In 1906, Joseph F. Smith initiated the first churchwide correlation effort, with the goal that there would “not be so much necessity for work that is now being done by the auxiliary organizations because it will be done by the regular quorum of the Priesthood.” At the time, the church auxiliary for women, the Relief Society, had “a wide and extensive sphere of action,” that included activities in the areas of welfare services, agriculture, merchandise, medicine, politics, publishing, education, real estate, and supervising the Young Ladies Retrenchment Association and Primary programs.
In 1909, “the physical housing of the Relief Society and Church auxiliaries with the Presiding Bishopric was one manifestation of emerging efforts to correlate a larger and more complex Church…and they began meeting together more regularly to discuss common concerns”
A particularly poignant example of how this new arrangement worked occurred during World War I in 1918, when the government of the United States of America requested to purchase grain belonging to the Relief Society grain storage program to address worldwide grain shortages. Without consulting the Relief Society, the First Presidency and the Presiding Bishopric sold the Relief Society’s entire grain supply. When the Presiding Bishop was called to task by the Relief Society General President for selling Relief Society assets without permission of the Relief Society, he apologized and implemented a simple policy change that would prevent the Presiding Bishopric from overstepping its bounds in the future: going forward, the Presiding Bishopric would have authority over all final decisions about the Relief Society’s grain program and moneys resulting from grain sales. Problem solved.