In a recent article from Church News, the Young Women general presidency and advisory council highlighted the importance and meaning of the Children and Youth emblems of belonging and achievement that were announced in 2020.
What are the Children and Youth emblems and when do they receive them?
The year they turn 8 years old, children will receive a ring and a picture of the temple in their temple district from their bishop or branch president.
The year they turn 12 years old, young men and young women will receive a temple recommend holder from their bishop during a temple recommend interview. Young men will also receive a ring from their quorum presidency, and young women will receive a medallion and gem pendant from their class presidency.
The year they turn 18 years old, young men will receive from their quorum presidency an oil vial decorated with a temple spire, which they can use after they are ordained to the Melchizedek Priesthood. Each young woman will receive a temple spire pendant from her class presidency that can be added to the chain with the medallion she received at age 12.
Additionally, each young man and young woman will have the opportunity to meet with the bishop (parents can attend the meeting if desired) to discuss his or her progress in the Children and Youth program. According to the Church's website, the bishop will present the Children and Youth crystal and a certificate from the First Presidency to youth who are trying to become more like the Savior by striving to:
- Study the scriptures and pray daily.
- Be worthy of a limited-use temple recommend.
- Participate in Sabbath meetings, quorum or class work, and seminary.
- Work on goals in each area of growth.
- Serve others in a personally significant way, which could include a service project.
Why are these emblems important?
The Young Women general presidency and advisory council write, “When [youth] participate in the Children and Youth program, they learn to build faith in Jesus Christ, progress along His covenant path and face life’s challenges with faith. The emblems of belonging associated with this program are powerful reminders to focus on the Savior.”
There is also one important common theme of each of these emblems: the temple. Each emblem—the rings, medallion, pendants, and oil vials—has a beautiful minimalist depiction of the temple. And one of the key points for receiving the crystal and certificate from the First Presidency is an individual’s worthiness to receive a limited-use temple recommend.
As reported by Church News, 17-year-olds Mei Koyama and Hikari Nagata from the Okayama Japan Stake have said, “When we wear our necklaces it reminds us to think about the temple. When we wear our necklaces it reminds us to think about the temple. When we are going through a trial, we feel like we have the love and support from other young women who have the same values and that makes us feel like we belong. The crystal gemstone reminds us to always be as pure and as beautiful as it is.”