In this week’s Come Follow Me (March 1-7), we learn about the restoration of The Church of Jesus Christ. Here’s your chance to add the women!
Just before the Prophet Joseph Smith organized the Relief Society on March 17, 1842, he said: “I will organize the women under the priesthood after the pattern of the priesthood. … The Church was never perfectly organized until the women were thus organized” (Sarah Granger Kimball, “Auto-biography,” Woman’s Exponent, Sept. 1, 1883, p. 51). This means that the restoration of the Relief Society *IS* part of the restoration of the church!
March — Relief Society’s birthday month — is the perfect time for children to learn about this organization, one of the world’s oldest continuing organization for women. This year the Relief Society turns 179 years old! Children may have a hard time imagining a birthday cake with 179 candles.
Here are some ideas for activities for children to understand a little about Relief Society:
- Have the children repeat with you the 3-word version of the Relief Society purpose: “Faith, Family, Relief.” Or go for all 42 words: “Relief Society helps prepare women for the blessings of eternal life as they increase faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and His Atonement; strengthen individuals, families, and homes through ordinances and covenants; and work in unity to help those in need.”
- Teach the Relief Society motto: “Charity Never Faileth” (1 Corinthians 13:8). Explain what “charity” and “faileth” mean.
If you have more time, try these activities:
- Have the children make and deliver birthday cards to Relief Society in March, drawing a picture of what any of the words above mean to them (faith, family, relief, charity) or how those Relief Society words help them choose the right. Each child could give a card to one of the women in Relief Society. If you are meeting in person, you may want to do this at the very end of the Relief Society/Primary hour. The Relief Society secretary could pre-label blank cards before the children decorate them, to make sure the sisters who need them most receive a card. Or you could let each child give the card to any sister in Relief Society (except their mom? including their mom? your choice).
- Consider teaching this marvelous lesson about the history and purpose of Relief Society and its powerful women leaders, past and present, complete with visuals and games for younger and older children: Women and Service in the Kingdom: a Sharing Time or family night lesson for girls AND boys
By the way, when is Primary’s birthday? It’s August 25, 1878 (see history.churchofjesuschrist.org). You may want to start planning ahead to celebrate! Read about one of the original members of the first Primary from his descendant, our guest blogger Emma Lu: Scamps to saints: mischievous children DO grow up!
Happy birthday, Relief Society! from your pint-sized fans in Primary.