Young Women: 'Carry on,' build on firm foundation
It's easy. Send a link to the story you were just reading to a friend. Just fill out the form on this page and we'll send it along.
Members of past and present general Young Women presidencies and boards gathered Oct. 29 to pay tribute to Sister Ardeth G. Kapp and the late Sister Elaine A. Cannon.
The two former Young Women general presidents laid a foundation that Church leaders continue to build upon today, said Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve who attended the event with his wife, Wendy.
"We have come to honor two particular presidents today, but they, in a way, typify each one of you in the contributions you have made and are continuing to make. We thank you," said Elder Nelson at the luncheon, titled "Forever Young.
Elder Nelson told the women his message is symbolized by his grandfather's watch. Holding the watch, he explained his grandfather died when his father was in high school. "I never met my grandfather," he said. "But I have his watch."
And, he continued, grandfathers — without the apostrophe — watch. "This grandfather watches what you do for our young girls," he told the former and present leaders.
As the grandfather of 26 granddaughters, Elder Nelson said he is grateful each has a value for faith, divine nature, individual worth, knowledge, choice and accountability, good works, integrity and virtue. He said it brings him peace to know that "in this world where values are questioned or ignored, there is a source to which they can turn to learn these choice values, introduced under Sister Kapp's administration.
"Grandfathers watch with gratitude for what you have all done," he said.
In closing, he asked the Young Women leaders to "continue to focus on the Lord Jesus Christ and on His teachings" and to help young women, and young men, "be worthy of the great blessings of the holy temple where they will receive all that our Father has in store for His faithful children."
Sister Kapp recalled working 25 years ago with her counselors and board to create the Young Women theme and identify Young Women values.
The presidency, Sister Kapp said, worked as hard as they could and then took their recommendations to their priesthood leaders. Before the meeting, Sister Kapp said they knelt in prayer and asked the Lord to open the Brethren's ears to their recommendations, if they were right and if the time was right for them to be unveiled.
At the end of the meeting, Elder David B. Haight of the Quorum of the Twelve stood up and said, "'Sisters, today you have not only opened up our eyes, but also our ears,'" recalled Sister Kapp. "'We know who is in charge.'"
Sister Kapp said looking back on that work 25 years later is rewarding. "What an exciting time this is as we celebrate the experience that we have each had in the grand work that carries on," she said.
Sister Elaine S. Dalton, general Young Women president, said her presidency continues today to build on the work earlier presidencies established.
She reported on many things currently happening in Young Women:
It has been a year since the revised Personal Progress booklets and tools were made available. Today Personal Progress booklets and the Young Women theme and values are available in 53 languages throughout the world.
Personal Progress is now available online.
A new youth website, youth.lds.org, gives Church leaders additional opportunities to reach the youth.
The new LDS.org has been launched.
Mormon messages for youth feature words of the prophets and stories of remarkable youth throughout the world.
Leaders are continuing to answer the call from President Monson for the youth to gather for youth activities, temple celebrations and multi-stake conferences in some international areas.
"We are just being able to connect in ways we never have before and it all started with you and the great work you do," Sister Dalton told the women. "We are just trying to carry on."
Sister Kapp and Sister Cannon left rich legacy
The Young Women general presidency honored on Oct. 29 two former general Young Women presidents, Sisters Elaine A. Cannon and Ardeth G. Kapp.
Sister Elaine Anderson Cannon served as general Young Women president from 1978 to 1984. Under her leadership:
The first general women's meeting, which included young women, was held in the Tabernacle in 1978.
Young women were encouraged to make banners representing their commitment or heritage during the Sesquicentennial of the Church in 1980.
Sunday instruction for Young Women began in 1980, due to the consolidated meeting schedule.
The practice of repeating the annual Mutual theme was reinstated in 1980.
Sister Ardeth Greene Kapp served as general Young Women president from 1984 to 1992. Under her leadership:
The first Young Women satellite broadcast was held in 1985.
The first Young Women worldwide celebration, "Rising Generation," was launched with youth releasing thousands of balloons around the globe in 1986.
The Young Women theme, age-group mission statements, motto and logo were introduced in 1987.
The Young Women offices moved into the remodeled Relief Society Building in 1988.
Youth participated in a second Young Women worldwide celebration, "Stand for Truth and Righteousness" in 1989. It included bell ringing.