Women in the Church

Women play an integral role in the work of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. While women are not ordained to the priesthood in the Church and do not therefore officiate in rites such as blessing the sacramental emblems or baptizing, they serve in senior leadership positions and as missionaries and teachers, and they routinely preach from the pulpit and lead congregational prayers in worship services.

Motherhood and the nurturing of children are held in special respect in the Church, and many Mormon women who make this their first priority also achieve prominence in later life in business, education, medicine and other endeavors.

Relief Society

The main organization for women in the Church is the Relief Society, which was founded in 1842.  Today the organization includes more than 5.5 million women ages 18 and older in over 170 countries.

Every Sunday the Relief Society holds a one-hour meeting for women as a part of regular Sunday services.  The meeting provides religious instruction and helps women teach the gospel of Jesus Christ to their families in their own homes.

Members of Relief Society also help those in need by providing meals, clothing and other necessities. In addition, women participate in a literacy program to help others learn reading and writing skills.

The Relief Society has a unique program called "visiting teaching" to provide a support network for women in the Church.  Each woman is assigned two other women who visit her home each month to give a religious message and offer help if needed.

Women have additional opportunities to meet together outside of the Sunday meetings to participate in activities such as book clubs, classes on parenting and homemaking skills, service projects and social events.

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.