Table of Contents:
- A CIRCLE OF SISTERS - This program is designed to utilize the songs contained in the songbook: Songs for Sisters of the Relief Society. You may feel free to change this program to fit the needs of the sisters in your area.
- COME UNTO CHRIST - This program is designed to be a guide for using some of the songs contained in the songbook Songs for Sisters of the Relief Society. This program could be greatly enhanced by adding personal experiences and testimony. Please feel free to add to this outline or change it to meet the needs of your group.
This program is designed to utilize the songs contained in the songbook: Songs for Sisters of the Relief Society. You may feel free to change this program to fit the needs of the sisters in your area.
(The part of Reader can be done by one person or divided into several parts to utilize more sisters.)
Reader : In a recent General Relief Society conference we heard the declaration "We are a worldwide circle of sisters." The organization and influence of Relief Society has extended around the globe to help sisters and their families everywhere to come unto Christ. The women in our worldwide organization live different lives and walk in different circles. Despite our many differences, we are joined by the common threads of womanhood and sisterhood. This common bond is stronger than any of our differences. Join us as we discuss the objectives of Relief Society and as we celebrate the circle of sisterhood that we share.
Song: Womanhood, Sisterhood
Reader: The first objective of Relief Society is to build faith in Jesus Christ and teach one another the doctrines of the Kingdom of God. Teaching and learning is a large part of Relief Society. The important priority of learning for women was taught by the Savior, during His visit to Mary and Martha. In this account, Martha was "cumbered about with much serving." Imagine her feelings as she hurried about preparing a meal for the Savior and most likely some of His disciples. Her sister, Mary, not sensing the urgency that Martha was feeling, chose instead to sit at the feet of Jesus and be taught. She was strengthening her faith and learning of Him. Feeling that she was bearing more than her share of the burden, Martha expressed her feelings to Jesus. His answer to her can be an answer to the women of today as we find ourselves "cumbered about with much serving." Jesus said: Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: but one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part which shall not be taken away from her.
Song: One Thing is Needful
Reader: The second objective of Relief Society is to help each sister understand that she is a beloved spirit daughter of Heavenly Father and as such she has a divine nature and destiny including the most marvelous of all possibilities, eternal life in the presence of God as His heir. What blessings we would know if each of us could understand how beloved we are of our Father. Our Savior who knew perfect charity, was able to see beyond the stigmas that tend to separate. It was His ability to see the divine in all. He treated each man and each woman as His Father's child, as a potential joint heir with whom He had a great desire to share "all that the Father hath."
Song: He Sees in Me
Reader: Each sister is encouraged to reach out and serve those in her family, her ward and her community. This. the third objective of Relief Society is understood and practiced so very beautifully. Women all around our world are reaching out and serving in monumental ways. The world is certainly better because of our service as sisters. One way that almost every sister in the Relief Society is given the opportunity to serve is by serving as a visiting teacher. Of this important calling President Kimball said: "There are many sisters who are living in rags&emdash;spiritual rags. They are entitled to gorgeous robes, spiritual robes, as in the parable. It is your privilege to go into homes and exchange robes for rags." There are souls in our own families, and in our own wards who are living in spiritual rags. As we reach out to those in need physically, let us also reach out to those "spiritually needy." With our "visiting" let us not neglect the "teaching." Jesus taught his disciples : If ye love me, Feed my sheep.
Song: I Stand in Rags
Reader: The fourth objective of the Relief Society is to strengthen and protect families. This objective is greatly appreciated in a world where the value of families and family values are questioned and esteemed lightly by many around us. The family circle is the closest we can come on Earth to emulating what is in heaven. Isn't it wonderful to be a part of a worldwide circle of sisters who esteem highly the calling of Mother, a circle of sisters who stand to protect and strengthen our family circles and our role as women in the family?
Reader: The fifth objective of Relief Society is to help each sister feel needed, included, valued and loved. Each sister is truly needed and of great value. Are there any sisters in our midst who are in need of this assurance? Let us assure each sister that she is needed, valued and loved, Let us make sure that every sister is included in our circle of sisters. Not one sister was sent to this world without the potential to return to our Father. The Lord taught that every soul is precious to Him. Let us search for and discover the great value in each sister.
Reader: The last objective of Relief Society is to help each sister understand the importance of sustaining the priesthood as well as the blessings that come from making and keeping sacred temple covenants. The temple is the place where we can best prepare to meet our God. When we feel the peace and serenity available to us in the temple we begin to know of the joy that awaits those who are faithful. In the temple we learn of our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ. We can commune with Heaven and strengthen our determination to return to the place where all worthy journeys end.
Song: Treasure in Heaven
COME UNTO CHRIST
This program is designed to be a guide for using some of the songs contained in the songbook Songs for Sisters of the Relief Society. This program could be greatly enhanced by adding personal experiences and testimony. Please feel free to add to this outline or change it to meet the needs of your group.
Reader: It is the purpose of every organization in the church to bring the members of the church unto Christ. The Savior's invitation was "Come Unto Me." It is our personal responsibility to build a foundation of faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus said: " Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." We have a loving Heavenly Father and Savior who love each of us, they desire our good, and They long to be close to us. Our choices in life demonstrate how strong our desire is to be close to them. Let us accept the Savior's invitation to come unto Him. Let us open the door, whatever the door may be, and Let Him in.
Song: He Stands at the Door.
Reader: When the Savior lived upon the Earth, he visited His two friends Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazerus. During His visit He taught a great lesson to these women that applies so very appropriately for today's women. Martha was, like many of us, "cumbered about with much serving." She grew upset as she rushed around preparing a meal for the Savior, and most likely other guests, while Mary, her sister sat at the feet of Jesus and listened to His teachings. Finally she complained to Jesus saying: "Lord dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? Bid her therefore that she help me." Jesus answered her with a teaching that spans the centuries to guide us today. As we find ourselves careful and troubled about many things, let us heed His words to His friend Martha. Jesus said: Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her."
In these, the latter days, we have been admonished to "Prepare every needful thing." The Savior taught Martha that one thing was needful. He commended Mary's choice of the "good part which shall not be taken away from her. How many of the things that we accomplish each day are literally taken away from us. The meals, the laundry, most of the things we do; However, the things that we learn and the relationships that we build are ours to keep forever. As we search for peace and wholeness in our lives, let us remember the "needful" things. When we see ourselves beginning to be caught up in the "thick of thin things," let us pause and take some time to figuratively sit at the feet of Jesus and learn and be close to Him.
Song: One Thing is Needful
Reader: At the time that Jesus was preparing to leave His Disciples, He exhorted them to reach out to others when He said: Feed My Sheep. He was no longer able to feed and nurture his flock personally. He was asking those who would carry on His authority to carry on His cause of spiritually feeding and nurturing each of His sheep. We are asked to carry on this cause as we are called to be Visiting teachers. We are called to be representatives of the Savior Himself as we enter the homes of our sisters, His sheep, and teach them. President Spencer W. Kimball taught: "There are many sisters who are living in rags&emdash;spiritual rags. They are entitled to gorgeous robes, spiritual robes, as in the parable. It is your privilege to go into homes and exchange robes for rags." There are many sisters in great need of the basics, spiritual food and clothing. We as visiting teachers must make sure that we are prepared to offer spiritual nourishment to those we visit. Our sisters may appear to "have it all together" but in actuality be in great need spiritually.
Song: I Stand In Rags
Reader: As the Savior spent His life visiting and teaching others. He exemplified two wonderful qualities available to us. He utilized his ability to see into the hearts of those he met. He was able to see beyond the outward distractions that would usually prevent closeness and he genuinely loved those he met and taught. We have been offered the gift of Charity&emdash;the pure love of Christ. With this gift we too can see others as He would and love them as He could. This next song shows the Savior's actions toward a woman who was not expecting acceptance from Him, and another woman who many felt was undeserving of His acceptance. Not only did He show love and acceptance but He treated these women as His equals, as daughters of His Father.
Song: He Sees in Me
Reader: Each one of us once lived with our Father and our Savior and felt their great love for us. We were familiar with them and they with us. We were as family. President Ezra Taft Benson taught us that nothing is going to startle us more when we return as how well we know our Father and how familiar His face is to us. When we return we will remember our wonderful relationship from before. Will we feel as close to them? Will we feel as if we have neglected to keep a beautiful relationship close and strong. As we think upon our dreams in life, do they include being again with those we loved so dearly before?
Song: Treasure in Heaven
Reader: If I were to ask: What is the first great commandment in the law? Someone would correctly answer: To love the Lord thy God with all of our Heart. The Lord has repeatedly taught us that his requirement from us is our heart, even a broken heart and a contrite spirit. What does it mean to love Him with all of our heart? Jesus said: "If ye love me, Keep my commandments." And "lovest thou me, feed my sheep." What does loving Him with all of our heart truly require. Are we willing to pay the price, however High?
Song: All of My Heart