April 3, 2017
Writer: Mackenzie Holbrook
Sister Jean B. Bingham was named the new Relief Society general president during the Saturday afternoon session of the 187th Annual General Conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Before her new calling, Bingham had previously been serving as the first counselor in the Primary general presidency, the Church's organization for 1 million children 11 and younger.
According to lds.org, Joseph Smith, Jr., taught that the Relief Society was specifically organized for "the relief of the poor, the destitute, the widow and the orphan, and for the exercise of all benevolent purposes."
Founded in Nauvoo, Illinois, in 1842, the Relief Society is one of the largest women's organizations in the world with a membership of roughly 7.1 million to date.
According to The First Fifty Years of Relief Society, Joseph Smith, Jr., officially established the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo on March 17, 1842, in Smith's red brick store. He named his wife, Emma Smith, as the first president of the society.
Eliza R. Snow, the first secretary of the society, recorded the meeting minutes of that first official
In her minutes, Snow recorded the feelings of the members in the room during the meeting.
"The spirit of the Lord was pour'd out in a very powerful manner, never to be forgotten by those present on that interesting occasion," she said.
She also recorded the words of the Prophet Joseph while he organized the society in accordance with the organization of the Priesthood.
"I now turn the key to you in the name of God and this Society shall rejoice," Joseph Smith Jr., said. "And knowledge and intelligence shall flow down from this time."
Sister Bingham is the 17th general president of the Relief Society.