OGDEN -- A little over a year ago, virtue was added to the list of values the Young Women in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints aspire to achieve. Now with that addition, the general Young Women presidency has introduced some new incentives for LDS girls ages 12-18 to work to get their Young Womanhood Recognition award and to bring others along with them.
In January, new posters with soft pink and gold colors were released, which included the new Young Womens theme with the added virtue value. Now there are eight values: faith, divine nature, individual worth, knowledge, choice and accountability, good works, integrity and virtue. For each of the values, young women complete a series of goals and a 10-hour service project to pass off that particular value. Now as young women pass off each value, instead of getting a sticker to put in their books, they get a ribbon to use as a scripture marker, said Terri Holmes, a ward Young Women president.
The medallion the girls get when they complete all their values changed a bit too.
"The temple is still the focus and is always the focus for the young women, but now there is a symbol for each part of Young Women," Holmes said. There is a laurel wreath for Laurels, girls ages 16-18; a rose for the Mia Maids, ages 14-16; and a beehive for Beehives, ages 12-14.
Holmes is excited to be able to reward the girls more regularly for their hard work. Her ward just passed out some of the ribbons at a special New Beginnings night last month.
"I think it's cool. They can use the ribbons as scripture markers and kind of show it off at church," she said. She hopes that the ribbons will help encourage all the girls to achieve their best.
Another change to the program is that now mothers can work on the goals right alongside their daughters.
"I think that is a real motivator," Holmes said. Leaders have always been able to work on the goals and earn the medallion, but now mothers and even fathers can work on them along with their daughters.
Also, anyone wanting to achieve the virtue goal must read the Book of Mormon. Holmes also thinks that is an excellent idea.
"I think that Sister Dalton (the general Young Women president) has just always had the goal for the girls to return to virtue," Holmes said. She thinks that these changes will help the girls see the importance in that and knows that it has opened the doors for such discussions in her ward.
The goal and motivators no longer end with the earning of the medallion, either. Now an honor bee can be earned by doing 40 more hours of service and re-reading the Book of Mormon. The idea behind the honor bee is for girls, parents or leaders to be able to help others earn their medallion and complete their value goals.
"This way they can work side by side," Holmes said.
For more information on the changes and specific instructions, visit the Web site www.lds.org and visit the Young Women link.