These are notes from the 2012 General Relief Society Broadcast! If you want to watch the whole thing (which you should) then find it here!
Sister Linda K. Burton
We need to have the doctrine written in our hearts. The new RS presidency goals are for us to understand the atonement, strengthen home and family through covenant keeping, and be unified with each other and the other auxiliaries of the church. [She focused on the atonement.] All that is unfair about life can be made right through the atonement of Jesus Christ. We shouted for joy when we knew that we could experience mortality, including its challenges. Then she told this story about a girl who was married at 17. While crossing the plains at 19, her husband and son died within 3 weeks of each other. In her journal, she wrote something to the effect of: "the enemy knows when to attack us, but the Savior knows when to save us." We can only make real change through the atonement. The atonement is the greatest example we have of God's love for us. That supreme sacrifice ought to send us to our knees. How does knowing our worth to Him make us want to improve?
Sister Carole M. Stephens
"It is for us to be wide awake to our duty." When we make covenants we change. We become bound to God. What is the condition of our hearts? Do we let the world harden our hearts? He understands our adversity because he suffered it. "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." When the saints were forced out of Nauvoo, they left this message in the temple: "The Lord has beheld our sacrifice. Come after us." She talked about how she went on trek with the youth in her ward, and found herself to not be physically prepared to help out as much as she wanted to. She said, "I may never need to pull a hand cart again, but I never want to let my sisters down spiritually." It isn't enough to just be on the journey...we need to be awake to our duty. We are endowed with power through our covenants.
Sister Linda S. Reeves
She told a story about a woman she met who was never married and never had any children. She was an only child and her parents had passed away long before. Her closest relatives were two cousins who lived on a different continent. She bore her testimony that the woman was "a very important daughter to Heavenly Father" and that she was never alone. The scripture "Jesus wept" from the story of Lazarus shows the compassion, empathy, and love that Jesus Christ and the Father have for us. They feel the depth of our sufferings. They have not forgotten us and they know our difficult moments. We need to tell Heavenly Father how we feel. Tell Him about our pains and then give them up. "I have graven thee on the palms of my hands."
President Henry B. Eyring
RS sisters need to care for each other, teach each other, and sit down together with God. "What comes next for willing hands to do?" He told the story about how his daughter was about to have a miscarriage when her visiting teaching companion showed up and was able to take her to the hospital in time. The baby girl was delivered 15 weeks early. Later that evening the Bishop emailed the family and said "The RS president has everything under control." What an understatement! They already had meals, visits, car rides, etc. in place. At the end of his message, he said "keep the faith." We feel love for the people we serve. The Lord is building a loving, unified team in the Relief Society. Losing the opportunity to serve someone is often harder than temporal separation from them. "If thou endure it well, God will exalt thee on high." When serving, do what will help others "endure it well." For those who need care, give them opportunities to give care. Create opportunities for others to learn how to endure it well. Have patience in weakness. Celebrate any blessings that we can find in trials. Invite more sisters into your circle. We cannot prepare for "that day" in a moment. Our hope for "those days" is justified. The Spirit will comfort us when we wonder, "did I do enough?"