(by Sarah Jeane Weaver)
Leaders can help Young Women learn by study and faith as they do three simple things: First, prepare to learn. Second, teach one another. And third, act.
"We must flood the earth with light," said Sister Elaine S. Dalton, Young Women general president. "It is time for us as leaders to arise and shine forth."
Speaking at the Young Women auxiliary training meeting in the Conference Center Little Theater April 1, Sister Dalton asked youth leaders to light up the life of a young woman. "You are the women they are going to look to, the virtuous women who will be their role models," she said. "We need to prepare ourselves spiritually. You are wonderful women. But we could be better."
She asked the Young Women leaders not just to bear their testimony to the youth, but to be their testimony.
"Of all the tools we have, still the best one is our love," she said. "Let's help these young women be prepared and be all they can be."
During the training — one of several sessions held in downtown Salt Lake City preceding the Church's 180th Annual General Conference April 3-4 — Sister Dalton; her counselors, Sister Mary N. Cook and Sister Ann M. Dibb, and members of the Young Women general board offered counsel and direction to ward and stake Young Women leaders.
Members of the board also announced that Personal Progress will soon be available online. By placing the whole Personal Progress book online, including a system to track progress and a secure journal, general leaders are taking the book to where young women live — anywhere in the world.
And for those who don't want to work online: paper still works, they explained.
"We are looking forward quite a way," Sister Dalton said, speaking of future Church growth across the globe. "We are living in two worlds right now."
(In coming weeks, the Church News will publish a complete report on the new online Personal Progress system.)
Sister Cook said it is important for leaders to create a safe learning environment for young women and then to help them teach one another. Each young woman, she added, can receive personal revelation.
"When you go to camp who will be doing the teaching? They will," she said.
Sister Dibb said it is important for leaders to help the youth ask their own questions and seek answers to them. "They can pray to find answers ... that will enter into their hearts."
Most important, she said, leaders should help the youth know they are not alone. "Our youth are feeling alone," she said.