All Mormon women over the age of 18 belong to Relief Society, which helps women in their efforts to follow Jesus Christ, increase their personal faith, strengthen families and serve others. This work and Relief Society women both past and present are the focus of a new book released by the Church, Daughters in My Kingdom: The History and Work of Relief Society.
As the Church’s general Relief Society president, Julie B. Beck has met women from all over the world and says the new book will provide perspective and strength for the 21st-century woman.
“This story that the Church is releasing now is very important, I think, for our time now and I can’t think of a time when it’s been needed more than it’s needed today,” Sister Beck said.
Copies of Daughters in My Kingdom will be distributed to women around the world to be used as a resource for personal study and for teaching in the Church and in the home. The book was mailed to English-speaking Church units in September and will be printed in 25 other languages in the next few months. With this diversity of cultures among the 14 million Church members, Sister Beck said the book needed to have broad appeal.
The 208-page book is organized by themes such as family, sisterhood and charity. Each chapter includes stories of Latter-day Saint women throughout history and around the world today. Sister Beck said the book is designed to be user-friendly for readers with varying literacy levels. It is also visually inviting, with every page featuring colorful photographs and beautiful artwork.
This historical understanding will be a useful tool in a Church where the majority of members are converts, Sister Beck said.
“As the Church itself grows exponentially over the years, I think there will be great value in this book for the women who join the Church to say, here’s who I am, this is what I’ve become part of, this is my specific identity in this Church, that I am not homogenized but I am a living, breathing, contributing individual and I’m needed,” she said.
Daughters in My Kingdom is unique within the Church because it was written by an individual woman rather than a committee. The writer is former general Young Women president Susan W. Tanner, who is now serving a mission in Brazil with her husband.
Tanner drew heavily on previous historical research and original documents for the book.
“This book is not necessarily meant to be a conclusive history; there are already historians who are doing that,” Tanner said. “The Relief Society presidency wanted a volume that would be accessible to the whole world, to sisters everywhere. I did have perspective on that, having seen sisters in so many circumstances and situations. The book needed to be something that every woman could read and understand and be invited into this work no matter where they are coming from.”
Sister Beck addressed a worldwide audience of Mormon women at the 2010 Relief Society General Meeting, introducing the theme upon which the new Daughters In My Kingdom book is based — the work, history and heritage of Relief Society, and their ramifications for modern LDS women. View her address or read the complete transcript on the General Conference pages at LDS.org.
Can’t wait to get a copy? You can read Daughters In My Kingdom: The History and Work of Relief Society online or download the entire book in PDF format on the Daughters In My Kingdom web page.