President Russell M. Nelson announced changes Saturday, Oct. 5, to the curriculum for the Young Men’s and Young Women’s programs, including a closer tie between the youth programs and their bishops.
Following President Nelson’s introduction during the Saturday afternoon session, Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles gave more insight and instruction to the young men’s organization in particular, which included the announcement that Young Men’s presidencies on the ward level were to be dissolved. Elder Cook announced that the Bishop and his counselors would fill that role for the Priests, Teachers and Deacons. Specific instruction for the Young Women’s organization was reserved for the 6 p.m. general women’s session.
At President Nelson’s request, Sister Bonnie H. Cordon, President of the Young Women’s General Presidency, announced changes to the Young Women’s organization.
Sister Cordon said, “At the heart of all we do in Young Women is our desire to help you gain unshakable faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and a sure knowledge of your divine identity as a daughter of God.”
Sister Cordon then announced a revision to the Young Women’s theme which now reads:
“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.”
Sister Cordon then announced that Young Women Classes will be reorganized.
“For over 100 years, young women have been divided into three classes,” she said. “Beginning immediately, we invite Young Women leaders and bishops to prayerfully consider the needs of each young woman and organize them by age according to the ward’s specific circumstances.”
Sister Cordon then announced that all Young Women’s classes will be referred to by the unified name of “Young Women.”
“We will retire the names we have so loved: Beehive, Mia Maid, and Laurel,” she said.
The last change Sister Cordon announced was a renewed emphasis on having young women in class presidencies lead designated classes.
“No matter how Young Women classes are organized, every class should have a class presidency,” Sister Cordon said. “It is by divine design that young women are called to lead in their youth.”
She said that throughout the church and at every level “the Lord calls presidencies to lead His people.”
Sister Cordon said not only do leadership opportunities in the church help young women grow in faith and ability but also that class presidencies have been called of God and are trusted by Him to lead His daughters.
“The Lord knows you,” Sister Cordon said, speaking to the Young Women’s class presidencies. “He chose you.”
She then counseled leadership to provide guidance but to allow the young women in a class presidency to counsel with God to make decisions related to their classes.
“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. Stay close to them, but don’t take over. The Spirit will guide you as you guide them.”
Sister Cordon closed by saying, “As we diligently implement these adjustments, may we never lose sight of our purpose: to strengthen our resolve to follow Jesus Christ and help others come unto Him.”
All changes announced at the Women’s Conference are to be implemented within individual wards and branches throughout the church organization no later than January 1, 2020.