Among the many historic announcements made in this past General Conference, Sister Bonnie H. Cordon announced a brand new Young Women’s Theme.
Each Sunday that Latter-day Saint Young Women across the world meet together they will recite these words:
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.
While the overall sentiment of the new theme is the same, there were significant changes made from the old one.
1. Changes in language
The most obvious changes come from the way the new theme is worded. Sister Cordon asks young women, their mothers, and leaders to “notices the shift from “we” to “I.” These truths apply to you individually. You are a beloved daughter of Heavenly Parents. You are a covenant disciple of our Savior, Jesus Christ.”
The theme also tells young women they are “daughters of heavenly parents,” a change from the old theme which only referred to Heavenly Father. The change is subtle but important. It is a respectful nod to our heavenly parents as a unit, rather than separate beings. It is important for youth to understand the reality of both parents, rather than just a Heavenly Father.
The “Young Women values” (Faith, Divine Nature, Individual Worth, Knowledge, Choice and Accountability, Good Works, Integrity, and Virtue) were also retired and replaced with words like discipleship and repentance.
This doesn’t mean that young women should cease striving for these values, but instead it allows for other attributes and goals for girls rather than restricting them to a list.
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2. An eternal destiny
The opening sentence promises girls that they are valuable by stating that each one has a “divine nature” and an “eternal destiny.”
Sister Cordon promises that “understanding these truths will change the way you face challenges. Knowing your identity and purpose will help you align your will with the Savior’s.”
Sister Cordon goes on to says, “the heart of all we do in Young Women is our desire to help you gain unshakable faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and a sure knowledge of your divine identity as a daughter of God.”
3. It focuses on repentance
The theme’s focus on repentance also stands out as a new addition. It encourages girls to “cherish the gift of repentance and [to] seek to improve each day.”
Latter-day Saints know that as disciples of Jesus Christ, repentance through Jesus Christ is necessary in order to become like Him. The focus on repentance for youth is so valuable in helping them start on their path to discipleship.
The theme recognizes the need to “strive” for exaltation, rather than simply “qualifying” for it. The theme also encourages girls to strive for personal revelation as a part of their striving to be more like the Savior.
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What do you think of the new theme? Let us know in the comments!