Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Celebrating the Relief Society Birthday

Happy 173rd Birthday to the Relief Society!

Relief Society is the largest women's organization in the WORLD.  All women in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are members of the Relief Society.  It is an auxiliary to the priesthood in the church. A young woman normally advances into Relief Society on her 18th birthday or after school graduation. The Prophet Joseph Smith organized the Relief Society on March 17, 1842, and once said, "The Church was never perfectly organized until the women were thus organized." 

 Relief Society Motto:
"Charity Never Faileth" 
(1 Corinthians 13:8)

Relief Society Purposes:  
Increase faith and personal righteousness
Strengthen families and homes
Seek out and help those in need

I am grateful to be a member of this great organization. I have been blessed throughout my life as I have learned from other women, younger and older.  I have been strengthened as I have been taught about charity, faith, and repentance. My home has been strengthened as I have learned how to be a better mother and wife. My home has been enriched as I have learned new homemaking skills, crafts (even if I never finished them!), and tools that helped me grow and increase my desire for education. I have been strengthened to know that no matter where I go in this world I can find members of the Relief Society.  This organization is a strength to me as a mother, daughter, and sister in the gospel.

Some of the sisters on the program
We celebrated the Relief Society's 173rd Birthday party on March 17th, 2015 on Ebeye at our church building.  We had a lovely program with hymns, testimonies, and speakers from several sisters in the Kwajalein District. We closed out the program with talks from myself and President Seremai, the President of the Kwajalein District. Thanks, Mela Ninjine, for being my translator! 

showing my journal to the sisters
Roxena Mecham CarterI shared the story of my great-great grandmother, Roxena Mecham Carter, who was 11 years old when the Relief Society organization was formed in 1842. She was baptized into the church when she was 10 years old, along with her mother.  She was privileged to hear the prophet Joseph Smith speak when she was a young girl.  One night she sat in a wheat field with her father guarding their home from the mobs who were killing people.  Some of their neighbors were killed that night.  When she was about 14 years old, she was struck by lightening, popping her eyes out of the sockets and by all appearances was dead.  Her father refused to let her die, so he pressed her eyes back in place, put his hands on her head, and called on the Lord to bring her back to life.  After four blessings and her Father's faith, she started to breathe. And after four weeks she regained her eyesight.  She went on to live a full life, having 10 children (the 8th of which was my great grandmother) and she lived to be 89 years old.  I talked to the sisters about the importance of keeping a journal.  If these stories had not been recorded about my great-great grandmother, I would not have known anything about her great faith and the legacy she left behind.

 After the program it was time to eat and party!   We were served dinner, followed by skits, dances, birthday cake, and plenty of group photos! Many of us wore blue and yellow/gold as those colors represent the Relief Society.

Sister Abon pulled me onto the floor, so I just faked it!

Visiting Teachers visiting with a sister

having a fun time!
Visiting Teachers taking care of a sister in need

beautiful singing by the sisters

Sister Schaffer and I, and the oldest sister had honors to cut the cakes

Sister Juda being herself!

All that cake!
I get to cut the chocolate one!