The Young Women’s President.
For many members of the Church, this calling inspires images of a bubbly, overachieving woman with a fondness for glitter and crafts. If you’ve been called to be the president of your Young Women’s organization, you may feel like you need to become this woman. But these images, while sometimes true, don’t do justice to the thousands of women around the world who lead a rising generation of Young Women.
We asked real women what they would want a newly called Young Women’s President to know. Here are the very best of their answers.
Overwhelmingly, the advice our readers suggested was to simply love the girls you serve.
“Please recognize that every young woman is going through something,” posted Janica Miskin. “Whether that be something at school or home troubles they have something going on and need leaders who genuinely care and are trustworthy and available to help. Be warm, be embracing, be supportive, be available, be willing to serve and be an advocate for them in righteous ways. These girls need love.”
If you need help developing and expressing love to your girls, consider reading the section from Preach My Gospel on how to develop charity and how Christ demonstrated it.
Don’t Play Favorites
There can be a fine line between loving the girls and playing favorites. Chances are, there will be girls you connect with more. You may find yourself relying heavily on these girls, spending the most time with them, and singling them out for responsibilities. It is important to remain neutral and try to love everyone equally. Spread the work and opportunities around. Do your best to disband cliques and help everyone be unified.
Let the Girls Be in Charge
One of the best ways to help foster unity and leadership is to let the girls be in charge. Consider this advice from Tanya Stelly:
“The true presidents are the Laurel, Mia Maid and Beehive presidents. You are more of a mentor. Train the girls to lead by the spirit and letting them plan activities, etc. Too often I’ve seen the adults making all the plans and being “in charge”. The girls should be in charge. I’ve been of the opinion for quite awhile this calling’s title should be changed to Young Women’s Mentor.”
Don’t Shy Away from Hard Topics
Your young women live in a tough world! While you may feel overwhelmed with the problems they face or the questions they have, but don’t shy away from the hard stuff. Hannah Chudleigh said, “Talk to the girls about about important things. I wish my leaders had talked more about education, sex, and charity instead of fashion.”
It is important to use the spirit and discern which topics should be approached and how they should be addressed. Counsel together with your presidency and the Bishopric. Involve the girls in choosing what they would like to talk about most.
Daphne Armstrong added, “Never ever ever try to spare their feelings by not teaching the whole truth about a topic. Ever. They’re gonna find out all the details eventually, and it’s better that it comes from an honest source accompanied by the spirit of understanding than anywhere else.”
Give All Activities Equal Opportunity
There is definitely a time and a place for crafting. We love crafting! However, make sure you give lots of interests their time in the spotlight.
Kimberly McMinn said, “Not all girls like or want to do crafts, nor do they have somewhere to put them. Please keep your “crafty” nights to a minimum. Give more opportunities to serve: singing at a nursing home, doing yard work (why should it always be the Scouts?), make quilts/blankets for a nearby hospital, etc. Plus, some girls don’t have the support at home to work on their Personal Progress; tell them why it is important to you and what you hope they can learn from it. And then offer to help them with it!”
Teach Life Skills
One fun and simple way is to make activities meaningful is to make sure they have a purpose. Teach life skills the girls can use now and later in her life! This includes creating and sticking to a budget, easy meals to make once she is on her own, basic car repairs, self-defense, interviewing skills, and more.
It’s Not Just a Sunday Calling
You’ll find out soon enough, but being the Young Women’s President is more than a Sunday calling. Loving and leading the girls is a full-time job and it will follow you throughout the week. Many of our readers offered the reminder that living your life as best you can according to the ideals you are teaching makes a strong statement. Learn to love the Young Women’s organization. Have a testimony of its mission and purpose:
“The purpose of the Young Women organization is to help each young woman be worthy to make and keep sacred covenants and receive the ordinances of the temple.”
Take Care of Yourself
Sharlene Wells offered this important reminder to take care of yourself!
“There are so many important things to do, but you can’t give to others if your own vessel runs dry, so take care of yourself and take opportunities to refill and recharge yourself spiritually, emotionally, physically, intellectually.”
To see all of the original answers, check out our Facebook post for more! Readers, what else would you add to this list?
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.