Photo illustrations by Craig Dimond
The Lord often calls those who are in their teenage years to be engaged in His work of salvation, like Joseph Smith, Mormon, and Samuel. He doesn’t seem to be as concerned with how old a person is as He is with his or her heart (see 1 Samuel 16:7). He sees the potential each person has, no matter his or her age.
This has never been truer than today. Beginning at age 12, you can be called into class and quorum presidencies by your bishop, who holds priesthood keys and acts through the inspiration of his calling. With that calling—which comes from God—you are called to preside over a group of young men or young women your own age and to lead, teach, minister, encourage, and be an example to them. You function under and with priesthood authority. It is a sacred duty and great opportunity to develop leadership skills that will enable you to be ever more useful as an instrument in the Lord’s hands as you continue along the covenant path.
Your Call to Lead
So, you’ve just been called into a quorum or class presidency. Now what? You may feel nervous or unsure about what you’re supposed to do. But remember that there are many sources of help and instruction available as you learn and understand your responsibilities as a youth leader.
First, your bishop, youth leaders, and parents will be a great resource in helping you learn. They are anxious for you to understand the responsibilities of your new calling because they want you to succeed. They know that you have the potential to reach out and minister to your peers in ways they can’t, and they will help you see this as the most important part of your calling.
They will surely introduce you to the leadership principles outlined in Handbook 2: Administering the Church (lds.org/go/HB10NE). These important principles include preparing spiritually, participating in councils, ministering to others, and teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. More details of your responsibilities can be found in the chapters of the handbook specific to Aaronic Priesthood (chapter 8) and Young Women (chapter 10).
In addition, there are some wonderful resources online. For example, you’ll find 18 lessons for learning youth leadership skills on the Young Women page under “Leadership Lessons” (lds.org/go/YW10NE). These can be used in your class presidency meetings to teach each other important skills, including how to encourage class unity, plan activities with a purpose, prepare an agenda, and conduct a meeting. Imagine how much more confident you’ll feel standing in front of opening exercises to conduct if you’ve practiced doing it with the other members of your class presidency first! There are similar helpful videos and resources on the Aaronic Priesthood website (lds.org/go/AP10NE).
Seeking Heavenly Help
Praying and fasting to understand the needs of your class or quorum members will also help you understand how to minister to those in your care. The Lord wants you to succeed in your calling. He stands ready to bless you with inspiration and guidance through the Holy Ghost as you seek to understand and do your duties.
Brother Tad R. Callister, Sunday School general president, has said: “Inherent in every calling in this Church is the right to receive revelation. Hence, these deacons quorum presidents need to know they have the right to receive revelation to recommend their counselors, the right to receive revelation concerning rescue of the lost, and the right to receive revelation to train the quorum members in their duties” (“The Power of the Priesthood in the Boy,” Ensign, May 2013, 53). This promise applies to members of Young Women class presidencies as well.
Becoming a Leader Now
You are the future stake presidents, Relief Society presidents, and leaders of the Lord’s kingdom, but you don’t have to wait until you’re an adult to be a great leader. Remember that the Lord knows you and that He knows what great leaders you can be today. He knows that you can reach out and touch lives and help rescue those who are lost. As the scriptures promise, “If you desire, you shall be the means of doing much good in this generation” (D&C 11:8), even in your youth.