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Carole Mikita ReportingMore than 5-million Latter-day Saint women gathered in 170 countries tonight to watch their annual Relief Society General meeting. It was the first opportunity the women have had to hear from their new leaders.
"Charity Never Faileth" is the motto of Latter-day Saint women's Relief Society, one of the largest women's organizations in the world.
General Relief Society President Julie B. Beck said, "We should be the best women in the world at providing relief. This has been our special province from the beginning. The word relief means to lift up, to lighten up. It means a raising up. The notion is to raise someone up or out of trouble."
Silvia Allred, the first counselor, serves as the first Hispanic in the presidency. She reminded the women to visit and help each other. "We have to be willing to give of our substance and our time. The true measure of our life is not how much we get, but how much we give."
Barbara Thompson, the second counselor was a social worker for 30 years. She said, "I have seen some heart-breaking situations where children have been badly hurt, both emotionally and physically. Children are precious. They are spirit children of God. I have seen the resiliency of the human soul shine forth at times when I couldn't imagine how a child could survive."
President Gordon B. Hinckley attended. His first counselor, Pres. Thomas S. Monson, told the women to study, pray and serve. "Your influence ranges far beyond yourself and your home and touches others all around the globe. Your have reached out to your brothers and sisters across streets, across cities, across nations, across continents, across oceans," he said.
He assured the women that they are a mighty force for good in the world.
Next weekend the LDS Church will hold its Semi-Annual General Conference. KSL-TV, Channel 5, will broadcast sessions on Saturday and Sunday.