I’ll admit that I first started doing it out of “duty.” It seemed like yet another thing to somehow get done along with all of the other things the holiday rush brings. I asked the Lord to help me to desire to read it, and to have a softened heart in regards to what was asked of me.
The Lord truly answered my prayer! I immersed myself in the book and found that I didn’t want to put it down. I looked forward to reading it every chance I got. Not only did I feel the Spirit so strongly every time I read it, but I was often moved to tears reading about the sacrifices that so many stalwart and committed daughters of God made. I came to know that they were willing to make those sacrifices because of their testimony of the divinity of this great gospel work.
I’d always had a testimony of the importance of Relief Society, but reading so many personal accounts of lives being changed and made better because of sisters who truly loved and cared deepened my testimony immensely. I felt inspired to become a better visiting teacher myself—to truly become the “hands of Heaven” on earth and an instrument that the Lord knew He could rely on to meet the needs of His precious daughters. There were times when I felt overwhelmed with all that was asked of me and all that I was expected to do, and I’d find myself starting to feel cynical and pessimistic. Then I would pick up this book and start to read, and it was a spiritual feast—literally food for my soul.
When I’d read about these women who sacrificed so much—burying children on the plains, supporting a family and farm while the husband was on a mission, etc.—I’d think, "How can I complain about this little that is asked of me? Really, this is nothing! I can follow the examples of the sisters in this book and give my all." I loved having that perspective on a DAILY BASIS. I needed that perspective and will continue to need it. I am so grateful that I can strengthen and be strengthened by so many wonderful women in this divinely inspired organization. I feel so blessed to be a part of it. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.