- Each member should know how much he or she is needed. Each person has something important to contribute and has unique talents and abilities that help move this important work along.
- Our young men have Aaronic Priesthood duties described in the Doctrine and Covenants that are rather visible. It may be less obvious to the young women of the Church, their parents, and their leaders that, from the time they are baptized, young women have covenant responsibilities “to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that [they] may be in, even until death.” Young women have opportunities to fulfill these responsibilities in their wards and branches and when they serve in class presidencies, on youth councils, and in other callings. Every young woman in the Church should feel valued, have opportunities to serve, and feel that she has something of worth to contribute to this work.
The ward council has a role in meeting the needs of the members of the ward. Young women should be actively involved in helping those that are in need, those that are struggling, and those that are lonely and need friendship. Our young women are able to fulfill many needs of the ward but need some help in identifying where they can be of service.
- There is usually a long list of situations that require someone to serve, and we often think only of the adults in the ward to meet those needs. Just as our Aaronic Priesthood holders have been invited to labor with their fathers and other men of the Melchizedek Priesthood, our young women can be called upon to provide service and minister to the needs of ward members with their mothers or other exemplary sisters. They are capable, eager, and willing to do so much more than merely attend church on Sundays!
Sister Oscarson shared stories of a couple young women who served as family history consultants, and others who helped the elderly and reached out to those in need of friendship. She shares that the young women of the church are valuable in the ministering efforts and can be part of the new ministering program. As the young women serve, she shares that many of the anxieties, and troubles that are part of our everyday lives can be decreased by losing ourselves in the service of others. It is our obligation to help them find ways to lose themselves in the service of others.
- Turning your thoughts outward, instead of dwelling on your own problems, may not resolve all of these issues, but service can often lighten your burdens and make your challenges seem less hard.
As a father of 3 girls, I love that the new ministering efforts allow for the young women to be part of the Relief Society ministering efforts. Just as young men can be companions at 14, the young women now have additional responsibilities at 14 as well. What a blessing for these young people to be mentored by faithful leaders at such a young age. I am grateful that Sister Oscarson outlined several areas where the young women can assist the ward. Getting them involved in service to others will be a blessing that will benefit them throughout their lives.