“Announcements,” New Era, Nov. 2019, 48.
Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Sister Bonnie H. Cordon, Young Women General President, announced important changes in the structures of the Young Men and Young Women organizations this conference.
Instead of being organized into three classes, the Young Women program in each ward will now be organized according to the size and needs of the group. There might be several different classes or just one, and they will all be referred to as “Young Women” rather than Beehives, Mia Maids, and Laurels.
There will no longer be ward Young Men presidencies. Instead, bishops will preside over the young men as instructed in the Doctrine and Covenants, assisted by quorum presidencies. Quorum and class presidencies in both Young Men and Young Women organizations will be in charge of leading in the work of salvation by conducting and planning Sunday meetings, carrying out activities, and ministering to quorum and class members.
These changes will allow more opportunity for youth to grow and “develop their sacred personal potential” (see Russell M. Nelson, “Closing Remarks,” Oct. 2019 general conference [Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2019, 120]). Another purpose for these changes is to strengthen quorums and classes and help them to better plan for each ward’s unique circumstances.
Other changes to youth programs include retiring the term “Mutual” (“youth activities” will be used instead) and implementing a new Young Women theme.
The First Presidency announced a change to the procedures for witnessing baptisms and sealings. “Any baptized member of the Church, including children and youth, may serve as a witness to the baptism of a living person” (First Presidency letter, Oct. 2, 2019). Any member with a current temple recommend can also serve as a witness to baptisms for the dead, and all adults with a current temple recommend who are endowed can witness temple sealings.
This policy change allows more members to help serve in sacred ordinances. This conference, President Russell M. Nelson also encouraged youth to qualify for a limited-use temple recommend (see “Closing Remarks,” Oct. 2019 general conference [Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2019, 120]) to participate in baptisms and confirmations for the dead.