Latter-day Saint women draw strength and inspiration from their identity: they understand themselves to be daughters of God with a purpose in life, and they strive to cultivate the attributes of divinity—such as holiness, wisdom and charity—within themselves. They honor their bodies and minds as sacred gifts, rejecting anything that demeans them. They seek to fulfill their potential and their capacity for joy through worship, study, service and earnest efforts to live a Christ-centered life. They believe that by divine design, women and men experience the most growth, joy and fulfillment together, not in isolation. Through collaborative and unique efforts, they each provide indispensable contributions at home, at church and in the community.
Mormon women embrace their heritage as female disciples of Jesus Christ. They consider it an important mission to reach out to those in need and to care for the best interests of their families, congregations and broader communities.
Together, Mormon women comprise the Relief Society, one of the oldest and largest women’s service organizations in the world. With a membership of 5.5 million women in 170 countries, the Relief Society is a tremendous vehicle for service around the globe. It was organized in 1842 to provide relief from all the ills of human life: “relief from poverty, from selfishness, sorrow, apathy, ignorance, immorality, worldliness, mediocrity, fear, personal limitation, and loneliness.”
As disciples, Latter-day Saint women are encouraged to cultivate a personal faith in and relationship with God, to study scriptures and doctrine, to teach the gospel in their homes and congregations and to participate faithfully in all the saving ordinances of the gospel. All Church members have long been encouraged to seek education in all its forms; it is a divine commandment as well as a path to service and a more meaningful life.
Male and female Church members also have distinctive and collaborative opportunities for Church service. Following the pattern established by Christ in the New Testament, men in the Church serve in priesthood offices that enable them to officiate in religious “ordinances,” or ceremonies, as well as Church administration. Mormon women serve as missionaries and in teaching positions, preside over other organizations at local and institutional levels, counsel and minister to others and function in many other capacities. Women are also integral in leadership councils in Church congregations, as full participants in discussion and decision-making.
The most important realm of service for both women and men is within their own families. Mormon men and women embrace families as the heart of God’s plan for His children and as the fundamental unit of society. They regard the joint work of mothers and fathers as a preeminent priority in life and help to create and contribute to strong, Christ-centered families. Whatever the conditions of their lives, women in the Church seek to nurture and strengthen those around them. By fortifying the fabric of their individual, extended, congregational and global families, women make manifest their commitment to the teachings and example of the Savior.