It’s A Wonderful Life—Relief Society Style
A couple of years ago, I wrote a skit for a RS birthday celebration. It highlights some of the many contributions of the RS over the years. It is based on “It’s a Wonderful Life” and basically you get a glimpse into what life might be like if there had never been a Relief Society. Anyway, it was a pretty successful evening, so I thought I share it, since I get so many great ideas off the Internet from other people. I hope someone will find it helpful.
It’s A Wonderful Life—Relief Society Style
By Patty Hooper
YW who will be going to RS soon thinks that it is not so cool and she complains to her mother. Complains that all RS sisters do is sit around and sew quilts or learn how to get stains out of clothes. That is boring and she feels it doesn’t relate to her life at all. She wants to make a difference in the world, not sit around learning homemaking skills.
Mother says that is not all RS does. They make significant contributions to the community and to the people in the branch.
YW: “I know, mom. They also bring dinners and babysit when someone is sick. But big deal. How does that affect t me? I just wish RS had never been started. Then I wouldn’t have to go.”
Girl flounces off to her room to pout and she falls asleep.
An angel or maybe past RS general pres (possibly Emma Smith??) appears to the YW and grants her her wish and shows her what life would be like without RS.
YW: Who are you?
ANGEL: I am an angel named Charity and I was sent to help you change your mind about RS.
YW: You won’t be able to change my mind. I’ve seen RS. I know what it is. It is a bunch of old women sitting around making blankets. I have nothing against serving others, but why can’t we make bigger contributions, just because we are women?
ANGEL: RS over the years has made very significant contributions. When it first began….
YW: (interrupts) I don’t really want to hear about it, no offense. I already know about how the RS started and made shirts for workmen working on the Salt Lake Temple. We hear about that all the time.
ANGEL: Well, they are also the people who are in charge of temple and burial clothing, which is very important.
YW: Sure, it’s important, but why is everything RS does about food and clothes? I just wish RS had never been started. Then I wouldn’t be expected to join it when I turn 18.
ANGEL: OK, you asked for it. You want to make a difference in the world, right? Well, you can start by voting now that you are 18.
YW: Yes, that is one way I want to make a difference. I can actually influence lawmakers and change things in this country.
ANGEL: Well, you can thank the RS for your right to vote.
YW: What are you talking about?
ANGEL: The RS paired up with the U.S. National Council of Women and campaigned for the right to vote for women. That’s a pretty far cry from sitting around and sewing all the time, huh? OK, come with me.
YW: Where are we going?
ANGEL: I have something to show you.
**** Show a woman who either refuses to accept a Book of Mormon from someone or puts it down in frustration…..
YW : Why is she acting like that? Sister Smith loves the Book of Mormon. In fact, she always has a copy with her and reads it whenever she can. She’s my Laurel advisor and teaches the greatest lessons. In fact, it was because of her example that I asked Heavenly Father if the Book of Mormon was true and I gained my testimony
ANGEL: Sister Smith can’t read.
YW: Yes, she can. She read for class today!
ANGEL: She can’t afford to take a literacy class. The reason she could read for your class was because of the RS Literacy program. It was designed so that all people might be able to read the word of God. In fact, it uses the Book of Mormon to teach people how to read. But the RS helped organize it and is responsible for implementing it. So, if the RS had never been formed, there would be a lot of members around the world who would be unable to read. Let’s move on.
***** Turn around and look towards the pulpit.
YW: Hey, this is my ward. Where is Brother Miller? He is the bishop. Is his family out of town or something?
ANGEL: No. Brother Miller no longer comes to Church.
YW: Why not? Did he go inactive?
ANGEL: Not exactly. He still believes in the Church, but he can’t attend because he works on Sundays. He hates it, but feels he has no choice.
YW: He didn’t work on Sundays before. He worked for that computer software company. I don’t see how Brother Miller’s job could possibly have been influenced by the RS. Give me a break. Now you are making things up.
ANGEL: Do you remember when Brother Miller lost his job a few years ago? Well, his family had to use the church welfare system for about six months while Brother Miller looked for a job. He eventually found that great job with the software company, which was even better for his family than his previous job. But since the RS doesn’t exist, the welfare program doesn’t either. Without welfare assistance, his family was about to lose their house and had very little to eat. Brother Miller was desperate and ended up taking a job that was not in his field and that required him to work on Sundays. If he had only been able to wait a few more months, he would have found a much better job.
YW: I still don’t understand how RS is involved with this.
ANGEL: RS helped to organize the welfare system. And didn’t you know that it is mostly the RS’s responsibility to implement the system? They monitor who needs food and help and they make sure the bishop is aware of their needs. The RS president also makes sure they get the food they need and helps the family plan meals and save money. If there had been no welfare program, there are thousands of people that would have been affected.
ANGEL: OK, Turn around. I have more to show you.
**** Look into the audience as if it were a Sacrament meeting.
YW: Hey, this is my ward. I know these people. But, there are quite a few families missing. Where is Amy? She is my best friend.
ANGEL: Actually, she doesn’t go to Church.
YW: What??? She is totally active. Nothing would keep her from Church.
ANGEL: She was never baptized. Her parents do not belong to the Church. When her grandmother was a young mother, she had gone inactive because she felt like she had no friends at Church. It was the faithful visits from her Visiting Teachers that eventually brought her back to Church. But without RS, there would be no visiting teaching program, so Amy’s grandmother remained inactive, and her mother never joined the church, so Amy never did either.
YW: Wow! I had no idea how many people RS affects. Well, at least I can rest assured that it doesn’t affect Tom, my boyfriend. Since he’s a guy and he’s the only member in his family, it couldn’t possibly affect him, right?
ANGEL: Well, don’t get upset, but Tom is not your boyfriend. In fact, you don’t even know each other.
YW: What? How can that be?
ANGEL: Tom’s family had to move from Illinois to the west after WWI. His great-grandparents suffered greatly after the war and lost everything. So, they became migrant workers and ended up settling in California. You see, in 1918, the RS sold its wheat to the US government to help people after the war. Without that wheat the government was unable to help people like Tom’s family.
YW: OK, OK I see your point. RS really is a great organization. I had no idea how much it has contributed to people’s lives over the years. It seems like just about every person in the Church and many people outside the Church have been affected by RS. I never realized!
ANGEL: That’s why Joseph Smith said that the church was never complete until the Relief Society was organized. It is a vital part of the church. And this is only a small example of the people that have been helped. Ask your mother and sister and see how much your own family has benefited.
YW: I will. Thank you for helping me learn more. I am going to go to RS next week and I am going to do all I can to contribute to such an awesome group.
She wakes up and goes to talk to her mother and older sister. They share their testimonies of RS
Open up for others to bear their testimonies about Relief Society and how it has helped them.