The General Relief Society Meeting 2009
I wanted (before today) to address what I heard in the General Relief Society Meeting this past Saturday, but I just haven't been able to gather my thoughts.
I'll be honest, I don't usually go. I don't really like to listen to many women speak. (they are way more fluffy than I like- too much beating around the bush) But the enticement of free dinner from the stake and my mom making sure I was going got my butt placed securely in a pew at the stake center.
This meeting was a miracle because it was the first one in a LONG time that I didn't drift off to sleep. I heard it all. I even took notes! (something I haven't done since my brief interlude at BYU-Idaho)
The talks were the same for me as they always are. Always about Relief Society. (People, I know what meeting I was attending. You don't have to remind me. Just not my favorite topic)
There was a hallelujah moment for me when the title of Family, Home and Personal Enrichment lallalala was discarded and we are now just attending "Relief Society Meetings." A SIMPLE NAME. YES!!
I really do like to hear that the "ideal" Relief Society is the focus. All the speakers talked about the way I picture Relief Society being done. Like it being done as described in the handbook and not the traditions of each ward or stake. There should always be a focus on the people not percentages. Our reports for Visiting Teaching should focus on the spiritual and temporal well-being of the sisters and not whether we gave a lesson or not. We are supposed to seek out and help those in need not just the ones we are particularly fond of.
These are all wonderful and I'm sure if I was anyone else I would have rejoiced at the topics addressed, but I am left wanting.
Sister Barbara Thompson, the second counselor in the general presidency, talked a lot about "GAPS." This really made sense to me. I feel as though in Relief Society we talk about the "ideal" all the time. We should do this, we should do that. We need to improve, we need to strengthen. But there is a "gap" between what we 'should' be doing and what is done.
I'm a realist. I know. I also know that realism can be seen as pessimism. I know that if you spend too much time on the pessimistic side of things there will never be anything positive that you see. So, I don't mean to dwell on the fact that where Relief Society should be is FAR from where it really is. What I do mean to focus on is the "gap."
I would like to go to a Relief Society meeting and hear A PLAN. A plan of action. Not what we should be doing, but what we are going to do. Thompson talked about three different situations that women of the church need to work on. Not once did she address how to get over the gap. Only that there was a gap and don't fall into it.
I understand goals. I'm an athlete, my life has revolved around them for years. But you can't have a final destination without a plan of how to get there. Even Lehi understood this in his vision of the tree of life.
The Goal= get to the tree
The Plan= hold onto the rod that leads to the tree.
He had a plan and it was laid out for him. If we don't have a plan we drift off into darkness, fall down into the dirty river, or let another building distract us from our original goal.
When it comes to Relief Society I feel the same way. If we don't have a plan to get to our ideals we will never arrive. Just once I would like to hear a woman tell it how it is without fluffing the actual situation and give us a plan. Things that will be changed and this is how. Just once.