Latter-day Saint church announces changes in youth groups’ organization, terminology

A file photo of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Temple Square in Salt Lake City.

SALT LAKE CITY — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced changes to how its youth programs will be led, organized and called.

In Saturday’s afternoon session of the church’s 189th Semiannual General Conference, church leaders announced that Young Men presidencies (adult men who lead the groups) will no longer be formal positions in local wards. Instead, the church says, the bishop of each congregation will take a more direct role and responsibility in working with the boys.

Congregations will also have “Aaronic Priesthood quorum advisers and specialists” to assist the bishops.

In the evening women’s session, Young Women General President Sister Bonnie H. Cordon announced that the names of Beehive, Mia Maid and Laurel that divide young women’s classes by age will be discontinued. Instead, leaders are instructed to “prayerfully consider the young women in their ward and organize them by age according to the size and needs of their particular group.”

Cordon said a ward with only a few young women could choose to meet all together, or they could divide into two or more groups based on age.

The church is also doing away with some common phrases involving youth. “Bishopric youth committee meetings” will be replaced “ward youth councils.” “Mutual,” the weekly activities for youth, will be retired and will be called “Young Women activities,” “Aaronic Priesthood quorum activities” or “youth activities.”

More information on these and other changes is available on the church’s website.

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