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SALT LAKE CITY — Beehives, Mia Maids and Laurels are no more, according to top leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Sister Bonnie H. Cordon, the Young Women general president, addressed several changes that will play a significant role with the “remarkable young women” in the church, in conjunction with an announcement regarding significant changes to the Young Men organization delivered by Elder Quentin L. Cook of the church's Quorum of Twelve Apostles during Saturday's afternoon session.
The long-held Young Women’s theme will change, Sister Cordon said, stating it as follows in the Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City during the annual general women’s session:
"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."
The changes to the organization’s theme are meant to put an emphasis on individual teenage girls within the church, Sister Cordon said.
Young women classes and organizational structures during church meetings and activities will also be changed after nearly a century of tradition. The three-tier system of Beehives (12-13 year olds), Mia Maids (14-15) and Laurels (16-17) will be gone, and each congregation’s bishop — in conjunction with Young Women leaders in the ward — will determine the best way to divide class members according to their individual circumstances. There will be no minimum or maximum number of classes, she said.
The church will officially retire the former class names, but keep a class presidency for each class that is formed, with teenage leadership roles for each one.
"Make the calling of class presidencies a priority, and then lead side-by-side with them," Sister Cordon admonished the adult leaders in each ward.
In addition to a new model of class organization and leadership, the worldwide church will retire the "Beehive," "Mia Maid" and "Laurel" designations for age-specific classes held each Sunday at Latter-day Saint meetinghouses around the world.
“The First Presidency and the Twelve are united in endorsing these efforts to strengthen our youth,” President Nelson said Saturday afternoon. “Oh, how we love them and pray for them! They are the ‘hope of Israel, Zion’s army, children of the promised day.’ We express our complete confidence in our youth and our gratitude for them.”
Each ward can transition to the new system when appropriate, but all church members should implement the transition by Jan. 1, 2020.
"I bear witness that these adjustments I have spoken of today are inspired direction from the Lord," Sister Cordon said. "As we diligently implement these adjustments, may we never lose sight of our purpose: to strengthen our resolve to follow Jesus Christ and help others come unto Him."
As mentioned earlier Saturday, the Young Women president will also now report directly to her ward's bishop.
For more information visit the Deseret News.