Tips for the Relief Society Secretary

When the secretary in our Relief Society Presidency was released, I asked her to send me a message with a list of what she did to help the new secretary transition to the calling. (And yes, the secretary really did ALL this -- she was incredible.)

While this is NOT a list of *required* or *official* secretary duties, I am posting it here any so that you can know what some of the things a secretary might be asked to do in Relief Society:

"..here is what I personally did:

  • Take the Roll each Sunday
  • Send an attendance report to Brother Hagen at the end of the month via email
  • Provide Sunday Agenda to person conducting w/ announcments, songs and lesson for the day
  • Welcome and meet visitors on Sunday and include their names on the agenda
  • Assign 2 women for Sunday prayers to include on the agenda
  • Record Good News Minutes on Sunday for ward history
  • Attend Presidency meetings when scheduled
  • Provide agenda for presidency meetings
  • Type up minutes of presidency meetings
  • Monthly prepare and send birthday cards for each sister
  • Type up and distribute monthly RS newsletter by last Sunday of the month which includes:
    • a presidency message which I wrote when my turn
    • Visiting teaching message from Ingrid
    • 2 spotlight interviews
    • the RS calendar
    • good news minutes
  • Distribute newsletters/flyers to secretaries of YW and Primary.
  • Pinned copy of newsletter to Ward Bulletin Board and RS bulletin board
  • Be in charge of the RS folder which goes around each Sunday with flyers, sign-ups and newsletters
  • Make sure RS announcements are getting into the ward Sunday bulletin
  • Go on sister visits with the presidency
  • Took turns with the presidency teaching first Sunday lessons
  • Conducted Sunday meetings when rest of Presidency was out of town
  • Assemble welcome kits for new sisters that move in
  • Keep order in the RS closets
  • Time keeper at Pres. meetings
  • Attend Stake RS Leadership Meetings
  • Collect receipts for the president to sign and get
  • Bishop to sign and give to financial clerk.
  • Try to attend all Relief Society functions to support Presidency
  • Help the President wherever she needs
  • My house was the assembling house for Thanksgiving baskets and the Christmas giving tree project
  • Give a brief report at board meetings
  • Provide a list of names to president of the sisters who haven't attended Relief Society each quarter
  • Sent out reminders to Ward email list of RS activities
  • Keep up-to-date records of sisters addresses and phone numbers
  • Alert membership clerk when sisters move out and provide him with new address if I have it

I think that is it! Wow, it really seems overwhelming when I type it out! Maybe you'll want to break it to her slowly.

Have a great day! I really enjoyed our dinner out the other night.

Love, K.

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16 Comments

Anonymous's picture

I am already a RS secretary

I am already a RS secretary and would like to be able to make a nice newsletter for our sisters. Any help on that would really be appreciated.
Oh, and I am not too good on the computer!

Jessica Price's picture

Hi, just wondering if anyone

Hi, just wondering if anyone has put together a RS directory? The previous sister did it in WORD but it is so time consuming to move everyone over for each move-in. Any tips? Software you've tried? Thanks!

Jenny Smith's picture

There are some software

There are some software packages you can buy for this purpose, but they are expensive. Most people use Word or Excel for this because they are familiar with those programs. If you are a power user and know how to do a merge in either program, you can automate directory making. I have met very few LDS women (or men) who know how to do this, myself included. I guess if I had a need, I could figure it out since I understand the theory, but I never have bothered.

I'll be honest with you -- there is no way in heck I would ever waste my time making a Relief Society directory. The MLS system in the clerk's office will print you a really nice directory automatically. It can include birthdays, too. If you're ticked that the MLS doesn't have the email addresses or cell phone numbers that you want to add, the solution is simple: get the clerk to give you MLS permissions to alter member records, and add that information in MLS, and then print the directory.

You can download the RS data as a CSV file for special formatting in Excel or OpenOffice, too.

The current MLS is limited in that it cannot print photographs. If you want photos in your directory, you will be using Word/Excel or a directory-making software program as mentioned above. And you must be either a very skilled user, or a person with a LOT of patience and time on their hands to create and maintain such a document.

I expect the future LDS directory at http://beta.lds.org/ will have photo capability. It is not expected to go live until 2012 (which if the church's internet folks meet this deadline with the same precision as they usually do, really means 2014), but you could try it out now. Go to http://beta.lds.org/ and click Tools --> Directory to try it out. You can upload pictures of an entire household and of individuals. I think this means that eventually you will be able to print directories with head-shots for your YW or RS class, and also be able to print out a ward/stake directory with photographs of entire families.

If YOU have created a merge-style document like I'm describing, please upload it or email it to me. I'm sure many members would love to use it.

Jenny Smith's picture

This is correct. It is not

This is correct. It is not the responsibility of a Secretary in any auxiliary to teach on Sundays as she has other duties. She also does not conduct meetings. The Secretary is not technically a part of the presidency and does not have those responsibilities. A RS Secretary also does not attend Welfare meeting, although the President and Counselors do.

However, some RS presidents do ask their Secretaries to teach for a variety of reasons. It's not a correct thing to do, in my opinion, and no provision is made for it in the handbook. Ultimately the way a presidency functions is determined by local needs and any alterations to set roles should be approved by a Bishop.

This Secretary did teach Relief Society under her previous RS president. I asked her not to teach, which was a great disappointment to her. :(

Linda Hilliard's picture

I agree with this sisters

I agree with this sisters comments. Since this secretary does like to teach, I would suggest that she be asked to teach on a 4th Sunday, which is acceptable. My secretary was a wonderful teacher and it would have been a shame to not utilize her.

Kacee Lewis's picture

Thank you so much for this!!

Thank you so much for this!! I was just called to be the RS Secretary in my branch. We do not currently have one, so I have no one to talk to about this or what to expect. I am a young mom and this is my first calling! We just got baptized sept 17th 2011. I am very excited to serve!

Amelia's picture

I have gotten into LDS RS

I have gotten into LDS RS Secretary to find any and all info for my new calling, Secretary. So happy I found your site. Thanks a lot. Wow...I got a lot to learn and do.
Am I mistaken that I was told long time ago by a bishop that a Secretary is actually a third counselor... per say, I guess. I'm just happy to learn my duties and help with the Lord's work. Thanks for your insites...very helpful. keeping you on my favorites

Sally Ashmore's picture

I seem to be a little late to

I seem to be a little late to the game in finding this site, but I second most of that list.  Having served as the RSSec in 2 different wards under 3 different presidencies, that's pretty par for the course.  Of course, it does vary ward to ward and even presidency to presidency.  For example in one, I conducted every fourth month while in another I wasn't even at the front during the opening exercises of Sunday meetings.  One had me do a newsletter, two did not.  3 of the 4 presidencies I've served in have had whoever is conducting find sisters to pray in the Sunday meetings. 

One of my favorites thing to do, though, was take attendance.  I never marked it off on the roster during meetings; I always took lists home and marked it off there.  I loved the opportunity it gave to spend a few moments thinking about each sister whose presence I marked, and also get familiar with the names of sisters whose names I didn't.

A duty that I didn't see on here that I was assigned was updating the VT routes and reporting electronically.  I only did this in a small Single's Ward, where we didn't have a VT Coordinator called.  Those presidencies also asked me to help distribute assignment changes and VT interviews.  (With high turnover in YSA wards, there have been many times when there was at least one change to each route/companionship, so there was a lot of distributing to do!)