Relief Society Declaration

Rsdeclaration

Relief Society Declaration

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In Sept. 1999, under Sis. Smoot’s Presidency, we were given a declaration that encompassed all the ideals, goals, and purposes of the Relief Society.  Sis. Beck’s Presidency doesn’t emphasize this declaration, but it is still available to us to use in our own meetings.

I have come to learn how each presidency focuses on different aspects of our organization.  Trying to do everything all at once is overwhelming, and defeats the purposes we have set out to do.  If you are looking for a specific direction, or theme, to follow, Sis. Beck encourages us to go to our Bishop, discuss the matter with him, and align ourselves with the Priesthood, in whatever direction they are going.  Inspiration plays an important role here as all leaders have the right to follow the inspiration they receive.  The Priesthood leaders would be wise to invite the sisters to speak up and share their concerns and together they fulfill the needs of their ward.

The purposes of Relief Society, from the beginning, have been 1) Faith, 2) Family, and 3) Service. If you read through the Relief Society history you will see clearly these three points laid out as fundamental. Sis. Beck is the first one to lay it out in a neat little package for us. This threesome is what we should be focusing on right now. Even as you read through the Declaration, you will see the same three emphasized.

Here are the words to the Relief Society Declaration:

We are beloved spirit daughters of God, and our lives have meaning, purpose, and direction.  As a worldwide sisterhood, we are united in our devotion to Jesus Christ, our Savior and Exemplar.  We are women of faith, virtue, vision, and charity who:
Increase our testimonies of Jesus Christ through prayer and scripture study.
Seek spiritual strength by following the promptings of the Holy Ghost.
Dedicate ourselves to strengthening marriages, families, and homes.
Find nobility in motherhood and joy in womanhood.
Delight in service and good works.
Love life and learning.
Stand for truth and righteousness.
Sustain the priesthood as the authority of God on earth.
Rejoice in the blessings of the temple, understand our divine destiny, and strive for exaltation.

When our Priesthood leaders speak to us, we need to be prepared to listen to their messages. We are all volunteer servants of the Lord, and must learn to work together. If our leaders say something we question, we need to ponder and pray about it. If they say something that causes the Spirit to stir within us, we need to act on it. May our hearts be open, may our wills be aligned, may we all move into action.

  1. Monica
    Monica09-16-2008

    I didn’t know about the Relief Society Theme. It is great though. Is it referenced on lds.org anywhere?

  2. jtolman
    jtolman09-16-2008

    It is formally called a Declaration (I have corrected my post where I used the word “theme”. If you do a search-Relief Society Declaration-on lds.org you will easily find it, including talks surrounding it.

  3. Monica
    Monica09-16-2008

    Perfect. Thanks. I found it on lds.org. I wanted to read a bit more about it.

  4. Teresa jenkins
    Teresa jenkins10-12-2008

    We do stand and recite it memorized or reading each week in Releif Society. Next year we are taking it apart phrase by phrase to use for our 1st Sunday lessons. Enjoy!

  5. Christina
    Christina06-23-2009

    Are we allowed to recite the relief society declaration in Sunday R/S meetings?
    I was told we weren’t allowed is that correct?

  6. jtolman
    jtolman06-24-2009

    I have never heard that we CAN’T recite the declaration. I have heard that announcements need to be as short as possible; lesson time is to be maximized.

    I have one question: Why was the Declaration written if not to affect our lives in some way? It is apparent to me that Relief Societies are looking for a theme. The Declaration covers the important things we should be about, and I believe it is a guide to help us stay on track and if it helps us to remember these things we can take 1 minute out of our announcement time to recite it, as long as we manage the rest of our available time.

    This is, however, my own opinion.

  7. Lisa Satterfield
    Lisa Satterfield08-16-2009

    We are asked NOT to recite the theme as the young women recite theirs each Sunday. The theme was meant to be a statement to a express verbally or visually our inner compass if you will. Through inspiration the Relief Society has continually sought to give us tools to better direct ourselves individually and as a sisterhood. As adult women we are able to reference this beautiful statement in our personal scripture study, in conversation and in formal lessons.
    I love that so many sisters around the world seek knowledge and engage in conversation regarding our purpose and commitments; especially through this wonderful knew technology that links us spiritually even though so far apart physically.

  8. jtolman
    jtolman08-16-2009

    I just want to clarify something, here. I was confused about all this too, so I went down to the RS Building and asked. I was told that it was our choice.

    Sis. Smoot introduced the Declaration to us. The Declaration is not emphasized at this time, although it is available to anyone interested in using it in their own wards.

    Sis. Beck is emphasizing our need to rely on Personal Revelation. In other words, if we make it a matter of prayer to recite the Declaration in our ward, it’s okay. If we make it a matter of prayer to do anything, we should follow that inspiration. The important thing here is to look at the needs of your sisters. Your ward should focus on those needs, whatever they are, creating a unique enriching group of women.

    As sisters seek after a more spiritual nature, I hope they won’t STOP something that seems to be working. Spiritual boosts are really what we are looking for here. If that comes from reaching out to one another in creative ways, let’s do it.

  9. Lana
    Lana10-23-2010

    I had just been called as a stake RS president when the RS declaration was first issued, and I clearly recall a talk being given in which the general RS presidency at that time directly said that we were not to recite the declaration in RS meetings as the YW do their theme. However, I can’t recall in exactly which talk or conference this statement was made, as it’s been quite some time, and I have searched lds.org for this reference. Do any of you know? I’d very much like to find that, as I know I remember them saying that clearly & specifically, and yet I can’t find it. If any of you know which talk that was or if you find / run across, please post that. Thank you.

  10. tania taboada
    tania taboada10-12-2011

    dear sister like this is wonderful to know the father’s love for us after the comferencia could feel the great love of our heavenly father I hope you are well and I remember I am the sister of peru tania greetings to your beautiful family

  11. jtolman
    jtolman10-12-2011

    Yes, of course I remember you. I hope your family is well.

  12. Val VaoLam
    Val VaoLam11-11-2011

    Pres. Thomas S Monson in the introduction of Hanbook 2 said, “there is safety in the handbook.” We should follow 9.4.1 on how Sunday Relief Society meetings should be conducted. Yes! Relief Society presidents and bishops receive revelation on how to lead their own local units but the church is organized and we should follow the handbook, there is safety in it.
    I have moved from my old ward and in this new ward, we stand up every Sunday and cite the Relief Society declaration which when I was in the old ward, I was taught that its for us to learn and live but not to stand up and cite like YW but now in this new ward, I do NOT know who is right or wrong, so I say FOLLOW THE HANDBOOK…

  13. jtolman
    jtolman11-11-2011

    Well said. I just went to a Relief Society Auxiliary meeting where the single most repeated problem was not referring to the Handbook for answers. It isn’t that there is a right and a wrong way to do things necessarily. It’s that we need to follow the same program. I knew a member of a Bishopric who started reading a Christ-focused scripture right before the Sacrament Hymn, so people had something to think about during the Sacrament. Nice idea, but the Stake President asked him to stop, because it was not following the Handbook.

    If it’s uncomfortable for you to do this you have a few choices: You could walk into the meeting a little late. You might suggest to the President this may not be appropriate (I do not recommend this, because you WILL get labeled, being new in the ward (sad, but true). You could just put up with it, because it will change with a new presidency.

  14. Val VaoLam
    Val VaoLam11-11-2011

    jtolman, THANK YOU SO MUCH, I feel heard! I googled to see if I am missing something about the dear Relief Society declaration and I found your website. I remember in March of 2011, one woman went to Utah to visit her daughters, came back and said to me in the hallway, “I don’t know why we don’t stand up to cite the declaration, they (don’t know exactly where in Utah) stand up to do it!” I replied, “And YOU think its the right way because people do it in Utah? Utah people use the same handbook and attend the same church as people in the Pacific!” When I joined this church, I learned that everything needed for my salvation is revealed. It really helped because I used to sit in meetings, where when people did NOT know the answers, they said, “well, remember, NOT everything has been revealed.” THANK YOU AGAIN!! Nah! I won’t go late to the Relief Society because I do NOT agree with the practice of citing the declaration. I will take the advice of approaching the president appropriately and AFTER I talk to her, I will forever hold my peace…

  15. Beate
    Beate02-25-2012

    Do we still use the RS declaration or has it been replaced by the new 3 purposes of RS, that come in poster and bookmark form? Does anyone know?

  16. jtolman
    jtolman02-26-2012

    It seems we don’t formally use the declaration anymore. But as a Relief Society history buff, I hope we find a way to remember the declaration, and anything of good report, that helps us remember who we are, where we came from, and where we’re going.

  17. linda
    linda05-12-2012

    We are having all the sisters in RS tomorrow and I was wondering about the declaration, as we haven’t heard much about it lately! I orderd the new book mark which is The Relief Society Purposes…..I know Sister Beck had said this was to simplify and clarify and translate into all languages. We have never repeated the declaration as any sort of ‘tradition’ I guess I won’t start now. It was not easy to find on lds.org, for me! Not in the RS section…anyway, I love we have a living, growing, church and practices change, but principles don’t! Have a good Mother’s Day, for those of you who are celebrating tomorrow!

  18. empress
    empress08-17-2012

    Any thing i recite the relief soceity theme and our motto which said “charity never faileth” i thought of how people i have showed love,because we are all spirit children of our heavenly father and we strving for exaltion,i know that God will help us.

  19. jackie
    jackie06-26-2013

    who wrote it….how was it introduced and when

  20. Jan
    Jan06-26-2013

    Here is where you can see, and listen to, each of the talks given at the General Relief Society Meeting of General Conference in October 1999.

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