Saturday, June 24, 2017

relief society movie night


i love love love it when planning pays off. we had our relief society movie night last night and it went so well! no hiccups, all went according to plan - and everyone enjoyed themselves! woo!


our additional meetings committee had decided to have a movie night, watching the disney produced church movie, the other side of heaven, based on the mission of john groberg to the kingdom of tonga in the 1950's. it is such a wonderful movie, may i suggest you watch it if you haven't already?


we had a full candy bar, complete with lollies, popcorn, drinks and dinner (hotdogs!) which was a huge hit, it was great fun watching everyone get into it before the movie started.
 

one of the lovely men in our ward kindly set up a huuuuuge screen that took up the entire stage in our cultural hall, along with a projector and sound system. apparently he made the screen stand years ago for one of the many parties his kids had. so clever... and how lucky are we to have him on side?
  

yum, dinner!


before the movie began, we were blessed with a performance from a polynesian dance/ drum group that one of the girls from our ward is in. they were amazing, and certainly set the tone for the evening.


the boys doing their thing


and the girls, featuring our aniwa ♥


they even had members of the crowd come and participate in a final dance. it was great and everyone was really into it.


after all that, people got into the candy bar and settled in to watch the movie. 


we had so much good feedback and i am so pleased with how the evening went. definitely one to file away for a possible repeat! ♥

Thursday, June 22, 2017

cars 3


dreams came true for this little man this evening. cars 3 was finally released in australia today and after months of bugging us to watch the previews and clips on youtube, this cars obsessed little man got to see his idol lightning mcqueen on the big screen. as you can see, he was completely thrilled to bits and was so so happy to be there.


checking out the fun stuff in the theatre lobby


it was a great family night and even though i'm a lot older than 3, i really loved the movie! i thought it had a great moral and was lots of fun for the kids... i'd totally watch it again.

i have to leave you with this quote i saw on facebook this week though, because it made me laugh so hard... does lightning mcqueen have life insurance or car insurance? think about that one for a while...

Monday, June 19, 2017

a modern day "standard of truth"


a friend shared this wonderful declaration from jeffrey r. holland over the weekend, which in the article was referred to as a "modern day standard of truth." i love to read the words of the leaders of our church and to know that they are divinely inspired of god. i read it to the relief society sisters in our ward during opening exercises yesterday and wanted to share it here also. what wonderful words! ♥

“What a terrific time to be alive!
The gospel of Jesus Christ is the most certain, the most secure, the most reliable, and the most rewarding truth on earth and in heaven, in time and in eternity. Nothing—not anything, not anyone, not any influence—will keep this Church from fulfilling its mission and realizing its destiny declared from before the foundation of the world. Ours is that fail-safe, inexorable, indestructible dispensation of the fulness of the gospel. There is no need to be afraid or tentative about the future.
Unlike every other era before us, this dispensation will not experience an institutional apostasy; it will not see a loss of priesthood keys; it will not suffer a cessation of revelation from the voice of Almighty God. Individuals will apostatize or turn a deaf ear to heaven, but never again will the dispensation collectively do so. What a secure thought! What a day in which to live!
If there are some bumps along the way while waiting to see every promise kept and every prophecy fulfilled, so be it. If you haven’t noticed, I am bullish about the latter days. In nothing could I have more faith than I have in God the Eternal Father, in Jesus Christ His Son, in Their redeeming gospel, and in their divinely-guided Church. Believe. Rise up. Be faithful. And make the most of the remarkable day in which we live!”

(the article can be found online here)

Friday, June 16, 2017

pyjama free dress day!


we lovvvvve our school. madeline is having the time of her life and learning so much. best of all, there are so many fun things, fundraisers, special lunch days and awesome themed free dress days! earlier this year, we had a purple haze day for the starlight foundation... and today was wear your pyjamas to school day! she was so excited to go off to school in her pyjamas this morning and wear them for the full day. and the best bit about that for me, was that joseph didn't want to get dressed while madeline was in her pjs, so i took them both to school like that. win! it's so much fun for me to see them (trust me joseph already does too!) love school, knowing how much it excited me at that age. yay for school! ♥

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

easy fhe ideas


family home evening is an evening that we as members of the church of jesus christ of latter-day saints set aside to spend as a family. it's a time when we can instruct during a gospel centred lesson, sing a song, have family scripture study, have family prayer and enjoy a game and treat. in theory. let's be honest, it's hard. and it's especially hard to keep the attention of a 3 year old and an almost 6 year old. so i have been desperately trying to think of easy lessons to keep their attention!

our evening normally goes like this:
opening prayer
opening song
(simple primary song, favourites include i am a child of god, jesus wants me for a sunbeam, give said the little stream, follow the prophet, i love to see the temple...)
good news bad news
(we stole this idea from our friends family. you go through the room, from youngest to oldest and say one good thing that happened during the week and one bad thing. it's pretty hilarious!)
lesson
scripture
(from our kids illustrated version of the standard works)
closing song
family prayer

but i have finally been able to think up some good ideas for easy kid friendly lessons, all based on my gospel library pictures. i have them in a plastic box, but you can order them in a spiral bound flip book online here. a very good investment!

simple lesson 1:
the first vision.
i showed madeline and joseph various pictures of joseph smith and asked who is this? i then showed the picture of him reading the bible and read them james 1:5 and told them about he wondered which church he should join and how he asked his heavenly father after reading that passage. next picture the first vision, where i read the first vision and told them about how he saw heavenly father and jesus christ. it was a great little lesson and i actually managed to keep their attention the whole time. win!

simple lesson 2: 
prophets speak to our heavenly father
this one was even easier! i found pictures of prophets throughout time. eg. adam, noah, samuel, nephi, moroni, joseph smith... and ended with thomas s monson. i asked the kids who each one was, and i was well impressed with madeline who knew all except for one or two and joseph who knew a lot of them too! i asked the kids what all of them have in common and we decided it was that they were all prophets. i then told them that each of them speak to heavenly father and that is how we can hear his voice and know what he wants us to do. i also mentioned general conference and that's why we need to listen carefully while the speakers speak! simple, easy, effective. 

simple lesson 3:
the brother of jared needed to light his boats
we told the story of the brother of jared (found in ether 3) and how he needed to light his boats to sail across the sea. we have a fountain in our backyard full of round river stones, so i had my husband go and find some stones of similar sizes and bring them in. i told the children about how sometimes we will take our problems to our heavenly father and he won't necessarily give us the answer... he'll ask us to work it out for ourselves and come back to him, so we need to always think for ourselves! i took the stones to the door of the loungeroom and had my husband reach around the door to touch them so they would glow and then threw some glow sticks in with them! he then stepped out from behind the door so they could see him, the same as the brother of jared had the faith to see the lord. bonus points for family participation haha.

these are just three easy ideas i've come up with the last few weeks... there has to be hundreds! but fhe with kids will never be easy, just hang in there! ♥

Saturday, June 10, 2017

emma's gold class party


today my little niece turned 9... and we celebrated in style with a "gold class" party at our place in our theatre room. it was so easy to do, but looked amazing and made the girls feel so, so chic.


decorations were simple, this e (for emma!) that i found at big w and gave to emma as part of her birthday present...


a 3 pack of confetti balloons from our local "cheap shop" for $3, and my kmart light box with a birthday wish for miss emma


on arrival, the girls got to collect their lemonade spider ([for those of you who have never heard of these... are you living under a rock?] which is a scoop of vanilla icecream, then fill to the top with lemonade... gives a kind of tangy milkshake) a bag of popcorn and a little dish of lollies.


half way through our feature, the waiters arrived with spring rolls and wedges with sour cream and sweet chili sauce...


and at the end, we enjoyed this gorgeous (and delicious!) woolworths mini cake in red velvet. these are in my opinion, one of the greatest things woolworths has ever started stocking. one cake cuts into 4 cupcake size servings and they are so good! ($7 for the fancy ones and $3.50 for the less designer options like orange and poppyseed or chocolate) emma was so chuffed to have such a fancy cake, and really it was at zero effort to her mother and i.


maddie and cousin emma


birthday girl enjoying her lit up cake


and making a wish! ♥

i love being an aunty... and especially being able to help with birthday parties. it's so much fun. happy birthday miss emma kate!


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

just call me donna hay



tonight was doug's parents 37th wedding anniversary. i decided to invite them for dinner and to cook something fancy, then spent the entire day wondering what on earth i could cook for them! late in the afternoon i remembered a recipe i had seen someone share on facebook last week, donna hays honey mustard chicken and potato bake. quick check of the ingredients and method proved it was a possibility, so off to the supermarket we went. i am no masterchef, but i can certainly read a recipe - and this was fairly easy... and was absolutely delicious!!!! oh my goodness yum. i am so happy i decided to give it a try and will 100% definitely be making it again! 



i had also been planning to make something magical for dessert, until i realised that the recipe i had chosen actually needed to be cooked for quite a long time, and then rest for a while too... so it was on to plan b. we had some bananas, crushed nuts and icecream on hand, all i needed was chocolate sauce... bit of googling found me a simple chocolate sauce recipe (my version was minus the optional kahlua obviously!) and my mini banana splits were perfect! hooray for kitchen experiments and happy anniversary to my beautiful in laws! ♥


Saturday, June 3, 2017

frozen on ice


madeline and i have been to disney on ice everytime it's in perth since she was two years old. so, this year was our fourth time! this year was super exciting for pretty much every little girl on the planet, because this time, they decided to do frozen on ice! frozen is great (although not my personal favourite) and they would be silly passing up doing frozen on ice, wouldn't they!


madeline and i went with aunty dom for a girls night out... and had a blast as usual. the three of us always have a good time, so adding disney into the mix made it even better!


my favourite part of the night was olaf's song "in summer" where he was surrounded by bees, butterflies and flowers, so so cute!
 

during the intermission we found madeline's friend brooklyn from school, so they had to dance about, do some spinning and sing in the foyer. crack up kids.


elsa and anna dancing up a storm


of course, the highlight for madeline was seeing elsa sing "let it go"... as usual, disney did everything to perfection, you really can't fault any of their shows.


i must admit though, i am much more excited about the shows that they do when they change the theme/ story every 10-15 mins or so. i love being able to watch multiple stories and seeing how they put each one on show. for this reason i am especially looking forward to next years one, which is apparently going to be an anniversary show. hooray! can't wait.

we love you disney on ice! ♥

Thursday, June 1, 2017

temple tuesday


i had the most wonderful opportunity to serve this week... by being in the temple during its maintenance period and assisting with the things that needed to be completed before it reopens. i've never had the chance to be part of the temple cleaning that they do each week so it was so different  for me to be there with barely any one around. those who were, were quietly going about their jobs... and there was still such a strong sense of quiet - and peace. 


i love to see the temple... and go there too! ♥

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

bananas in pyjamas party

 

so because joseph woke up happy as larry on saturday, i made an executive decision and left him home with doug and took madeline to clackline for jacob's second birthday party... which was a bananas in pyjamas theme! jen is so talented it's actually ridiculous, she hand drew, then painted these bananas on wood, then cut them to size, to have them on display at the party,


i also loved these banana balloons she found online... a few "lucky" guests got to take one home and now there is one bobbing around the floors at my house haha


cutest little family! ♥


jen, as usual, did not disappoint, and busted out these banana cakes... she's so clever!


jacob loved them!


happy birthday little man! we were so happy to spend your day with you ♥

Saturday, May 27, 2017

emergency dental


being a parent is hard at the best of times... but sometimes you get an itty bitty taste of what it is like for those who live with ill children and constant hospital visits... mine was yesterday. in february (while madeline and i were in america and joseph was staying with my parents) joseph had a fall and landed on his mouth. he received a trauma to his two front teeth and mum and dad took him to the local hospital, who in turn sent him to princess margaret hospital in perth. it was pretty serious and they had originally had thought they would have to remove them then, but everything was looking good. at two follow up appointments all was still well, but the dentist showed me what to look for, as there was still a risk of infection.

thursday afternoon, joseph got a carrot from the fridge and bit it on the side, instead of with his front teeth. alarm bells rang, i checked his gums... and found an abscess above one of his front teeth, with a second fast developing. a quick call to the dentist confirmed what we already feared, they would have to come out via emergency dental surgery - and off to the hospital emergency department we went. the drs checked him out, the hospital dentist was called - and we were asked to come back the following morning with a referral to present to dental at 8am, to ensure the teeth were removed asap. on top of this, he would have to be fasting, with no idea of when it could be done!


the next morning arrives, his infection had already doubled in size (overnight!!!!) and off we raced to pmh. because he was not in a life threatening situation, we had to wait until all scheduled appointments had been seen, so it was past 1pm before we even saw the dentist. they said it was not as serious as it was made out to be, but that they certainly needed to be removed... and normally he would have been added to a waiting list (with a current wait time of a month!) but as he was already there, had already been fasting for 18 hours and was quite distressed, they would tack him onto the end of the scheduled surgeries for the day and we would just have to wait. in all honesty, i would have happily waited until midnight, without a complaint, as i was just so happy they were going to do it that day and not make him wait. i actually can't even imagine how bad the infection would have been in a month if it had spread that much overnight!

we were moved up to the ward, where we sat with all the other children awaiting surgery and waited and waited and waited as each of them went through... eventually as it hit after hours, they closed down all the theatres except for one, and the children started to go through one by one, instead of a few at a once. finally there were two of us... then just joseph, the final (because he was added!) surgery for the day. he was beyond done by then, even though he had truly been amazing, it was 7pm, we'd been fasting for more than 24 hours (with just 3 cups of apple juice for him that entire time!)... and the surgeon arrived. 7:15, we went into surgery and i held my brave little boy as they put him to sleep and then wheeled him in. 10 minutes later, the dr came out to tell me it was all done (such a simple procedure that the paperwork takes longer than actually pulling the teeth!) all had gone well, his teeth were out, the infection flushed and he was in recovery. 

another 15 minutes later i was called through, he was awake and sitting groggily on the lap of one of the nurses, but quickly held his arms up for me. he was given a icy pole, which he eagerly ate, plus some more juice... and then we were wheeled back to the ward. after a few more checks, blood pressure, walking unassisted and having the port in his hand removed, it was finally time for us to go home (around 8:30pm). 

he was asleep before we even made it home and the next morning woke up like nothing had ever happened! came barreling into our room singing away and got his toys out and proceeded to play with them and then ate a bowl of cereal for breakfast. it never, ever ceases to amaze me how quickly children bounce back!

i feel so beyond lucky living in this amazing country... where we walked into a hospital, were seen and attended to that day, and walked out without a bill. we are blessed beyond measure and i know that we have someone watching over us! ♥

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

the "joys" of home ownership


i remember when we lived in a rental and when there was an issue, we would contact the real estate and they would come and fix it. gone are those days... welcome to the wonderful world of home ownership! a few months ago, one of the kids dropped something behind one of the couches in our theatre room and couldn't get it out, so i got behind there to find it and what did i find? the wallpaper peeling off the wall because water was seeping through from the shower in our ensuite. insert big sad face here. long story short: the insurance company wouldn't pay out a cent because the waterproofing was found by the assessor to have not been done properly... the builder came and looked and said sorry your 6 years of new home warranty is out, but just for your information, we wouldn't have covered that anyway... and we were at a dead end. the wall in the theatre room will have to dry out for months before we can repair it, (thank goodness you can't tell whatsoever!!) and the shower had to be completely regrouted. (please imagine our money flying out the window here) 


ugh. at least it looks good and cost me less than $600, i was honestly picturing $1000+ here. but. to add to my joy, while he was here, our drying stopped working. it's pouring outside, i have no way to dry my clothes and bye bye dryer. $99 later... we have a repairman coming tomorrow to have a look. fingers crossed that's all for now, i don't think my credit card can take much more! :(

Sunday, May 21, 2017

keep the sabbath day holy


i stumbled across this fabulous printable on pinterest this week and i absolutely love it! part of the pacific region area goals for 2017 was sabbath day observance and i know it's definitely something that we as a family need to work on... we by all means don't do anything to dishonour the sabbath, but i am sure we could respect it a little more than we do.

so... i'm going to print this list and make sure that we do a little better here in the kendall house!




Thursday, May 18, 2017

conference challenge


i've just read the final talk for april 2017's general conference challenge (which you can find here) and oh my goodness do i feel good about it. i have always watched the sunday morning session and glanced at the ensign when it arrives the month after... but when i a friend introduced me to this challenge after october conference last year, i decided to give it a try. i really feel like i gained so much more from listening to one of the talks each day. it gave me a chance to focus on that one and take it in... i feel like i know so much more of what was said, that i can remember who said what and that i can use them in lessons, in gospel discussion and just in my own life!

do yourself a favour and look it up... i promise you won't regret it, (especially if you have children under the age of 10 who may or may not have been making noise for the entire conference!) as you'll truly have a greater conference experience and take it all in ♥

Monday, May 15, 2017

emma smith: an elect lady


 i was asked to speak in sacrament meeting on mother's day, with the topic of emma smith. there is so much to be found of her, much of it terribly sad... i read article after article to find what i thought was a good representation of her, without it being too miserable, it was mother's day after all. i have great admiration for emma and am truly grateful to follow in her footsteps and those of other latter-day saint women. ♥

*****************************

I’ve been asked to speak on Emma Smith, the wife of the prophet Joseph Smith, who was, as such, the “mother” of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

More than 200 years have passed since Emma Hale was born in Pennsylvania. Emma is honoured as the first president of the Relief Society, remembered for her efforts in compiling the original Latter-day Saint hymn book, and revered as the wife of the Prophet Joseph Smith. But Emma’s role during the period of the establishment of the Church covered an even wider range of experiences.

Emma’s first act of support for Joseph Smith was marrying him in spite of her father’s firm opposition. Joseph, who had just turned twenty-one loved Emma Hale; her willingness to marry him under difficult circumstances affirmed her belief in his spiritual experiences. She was twenty-two at the time and a school teacher. Emma possessed a ready wit and a natural ease with other people. She became a valuable asset to Joseph as the events of his life demanded frequent social occasions.

When Joseph took his new bride home to Manchester to meet his family, she was welcomed warmly by the Smith Family. Emma soon discovered that life with Joseph was neither tranquil nor dull. She accompanied Joseph to the Hill Cumorah on that dark night when he received the gold plates, keeping a careful watch below as the young Prophet climbed the terrain to meet the angel Moroni. In the months that followed, as speculators and gold-seekers harassed the Smiths, Emma helped keep secret the places where the plates were hidden. One on occasion she even rode a stray horse, to Macedon, New York, where Joseph worked, to warn him of a gathering mob.

In the setting of Joseph’s boyhood home, a close and lasting friendship developed between Emma and her husband’s mother, Lucy Mack Smith. Lucy said of Emma: “She was then young and being naturally ambitious her whole heart was in the work of the Lord and she felt no interest except for the church and the cause of truth. Whatever Her hands found to do, she did with her might and did not ask the selfish question, “shall I be benefited any more than anyone else?” If Elders were sent away to preach she was the first to volunteer her services to assist in clothing them for their journey and let her own privations be what they might.” 

In the book the History of the Prophet Joseph Smith by His Mother, Lucy Mack Smith’s tribute to her daughter in law Emma can be found, and I quote: “I have never seen a woman in my life, who would endure every species of fatigue and hardship, from month to month, and from year to year, with that unflinching courage, zeal, and patience, which she has ever done; for I know that which she has had to endure—she has been tossed upon the ocean of uncertainty—she has breasted the storms of persecution, and buffeted the rage of men and devils, which would have borne down almost any other woman.”

When Joseph obtained the gold plates and continued his mission of being an instrument in the hands of God in restoring the gospel, Emma served as a scribe during his first efforts to translate the Book of Mormon. She was baptized on 28 June 1830, shortly after the Church was organized. In July 1830 the Lord outlined her mission, in a revelation found in Doctrine and Covenants Section 25: “Thou art an elect lady, whom I have called. … And the office of thy calling shall be for a comfort unto my servant, Joseph Smith, Junior, thy husband, in his afflictions.” She was also directed to compile a book of hymns for the Church, and she was warned to “continue in a spirit of meekness, and beware of pride.”

Emma’s patriarchal blessing, given on 9 December 1834 by her father-in-law, Joseph Smith, Sr., presents important information concerning Emma’s contribution to the Restoration, how the Lord viewed Emma, and what he promised her. “Emma … thou art blessed of the Lord, for thy faithfulness and truth, thou shalt be blessed with thy husband, and rejoice in the glory which shall come upon him. Thy soul has been afflicted because of the wickedness of men in seeking the destruction of thy companion, and thy whole soul has been drawn out in prayer for his deliverance; rejoice, for the Lord thy God has heard thy supplication. Thou hast grieved for the hardness of the hearts of thy father’s house, and thou hast longed for their salvation. The Lord will have respect to thy cries, and by his judgments he will cause some of them to see their folly and repent of their sins; but it will be by affliction that they will be saved. Thou shalt see many days, yea, the Lord will spare thee till thou art satisfied, for thou shalt see thy Redeemer. Thy heart shall rejoice in the great work of the Lord, and no one shall take thy rejoicing from thee. Thou shalt ever remember the great condescension of thy God in permitting thee to accompany my son Joseph when the angel delivered the record of the Nephites to his care. … Thou shalt be blessed with understanding, and have power to instruct thy sex, teach thy family righteousness, and thy little ones the way of life, and the holy angels shall watch over thee and thou shalt be saved in the kingdom of God, even so, Amen.”

As a mother, life for Emma must have been a heart wrenching experience, filled with much pain. During their seventeen-year marriage, nine children were born to Joseph and Emma, and they adopted two. Emma’s first three children died shortly after birth: Alvin in 1828 and twins in 1831. They adopted twins, Joseph and Julia Murdock, whose mother, had died just one day after the birth of Emma’s twins, leaving a bereaved husband quite unable to care for the infants. Little Joseph Murdock died in March 1832 as a result of exposure during an incident of mob violence. The following November, Emma gave birth to a healthy son, Joseph Smith III. Although Emma enjoyed little Julia and Joseph, she truly grieved over her lost babies.

The Lord comforted Emma once again in her patriarchal blessing: “Thou hast seen much sorrow because the Lord has taken from thee three of thy children. In this thou art not to be blamed, for he knows thy pure desires to raise up a family, that the name of my son Joseph Smith, Jr. might be blessed. And now, behold, I say unto thee, that thus says the Lord, if thou wilt believe, thou shalt yet be blessed … and thou shalt bring forth other children, to the joy and satisfaction of thy soul, and to the rejoicing of thy friends.” 

Emma’s faith was rewarded: Frederick was born in 1836, and Alexander in 1838. Don Carlos was born in 1840, dying just fourteen months later. An unnamed son was stillborn on 6 February 1842; and David Hyrum was born in 1844, four months after the death of his father.

Emma’s care for the untold numbers of ill and homeless Saints as well as her care for Joseph’s extended family—his parents, brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews—is legend. Emma’s work in the Church naturally included attending to Joseph’s business in his absence and taking care of their children.

She manifested courage and intelligence, defending Joseph in her letter to Illinois Governor Carlin. In her office as the first general president of the Relief Society, she set an example of strong leadership. Her instructions on compassionate service set the tone for generations of Relief Society members under the theme she promoted: “Charity Never Faileth.”

Emmeline B. Wells wrote of her: “Sister Emma was benevolent and hospitable; she drew around her a large circle of friends, who were like good comrades. She was motherly in nature to young people, always had a houseful to entertain or be entertained. She was very high-spirited and the brethren and sisters paid her great respect. Emma was a great solace to her husband in all his persecutions and the severe ordeals through which he passed; she was always ready to encourage and comfort him, devoted to his interests, and was constantly by him whenever it was possible. She was queen in her home, so to speak, and beloved by the people, who were many of them indebted to her for favours and kindness.”

The Prophet wrote in his journal, reflecting on a visit from Emma while he was in great danger and difficulty in 1842: “With what unspeakable delight, and what transports of joy swelled my bosom, when I took by the hand, on that night, my beloved Emma—she that was my wife, even the wife of my youth, and the choice of my heart. Many were the reverberations of my mind when I contemplated for a moment the many scenes we had been called to pass through, the fatigues and the toils, the sorrows and sufferings, and the joys and consolations, from time to time, which had strewed our paths and crowned our board. Oh what a commingling of thought filled my mind for the moment, again she is here, even in the seventh trouble—undaunted, firm, and unwavering—unchangeable, affectionate Emma!”

Upon instruction from the Lord, the Relief Society was organized in March of 1842 by the Prophet Joseph Smith. It was originally called the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo, and Emma Smith, the wife of Joseph Smith, was selected as its first president. Joseph Smith taught, “The Church was never perfectly organized until the women were thus organized.” (Let’s be honest, we all know women are organised!)

Historical records of the Church in our dispensation describe the devotion of early Relief Society women as they bore testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ and served the sick and poor among them to build up the kingdom of God. The Relief Society provided opportunities for Latter-day Saint women to expand their influence and to bless their families, wards, stakes, communities, and nations. Throughout its history, members of the organization have spoken up regarding relevant issues of their time. Relief Society continues to provide such opportunities for women today with around 6 million members throughout 170 countries.

What a blessing it is to have the Relief Society for women in the world today, to have a place of safety and refuge amongst so much evil. To know that it was formed in such a way, to ensure that it has lasted for us today, following in the footsteps of women such as the “elect lady” Emma Smith. How grateful I am to be a mother in Zion. How blessed I am to raise my children in the gospel and to watch them grow, both in body and in spirit, to see their faith and testimony grow as they get older. Although trying at times, I know there is no greater purpose in my life than to be a mother, to teach them, to guide them and help them develop a love for their Saviour. I am forever grateful to have been brought up by a wonderfully strong mother, who is everything I hope to be. For strong grandmothers who brought up my father and mother in the gospel, and for my bonus mother, my mother in law Oliveta for faithfully raising my husband in the gospel, so that we can do the same. What joy there is to be found in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ!

I am forever grateful for the women of the church, who paved the way, for us to receive the blessings we do today. I know of the truth of the gospel. I know Joseph was a prophet who restored the gospel for all of us to find the joy we have. If you do not know of the truth, find out for yourself, you will never regret the decision to ask your Father in heaven to know.

*****************************

much of this information was taken from two wonderful articles, which you can read in full here and here