At the women’s session of general conference Saturday night, Young Women General President Sister Bonnie H. Cordon announced a new Young Women theme and changes to Young Women class organization and names. She also emphasized the importance of each Young Women class having a presidency to give young women leadership opportunities.
New Young Women Theme
The new Young Women theme is listed below in its entirety:
I am a beloved daughter of heavenly parents, with a divine nature and eternal destiny. As a disciple of Jesus Christ, I strive to become like Him. I seek and act upon personal revelation and minister to others in His holy name. I will stand as a witness of God at all times and in all things and in all places. As I strive to qualify for exaltation, I cherish the gift of repentance and seek to improve each day. With faith, I will strengthen my home and family, make and keep sacred covenants, and receive the ordinances and blessings of the holy temple.
“Notice the shift from ‘we’ to ‘I,’” Sister Cordon said. “These truths apply to you individually. You are a beloved daughter of Heavenly Parents. You are a covenant disciple of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I invite you to study and ponder these words. I know as you do, you will gain a testimony of their truthfulness. Understanding these truths will change the way you face challenges. Knowing your identity and purpose will help you align your will with the Savior’s.”
Changes to Young Women Classes
For more than a century, the Church’s Young Women program has divided girls into three classes. Going forward, Sister Cordon said, Young Women leaders and their bishops are to prayerfully consider the young women in their ward and organize them by age according to the size and needs of their particular group.
For example, a ward with only a few young women could have one Young Women class with everyone meeting together. Or a ward with a large number of 12-year-olds and a small number of older young women could be divided into two classes—one for the 12-year-olds and another for those who are older.
“However your classes are organized, you young women are vital in building unity,” Sister Cordon said. “Be a light to those around you. Be the source of love and care you are hoping to receive from others. With a prayer in your heart, continue to reach out and be a force for good. As you do so, your life will be filled with kindness. You will have better feelings toward others and will begin to see their goodness in return.”
New Young Women Class Name
Sister Cordon said all classes will be referred to as “Young Women” and, when needed, differentiated by the ages of those attending the class (“Young Women 12–13,” for example). The names of Beehive, Mia Maid and Laurel are discontinued.
Strengthened Young Women Class Presidencies
Sister Cordon reminded young women and their leaders of the importance of each class having a presidency to lead the class. “It is by divine design that young women are called to lead in their youth,” she said.
Just as with young men and their leaders, the leaders of young women are to be mentors to young women—but never doing the work for them.
“Whatever level of leadership experience a class presidency has, start where they are and help them develop the skills and confidence that will bless them as leaders,” she said. “Stay close to them, but don’t take over. The Spirit will guide you as you guide them.”
The First Presidency Endorses these Changes
“The First Presidency and the Twelve are united in endorsing these efforts to strengthen our youth,” President Nelson said Saturday afternoon. “Oh, how we love them and pray for them! They are the ‘hope of Israel, Zion’s army, children of the promised day.’ We express our complete confidence in our youth and our gratitude for them.”
Congregations around the world can implement these changes as soon as they are ready, but should have them in place by January 1, 2020.