In many of the groups I follow and participate in, relief society is often criticized for various, legitimate reasons. Rather than reflecting on the experiences that I’ve had that were negative and un-empowering, I am thinking of one experience that still warms my heart: a time when ladies of my congregation banded together and truly dedicated their Christ-like love and service to me when I was in need.
I was serving as Relief Society secretary at the time of my third miscarriage. I called the president – a lady who I still admire – and let her know that I would not be attending church for a week or so and might not be able to attend meetings because I was miscarrying. She agreed that was best and I thought that was that.
Within a few hours of that phone call, she and the other presidency members were at my doorstep, cleaning supplies in hand, ready to serve in the best way they could. They cleaned my apartment, folded my laundry, washed and dried the dishes, and offered many hugs and tears on my behalf.
The rest of the week, other sisters of the ward, including my beloved visiting teachers and my visiting teaching companion, brought meals to our family. They hugged me close, dried my tears, and listened as I expressed my disappointment and pain over the loss of another baby.
These women epitomized the original words of the hymn, As Sisters in Zion:
As sisters in Zion, we’ll all pull together,
The blessings of God on our labors we’ll seek:
We’ll build up His kingdom with earnest endeavor;
We’ll comfort the weary, and strengthen the weak.
I hope I will always provide the same relief to women in need throughout my lifetime.