Rejoicing in history, excited for future

Asense of history and anticipation for the future pervaded the atmosphere at a reception Nov. 10, commemorating the 125th anniversary of the Young Women.

Hundreds greeted the current Young Women general presidency at the reception room in the Relief Society Building, across the street east of Temple Square. Among those attending were President Howard W. Hunter and his wife, Inis; President Gordon B. Hinckley and his wife, Marjorie; and President Thomas S. Monson, and his wife, Frances.Others attending included members of the Council of the Twelve and other General Authorities and the general board of the Young Women, along with members of the Relief Society and Primary general presidencies and general boards. Also attending were former members of Young Women, Primary and Relief Society general presidencies and general boards.

Reverence - yet excitement - seemed to fill the room as President Hunter greeted General Pres. Janette C. Hales and her counselors, Virginia H. Pearce and Bonnie D. Parkin. Others, including several young women, shook hands with the prophet, who responded warmly.

As piano and harp music, performed by young women, filled the air, those attending mingled and enjoyed a buffet. At times, warm exchanges were heard as those who had once served together greeted one another, some after long periods of time.

Pres. Hales told the Church News: "It has been such a thrill to meet so many of the women who in the past have been leaders of Young Women. There's a sense of history that I can't describe." (Please see related articles on this page and page 6.)

Three former Young Women general presidents were present, Florence S. Jacobsen, Ruth H. Funk and Elaine Cannon. Ardeth G. Kapp was unable to attend because she is serving a mission with her husband in Canada.

Sister Jacobsen, who served from 1961 to 1972, expressed to the Church News her pleasure at the growth of the Young Women program since it "started with Brigham Young's daughters in his own home and then expanded into the valley and beyond the valley into the various communities. From there it has gone worldwide."

Sister Cannon, who served as general president from 1978 to 1984, spoke of her delight at the presence of President Hunter.

Some at the reception have memories of the Young Women program in its earlier years. One such person was Thelma Fetzer, who served on the Young Women general board in the 1930s, under the administration of Pres. Ruth May Fox. She noted, "The growth of Young Women and the quality of what's being done for young people today is phenomenal."

Speaking of the worth of the Young Women program in her life today was Erica Knight, 17, of the Monument Park 15th Ward, Salt Lake Monument Park Stake. "The Young Women program helps me set goals and have direction in my life. Without it I wouldn't set as high of goals, and without the Church I wouldn't be as focused as I am."

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