Young Women to 'walk in the light'

The lighting of a nation begins in the heart and soul of an individual young woman, said Ardeth G. Kapp, Young Women general president.

"I have visited among the nations. I have looked into the faces and eyes of these beautiful young women," she remarked. "I have felt the strength and maturity of their spirits. God has a work for young women to do to center their lives around Christ."To help the young women "Come unto Christ" and be a light to others, the Young Women general presidency has announced the theme and date for the 1992 Young Women Worldwide Celebration.

The celebration will be Nov. 21, 1992, using the theme "Walk in the Light," with the official Young Women logo as the symbol of the event.

"Light is visualized in the logo for young women through a torch, which symbolizes holding up the light of Christ," Pres. Kapp explained.

"As we develop the theme, we want to encourage young women to seek the light, share the light, follow the light, be the light and celebrate the light. All the activities that we do should have one purpose in mind and that is to bring the light of Christ into their individual lives daily and hold up that light for others.

"This will be a historic event as the young women of the Church participate together, just as they did in 1986 and 1989, in commemorating the founding of the Young Women organization."

The 1992 celebration, which will mark the 123rd anniversary of the founding of the Young Women organization, will center around principles found in the Young Women program, including strengthening testimonies and performing good works. It is anticipated that Nov. 21 will kick off a year of performing "acts of light," Pres. Kapp commented.

"This event will give an emphasis to the importance of light in our lives and service to others," she explained. "It is important for youth to recognize light within themselves and how righteousness allows them to grow."

In 1986 - with a theme of "The Rising Generation" - young women throughout the Church wrote personal messages of hope, commitment and faith to the world and then released them in helium-filled balloons at sunrise on Oct. 11 to symbolize the dawning of a new day.

Numerous accounts about those who had responded to the messages were sent to Church headquarters. Some people were even introduced to the Church through the message and later baptized.

Young women throughout the world participated. Young women in the Cairo (Egypt) Branch, for example, decided to launch bottles into the Red Sea instead of launching balloons. After a special sunrise service on the shores of the Red Sea, they snorkeled beyond the edge of a corral reef and launched their messages in sealed bottles.

In 1989, the theme of the celebration was "Stand for Truth and Righteousness." The celebration was geared toward giving every young woman in the Church an opportunity to respond to the message of a modern-day prophet and to renew her commitment to stand for truth and righteousness.

A sense of history was felt as young women reflected on the 120th anniversary of the organization of Young Women. In 1869, Brigham Young rang the prayer bell in the Lion House in Salt Lake City to assemble his daughters for a special meeting. He called upon them to "set an example before (the) people of the world worthy of imitation."

On Nov. 18, 1989, President Ezra Taft Benson rang the same prayer bell and called upon young women worldwide to set aside the things of the world, to stand for truth and righteousness, and to read the Book of Mormon and apply its teachings.

The message from President Benson and a message from Pres. Kapp were recorded, translated into 16 languages and sent to every unit of the Church.

"Bells were rung in every location by a priesthood leader who was representing the prophet," Pres. Kapp explained.

Many events begin with ringing a bell to begin anew, she added.

"Magnificent stories have been built into these past celebrations. Lives were touched, testimonies were strengthened and a bond of sisterhood increased. We hope for the same as we look forward to the 1992 celebration."

Jayne B. Malan, first counselor in the Young Women general presidency, said: "This celebration can be a reminder to young women of who they really are and what is expected of them. I think the main purpose is to help them understand that they are part of something wonderful, that they have a cause and are part of a group that literally covers the face of the earth. This helps them feel a responsibility for their membership in the Church and the excitement and thrill it is to be a member."

Janette C. Hales, second counselor in the Young Women general presidency, remarked: "The worldwide celebration is a great opportunity for young women to feel supported and feel connected to a whole world of young women who are members of the Church."

Further information about the celebration will be sent to local stakes and districts. As with previous Young Women Worldwide Celebrations, guidelines will be provided for local adaptation, the presidency said.

Pres. Kapp concluded: "It is our hope that with this date on the calendar, there will be an opportunity for youth leadership, parents' involvement, support of families and an opportunity to share talents and to serve."

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