First Presidency Announces Priesthood MIA Programs
January 1973

“First Presidency Announces Priesthood MIA Programs,” Ensign, Jan. 1973, 135–36

First Presidency Announces Priesthood MIA Programs

The First Presidency has announced a realignment of the programs of the Church that have been administered by the Mutual Improvement Associations.

Two separate priesthood-oriented MIAs have been established. One is the Aaronic Priesthood MIA (Mutual Improvement Association) for young people 12 to 18. This program is under the direction of the Presiding Bishop. The other is the Melchizedek Priesthood MIA (Mutual Interest Association). The latter is divided into two groups, the Young Adults for unmarried persons 18 through 25 years of age and Special Interests for unmarried persons 26 years of age and over. Activities for married persons will be under the direction of the priesthood quorums.

In announcing the realignment, President Harold B. Lee said that it has been introduced in the interest of achieving improved priesthood correlation.

Under the new program, a basic guideline is that MIA activities are for unmarried members. Those who are married will be involved in quorum-originated activities.

The First Presidency has also announced new presidencies for the youth programs. These presidencies, who will serve under the direction of the Presiding Bishopric, include Robert L. Backman, LeGrand R. Curtis, and Jack H. Goaslind, Jr., for the young men, and Ruth Hardy Funk, Hortense H. Child, and Ardeth G. Kapp for the young women.

Released were General YMMIA President W. Jay Eldredge and his counselors, George I. Cannon and Robert L. Backman, and General YWMIA President Florence S. Jacobsen and her counselors, Margaret R. Jackson and Dorothy P. Holt. Also released were all members of the MIA general boards.

In the area of adult activity programs, the First Presidency announced that advisers are Elders Thomas S. Monson, Boyd K. Packer, Marvin J. Ashton, and Bruce R. McConkie of the Council of the Twelve. These advisers will be advisers to the Melchizedek Priesthood MIA and will also oversee the development of curricula, service projects, and activities to be administered through Melchizedek Priesthood quorums. Married members, widows of priesthood holders, and prospective elders will now participate in priesthood quorum activities.

Under the direction of the four-man advisory committee of the Twelve, a managing director and two associate directors have been called to lead the Melchizedek Priesthood MIA. Managing director is Elder James E. Faust, Assistant to the Council of the Twelve; associate directors are Elders Marion D. Hanks and L. Tom Perry, also Assistants to the Twelve. Service projects and activities for Young Adults and Special Interest groups will come under their direction.

At the stake level, the Aaronic Priesthood MIA program is headed by the stake presidency and the stake Aaronic Priesthood committee. Other leaders and advisers for the youth programs are called by the stake presidency as needed.

Adult supervision at the ward level consists of the bishopric, the Aaronic Priesthood general secretary and advisers to the Aaronic Priesthood quorums (who are the presidency of YMMIA), and the YWMIA presidency.

In the Melchizedek Priesthood MIA program, Young Adults are organized on a stake and regional basis for unmarried members 18 through 25 years of age, including members of the Latter-day Saint Student Association. LDSSA will continue to function and be a coordinating body for LDS students on college campuses. Students attending institutes of religion will continue to receive gospel instruction there, but their activities are now to be a part of the stake and region Young Adults program.

For unmarried persons 26 years of age and over, Special Interests groups are to be organized at stake and regional levels, depending on local needs.

In the administration of these two Melchizedek Priesthood MIA groups, the Regional Representative of the Twelve is the adviser in his region. Also at the regional level, separate organizations for both Young Adults and Special Interests may be formed if required, and would consist of a stake president who serves as priesthood adviser, one high councilor from each stake within the region, and regional officers as may be required.

At the stake level, the Young Adults and Special Interests are supervised by the stake presidency, the high council, find stake Melchizedek Priesthood committee. The two groups are separately served by a high council adviser, officers called by the stake presidents, and ward representatives as needed.

With announcement of the new program, it was noted that a strong feature of MIA has always been the Church athletic programs. These programs will continue. Also unaffected by the changes will be such events as roadshows, dance festivals, music festivals, and other activities previously associated with MIA.


Robert L. Backman, new YMMIA president, center, with his counselors, LeGrand R. Curtis, left, and Jack H. Goaslind, Jr. (Church News photo.)


The new YWMIA President Ruth Hardy Funk, center, with her counselors, Hortense H. Child, left, and Ardeth G. Kapp. (Church News photo.)