Six thousand Young Women and their leaders gathered in the Tabernacle on Temple Square last spring for the first worldwide Young Women fireside. Four thousand more listened to the same music and counsel in the nearby Salt Palace multi-purpose center, and young women in more than 1,900 other locations throughout the world heard or viewed the broadcast via closed-circuit television.
The fireside was the first of several sesquicentennial activities planned by the Young Women, and it focused on the theme “So Many Voices: How Do I Choose?”
In a statement given prior to the fireside, Elaine Cannon, general president of the organization, said that the anniversary year is an appropriate time for girls to declare that they care about what is happening in the world. “It is important,” she said, “that our girls think about their values and look forward to the future as they gain a greater understanding of and appreciation for the past.” She added that we are living in a time when there are many voices and pressures and that Young Women need to understand how to make valid decisions.
Speakers at the fireside included President Spencer W. Kimball and his wife, Sister Camilla Kimball; Elder Thomas S. Monson of the Quorum of the Twelve; and Sister Cannon and her counselors, Arlene B. Darger and Norma B. Smith. A 377-voice chorus composed of mothers, daughters, and grandmothers from families throughout the Salt Lake Valley presented a musicale commemorating the sesquicentennial in song, historical vignettes, and testimonies. A highlight of the fireside was the colorful, enthusiastic presentation of five-foot-high, handmade banners designed by the young women participating to reflect their heritage, values, goals, or personal feelings concerning the restoration of the gospel. Young Women listening to the broadcast in other locations were encouraged to have their own parade of banners during the appropriate time on the program.
President and Sister Kimball were honored by the Young Women as part of this historic occasion. in addition, the Young Women theme for the 1980–81 year was presented: “Search diligently in the light of Christ that ye may know good from evil” (Moro. 7:19). Booklets containing counsel from the scriptures and Church leaders and outlining ways to make correct decisions were distributed.