News Release

Women Celebrated During March for Shaping the Future

Relief Society sister participating in a class discussion.© 2020 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

March 8 was International Women’s Day - a day dedicated to celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. Coincidentally, the women’s organization for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints known as the Relief Society shares an anniversary month with International Women’s Day.

17 March marked 178 years since its organization. Its purpose was stated by an early member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, John A. Widtsoe.

“[To pursue] the relief of poverty, relief of illness; relief of doubt, relief of ignorance — relief of all that hinders the joy and progress of woman,” he said.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints honours the contributions of women worldwide during this celebratory month.

“As women, you inspire others and set a standard worthy of emulation…women shape the future,”
said President Russell M. Nelson in a recent General Conference address.

Relief Society sister participating in a class discussion.© 2020 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

One woman who is shaping the future of her family and community is Armine Avanesjan. She immigrated from Armenia to Germany with her young children in 1997. The journey to reunite with her husband (already in Germany) was long and arduous.

“We had no food, absolutely no food,” she said. “We had to walk through a forest, and then we had to cross a river and it was very cold—it was the beginning of December. Our clothes were wet, I couldn’t swim and I had to go deep down underwater. All I had on my mind was my kids.”

Armine overcame these obstacles and arrived in Germany. She then grappled with adapting to a new country, culture and language. Two years later, she left her comfort zone yet again after meeting missionaries who had been singing on the streets of Germany.

“I specifically felt the Holy Ghost immensely,” Armine recounts. She took a leap of faith agreed to be baptised just one month later.

As a new member, she automatically became a member of the Relief Society. She was embraced by a community of strong, faithful women in the Relief Society during her overwhelming transition.
They helped her become even stronger.

“I got a lot of support; I was able to give support. I learned about my own individual strengths. I learned how to become a wonderful wife and mother. And I definitely came to understand that God truly cares about me, knows me by name and loves me,” Armine said.
Armine shaped the future of her family by teaching them how to have faith and study the scriptures.

All three of her children served full-time missions. She also shaped the future of her Church congregation by faithfully serving in the Primary and Relief Society organisations and teaching Sunday School.

“I am grateful that we have this system in the Church where you can teach others and thereby teach yourself,” she said.


First counsellor in the Relief Society General Presidency Sharon L. Eubank recently pointed out that all women can be courageous leaders in their homes and communities. She counselled women everywhere to use their “agency and voice,” to make a difference.

“Don’t wait to be the change you seek…the second we learn that [we]…have the power and the hope and the energy, things shift. I am incredibly energised by that idea,” she said.

This March, the power of Relief Society sisters and women everywhere is warmly celebrated and appreciated.

The Relief Society is the largest organisation for women in the world with over 7.5 million members in 162 countries.

To find additional resources for women and more information on Relief Society visit

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