Joy in Family History
June Visiting Teaching Message
Many of our visiting teaching messages come from this book.
Sisters, I have a confession to make...one that I am not proud of...but until this morning I have not once opened my copy of Daughters in My Kingdom. I have been full of good intentions, but today it has been on my mind. Since my rainy...and all too brief...visit to Nauvoo a few weeks ago, I haven't been able to shake the feeling that Relief Society needs to play a more important role in my life. After all...isn't that what the visiting teaching messages have been trying to tell us? Each one has featured some aspect of the work of the Relief Society and our responsibilites as visiting teachers to help and uplift the sisters we watch over. This month's message is a wonderful example..."Joy in Family History."
Our families are more than just names written on the family tree.
The Prophet Joseph Smith taught, "The greatest responsibility in this world that God has laid upon us is to seek after our dead."
President Boyd K. Packer said, "When we research our own lines, we become interested in more than just names...Our interest turns our hearts to our fathers--we seek to know them and to serve them."
We can serve as proxy in the temple for our deceased ancestors,
performing necessary ordinances for them.
In the visiting teaching message, a woman named Sally Randall of Nauvoo, Illinois, whose son died, found great comfort in the promise of eternal families. After her husband was baptized for their son, she wrote to her realatives: "What a glorious thing it is that we...can be baptized for all of our dead [ancestors] and save them as far back as we can get any knowledge of them." Then she asked her relatives to send her information on her ancestors, saying, "I intend to do what I can to save [our family]."
Daughters in My Kingdom
The story of Sally Randall was found on page 21 of Daughters in My Kingdom: The History and Work of Relief Society. I am making myself the commitment to read this book. I want to know more about the founding of this wonderful organization.
Public Notice...March 17, 1842
I was inspired to buy a copy of this notice, and frame it for my home.
What was that meeting like?
Emma Smith became the first president of the Relief Society.
Organizing the Relief Society
On page 12 of Daughters in My Kingdom we read, "That next Thursday, on March 17, 1842, twenty women assembled on the upper floor of a building, often called 'the red brick store'...They met under the direction of Joseph Smith and two members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Elders John Taylor and Willard Richards.
"Rather than pattern a Latter-day Saint women's organization after the women's societies that were prevalent and popular at that time, the Prophet Joseph Smith organized them in a divinely inspired and authorized manner."
The sisters were to encourage, "the brethren to good works in looking to the wants of the poor--searching after objects of charity, and in administering to their wants--to assist by correcting the morals and strengthening the virtues of the female community."
The Prophet chose Emma, his wife to serve as president and then encouraged her to chose counselors who, with her, would "preside over this society, in taking care of the poor--administering to their wants, and attending to the various affairs of this institution."
Re-enactors in Nauvoo.
I was so disappointed that my only chance to visit Nauvoo came on such a rainy day. Would I ever have the chance again? We didn't have much time to spend there at any rate...we had a long, long drive to get home before the end of the weekend. Imagine...two days of driving would bring me back home! My pioneer ancestors traveled weeks and months to get here and endured many trials along the way. I think it's wonderful that our children are able to participate in Trek...I am sure it will help them to gain perspective and love for those Saints.
I didn't get to see any of the re-enactments while I was there, but my last memory of Nauvoo as we pulled away from the Visitor's Center was the sight of a dozen giggling Sister Missionaries dressed in their period dresses, trying to protect their hairdos as they ran through the rain.
Have a lovely day!