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Young Men and Young Women

Boy and girls ages 12 to 18 are going through one of the most difficult and important transitions in their lives.  For this reason, the Mormon Church has special classes and programs to help them.  These should always be a support to the family, where the most important teaching will occur.  These programs are called Young Men’s and Young Women’s.  They frequently do activities either together or separately.

Young Women

The Young Women’s program exists to help teenage girls navigate the perils and struggles of adolescence and to keep them strong in their faith and in their values.  The theme of the Young Women program is:
We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love Him.
We will "stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things,
and in all places" as we strive to live the Young Women values, which are:
Divine Nature
Individual Worth
Choice and Accountability
Good Works, and
We believe as we come to accept and act upon these values,
we will be prepared to strengthen home and family, make and keep sacred covenants,
receive the ordinances of the temple, and enjoy the blessings of exaltation.
The Young Women program is divided into three age groups to better focus on and serve the needs of young women in today’s world.  These three groups are called:
  • Beehives (ages 12 and 13)
  • Mia Maid (ages 14 and 15) (pronounced maya maid)
  • Laurels (ages 16 and 17)

Each age group has its own presidency drawn from the girls themselves and adult women are assigned to advise the group.  Through the Young Women program, these girls learn about God, service, and their divine self worth.  One of the highest goals of a young Mormon girl is to obtain her Personal Progress award which requires them to make and keep commitments, perform service projects, and progress spiritually through prayer, service, and scripture study. 
Young Women also do many fun activities as a group and strengthen each other through friendship.  Weekday activities are called Mutual and are held on the same night each week.  These can be service projects, cultural and educational activities, or even just having fun with one another in a wholesome environment.  In many places, young women also have yearly camps, usually called Girls’ Camp or Young Women’s Camp where they spend time together in the summer learning and having fun.

Young Men

The Young Men’s program is sometimes referred to as the Aaronic Priesthood since most of the young men hold some office in that priesthood.  Like the Young Women’s program, the Young Men’s program helps teenage boys deal with the social and peer pressure they face every day.  Through it they learn important lessons about personal worthiness, respect for women, faith in Jesus Christ, and service.  The purpose of this program is to help young men:
  • Become converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ and live its teachings.
  • Serve faithfully in priesthood callings and fulfill the responsibilities of priesthood offices.
  • Give meaningful service.
  • Prepare and live worthily to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood and temple ordinances.
  • Prepare to serve an honorable full-time mission.
  • Obtain as much education as possible.
  • Prepare to become a worthy husband and father.
  • Give proper respect to women, girls, and children.

The Young Men’s program is also divided into three age groups:

  • Deacons (ages 12 and 13)
  • Teachers (ages 14 and 15
  • Priests (ages 16 and 17)

Each age group has its own leaders taken from the young men and also adult men who are assigned to help advise and supervise activities.  The boys are expected to plan and run many activities themselves.  Each young man should work toward obtaining his Duty to God award which requires years of work.  To obtain this award the young man must pray and read his scriptures regularly, participate in Church worship services regularly, establish and pursue goals in education, physical health, and do service to others. 
The Young Men also have weekday activities called Mutual.  In North America and some other countries, these activities are typically associated with the Boy Scouts of America and the boys are encouraged to earn merit badges and ultimately their Eagle Scout.  Young Men frequently play games, do service projects, and go camping.  On Sundays, the boys and girls from the same age groups have Sunday School classes together.

For the Strength of the Youth

Several years ago the Mormon Church published the pamphlet, For the Strength of the Youth.  This pamphlet discusses dating, personal appearance and modesty, the influence of media and the internet and the importance of a strong relationship with Jesus Christ.  It is available online, or free from the missionaries.

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