“Church Adds to Personal Progress Program,” Ensign, Apr. 2009, 78
The Church released information on LDS.org in February with additional instructions on how to incorporate virtue as a value in the Young Women Personal Progress program. The First Presidency announced the addition of the new value in a letter dated November 28, 2008.
An eight-page insert for young women to add to their Personal Progress books contains a scripture, motto, value experience and value project instructions, the color of the value, and more.
The scripture chosen to represent virtue is: “Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies” (Proverbs 31:10). The chosen motto is: “I will prepare to enter the temple and remain pure and worthy. My thoughts and actions will be based on high moral standards.” The color that represents virtue is gold.
Four value experiences are outlined that help young women to understand the meaning and importance of chastity and virtue, and the blessings that come from being virtuous. They also help young women, their mothers, and their leaders understand how the quality of virtue enables a young woman to enjoy the constant companionship and guidance of the Holy Ghost and prepares her to worthily enter the temple to make and keep sacred covenants.
The value experiences encourage young women to study the selected doctrines in the scriptures and then write in a journal about the things they learn and the commitments they will make to live a virtuous life. The importance of repentance and the sacrament are also emphasized as a means to be virtuous and pure. The Young Women general presidency said, “These experiences are an important foundation for a young woman’s understanding of the meaning of virtue and its application in her life.”1
After the young women complete the four virtue value experiences, they complete a virtue value project. The project is to read the entire Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ and apply its teachings to their lives and circumstances. The project includes the young women recording their thoughts regularly in a journal. Upon completing the reading, the young women write their testimonies on the pages provided in the insert.
“We desire that all young women will make the reading of the Book of Mormon a daily habit,” says a statement by the Young Women general presidency on the Web site. “Her testimony of our Savior, Jesus Christ, will be strengthened as she reads. Developing this testimony is vital to a young woman’s ability to face the challenges of life and to prepare for her future.”
The insert is currently available in English only, but translation has begun in additional languages and other inserts will be released as soon as their translations are completed. It will be incorporated into the Personal Progress booklet in a new edition soon.
In a letter dated March 6, 2009, the Young Women general presidency invited young women who have not completed Personal Progress to add the experiences and project for virtue to the other requirements for earning the Young Womanhood Recognition award and certificate.
On the Young Women Web site, the Young Women general presidency states that through 2009, a young woman may choose to earn her recognition under the old requirements or with the new virtue experiences and project. It is hoped that all will want to complete the new requirements, but leaders are encouraged to make the program work for each young woman.
In the letter, young women who have already earned their Young Womanhood Recognition are invited to complete the requirements for virtue if they choose. Leaders and mothers are also invited to participate.
Download the insert as a printable pdf document by visiting YoungWomen.lds.org and selecting the feature Personal Progress Content for Young Women Value of Virtue. Implementation instructions, frequently asked questions, a revised Personal Progress record sheet, and achievement certificate are also available at the site.