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Additional Relief Society Meetings


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#1 WillowTheWhisp

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 12:59 AM

Has anyone got experience of restructuring in their Ward following Sister Beck's talk at the last Conference where she said that "Home Family and Personal Enrichment" meetings would no longer exist and that all Relief Society meetings would go by the name of Relief Society meetings?

I have been newly called to be a "meetings co-ordinator" but there seems to be a lot of confusion and misunderstanding as to what a meetings co-ordinator actually does. From reading, re-reading and praying about Sister Beck's talk I keep getting the same answer that my role is to help the RSPresident carry out the planning and co-ordinating of any additional meetings (other than the Sunday meetings) which she and Bishop have counselled together about and feel are required by the sisters in our ward.

Does anyone else see it differently?

I've had one sister tell me that I'm just a 'homemaking leader' with a different name and we should just carry on doing what she did before, another tell me that I'm the activities board member and should be planning Christmas parties etc, another tell me that I am supposed to liase between Primary, Young Women and Relief Society, and the RS President tell me that it is my responsibility to pray for revelation for what meetings are necessary. (I thought that was supposed to have been done by the RSP and Bishop before I even got involved) The more I read the talk and pray about it the more confused I become because I am still getting the same answer that I am supposed to be the one who helps out on the practical side of organising things once the plans and decisions have been made and yet my Bishop tells me that I do not have enough faith if I'm not getting the right answers.

I have tried to 'get the right answers' and now feel Heavenly Father is losing patience with me saying "How many times do I need to keep telling you the same thing before you will listen to me and stop asking?" In particular the story of Joseph Smith, Martin Harris and the lost manuscript comes to mind. Joseph got his answer from Heavely Father but kept pestering until he got a different one, then it proved to be wrong.

I'm at my wits end over this and just feel like walking away from the church altogether.

Edited by WillowTheWhisp, 14 December 2009 - 02:22 AM.

What you think you heard me say may not necessarily be what I thought I meant.


;)


#2 WillowTheWhisp

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 04:53 AM

Has no-one else got experience of this calling?

I just don't know how to cope with the inadequacy of not getting revelation for something I don't actually believe I'm supposed to get revelation for.e
:(

What you think you heard me say may not necessarily be what I thought I meant.


;)


#3 WmLee

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 07:05 AM

I’ll admit up front that I understand little of what the RS does. My wife was served on a number of RS boards and committees and was once called as RS Pres. After Sister Beck’s talk the Stake RS pres came in during Stake Council and said she was advising the sisters to cut all the ‘fluff’ outtalk the program and get back to basics. That didn’t mean much to me until she also said she felt the men shouldn’t be playing basketball in the church (once a week at 5:00 am and one evening at 7:00 pm). She felt the church should simply be a place for spiritual growth. There are a lot of people here that disagree with this one.
This sister has been a member since before Joseph, (yep, she is not a young thing) and people respect her thoughts and ideas. But I feel she may have taken this one to an extreme. We have cultural halls with basketball and volleyball equipment for a reason. Part of what we do is developing physical and cultural interest.
Good luck. I know this hasn’t been much help. Perhaps a sister can be of more help.


#4 WillowTheWhisp

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 07:20 AM

Thanks Wm. That sounds a bit like something else someone was quoting about "we are in the business of saving souls not in the entertainment business", but I can't find the original talk unfortunately to put it in context. However, I do recall that when Joseph Smith was chastised for having fun he told his critics that a bow is not effective if it is kept permanently under tension.

I think the 'clearing out the clutter' idea comes from President Uchtdorf (I think it was) talking about the noble art of leaving things undone, as in not over-burdening people with this that and the other that they are expected to do when they are not at all necesary to do. Sometimes I have so much to do I've felt like I was meeting myself coming back!

What you think you heard me say may not necessarily be what I thought I meant.


;)


#5 mightynancy

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 09:09 PM

Willow, the bishop and the RS Pres need to give you guidance here. I would do nothing until I'm told what the objective of your position is. I'm becoming the one in my ward who asks "Is this necessary?" about each thing we do. Time is so precious that I hate to waste it.

#6 WillowTheWhisp

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 12:46 PM

:) Thank you Nancy. Unfortunately it wasn't that simple. When the Bishop called me he told me he hadn't the foggiest idea whjt I was supposed to do and to go away read Sister Beck's talk and pray about it, which I did.

On Sunday the RSPresident came to me and told me all that she was expecting of me which was certainly not what was in Sister Beck's talk so that threw me and I tried to tell her what I had read in the talk but she said I was just trying to pass the buck and avoid doing what I'd been called to do.

That got me even more stressed, but then on Tuesday one of her counsellors came to see me, having read and prayed about Sister Beck's talk too and said she had met with the RSPresident and explained to her that I was right and she was wrong and she (RS Pres)went away and prayed about it and finally agreed that she had been wrong.

So now I am feeling a lot more secure in what I'm doing and that at least 2 of us know where we're going with this!
:)

What you think you heard me say may not necessarily be what I thought I meant.


;)


#7 mightynancy

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 04:45 PM

I'm glad to hear that, Willow! Anxiously engaged should not mean freaking out! I'm glad things are made clear. :)

#8 Dravin

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 05:44 PM

There are a lot of people here that disagree with this one.


Yeah, like the Church who designs their buildings with cultural halls and basketball hoops.
Hindsight is all well and good... until you trip.

#9 WillowTheWhisp

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 12:38 AM

I'm glad to hear that, Willow! Anxiously engaged should not mean freaking out! I'm glad things are made clear. :)



I think it's because this whole concept is very new and there is no-one who has had experience of it before nor is there anything laid down in any manual or book of instruction so it was all down to personal interpretation and a lot of people were doing that rather than asking Heavenly Father if they were right. It became incredibly confusing but now I feel that we are all heading in the same direction because we have all listened to him and know what he want us to do.

It does make life a lot simpler. :)

What you think you heard me say may not necessarily be what I thought I meant.


;)


#10 Wingnut

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 05:44 PM

The way I understood Sister Beck's talk was that nothing was changing except for the name. It didn't sound like you should have to liase between auxiliaries or that you are part of the activities committee (that's completely separate altogether). I took to just be "we're changing the name" though for what purpose, I didn't understand, since they just changed it 5 years (probably more, but not very long) ago.
Now the trouble about trying to make yourself stupider than you really are is that you very often succeed. -- C.S. Lewis

If we're going to be stupid about this, we're going to be stupid on my terms. -- my husband

#11 Earthmother

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 06:37 PM

I have the same responsibility, but I am in the Presidency! I know that I was called to this position because I have preparedness skills, and I felt I am to teach or find a teacher for our monthly RS classes. From sister Becks talk, we gleaned that we are NOT to have a coordinator, that was supposed to be my job. So, all the Enrichment people were released. We are to make our RS monthly classes simpler. More instruction for spiritually and temporally educating the sisters. Less crafts, and no asking sisters to spend money on things. Our Pres. says simple and healthful snacks, no over the top meetings. Mostly a time to serve, learn and socialize while we do good works. Reread Julie Becks talk. It is all in there. It really takes a burden off everybody to simplify these RS classes. Getting back to the basics of building faith and preparing for the 2nd coming was what our Presidency got out of it. Don't give up, just keep praying till your answer seems clearer. Heavenly Father has endless patience.

Edited by Earthmother, 18 December 2009 - 06:41 PM.


#12 WillowTheWhisp

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 02:36 AM

Yes I see where Sister Beck's talk says that this Meeting Co-ordinator calling is optional. I think we've got one (me) in our Ward because the Relief Society Presidency is also acting as Primary Presidency and Young Women's Presidency, but I haven't quite understood why we are doing that yet either. I do understand that giving the Relief Society President all this additional responsibility means she needs someone to take over some of her duties I'm just struggling to understand why the people who are doing that couldn't just have been called to those other presidencies so that the Relief Society presidency could concentrate on one area. It's all so different and new to me that I am just getting more and more confused.

What you think you heard me say may not necessarily be what I thought I meant.


;)


#13 need4peace

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 07:14 PM

I have been a little confused about the changes and what is required of leaders in the planning of the Additional Relief Society Meetings.
I have found some interesting info (below) that may help you - I am not quite clear on what I have to do yet but this is a start - I live an hour and a half from the chapel so that adds another challenge in the planning of the meetings.

All the best:)


Objectives outlined for Relief Society meetings By Sarah Jane Weaver Church News staff writer Published: Thursday, Oct. 1, 2009
Using Relief Society meetings appropriately will increase the ability of the Relief Society to work in powerful ways with priesthood leaders in every ward, said Sister Julie B. Beck during the General Relief Society Meeting Sept. 26.
Sister Beck noted that for the past number of years, Church members have called weekday Relief Society meetings "home, family and personal enrichment." That name will now be discontinued, she said.

All future weekday Relief Society meetings are to be called what they are: Relief Society meetings, she said.

These meetings, Sister Beck explained, can be valuable supplements to Sunday instruction, especially for sisters who serve in Primary or Young Women or who are unable to attend Sunday meetings. They are also a good place to bring friends of other faiths or to include those sisters who do not actively participate in the Church.

During her address, Sister Beck outlined numerous objectives and procedures for weekday Relief Society meetings. Following is a list of guidelines for additional meetings as outlined in Sister Beck's talk:


• The ward Relief Society president should oversee all Relief Society meetings.

• The Relief Society president should counsel regularly with her bishop regarding how these meetings can meet the needs of individuals and families in the ward.

• Plans should be consistent with current policies about activities, including policies about finances.

• Meeting plans should be approved by the bishop.

• At least one member of the Relief Society presidency should attend all meetings.

• The Relief Society president should oversee the meetings, but may ask the first or second counselor or recommend a sister in the ward be called to be coordinator of the meetings.

• The Relief Society presidency prayerfully determines how often to hold these meetings and where they should be held.

• Meetings generally should be held monthly. The bishop and the Relief Society president determine the frequency of the meetings. Efforts should be made to hold the meetings at least quarterly.

• Meetings should be held at a time other than Sunday or Monday evening.

• Sisters should not be made to feel that it is mandatory to attend all these meetings.

• When planning meetings, the Relief Society presidency should take into consideration time commitments of sisters, family circumstances, travel distance and cost, financial cost to the ward, safety and other local circumstances.

• Meetings, under the direction of the bishop, can be used to address spiritual and temporal needs of individuals and families and to strengthen unity.

• Meetings should accomplish the "charitable and practical responsibilities" of Relief Society. They should increase faith and personal righteousness, strengthen families and homes and provide service.

• In planning meetings, the Relief Society presidency should give priority to topics that fulfill Relief Society purposes, such as marriage and family, homemaking, provident living and self-reliance, compassionate service, temple and family history, sharing the gospel, and other subjects requested by the bishop.

• Meetings can focus on one topic or be divided into more than one class or activity.

• Generally, teachers should be members of the ward or stake.

• One meeting a year may commemorate the founding of the Relief Society and focus on its history and purpose.


"When we plan, we ask what the Lord needs us to learn and become in order to be prepared for eternal life," Sister Beck said. "In the wisdom of the Lord, every ward has its own unique characteristics, which no other ward shares. This can be compared to the DNA that identifies every human being as unique.

"Every bishop has the responsibility for his specific ward," Sister Beck continued. "Each ward Relief Society president has a calling to assist one bishop. Each bishop and Relief Society presidency have had hands laid on their heads to receive inspiration for their particular responsibilities, and not for any other ward or group of Relief Society sisters."

As a result of operating this way, the Relief Society can help prepare families for emergencies and help sisters and families to prepare for the temple. They can share the gospel and teach and improve homemaking skills, she said.

Sister Beck's talk will serve as the "current official policy" regarding additional Relief Society meetings. "Should you have questions regarding anything we have taught here after studying this message, please counsel together in your own wards and stakes to discover the solutions you need," she said.

LDS Church News - Objectives outlined for Relief Society meetings
Additional Relief Society Meetings (Formerly HFPE) | The Idea Door

Edited by need4peace, 21 January 2010 - 02:23 AM.


#14 Dravin

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 10:24 PM

The aqua is kinda low in contrast against the light background, you might want to tone down the colors there for the sake of readability.
Hindsight is all well and good... until you trip.

#15 WillowTheWhisp

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 03:32 AM

Thank you. I have no problem understanding the instructions in Sister Beck's talk. I have read and re-read that many times and underlined and highlighted all the relevant points specifically when the new RS President was telling me what she felt the meetings were supposed to be, which contradicted what Sister Beck had said. She told me it was my role,as meetings co-ordinator, to come up with the ideas for these meetings and plan what they should be. I said that I was of the impression that was something between her and the Bishop as they knew the needs of the sisters in the Ward and I don't. Some of those needs may have come out in confidential interviews. Sister Beck said that the Relief Society President should counsel with the Bishop about the needs and requirements but she was telling me that if I had enough faith Heavenly Father would tell me what the sisters' needs were because he knows everything. She told me to go and pray for the revelation. I got quite upset by this because when I prayed about it I just kept getting the message that such confidential information was not for me, that I was simply to help plan out the structure of the actual meetings once they had been decided on by her and the Bishop.

She then got quite annoyed with me and basically told me that I was shirking my responsibilities and she had a heavy enough burden of responsibility as it was and I wasn't helping by refusing to do my part. She told me to go away and pray about it again. I told her I could pray about it again but I didn't think I was going to get any different answer and asked her if she would pray about it too. I was in tears by this time because I was getting all this contradictory information from her against what was in Sister Beck's talk which Bishop had told me to go and read and which I thought I had understood and had confirmed to me through prayer.It seemed to me that Sister Beck was even saying that the calling of meetings co-ordinator was not even obligatory but that one could be called basically just to do the leg work, the practical sideof things after the decision making had been done by the RS President and Bishop.

Anyway during the week I was out to lunch with one of her counsellors and she said she had been praying about it and reading the talk and discussed it with the RS President who had then prayed about it and received confirmation that I was right, it was for her and the Bishop to make those decisions not me - once she had realised that and discussed it with her counsellor who was appointed to Relief Society(we have an unusual set-up where the RS President presides over Primary, one counsellor presides over Relief Society and one over Young Women - Young Women and Primary do not have presidencies only teachers) once she understood who would receive the inspiration, the counsellor appointed to RS was suddenly overwhelmed with ideas and the two of them put together a long list to discuss with the Bishop. None of these would ever have occurred to me.

It only works when you do it the right way. It has been a great relief to me that she finally understood it and stopped blaming me for not getting the revelation that was never intended for me in the first place.

I find it quite interesting Earthmother that you got the message that you were not to have a co-ordinator whereas I, as co-ordinator have even been given an assistant! I really don't see that there will be enough in it to require two of us to do and yet there are callings in our Ward which haven't been filled. That seems a bit topsy turvey to me but presumably makes sense to Bishop.

What you think you heard me say may not necessarily be what I thought I meant.


;)


#16 susieSA

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 12:56 PM

I am the RS counsellor who is over Additional RS Meetings... It has taken me a few months to actually get into that part of my calling.

Have you checked out The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with the latest guidelines? I love the new stuff on the Church website as well as the planning idea that has been provided... Feb will be the first month that we will be using the planning idea. The way that I decided to use this idea was to have one filled in for each meeting & that goes with the RS Pres when she has her montly meeting with the Bishop & he approves or adds what he feels are needs of the sisters.

I have recently had had an "enrichment leader" called & had a great first meeting with her. What I did last year was give a survey to the sisters along with a few questions to get the basics of what the sisters are actually interested in in the hopes of getting more to come.. That went off very well. I also have decided on the themes for the months to the end of the year.. I think that makes it much easier. We are a very involved presidency when it comes to these meetings.

Some websites that has great planning tools as well as ideas (the basics are the same, you just need to change the headings etc on them):

Sugardoodle.net
The Idea Door | The Idea Door
LDSSplash.com - A fun site full of great ideas and games for the LDS family!
(www) Of-Worth.com
The Homemaking Cottage - Home
Relief Society
www.mormonshare.com/relief_society/
Home, Family, and Personal Enrichment Meeting (this one is my favourite one.. I got loads of ideas & planning tools from here)
You can also try LDS - Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - Mormons

At the moment I have mini classes etc planned to the end of the year.. We just need to finalise everything.

Edited by susieSA, 21 January 2010 - 01:00 PM.


#17 WillowTheWhisp

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 01:04 PM

Our RS Presidency and Bishop have decided the topics for the whole year too. It just needs fleshing out a bit with exactly what will happen at each meeting. There is no such calling as "enrichment leader" now is there? That's what I gathered from Sister Beck's talk.

What you think you heard me say may not necessarily be what I thought I meant.


;)


#18 susieSA

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 11:13 PM

I think they just call them "specialists" or something like that now.. (shrugs) As long as I have one.. hehe...With me starting to study this year there is no way that I can do it all myself... Our idea behind this though is to involve as many sisters as posible... For our Christmas meeting we had a great attendance & found that this was mostly because many who don't usually come during the year were given assignments & felt obligated to attend... Whatever works I guess.. hehe I can send you an example of some classes you might like if you want :)

Edited by susieSA, 21 January 2010 - 11:21 PM.


#19 WillowTheWhisp

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 03:04 AM

Thanks Susie that would be lovely.

What you think you heard me say may not necessarily be what I thought I meant.


;)


#20 susieSA

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 11:07 AM

I will try to message it all to you.. Or is there a different way you would prefer?




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