There are a half million young women in the Church and no two are alike, said Julie B. Beck, first counselor in the Young Women general presidency.
That is why the Personal Progress program is designed — when correctly used — to "bless the lives of those girls individually."
With that, the Young Women general presidency has announced a new interactive Web site for Personal Progress found at www.lds.org. This site, which includes interactive lessons for getting to know and love young women, tips on how to modify lessons for individual needs, and quotes from Church leaders, is intended to help the "important people" in the life of a young woman, Sister Beck added, including her parents and other family members, Young Women leaders, priesthood leaders, and her peers.
Sister Beck, along with Mary Cook, general board member and chairwoman of the interactive Web site on Personal Progress, met with the Church News on behalf of Young Women General President Susan W. Tanner.
"Personal Progress prepares young women to strengthen their present homes, their future homes, and to make and keep temple covenants," Sister Tanner said recently during workshops on Personal Progress. "This is our ultimate goal — to have young women worthy and prepared to go to the temple and receive sacred covenants so they can return to our Father in Heaven."
That is why is it called "Personal Progress," Sister Beck explained. "Because it is personal. It's not group progress, it's personal progress and there's a reason for that. This is one opportunity to take a girl with individual needs, and she can learn how the gospel fits in her life. This site helps us teach that Personal Progress can be adapted for individual girls and it's to help them build their individual testimonies and prepare them to make and keep temple covenants."
The site has already touched lives, said Sister Cook. Priesthood and Young Women leaders in British Columbia, for example, have reported that "they were thrilled with the helps and especially the interactivity."
To access this new site, go to www.lds.org and click on Serving in the Church, then Young Women. For now, the new site is one of the main choices on that page. But users can also click on Personal Progress on the left and then on Encouraging Young Women to Work on Personal Progress. The site includes an Introduction, How You Can Help, Further Ideas and a conclusion. Each lesson can be downloaded for training meetings, home use and for lesson material.
Under the introduction, users are told, "Personal Progress can help young women prepare to be temple worthy and ready for their future roles." This page then discusses those roles, including Faithful Women; Leader; Wife, Mother and Homemaker. In explaining the importance of preparation, the next page features a video clip of Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve speaking during the April 2004 general conference. This clip includes a portrayal of the Ten Virgins as spoken of in the 25th chapter of Matthew.
Under the section How You Can Help, is counsel on Modifying to Individual Needs. Users hear a narrator say, "Some young women have personal circumstances, interests or needs where value experiences need to be modified." Modifying to Individual Needs includes the example of Jessica, a young woman with a disability. The example explained that each week a Mia Maid from her class met with Jessica after Church to help her with a value experience. Jessica wanted to learn about mothers, so Ann, a Mia Maid, helped Jessica identify Divine Nature experience No. 2, "Increase your understanding of and appreciation for Womanhood."
Ann read the listed scriptures and discussed The Family: A Proclamation to the World with Jessica and then helped her create a picture book of women caring for and loving others. Jessica then shared her picture book with the class and told how she wanted to be like her own mother.
The section also offers a practice on how to modify a value experience for a young woman.
The new Web site is meant to simplify working with young women for leaders and parents.
"Inspiration is helped by information," she added. "I believe if you have a calling and you do everything you can to get information, then the inspiration (follows). That's one of the miracles of the gospel. The Lord empowers each of us in our responsibilities."
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