I know I wasn’t the only one who knew in the back of my mind that the Relief Society presidency was going to be reorganized at April General Conference. I’m positive I was the only one who had to choke back tears when I lifted my hand to thank Sister Julie B. Beck for her service as General Relief Society President. Sister Beck was called to the General Young Women’s presidency shortly before I graduated high school, and I remember feeling a kind of connection with her when she spoke. I am sure that Sister Beck’s calling to the Relief Society presidency was divinely inspired, and that God’s timing was perfect.
So when I heard that Sister Beck was going to be speaking anyway in General Conference I almost cheered. One more talk from this elect lady! I was ecstatic.
And then I readied my pen and my ear. Whatever she had to say I was sure would be profound. And I had long begun my journey to find out what it really meant to be a woman – a journey I felt guided on by Sister Beck herself.
I am thrilled to discuss this talk with you! So, ladies (and gentlemen, if there are any lurking out there), let’s get to it.
I appreciated Sister Beck’s comment that “Just as the Lord’s prophets have continually taught elders and high priests their purposes and duties, they have shared their vision for the sisters of the Relief Society.” Too often we whine and complain about how little the prophets give the sisters direction – that usually they just pat us on the head and tell us we’re amazing. I agree with Sister Beck – there is a lot more direction and instruction that we realize, and I think we’d be better off actually searching for that direction rather than whining about how little exists.
Not to mention that whenever our leaders discuss fulfilling priesthood responsibilities, they are talking to sisters as well. Not being ordained to the priesthood does not exempt us from our priesthood responsibilities. The Relief Society was organized after the pattern of the priesthood. Sister Beck has taught us that the Relief Society is our equivalent of a priesthood quorum, and we should treat it as such.
The amount of teachings about Relief Society and our purpose and responsibilities as women has surprised me as I have sought out those teachings from prophets and leaders. I am anxious to learn more about Relief Society and really understand what it is, and what I should be doing as a member of Relief Society.
Sister Beck reminded us that, “Relief Society is not a program.” And it isn’t. It’s a priesthood organization to which women belong, and we have sacred responsibilities as members of that organization.
What stood out to you in Sister Beck’s talk?