Wednesday, March 16, 2011
I think it is no secret; Relief Society is a blast,
And let’s face it, this great auxiliary has got quite the past.
I’ll only share a few decades, 30’s-60’s, that’s just four,
I know I learned a bunch of stuff I never knew before.
In the 1930’s Singing Mothers’ Chorus’s were a hit,
All were welcome, be they songbirds or tone deafs; every body fit.
The new welfare program flourished with the women at the wheel,
Donations were made to the Relief Society who used them to bless and heal.
Sisters got to canning and every 10th jar gave away,
to the Bishop’s storehouse where soon the shelves were stocked for rainy days.
Mormon Handicraft was started up in 1937,
It still endures to this day, Robin, do all quilters go to Heaven?
During this cool era, as a rule hats were quite the thing,
Sisters wore them to their meetings and even just to sing.
“Could you take them off, you’ll block the view, please let others see,”
But the words sometimes fell on deaf ears, though the Brethren would often plea.
President Louise Robison was conducting a meeting one day,
Looked out over a sea of hats and without further delay
Told the women between the hymnbooks, notes, and hats down in their laps,
Surely the act of rising to sing might make them all collapse.
There was laughter and chatter, perhaps a few “oh rats!”
But wouldn’t you know they all took off those hats.
In the 40’s was the birth of family hour, now FHE,
There were 115,000 members of Relief Society.
This decade saw the centennial of this auxiliary,
Though because of war there were cancellations of some festivities.
Women had drives for rubber, paper, and aluminum scraps,
They adopted emergency preparedness, on food and gas there was a cap.
Home beautification programs were now victory gardens instead,
Where sisters grew enough for family and made sure soldiers too were fed.
Does the thought of visiting teaching now ever make you tired?
Well, did you know have it pretty good, in the 40’s you could be fired.
Each sister had a report book throughout the year to use,
filled with instructions, dates of visits, and special needs and news.
Not all women were called to visit teach, alternates could too help out,
And scheduled visits weren’t encouraged, as most women were home no doubt.
Visiting teachers were called over districts, which meant routes of four to eight,
If they weren’t consistently coming to their meetings they would be replaced post-haste.
In the 50’s because many gals had worked outside to help the war,
The Relief Society encouraged them to return home and aid the poor.
Home education and social service were both emphasized,
And the women sent to war torn Europe, tons of relief and supplies.
The Relief Society building you now see on Temple Square,
Was paid for by five dollar donations from women everywhere.
In those days it was quite the sacrifice, so many families were very poor,
In faith they raised the money, all names are located in books on the building’s first floor.
In the 60’s programs were realigned under priesthood direction,
No more separate budgets, relief society dues, weekly meetings; quite a big production
The relief society magazine which had been in print 50 years or more,
Encouraged members to send in poetry and stories by the score.
Being 90 years of age was honored in the birthday section,
And having as many as 16 kids was given special mention.
During the changes this publication was discontinued to great dismay,
Though the Ensign, Friend, and New Era prove their mettle, I must say.
‘Dare to be different’ was the motto dear Belle Spofford used,
To combat immodest 60’s styles in case women got confused.
Though I doubt these stalwart sisters had too much time to waver,
They joined the March of Dimes, Red Cross; a community of Saviors.
I hope we will remember what this sisterhood is all about,
And the women who have gone before us. Happy Birthday, Relief Society. Peace, out.