“It’s the variety in a garden that contributes to its beauty—we need daisies and lilies and buttercups; we need gardeners who water, nurture, and care. Unfortunately, Satan knows that sharing unites our sisterhood through the everyday and the eternities. He knows that selfishness will begin to destroy sharing, which destroys unity, which destroys Zion. Sisters, we cannot let the adversary divide us. You see, ‘A perfect oneness,’ said Brigham Young, ‘will save a people.’ And I would add that a perfect oneness will save our society.”

Bonnie D. Parkin, Relief Society General President
Belonging is Our Sacred Birthright,” October 2004 General Conference


“We also lose sight of that good part when we compare ourselves to others. Her hair is cuter, my legs are fatter, her children are more talented, or her garden’s more productive—sisters, you know the drill. We just can’t do that. We cannot allow ourselves to feel inadequate by focusing on who we aren’t instead of on who we are! We are all sisters in Relief Society. We simply cannot criticize, gossip, or judge and keep the pure love of Christ. Can’t you hear the Lord’s sweet injunction: ‘Martha, Martha … ?’ ”

Bonnie D. Parkin, Relief Society General President
Choosing Charity: That Good Part,” October 2003 General Conference


“Women’s lives are full of small and simple things—discussions about how the day was, visits to schools, laughter at a homemade joke, work in its many forms, playing with children, trips to the doctor, tending the garden, cooking meals, teaching a lesson in church, helping a neighbor, serving a community group, sharing a lesson learned with a sister. Small and simple things that define relationships and build testimonies. Small and simple things that grow strong men and women.”

Elaine L. Jack, Relief Society General President
Charity Never Faileth,” April 1992 General Conference


“A few years ago while we were serving in the mission field, a minister who was investigating the Church said, ‘I hear you talk about the benefit of a living prophet. What sort of pronouncements has he made lately?’ We replied, ‘The prophet has taught us that we need to live frugally. We need to stay out of debt, fix up our homes, and plant gardens that we may enjoy the fruit of our labor.’ The minister thought for a moment and then said, ‘That is not what I would have imagined a prophet to say, but as I consider it, what better advice could be given?’

“Often the advice that is given by our prophets is so simple and practical that we overlook it and fail to heed it.”

Barbara W. Winder, Relief Society General President
Becoming a Prepared People,” October 1987 General Conference


“Several years ago, our newly married daughter and her husband began a series of moves from one place to another—graduate school, first job, and so on. These moves took them to various parts of the country. In each place the climate and soil conditions were different, but they determined they would follow the prophet’s advice and have a garden. Their first attempts at gardening were pathetic. The weeds grew much better than the vegetables. The gardens were ‘obedience gardens.’ However, with continued effort, each year the gardens improved. They learned new techniques and developed skills. As children came to their family, each was taught to work and take responsibility in those ‘obedience gardens.’ Now their gardens are attractive, worthwhile ‘survival’ projects, as the family enjoys and shares the produce. They preserve the excess for later use. Besides the practical lessons they learned, they found peace and assurance in keeping the commandments. Surely the promise was fulfilled for them: the prophet’s advice had been for their good always.”

Barbara W. Winder, Relief Society General President
Draw Near unto Me through Obedience,” October 1985 General Conference


“Of all the ways Relief Society furthers the welfare cause, its best effort comes as it helps individual sisters anticipate and meet their own needs, for welfare problems are most effectively solved before they become problems. Therefore, when you, the individual member, put into daily practice the principles of welfare, you are personally reducing the woe of the world. When you add to your home storage, particularly with goods you have produced by your hands, in your garden, with your needle, or in your kitchen, you are addressing welfare needs in the most effective way. When preventive health care, good nutrition, and financial management are practiced by you, the individual sister, the welfare system is working. When you teach your children how to work—when you, as members, and your children become educated and engage in appropriate employment and careers—future problems are averted.”

Marian R. Boyer, First Counselor, Relief Society General Presidency
Relief Society in Welfare,” October 1981 General Conference


“We encourage women to economize in creative ways such as—

  1. Exchanging skills, when practical, instead of money; exchanging excess vegetable produce from one garden for fruit from another; exchanging rather than buying books, musical instruments, Scout uniforms, etc.
  2. Becoming more knowledgeable gardeners; developing their own garden seeds gathered from their own high quality produce.
  3. Saving time and money by organizing their homes into efficient work and storage centers and by preparing food with their own mixes.

“This means that all will make wise use of the resources available to them as they live each day and prepare for the future.”

Barbara B. Smith, Relief Society General President
Follow Joyously,” October 1980 General Conference


“Priesthood and Relief Society leaders must be aware of the great potential of those…who are in their later years and can give useful service. Besides the traditional assignments for the elderly, we suggest substitute-grandparenting; teaching in mini-classes such skills as knitting, crocheting, gardening, breadmaking, and quilting, or other skills which younger women often need to learn. They might read to the visually handicapped, compile family and ward histories, write letters for those who need such help, or teach those who wish to learn to read or write.

“A wonderful world of service may emerge for those with time and skills to offer!”

Barbara B. Smith, Relief Society General President
In the Time of Old Age,” April 1978 General Conference



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