Aug 11, 2015

We Are Daughters of Our Heavenly Father: Striving to Live the Young Women Values

by Jen Brewer

Learn the importance of the words you repeat each week.

This inspirational book helps you better understand the Young Women theme by breaking down each section and sharing the story of how and why the theme was created.

Discover your divine potential and how important you are in God’s plan!

Thought provoking and uplifting, this book offers new insights for parents, leaders, and all young women.

We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love Him. We will "stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things and in all places" (Mosiah 18:9) as we strive to live the Young Women values, which are:

Divine Nature
Individual Worth
Choice and Accountability
Good Works
And Virtue

We believe as we come to accept and act upon these values, we will be prepared to strengthen home and family, make and keep sacred covenants, receive the ordinances of the temple, and enjoy the blessings of exaltation --Young Women Theme

From the time you turn twelve to your eighteenth birthday, you stand up every Sunday and recite these exact words. Every. Single. Sunday. Have you ever wondered why this theme was chosen? What in these paragraphs is so important that Heavenly Father wants to sear in into your brain, so much so that thirty-plus years down the road you will still be able to recall it at the drop of a hat? (Trust me, you will; it's still ingrained in my mind!) It's not--as I know some young women think--just something to get through each week so we can get to the "important" information.

Let's back up a bit--back to the beginning. The Young Women program was started by Brigham Young, as he called on his daughters to lead in a "retrenchment from the things of the world" From its humble beginnings, the Young Women organization began growing and changing. There were many yearly themes instituted and different goal systems put into place to help the young women realize their full potential as daughters of God. Even the name of the organization changed throughout the years. (It was once called the "Young Ladies' Department of the Ladies' Cooperative Retrenchment Association" --quite a mouthful!)

In 1984, Sister Ardeth G. Kapp was called as the general president of the Young Women. Sister Kapp, along with her presidency and the Young Women board, wanted to help the young women truly feel of their worth and importance as part of God's kingdom--not just as an auxiliary program but as an integral part of God's plan here on earth. The theme was a natural place for them to do this.

Instead of asking, "What do we want to do?" the presidency started with a goal-oriented question: "What do we want to have happen?" The answer was clear: for all young women to be prepared to receive the covenants and blessings of the temple...

...Before we delve into the details, let's take a look at the theme in its entirety. One way to see it is to look at three main messages that are reiterated throughout the inspired sentences:

1. Who we are.
2. The responsibility we have to act and not to be acted upon.
3. The need to plan and prepare now for important decisions throughout our life.

All of these overarching ideas and concepts come to us in something that takes less than thirty seconds to recite each week!

Here's another underlying insight about the Young Women theme you many not have noticed: it is a succinct summary of the plan of salvation. While it doesn't specifically describe the Atonement and all the commandments, it includes the basic elements of the plan and answers the questions, "Where did I come from? Why am I here? Where am I going?" Further, the values tell you the basic hows, or attributes you need to develop, to get back to Heavenly Father.

Points to Ponder
* How can I know for myself that I am a daughter of God?
* How will I act, knowing I have a divine inheritance?
* How will understanding who I am help me determine my choices?
* What does being a daughter of God mean to me?

About the Author
Jen Brewer got her degree in dietetics from BYU, married her husband, and spent the next 10 years traipsing around the country with him as he pursued a medical degree, while adding children to their ever-growing family. They have now settled in Minnesota, where she works full time as a mother of 7, as well as pursues her passions of nutrition education, speaking to the youth, and writing. She speaks often to various groups of all ages. Her passion is reaching out to the youth and helping them see their true potential in the kingdom of God. She is a popular speaker at education week youth track, as well as at stakes and wards all over the country.


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