“Leading Our Youth with Love,” Ensign, Feb. 2005, 71
Unfamiliar with the youth program because I joined the Church as an adult, I understandably felt nervous when I was called to be a Young Women adviser. Though some aspects of the program would take time to learn, I knew that I could immediately share my love with the girls. After much praying and pondering, I discovered several ways to earn their trust and friendship. Following is a sampling of those ideas, which leaders can easily adapt to show their love for the young women and young men in their wards.
Learn their names. Whether at church or elsewhere, greet the youth by their names. They become more than a name when we keep them in our personal thoughts and prayers, seeking inspiration to help them. Classroom prayers, with specific names mentioned as appropriate, can also touch each young person’s heart as we pray for individual needs.
Be there. Instead of just touting the importance of attending a fireside or activity, attend with your youth group. If you sense someone needs individual attention, follow any spiritual promptings to extend a personal visit or arrange some casual time together.
Show you care. Letter writing can be an effective way to personally tell your youth that their Father in Heaven loves them and has a purpose for them here on earth.
Prepare your lessons well. The youth will not only feel your love for them but will more likely participate when they see your enthusiasm for the gospel and feel the Spirit testify of its truths.
Though my calling has changed, I still feel close to the young women I taught. I try to continue to be a good example to them, and I hope they know I will always love and respect them.
Kersten Campbell, Pullman First Ward, Pullman Washington Stake