Relief Society Timeline

1827-29 Emma Smith is first scribe for Book of Mormon
March – the Book of Mormon is published
April – Church of Jesus Christ (of Latter-day Saints) is organized
June – Emma Hale Smith is baptized
July – Emma is confirmed and “ordained” “Elect Lady” (D&C 25)
1833-36  Society of Sisters work on Kirtland Temple interiors, textiles
Joseph Smith compares Sisters in temple with Mary Magdalene
1833-35  Twenty three sisters attend “School of Elders” in Whitney Store
1835   Sacred Hymns compiled by Emma, used in Temple dedication
1836  Kirtland Temple dedicated;  Sisters create Kirtland School in temple
1841-45  Society of Sisters work on Nauvoo Temple interiors, textiles
   Sarah M. Kimball & Margaret Cook organize women’s society
1842  Eliza R. Snow writes constitution for women’s society
March 17 – Female Relief Society of Nauvoo formalized as ecclesiastical
Women elect Emma as President; Emma chooses counselors, secretary
RS Presidency are “ordained” to preside “as the First Presidency presides”
Joseph said “Society should move according to the ancient priesthood”
“make of this Society a kingdom of priests as in Enoch’s day…Pauls day”
1843  March – Young Ladies Relief Society of Nauvoo organized
“Necessity Committee” organized (visiting teachers, young ladies)
1844 March – Relief Society stops meeting due to turmoil in Nauvoo
June –  Joseph & Hyrum Smith are murdered in Carthage Jail
1846-1847  RS women meet together in Winter Quarters
1850’s  RS women meet & work to help needy in Utah
1855   Endowment House is dedicated in Salt Lake
1866  Brigham Young approves RS formal reorganization
Nauvoo name dropped, renamed Female Relief Society
1866-1880  Eliza R. Snow leads all women of church
1868 Brigham Young urges women to cultivate silk
1869 Brigham calls for young women Retrenchment
1870  Women in Utah receive the vote
1872-1914  Woman’s Exponent is official RS publication
1873-1892  Female Relief Society renamed Relief Society
1876 Relief Society begins sericulture and grain storage
1878  Women create Primary auxiliary for children
1879  Emma Smith dies, holds RS Pres. office until death
1880 Eliza R. Snow “ordained” President of Relief Society
1880 Leaders established Relief Society, Young Women, Primary
1882  R.S. buys Deseret Hospital from Holy Cross Sisters
1887 Edmunds-Tucker Act passed, disfranchising Utah women
1888-1901 Zina D. H. Young ordained President of RS
1889  first Relief Society General Conference
1890 Manifesto is issued, ending plural marriage
1891 Relief Society joins National Council of Women
1892 Relief Society Jubilee Year, celebrations
1892-1945  RS renamed National Women’s Relief Society
1896 Utah granted statehood; women regain vote
1901 Construction on Relief Society building begins
1901-1910 Bathsheba W. Smith is President of RS
1902 Uniform course study begins in Relief Society
1910-1921 Emmeline B. Wells, President of RS
1910 Relief Society, YWMIA, Primary in Bishop’s Building
1914 Women’s Exponent discontinued
R.S. Bulleten and Relief Society Magazine begin
1915  “Circular of Instructions,” or Relief Society Handbook
1918  Wheat collected by R.S. given to U.S. gov.
1919  Relief Society social services is established
1920 19th Amendment to Constitution grants U.S.. suffrage
1921 Emmeline Wells released as R.S. President
first R.S. Pres. released (others held R.S. office until death)
1921-1928 Clarissa S. Williams, President of RS
1924  Maternity hospital is founded
1928-1939 Louise Y. Robison, President of RS
1931  Relief Society colors blue and gold
1933 Singing Mothers Chorus is named
1937 Mormon Handicraft is established
1940-1945 Amy Brown Lyman, President of RS
1942 Relief Society Centennial curtailed by WWII
1945-1974  Belle S. Spafford, President of RS
name changed back to Relief Society
1956 Relief Society Building is dedicated
1970 Relief Society Magazine is discontinued
1971  All adult women are members of Relief Society
1974-1894 Barbara B. Smith, President of R.S.
1980 Consolidated meeting schedule, RS on Sunday
1980  LDS Church Sesquicentennial
1982 Sarah M. Kimball home in Nauvoo  dedicated
1984 Barbara W. Winder, President of Relief Society
1984 Wives of Area Presidencies serve as General Board
reps for Relief Society, Young Women, and Primary
1987 Relief Society lessons coordinated w/ study scriptures
1988  Relief Society, Young Women, and Primary offices
housed in remodeled Relief Society Building
1988 Visiting Teaching to accommodate worldwide church
1992 Relief Society Sesquicentennial, exhibit Church museum
History of R.S. Women of Covenant is published
1997-2002 Mary Ellen W. Smoot, President of Relief Society
2002-2007 Bonnie D. Parkin, President of Relief Society
2007-2012 Julie B. Beck, President of Relief Society
R.S. called “ministry” and “quorums” of priesthood
2012 Linda K. Burton, President of Relief Society
New ministering program, Sisters as Ministering Members
2017 Jean B. Bingham, President of Relief Society
Sisters can access “powers of priesthood”