Young Women

In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (commonly called the Mormon Church), girls from 12 to 18 are in the Young Women Program. This program is split into three groups of three different age levels so girls can develop skills appropriate to their age. Beehives are ages 12 to 13, Mia Maids are ages 14 to 15, and Laurels are 16 to 17. Upon her eighteenth birthday, a young woman may choose to attend Relief Society with the older women of her ward (congregation) or to continue in Young Women until she graduates from high school.

Mormon FriendsThere are eight values in the Young Women theme:

Faith in Jesus Christ is essential to our happiness and salvation and is an essential strength for each girl to develop for herself through scripture study and prayer.

Divine Nature. Mormons believe that each of us is a literal spirit child of God. Therefore our divine nature is that God wants us to become like Him and has given us the traits necessary to do so. Christ’s atoning sacrifice for us shows our worth to both Him and to God. We should act according to our divine nature and not just according to our immediate desires.

Individual Worth. In Mormon belief we each have infinite worth as God’s children. We should think of ourselves accordingly and never judge ourselves or others too harshly.

Knowledge in both the scriptures and secular subjects is essential. We should strive to excel in school and to study the scriptures daily.

Choice and Accountability. We’re responsible for our own choices because each of us is free to make her own choices. While we take responsibility for our mistakes and repent of them, we improve and grow. Being good is not something we can be forced to do; we must choose.

Good Works. Part of making good choices is serving others and looking outside ourselves. It is not enough just to have good intentions; we must act on them.

Integrity involves being true to one’s principles—and oneself—even when it’s hard.

Virtue is a value which is becoming constantly more devalued by the world, but it is an eternal principle which, if broken, will bring us heartache and sorrow; but if it is lived in fullness, it will bring us eternal happiness.

The Personal Progress program in the Mormon Church helps young women to learn and develop these values. This program is roughly comparable to Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, only with a religious emphasis.

For eachvalue, young women do six experiences and one ten-hour project. This way, they can be develop all the values instead of just a few. The experiences tend to be short, but the project takes some real time and preparation. You have to really think about what you’d like to do and how to do it, and this self-direction might be more important in the long run than doing the smaller experiences.

If a young woman completes Personal  Progress, she receives her Young Womanhood Recognition, roughly comparable to a young man becoming an Eagle Scout. The goal of the program is to help each young woman strengthen her testimony in Christ and build a foundation in the gospel through service and acting on her faith.

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