UPDATE: During the Women’s Session of General Conference, Sister Bonnie H. Cordon announced changes to the Young Women’s program of the Church, including a new Young Women’s Theme and new class organizations.

The Young Women’s Theme is a motto used and recited weekly by Young Women of the faith during Sunday meetings. The new theme 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 also announced changes in the organization of Young Women’s classes, specifically that the traditional grouping by age and corresponding age group names will be retired and replaced at the discretion of individual congregations.

Finally, she emphasized the practice of calling class presidencies among the Young Women and giving the youth added opportunities for leadership. Sister Cordon said, ” “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.”

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – During the afternoon session of the 189th Semiannual General Conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles detailed what will change for Aaronic Priesthood quorums within the Church’s youth programs.

He also announced a change for bishops to regularly counsel with Young Women presidents.

Young Men presidencies, adult males who lead young men at the ward level are now discontinued so local bishops can more directly lead and mentor youth.

Elder Cook said this practice aligns with scripture on Church government. “The bishopric is the presidency of this [Aaronic] priesthood, and holds the keys or authority of the same.” This means, Elder Cook said, that a congregation’s young men and young women should be a bishop’s highest priority.

“These adjustments will help bishops and their counselors focus on their core responsibilities to the youth and Primary children,” Elder Cook said. “[The adjustments will also] place the power and duties of the Aaronic Priesthood at the center of every young man’s personal life and goals.”

Young women presidents will now report and counsel with the Bishop of local wards.

Elder Cook also announced that Young Women presidents now have a direct line to the bishop.

“Young Women presidents will now report to and counsel directly with the bishop of the ward,” he said. “In the past, this assignment could be delegated to a counselor, but going forward, young women will be a direct responsibility of the one who holds presiding keys for the ward.”

The announcement encouraged Young Women presidents to take a greater roll in counseling with individual young women.

Elder Cook said Young Men presidencies will continue at the general and stake levels of Church governance. A member of each stake high council will serve as stake Young Men president. Another member of the stake high council will serve as the stake Sunday School president.

Elder Cook also mentioned additional changes, which will be included in a forthcoming letter to Church leaders worldwide:

  • A congregation’s bishopric youth committee meeting will be replaced by a ward youth council.
  • The word “Mutual” will be retired and become “Young Women activities,” “Aaronic Priesthood quorum activities,” or “youth activities.” These activities will be held weekly where possible.
  • The ward budget for youth activities will be divided equitably between the young men and young women according to the number of youth in each organization. A sufficient amount will be provided for Primary activities.
  • At all levels—ward, stake, and general—the Church will use the term “organization” rather than the term “auxiliary.” Those who lead the General Relief Society, Young Women, Young Men, Primary, and Sunday School organizations will be known as “General Officers.” Those who lead organizations at the ward and stake levels will be known as “ward officers” and “stake officers.”

Congregations around the world can implement these changes as soon as they are ready, but should have them in place by January 1, 2020, Elder Cook says.

“These efforts, together with those announced during the last two years, are not isolated changes,” Elder Cook said. “Each of the adjustments is an integral part of an interlocking pattern to bless the Saints and prepare them to meet God.”

Changes for young women will be announced this evening by Sister Bonnie H. Cordon, the faith’s Young Women General President. We will update this article when she speaks.

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