I happen to be a great fan of Emma Hale Smith, wife of the prophet Joseph Smith Jr., and first President of the Female Relief Society in Nauvoo, Ill. The Relief Society of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-Saints was organized, March 17, 1843. Members of The LDS Church, around the world, celebrate this profound event, in connection to the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, today!
I published a fairly lengthy essay, over on Hubpages, entitled:
Emma Hale Smith, An Elect Lady - First President of The LDS Womens Relief Society.
"Joseph Smith Jr. - prophet of the restoration - was putting forth the imperative understanding of the place of Women- in the Lord's Kingdom here upon the earth, for the final days in preparation to His Second Coming.
The organization of the Mormon Women's Relief Society was in concurrence to the temple endowment, being fully revealed and put in order. Joseph was engaged during these years in Nauvoo, with his final work and finishing touches - to that which he had been held in reserve for Millenia, to accomplish.
Joseph Smith Jr. was and is - the Prophet of "the restoration of all things", for the dispensation of the fullness of times. Joseph had a work to do, and bringing a restoration about, that encompassed all things previously revealed of God, for the salvation of man. Joseph Smith, was to now - in this final dispensation prior to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ - complete that work of restoration, during his brief life." Kathryn Skaggs
Julie Beck, in a recent address to the Women of The Church, gave some of the most beautiful instruction about the real purpose of the Relief Society...
"It is impossible to understand why we have an organization for women in the Church without having an understanding of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Lord, knowing about the calamities that would come to pass in these latter days, spoke to His servant Joseph Smith Jr. “and gave him commandments; . . . "
“That faith . . . might increase in the earth;
“That [His] everlasting covenant might be established;
“That the fulness of [His] gospel might be proclaimed by the weak and the simple unto the ends of the world.”
That the work of the LDS Relief Society, was organized so that the Women of the Church would have something to do, such as quilting, making bread, attending Enrichment nights, etc... could not be further from the TRUTH!
I honor Emma Smith, and am deeply grateful for her life. She left us with a beautiful legacy. I believe, that we would all do well, to consider re-examining Emma, a little more closely this time - in comparison to how we as sisters, today - are assisting in the great work of the building up of the Kingdom of God.