The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (inadvertently referred to as the “Mormon” Church by the media and others) recently announced changes in leadership and training for LDS women to reflect the Church’s increasingly global membership.
Young Women General Board
Presidents of three of The Church of Jesus Christ’s auxiliaries are reaching out to sisters of all ages across the globe. Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson, Young Women general president, told Meridian Magazine of their process in calling a new general board—one with members from around the world. The Young Women organization includes young women from ages 12-18, and is led by Sister Oscarson, her two counselors, and the general board. Sister Oscarson reported that the new general board includes nine members: four from the Salt Lake City area, near Church headquarters, and five from outside Utah in Africa, Brazil, Japan, Peru, and New York City.
Sister Oscarson commented: “The technology is here now that we can communicate easily with sisters in other parts of the world” . Such technology makes it possible for The Church of Jesus Christ’s leaders to more easily connect with all of its members. Sister Oscarson continued: “This is no longer a Wasatch Front church or even a church in the United States. It helps us make the Church smaller” .
For a church with an increasingly global membership base, the innovation is a timely one. Sisters outside of the Intermountain West serving on the Young Women general board will help Church leaders “address the needs throughout the world, and I think the message that it sends to everyone is important,” said Sister Oscarson.
Integrated Online Training Materials
In the past, auxiliary training was held in conjunction with The Church of Jesus Christ’s general conference in April and was limited to leaders only in the Salt Lake area.
Now, a new online training, in multiple languages, replaces it. Training materials will be available to women worldwide near the first of June, shortly after the general conference in April. Releasing training materials after the Church’s general conference allows leaders to include the newest teachings from apostles and prophets.
Additionally, training materials will strive to respond to members’ needs. Sister Oscarson said: “Hopefully, it will reflect the input we receive from our board members, especially those in international areas” .
General Women’s Meeting
The three auxiliary presidents also spoke about the upcoming general women’s meeting, which was announced in November 2013, and will be held for the first time in April 2014. The meeting includes all women and girls in the church, from age eight and up.
Sister Burton said of the wide age range the meeting includes: “Each season of life is so important. We need to each see all the seasons together so that we can strengthen one another and glean from our unique perspectives along that path” .
Sister Oscarson also emphasized the important role women play in the Church of Jesus Christ: “We need to help the women of the Church realize how essential they are to this work. We are all needed. We have special gifts and talents that no one else can offer” .
Megan is a graduate of BYU-Idaho and recently married member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She is a writer and avid reader, and loves music, hiking, and her family.