This is not an official Web site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

For more information, contact Chris Jones,

Monday, December 14, 2009

Changes in Relief Society Enrichment Meeting

The Stake Relief Society Presidency wants to remind you of this information and we ask that you review and discuss it in your presidency and Relief Society meetings.

In the 2009 General Relief Society Meeting, Sister Beck, Relief Society General President, outlined some changes in the Relief Society Enrichment Meeting. She emphasized that Relief Society is a “faith-based work.” She reiterated the purpose of Relief Society to prepare women for the blessings of eternal life by helping them:

1. Increase their faith and personal righteousness.
2. Strengthen their families and homes.
3. Serve the Lord and His children.

These things haven’t changed and should always be our focus in planning any Relief Society meetings. Sister Beck encouraged us to “show respect for the Lord and the sisters” by using “Relief Society time in an inspired way.”

To watch a brief clip of Sister Beck’s talk, in which she announces the changes to Enrichment Meeting, click here.

For the complete text of her talk, click here.

I would like to highlight a few important changes:
  • Enrichment Meeting and Midweek Activities will now simply be called Relief Society meetings. In addition, they can simply be called what they are: Relief Society service project, Relief Society craft day, Relief Society health seminar, etc.
  • These meetings can be an extension of principles taught in Sunday meetings. They can be a powerful forum to bless sisters lives based on needs made apparent during Sunday meetings.
  • Always seek the spirit in prayer and counsel with your bishop when planning meetings.
  • Frequency:
    Relief Society meetings are generally held monthly but can be held more often or less frequently.
    Efforts should be made to meet at least quarterly.
    One meeting may commemorate the founding of the Relief Society and focus on its history and purpose.
  • One member of the ward Relief Society presidency should be in attendance at every meeting!
The Church’s website has a very helpful page dedicated to these changes. It includes the short video clip I mentioned above from Sister Beck’s talk along with concise, well-organized information and ideas on Relief Society meetings. Click on this link to go to that page.

There have been questions about what the “Enrichment Counselor” should be called and what the “Enrichment Leader” should now be called. There is a new section in the Relief Society Frequently Asked Questions on the Church’s web site regarding this.

Relief Society Meetings
  • What do we call the counselor who is responsible for additional Relief Society meetings?
    We encourage you to follow the pattern of the priesthood and call the counselors “first counselor” and “second counselor.” The Relief Society president can assess the work of Relief Society and delegate assignments and responsibilities to each counselor as needed.
  • What do we call the sister who coordinates Relief Society meetings that are held during the week?
    The Relief Society president may recommend that a sister in the ward be called to serve as the Relief Society meeting coordinator to help the presidency carry out these meetings. If a sister has been serving as the home, family, and personal enrichment leader, her title is now Relief Society meeting coordinator.
  • What do we call Relief Society meetings that are not held on Sunday?
    Individual Relief Society meetings that are held during the week can be called whatever they are, for example, Relief Society meetings, classes, projects, conferences, or workshops.

    Examples of how Relief Society meetings can be announced: "This Thursday we will have a Relief Society meeting at 7:00 p.m. Our meeting this month will include a variety of classes to help us improve homemaking skills." Or, "We will have a Relief Society workshop this next month about how to be better parents." Or, "On Saturday we will have a Relief Society conference." Or, "We will have a Relief Society service project this coming month."

There was also a very informative article in the Church News, in which Sister Beck was interviewed. That article can be seen here. A couple of things really impressed me from that article:
  • If we don’t teach the mothers, there is no place our mothers can go to learn their responsibilities. If we don’t teach the young single adults what their contribution can be in the kingdom and we don’t organize that, there is no place they can go to get it in the world. If we don’t organize the women to do the work the Lord wants them to do, then no one else in the world will do it.
  • We don’t know who is being hit in these economic times. Relief Society should not be asking sisters to do anything, to pay anything, that could be exclusive because they don’t have the money to do it. This includes asking women in a ward to eat out at a restaurant for a lunch or dinner group or to pay for other things completed at a Relief Society meeting. It doesn’t mean you can’t go out to lunch with your friends anymore, but that is not a Relief Society activity.
I would ask that you carefully and prayerfully consider the purpose of each Relief Society meeting in your ward. Is it being called a Relief Society meeting because you want to fill a certain “quota” of meetings or is it really fulfilling the purpose of Relief Society? Let me tell you there is no quota. Meetings should be carefully planned to meet the needs of your ward, and you must consider also the emphasis that Sister Beck put on having one member of the Relief Society presidency attend each meeting. Relief Society meetings are not clubs and are not simply for socializing (though that is an important part of Relief Society!). I recently heard of a ward in another state where a young sister was told that she shouldn’t attend the Relief Society book group, as the members of that group weren’t really interested in adding any new members. Please, please, please do not allow this appalling situation to happen in our stake! You must be vigilant, you must be totally aware of what is going on in all Relief Society meetings.

A few of my favorite things

Today is Monday, December 14, the temperature has warmed up to a -2* and the snowfall from last night is beautiful. A perfect day to stay home and make bread, (using Lillian Nehring's receipe) and listen to Christmas carols. Josh Groban's CD, NOEL is wonderful. His "O Come All Ye Faithful" with the Mormon Tabernacle choir reminds you of what Christmas is all about. Andrea Bocelli's MY CHRISTMAS is a treat to listen to. "The Lord's Prayer" with the Mormon Tabernacle choir is included along with a great song featuring Mary J. Blige, "What Child is This?" Beautiful music can help bring the "Spirit of Christmas" into your home.

There is a good Christmas article in the Parade section of the Sunday Billings Gazette. It is entitled "Why We Should Believe in Santa Claus" by Alexander McCall Smith. He is the author of the "No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" series. Which is a great read by the way. You can check out the audio tapes from the Billings Library and listen to them too. Anyway... the author talks about when he first said that he didn't believe in Santa Claus and how he now, of course, believes that there is a Santa Claus.
Part of the magic of Christmas is Santa Claus. Young or old, believer or non-believer. "Santa Claus stands for kindness and generosity." If you didn't read the Parade article I'm sure it is on the internet.

Another good website that you might want to check out is It has lots of Christmas ideas and stories you might enjoy.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Pick your Poison

I thought I'd share two brownie recipes. The first is BYU Mint Brownies. I found this recipe years ago on line at BYU/Magazine. It is very good. The second is a recipe I haven't tried yet but would like to, my problem is I need a crowd to help share the calories. I found it in the BYU magazine, summer 2007. Its called Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Fudge Brownies. It is by Erin Renouf Mylroie (BA '95). There is an article about her in the magazine. Many of her recipes are national prize winners. She has won a trip to Disney World and appeared on the Rachael Ray television show. Her recipe seems simple enough and worth a try.

BYU Mint Brownies
Makes one 9x13 pan of brownies
1 C butter
1/2 C cocoa
2 Tbsp. honey
2 C sugar
1 3/4 C flour
1/2 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C chopped walnuts
12 oz. chocolate icing
Mint Icing
5 Tbsp. butter
dash of salt
3 Tbsp. milk
1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
2 1/3 C. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. mint extract
1-2 drops green food coloring
1. Melt butter and mix in cocoa. Allow to cool. Add honey, eggs, sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix well. Add nuts. Pour batter into a greased 9x13 baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Cool.
2. Prepare mint icing: Soften butter. Add salt, corn syrup, and powdered sugar. Beat until smooth and fluffy. Add mint extract and food coloring. Mix. Add milk gradually until the consistency is a little thinner than cake frosting.
3. Spread mint icing over brownie3s. Place brownies in the freezer for a short time to stiffen the icing. Remove from the freezer and carefully add a layer of chocolate icing.
Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Fudge Brownies
by Erin Renouf Mylroie
3/4 cup butter
4 ounces good quality unsweetened chocolate (she uses Baker's in the orange box.)
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups flour, plus 2 tablespoons flour, divided
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large microwaveable bowl, combine butter and chocolate. Melt butter and chocolate in mictrowave on high at 1-minute intervals, stirring in between. Do not let mixture sizzle. When mixture is completely melted and smooth, immediately stir in sugar; continue stirring until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time. Stir in vanilla and buttermilk. Add 1 1/2 cups flour.
3. Toss chocolate chips with remaining 2 tablespoons flour in a small bowl; add to batter.
4. Pour into greased 9x13 baking dish and bake for 28-33 minutes, or until toothpicki inserted into center has just a few fudgy crumbs. Let cool for 30 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christmas Day Dessert

In our family it is not Thanksgiving without Chocolate Pie and not Christmas without Orange Slices and Gingerbread Cake. This Gingerbread recipe is from the Lion House Recipes cookbook. So easy and the favorite of children and adults alike.

1/2 C sugar
1 cube butter (1/2 C)
1 egg, well beaten
1 C molasses
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 C flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp powdered cloves
1 C very hot water
Whipped cream
Cream sugar and butter well. Add egg and molasses. Beat well. Sift dry ingredients together and add to creamed mixture. Add hot water and beat until smooth (batter will be very thin). Pour into a well-greased 9x13 inch pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes, or until cake tests done. Mine never takes 40 minutes, check it early. Serve warm or cold with sliced bananas and whipped cream.

Beaded Socks

Years ago in Billings 2nd ward, I know that dates me, Deanne Hansen showed us how to make beaded socks. I made them for babies and then made a few with red and green beads and hung them on my Christmas tree. They are super easy, just follow the instructions. My only concern with these is maybe a baby could chew a bead off and swallow it! Always make them for a child that is past the putting things in their mouth stage or a baby that is too young to figure out how to get their feet in their mouth! I got these instructions from I used cheap plastic beads but there are so many cool beads to use now. But remember you are going to wash these so don't go crazy with the beads!...unless they are hanging on a Christmas Tree!

Beaded Socks

Materials Needed: 80-90 beads any type are fine, several yards size 10 thread, size 6 steel hook.


Note: You may want to add 5 more beads to the thread in case your spacing and size of sock is different than mine. Work between ribbings on the top of the sock.

Turn the sock inside out, thread 40 beads on the thread, attach yarn to the back of the sock with a slip stitch, (chain 4, pull one bead close to the hook and chain 1 to lock the bead in place, chain 4, slip stitch back into the sock into the next groove in the ribbing) continue this around until you have reached the beginning. Fasten off, tie the beginning and ending thread together about 5 times and weave in your end.

Christmas Ideas

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. We've had beautiful weather for the longest time but with the snow fall this week it's time to get serious about gifts, decorating and food. I thought I'd share a simple but cute fleece pillow pattern. I made this pillow years ago at a sewing class. It would be a great project for children and teens to make as a Christmas Gift.

No-Sew Fringe Pillows

1. Decide what size pillow you'd like to make.

2. Cut 2 pieces of fleece the size of the pillow PLUS 9 inches (both ways).

Lay layers on top of one another with the right sides out.

3. Cut away the corners and cut fringe all the way around the pillow.

Make the cuts about 4 1/2 inches deep and about 1 inch wide.

4. Tie the top and bottom fringe strands together around 3 sides of the pillow.

5. Insert the pillow form and tie the remaining side closed.