Living in a global pandemic does not mean that we are on vacation from our Church callings. The service, love and inspiration of young women serving in class presidencies is needed now, more than ever.
Think of the difference it might make for a young woman if she received a text or a message from one of the girls in her young women class presidency asking how she was doing, if there was anything that she could help with or how school was going? The young woman would know she was being thought about, that someone cared.
Vivian Tillery, second counselor in a Young Women class presidency in the Panorama Ward, Calgary Alberta Confederation Park Stake, said, “I text or message the young women on Instagram. I know it’s a rough time for the all of us. I care about them; they are my friends and they are like family to me.”
Our youth are finding creative ways to reach out and stay connected. In the Roskilde Ward, Copenhagen Denmark Stake, the young women play “the positive minute” where they share spiritual thoughts and/or positive thoughts and experiences. The class presidents also use the internet to find small spiritual movies or messages to send to their groups each week.
Katja, who serves as a Young Women counselor in the ward, explained, “Through all the work our two young class presidents have done, they have not only created a stronger and more loving relationship with their friends in the Church, but they have also gained a better spiritual understanding of the importance of staying close as young women — not just physically, but also mentally and spiritually.”
It is a difficult time for young women and their leaders, but we are seeing remarkable ways that class presidencies are serving and making a difference.
Ellie Whitmore, a Young Women class secretary in the Willow Hills Ward, Sandy Utah Granite Stake, said, “Our presidency decided that our most important role is to bring our young women closer to Christ by showing them Christlike love.”
A Young Women leader said, “The motivation for their class presidency to keep in touch with the young women is that they genuinely LOVE each other!”
There is tremendous and often untapped potential in Young Women class presidencies. Just like adult Young Women leaders, these youth leaders have been called of God and have been set apart by those who hold priesthood keys. They have been given responsibilities to prepare, counsel, teach, minister and lead.
“Class presidencies can gain confidence and leadership skills,” said Herbee Angolluan of the San Isidro 2nd Branch, Antipolo Philippines Stake. “This makes them realize that setting a good example does not just help other young women, but is also helps them to know more of their capacity to lead and influence other young women their age.”
A class presidency can receive revelation as they ask questions like, “Who can we bless today? Where can we serve? Who needs a helping hand or an encouraging word?” As they act on impressions they receive, they will grow in Christlike love and charity that gives them eyes to see and hearts to feel compassion and concern for the young women.
Benedikte Willemann, a class president in Roskilde Ward, Copenhagen Denmark Stake, shared her experiences: “We look for opportunities to find ways to stay in touch and remain spiritually strong together, even though we are physically far apart. Using technology in my calling has [helped us] reach everyone, increase the spirituality of all of us in the young women and make our relationships stronger.”
Our youth have been called by a Prophet of God to be active participants in the work of salvation and exaltation — to live the gospel of Jesus Christ, to care for those in need, to invite all to receive the gospel, and to unite families for eternity. Class presidencies do this as they live their lives as an example of the believers. They care for and minister to their class members, support new members and rescue less-active members. They invite those of other faiths and beliefs to “come and see.” They encourage the uniting of families through missionary and temple and family history work. These young women work closely with the Spirit to bring others to Christ in small yet significant ways.
Young Women President Caroline Hoffman Carvalho of the Morada do Sol Ward, Rio Verde Brazil Stake, said that the class presidency in her ward is reaching out through technology and finding ways to help each girl focus on the gospel. “Most of them are the only members in their families. The class presidency organizes online meetings to discuss the gospel, to set goals and help each other stay on the path.”
Speaking to the youth, President Russell M. Nelson said, “You were sent to earth at this precise time, the most crucial time in the history of the world, to help gather Israel. There is nothing happening on this earth right now that is more important than that. … This is the mission for which you were sent to earth.”
Our youth have been uniquely prepared to live, and to lead, at this crucial time in the history of the world when so many are preparing for the second coming of Jesus Christ. They are needed now — more than ever.