Editor's note: This article is directed toward Young Women leaders.
When a young woman becomes a teen, she starts on a journey of learning and preparation. Young Women leaders have the wonderful opportunity to help her find answers to her questions and strengthen her growing testimony. One of the most important ways we can do this is through Sunday gospel instruction.
The 2011 Young Women Resource Guide can help leaders. It has been developed to address relevant issues facing young women, focus on the current words of the prophets, and enrich lessons with music, art and new, rich media. The resource guide accompanies Young Women Manual 3. It is available in print (Young Women Resource Guide 2011) or online. Leaders will find wonderful resources to support each lesson and important invitations for young women to "accept and act" upon their learning.
The online version of the 2011 Young Women Resource Guide is found on the right side of every lesson. It includes all of the information from the printed Young Women Resource Guide, as well as the most current general conference addresses, resources and media. Most resources are linked and can be quickly accessed with the click of the mouse.
The resource guide suggests relevant questions young women may have about the lesson topic. The young women might have other questions, but these questions are a starting point. You should consider the needs and the questions of the young women. Sunday lessons are one of our best opportunities to teach young women the process of finding answers to their questions so they will be prepared to find answers throughout their lives. Help them discover the true doctrines found in the scriptures and the words of our prophets — this is where they will always find answers to their questions. "Ask and Ye Shall Receive: Helping Young Women Find Answers to Their Questions" is an online video that shows how one Young Women leader taught her young women this process.
Words of the prophets
The Young Women Resource Guide cites the most current prophetic words from recent general conferences. Prophets speak for today and we need to teach our young women to be riveted on their words. Becoming familiar with the timely messages of our prophets will guide them to make righteous choices as they daily face "a world where moral values have, in great measure, been tossed aside, where sin is flagrantly on display" (President Thomas S. Monson, "May You Have Courage," 2009 General Young Women Meeting).
Other current talks by General Authorities and general auxiliary leaders that are relevant to the lesson are also provided. Additional scriptures, many from the Book of Mormon, as well as citations from other approved resources, including music, art and activity ideas, can support and enrich lessons.
The online version of the resource guide includes media resources that can bring the lesson to life for young women. The majority of these are Mormon Messages that show how the doctrine is applied in day-to-day living. Ask the young women to watch for specifics, such as doctrines that were taught, choices that were made, standards that applied to the situation, etc. Inviting them to watch for something specific before showing the video and debriefing afterward will invite diligent learning and get them thinking about how to apply the principles in their own lives. The video segments can be downloaded or can be shown on a laptop or tablet in class.
Accept and act
Faith is a principle of action. The greatest way to plant a doctrine into the heart of a young woman is to have her act upon her learning. Personal Progress suggestions are included in most lessons as well as possible activity ideas that the young women can do personally during the week, or together at Mutual, to practice what they have learned. Invite young women to apply the doctrines learned and have them report the next Sunday on what they did, what more they learned, and how they felt.
We hope you will explore and use the 2011 Young Women Resource Guide. We know that your sincere efforts to use these resources will invite the Spirit — the true teacher. We also know that your spiritual preparation, love, righteous example, and testimony are the greatest resources to a successful lesson. Thank you for who you are and all you are doing to bless the lives of these precious daughters of God.