“First Presidency Announces New Guidelines for Enrichment Meetings and Activities,” Ensign, Jan. 2006, 72
Beginning January 1, 2006, new guidelines from the First Presidency take effect for Relief Society home, family, and personal enrichment meetings. The guidelines indicate that enrichment meetings take place quarterly and that enrichment activities should be scheduled according to the needs or interests of the sisters. The changes are intended to provide greater flexibility for individual units and also to place a greater emphasis on the home and family.
“The purposes of home, family, and personal enrichment are to strengthen faith in Jesus Christ and to teach parenting and homemaking skills,” said the First Presidency statement outlining the guidelines. “Enrichment is a time for sisters to socialize, learn, and be uplifted.”
The First Presidency lists three parameters to consider when planning any enrichment gathering: know the needs and interests of Relief Society members, consult with priesthood leaders, and be prayerful and purposeful in planning activities. Also, all sisters ought to feel appropriately included and welcome.
Home, Family, and Personal Enrichment Meetings
Home, family, and personal enrichment meetings are for all sisters to meet together. The statement from the First Presidency directed that each ward or branch Relief Society presidency should carry out four enrichment meetings per year. Enrichment meetings are to take place during the week, at times other than on Sunday or on Monday evening. One of the four meetings ought to center on the commemoration of the March 17, 1842, organization of the Relief Society. The stake or district Relief Society presidency is responsible for one to two additional meetings per year. One of these meetings should be in conjunction with the annual broadcast of the general Relief Society meeting.
Home, Family, and Personal Enrichment Activities
Home, family, and personal enrichment activities are for sisters with similar situations, needs, or interests. Enrichment activities are less structured than enrichment meetings and serve as a means of friendshipping and support. “The activities should offer a safe, relaxed, and engaging environment where sisters learn and share ways to strengthen homes, families, and individuals,” the First Presidency directed. Relief Society leaders are encouraged to keep the activities flexible in order to help the sisters meet their home, family, and other obligations. More information regarding home, family and personal enrichment meetings and activities is available in the Church Handbook of Instructions, Book 2: Priesthood and Auxiliary Leaders (1998), pages 204–5.