling the support of other sisters in my situation, I returned home with a renewed determination to continue in my chosen course and with a realization that, yes, my work was important.

I need Relief Society for many reasons. The bonds of friendship forged with a sister while washing dishes after a Relief Society activity remain strong though many miles separate us now. Relief Society lessons provide the fulfillment of being in a “classroom” and enjoying the exchange of ideas with other “students.” Serving as Relief Society pianist forced me to sharpen my musical talents and helped me overcome my fears of playing the piano in public. Visiting teaching encourages me to meet and learn to love women I might otherwise have never known—those who are younger or older, married or single, those with no children and those with many. Receiving compassionate service has also blessed my life—second-mile Relief Society sisters have arranged meals and baby-sitting when I was in the hospital with a new baby, have remembered my birthday with cards and treats, and have given encouragement when I’ve sometimes felt depressed. I need Relief Society because there I know I will find learning, understanding, and love.

Illustrated by Jon Burton