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.
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?
My friend and I tossed the idea around, I jotted it down, and then tabled it with the other ideas on that list for later…when I have more time. It was a perfectly good idea but I worried that it would be a time eater; but that didn’t stop it coming to mind several more times as I’ve been working on Young Women projects and interacting with so many of you.
Not too many weeks ago, I was up late working on YW custom designs, and I decided to actually spend just 30 minutes and see what I could come up with. What came in those 30 minutes was very much inspired and needed for myself, in fact, I found myself recommitting to being a better wife, mother, business owner, friend, member of the church and Primary counselor. 1 year. 12 women. 12 incredibly different stories of how they used their talents to not only be amazing but build the kingdom in the way God needed them to.
When I shared my findings with my sweet husband the next morning, I finished with this was probably all just something I needed to hear, but it was so worth it. He responded with …you were inspired. It keeps coming to mind. Maybe someone else needs it too.
So, with that thought in mind, I’ll be starting a monthly series here on the blog called Women of God. 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.
Eliza R. Snow
- Second General President of the Relief Society
- Poet – left behind some 500 poems, including the third verse of the church hymn “O My Father”
- born in Massachusetts
- her younger brother, Lorenzo Snow was the 5th President of the Church
- shortly after she was baptized she moved to Kirtland, Ohio where she taught the daughters and nieces of the Prophet Joseph Smith
- married to both the Prophet Joseph Smith and later to Brigham Young – never had any children.
- during her time as the General RS president, the Primary and Young Women’s Mutual Improvement Association were organized.
- She served as Deseret Hopsital’s first president
*All information and portrait of Sister Snow via lds.org. You can read the article in it’s entirety here.
How We Press Forward
I was captivated by her leadership and her service. She fiercely believed that that every women could make a difference, regardless of their current station or capacity. She showed a great prowess for education and social duties, utilized her talents through her writings, and served tirelessly. I loved her promise:
What a great reminder that no matter what position we hold in a family – wife, daughter, mother, etc. if we put our family responsibilities first God will support us in our other endeavors.
This month instead of being a wife/mother/sister/friend with too much to do and too little time, I’m going to focus on my family responsibilities first. I’m going to be a better daughter and sister and I’m going to say Yes more than No to my little ones and husband. My business, and all the extras for my calling and other areas of serving can wait – I’m
hoping know Sister Snow’s promise will hold true and it will all fall into place. Will you and your Young Women take the challenge, to focus on family responsibilities first, with me? I’m pretty sure Sister Snow is cheering for each of us right now!
Download Eliza R. Snow 4×6 FREE Printable
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Application through Personal Progress
Knowledge Value Experience #2 – Make a list of skills or talents you would like to develop. Learn a new skill or talent that will help you care for your own future family or home
Knowledge Additional Value Experience #5 – Learn about an area of work or service that interest you. Record your findings in your journal
Good Works Value Experience #2 – Service is an essential principle of family living. Help play your family’s menus and prepare meals for 2 weeks.
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.