“Worldwide ‘Experiment upon the Word’ Commemorated,” Ensign, Dec. 1995, 68–69
Young women and Young Women leaders all over the world have focused this year on reading the scriptures in a year-long challenge from the Young Women General Presidency to “Experiment upon the Word.”
“The worldwide celebration for young women is a focus on experimenting on the word, or scriptures,” explained Sister Janette Hales Beckham, general president of the Young Women. “We’ve seen that their commitment to regular scripture study has brought to young women not only spiritual insights, but a new determination to make scripture study an important part of their lives.
“By making the scriptures a year-long focus,” she continued, “I believe many young women and their leaders have gained a new understanding of the scriptures as a resource in meeting daily challenges.”
Dozens of letters that have arrived at the Young Women office in Salt Lake City share ideas, experiences, and testimonies about the “Experiment upon the Word” celebration.
In the Independence Missouri Stake, young women received a special booklet to help them record their daily scripture reading. In addition, knowing that young women like to shop, leaders designed a “mall” for one particular activity. When the young women entered the stores, however, instead of finding things to purchase, they found workshops and service projects.
“We have been thrilled as we’ve joined with other young women worldwide to experiment on the word,” reports Carol LeMon, stake Young Women president.
Young women in the Logan Utah East Stake first heard about the year-long program at a special fireside in January. During the fireside, they planted seeds in flowerpots and signed pledge sheets to nurture the seeds of their testimony by regular scripture reading. “The wards each followed up with their own firesides,” says Linda Hanes, stake Young Women president. “They’re also using the scriptures more in Sunday lessons and finding ways to incorporate the scriptures in their activities as well.”
The stake Young Women presidency in the Sydney Australia Hebersham Stake took two months to prepare for their stake fireside where the program was announced. At the program, they gave each young woman a calendar-diary.
“Each month focused on a specific principle or character from the scriptures,” explains Joy Fitton, stake Young Women president. “Each month had questions to be answered and a challenge to be accepted or ‘experimented’ on. As a presidency, we had a special experience as we prepared these for the young women. We know that the lessons and stories in the scriptures need to live in these young people’s minds. This has helped do that.”
For the past two years, the young women and young men in the New York Queens District have focused on making goals and “growing together with their own individual plans,” says Iris Zamora, district Young Women president. When forty-two young women signed a golden scroll committing to “study, apply, and nurture the word of God throughout our lives,” the district’s young men were interested as well.
“As they put into practice these things they study in the scriptures, they are gaining spirituality,” Sister Zamora continues. “Our district theme for this year has been ‘The Rising Generation Fulfilling God’s Plan.’ They are truly rising as they read and study the scriptures and learn the plan Heavenly Father created for them.”
Young women in the Edgemont Second Ward in Provo, Utah, planted lavender seeds as they started their “experiment upon the word” project. They also received handmade bookmarks as reminders about their commitment to read. And at the beginning of class every week, the young women share scriptures that have impressed or touched them during the week.
“We want to be doers of the word and not hearers only,” said Kay Garner, ward Young Women president, “so the first week of every month we’ve had special service projects, too.”
“The Young Women office has received countless reports of group activities, beautiful new music, special firesides, and service projects,” said Sister Beckham. “But most important are the stories of growing personal testimony of the Savior’s love and how the gospel is working in daily lives.
“Most young women, and many others for that matter, are searching for direction and identity,” she continued. “As young women better understand our Heavenly Father and his plan, it strengthens their identity as daughters of God and helps them understand his willingness to give individual guidance to each of us. This is what we wanted to happen when we invited young women to participate in this celebration.”