News Release

General Officers Connect With Women Leaders in San Diego

President Porter, Sister Yee and Sister Runia also minister to Latter-day Saints during visit

Several General Officers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were in San Diego, California, September 15–17, 2023, to participate in an outreach meeting with women leaders of community nonprofit charity groups in the area.

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On Saturday, Primary General President Susan H. Porter, Sister Kristin M. Yee of the Relief Society General Presidency and Sister Tamara W. Runia of the new Young Women General Presidency met with the women leaders at the Mormon Battalion Historic Site in Old Town.

“This was a room full of women who are already filling needs. And now we saw other women doing the same work,” said Andrea Estrada, executive director of Birthline of San Diego County.

Birthline of San Diego County serves expectant mothers and women with children from infancy to kindergarten.

“It was marvelous to see all of those who are acting on these beautiful feelings in their hearts to bless God’s children,” said President Porter, who oversees the Church’s children from 18 months of age until they turn 12.

“It is humbling and a great privilege to be among such sisters and [see] that desire to do good in the world,” said Sister Yee. “This is [what] the Savior would have us do.”

The Church’s Relief Society is one of the largest women’s organizations in the world, with more than 7 million members worldwide.

“We provide relief — the Savior’s relief — both temporally and spiritually to sisters and their families,” Sister Yee explained.

Estrada enjoyed meeting with the Latter-day Saint leaders who work with the women and youth organizations in the global Church.

“I loved seeing that even though they were women of great influence, their heart is so transparent. And you could see it in the way they speak when they talked about their love for serving the sisters and even just wanting to share the heart of Christ,” she said.

Shamine Linton founded Sharia’s Closet — named after her daughter — to provide no-cost emergency clothing to families. 

“It was important for me to be here to connect because connection is the key. How can we provide a service if you’re not knowing what I’m doing, and I don’t know what you’re doing as a partner agency? Because we’re all in this together,” said Linton, who is also the organization’s CEO.

Linton said the women look forward to future meetings with the nonprofit groups in San Diego County to learn how they can continue to collaborate to bring more help to the community.

“I hope we have more [meetings]. I really do. And the goal and the plans moving forward for the next meeting [are] to invite other women that are changemakers and really having a platform for them to really flourish and share and connect,” she said.

Another meeting of the nonprofit and interfaith organizations has been scheduled for November.

Sisterhood of Relief Society

On Friday night, all three Church leaders spoke to members of the Relief Society in San Diego at a meeting involving multiple congregations at a Church meetinghouse.

President Porter, Sister Yee and Sister Runia stood together at the podium at the beginning of the meeting.

“We wanted to start by standing together so you get a visual representation of the love that we have for one another,” said President Porter.

“We’re all members of Relief Society, and we’ve been called by the Lord to serve in different places in His vineyard,” she said.

“You are known by our Heavenly Father [and] by His Son, Jesus Christ,” President Porter taught the hundreds of women gathered at the San Diego Stake Center. “You are loved. … You are needed by our Heavenly Father. You are needed to be a light.”

“Sometimes we are dispatched to Primary for a season, to Young Women’s, to serve in Relief Society, to serve a mission, to serve in the temple,” said Sister Yee, who serves as the Second Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency. “We are all Relief Society sisters wherever we serve. It is the same work. You bless a child, you bless a family. You bless a youth, you bless a family.”

Sister Runia has been serving in the new Young Women General Presidency since the beginning of August.

“Relief Society is what tethers me to this wonderful worldwide group of women. While I belong to Relief Society, my heart is with the young women right now,” she said.

“I have written a song. It is called ‘My Life Is Like a Mystery Quilt,’ and I would like to sing it for you now. Just kidding, I didn’t do that,” Sister Runia told the women, evoking laughter from the audience.  

The women leaders spent Saturday morning training local Church leaders who serve in the Church’s Primary, Young Women, Young Men and Relief Society organizations.

On Saturday afternoon, President Porter spoke at a meeting for about 600 Primary children and their parents. Children participated in the meeting by playing the piano, leading the music, giving talks and offering prayers. 

Meetings were also held over the weekend for young men, young women and single adults. The Salt Lake City-based General Officers attended Sunday worship services in the San Diego area.

“We are so grateful to be here in San Diego. So many [are] trying to follow Him and bring His light to the world,” President Porter concluded.

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