Relief Society involved in performing the Lord's work
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Relief Society sisters have an important role in doing the Lord's work, Sister Julie B. Beck, Relief Society general president, told thousands of Church members from more than 40 Mormon stakes in southeastern Idaho on Feb. 26.
During her visit, Sister Beck shared with Relief Society sisters and priesthood leaders important principles of the gospel, and opened the floor for a question-and-answer session. Two meetings were held, one in the BYU-Idaho Center and one in the Hart Auditorium.
Sister Beck spoke of the need for Relief Society sisters to join in doing the Lord's work.
Sharing the account of Mary and Martha in the New Testament, Sister Beck spoke of Martha, and the good things she was doing by inviting the Savior to her home and serving Him.
"Isn't that what we are asked to do, to invite the Savior into our home?" Sister Beck asked. "And then, she was serving Him. … Isn't that what we are told to do in the gospel?"
It was when the Savior called Martha to Him and told her He had something else for her to do, He was able to teach both Mary and Martha about their role — as women — in the gospel. It was at the invitation from the Savior that Mary and Martha became enlisted in His work.
"The Savior was saying, 'I have priesthood leaders. I have the Apostles who are organizing this work. I have the Seventy who are out teaching the gospel, and now I need the sisters to be part of this work, or it won't be complete,' " Sister Beck said. "When sisters understand that they are an equal half of a divine pair, then you understand what Relief Society is. Until you understand that, you won't understand what Relief Society is."
Just as the Savior invited Mary and Martha anciently to enlist in the work of the Lord, women are asked to do the same today. Through a partnership with those who hold the priesthood, women are able to fortify their faith and strengthen those around them. Much of that work, Sister Beck said, is done through the Lord's organization of ministering to one another.
Sister Beck said that individuals must remember the essential things — those things that the Lord expects an individual to do first — to be aligned with the Lord. Most important, she said, is that as women are doing their personal best, the Lord will accept their offerings and bless them for their efforts.
"No woman ever has enough time, enough energy and enough strength to do all the good things that are in her mind to do. We have to have the help of the Holy Ghost to take care of the most essential, and then the necessary and fill in the nice-to-do things around that."
Sister Beck shared an experience of a young mother of small children who had been abandoned by her husband. The young mother moved into a new ward and because of how she was received she was a burden to the ward and, therefore, unwelcome.
As the young mother was sitting in Relief Society one day, she heard of a sister who had recently had a baby. Although she did not know the new mother, she decided that she would take dinner to her family. Later she heard of another sister who had just had surgery, and she decided to do the same.
As the young mother continued to serve women in her Relief Society she was able to make new friends and become integrated into her new ward. She found that as she ministered to others, she was comforted, strengthened and made new friends.
"She was a single mother, she was needy and she did need help," Sister Beck said. "But she also recognized that she had something in her to give and that if she wanted to have a friend, she should begin by being a friend. … She understood who she was and that her state was not a definition of her identity."
Sister Beck taught that it is through doing the Lord's work of Relief Society that sisters are able to minister in the Savior's name.
"Relief Society should be providing relief … from trouble. We would hope that when our sisters get together they would use that time to provide that kind of relief. If they don't know something they need to know, then we would help them know it. This is relief from ignorance as well as relief from poverty. So entertainment is nice … [but] we shouldn't be worrying about the decorating before we worry about the doctrine. …
"We have an organization established by the Lord to bless His daughters," Sister Beck said. "The Lord knows who you are because it is His work. He will strengthen and magnify you."