The women of Tuggerah and Toukley wards of the Gosford Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in NSW recently combined to commemorate the 177th anniversary of the Relief Society which was organised 17 March 1842 by the Prophet Joseph Smith.
What began as a group of twenty women with Emma Hale Smith as the first Relief Society general president, has now grown to be a worldwide organisation of sisterhood united and striving to do the Lord’s work.
The Tuggerah and Toukley ward women celebrated their early Relief Society beginnings with the theme of “Aprons and Pearls” wearing all manner of pearls and retro aprons for the evening.
For them, the apron represents the service that Relief Society women give to show their love and care for each other and those in need, along with the Relief Society motto: “Charity Never Faileth.”
The pearls represent endurance. The women learnt how the oyster, when invaded by a grain of sand or shell, forms a protective barrier around the grain for survival and eventually becomes a beautiful pearl. The pearl is a reminder of how one can endure trials and still grow and develop from the experience.
Many hours of work went into making the evening a success, from decorations and a delicious meal to serving a special Relief Society birthday cake. The cutting of the birthday cake was a highlight of the evening with two senior women, Sister Betty Fitzgerald from the Tuggerah Ward and Sister Una Eivers from the Toukley Ward doing the honours.
The evening was concluded by viewing Something Extraordinary, a video about Relief Society. Of this organization, President Joseph F. Smith said in 1892 was “divinely made, divinely authorized, divinely instituted and divinely ordained of God” and was created “to establish thy Church in the earth, and to seek righteousness.”1
Of the celebration, the Tuggerah Ward Relief Society president, Sister Robyn Rundle remarked, “The evening was such a wonderful success where friendships were renewed, and new friendships made. All sisters know they are loved and united in the sisterhood of Relief Society.”