News Release

Women of the Church Celebrate the 177th Relief Society Anniversary

The year 2019 marks the 177th Anniversary of the Relief Society Organization, one of the largest women’s organizations in the world. To mark this momentous event, thousands of women, ages 18 and above, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and their friends in the Philippines gathered together to sing, dance, edify and learn from one another.

Using their creative ingenuity and skills, the RS leaders of the different stakes (dioceses) and districts (small dioceses) organized various kinds of activities for the benefit and enjoyment of every sister, young and old. Below are examples of the events they held which focused on various themes.


Family History

In an effort to help families all over the world find their ancestors in the Philippines, sisters of the Tanauan Ward (congregation) of the Lipa Philippines Stake decided to venture out of the cultural hall of the Church and held their RS celebrations at a cemetery. The sisters painted the Rose Valley Cemetery red as they took photos of gravestones and uploaded them on the BillionGraves app in the name of family history.

Meanwhile, the Relief Society sisters of Cabiao Ward in Gapan dressed in period clothes in an effort to honor the Church pioneers of the past as well as the present. They also created a video of old and modern ways members of the Church participate in family history and ministering. It highlighted the message that the advent of modern technology makes it possible to do family history work or to reach out and minister to someone in need in minutes. 

Eco-Fashion Show

In Cabanatuan, Relief Society sisters of the Cabanatuan Philippines Stake enjoyed a unique fashion show as some of their fellow sisters strutted the runway at the cultural hall of their stake center donned in unique dresses. What made the show extra special was the fact the clothes worn by the sisters were made of recyclable materials, such as old newspapers, discs, straws, and many others. It was a show to encourage families to recycle trash to help save the environment.

Homemaking Expo and Skill Training

Meanwhile, in Digos City, Relief Society leaders organized a homemaking expo to showcase the different livelihood skills sisters have. Additionally, the sisters also learned new skills to increase self-reliance in their homes.

In the same theme, sisters of the Las Piñas Philippines Stake showcased different recycled projects, regrown food, and composting products as part of their celebration. Additionally, the members of the Stake Presidency shared inspiring messages on the importance of Family Scripture Study, Family Prayer, Home Evening, Ministering, Missionary and Temple and Family History work in building self-reliant families.

They based their activity’s theme from a common scripture verse but still profound nonetheless found on John 14:15 which says, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” The three-part program focused on the temporal and spiritual self-reliance of families, and ways to increase faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and His Atonement.

It was an event that inspired several sisters to make changes in their lives. Examples of which included one sister who became interested in starting her own family history. Another sister committed to regrowing vegetables for home consumption. In the end, the sisters were encouraged to continue to stay on the righteous path and build families that engage in a Church-supported, home-centered gospel learning, and become temporally and spiritually self-reliant.


In the April 2018 General Conference, President Russell M. Nelson announced the historic shift to ministering from visiting teaching. In light of the announcement, sisters of the Marikina Philippines Stake celebrated the anniversary to help sisters embrace fully the ‘newer, holier approach to caring and ministering to others.’

Each ward expounded various topics on ministering creatively. The presentations included songs, videos, skits, and poetry reading. Topics included the definitions of ministering, the perfect example of a true minister and the different ways sisters can minister to each other.

Meanwhile, each ward under the Quezon City South Stake held their own activity under the direction of their Stake Relief Society Presidency. The different wards organized activities with the theme "Your Goal, Our Goal" and guided by the principle of service and unity. The lineup of activities included devotionals, service projects such as organizing first-aid kits and letter writing, basic sign language classes, and wellness activities like Zumba and dance lessons. 

Honoring the Past by Honoring the Present

In Cebu, the Cebu City Stake Relief Society leadership asked each ward to portray a life of a righteous woman from the scriptures, such as the story of Ruth, Abish, Sariah and Naomi and many others. The sisters presented their stories in front of 470 individuals present, including 410 fellow sisters.

At the end of the presentations, three sisters from nine wards received recognition from the Cebu City Philippine Stake for their righteous influence in every aspect of their lives, be it a home, at work or school and in their communities.

Merlyn U. Matthews, Stake Relief Society President, shared what made her decide to give such honor to the women. “Since we are trying to honor the women in the past [this is] a reminder to all that we also have extraordinary women at present, so we can emulate and learn from their examples,” she said. “It was really a spiritually uplifting moment seeing the different trials these women faced yet remain valiant in their lives.”

About Relief Society

The Relief Society is an organization for women ages 18 and above. Its main purpose is to provide support for the temporal and spiritual needs of all women in the Church as well as others who are in need. Relief Society women leaders are called in every stake, district, ward, and branch to ensure to guide, teach and train its members to be self-reliant. 

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.