6 characteristics to help young women see leadership as a sacred responsibility

Young Women class presidencies and youth camp leaders have the sacred responsibility to develop and practice leadership skills — attributes they can establish through studying the life of Christ and following His example. His leadership style was filled with invitations and opportunities. When the Savior admonished us to “Come, follow Me,” His invitation was not only for us to hear His words, but to do what He would do — to act with love and charity and to lead others to Him. As we study this pattern of leadership, through His example, we will be better able to help our young women succeed in their leadership responsibilities. Following are examples of leadership characteristics exemplified by the Savior:

Listen

“And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers” (see Luke 2:41-52).

Notice ‘the one’

“And he [Zacchæus] sought to see Jesus. … And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchæus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house. And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully” (see Luke 19:1-10).

See divine potential

“Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more” (see John 8:3-11). Jesus was compassionately asking her to go forth and change. Through the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, change is possible for all of us.

One day, Jesus taught from Peter's boat on the Sea of Galilee. Afterward He told Peter to take the boat to deep water and let out the nets to catch fish. Peter explained that he and others had been fishing all night without catching anything, but he said he would do as Jesus commanded. Peter and his brother Andrew caught so many fish that their net began to break. James and John came in another boat to help. The fishermen were all amazed. Jesus called Peter and Andrew to follow Him and become fishers of men. He also called James and John. They all left their boats and nets and followed Jesus. Artist, Harry Anderson.Pictures of life of Christ for special issue. Monday, Dec.28, 2009, Photo copyright IRI
One day, Jesus taught from Peter’s boat on the Sea of Galilee. Afterward He told Peter to take the boat to deep water and let out the nets to catch fish. Peter explained that he and others had been fishing all night without catching anything, but he said he would do as Jesus commanded. Peter and his brother Andrew caught so many fish that their net began to break. James and John came in another boat to help. The fishermen were all amazed. Jesus called Peter and Andrew to follow Him and become fishers of men. He also called James and John. They all left their boats and nets and followed Jesus. Artist, Harry Anderson.Pictures of life of Christ for special issue. Monday, Dec.28, 2009, Photo copyright IRI Credit: Copyright IRI, LDS Church, LDS Church
Trust

“And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him” (see Matthew 4:18-20).

Focus on others

“When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home” (see John 19:25-27).

Use time wisely

“But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her” (see Luke 10:38-42).

The young women of the Shepard Creek Ward, Farmington Utah North Stake, allowed us a peek into their planning process for this year’s young women camp. By using the Savior’s leadership example, their leadership experience was rich with blessings and growth. The following quotes illustrate that as they counseled together, listened to one another, looked after “the one,” and loved each other as the Savior does, they all drew closer to the Savior.

Credit: Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

Rebecca Calvillo said: “I think it is so fun to plan and talk to the leaders and other girls about what we can do to make camp fun and Christ-centered. Everyone’s ideas are important.”

Alysa Whitney said: “I am developing skills that help me lead with youth and other adults. I’ve learned that it is important for everyone planning to be on the same page and learn to compromise.”

Anna Johnson said: “Being part of the planning process makes the camp experience more personal. While counseling together it is important to hear other’s input and make plans that help bring the Spirit.”

It is our prayer that young women are provided with every opportunity as class presidencies, youth camp leaders, and class members to study the words of Christ and lead like He led. Such opportunities will give them a sense of belonging as well as increase their leadership skills and self-worth.