10.3 Ward Young Women Leadership
This chapter focuses on administering the Young Women organization in a way that will strengthen individual young women and their families. Young Women leaders frequently review chapter 3, which outlines general principles of leadership. These principles include preparing spiritually, participating in councils, ministering to others, and teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The bishop and his counselors provide priesthood leadership for the Young Women organization. They watch over and strengthen individual young women, working closely with parents and Young Women leaders in this effort.
The bishop calls and sets apart a sister to serve as Young Women president. He also oversees the calling and setting apart of other Young Women leaders. He may assign his counselors to call and set apart these leaders.
The bishop interviews each young woman who completes the Personal Progress program (see 10.7.3).
Bishop and His Counselors
The bishop and his counselors regularly participate in Young Women meetings, service, and activities. The bishop works with the Laurels. He assigns his counselor who works with deacons to work with the Beehives and his counselor who works with the teachers to work with the Mia Maids.
The bishop assigns one of his counselors to oversee the ward Young Women organization. This counselor meets regularly with the Young Women presidency. He reports on Young Women matters in bishopric meetings.
The bishop interviews each young woman at least annually. If possible, he interviews each 16- and 17-year-old twice annually. If this is not possible, he assigns a counselor to conduct some of these interviews. Six months after each young woman between the ages of 12 and 15 has her annual interview with the bishop, she has an interview with the counselor in the bishopric who oversees her class.
In these interviews, the bishop and his counselors follow the guidelines in Handbook 1, 7.1.7. They may also refer to the Young Women Personal Progress Tracking Sheet for Leaders, which they receive from the ward Young Women secretary.
The bishop and his counselors recognize each young woman in sacrament meeting when she advances from Primary to Young Women, when she advances to a new age-group, and when she receives the Young Womanhood Recognition. When a young woman advances to a new age-group, a member of the bishopric gives her a certificate.
Members of the bishopric counsel together prayerfully to determine whom to call as class presidents. They do not select leaders merely because of age or seniority in the class. The Young Women presidency may recommend young women to serve as class presidents (see 19.1.1 and 19.1.2).
When a member of the bishopric calls a young woman to serve as a class president, he asks her to recommend whom to call as counselors and a secretary. He counsels her to approach this responsibility prayerfully, seeking guidance from the Lord about whom to recommend. However, the bishopric member also helps the class president understand that final responsibility to receive inspiration on whom to call rests with the bishopric.
A member of the bishopric seeks permission from a young woman’s parents before asking her to serve in any of these callings.
After extending these callings, a member of the bishopric presents the young women to their class for a sustaining vote. Then the bishop or an assigned counselor sets the young women
A Young Women leader may communicate with the bishopric regarding any changes that may be needed in class presidencies.
Ward Young Women Presidency
The ward Young Women presidency consists of a president and two counselors. They work under the direction of the bishopric. They also receive orientation and ongoing support from the stake Young Women presidency.
Each member of the ward Young Women presidency is responsible for one of the Young Women classes, as follows:
Ward Young Women President
The Young Women president has the following responsibilities:
She serves as a member of the ward council. As a member of this council, she participates in efforts to build faith and strengthen individuals and families (see chapter 4). She is also a member of the bishopric youth committee (see 18.2.9).
She teaches other Young Women leaders their duties, using this handbook as a resource.
She oversees the records, reports, budget, and finances of the ward Young Women organization. The Young Women secretary helps with this responsibility.
Ward Young Women President and Her Counselors
The Young Women president and her counselors have the following responsibilities:
They get to know each young woman and become familiar with her talents, interests, and challenges. They look for ways to strengthen young women individually, help them grow in their testimonies, and encourage them to participate in the Young Women organization. They give special attention to young women who are new members and young women who are less active.
They support each young woman in her family.
They help young women work on Personal Progress. They are also encouraged to work on Personal Progress themselves.
They may counsel with parents and priesthood leaders about the needs of young women.
They support Mia Maids and Laurels who serve as companions to adult sisters in ministering.
They ensure that the ward Young Women program is organized and functioning properly. As part of this effort, they oversee and instruct ward Young Women advisers and specialists.
They often teach lessons in Sunday classes, though they may share this responsibility with Young Women advisers. They oversee efforts to improve gospel learning and teaching in the Young Women organization. In these efforts, they follow the principles in 5.5.3 and 5.5.4.
They attend class presidency meetings and provide guidance as needed.
They work with class presidencies to plan and carry out activities, including Mutual activities. They help class presidencies build unity among the young women.
They teach leadership skills and qualities to class presidencies and other leaders in the Young Women organization (see 10.9).
They hold Young Women presidency meetings. They also meet regularly with the counselor in the bishopric who oversees the Young Women organization.
Ward Young Women Secretary
The Young Women secretary has the following responsibilities:
She consults with the Young Women presidency to prepare agendas for presidency meetings. She attends these meetings, takes notes, and keeps track of assignments.
She instructs class secretaries and oversees their work in keeping attendance records. At least quarterly, she compiles attendance information, reviews it with the Young Women president, and submits it to the ward clerk.
She ensures that the bishopric and the Young Women presidency are aware of young women who are not attending meetings regularly and young women who will soon advance to another Young Women class.
She uses the Young Women Personal Progress Tracking Sheet for Leaders to record the progress of individual young women as they participate in Personal Progress and other activities and as
She helps the Young Women presidency prepare an annual budget and account for expenses.
Ward Young Women Advisers
The bishopric may call Young Women advisers to help the Young Women presidency with their responsibilities. Each adviser works with a specific age-group of young women and works under the direction of the presidency member who is assigned to that age-group. Advisers have the following responsibilities:
They help the Young Women presidency and class presidencies plan and carry out activities, including Mutual.
They may teach Sunday lessons. They also may help teach leadership skills to class presidencies.
They may help record the progress of individual young women in the Personal Progress program.
They attend ward Young Women presidency meetings as invited.
Young Women Class Presidencies
A class presidency is normally called for each Young Women class. In a ward or branch with few young women, one presidency may be called for the combined age-groups until the young women are able to be organized into their respective classes.
Class presidencies have the following responsibilities:
They watch over and fellowship class members, especially those who are new members or less active and those who have disabilities or other special needs. They pray for them, spend time with them, and become genuine friends.
They help class members establish close friendships, learn leadership skills, and live the gospel.
They help each young woman know that she is welcome when she becomes a member of their class.
They support class members’ efforts in the Personal Progress program.
They support class members who serve as ministering sisters.
They hold regular class presidency meetings.
They conduct the Sunday meetings for their classes.
They help plan activities, including Mutual.
The class presidents serve on the bishopric youth committee (see 18.2.9).
Young Women Class Secretaries
Class secretaries have the following responsibilities:
They compile and review attendance information and submit it to the Young Women secretary.
They consult with the class presidency to prepare agendas for presidency meetings. They attend these meetings, take notes, and keep track of assignments.
They may help class presidencies and Young Women leaders plan activities.
Ward Young Women Activity Specialists
The bishopric may call specialists to serve temporarily in planning and carrying out specific activities. For example, specialists may be called to help with activities such as Young Women camp, youth conference, and sports. These specialists serve under the direction of the ward Young Women presidency.
Young Women Music Director and Pianist
The bishopric may call a Young Women music director and pianist. They may extend these callings to adult women or to young women.
The music director selects and conducts hymns for Sunday opening exercises. She may also help young women learn special musical selections and develop their musical abilities.
The pianist plays prelude and postlude music and hymn accompaniment in Young Women meetings.
Serving as Ministering Sisters
Serving as a ministering sister is an opportunity for a young woman to act on her baptismal covenant and to participate in the work of salvation. Parents and leaders counsel with each Mia Maid and Laurel, and she may be assigned as a ministering sister when she is willing and able to serve. Young women serve as companions to Relief Society sisters. For detailed information about this service, including instructions about giving assignments to young women, see 9.5.
The guideline that two responsible adults be present with youth does not apply to the assignment of ministering companions. However, under the direction of their bishop, leaders should use wisdom and seek inspiration when assigning youth as companions to adults (see 9.5.3).
Adult companions should avoid situations that might be misunderstood. They should use care regarding isolated one-on-one situations so that young women have a safe and rewarding experience with ministering. Additionally, leaders should use wisdom in not assigning young women to difficult home or family situations.
When youth are assigned to a companion who is not a parent, leaders should confirm that parents do not object to the assignment.