I am constantly amazed by human nature. Sometimes in a not-so-good way. But mostly in a fabulous way. The little things we do for one another that make the difference. I’ve talked about the Relief Society before. It’s the women’s organization in the LDS Church and with 6 million members, is referred to as one of the “oldest and largest women’s organizations in the world.”
It was started by a group of 20 women in 1842 who saw a need to organize their efforts to serve and care for those around them. It was a common practice during that time – establishing societies or clubs to carry out charitable acts. What is uncommon, however, is that although their focus was to meet the temporal and spiritual needs of their community, the leaders of the group envisioned more. Emma Smith, the first president of the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo said the following at their first meeting, “we are going to do something extraordinary.” Little did she know that their humble efforts would grow to include so many women all over the world.
The name of the organization has since been changed to simply being called the Relief Society, but the purpose remains the same. To look after the temporal and spiritual welfare of those in need. Recently we had an event in our neighborhood, celebrating the founding of the Relief Society and eating some tasty food. Because let’s face it, everything is better if food is involved!
The women planning this event asked me to help them with a favor for the party. They wanted a little bookmark at each place setting when the women arrived. The theme of the event was “Something Extraordinary,” based on the words from Emma Smith at that first meeting. As I thought about what I wanted to create, it became very important to me to focus on each woman individually. Maybe it was because I felt like it was my opportunity to celebrate the many women who have cared for me over the last year while I have been sick. Maybe it was because I know how much each of us do, as women, to take the time to watch out for one another in emotional, physical and spiritual ways. I think I just wanted to say thank you to all those who have helped my little family – the countless ways that they have made a difference.
The question became: how to do that with something mass produced? I decided to add two words to the theme: “you are.”
These simple words say what I feel about the women who have touched my life. And I wanted to include you in this list. You are out there, in your own towns and your own homes, making a difference. You have cared for your families. You have watched over your communities and neighbors and congregations and friends. You look for people to serve and take the time to help. You provide relief.
So yes, I created this favor for the women in my neighborhood but I wanted to share it with you as well. Just click on the photo to download the pdf. This is for you but you probably have people in your life that you would like to share it with. The ones lending a hand. The ones offering a shoulder to cry on or a hug to comfort. The ones sending the note or making the phone call that says, “I care about you.”
You are something extraordinary.
Thanks. Thanks for making the difference.
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