SALT LAKE CITY — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints today announced organizational changes in its youth programs.
“We want also to strengthen Aaronic Priesthood quorums and Young Women classes and provide support to bishops and other adult leaders as they serve the rising generation,” said President Russell M. Nelson, President of the Church, during its 189th Semi-Annual General Conference.
Elder Quentin L. Cook, of the church’s Quorum of the 12 Apostles detailed the changes as it relates to young men in the church. “One of the scriptural duties of the bishop is to preside over the priests and to sit in council with them, teaching them the duties of their office,” said Elder Cook. “In addition, the first counselor in the bishopric will have specific responsibility for teachers and the second counselor for deacons.” Young men, who hold the Aaronic Priesthood in the church are ordained as Deacons, Teachers and Priests and generally are assigned to boys ages 12-18.
“To align with his revelation in the Doctrine and Covenants,” said Elder Cook, “Young Men presidencies at the ward level will be discontinued.” Instead, Elder Cook said, those duties will be managed by the bishop and his councilors who preside of the ward, or the local congregation. Elder Cook said the bishopric will assign advisers to assist in with those quorums.
Elder Cook said the changes will help bishoprics focus on what he called the core of their responsibilities.
There will be changes in the Young Women’s organizations as well. Elder Cook said the President of the Young Women’s organization will now report directly to the bishop, and not to one of his councilors. He also said the bishop will continue to meet with and council with young women and young men on an individual basis.
“These adjustments, when combined and integrated with previous adjustments, represent a spiritual and organizational effort consistent
with doctrine to bless and strengthen every man, woman, youth, and child,” said Elder Cook.
During the General Women’s session of the Conference on Saturday evening, Young Women General President, Sister Bonnie H. Cordon, announced more changes.
They included a change on the church’s Young Women’s Theme, replacing the word “we” with “I” in many places, a change Sister Cordon said focuses on the individual.
The church also announced changes in the organization of classes, retiring the names Beehive, Mia Maids and Laurels from classes that have been separated by age, and allowing local congregations to organize classes as they see fit for their situations.
“However your classes are organized, you young women are vital in building unity,” said Sister Cordon.
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