No matter how you measure it, the calling to be a young women leader is one of the most demanding callings in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The youth of the Church have great potential and are of great interest to Church leaders. Serving them is an important responsibility.
But keeping busy is only part of the calling. To truly magnify your calling, you need understanding and direction. Here are a few ideas to help you become an extraordinary Young Women leader.
1. Learn from your resources
The Church has provided a wealth of resources to help members fulfill their Church callings, involving many for youth. Handbook 2 is an invaluable resource, and becoming familiar with it will provide direction for many of the decisions you will make and activities you plan as a youth leader.
2. Pray for direction
The General Young Women Presidency said in a recent training, “We invite you to prayerfully consider the needs of your leaders and young women. Think about how you can further improve your efforts to learn and teach in the Savior’s way.”
Resources are necessary and can provide helpful ideas for ministering and service, but relying solely on others to tell you what to do neglects an essential part of your calling. The ultimate source of direction is the Holy Ghost. Be in tune with the Spirit and follow promptings you receive.
3. Focus on the temple
Handbook 2 states, “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.” Plan to help the young women you serve attend the temple as often as possible, and help them understand the sacredness of the ordinances of the temple. Bring the temple into lessons and activities whenever you can. As you do, you will help fulfill the objective of the Young Women organization.
4. Love the girls individually
The Savior ministered to his children one by one (see 3 Nephi 17:21, 3 Nephi 11:15), and so should we. Get to know each girl personally. Learn what she likes to do, what her dreams are, and what is important to her. Show your love in a way she can understand. As you pray for charity for those you serve, your prayers will be answered and you will know how to minister to each girl.
President Gordon B. Hinckley modeled this love when he said, “Of all the creations of the Almighty, there is none more beautiful, none more inspiring than a lovely daughter of God who walks in virtue with an understanding of why she should do so, who honors and respects her body as a thing sacred and divine, who cultivates her mind and constantly enlarges the horizon of her understanding, who nurtures her spirit with everlasting truth. God will hold us accountable if we neglect His daughters. He has given us a great and compelling trust. May we be faithful to that trust.”
5. Develop leaders
Young women are only youth for six years. After that, they enter adulthood and will become leaders in the Church, the mission field, their families and their professions. Young Women is a training ground for developing these future leaders.
Elder David A. Bednar said, “Are you and I helping our [youth] become agents who act and seek learning by study and by faith? … Are we consistently helping them to act, to learn for themselves, and to stand steadfast and immovable?” In everything you do, give the girls opportunities to lead. Allow them to take charge of activities, make mistakes, and learn necessary skills. Not only will it help you to have the girls actively involved in activities, but they will also thank you when they are better prepared for the future.