“Home, Family, and Personal Enrichment Activities,” Ensign, Mar. 2007, 18–19
Ward or branch home, family, and personal enrichment activities are less structured than the quarterly meetings. They can be organized by specialists, under the direction of the presidency. At first, the concept of activities seemed challenging to some leaders. But as they have assessed the sisters’ needs, counseled with priesthood leaders, and prayed for inspiration, they have come up with good ideas and developed confidence. Some successful ideas include learning do-it-yourself home repairs, marriage enrichment classes, study groups using Preach My Gospel, bringing lunch to shut-in sisters, and a support group for sisters with infertility challenges.
“I wondered how this new program would bring sisters together if we met in smaller groups, but I was willing to try it,” writes Richelle Pearce of the Shadowbrook Ward, Kaysville Utah South Stake. “I make bread a couple of times a week, so after making the proper arrangements, the Relief Society leaders invited anyone who was interested to come to my home for an activity.
“The next Thursday five sisters showed up at my door. They were from all different stages of life: one new mother, one working mom, one senior sister, and two with large families like mine. What happened over the next two hours was a testimony to me of the inspiration of this program. The sisters not only learned how to grind wheat and make bread, but they also talked, laughed, shared ideas, and really connected. By the time they left with their bread and wheat flour, I knew this program could bring sisters together in a wonderful way.”
In Nigeria, learning how to bake bread did more than teach an important skill. A sister in the Ikot Ekpene Branch, Nigeria Uyo Mission, says enrichment activities changed her life. She explains that after her baptism and confirmation she had stopped attending church. Then a Relief Society sister invited her to an enrichment activity where they learned how to make soap, a commodity difficult to come by in the distant village where she lived. At another activity she learned to bake high-quality bread, which was not available close to her home. Her enthusiasm has continued as sisters gather regularly to bake bread for their homes and for the sacrament on Sundays.
In Mexico, interested sisters learned some methods for cutting hair. For many, learning this money-saving skill helped their families financially.
In one singles ward, Relief Society leaders asked the elders quorum to teach the Relief Society sisters how to change a flat tire and check the oil in their automobiles. This not only helped build self-reliance among the sisters, but it also provided an opportunity for these young single members to socialize with each other.
How, then, are the new guidelines for home, family, and personal enrichment being received by Relief Society sisters? They are being welcomed in many areas with faith, enthusiasm, and creativity. As time goes on, this inspired program will continue to grow and bless the lives of even more Relief Society sisters of all ages around the world.