Let's start from the beginning. I joined Relief Society when I turned 18. My best friend and I started attending all of the RS functions in our ward together and making the best of the situation we were in. I felt young. I was young. (I still am young.)I viewed Relief Society as a place for old ladies. They all seemed eager to help each other out and give service and I had no idea where I fit into all of that.
I was almost immediately put into a primary calling after turning 18 so I never really got the hang of Relief Society. Fast forward a few of years and I was 23. I had (have) two children and had made some great friends in my ward. I was attending activities at least weekly with these awesome ladies and I started to think that maybe this was what Relief Society was about...making friends and fitting in to a crowd.
But I was wrong. I am still friends with all of these ladies but the dynamic has changed. Some have moved away and we don't do things often anymore. A year ago, I was called to be the compassionate services director in our ward, mainly meaning that I would organize meals and other help for families in need in our church. I was eager! I had never been given a Relief Society calling and I wanted to shine and do the best job I could. That calling taught me so much about Relief Society.
What is the true meaning? In chapter 2, I talked about the amazing capabilities we women have to help each other because we were all given specific talents. But what about service in general?
In chapter 3, there are many stories of women who gave up so much when others were faced with catastrophy. I thought about these women, all crossing the plains together with barely anything for their own families and yet they were willing to give to others. That is service.
Two weeks ago, I was called to be in the Relief Society Presidency in my ward. I was a bit shocked (Remember how old I am?) but gladly accepted. I have been taught so much about Relief Society in these last weeks than ever before. I've realized what it is to be a sister in Relief Society. I used to think that I would serve others once I was a mother or once we were out of college or once we were financially stable. But that cannot be the case! Service can come in so many different ways. One sister might only be able to give of her wealth so she'll send money while another sister might not have money but might have free time to give to sisters in her ward. There are so many opportunities to serve for every individual sister in her individual circumstance. When I think of these women in the book, I can't help but think of my own mother and the ways she has taught me to serve and also to accept service. Both of these factors are important because they are both part of God's plan. We are here to help and be helped, to teach and to learn.
Our Relief Society program works because we are serving and giving of ourselves to those in need. Without the sisters, Relief Society would be nothing.
This chapter was my favorite so far. I have realized so many things from the age of 18 until now. I am a part of Relief Society no matter my circumstances, no matter my callings, and no matter my attitude. But I can get out of Relief Society what I put into it. If I'm willing to serve and receive service, I know I will be blessed with a happy life. Maybe not a life I originally planned for myself but a happy one. And that is what I want to attain in this life. An eternal, happy life with my family.
And that's how Suze sees it.