What’s New in Personal Progress?

“What’s New in Personal Progress?” New Era, Jan. 2010, 32–35

What’s New in Personal Progress?

Elaine S. Dalton

The Young Women Personal Progress program takes on a new look with some new additions.

Now is the time to prepare for the wonderful future that awaits you. Personal Progress will help you prepare and will help you understand your identity as a daughter of God.

Personal Progress is not a program that is separate and apart from your life. It is a tool that you can use to draw closer to the Savior, serve others, be anxiously engaged in good works, learn leadership skills, develop relationships with others, and prepare for temple covenants. Personal Progress helps each young woman who participates develop daily righteous routines. When you do small things consistently, they become part of who you are and they change you. It really is “by small and simple things” that “great things [are] brought to pass” (Alma 37:6).

The new revised Personal Progress booklet has the temple on the cover. The temple is the symbol for the youth of the Church. The temple is the reason for all that we do in the Young Women program. We hope as you look at the temple on the cover, you will always remember that participating in Personal Progress helps you prepare to make and keep covenants in the temple someday.

The new Personal Progress book is pink! It is a reminder that you are a daughter of our Heavenly Father and have unique feminine characteristics, gifts, and roles. The book contains instructions on how you are to proceed, as well as the age-group symbols for the years of participation in the Young Women Program. Most of the value experiences and projects are the same, but some have changed just slightly to be more current and more focused on the temple covenants you will one day make and keep. Any questions?

How do I begin Personal Progress? Beginning is easy! Just open the book and start on any one of the values that interests you. You don’t have to do the values in order. Doing the required experiences will help you gain a knowledge of what the value is and why it is important for you in your life.

Who can participate? Anyone who desires to participate is welcome. You can invite your nonmember friends to do Personal Progress with you. Your mothers or other exemplary women may also participate. We are all progressing and trying to grow and develop and become all that our Heavenly Father intended we should become.

How quickly should I proceed? Usually when you open the Personal Progress book, you can find some things you are already doing at school or in your home. Be sure to give yourself credit for these things and plan ahead so that you can do them with purpose. Each Sunday, you might evaluate what you have accomplished in your Personal Progress and write in your journal. Then you will be able to really give yourself credit for all the good that you are doing. You can go at your own pace. If you do one experience each month and two projects each year, you will be finished by the time you are a Laurel. Then you will have the privilege and opportunity to mentor other young women who are working on their Personal Progress. When you do this, you may earn an Honor Bee, which symbolizes going the extra distance in serving others. The honor bee can be worn with your Young Women medallion.

Can I do Personal Progress at Mutual? You can do some of your Personal Progress at Mutual. A project could become your Mutual activity. You may also work on Personal Progress on Sunday as you learn about the values and study the scriptures in your Young Women class. Ask your adviser to read or explain any scriptures you do not understand. Remember that although Personal Progress is “personal,” you may do some parts of it with others.

What kinds of leadership opportunities does it give me? As you organize and prepare to accomplish a 10-hour project, you may invite other young women in your class or ward to help you. They will benefit from their service and participation, and when they need you, you can help them. Doing this will help you learn the leadership skills for your future roles as a wife, mother, and homemaker. It will also help you learn how to organize, communicate, and complete a difficult task.

Should I do Personal Progress with my mother? You are invited to participate in Personal Progress with your mother. Both of you are constantly doing so many good things. You can encourage each other and recognize the good things you are doing and you can even approve each other’s projects and sign each other’s books! Have fun together, and if your mother does not desire to participate, you may also do Personal Progress with an older young woman or another righteous woman who is working on her Personal Progress. You can also ask for the help of your leaders when you need it.

Why am I asked to keep a journal? For many of the value experiences and projects, you will be asked to write in your journal your thoughts and feelings, as well as the things you are learning. This journal will become a precious record for you of your days in the Young Women organization and the commitments you have made. Writing in your journal will also invite the companionship of the Holy Ghost.

The blessings of participating in Personal Progress extend far beyond the Young Women years. You will draw closer to the Savior. Your faith and testimony of Him and of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ will increase. You will be prepared for your divine mission and roles on the earth. You will taste the sweetness of service and experience the joys of righteous accomplishments. You will feel the promptings of the Holy Ghost, which will guide and teach you. You will develop a pattern that will bless your life, now and throughout all eternity. It is a pattern of progress and of making and keeping temple covenants. May you each be blessed as you begin with us this pattern of progression. We love you! The Lord loves you! You are His precious daughters.

The Beehive symbol is the beehive, which is a reminder of harmony, cooperation, and work.

The Mia Maid symbol is the rose, which is a reminder of love, faith, and purity.

The Laurel symbol is the laurel wreath, which stands for honor and accomplishment.

Young Women Medallion

When you complete Personal Progress, you will record your testimony in your journal and arrange to have an interview with the bishop. You will then be eligible to receive your Young Womanhood medallion. The medallion has been changed to include the age-group symbols as well as the temple. It also has a small ruby in the center of the Mia Maid rose. This ruby symbolizes that you have completed your Personal Progress and the new value of Virtue. The ruby will remind you that a virtuous young woman is precious and that “her price is far above rubies” (Proverbs 31:10).

Honor Bee

Young women who have earned their medallion may go on to earn an Honor Bee by reading the Book of Mormon again and doing additional service, including helping another young woman with Personal Progress.

Personal Progress Book and Journal

When you complete a value experience and project, you will receive a gold sticker to go in the back of your Personal Progress book. Add the date on which you completed this value. Your book will become your personal record of all the good things you are accomplishing.

Theme Poster and Card

We have also provided a new theme poster, which contains the new eighth value of Virtue. You will probably see one of these in the Young Women room where you meet each week. We have also provided a smaller version—a theme card—for your room or your locker at school. It has the theme on the front and an explanation of the age-group names of Beehive, Mia Maid, and Laurel on the back.

Torch Necklace

When you enter the Young Women organization, your leaders will present you with a “torch” necklace. This necklace symbolizes your commitment to stand for truth and righteousness at all times and in all things and in all places. The symbol of the flame will also remind you to “arise and shine forth, that thy light may be a standard for the nations” (D&C 115:5). Wear this necklace proudly, and remember your commitment.

Advancement Certificates

As you advance from one age group to another, you will be recognized by your bishop with a certificate of recognition and completion. This may be kept in a special place to remind you of the things you have learned and done in your Beehive, Mia Maid, and Laurel years.

Scripture Ribbons

As you complete each value experience and project, you will receive a ribbon for your scriptures. You may use this ribbon to mark your favorite scriptures on the values. The ribbons will be the color of the values: white for faith, gold for virtue, and so forth. Your leader will present this ribbon to you in a Young Women meeting when you have completed all the requirements.

Optional Ribbon Organizer for Your Scriptures

If your mother or leader is interested, an optional ribbon organizer is available, which you can slide down the spine of your scriptures to keep from losing the value ribbons you have worked so hard to earn.

Photographs by Robert Casey and Fay Andrus