Summarized by Vickie Speek
Relief Society looks beyond leisures
Deseret News 1Oct99 N1
By Carrie A. Moore: Deseret News religion editor
The LDS Church's General Relief Society Presidency last week announced
changes in the church's monthly homemaking meeting The changes reflect the
church's desire to strengthen the spirituality and practical skills of 4.8
million women - both married and single - who belong to what is believed to
be the world's largest organization for women.
In a church that puts a heavy focus on the traditional family, many women,
especially those who are single, have felt disconnected from Relief Society
in recent years. Particularly from what was formerly known as the Relief
Society's monthly "homemaking meeting," where some women say craft-assembly
projects and other leisure-time pursuits have - in many areas - upstaged the
real purpose of the gathering.
Now known as Home, Family and Personal Enrichment, the regular monthly
meeting will focus on a spiritual topic and the development of practical
skills that enhance that focus. Service will also be emphasized. In a world
filled with illiteracy, hunger, poverty and
suffering, LDS women must realize their responsibility to look beyond
leisure, using their time and talents to first strengthen their own homes,
and then society at large.
The Relief Society also has a new Declaration, a formal statement of belief,
that gives women a standard by which to judge social policy and counter
immoral influences. It affirms devotion to such religious principles as
faith, virtue, vision and charity, and says LDS women support "the priesthood
as the authority of God on earth" and "dedicate (themselves) to strengthening
marriages, families and homes."