"Emma Hale Smith, first general president of the Relief Society, envisioned the great work of the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo when it was formed on March 17, 1842.
The Prophet Joseph Smith had promised to organize the women “after the pattern of the priesthood.”
In that first meeting, Emma told the women: “We are going to do something extraordinary—when a boat is stuck on the rapids, with a multitude of Mormons on board we shall consider that a loud call for relief—we expect extraordinary occasions and pressing calls.”
Pressing calls and extraordinary occasions the sisters of that time did meet and still do today.
Perhaps the greatest example and legacy Emma left was the way she filled the calling she was given in Doctrine and Covenants 25:5, when the Lord instructed her to be a comfort to her husband “in his afflictions, with consoling words, in the spirit of meekness.”
In 1843 she organized a visiting committee, the beginnings of visiting teaching, and she compiled the first Church hymnal."