The Young Women’s organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sometimes mistakenly called the “Mormon Church,” assists Mormon parents and priesthood to promote the growth and development of each young woman, 12-18, through Sunday instruction, weekly activities including “Mutual,” sports and camp, and the “Personal Progress” program. Through this program, the girls prepare to strengthen their homes and families as they learn the values of faith, divine nature, individual worth, choice and accountability, good works and integrity how to be worthy to make and keep sacred covenants made in the Mormon temple.
The world-wide Mormon Young Women organization is led by Elaine S. Dalton, president, Mary N. Cook, first counselor, and Ann M. Dibb, second counselor. Although they are headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, they visit local Church leaders and members everywhere, encouraging the young women of the Church of Jesus Christ to stand as “witnesses of God in all time and in all places.”
Elaine S. Dalton, General Young Women president
Elaine Schwartz Dalton was born (November 1, 1946) to Melvin L. and Emma Martin Schwartz in Ogden, Utah. She married Stephen E. Dalton Sept. 13, 1968, in the Salt Lake Mormon Temple. They are the parents of five sons and one daughter and the grandparents of 16 grandchildren.
She graduated from Brigham Young University with a bachelor’s degree in English education with a secondary teaching certificate in1969, and was the executive secretary to Lambda Delta Sigma (LDS sorority).
Prior to her calling as the Young Women general president in 2008, Sister Dalton served as both first and second counselor to Susan W. Tanner from 2002 to 2008 in the Mormon Young Women General presidency. Previously, she served on the Young Women General Board for five years and has served in all the auxiliaries of the Church on both ward (local congregation) and stake (group of congregations) levels.
Sister Dalton’s counselors are Mary N. Cook and Ann M. Dibb.
She is a runner and enjoys hiking and spending time with her family. Reading is a favorite pastime—especially the scriptures, and she loves the Lord. Her life’s motto has been, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not to thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3: 5-6).
Sister Dalton spoke of her love and respect for the young women of the Church of Jesus Christ during the general Young Women’s meeting in March 2012.
There is no more influential group standing for truth and righteousness in all the world than the young women and the women of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I see your nobility and know of your divine identity and destiny.
She explained that the prophet, Joseph F. Smith taught the women of his time that “It is not for you to be led by the [young] women of the world; it is for you to lead the [young] women of the world, in everything that is purifying to the children of men.”
These words ring true today,” Sister Dalton said. “As daughters of God, you were born to lead. In the world in which we live, your ability to lead will require guidance and constant companionship of the Holy Ghost who will tell you all things what ye should do as you recognize and rely on His guidance and promptings. And since the Holy Ghost does not dwell in unclean temples, each of us will need to take inventory of our habits and our hearts. All of us will need to change something to repent.
Don’t lose sight of your goals. Don’t let the thick fog of moral pollution and the detracting voices of the world keep you from reaching your goals, living the standards, enjoying the companionship of the Holy Ghost, and being worthy to enter holy temples. Retain the vision of the temple the Savior’s holy house ever in your hearts and minds.
Mary N. Cook, First Counselor, Young Women Presidency
Sister Mary Nielson Cook was born June 8, 1951, in Midvale, Utah, to Kenneth N. and Fern S. Nielsen. Prior to her call as first counselor in the Young Women general presidency, she served as second counselor in the presidency and as a member of the Young Women general board.
Professionally, Sister Cook was a special education teacher and administrator and an elementary school principal. She received bachelors and masters degrees in speech pathology and audiology and an EdS degree from Brigham Young University.
On July 16, 1988, she married Richard E. Cook, whose first wife had died in 1984. The couple served as full-time missionaries in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, where Sister Cook utilized her background in education to help the community. During that time, Elder Cook was called to preside over the first mission in the country.
Elder Cook was sustained to the Second Quorum of the Seventy in 1997 and assigned to serve in the Asia Area presidency in Hong Kong. Through their travels, the couple met and grew to love Church members in Mongolia, Taiwan, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and numerous other countries. Elder Cook currently serves as the finance director of the LDS Church’s Perpetual Education Fund.
Sister Cook is the stepmother to four children and 17 step-grandchildren.
During the April 2012 general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she asked adults to set a clear example for young women to follow.
If we have one hand on the rod and one hand in the world, we put our children and youth in danger of losing their way on the path. If our example is confusing, then in Jacob’s words, we lose “the confidence of [our] children, because of [our] bad examples” (Jacob 2:35). Parents, grandparents and leaders, your message must be clear. Clarity can only result from having both hands on the rod and from living by the truths found in the scriptures and the words of latter-day prophets. You may not be raising a prophet as Lucy was, but you are certainly raising tomorrow’s leaders, and your actions are just as tangibly linked to their faith.
Ann M. Dibb, Second Counselor, Young Women Presidency
Ann Monson Dibb, the second counselor in the Young Women general presidency, was born to Thomas S. Monson and Frances Johnson Monson, June 30, 1954, and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. She earned her bachelor’s degree at BYU in elementary education. She is married to Roger Dibb, and they are the parents of one daughter and three sons.
Sister Dibb, a full-time homemaker, has served in each of the LDS Church auxiliaries. She enjoys reading, music, and walking. She was called to be the second counselor to Elaine S. Dalton in the general presidency of the Young Women organization in April 2008.
During her address at the Young Women’s general meeting in March 2012, she asked the young sisters what they thought of when they heard the word arise.
Personally, I think of you—the noble youth of the Church,” she said. “I picture you diligently arising from your beds each morning for early morning seminary. I see you faithfully arising from your knees after finishing your daily prayers. I think of you courageously arising to share your testimony and defend your standards. I am inspired by your commitment to the gospel and your good examples. Many of you have already accepted this invitation to arise and shine forth, and your light encourages others to do the same.
You are beloved daughters of Heavenly Father. He knows you and He loves you. He invites you to arise, and shine forth, and He promises that as you do, He will sustain and bless you.