Young Women

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Mormon Young Women Torch Logo
The Young Women's Organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was founded in 1869. All Latter-day Saint females age 12-17 are members of this organization.

Young Women's Theme

The Young Women's "theme" helps each young woman understand her identity, purpose, and destiny as a daughter of God. Young women and their leaders repeat the theme during Sunday classes and at other Young Women gatherings:

I am a beloved daughter of heavenly parents, with a divine nature and eternal destiny. As a disciple of Jesus Christ, I strive to become like Him. I seek and act upon personal revelation and minister to others in His holy name. I will stand as a witness of God at all times and in all things and in all places. As I strive to qualify for exaltation, I cherish the gift of repentance and seek to improve each day. With faith, I will strengthen my home and family, make and keep sacred covenants, and receive the ordinances and blessings of the holy temple.


Stand for truth and righteousness.

The Young Women logo is a torch surrounded by the Young Women motto. The torch represents the light of Christ, inviting all to “come unto Christ” (Moroni 10:32). It invites all young women to hold up the light of Christ by keeping His commandments.

Age Groups

The Young Women classes ceased being divided into three classes: "Beehive" (12–14), "Mia Maid" (14–16), and "Laurel" (16–18) as of October 2019 General Conference. Classes are structured to fit the needs of individual wards. For instance, if the ward only has a few young women, only one class can be formed. If there are many 12-year-old girls, but only a few older, the classes can be structured into one for the 12-year-olds and one combining all the other young women. Each class is simply called Young Women.


Founded in 1869, the Young Women organization was originally known as the Young Ladies’ Department of the Cooperative Retrenchment Association. Brigham Young, the second President and prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, called together daughters and their mothers for a special meeting in the parlor. Following family prayer, President Young addressed his family. Among other things he said: “I desire to organize my family into a society for the promotion of habits of order, thrift, industry, and charity; and, above all things, I desire them to retrench from extravagance in dress, in eating and even in speech. The time has come when the sisters must agree . . . to set an example before the people of the world worthy of imitation. I want you to set your own fashions . . . and set the style for the rest of the world who desire sensible and comely fashions to follow. I want my daughters to learn to work, and to do it.

“I have long had it in my mind to organize the young ladies of Zion into an association so that they might assist the older members of the Church, their fathers and mothers, in . . . teaching and practicing the principles I have been so long teaching. There is a need for the young daughters . . . to get a living testimony of the truth. I wish our girls to obtain a knowledge of the Gospel for themselves . . . We are about to organize a Retrenchment Association, which I want you all to join, and I want you to vote to retrench in . . . everything that is bad or worthless, and improve in everything that is good and beautiful. Not to make yourselves unhappy, but to live so that you may be truly happy in this life and the life to come.”

The Young Women organization has been referred to by several different names throughout its existence:

1869 — Young Ladies’ Department of the Cooperative Retrenchment Association
1877 — Young Ladies’ National Mutual Improvement Association
1904 — Young Ladies’ Mutual Improvement Association
1934 — Young Women’s Mutual Improvement Association
1972 — Aaronic Priesthood, Young Women
1974 — Young Women

This international organization is the oldest and largest organization of its kind for teenage girls.

The following women have served as general presidents of the Young Women:

Ella Young Empey, 1869-1880 (Retrenchment Association President}
Elmina Shepard Taylor, 1880-1904
Martha Horne Tingey, 1905-1929
Ruth May Fox, 1929-1937
Lucy Grant Cannon, 1937-1948
Bertha Stone Reeder, 1948-1961
Florence S. Jacobsen, 1961-1972
Ruth Hardy Funk, 1972-1978
Elaine Cannon, 1978-1984
Ardeth Greene Kapp, 1984-1992
Janette C. Hales Beckham, 1992-1997
Margaret D. Nadauld, 1997-2002
Susan W. Tanner, 2002-2008
Elaine S. Dalton, 2008-2013
Bonnie Lee Green Oscarson, 2013–2018
Bonnie H. Cordon, 2018-present