For the Saturday afternoon session, I am highlighting newly-released RSP Sister Bonnie Parkin's talk on love, compassion, service, and all that. I will again add selected quotes from the new book Statements of the LDS First Presidency: A Topical Compendium ("FP Statements"; at Amazon here) as a way of investigating the sort of material included in that reference book.
In the FP Statements book, "Relief Society" directs the reader to the "Women" entry, where surprisingly the most recent quote is from 1998. [I think talk about the family has largely crowded out talk about women as a separate topic.] There are two quotes from the 1998 CHI. The first states, "Although the priesthood is bestowed only on worthy male members of the Church, both men and women partake of its blessings." A second, longer quote notes:
"The Relief Society serves under the guidance of the priesthood as the Lord's organization for sisters in the Church. The purpose of Relief Society is to assist priesthood leaders in carrying out the mission of the Church by helping sisters and families come unto Christ." [from the 1998 CHI, Vol. 2]
Those statements reflect the continuing concern of LDS leaders in carefully defining "priesthood" and "women" as disjoint concepts. But other quotes reflect a broader perspective:
"The history of the Church clearly demonstrates the long-standing concern of its leaders that women, as daughters of God, should have without discrimination every poliltical, economic, and educational opportunity. Where there now exist deficiencies concerning these matters, they can and should be corrected by specific legislation." [from a "Dear Brethren" letter of the First Presidency to local leaders in the United States, 1978]
The older sources on this topic understandably sound a bit dated. "Next to motherhood, the holiest thing we know on earth is radiant, innocent, obedient girlhood." [from "Message of the First Presidency," 1941]
By contrast, the section titled "Family" has 16 entries dated between 2006 and 1998. There are also 6 short entries under "Gender." Here are the two shortest: "Our designation as men or women began before this world was." [Elder Faust, "First Presidency Message" in the Ensign, Sept. 1995] "A correct understanding of the divinely appointed roles of men and women will fortify all against sinful practices." [identified as "First Presidency to all members, Nov. 14, 1981," which could be a letter to local leaders or a publication]
The articles in FP Statements contain no commentary whatsover; they simply present the excerpts with a reference to the source. Some of the sources, such as the True to the Faith booklet, are public documents; some, like the CHI, are available but not exactly public; and some, such as correspondence authored by members of the First Presidency in response to inquiries from individual members, are presumably in private hands, with copies made available to the editor of the book. There are eight pages at the front of the book that provide details on forty of the referenced sources, but the reader still encounters some references in the text (such as the one referred to in the prior paragraph) that are rather vague.