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


Elder Mack Jared Chappell, a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints died Sa...

Mark Jones

Church missionary dies from unknown medical condition

A missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has died, according to the church.

1 day ago

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox and first lady Abby Cox speak at the Light the World Giving Machine launch in...

Eliza Pace

Over 600,000 people donated $10.4 million at Giving Machines in 2023

The famous Giving Machines, put on by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, received $10.4 million in donations in 2023.

3 days ago

President Stuart Adams speaks at the state Capitol in Salt Lake City on Thursday. The Senate on Thu...

Bridger Beal-Cvetko,

Clergy protections for child abuse reporting approved by Utah Legislature

The Utah Senate on Thursday approved HB432, which provides legal protection to clergy members who voluntarily report ongoing child abuse or neglect from confessions.

3 days ago

The stage of the Tabernacle Choir as they perform in Manila. (Dan Rascon, KSL News)...

Dan Rascon

Tabernacle Choir performs unforgettable concert in Manila

It was a night not to be forgotten in the Philippines as the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square performed  its first major concert before thousands of Filipinos at the Mall of Asia’s 9,000 set arena.

6 days ago

The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square is preparing to perform its last two concerts in the Philippi...

Dan Rascon

Tabernacle Choir prepares to perform at renowned Mall of Asia with Filipino press day

The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square is preparing to perform its last two concerts in the Philippines with a press day. Afterward, the choir will continue on with its world tour.

7 days ago

The Birmingham England Temple Rendering...

Michael Houck

Church releases location for Vancouver Washington Temple, renderings for England, US temples

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has released the site location of the Vancouver Washington Temple and artistic renderings for temples in England, Nevada and Texas.

7 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Relief Society celebrates 180th anniversary