Thursday, April 11, 2024
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Worldwide Relief Society Devotional Calls for Covenant-Keeping Woman

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Latter-day Saint women around the world gathered to celebrate the 182nd anniversary of the founding of the Relief Society with a special broadcast. 

The broadcast featured inspiring words from President Russell M. Nelson and the General Relief Society Presidency. Other leaders from the Primary and Young Women Presidencies also shared brief messages. 

“My sisters, oh how I love you,” said President Camille N. Johnson, president of the Relief Society, as she opened the broadcast. “What a glorious opportunity it is to be assembled worldwide on this historic occasion, the 182nd anniversary of the organization of the Relief Society. Wherever you live, whatever language you speak, wherever you have been called to serve, you belong to a society of women divinely instituted to bring the love and relief of Jesus Christ to others.”

Standing in the Relief Society building in Salt Lake City, Utah, President Johnson introduced the other sisters she serves with, including those from the Primary and Young Women presidencies. 

“We share a common purpose: to help build lifelong disciples of Jesus Christ who keep their covenants and who desire and qualify for the greatest of all blessings—eternal life with God and the people they love,” she said. 

President Susan H. Porter and President Emily Belle Freeman, who had the Primary and Young Woman organizations, then bore testimony about how they are able to draw strength and inspiration from the Relief Society, even though their callings have them serving in a different sphere right now. 

“Being a member of the Relief Society has allowed me to learn from consecrated women all over the world what it means to love and serve as the Savior. For this season, I am called to help the children of the Church come unto Christ. I am grateful I will always be a member of the Relief Society,” testified President Porter. 

The broadcast then featured segments from each member of the Relief Society General Presidency. 

Sister Kristin M. Yee

Sister Yee, second counselor, began by sharing the profound ways a covenant relationship with Jesus Christ has helped her, especially as a woman who is not married. She testified that the covenant path is about a relationship with God.

“We are never alone. We do not need to navigate the challenges, the uncertainties and the weaknesses of life alone. He will be beside us—this is our covenant promise and blessing. He loves you and desires to be a part of your life and your concerns, your happiness, your decisions. Jesus Christ desires to give you His relief.”

“As a sister who has not yet married, this covenant relationship with God has a profound place in my life and is the source of my peace, security, joy and direction. Our Father in Heaven and Savior desire these blessings for each of us no matter our circumstance. They see you, and your path is known to Them.”

Sister Yee discussed some of the ways she has been able to build a home filled with the safety and peace of the Spirit, including ministering to her family and seeking to serve those within her sphere of influence. 

“We are nurturers to all within our sphere. What does your stewardship of influence look like? Who has Jesus Christ placed in your life that you can love and lift, and to whom you can bring His relief?”

Sister Yee closed with this testimony: “I know that Jesus Christ lives and that He loves you. He will come again. He is the long-awaited Bridegroom, and we are the ten virgins, the covenant women of His Church. We have the blessing of filling our lamps with the beautiful oil of a covenant relationship with Christ. We don’t need to wait until He comes again to know Him. We can choose to know Him today and receive His healing love, power, and relief into our lives now through our covenants. And when He comes again, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is, for we shall be one with Him.”

Sister J. Anette Dennis

Sister Dennis, first counselor, spoke about the priesthood power women of God have as they live their covenants. The access we have to this power has important implications. 

“As endowed women, we have the right to draw liberally on the Savior’s power to help ourselves, our families, and others.”

As Sister Dennis shared her own journey with understanding how priesthood power blessed her life, she remarked on the increased understanding we have of God’s power, peace, and strength. When we use our agency to choose a covenant relationship with God, we signal to our Heavenly Father that we want Him to be more involved in our lives.

“God’s priesthood power will amplify our spiritual gifts and talents, it will give us strength beyond our own to carry the heavy burdens of mortality, and it will give us the peace and power we need as we face the physical, emotional and spiritual earthquakes of our lives,” she said. “This power that flows from our covenants can bless our lives in so many different ways because it is God’s power.”

Sister Dennis then spoke of the different ways God’s power can help women—as mothers, as those who grieve, as those who need light in their lives, and as those who are given assignments to serve. 

No other organization in the world provides women with so much authority and power, Sister Dennis continued. 

“All women, 18 years and older, in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who choose a covenant relationship with God in the House of the Lord, endowed with priesthood power directly from God, and as we serve in whatever calling or assignment, including ministering assignments, we’re given priesthood authority to carry out those responsibilities. 

Sister Dennis closed her remarks with this testimony: “Generations coming after us will be influenced by the choices we are making now. Let us choose a deeply connected covenant relationship with our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ so that we can invite their power, their strength, and their relief more fully into our lives. I know that the divine privileges and blessings that can be ours as we choose that covenant relationship will bless our children and grandchildren for generations to come.”

President Camille N. Johnson

Sister Johnson focused her remarks on the importance of temples and receiving the blessings of endowment in the House of the Lord. 

“I offer my testimony that President Russell M. Nelson is the Lord’s mouthpiece on the earth today. He has articulated repeatedly and clearly that when we bind ourselves to Jesus Christ through sacred priesthood covenants in the house of the Lord, we may draw upon God’s power, and we need never feel alone,” she testified. 

She reiterated the many invitations given through the prophet to be recommended to the Lord. “Your power will increase as you serve others. Your prayers, fasting, time in the scriptures, service in the temple, and family history work will open the heavens to you,” she said. 

President Johnson then shared a personal experience she had while on a ministering trip to South Korea. Her message at a women’s conference was that women are loved of God and necessary to God’s work. Near the end of a meeting, a sister in the congregation asked for a picture and gave President Johnson a big hug. She then whispered to President Johnson, “He loves you,” referencing the Savior. 

“It was a tender moment where I was reminded of that vital truth and then I had to depart quickly to catch a flight.” 

President Johnson received a message a week later from that new friend that she had been struggling and had come to the women’s conference seeking comfort. This sister then had a prompting that President Johnson needed to feel God’s love. She followed that prompting. 

“My new friend, my Relief Society sister living in South Korea, delivered spiritual relief to me by communicating the love of Jesus Christ and was blessed to find her own relief in Him, a confirmation of the Savior’s enduring love for her,” President Johnson shared. “You see, when we bring the Savior’s relief to others, we find it for ourselves.”

President Johnson closed with her testimony as her counselors rejoined her, saying, “We testify that we are beloved daughters of God, that as women and as members of the Relief Society we have a vital role to play in preparing the world for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, that we have access to God’s power, priesthood power, in accomplishing that divinely appointed work, that the work goes forward one by one, and that Jesus Christ is relief.” 

President Russell M. Nelson

President Nelson began by sharing his deep gratitude for the Relief Society. 

“My dear sisters of Relief Society, I am grateful to speak with you today. You’re often on my mind. I am deeply grateful for you and feel indebted to you. So much of the good this Church accomplishes and so much of the good that happens in the world take place because of you,” he said. 

He testified of the gathering of Israel, saying, “Anytime we help anyone find the covenant path and stay on it, we are helping to gather Israel. No one does this better than you do — as mothers, leaders, teachers, sisters and friends. You are preparing future generations of the Lord’s Church and the world.”

He spoke of his love for the women in his life, most of all his wives, Dantzel, who died suddenly at the age of 78, and Wendy, his current wife of 18 years. “They have changed my life. They have made my life more complete,” he said. 

President Nelson then taught about the central role that women have played in God’s work, highlighting Mother Eve and Mother Mary. 

“Please never underestimate the extraordinary power within you to influence others for good. It is a gift with which our Heavenly Father has endowed every covenant woman. As a covenant daughter of God, you have receptivity to the Spirit and an enhanced moral compass that give you the capacity to receive personal revelation and to discern truth from error.”

President Nelson followed with this bold declaration, “If the world should ever lose the moral rectitude of its women, the world would never recover.” 

He invited women to teach the doctrine of Christ, to detect deception, and to articulate truth. President Nelson offered three specific invitations to further clarify his message. 

“I invite you to make the scriptures your personal Liahona, the temple your place of refuge and recalibration, and your personal prayers the way you learn where the Lord needs you to be that day. Over time, you’ll be astonished by how He will guide you to be exactly where you can lead, guide, and walk beside someone who needs you.”

President Nelson also offered powerful blessings for those women who strive to live these invitations. 

“I bless you with increased spiritual discernment, and the ability to find joy in offering relief to others. I bless you with the wisdom to discern what is needful and not to run faster than you are able. I bless you with the courage to live up to your divine privileges as a covenant daughter of God. I bless you to feel deeply that Heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ know you and love you. They sent you to earth now because you are vital to the kingdom of God now. I bless you to realize that your divine gifts as a daughters of God give you the power not only to change lives, but to change the world.”

Watch the Broadcast

You can watch the full broadcast below. 





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Aleah Ingram
Aleah Ingram
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.

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