“A Conversation about Personal Progress and Young Women,” Ensign, Mar. 1989, 77
The Ensign spoke recently with Sister Ardeth G. Kapp, Young Women general president, to learn about recent changes in the Young Women Personal Progress Program.
Q.: What is the purpose of Personal Progress?
A.: It is to help young women grow spiritually and come unto Christ. Participation in Personal Progress helps young women develop private religious behavior such as personal prayer and scripture study. It also provides opportunities for parents and their daughters to plan and work together and fosters positive, trusting relationships among young women and their leaders. In addition, it provides ways to practice gospel principles learned at home and in Sunday lessons; promotes a variety of spiritually based experiences that provide opportunities for cultural development, leadership, service, and growth; helps young women evaluate their personal progress as they prepare to make and keep sacred covenants; and provides recognition that helps young women appreciate their identity as daughters of God in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The spiritual growth and progress of each young woman is the most important aspect of Personal Progress.
Q.: What kind of recognition do the young women receive in the Personal Progress program?
A.: A Report of Progress will be given to each girl each year. Then, at the end of the Beehive, Mia Maid, and Laurel years, jewelry shaped like the age-group symbols will be available to those who qualify. The Young Womanhood medallion will continue to be the culminating honor in the Young Women program.
Q.: Why was the Personal Progress program revised?
A.: There is a great need to involve young women in meaningful, gospel-centered experiences that will bring them closer to the Lord and help them understand his teachings. Personal Progress is an essential element of the Young Women program. Basing this program on the Young Women theme, values, and motto can help give direction to a young woman’s life and strengthen her testimony of the gospel.
Q.: In what ways has the program been revised or strengthened?
A.: First, as the new Personal Progress booklet explains, Beehives, Mia Maids, and Laurels now have specific age-group responsibilities that help define their roles. These responsibilities support the mission statements and symbols for each age group as well as the Young Women theme.
Second, one of the age-group responsibilities for both the Beehives and Mia Maids includes completing fourteen value experiences each year. Since the needs, interests, and development of young women change as they grow and mature, value experiences were prepared for both the first- and second-year Beehives and the first- and second-year Mia Maids. These experiences are very broad; they should appeal to young women who enjoy a wide range of activities. The experiences were carefully selected with a worldwide Church and international application in mind. In addition, careful thought was given to a program in which all might succeed if they put forth the effort.
Third, the age-group responsibilities for the Laurels do not include completing value experiences. Instead, Laurels develop, plan, and complete two projects each year, requiring a minimum of fifteen to thirty hours each.
Fourth, there is a section in the booklet with specific instructions to help leaders implement the Personal Progress program. This section also makes the information available to young women in isolated areas. This allows them to work on Personal Progress without the assistance of a Young Women leader.
Q.: How can parents help their daughters succeed in this program?
A.: President Benson once said to a group of youth, “The heavenly grandstands are cheering you on.” We need earthly grandstands filled with parents and adult leaders who will also cheer them on. We believe that as parents work with their daughters on Personal Progress, they will build closer relationships and have opportunities to support and encourage them.
Q.: When will the young women receive their revised Personal Progress books?
A.: As this revised Personal Progress program is introduced locally, young women will receive a new book from their Young Women leaders. The books (stock no. PEYW4125) may be ordered through Church distribution centers.