Saturday, March 26, 2011

LDS 2011 General Young Women Meeting Focuses On Virtue; Attendees Urged To Resist Unrighteous Worldly Values

The 2011 General Young Women Meeting of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints took place on March 26th, 2011, and those in attendance were treated to a round of inspiration and pertinent talks by the Young Women General Presidency as well as a representative of the First Presidency of the Church. It's an excellent lead-in to the 181st Annual General Conference which will take place on April 2-3. The theme of the meeting was the 13th Article of Faith; the predominant focus was on virtue.

First out of the box with a media story is the Salt Lake Tribune; in addition, the Beginnings New blog live-Twittered the meeting. The Deseret News and KSL Channel 5 have now posted stories; KSL video embedded below:

Video Courtesy of

Video and audio archives of the whole session or individual talks now available HERE. Written transcripts are also available.

Sister Anne M. Dibb, Second Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency, spoke on the 13th Article of Faith, with special attention on being honest and true even when it isn't easy, popular, or fun.

Sister Mary N. Cook, First Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency, spoke about the importance of making Jesus Christ the center of one's life. She focused on "benevolence," and urged the young ladies to be good Samaritans in their YW programs, wards, communities, and, sometimes most difficult of all, in their families.

Young Women General President Elaine Dalton urged people to make two lists: Things you will always do, and things you will never do. Then "live your lists." She also told the young ladies to be a guardian of virtue, which she described as being “modest not only in your dress, but in your speech, your actions, and your use of social media.” President Dalton also counseled the young ladies to understand the importance of chastity, because the body is a temple and that sacred powers of procreation are not to be tampered with before marriage.

The final speaker was President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the LDS Church First Presidency. President Eyring said the formation of the YW organization was an act of prophetic foresight by Brigham Young. At the time, Brigham Young saw that worldly influences were drawing the Saints away from the Lord’s pathway to happiness, and so founded YW as a counterbalance. President Eyring also warned of the danger in rejecting prayer and in casual scripture study, emphasizing that feasting on the word is nourishment to tree of one's personal testimony.

Unofficial LDS Reaction: Feminist Mormon Housewives has expressed some concern about President Elaine Dalton's talk about "Guardians of Virtue". President Dalton said that as guardians of virtue, young women are not to send flirtatious, sexually explicit text messages. However, she followed up by saying that if a young woman sends a sexually explicit text message to a young man, that this text message may cause him to lose the Spirit, his Priesthood power and his virtue. FMH's concern is that this sends the message that if young men cannot control themselves, young women are responsible for any consequences that result from sending these sexually explicit text messages to young men. But an review of the transcript of the speech indicates this concern was unwarranted; President Dalton had preceded that remark with a story about how men had helped women accomplish their goals during a 22-mile walk from the Draper Temple to the Salt Lake Temple. President Dalton's point was that men and women must be guardians of each other and look out for each other as well.

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