A Society of Holy Women
August 2011

“A Society of Holy Women,” Ensign, Aug. 2011, 7

Visiting Teaching Message

A Society of Holy Women

Study this material and, as appropriate, discuss it with the sisters you visit. Use the questions to help you strengthen your sisters and to make Relief Society an active part of your own life.

Relief Society seal

Faith • Family • Relief

Eliza R. Snow, second Relief Society general president, taught: “Paul the Apostle anciently spoke of holy women. It is the duty of each one of us to be a holy woman. We shall have elevated aims, if we are holy women. We shall feel that we are called to perform important duties. No one is exempt from them. There is no sister so isolated, and her sphere so narrow but what she can do a great deal towards establishing the Kingdom of God upon the earth.”1

Sisters, we are not isolated nor is our sphere narrow. By accepting the gift of activity in Relief Society, we become part of what the Prophet Joseph described as a society “separate from all the evils of the world—choice, virtuous, and holy.”2

This society helps us strengthen our faith and grow spiritually by giving us leadership, service, and teaching opportunities. In our service a new dimension is added to our lives. We progress spiritually, and our sense of belonging, identity, and self-worth increases. We realize that the whole intent of the gospel plan is to provide an opportunity for us to reach our fullest potential.

Relief Society helps prepare us to receive the blessings of the temple, to honor the covenants we make, and to be engaged in the cause of Zion. Relief Society helps us increase our faith and personal righteousness, strengthen families, and seek out and help those in need.

The work of Relief Society is holy, and doing holy work creates holiness in us.

Silvia H. Allred, first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency.

From the Scriptures

Exodus 19:5; Psalm 24:3–4; 1 Thessalonians 4:7; Titus 2:3–4; Doctrine and Covenants 38:24; 46:33; 82:14; 87:8; Moses 7:18

From Our History

Speaking to the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo, the Prophet Joseph emphasized holiness, explaining that as sisters became pure and holy, they would have a marked influence upon the world. He explained: “Meekness, love, purity—these are the things that should magnify you. … This Society … shall have power to command queens in their midst. … The kings and queens of the earth will come unto Zion, and pay their respects.” Relief Society sisters living their covenants command the respect not only of noble people, but “if you live up to your privileges,” Joseph promised the sisters, “the angels cannot be restrained from being your associates.”3

As the sisters participated in the work of serving and saving others, they became personally sanctified. Lucy Mack Smith, the Prophet’s mother, shared the good Relief Society could accomplish: “We must cherish one another, watch over one another, comfort one another and gain instruction, that we may all sit down in heaven together.”4


  1. Eliza R. Snow, “An Address,” Woman’s Exponent, Sept. 15, 1873, 62.

  2. Joseph Smith, in History of the Church, 4:570.

  3. Joseph Smith, in History of the Church, 4:605, 606.

  4. Lucy Mack Smith, in Relief Society, Minute Book Mar. 1842–Mar. 1844, entry for Mar. 24, 1842, Church History Library, 18–19.

Photo illustration by Christina Smith