Young Women leaders are less likely to "give in, give out or give up" if they realize the potential of the girls they lead, members of the Young Women general presidency said.
And by being prepared, a leader will be more effective in helping young women come unto Christ.To improve instruction of gospel principles and leadership skills, the Young Women General Presidency, under direction of the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve, released in April a new videocassette, "Young Women Leadership Training," to be used throughout the Church.
"If we do one significant thing, it is to help Young Women leaders catch the vision of the potential of these young women, to help these youth prepare and keep covenants and ultimately receive the temple endowment," related Ardeth G. Kapp, the organization's general president. "If these leaders have a vision of what their efforts can accomplish, then they won't give in, give out or give up."
The videocassette begins with a motivational piece entitled, "Feed My Lambs," a portrayal of a talk given by Jayne B. Malan, first counselor in the Young Women general presidency, during the October 1989 general conference.
The segment tells the story of Sister Malan, who as a young girl spent the summer on the family ranch taking care of lambs. The story compares the experience to feeding Heavenly Father's lambs.
The remaining segments of the tape teach the principles of the Young Women program and demonstrate how the principles can affect the lives of girls ages 12 to 18.
The tape emphasizes youth leadership and portrays young women conducting meetings such as the New Beginnings program and Young Women opening exercises.
"In many areas of the Church, people are new and haven't seen youth programs in action," Pres. Kapp explained. "The video shows the growth of a young woman and the vision of what can happen when a program is understood and implemented.
"The modeling that is done on the videocassette is impressive. You can actually see the relationship between priesthood leaders, adult leaders and youth and class presidents and get a feeling of sisterhood that exists among the young women. You begin to see the program in action in ways that can't be portrayed in the written word."
Not only does the videocassette model how a Young Women program should function, but it also looks at the purposes for the program and gives the viewer a sense of what the program accomplishes.
"For example, a segment on caring relationships tells a story about a young woman whose life is touched by her leader," Sister Malan said. "So it has stories in there as well as teaching direct principles."
The videocassette portrays the process of development in a young woman as she sets goals, and it follows her through to the end of the year as she reaches her goals and sees evidence of her efforts.
"When you see that, you really begin to catch the impact the program has in the lives of young women," commented Janette C. Hales, second counselor in the Young Women general presidency.
The video shows young women in a variety of settings such as developing homemaking skills, learning about the outdoors, and serving as missionaries.
"This opens a scope of approved activities for young women at various stages of their lives," Sister Kapp remarked. "It gives recognition and validation to the significant role they play in the growth of the Church and in their individual development."
The video places emphasis on reaching out to the less active by opening the circle of sisterhood to include the less active and the non-member, she continued.
The videocassette also portrays the relationship between parents and youth and encourages young women to relate to their parents, and their parents to be supportive of the young women.
The videocassette is two hours long, but it is designed to be viewed in segments and invites local leaders to discuss the principles in each part and to talk about how they will apply those principles.
The material on the videocassette can be used in a variety of ways – for youth leaders and adult leaders, as an aid to parents in understanding the Young Women program and as a self-help training guide.
"There is also a great sensitivity for flexibility, knowing that programs must be flexible for different areas of the Church," Pres. Kapp said. "These are leadership principles that can be adapted and the program modified according to the needs of each unit."
This is the first leadership videocassette that has been prepared by the Young Women organization and is the result of years of leadership training.
Young Women leaders spent more than five years working on the tape, identifying and testing concepts and finding the most effective way to present them. "We feel these principles are universal and timeless and can be adapted to local areas," Sister Malan said.
"When we went out and did leadership training in local areas and presented our material, it was accepted with such enthusiasm that we had many requests asking if this could be recorded or put on tape to train leaders," Pres. Kapp explained.
"We kept teaching, refining material and evaluating leadership training so we were able to design the video according to the responses we received when we did the training."
Sister Hales added, "These are proven principles. They have been tested and tried. Hopefully the use of the video will help dedicated leaders be even more effective."
The tapes have been sent to area presidencies, regional representatives and stake presidents with an order form.
"We hope all bishops will order one for their meetinghouse library, but we are convinced when they see it, they will want one for their personal library as well because of what it shows between parent and child," Pres. Kapp said.
The Young Women office has already received positive responses about the video from stake presidents and leaders.
"It has been our dream right from the beginning to see leadership training put in the hands of local leaders and to help prepare young women ultimately to go to the temple," Pres. Kapp remarked. "We have been working for many years clarifying principles that would help them reach that goal."
Sister Malan added, "In that time period, we were able to put in place the Young Women values and provide experiences that help them learn to live gospel principles. We have also developed experiences that focus on the needs of each age group."
"Once we identified the leadership principles, we were able to produce something that was more than just motivational," Pres. Kapp said. "A real celebration will come as the local leaders begin to catch the vision and utilize the training as a resource to help them.
"This completes the basic package of the Young Women leadership materials, including the Young Women Handbook, the Young Women Leadership Guidebook and Personal Progress. All are integrated with the same basic principles and support the teachings found in the Young Women manuals.
"Everything in the Young Women program focuses on the principles of the gospel so that there is never any question of the goals or objectives that we have in mind for young women as they participate in life by honoring the covenants and preparing for the ordinances of the temple," she concluded.