Changes announced at Latter-day Saint General Conference impacting members locally, worldwide

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – During sessions of General Conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, church leaders announced new changes impacting members locally and around the world.

The church holds four sessions semi-annually and is a 189-year standing tradition where members gather to listen to leaders share inspirational messages.

During the Saturday afternoon session, Quentin L. Cook, a member of the church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, announced changes to the youth program, Young Men.

“Our youth are being asked to take more individual responsibility at younger ages,” said Cook.

And during the Women’s Conference (held annually), Young Women General President Bonnie H. Cordon announced the adjustments being made to the Young Women program.

“We invite Young Women leaders and bishops to prayerfully consider the needs of each young woman and organize them according to the ward’s specific circumstances,” said Cordon.

The changes impacting young men include getting rid of presidencies at a ward level. Instead, bishops will directly lead the group.

Young Women will now have more direct interaction with their bishop as well. The young women president will report directly to the ward’s bishop.

Cordon says for more than 100 years, Young Women have been split into three classes by age called Beehive, Mia maid, and Laurel.

Now, they’ll all simply be called young women.

Speaking on the reasons for the changes, the church’s president Russell M. Nelson said they are:

“Intended to help young men and young women develop their sacred personal potential,” Nelson said.

Visiting from Mexico to attend all four sessions of General Conference, Jessica Florez said after hearing about the changes, she believes they are for the good.

“It helps us to become self-reliant in everything,” Florez said. “Like spiritual, temporal, all this stuff.”

Other changes announced during the conference weekend included new temples in Orem and Taylorsville, an update to temple recommend questions and women and children standing as witnesses for certain temple ordinances.

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