A Culpeper woman was selected to serve in the new regional women’s presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The Fredericksburg Stake of the church includes eight congregations located in Culpeper, Orange, and Spotsylvania Counties and the city of Fredericksburg—about 1,000 members total.
Marlys Houston of Culpeper serves as a counselor to the new president, Naza Carlisle of Fredericksburg. Another counselor, Tammy Holt, and secretary Mandy Welling, both of Fredericksburg, complete the new presidency. They were installed in these positions by church leaders on July 28.
The women will oversee the spiritual and temporal needs of the female members throughout the region, working with the women leaders in each of the eight congregations, providing leadership training, spiritual instruction, assisting and supervising service opportunities, and working with the general community to help church members provide assistance.
According to the church’s website, the Relief Society “helps prepare women for the blessings of eternal life as they increase faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and His Atonement; strengthen individuals, families, and homes through ordinances and covenants; and work in unity to help those in need.”
Houston, originally from Iowa, joined the church there at age 18. She and her husband, James Houston, have been married 33 years. They have six children and 16 grandchildren.
“We are all sisters who need each other’s help in getting ourselves and our families back to God,” Houston said in a news release. “We need to reach out to those not of our faith and remember we are all daughters of God.”
Carlisle grew up in Brazil and was introduced to the Church of Jesus Christ through its missionary program, joining the church in her home country in 1984. She and her husband, Thomas Carlisle, were married in the Sao Paulo Temple in 1986 and have been married 33 years. They have one child.
Holt became a member of the church in her home state, Michigan, in 2006, after meeting with and discussing church doctrine with missionaries there. She has worked in the human services field for more than 30 years, overlapping with a 20-year career in the military reserves.
“Charity Never Faileth is the Relief Society motto, and the scriptures remind us that ‘Charity is the pure love of Christ,’” Holt said in the release. “The Relief Society exemplifies the diverse experiences, imperfections, and lifestyles of each sister and provides each of us with the opportunity to increase our faith and charity to help others.”
Welling, from Florida, grew up in a family who are members of the church in Pensacola. She and her husband, Brandon Welling, have three children and have been married 14 years.
Carlisle and her presidency serve as volunteers in their new positions.
“I hope to be able to serve these wonderful daughters of God with the same kind of love the Savior has for me and for them,” Carlisle said. “I hope and pray that we can learn to love one another and be a little more kind and understanding.”