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RELIEF SOCIETY LEADER STRESSES ROLE OF CHARITY

Relief Society General President Elaine Jack of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints unofficially kicked off the Relief Society's Sesquicentennial celebration Tuesday during a Brigham Young University devotional address.

"I'm proud to belong to a group of women defined by charity - the Relief Society. Relief Society was founded to do good in the world, and we're intent on this goal. The lives of charitable women are so imbued with the pure love of our Savior that charity is the way we think and act every day of our lives," President Jack said.The official celebration for the world's largest women's organization will start at 10 a.m. Saturday with an international satellite telecast from Temple Square in Salt Lake City.

"Relief Society is glorious because we join as sisters who come unto Christ. In all our roles as sisters, wives, mothers, daughters, friends, roommates, teachers, leaders and on and on, we strive to come to the Savior. I know how rich our Relief Society sisterhood can be because of what each of us brings to it," President Jack said. "Think about how unified we feel and yet how individual we are."

President Jack said the diversity of Relief Society is reflected in the founding mothers of the organization. Of the 20 founders, 11 were married, two were widows and six were unmarried. The final member's marital status is unknown.

"In Relief Society we have a motto: Charity Never Faileth. This is a motto of such spiritual force that I hope every woman in the church will make it her personal motto," she said.

"Charity is love, not just earthly love or temporary love, but the pure love of Christ. Charity is so important that we must have it in our lives. It's not just nice to possess charity, it's essential," she said.

President Jack explained ways to develop charitable attributes - personal prayer, scripture study, freely giving, saying "thank you" often and enjoying life.

"Take a healthy helping of enjoyment and laughter from the smorgasbord of life's experiences. And give some to your neighbors and friends. While we don't choose all that lands on our plates, we may choose some of the trimmings. Laughter is a condiment that makes just about anything go down better," she said.