Since that 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, twelve women have served as general presidents of the organization.
From Emma Hale Smith, the first Relief Society president, to Elaine L. Jack, whose administration takes the organization into the 1990s, Elect Ladies tells the stories of these twelve women, each an "elect lady" in her own right. These are stories of courage, faith, service, and compassion, stories that provide greater understanding of the Lord's work and of those who lead out in performing it. Through the persecutions of the Church in Nauvoo, the problems of establishing new homes and communities in the West, the crises associated with plural marriage, the poverty of the Depression of the 1930s, two world wars, and confusion over the changing status of women in recent years, these elect ladies have each applied their particular talents and insights to unite the sisters of a worldwide church.
"I'd like the 1990s to be a decade when women extend themselves, exemplify righteousness, and teach in compassion and love," says Sister Jack. "I want each woman to find her own individual happiness as a result of her belief in the gospel. If women are solid and secure in their personal testimonies, live their lives according to what they know is right, they will be blessed individually and they will make a difference in the world."
Elect Ladies is an inspiring look at some who have had leading roles in helping to make a difference for women, the Church, and the world.
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