The women's organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sometimes called the Mormon Church, is called the Relief Society. The Relief Society was organized under the direction of Mormon prophet Joseph Smith after the pattern of the Priesthood of the Church in 1842, with Emma Hale Smith as its first president. It is the oldest and largest sisterhood organization in the world with about 5 million members.
Mormon sisterhood serves many purposes. Most important is aiding in the fourfold mission of the Church: perfecting the Saints; redeeming the dead; proclaiming the gospel; and helping the poor and needy. Within the sisterhood, women support each others' faith and family involvements. Sunday meetings are scripture-oriented and principle-oriented. Other meetings present uplifting messages, perform humanitarian aid projects, hone homemaking skills, and focus on preparedness (including food storage and preparation). The Visiting Teaching program provides each Relief Society member with a support line. Women are assigned to visit (two by two) a few sisters in the congregation each month. They do bring a spiritual message, but the main goal is to enter the visited sister's home and gather feelings and information about possible needs. If an emergency occurs, even a period of busy-ness, the sister knows whom to call for help. The visiting teachers can report back to the Bishop of the congregation (called a Ward) and the Relief Society presidency and arrange to fill the needs of the sister. In some cases this might entail bringing in meals for days or weeks, helping with housekeeping, setting up church welfare to provide for the family, relieving a burdened care-giver, driving a sister to doctors' appointments, etc.
Activities and classes help the sisters draw together for emotional and spiritual support, and the building of permanent friendships. Sisters also increase in knowledge of gospel principles as they are taught and supported by the knowledge and witness of others.
Women in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are highly involved in providing humanitarian aid. There are many ongoing projects, and the LDS Church is always ready with shipments of aid goods, so that when there is a disaster in any part of the world, shipments can go out almost instantly. Patterns are provided for quilts, baby clothes, etc., so sisters can work on these at their own pace and send them in to the humanitarian aid department. (Friends of other faiths can participate. Go to mormonchurch.org or to LDS.org's Humanitarian Aid page.) Student kits, hygiene kits, and baby kits are also assembled, and Relief Society sisters often donate the supplies and assemble the kits.
Since the LDS Church has a lay clergy, there is no paid ministry, so Relief Society sisters are engaged in volunteerism and service all the time. In addition to participating in the sisterhood, they also staff and manage auxiliary programs for young women and children. They speak and pray in church, provide music for meetings, organize congregational activities, advise Boy Scouts, plan camping trips, etc.