The Lord admonished, “Wherefore, now let every man learn his duty, and to act in the office in which he is appointed, in all diligence” (Doctrine and Covenants 107:99). Leaders learn their duties by studying the instructions in Church and Stake handbooks.
Leaders should also seek personal revelation to help them learn and fulfill the duties of their callings. The Spirit will guide them in what to do and say (see Doctrine and Covenants 84:85).
“The Relief Society serves under the guidance of the priesthood as the Lord’s organization for sisters in the Church. The purpose of Relief Society is to assist priesthood leaders in carrying out the mission of the Church by helping sisters come unto Christ and qualify for exaltation and eternal life” (Relief Society Handbook, page 193).
Objectives of the Relief Society:
(For detailed explanations and scriptural references, please see Relief Society Handbook, page 193).
Duties of the Presidency
Duties of the President
Duties of the Counselors
Duties of the Secretaries
Duties of Other Positions
Sunday Instructors prayerfully prepare lessons using the current manuals as their main resource. Each Sunday she may encourage and motivate the sisters to prepare themselves by reading the lesson that will be presented the following week. In this way, the lesson may be taught not as a lecture but as a discussion.
Throughout the lesson, it is important to give sisters opportunities to help present parts of the lesson (perhaps 3-4 minutes each). Three to four individuals should be assigned at least one week in advance to allow time for them to pray and seek the Spirit in preparing their presentation…one or two may be given by sisters currently not attending regularly. The most successful lessons invite the Holy Ghost to witness the truths being discussed.
Ward Enrichment Leaders. The three Relief Society presidents will choose a highly capable sister to be the enrichment coordinator. She coordinates with the enrichment leader in each Relief Society to 1) meet the needs of the individual sisters; 2) edify sisters now and in the future; 3) prepare sisters to become mothers, wives, and homemakers; and 4) support and grow together as Relief Society sisters, women and friends.
Greeters should be a member of the presidency or a Relief Society sister who may be rotated weekly. They are to welcome all sisters as they enter Relief Society. They should learn names and faces and express their love for the sisters. They are to set the stage for the meeting.
Pianists should ensure that appropriate music is used for hymn singing and during the 5-minute musical experience. She should be prepared to play both prelude and postlude music.
Choristers should direct and ensure that appropriate music is used for hymn singing and during the 5-minute musical experience. This time should be uplifting and help to bring the Spirit into the meeting. “Music is food for the soul.”
Stake Relief Society Specialist Responsibilities
Sunday Relief Society: All presidency members should attend regularly and sit in front.
Presidency Meeting: Meet as a presidency with the other Relief Society presidencies and your ward Relief Society specialist at a time on Sunday convenient for the specialist. The specialist should give a short training and any stake announcements. Presidencies should then split into groups to assess needs, set goals, plan with a purpose, solve problems, evaluate and report for their individual Relief Societies. Look for ways to involve the other councils in your ward in solving problems and making plans.
Ward Council: Held on Sunday, usually before or after your Sunday block. The president or, if she cannot attend, a representative should attend.
Counselors visits: The two counselors hold these. These visits are important to the success of visiting teaching. Here, visiting teachers have the opportunity to discuss needs and concerns they may have about the sisters they visit or their own personal situation. Notes should be taken to be reviewed the following month. Visits should be with each sister individually.
Interview with Bishop: As determined by the bishop, Relief Society presidents meet with the bishop, review monthly reports, express concerns, and set goals to help fulfill needs of specific individuals.
The Three-fold Mission Councils: The Elders Quorum and Relief Society presidents oversee the Missionary and Fellowship, Spiritual and Temporal Welfare, and Temple and Family History Councils. With the approval of the bishop, these presidents meet with the chairs and co-chairs of these three councils to discuss ward needs, give direction and provide training. These meetings will be held monthly with the president of the first quorum of elders conducting and the high councilor and the Relief Society specialist attending as directed by the bishop. The purpose of these meetings is to help the Elders Quorum and Relief Society presidents achieve the mission of the Church by perfecting the saints, proclaiming the gospel, and redeeming the dead while being assisted by the three councils listed above.
Return and Report (R&R) Meeting with Stake: A short meeting with a stake Relief Society member, ward presidencies, enrichment leaders, and specialist will be held to discuss progress, goals, plans, and concerns, etc. A convenient time for both the stake and ward Relief Society attendees will be scheduled.
Sacrament Tablecloths: Each Fast Sunday three ward Relief Societies will be assigned to pick up the sacrament tablecloths after the last Sacrament Meeting of the day. These cloths are to be washed and ironed properly and brought back at 8:45 a.m. before the first Sacrament Meeting of the following Sunday. The stake Relief Society presidency will schedule the ward assignments.
Visiting Teaching Workshop: Held at the beginning of each semester with the purpose of training and inspiring visiting teachers. Members of the stake Relief Society presidency should be invited to attend. This may be held jointly with all ward Relief Societies.
“The purposes of visiting teaching are to build caring relationships with each sister and to offer support, comfort, and friendship. In visiting teaching, both the giver and the receiver are blessed and strengthened in their Church activity by their caring concern for one another” (Relief Society Handbook, page 202).
Determine How Visiting Teaching Should Be Done
Preserve existing companionships and assignments as much as possible or as the Spirit guides. Organize visiting teaching in partnerships as needed. Initially, the Relief Society president, presidency, or counselors should visit each sister personally to extend the visiting teaching assignment. Also, when a call is given to a companionship, please make sure that each sister understands the sacred trust that is invested in visiting teaching. Ask for specific commitments (i.e. “Will you do this?”).
Monthly visits are held by the two counselors with each of the visiting teachers to report on their stewardship and set goals for the next month. Notes should be taken.
Problems or concerns of a sensitive nature should be reported directly to the Relief Society president or bishop. When one of the companions is unable to visit teach, the presidency or another Relief Society sister may assist.
Visiting Teachers Training