Keep reading for a chance to win this beautiful printable of the Relief Society Declaration
This week the Relief Society, the oldest and largest women's organization in the world, will celebrate is 173 birthday! I have a great love for Relief Society, which has mostly been gained by serving in it for the last 13+ years of my life. Even though we have moved often somehow Jon and I would always get called to the same callings (him in the young men's and me as the Relief Society secretary), we joked that we must come with sticky notes on our foreheads. In 10 years I served in 8 different Relief Society presidencies! In fact, I'm teaching seminary in our Ward right now, and besides a few months as the primary chorister (best calling ever!), it is the first time I've had a calling outside of Relief Society.
I've often wondered why the Lord had me serve in Relief Society at a time when most of the women my age were being called to Primary and Young Women's, and I've decided that it was because He knew that I needed to gain a strong testimony of Relief Society. I know that for me, coming to understanding the history and the real purpose of Relief Society has done more to strengthen my testimony of womanhood than anything else (well, besides studying the women in the scriptures). It has changed my heart and opened my eyes to spiritual truths in a big way.
This week I want to celebrate the Relief Society by focusing on the Relief Society Declaration.
Did you even know the Relief Society had a declaration?
If not, you have probably heard it before. I always thought it was the Relief Society "theme", but discovered that it is really called the declaration. This is how it goes:
We are beloved spirit daughters of God, and our lives have meaning, purpose, and direction. As a worldwide sisterhood, we are united in our devotion to Jesus Christ, our Savior and Exemplar. We are women of faith, virtue, vision, and charity who:
Increase our testimonies of Jesus Christ through prayer and scripture study.
Seek spiritual strength by following the promptings of the Holy Ghost.
Dedicate ourselves to strengthening marriages, families, and homes.
Find nobility in motherhood and joy in womanhood.
Delight in service and good works.
Love life and learning.
Stand for truth and righteousness.
Sustain the priesthood as the authority of God on earth.
Rejoice in the blessings of the temple, understand our divine destiny, and strive for exaltation.
It seems reminiscent of the Young Women's theme, but I love that it is called a declaration, a bold statement of what we as women in the gospel stand for and strive for. I find it interesting that the Young Women's theme is very focused on developing the type of qualities that women of God embody, things like faith, virtue, good works, and integrity. It is a program where we focus on our Personal Progress, developing our spiritual gifts and becoming the type of woman that God can use in his work.
Yet one of the main prupsoe of Young Women's is to prepare young women for membership in Relief Society, where the motto is "Charity Never Faileth". In Relief Society we are focused not on just becoming disciples of Jesus Christ, but in using our spiritual gifts and powers to serve others and do powerful things in His name. Relief Society is the place where we get to put our faith into action, where we literally become God's hands, feet, arms, legs, womb, breasts, eyes, ears, mouth and whatever else He needs us to be. It is the place where holy women are developed and then sent forth to do miracles. No wonder I love it!
This week and next I am going to focus on the different parts of the Relief Society Declaration. I have some wonderful women who will be doing guest posts on each of the statements, as well as some pertinent stories from women in the scriptures. I'm excited to share my love of Relief Society and to celebrate it with you!
And to start the celebration off right I am happy to be able to give 3 of my readers one of these three printables, based off Relief Society themes, done by Leah at PrintasticDesign!
This can also be printed off into a bookmark!
Please use the form below to enter the giveaway, and I look forward to celebrating the Relief Society with you!