RELIGION

Relief Society celebrates 180th anniversary

Mar 17, 2022, 10:05 PM | Updated: Jun 19, 2022, 8:56 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – Thursday marks the 180th anniversary of the Relief Society – the women’s organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

KSL’s Carole Mikita talked with President Jean Bingham.

The Relief Society, called by Latter-day Saints the oldest and largest women’s organization in the world with more than 7-million members, was founded on March 17, 1842 in Nauvoo, Illinois, under the direction of Church prophet Joseph Smith. His wife, Emma, was the first president. 

Relief Society General President Jean Bingham called it a restoration and points to the women who were the first disciples of Jesus Christ as examples. 

“In the Savior’s time, the women were focused on trying to relieve suffering,” he said. 

When asked why it is important to mark this moment in the history of this women’s organization, Bingham said, “It’s significant because we have the exact same purpose today that they did 180 years ago. We are a society of women that are looking to relieve, to bring relief to those who are suffering. And there’s so many ways to do that. I think about some of the efforts that we’re focusing on now — literacy, for instance. There’s so many women around the world that need that skill. There are so many challenges with nutrition. How can we help children that have malnutrition and their mothers who are dealing with that?” 

The Relief Society is also helping refugees from many nations.  

“When you think about coming to a new country, you don’t know that, even how to buy groceries. How do you get around the city? What’s public transportation? It’s daunting, especially if you don’t understand the language yet,” Sister Bingham said about helping a family from Afghanistan some years ago. “And to get them to the point where they could become citizens of the United States was such a thrill for them. And it was a thrill for me to be able to have an impact and to see these newcomers be assimilated into the community.”  

They are still friends, she said, adding that they see each other every month. 

To each group of women she interacts with around the world, Bingham says she reminds them to be disciples of Jesus Christ.

“The motto of the Relief Society is ‘Charity Never Faileth.’ In other words, in today’s vernacular, charity is always the answer. I cannot tell you how joyful it has been to meet sisters in the Philippines, in Ghana, in Chile, many places around the world. We have the same needs and the same desires to help one another. And that’s the beauty of Relief Society.” 

Sister Bingham says she hopes that all Latter-day Saint women, young women, and girls who turn 12 in 2022, will participate in a special women’s session of General Conference, which will take place Saturday, April 2 at 6 p.m. 

You can watch that session on KSL TV.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Religion

Attendees at the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Conference Center for the second d...
Eliza Pace and Ladd Egan, KSL TV

18 new temples announced during October 2022 General Conference

The locations of 18 new temples were announced during the 192nd Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
2 months ago
A Sacred Monument...
KSL TV

WATCH: Washington DC Temple — A Sacred Monument in a City of Monuments

Towering 288 feet above the skyline in Maryland, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint Washington DC temple has been a landmark in the nation’s capital for nearly 50 years.
2 months ago
Follow @KSL5TV...
KSL TV

WATCH: ‘Book of Mormon Videos: Behind the Scenes, Christ Visits the People of Nephi’

A behind-the-scenes look at Season Four of the “Book of Mormon Videos” where Jesus Christ visits the Americas.
2 months ago
Shawn Bradley: Strangely Grateful (KSL TV)...
KSL TV

WATCH: ‘Shawn Bradley— Strangely Grateful’

Recently a bicycle accident left Shawn Bradley paralyzed. Confined to a wheelchair, his colossal size is a challenge without medical precedent.
2 months ago
Attendees at the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Conference Center....
Michael Houck & Ladd Egan

Day One of 192nd Semi-annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Tens of thousands gathered in downtown Salt Lake City Saturday for the 192nd Semi-annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
2 months ago
Follow @KSL5TV...
KSL TV

WATCH: ‘A More Perfect Union’

We are the United State of America but today our divisions seem to run deep. Many people from across the political spectrum believe the Constitution is in crisis.
2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Relief Society celebrates 180th anniversary