Monday, July 21, 2014

Even More Confessions of a (no longer newly called) Relief Society President

I've written two posts on this blog since becoming the Relief Society President in my ward.

Confessions of a Newly Called Relief Society President


More Confessions of a Newly Called Relief Society President

Every so often I get curious and I check the stats of this blog and what I am shocked at each time is how many hits those two posts get, how often they are shared and what search questions lead readers to those posts. Search questions such as "Overwhelmed Relief Society President", "How do I be a good Relief Society President", "Helps for Relief Society Presidents", "New Relief Society President needs help"...the list goes on. Somehow typing those questions into a search bar leads them to these two posts on my blog.

I want to write more but here's the thing...I NEED THOSE SAME HELPS MYSELF!! How can I write a post of encouragement and support when I'm sitting in the same circle with all of those who need help from someone who knows?

So I want to ask some questions...

*Does the busyness of this calling sometimes come in waves? (Sometimes Tsunami waves?)

*Do you love it when you see the sisters in your ward supporting each other and loving each other and you think, "Oh this is wonderful!"

*Visiting Teaching? (I think I can leave that at just those two words and you'll get it.)

*Just when you think you have some situation under control, does it suddenly blow up again?

*Do your kids hate your phone? (Because you are always on the phone)

*Do you love sharing your testimony with the Sisters and feeling the love of our Father in Heaven flow through you to them?

*Are you sometimes amazed at the ideas the Holy Ghost gives to you and you know they aren't from you and you are so grateful?

*Are you amazed at how clueless you can be about what to do sometimes?

*Do you want to stand up and shout for joy when you see a sister who hasn't been to church in a very long time walk through the chapel doors?

*Do you go through weeks when you hear of sad situations in your ward every day and you can't help but just sit down and cry and plead with our Father in Heaven to bless those dear sisters and help you know how to help?

*Do you struggle to set appropriate boundaries?

*Do you call the temple to put names on the prayer roll more than you ever have before?

*Do you sometimes wonder what in the world the Lord was thinking when He called you?

*Have you been more aware of your weaknesses than ever before?

*Are you so grateful for good and talented counselors who have great ideas and you are glad they share those ideas?

*Do you want to depend more on your counselors but sometimes you just don't know how and they have busy lives and their own trials too?

*Do you sometimes feel like you are drowning in all of the varied and differing responsibilities that rest on your shoulders?

*Do you wish, with all of your heart, that you could respond to every distress call your heart detects but you just can't, so you turn to the visiting teachers and hope they do?

*Do you wonder how your Bishop is able to take care of a whole ward when you sometimes feel overwhelmed just taking care of the women?

*Are you so touched by how giving the women in your ward can be?

*Are you amazed at the many different talents the women in your ward have and you want to find a way to let them all use their talents and be more involved in each others lives?

*Are you also amazed at the talented women around you and know the ward is filled with smart, wise, spiritual women who would all do a wonderful job as the Relief Society President and you are humbled that at this time it is you?

*Do you absolutely love the time you get to spend with just your family and you see even more clearly now why it is so important to teach them the Gospel of Jesus Christ and love them and forgive them and remember that your most important calling is to be a wife and a mother?

*Do you find that you are more able to handle whatever may come if you read the scriptures every day, pray several times a day and keep yourself away from many of the world's distractions?

*Do you know that you will be a safe place for some women to vent their heartaches and frustrations and sometimes that includes taking out their frustrations on you and you needn't take it personally, just love them. (Although you don't need to allow yourself to be abused. That is an important boundary to set.)

*Do you know that you will never be everything to everyone and the mistakes you make will always be pointed out much more than the successes you have?

*Do you know you aren't perfect but you are doing your best and you realize that is all you can do and that is all the Lord expects of you and so you square your shoulders and keep moving forward?

*Do you need the Savior every moment of every day?

 *Do you know He is with you? Do you know He is giving you this opportunity at this time to help others but, even more so, because He knows how much you need this growing experience. When you look at that picture of Him, does it feel as if you are looking at your best friend, someone who knows you better than anyone else and still loves you? He keeps loving you and He keeps healing you and forgiving you and raising you higher. He keeps reminding you that He loves you so much, no matter what. Are you so very honored to be on His errand and in His service and part of His Relief Society?

This song seems to fit perfectly here:

* Do you just want to help the women of your ward to grow closer to Jesus Christ because you know you can't solve their problems or heal their hearts and homes? You know that only He can.

*Do you know that everything will be okay?

I hope you do...because it will.

This life is so short compared to our eternal existence. If we learn as much as we can right now, someday, off into the eternities, we will each look back at these experiences and know that our Father knew exactly what He was doing and we will be so grateful.

Right now it is our turn to be the Relief Society President in our individual wards. We have each had different callings before this one and we will each have different callings after this one. In actuality, the specific calling isn't as important to our Father in Heaven, as is the lessons we learn. Because within each calling and other learning experiences that are given to us are opportunities for our rough edges to be smoothed over and our impurities to be purged out and for us to become more like our wonderful elder brother Jesus.

Each calling and each opportunity we have is designed by a loving Father to lead us Home to Him. That is what it is all about - going Home and helping as many of our brothers and sisters as possible to get back there too.

What this is all about is LOVE.
Truly, that's what it is about.

What I'm trying to say with all of this is...we can be faithful, spiritual, righteous, loving and dedicated Relief Society Presidents AND still have hard days and struggles and make mistakes and feel inadequate and desperately need Jesus Christ in every moment! We are not alone. We have each other and we have the Creator of the Universe on our side. I welcome any and all comments - from those who are struggling and from those who are not. These issues are not reserved only for Relief Society Presidents - every calling and assignment has similar challenges - especially that greatest of all callings and assignments...parenthood!

I don't know who will read this but my prayer is that you will know you are wonderful and doing a fabulous job and the Lord knew exactly what He was doing when He called you!

Once again...everything is going to be OK!


  1. my sister Lisa! I love this! and I needed it and I agree! thank you so much!
    I love you Virginia

  2. i truly appreciate this blog post. ive just been called and get sustained on sunday and besides cramming the handbook. I still feel lost, like im walking in circles and not finding any answers. but reading this really has put my heart at ease. im looking forward to doing my best to make a difference and serve with all I have. Thank you :)

    1. Hi Amara,
      I"m so sorry that I just saw this comment! How are things going? Are you still walking in circles? I've been up to this for about 18 months now and I still have very circular days! I would love to hear how things are going!

  3. I am you from a year ago. I'll be called this Sunday and am feeling completely lost. Thank you for these posts!

    1. Hi Heather, I'm so sorry that I haven't replied earlier. I somehow missed your comment until today! How are things going?

  4. Thanks for writing all three of your posts about being a newly called Relief Society president. I'm writing this comment at 7:50 am but I read those three at 1:30 am because my baby woke up and wanted fed. I couldn't sleep because I was called yesterday and will be sustained this coming Sunday, and I just had my birthday last week, turned 27. I feel SO much younger than all the ladies in my ward...! And I have a 7 month old baby (my first). So I'm still learning this whole being a mom thing :-D. Anyway, I'm excited to serve the Lord but also scared to death!! I needed to hear your encouraging words, thank you, thank you :-)

    1. Lindsay, I don't know how I didn't see this comment until now. Except that I'm crazy busy all of the time. Sounds like you can completely understand! How are things going? My only bit of wisdom for you would be to remember that the Lord knew all of this about you when He called you and there is something in the specifics of your situation at this time in your life that the sisters in your ward need. The perspective of your youth may be just what everyone needs. Don't be afraid to be honest and open about everything. We do everyone in our ward a disservice when we pretend that we aren't struggling too. I'm sure you are wonderful. I would love to hear how things are going!

    2. This helped me sooo much! I have had some very specific trials that are very private for me but that I have felt the need to share a few times with sisters in my ward. After sharing I go home and feel so many anxieties about sharing! I feel like I should be the "perfect" relief society president and by sharing my experiences people know that I'm not. At the same time I can't believe how many sisters share my trials! It feels like the Lord has put me in this situation to help the sisters because I have been there? I continuously worry that the Bishop is going to tell me to keep my mouth shut instead of sharing my experiences. Somehow, though, my mouth keeps opening and I keep sharing. *I have a question about how your relationship is with your Bishop. Do you meet on a regular basis? Does he inform you of people who are sick or in car accidents? My bishop is very private and does not feel he should share anything about the sisters. It is my job to find things out on my own. Oftentimes I don't find things out about my sisters until it's too late to take them a meal or visit them in their time if needed. is this normal? Thank you!

    3. Jan thanks for your comment. I completely understand! I have also had (and continue to have) some very specific, gut wrenching trials that I wouldn't mind keeping to myself but I feel such a strong need to let the sisters know how the Savior helped me and how He can and will also help them. I am grateful for the perspective these trials have given me and how they have helped me grow closer to the Savior. You are correct - we who are leaders at this time, cannot pretend that we are perfect. That isn't doing anyone any good. It just perpetuates the sad but common misconception that many Mormon women have that we need to be perfect. I think satan loves that because he can get in and make us feel guilty for stupid things and makes us jealous of and hate one another with it is absolutely NOT NECESSARY! We're mortal for goodness sake - mistakes and trials and weakness were part of the deal.

      When I feel impressed to share my experiences I wrestle within myself but I finally decide that if my exposure can help one woman then it was worth it. But it is very difficult. My husband is a therapist who calls that sharing anxiety "Vulnerability Hangover". You have made yourself very vulnerable. You have exposed your wounds and it is scary. What I hate is that usually people don't say anything, even though I know they felt something. Some people have even verbally attacked me for sharing and trying to make our group a safe place for others to share. I think they are just showing their own fear in those circumstances and I actually just hurt more for them.

      Keep sharing. When you feel inspired to open your it. Read D&C 19:16-19 and see who else had the courage to let us in on a time when He felt weakness and how hard something was for Him and who it was He relied upon to help Him through it all.

      I meet with my Bishop when I request. I would like to have a regularly scheduled meeting but things just get crazy for him and me. Everyone is different and if a Bishop is naturally a private person, he will probably be a more private person. Let's just say that I learned quickly to make it my business to know what is going on and the more involved I was the more the Priesthood leaders came to understand that involving me wasn't such a bad thing after all. I still make it my business to know. That doesn't mean I know everything and I hate when something slides by me but I try. You cannot do all things for all people and I try very, very hard to not just jump and run the minute I hear of a need AND I also try to contact the VT's instead of me just doing it. That is their job. If I do it all I am not letting them serve and grow and I am not helping my ward become the more unified ward I would like them to be.

      Sorry so long!

      I don't usually do this, but, I think you might like another couple of posts I wrote entitled "The Battle for Our Souls." They are about VT and HT and sharing and helping in our weaknesses and how we all need each other more than we know. You might find them interesting. You can find a link to them on the right hand side of this page.

      Keep in touch and may the force be with you! :)

  5. I don't know why I haven't seen any of these comments until now! I hope you are all doing well and staying close to the Lord and learning all that you can while you serve Him.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Hi! Another newly! I've had a few weeks to think about my calling and will be sustained on Sunday. It seems like the timing is never right (like the time I had a three week old baby -our #5, my husband was constantly working a crazy military schedule and never available to attend church on Sundays and I was called to be primary president. I knew that if I accepted the calling Heavenly Father would help me. Within a few weeks my husband's schedule changed and he was there to help almost every Sunday. On the Sunday's he couldn't be at church I had "Church Grandmas" coming from everywhere offering to help with the little ones. Answered prayers. Now, here I am, a new state and new ward and this calling comes. I can think of a million reasons why I am not qualified for this calling. A million!!! But I think Heavenly Father was aware that I was being a little lazy, not fulfilling all of my covenants in the best way possible. He doesn't want me to fail this great test and he is providing a way for me to get back into the game. I have faith in Him that all of my weak things will be made strong. Thank you for your honesty with your posts.

    1. LeAnn, please forgive me. I get so busy with life and stuff I don't get back here often enough. How are things going? It has been two months now...are you feeling overwhelmed or getting more comfortable? If you are like me, you just get comfortable and then something changes! I hope you are finding lots of joyful moments to help with the not so joyful ones. Without a doubt you are growing! :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...