A couple of years ago, a call went out for music to be created that reflected the history and mission of Relief Society. Many of these songs were premiered at a Relief Society Music Festival held on Temple Square that fall. One of my songs was sung, as well. "Come and Sit With Us" was inspired by a picture of African Relief Society sisters. It was obvious that this picture was snapped as the women were actually just getting ready for the picture to be taken.
These women were indicating for the other women to join them for the photo. They were adjusting their positions on the benches to make room for everyone. Their smiles of welcome were infectious. The caption read "Come and sit with me." Is this not the great mission of Relief Society throughout the world? Do we not want all of our sisters to be included in the joy of our worldwide sisterhood?
As I was thinking through the ideas for the song, a friend of mine presented me with a lovely framed piece of art that she had penned in beautiful calligraphy. It was a quote by one of the first members of the Relief Society.
"We must cherish one another, we must watch over one another, comfort one another, and gain instruction that we may all sit down in heaven together."
-- Lucy Mack Smith
This quote became the perfect pairing for the other ideas for my song. I went to work and had the song finished relatively quickly. Lucy Mack Smith, mother of the prophet Joseph Smith and founder of the Mormon Church, knew how important it was for women to come together, to work together, to love and serve each other, and share that special bond of sisterhood. She also used the word "sit." (It isn't the physical act of sitting that is important, it is what sitting represents - making a comfortable place where love is a common bond.)
Sister Smith talked of the hope that we will be able to sit down in heaven all together. That is the idea I wanted to connect to the first part of my song -- women making space for all to sit down together in love and sisterhood on earth connecting to the idea that we may someday also be able to sit down in heaven all together.
As you plan your celebrations for the Relief Society Birthday this year, give a thought to how we invite all to "Come and Sit With Us" in a worldwide sisterhood. Perhaps you could include this song in your celebration. Enjoy!