Young Women programs past and present

How Mormon womanhood was constructed through the Young Women program's curriculum, expectations placed upon young women athletes in the LDS Church, and exploring childhood in the church were topics discussed in "Childhood, Youth, and Gender in the Mormon Past and Present," at the 2010 Mormon History Association Conference near Independence, Mo.

Young Women

Kristine Haglund began by explaining that in many ways it was and is LDS women who "define, give shape to, explain Mormonism to a skeptical public and even to Mormons themselves." One of the critical ways principles are distilled into practice for young girls is through the Young Women's Personal Progress Program and its predecessors.

In 1934, to complement the Boy Scout program, leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints developed a program for Young Women focused on religion, home, health, domestic art, out-of-doors, business and public service. In 1971, a new program and a Treasures of Truth binder were introduced. A "radical contrast" to the 1934 program, it was less prescriptive and "directed towards helping girls keep a journal and work towards self-determined goals," she said. The ideals of temple marriage and motherhood were some of the important goals among many others.

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