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.
Julie B. Beck
- Fifteenth General President of the Relief Society (2007-2012)
- when she was four, her family moved to Sao Paulo, Brazil where her father was the mission president
- speaks both Portuguese and Spanish
- born in Granger, Utah
- fifth of eleven children
- was told she probably wouldn’t do well in college by a high school counselor – but she graduated from both Dixie College in St. George Utah and Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah
- married Ramon Paul Beck and has three children
- during her time as the General RS president, she stressed the role of strengthening home and family and visiting teaching
- the book Daughters in My Kingdom: The History and Work of Relief Society was published as well as the Relief Society logo change was made to benefit sisters in a worldwide church
*All information and portrait of Sister Beck via lds.org. You can read the article and watch a video of Sister Beck’s testimony in it’s entirety here.
How We Press Forward
Her stalwart stand on the importance of women as wives, mothers, and homemakers stood out in my mind; especially, at a time when the world would want us to believe that these contributions are of less value than others. I admire her faithfulness in this area and her determination to press forward despite the opposition – which also came earlier in her life as she approached advanced schooling when others thought she would probably be unsuccessful.
I think we often feel opposition the strongest when we’ve had a spiritual prompting. There’s no doubt in my mind that opposing forces take note of a women who knows who she is and goes about doing the work that God has given her to do. Her testimony about personal revelation taught me the importance of personal revelation, not only for the big moments and decisions in our lives, but for the strength and persistence to complete the essential routine tasks…
What a great reminder that personal revelation is the key to our success – and a promise that with it, we cannot fail.
This month, I’m going to focus on completing the essential routine tasks that God has given me to do at this point in my life. I’m going to make a list of those things and remind myself each time I do them that this is the work God has given me to help build the kingdom. I’m going to change my outlook on these tasks from “something I have to or should be doing” to “something that I know progresses the work so I do it cheerfully”. I know that Sister Beck’s promise will hold true and we’ll be able to feel that the Lord is pleased with us as we do His work. Will you and your Young Women take the challenge with me?
Download Julie B. Beck 4×6 FREE Printable
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Application through Personal Progress
Faith Value Experience #3 – Living gospel principles requires faith. Study Faith in the Bible dictionary and True to the Faith and then choose a principle, studying the scriptures, prayer, keeping the Sabbath day holy, etc., to work on. Teach what you learned during FHE.
Divine Nature Value Experience #2 – You are blessed with divine qualities. Learn about womanhood by reading Proverbs 31:10-31 and 2 talks from a past General Conference. Ask your mother or another mother you admire what attributes they think are essential for motherhood. List all the attributes in your journal and then strive to develop 2 from your list.
Individual Worth Value Experience #2 – Learn about patriarchal blessings. Talk with a leader or parent about how you can prepare to receive your patriarchal blessing and/or review your blessing if you’ve already received it and list the personal revelation that stands out to you for this time in your life.
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.