Have you ever had one of those thoughts that just won’t seem to leave you alone? I have. This one came while I was first brainstorming and designing the YW 2016 theme kits and posters back in early Fall. I was chatting on the phone with a dear friend who is currently serving in Young Women and this thought popped in my head and jumped out of my mouth before I could stop it. (if you want to read the rest of the story on how the Women of God series came to be, start here.)
Everyone’s path is different – as women, its nice to know that we’re all cheering for each other, and it’s nice to know that there are women who have blazed the trail before us who are cheering us on as well. Especially when we’re having one of those days that makes us feel inadequate or not who or what the world says we should be.
How much more could we do if we were consistently being reminded that despite our differences, we’re all covenant keepers and focused on building the kingdom of God in the way He sees best. What type of confidence could we help instill in our Young Women if we shared the stories of these amazing women – women who were living the lives God wanted them to live all while keeping their covenants and standing as witnesses of Him?
With the 2016 theme talking about pressing forward, I thought it might be a great supplemental idea for Young Women groups, to present the girls with a profile of an amazing and inspiring woman who pressed forward in the work God had for her to do. There are so many to choose from, but those featured throughout the next year will include pioneers, as well as those that have lived and served in the church in the last few decades as well. Each are unique in their talents and the way they served their Father in Heaven. This aspect of individuality combined with a strong commitment to their covenants is truly inspiring and I hope it gives women everywhere a broader sense of understanding that women with a variety of skills are needed to continue the work of God.
I hope what you find here in these monthly posts is exactly what you need – that it inspires you as much as it has, and does, inspire me. That you can use it to encourage and inspire the women and girls you serve and interact with; and that at the very least, it can be a reminder to you that what you’re doing matters and to keep on – knowing that there are so many other women doing the same.
- had been converted many years before she had a chance to share her testimony
- kept her conversion to the gospel a secret because her people opposed teachings that were deemed to belong to their most bitter enemy, the Nephites
- she was a servant to the Queen
- receptive to the Spirit – she recognized what was happening to King Lamoni, the Queen and Ammon
- filled with faith – as she took the Queen’s hand when people were troubled and feeling as if Ammon and his teachings were wicked
- courageous and patient – she waited patiently for the gospel to be taught among her people, and she was strong and courageous to spread the word and stand firm when there were dissenters
*All information was taken from the scriptures as well as Abish: A Common Servant, a True Testimony
How We Press Forward
I love the stories in the scriptures that portray the strength and faith of women. Abish happens to be one of my favorite scripture stories. I’m always amazed by her faith and courage as she recognizes the Spirit in a land where such things weren’t common, and she runs to share her knowledge to her people.
When people start to argue about what actually happened, she could have easily backed down or gone back on what she said. Instead, as a mere servant, she approaches the Queen, confident that she knows the Spirit. Her willingness to share and stand firm helped spread the gospel to all of the people who witnessed the event.
Do we look for opportunities to share the gospel like Abish? Are we patient and preserve with friends, family, and neighbors – waiting for a chance to simply recognize the hand of God in our lives or the feelings of the Spirit? I often feel like there’s no one to share the gospel with or that circumstances have to be contrived for me to bear my testimony. That’s not really the case.
This month I’m going to focus on recognizing the Spirit in my life. I’m going to look for the little experiences, not just the big ta-da moments, and I’m going to share them with those around me. Even if it’s simply saying that I’m grateful for families, or a Heavenly Father that loves me. Bearing testimony doesn’t have to be formal and it doesn’t have to include a laundry list of truths. It can simply be a statement that you know God lives and loves us. I know as we focus on recognizing the Spirit in our lives, God will provide us with opportunities to bear a simple witness to members and non-members alike. Will you and your Young Women join me?
Download Abish 4×6 FREE Printable
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Application through Personal Progress
Faith Value Experience #3 – Living gospel principles require faith. Read about Faith in the Bible Dictionary or True to the Faith. Faith in the Savior Jesus Christ leads to action. Choose a gospel principle and present a family home evening on that topic. Share your experiences and testimony on this gospel principle and how it has contributed to your faith.
Individual Worth Additional Value Experience #6 – Participate in family history – it helps you to understand your identity and individual worth. Complete temple ordinances for family members or others who may not have had their work done – your efforts are one way you bear testimony to others and those you are doing the work for that you believe the gospel to be true and you want to share it with them.
How to Use the Women of God Series with Your Young Women Group
First off, let me just give this disclaimer. No one needs to do it all. So if this doesn’t fit with your Young Women group but it still sounds like a good thing to do – I support you going with your gut and opting out rather than just adding in one more thing! These will be here on the site and might be the perfect fit down the road, or just something you want to check out and get inspired when you need a pep talk or a cheer of support from other women of God. But I honestly want to encourage everyone to do what works for them – you’ve got me cheering for you!
If you are planning to use these with your girls throughout the year – consider introducing the new Women of God as a spotlight during your Young Women Opening Exercises on a Sunday or possibly even on a Mutual Night. (You don’t even have to introduce them at the beginning of the month – maybe you’ll want to do it as a mid-month thing because you’re using the YW monthly theme cards on the first Sunday! You can read more about that by following the link.)
I’d suggest following the link that’s provided to the article on each sister that I used from the Church’s website. That website is an amazing resource.
The printable that’s included is meant to be printed at a photo lab or your favorite online photo printer. I love using Costco, but any photo lab will do. Simply download the printable, then send it off and you’ll have cute, cost-efficient color handouts for your girls, or whomever you choose to share it with (I’m thinking to take this one with a treat to my visiting teach’ees.)
The girls can hang it on their mirror, tuck it in their journal or scriptures, or add it to the binder ring that they’re keeping their Young Women Monthly Theme Cards on for the year.