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 YW 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. The same idea could easily be utilized in Relief Society or with those you visit teach. There are so many amazing women 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.
Bonnie L. Oscarson
- Young Women General President
- born in Salt Lake City Utah, but moved often with her family (5 times before she went to college)
- 7 children and 24 grandchildren
- served with her husband as the mission president over the Sweden Goteborg mission, and then returned to be the matron of the Stockholm Sweden Temple 30 years later.
- taught early morning seminary for 9 years
- returned to school after 35 years to earn a bachelor’s degree with an emphasis in British and American Literature.
- favorite scripture – D&C 101:16 “Be still and know that I am God.”
*All information was taken from lds.org
How We Press Forward
Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson is amazing. Just like all the other Young Women General Presidents that have gone before, her testimony and passion are contagious and empowering. I absolutely loved the talk she gave in April 2016 General Conference, Do I Believe?
She shares the story of a mother whose son is sick with pneumonia and is being life-flighted to a nearby hospital because of his serious condition. The mother looked down to see the Draper Utah Temple below the helicopter and the thought came to her mind, “Do you believe it or not?” And she concludes her message bearing witness that if “these things [the gospel] are true, then we have the greatest message of hope and help that the world has ever known.
I love her simple reminder that what we have in the gospel is infinitely greater than any other offering and appreciated her simply asking, “Do you believe it or not? ” This month I’m determined to make a greater resolve to “believe” and to have my actions reflect that belief. Will you join me?
Download Do You Believe It or Not? FREE Printable
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How to Use the Women of God Series with Your Young Women or Relief Society Group
First off, let me just give this disclaimer. No one needs to do it all. So if this doesn’t fit with your 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!
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 teachees.)