“Revised Resources to Strengthen Youth,” Ensign, Nov. 2001, 110–11
In a 28 September 2001 First Presidency letter and in talks given at October general conference, Church leaders told members that four resources are being made available “to help youth develop greater faith and courage in today’s world” (First Presidency letter, 28 Sept. 2001). These resources outline the new requirements for the Aaronic Priesthood Duty to God and Young Womanhood Recognition Awards.
“There has never been a time in these latter days like today, when the message is being brought forward so strongly by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to have parents along with bishops and priesthood and auxiliary leaders make sure [youth] understand who [they] are and what [they] can become—not only here in mortality but for the eternities that will follow,” said Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in his conference address (see p. 39).
The new resources will “help parents and leaders be actively and directly involved in holding back the sliding scale of morality,” explained Sharon G. Larsen, second counselor in the Young Women general presidency (see p. 67).
The resources include:
Three guidebooks for deacons, teachers, and priests titled Aaronic Priesthood: Fulfilling Our Duty to God.
A simplified Young Women Personal Progress book.
A revised For the Strength of Youth pamphlet.
A Guidebook for Parents and Leaders of Youth, which explains the changes in Aaronic Priesthood and Young Women awards and outlines the important and supportive role of Mutual.
Young men are now encouraged to earn the Eagle Scout Award (or similar awards where Scouting is approved and available) and the newly strengthened Duty to God Award. These awards are “complementary, not competitive,” said Elder Cecil O. Samuelson Jr. of the Presidency of the Seventy, speaking in the priesthood session of conference. “As you young men of the Aaronic Priesthood strive to achieve the Duty to God Award even as the Young Women work on their Personal Progress efforts, you will join with them in standing as witnesses of God as well,” he said (see p. 42).
Copies of these materials will be sent to each stake for distribution to wards by December 2001, for implementation in January 2002.