The 1996 Women's Conference Committee extended a call for essays on a theme taken from an address by Relief Society General President Elaine Jack entitled "Relief Society: A Balm in Gilead." The balm of Gilead was a salve used in ancient times to heal and soothe wounds. The healing properties of the balm seemed an appropriate metaphor "through which women could share perspectives on their own life experiences" and define their paths to peace.
Essays poured in. This volume presents thirty of these essays, each having its own individual style and focus, yet uniting with the others in expressing the struggle to reap the benefits of the gospel of Jesus Christ and to find peace in a world of adversity. Whether she struggles with physical, mental, or spiritual aspects of her life, every woman can find hope in these stories, which bear testimony of the love and mercy of God, the truthfulness of his plan and the promises of salvation and happiness.