32 Inspiring Quotes from 16 General Relief Society Presidents

March 17th, 2016, is the Relief Society’s 174th Birthday! Enjoy 32 great quotes with lovely memes from the 16 incredible women who have served as president.

Emma Hale Smith

Relief Society Presidents

First General President of the Relief Society, 1842–1844

“We are going to do something extraordinary—when a boat is stuck on the rapids, with a multitude of Mormons on board we shall consider that a loud call for relief—we expect extraordinary occasions and pressing calls.” —Emma Hale Smith

Emma Smith Quote - mybestlds.com

“I desire the Spirit of God to know and understand myself, that I might be able to overcome whatever of tradition or nature that would not tend to my exaltation in the eternal worlds. I desire a fruitful, active mind, that I may be able to comprehend the designs of God, when revealed through His servants without doubting.” —Emma Hale Smith

Emma Hale Smith LDS quote

Eliza R. Snow

Relief Society PresidentsSecond General President of the Relief Society, 1866–1887

“There are many of the sisters whose labors are not known beyond their own dwellings and perhaps not appreciated there. But what difference does that make? If your labors are acceptable to God, however simple the duties, if faithfully performed, you should never be discouraged.” —Eliza R. Snow

LDS quote from Eliza R Snow, 2nd General Relief Society President

“I had learned to call thee Father,
Thru thy Spirit from on high,
But, until the key of knowledge
Was restored, I knew not why.
In the heav’ns are parents single?
No, the thought makes reason stare!
Truth is reason; truth eternal
Tells me I’ve a mother there.”

—Eliza R. Snow

Eliza R Snow LDS quote

Zina D. H. Young

Relief Society PresidentsThird General President of the Relief Society, 1888–1901

“Seek for a testimony, as you would, my dear sisters, for a diamond concealed. If someone told you by digging long enough in a certain spot you would find a diamond of unmeasured wealth, do you think you would begrudge time or strength, or means spent to obtain that treasure? . . . If you will dig in the depths of your own hearts you will find, with the aid of the Spirit of the Lord, the pearl of great price, the testimony of the truth of this work.” —Zina D. H. Young

Zina D. H. Young Quote - mybestlds.com

“One day on my return from school I saw the Book of Mormon, that strange, new book, lying on the window sill of our sitting-room. I went up to the window, picked it up, and the sweet influence of the Holy Spirit accompanied it to such an extent that I pressed it to my bosom in a rapture of delight, murmuring as I did so, ‘This is the truth, truth, truth!’” —Zina D. H. Young
Zina D. H. Young Quote 3 - mybestlds

Bathsheba W. Smith

Relief Society Presidents

Fourth General President of the Relief Society, 1901–1910

“It is plainly necessary that women as well as men, cease not while life lasts to study diligently for the knowledge which is of greatest worth.” —Bathsheba W. Smith


Bathsheba W. Smith Quote - mybestlds.com

“When I heard the Gospel I knew it was true. When I first read the Book of Mormon, I knew it was inspired of God; when I first beheld Joseph Smith I knew I stood face to face with a prophet of the living God, and I had no doubt in my mind about his authority.” —Bathsheba W. Smith

LDS quote from Relief Society President Bathsheba W Smith

Emmeline B. Wells

Relief Society PresidentsFifth General President of the Relief Society, 1910–1921

“I desire to do all in my power to help elevate the condition of my own people, especially women. I have desired with all my heart to do those things that would advance women in moral and spiritual as well as educational work and tend to the rolling on of the work of God upon the earth.” —Emmeline B. Wells

LDS quote from Emmeline B Wells, 5th General Relief Society President

“I believe in women.” —Emmeline B. Wells

I believe in Women

 Clarissa S. Williams

Relief Society PresidentsSixth General President of the Relief Society, 1921–1928

“This great trust which the Prophet Joseph Smith gave to women eighty years ago has been a great blessing, not only to the Relief Society women but to the communities in which they have lived. Through our organization the gospel has been preached, the needy have been looked after, the sick have been comforted, the downhearted have been cheered, a message of love and of blessing has ever emanated from Relief Society workers.” —Clarissa S. Williams

Clarissa S Williams quote LDS RS 6th General President

“The greatest thing in the world is love. And if we keep that always in our hearts, and give it as a message to those about us, we will be blessed and will be instruments in blessing those with whom we associate.” —Clarissa S. Williams

6th General Relief Society President, Clarrissa S. Williams LDS quote

Louise Yates Robison

Relief Society PresidentsSeventh General President of the Relief Society, 1928–1939

“If we only half do our work we will have no pleasure, if we do it from a sense of duty we will have no joy, but if we feel we are a branch of this vine, and that our Father in Heaven has felt us to be worthy to be a member of that branch, and that we can carry this work when it is here to do, then we will have joy.” —Louise Y. Robison

Louise Y Robison LDS quote

“Although our records are well kept, there is no human power which can give an account of the deeds of loving kindness performed by our Relief Society members.” —Louise Y. Robison
LDS quote by Louise Y. Robison, 7th General Relief Society President

Amy Brown Lyman

Relief Society PresidentsEighth General President of the Relief Society, 1940–1945

“No work could be more important and satisfying than that of helping to raise human life to its highest level.” —Amy B. Lyman


LDS quote by Amy B Lyman, 8th General RS President

“My testimony has been my anchor and my stay, my satisfaction in times of joy and gladness, my comfort in times of sorrow and discouragement. I am grateful for the opportunity of serving, . . . particularly in Relief Society where during most of my mature life I have worked so happily and contentedly with its thousands of members. I have visited in their homes, slept in their beds, and eaten at their tables and have thus learned of their beauty of character, their unselfishness, their understanding hearts, their faithfulness, and their sacrifices. I honor beyond my power of expression this great sisterhood of service.”—Amy B. Lyman

8th General Relief Society President Amy B Lyman LDS quote

Belle S. Spafford

Relief Society PresidentsNinth General President of the Relief Society, 1945–1974

“Women who become active in Relief Society grow to love it. Their knowledge and skills increase, their testimonies of the gospel become firmly rooted. There develops within them a desire to help in the building of the kingdom of God on earth. This influence they carry into their home and disseminate among the family members. The home then becomes enriched, a place where the Spirit of God may dwell, a home prepared to fulfill its divine destiny.” —Belle S. Spafford

LDS quote from Belle S. Spafford 9th General Relief Society President

“This life is a life of choices. We sometimes don’t like to get out of the groove that’s been pleasant for us and step into a new groove that might present a few adjustments for us. We have to consider which in the ultimate is going to be the greatest benefit for the greatest number. Always I find that the decisions of the Brethren are right.”—Belle S. Spafford

Belle S Spafford LDS quote

This life is a life of choices

Barbara B. Smith

Relief Society PresidentsTenth General President of the Relief Society, 1974–1984

“Women can begin in their own spheres— with their little children at home, among  adult friends, in their extended families, and in their professions. But the important  thing is to reach out in love to serve  someone every day.” —Barbara B. Smith

LDS quote from 10th Relief Society Pres Barbara B Smith

“The Lord really cares about the feelings of love in our hearts and souls, about diligence in seeking wisdom. He wants us to love and care and do as he did. He wants us to be righteous as he was. He wants us to develop the divine within us.” —Barbara B. Smith

Quote from Relief Society President Barbara B Smith

Barbara W. Winder

Relief Society PresidentsEleventh General President of the Relief Society, 1984–1990

“It is vital that each sister have visiting teachers to convey a sense that she is needed, that someone loves and thinks about her. But equally important is the way the visiting teacher is able to grow in charity. By assigning our women to do visiting teaching, we give them the opportunity to develop the pure love of Christ, which can be the greatest blessing of their lives.”—Barbara W. Winder

LDS quote from Barbara W Winder, 11th General Relief Society President

“We can have unity in diversity and diversity in unity. We don’t have to be like one another to enjoy sisterhood.”—Barbara W. Winder

LDS quote from Barbara W. Winder, 11th General RS Pres.

Elaine L. Jack

Relief Society PresidentsTwelfth General President of the Relief Society, 1990–1997

“Despite trials, worldly confusion, and caustic voices, we can trust in the Lord and go forward with happy hearts, knowing that with every challenge or problem, there’s the strength to go on. Why? Because we know His promises are real, that He does know us by name and has a plan for each of us. He will help us learn what it is and give us joy in doing it.” —Elaine L. Jack

LDS quote by 12th RS Pres Elaine L Jack

“I think of hope as a basketful of glorious spring flowers, each blossom representing one part of what my family, friends, and I hope for. Together these hopes are a radiant, abundant, fragrant bouquet. Whatever our metaphor for it, hope remains an effervescent, expectant, happy part of life. Remember—hope matters. ‘May we press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope’.”—Elaine L. Jack

Hope Matters

Mary Ellen Smoot

Relief Society PresidentsThirteenth General President of the Relief Society, 1997–2002

“My desire is to plead with our sisters to stop worrying about a phone call or a quarterly or monthly visit, and whether that will do, and concentrate instead on nurturing tender souls. Our responsibility is to see that the gospel flame continues to burn brightly. Our charge is to find the lost sheep and help them feel our Savior’s love.” —Mary Ellen Smoot

Mary Ellen Smoot RS President quote

“As a worldwide sisterhood, we are united in our devotion to Jesus Christ, our Savior and Exemplar. We are women of faith, virtue, vision, and charity. … [We] seek spiritual strength by following the promptings of the Holy Ghost. [We] dedicate ourselves to strengthening marriages, families, and homes. … [We] delight in service and good works. … [We] rejoice in the blessings of the temple, understand our divine destiny, and strive for exaltation.”  —Mary Ellen Smoot

Quote from Mary Ellen Smoot

Bonnie D. Parkin

Relief Society PresidentsFourteenth General President of the Relief Society, 2002–2007

After receiving her calling, Sister Parkin prayed to know what the sisters of the Church needed. She felt this answer: “I received a strong witness that we, His daughters, need to know that He loves us. We need to know that He sees the good in us. Feeling His love encourages us to press forward, reassures us that we are His, and confirms to us that He cherishes us even when we stumble and experience temporary setbacks.” —Bonnie D. Parkin
LDS quote from 14th Relief Society President Bonnie D Parkin
“Sisters, I rejoice that we’re together tonight. Thanks for your countless acts of compassion, your ever-expanding testimonies, your endless supply of casseroles! You make a difference and are sunshine for the soul!” —Bonnie D. Parkin

Bonnie D Parkin You make a difference

Julie B. Beck

Relief Society PresidentsFifteenth General President of the Relief Society, 2007–2012

“The ability to qualify for, receive, and act on personal revelation is the single most important skill that can be acquired in this life. … It requires a conscious effort to diminish distractions, but having the Spirit of revelation makes it possible to prevail over opposition and persist in faith through difficult days and essential routine tasks. … We can feel certain that the Lord is pleased when we feel the Spirit working through us. With [personal revelation] we cannot fail; without it we cannot succeed.” —Julie B. Beck

LDS quote by Julie B Beck, 15th Relief Society General President

“It is not possible to make real change all by ourselves. Our own willpower and our own good intentions are not enough. When we make mistakes or choose poorly, we must have the help of our Savior to get back on track.” —Julie B. Beck

Julie B Beck LDS quote

Linda K. Burton

16 Linda K. BurtonSixteenth General President of the Relief Society, 2012–Present

“I invite each of us to evaluate how much we love the Savior, using as a measure how joyfully we keep our covenants.” —Linda K. Burton

LDS quote from Linda K Burton RS President

We might test ourselves by asking a few questions. With a little adaptation, these questions can apply to most of us, whether we are married or single, whatever our home situation might be.

  1. When was the last time I sincerely praised my companion, either alone or in the presence of our children?
  2. When was the last time I thanked, expressed love for, or earnestly pleaded in faith for him or her in prayer?
  3. When was the last time I stopped myself from saying something I knew could be hurtful?
  4. When was the last time I apologized and humbly asked for forgiveness—without adding the words “but if only you had” or “but if only you hadn’t”?
  5. When was the last time I chose to be happy rather than demanding to be “right”?

—Linda K. Burton

When was the last time- LDS quote by Linda K Burton

Learn more about these Elect Ladies at LDS.org

There’s also a great book called Elect Ladies from Deseret Book

After expressed interest, I’ve included a zipped file with all of the memes from this post. Feel free to use these for non-commercial Church or personal purposes

RS Pres Quotes Lg Memes Zipfile   These are a bit larger than the size on the blog post; if you’d like to download the size displayed in this post, just right click on the meme and save it to your computer.

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