Title: Faith, Hope and Charity: Inspiration from the Lives of General Relief Society Presidents
Authors: Janet Peterson and LaRene Gaunt
Genre: LDS Non-Fiction
Date Finished: 4 August 2008
My Rating: 5
From the book:
"Since the day in 1842 when the Prophet Joseph Smith 'turned the key' in behalf of the women of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, signaling the organization of the Relief Society, fifteen women have served as general presidents of the organization. From Emma Hale Smith, the first Relief Society president, to Bonnie D. Parkin, who from 2002 to 2007 led more than five million Relief Society sisters in 165 nations across the earth, Faith, Hope, and Charity tells the stories of the Relief Society presidents of the LDS Church."
I really enjoyed reading about the lives of these women who served as General Relief Society presidents. They all had very different stories but common themes of faith, service and love for others ran through all the stories. I especially enjoyed reading about the women "in the middle" whom I had not previously heard much about. Most of us are familiar with Emma Smith and Eliza R. Snow and with the women who have served in recent years but it was interesting to read about Louise Y. Robison, Amy Brown Lyman and Clarissa Smith Williams, women who served during the 1930s through the 1950s.
I enjoyed reading about Louise Y. Robison because I felt like I could identify with her. She was considered the ugly duckling of her family and was very shy but still a very effective leader. I also felt like I gained a lot from reading about Barbara W. Winder (I did not realize Susan W. Tanner was her daughter). It was interesting to read about why and how she changed the curriculum for Relief Society in the 1980s and I was impressed with her compassion and commitment to the Gospel.
This book really was just full of inspiration and I finished reading it filled with a desire to stand a little taller as a daughter of God and to do more to reach out with compassion towards others.