Sunday, April 15, 2012

Passing a Torch

We're getting down to the wire now--Baby girl is due in a little over a month.

For the last two years I've served as the head of our women's organization at church.  Lately the needs of my family have increased.  The bishop asked me if I wanted to be released or keep serving with the approaching birth of our baby.  I told him I would serve as long as he felt inspired to keep me in that position. A little while after that I admit I started feeling like my time was coming to an end. The Bishop told me he felt it was time to make a change as well.

I started working with my first counselor, who I knew was going to be the next Relief Society president to be prepared for the switchover.  The bishop asked for our input as to when the changed would be presented to the congregation.  We asked if the change could be announced the day of our Visiting Teaching Conference.**  We all worked together to have myself, my counselors, the new counselors and the visiting teaching coordinator all present the information for the day.

It was an emotional day for me. I can't begin to express my gratitude for the opportunity to serve the sisters in our ward/parish.  I love them so much and hope I was able to help them feel of their Heavenly Father's love for them.  I hope I was able to strengthen them and their testimonies.

I do feel it is time to pass the torch. I have done my best, but now it is someone else's job. Nora (my former first counselor and now the president) will be wonderful. I have no doubt of this. I believe firmly The Lord has a plan for each of us, and this is part of his plan. The blessings that come from serving are immeasurable. And though there have been some challenges, the blessings have far outweighed any cost from serving. Words really can't express my gratitude.

I hope you each have opportunities to serve your fellow men.  

**A quick Visiting teaching primer. The purpose of Relief Society is to prepare women for the blessings of eternal life by helping them increase their faith and personal righteousness, strengthen families and homes, and help those in need. Relief Society accomplishes these purposes through Sunday gospel instruction, other Relief Society meetings, visiting teaching, and welfare and compassionate service.

As mentioned, one of the ways we do that is through the visiting teaching program. Two sisters are assigned as companions and are given the responsibility to visit, strengthen, and uplift other sisters one on one. For instance I go with Mary (who is my companion) to visit Judith and Jean. 

The Visiting Teaching conference is where the local Relief Society presidency presents a program to inspire and remind the ladies at church why it is so important to be a visiting teacher.  Every conference will be different, but there will always be scriptures, and hymns.  Usually there testimonies and stories shared as well.

A wonderful talk titled, "Fulfilling the Purpose of Relief Society" can be found here.  It was given by the former General Relief Society President for the whole chuch, Julie B. Beck.   You can also follow the first link to where more questions can be answered. 

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