Teaching Young Women about Sexuality

My son will turn twelve next week. Last Saturday he held a girl’s hand as he escorted her to the center of the gym in a Stockton Stake Center to learn the Waltz. “Were you nervous?”  I asked. He wasn’t.

 “But she was. I could tell.”  And then I remembered being a twelve-year-old girl, wearing pink Chapstick and mascara, and using Avon Self-Tanning Lotion that made orange streaks on my legs. I remembered Robbie, the freckled boy up the street that I had a crush on. He liked me back. One night I snuck out of the window with almost all the girls at my slumber party and we ran up the street in our pajamas to meet him. He and I snuck away for a few moments to the secluded corner of his carport where he asked me the long awaited question, “Will you go with me?”  I was delighted to say no, almost as delighted as I was to have him ask. The satisfaction that he had asked, that somehow I had wiled him into liking me, was enormous. I was desirable. I was in control.

In Kathryn Soper’s brilliant article Why Standard Nights are Substandard, and subsequent essay Emergence  she begins by exploring the way chastity is almost always addressed within LDS culture.

Our standards nights and chastity lessons usually focus on the dangers of strong sexual desire. Predictably, we exhort young men to bridle their libidos, which we describe as wild beasts that must be restrained until domestication in marriage, and we caution young women to avoid arousing and indulging the young men — tempting the beast out of its cage, so to speak.

It’s a troubling model for a number of reasons, but I’ll address just one: by focusing on physiological motivators for teenage sex, we completely overlook significant psychological motivators. This oversight shortchanges all youth, and exacerbates the risk of young women’s needs flying under the standards night radar completely. After dismissing libido as a serious issue for them (which may be a mistake in and of itself), we turn their attention to assisting their male peers without even considering other compelling reasons for sexual behavior. In our outreach we miss the mark by emphasizing virtue, modesty, and chastity without considering what might motivate a young woman to eschew the same.

Here Kathryn touches on an important point, the psychological factors that play into the sexual development of adolescent girls.  One psychological motivator is the desire for autonomy. Sexuality portends to offer a girl proof that she is more adult than child, and proof that she is in control of situations and decisions around her; even cajoling that new womanhood offers her control over the emotions and actions of the men and boys that admire her. This false reign over the desires of others masquerades as the sovereignty and freedom that is truly desired. This sexual power within our religious community is most often only addressed as the power to procreate or the lack of will-power that is touted as inherent to the male sex drive. Referring to herself and her girlfriends as adolescents, Kathryn writes:

Our increasingly voluptuous bodies were reliable tools of status and control. The power was heady, but confusing, because wielding it always left us feeling empty and weak. And it was treacherous, because its force attracted not only the male peers we were aiming for, but also troubled stepfathers and leering strangers. But by the time we realized the perils, we’d grown dependent on this means of power. Of course it didn’t yield true power, because it didn’t originate within ourselves: it originated within the perceptions of the boys and men we hoped to entice. Yet in our economy of success, sexual attraction was the only currency we thought we held. And counterfeit money was better than nothing.

Increasingly, sexual proclivities plaster billboards, fill the pages of fashion magazine and showcase wealthy women who draw plenty of attention to themselves and even invite donations to the United Nations. Yet this power remains defined by the sexual prowess ascribed to women by others—a sham that doesn’t grant any real value to women as individuals.

As we step into our roles as mothers an Young Women leaders, and women, mquestion iswhat and how does one teach their girls about power and the lies that the world tells—meaning, every male that gives them attention for their body starting in elementary school? What experiences can teach a girl to truly feel power, without having to use her body for the imitation of it?

24 thoughts on “Teaching Young Women about Sexuality

  1. Yesterday I read Kathryn’s essay. The title caught my attention because I’m involved with our stake standards night this Sunday. While she brings up some good points, they are not thoughts that are ignored in the LDS landscape.

    The following quote is from the recent special issue of the New Era about Dating, it is a reprint from a New Era article from 2001:

    “These romantic relationships have two components: physical and emotional. Generally speaking, boys crave the physical part more than girls do, and girls crave the emotional part more than boys do. Because boys have less of a desire for emotional closeness, they are usually in control of how deep this aspect of the relationship will become. Likewise, because girls are less driven by a desire for a physical relationship, they are generally in control of how far that aspect of the relationship will go. Marriage is where these two components come together in more perfect harmony.
    Though LDS youth generally know the kinds of physical contact they should avoid (sexual transgressions and inappropriate touching), they often wonder when it is OK to hug or kiss or do other such things. But these questions ignore the emotional half of the equation.
    The question is not simply where you put your hands, but it’s where you put your heart.” (“A Prophet’s Counsel and Prayer for Youth,” New Era, Jan. 2001, 13)

    We as leaders need to look beyond the pat answer of “Just Say NO!” and look to the emotional and psychological needs of YW.

    There is a YW I know who doesn’t have a father figure in her life. I’ve always worried about her interactions with boys because of that. Yet when she wanted to date before 16 her YW leader helped her rationalize why it was OK instead of sticking by the counsel to wait until 16. She has been dating that boy for almost a year and her activity is waining, and her comments on facebook are greatly concerning.

    It’s not that the church heirarchy isn’t addressing these issues, it’s that we as leaders and parents aren’t listening or teaching it with faith while understanding the real needs of the YW.

  2. I’ve revised my overwhelming number of questions to help this discussion along. I hope that helps.

    Jendoop,
    Emotional aspects are a part for Young Women. But I think we are too quick to discount that for men and boys and too quick to say the physical aspect does not apply to women and girls.

  3. Interesting. I really loved Kathryn’s article/essay.

    I think it’s just fine to say “generally speaking”. Anything involving human beings will be along a spectrum, but there definitely are norms, whether because of biology, environment, or culture. Whether it’s a case of life mimicking stereotype – or the other way around – men are perceived as being more in tune with the physical, and women are perceived as being more in tune with the emotional.

    Unfortunately, it’s the outliers who suffer. Emotional men and physical women don’t always have a lot of guidance or role models.

  4. I’m teaching my son and daughter about sexuality by rooting every discussion in both biology and morality. I tell them that women/men are beautiful/handsome for a reason (to attract a mate, to continue the human species), that the attraction to a beautiful woman/handsome man is a great thing, that’s it’s a blessing to be beautiful/handsome. Also, knowing how to augment beauty/handsomeness (is that a word?) is a life skill that has tangible benefits.

    At the same time, being attractive is not an end to itself. This attraction leads to other even more amazing feelings – both physical and emotional. It’s not that sex before marriage is so bad – it’s that sex in a loving, equally-yoked marriage is so great!

  5. I absolutely agree with Kathryn’s essay. For me when I was a boy-crazy teenager, it wasn’t so much an issue of feeling powerless, though. If someone had asked me, I would have answered that I absolutely felt in control of my destiny and that I had what I needed to get where I wanted to go. Rather, it was an issue of self-esteem. I based my esteem on whether I could get a guy’s attention.

    I have noticed that the girls who seem immune from the problem of basing their esteem on what boys think usually have something ELSE in their lives to base their self-esteem on (or, perhaps as Kathryn would say, from which to get power) such as sports or music or other passions. If I were raising girls, I would start as early as I could to give them a huge variety of things that they could excel in, hoping that we’d hit on something that could engage her and inspire her throughout adolescence.

    Kathryn’s thoughts lead to this important irony in our culture: we recognize that girls shouldn’t base their self-worth on what boys think of them, or whether they can catch a boy’s attention–and yet we don’t give them any alternative to aim for. If a girl is told that her ultimate value will be as a wife and mother, who can blame her for concentrating her best efforts at a young age towards interesting boys? Where else does she get her value?

  6. Excellent post. It reminds me of President Ballard’s talk from last conference about mothers and daughters. I like how he said we should teach our daughters that they are not sex objects.

  7. If a girl is told that her ultimate value will be as a wife and mother, who can blame her for concentrating her best efforts at a young age towards interesting boys? Where else does she get her value?

    This is an excellent point, too.

  8. Lately I’ve been thinking that we need to redirect our teaching. Instead of concentrating on becoming worthy to marry a worthy male in the temple, perhaps the emphasis should change to being temple worthy and then they won’t have to be worried about being worthy of a temple marriage. And perhaps the change of focus from the males around them to the worth of their individual self will allow for their judgment to become more sound. Especially if chastity is taught with less boy things and more Godly things.

  9. I think we first have to believe the power we have as women ourselves before we can adequately teach our daughters. Are we watching ourselves with regard to the whims of the larger culture? Are we emphasizing too much our looks and figures and sizes and shapes and fashions and products? What examples are we setting?

    We as leaders need to look beyond the pat answer of “Just Say NO!” and look to the emotional and psychological needs of YW.

    I think it needs to go even beyond this, although of course these things are part of the equation. I think the key lies in teaching the doctrine of who they really are — daughters of God — and that their power (I use that word deliberately) comes from covenants with Him. Why does the covenant of chastity matter at the core? What about all the other commandments? Covenants are not a list of don’ts, they are ways to keep the channel with the Spirit as open as possible and maximize the power of God our in our lives.

    “When you are filled with the Spirit of God, … that [Spirit] satisfies and fills up every longing of the human heart, and fills up every vacuum. When I am filled with that spirit my soul is satisfied. … The Spirit of God will impart instruction to your minds, and you will impart it to each other. … Remember that you are Saints of God; and that you have important works to perform in Zion” (Eliza R. Snow, Woman’s Exponent, Sept. 15, 1873, 62).

    I love this. And I think we have to believe it and teach it and live it.

    perhaps the emphasis should change to being temple worthy and then they won’t have to be worried about being worthy of a temple marriage.

    Actually, this is the emphasis for the youth right now. I just listened again to Sister Dalton talking about this. The youth are being encouraged to be virtuous and pure not to squelch their sexual feelings, but to be worthy to go to the temple now, to have that become part of their lives, which can, again, help them to tap into God’s power. If they are bound to God, they are more enabled to face all the temptations they have AND to make wise choices in the future.

    In short, I think it’s essential that we not hack at the branches of this issue but rather help our children become firmly rooted to God, so they can face all their challenges and not buy into any false bill of goods. And I think this goes for boys and for girls.

  10. Great post. An important topic to be sure, that I will have to concern myself with at some point in the future.

    As a man, I’ll try to address this question in a different way. Perhaps I am not typical of other men, I don’t really know. In my youth, sex didn’t seem to me like something used to control me (though perhaps it was). I didn’t engage in it, and I liked girls (the specific ones that is) for various reasons, often related more to personality than looks or sex.

    After I got married, I think that view shifted. I became much much more interested in sex, and my wife probably did have a lot of control over me. At this point, however, in my marriage, I am far more interested in what I consider to be “powerful” woman. Such a woman would be powerful sexually, but it would only be one component of her power. Independence, drive, curiosity, desire, intelligence, creativity, etc. are where I would like to see a woman have “power.” These are the areas from which I would like to see a woman draw power.

    I do think it’s quite lamentable that in our society women use (and we men let them) their sexuality to control things. I think it’s degrading to both women and men. Yet, I certainly can’t deny the biological functions that make me attracted to that sexuality.

  11. WOW. Kathryn’s essay is deeply insightful into the sexuality of young women. I wish I could go back and hand my teenage self this essay! I feel it was by some happy accident that I had enough of my esteem needs met through my academic accomplishments that I didn’t end up meeting those needs through the attention of boys. Now, as a mother, I certainly do NOT want to leave it up to chance that my daughter will be fulfilled enough in her spiritual and personal life not to seek esteem through her sexuality.

    As we focus on teaching young women about the goal of becoming a wife and mother, I believe that we inadvertently foster the idea that a woman’s power comes from her ability to be attractive to men. More of a distinction needs to be made in our lessons to our girls between the idea of dating young men in order to find the man they would choose to marry (which they are certainly NOT doing as they start dating at 16), and the idea of developing one’s whole self, which can be enhanced through interactions with the opposite sex during mutual years.

    If young women see their sole purpose as marriage and childbearing, then isn’t it natural that they would find currency in the power they have over young men in their teenage years? A far more healthy perspective would be to say – yes, date at 16, but date to develop your own experiences and friendships in preparation for a later time when you would marry.

    This quote from the New Era, posted by jendoop, really troubles me:
    “These romantic relationships have two components: physical and emotional. Generally speaking, boys crave the physical part more than girls do, and girls crave the emotional part more than boys do. Because boys have less of a desire for emotional closeness, they are usually in control of how deep this aspect of the relationship will become. Likewise, because girls are less driven by a desire for a physical relationship, they are generally in control of how far that aspect of the relationship will go.”

    What does this kind of attitude offer our youth? Telling them – girls, you will want emotional closeness, but young men do not. Boys – you will want sex, but it will be up to girls to “control how far this aspect of the relationship will go.” To me, this sounds exactly like the kind of “Standards Night” attitude that Kathryn condemns in her essay.

    Both girls and boys have sexual desires, and both girls and boys desire to feel powerful in their lives. Simply stating, “boys are this way, girls are that way” does nothing to help our youth to develop a healthy view towards their God-given physical desires, and to maintain their virtue in view of their long-term goal of temple worthiness.

    Girls especially need to see themselves they way God sees them – need to feel that they are loved unconditionally by Him, and need to know that they have infinite potential to be and do all that their hearts desire.

  12. yes, date at 16, but date to develop your own experiences and friendships in preparation for a later time when you would marry.

    I think it bears mentioning that we can also help them understand that by not engaging in sexually-arousing activities (FTSOY says to not engage in any behavior that arouses sexual passions, and that can include allegedly innocent things like kissing), they will better be prepared to make clear-headed decisions in life, rather than being dominated and driven by sexual attraction or manipulation or desire for sexual fulfillment. Developing brains don’t need the confusion of engaging in behavior that unleashes addictive endorphins. I think Kathy captured one way those endorphins can manifest themselves that we don’t often talk about — in using the body to control another’s affections or behavior. As she said, that’s heady stuff. Just as p*rn or passionate kissing or petting or any other sexually-arousing activity is.

    I think the more youth can understand this, they will also have a healthier approach to the process of courtship and the purpose of marriage. If they see marriage as the solution to their ‘problem’ of struggling with their sexual drives, I think they may be surprised to find that marriage doesn’t remove the need to still harness that power within the limits we have been given by God. Only now, it includes having a responsibility to not let that drive (OR fear of that power or drive) lead to selfishness (which can come in the form of demanding or withholding sexual intimacy).

    Back to my train of thought…we have to remember that some of our youth won’t ever get married in this life. They *have* to learn early on that it’s very possible, even necessary, to learn how to have a healthy life and sense of self even without sexual release and fulfillment. They need to understand that sex is not a right, but a stewardship. Not an absolute need that must control them, but a power that can be respected in its proper light in the plan of salvation.

    I think this can help our youth who struggle with homosexual tendencies, too. They have to know there is hope in being able to have a healthy life even without sexual fulfillment for now.

    “boys are this way, girls are that way” does nothing to help our youth

    Sometimes it doesn’t help adults, either, imo. ;)

  13. I have five younger brothers, one of my best friends growing up was a boy, and I’ve talked extensively with my husband… and I can absolutely say that boys want affection, too. They want a connection, and kind physical contact.

    Growing up in a small town, just about everyone was related in some way. I think that helped us! We were too close to think “romantically” about each other, but close enough to share a physically affectionate connection without pressure. I could get “guy hugs” as needed from any of the young men in our group, or just sit on a couch next to my friend, with his arm companionably around my shoulder; the young men could get a girl hug, or lay their heads on a girl lap and have their hair played with (in a sisterly fashion), with no pressure, just because we recognized that we all needed physical touch in our teens. That’s a human need hard-wired into us from birth, and it doesn’t vanish with added hormones.

    HUGE dittos to Michelle’s thoughts above, and the others expressed in this thread, particularly in developing our *other* passions, so sexual passions are not the only way we see ourselves. I was blessed to escape being raised with the attitude of “Sexuality is dirty, save it for the one you love”, but know those who were not so fortunate, and those conflicting instructions caused much grief and heartache.

    I look at my own teen daughter, and where she’s at, emotionally, and I’m glad! She has affectionate girl friends and guy friends, and they all support one another, giving and receiving true affection (including appropriate physical contact that meets their psychological and “touch” needs, without stirring the pot).

    I often go back to that scripture in the New Testament, where we are warned that “they will deny natural affection”–isn’t that what our society is doing, and in a backlash to those false messages, we end up with some strained and too-mysterious injunctions on our youth? When we deny the place of natural affection, and the compassionate, affectionate, appropriate touch that supports healthy development for men and women alike, we set up a situation that allows perversion and mis-use of the very system God intends for happiness and wonderful purposes.

    We do look for ways to help our kids find their power (outside of sexuality). We work hard to find areas where they are in charge of all the choices. I find myself more and more saying to my daughter, “You’re fourteen years old. That’s a choice you must make for yourself. What are your thoughts on it? Here are my thoughts on how I handled something similar. What do you feel when you pray about it? Can I do anything to support you in this?”

    I’m not raising children. My finished “product” is a functional, whole human adult. Our kids need to know they’re more than their sexual feelings, and need to know they’re capable of difficult things, and worthwhile.

    I never attended Standards Night growing up. My daughter has attended one, and doesn’t feel inclined to go back (she felt very awkward being placed in a group setting to have private things discussed, and I can support her there–it dulls a person’s spiritual modesty to some extent, and anyhow, we’d already covered the topics as a family). I won’t be pushing it. But for other kids, who may not be getting those messages to help them at home… generalizations and platitudes don’t take them far. Far more girls are physical and far more boys are emotional, than most would give credit.

    (My mom did say once that she thinks large families with toddlers and teens are ideal, as teens *require* unconditional love and physical affection. You get both from a little person who adores you, and just wants a cuddle.)

  14. (My mom did say once that she thinks large families with toddlers and teens are ideal, as teens *require* unconditional love and physical affection. You get both from a little person who adores you, and just wants a cuddle.)

    This is an interesting idea. I’ve always planned to finish having kids before my oldest are teens so that I could focus more attention on the teens. I hadn’t really thought that having toddlers in the house would be helpful to the teens, but it’s a good point.

  15. I have to disagree that stating the norms (from which some vary) about gender not being helpful. First of all, please note that he says “Generally speaking”.

    If a boy has sexual urges these norms tell him that he isn’t bad or out of the ordinary for feeling that way, but that the Lord has set limits.

    The same goes for girls – there was a time during my adolescence that I pretended to have a crush on a boy because everyone else did. Not because I felt anything towards him. Even now I feel closest to my husband, physically even, when we have just had a great conversation.

    It drives me batty when our culture leans towards refusing to see the differences between men and women. It’s more than body parts, it’s part of who we are (check the Family Proclamation).

    While I definitely agree that having a healthy spiritual life will combat these types of temptations, we are instructed to teach the youth the Lord’s commandments on intimacy so they can retain the spirit. You can’t have one without the other.

    And as far as one Standards Night and you’re done, that is scary to me. These things need to be taught over and over again because humans understand things differently over time and we need reminders. That’s like saying I don’t need to read my scriptures because I did already. As well as this doctrine being heard from parents, church leaders can be a second witness to the truthfulness of the prophet’s counsel.

    The counter messages – messages about sex whenever, whomever, and however – is coming at teens so much that having just one Standards Night a year, or one parental talk a year, seems a meager counter to the adversary’s attacks.

  16. jendoop,

    While I agree with your statement that standards need to be taught over and over again, I really have to disagree with saying it’s scary to only attend one Standards Night. I suffered through horrible Standards Nights all through the 80′s as a teenager. I was so sick of hearing how *I* was responsible for the YM behavior (lustful thoughts) etc.

    Twenty years later I recently attend one as a YW leader. The same sorry bunk was being repeated. I came home in tears. The things that were said that night made me so angry. I have daughters who are not yet in YW and unless some fundamental changes are made to how these nights are handled, I won’t let my girls go.

    I am perfectly capable of teaching my girls morals and what is appropriate in regards to sexuality. Implying that it would only be done once a year is kind of insulting.

  17. Kelly – No insult intended, it was something I misunderstood from your post.

    If you feel that way about Standards nights then speak up. Chances are you aren’t the only one feeling that way. You could really make a difference with some loving constructive criticism. But don’t blame me if they ask you to speak! ;)

  18. It drives me batty when our culture leans towards refusing to see the differences between men and women. It’s more than body parts, it’s part of who we are (check the Family Proclamation).

    I agree with this, and so I want to make sure my thoughts are clear on why I said what I said. I agree that it’s good to understand that differences can and do exist but in terms of sexual drives; sometimes that can be helpful. But that said, 1) they can and do change over time and with varying circumstances 2) they can be used as leverage points for manipulation. I have seen too many marriages end because the man felt entitled to sex just because he was a man, or women withholding sex because it’s not really their thing or whatever. Part of any differences that may exist are supposed to bring couples together and too much focus on them can risk being a wedge. I think it’s good to be aware of that possibility. (The larger culture also feeds this idea at many levels, that women are objects designed for men’s gratification, rather than seeing sexuality as something that is supposed to be a marriage partnership deal, not an individual need alone.)

  19. At first, I read “by exploring the way chastity is ALMOST addressed within LDS culture” instead of “by exploring the way chastity is almost always addressed within LDS culture.”

    Ha. I think the first might have been better.

    I do have to add, though, that sexuality needs to be better addressed at home, too. I learned everything (and I’m sure I still have a lot to learn) from the bloggernacle. My mom and I weren’t even comfortable enough to say the words “bra” or “pads” to each other. I still have troubles because of it.

  20. A recreation of the frustrations I felt as a 16 year old YW in our day, for the benefit of those who need the insight:

    I think the thing that parents and leaders in this Church have to realize is that there’s a difference between expecting us to just attend Church meetings, and actually helping us obtain a personal conversion to Jesus Christ. Too often, the second is seen as an automatic consequence of the first, and that simply is not the case. The bulk of the work for becoming converted happens outside of Church meetings. We sorta get that. But forcing us to come to Church with guilt trips and promises of punishment isn’t much of an incentive to know Christ.

    If you want us to become converted to Christ, stop putting us in classrooms and situations where all we do is sit and listen to someone talk for an hour. Let us go do something meaningful to help people, let US talk about Christ, let US preach the gospel to each other, and DO things actively to build our relationship with Christ. How will we ever know what His gospel is worth and what it can do unless we’re using it ourselves to create miracles and make things better? How will we know WE can do that unless you show us how, and help us plan ways to do it ourselves?

    I always find it hilarious that YW is supposed to be for YW, and yet we have almost nothing to do with how it runs or functions. We have no input and no control over how things are done, and have few (if any) ways to make meaningful contributions within our own organization! And whenever we try to suggest something we think would be good, it gets pushed aside. When we ask for more service opportunities, it always gets translated into sewing projects and making quilts!

    We’re constantly being shepherded into a classroom and talked at using lessons that almost everyone has heard before, taught in exactly the same way as they always are, and it just looks like you’re trying to corner us and make us listen to you. And we already get that from 6-8 hours a day, 5 days a week at school. We’re tired of being told we have SOOO much potential, but never getting to use it to do anything.

    And let’s get something straight right now. We’re not flirting with the boys because we feel some sort of repression because of our gender. That sounds like something our English teacher would say, and we roll our eyes at her.

    We’re doing it because we’re bored teenagers, and we understand that building relationships is important. So if you’re not going to help us build them with Christ, we’re going to build them with each other. Not only does it help with the boredom, it passes the time and who knows? Maybe I’ll get to pretend to have a boyfriend for 5 minutes and feel appreciated and listened to. Because I’m certainly not getting that when the talking head is up there going on about why I shouldn’t be friends with most of the earth’s population because they don’t hold the same “standards” I do.

    I’m still trying to figure out how that’s even remotely Christ-like. I mean Christ did more things than make quilts and choose His friends “wisely” and wear modest prom dresses, right? So shouldn’t we be doing more than we are?

    No? Then I’m gonna go back to texting then.

  21. Paradox, Thank you for sharring you thoughts. I appreciate you verbalizing your disappointment and frustration in “not getting to use it,to do anything”. I’m with the Laurels and I am continually asking them what they would like to do. “AND NOT THE SAME OLD STUFF THEY’VE DOEN FOR YEARS”. Needless to say do not want to help withany plans. AND of the 14 girls we have all of them are are in College Prep classes so they sutdy double duty! My time is limited with them due to school sports & academic clubs. So my question to you is tell me what you would like to do, I will listen. I would love ideas the same age as my girls, ideas of activities & service. Reading your Blog or thoughts above (I don’t now what it’s called we are doing) got me so excited to hear what you would do for a service. You made me think “is that how my girls feel?” They have been taught, now they would like to “apply” and “have” an experience. I support that kind of teaching and training 100%! You really have a good idea!!! Just a suggestion for you, you could go to your temple visitor center and call ahead and speak to one of the Sister Missionaries & tell her your group is coming and you’d like to go through some of the exhibits, ask questions learn, and then talk to visitors that come through the door and see how well you can do sharing the gospel. our visitor center just reopened after 2 years of remodel and updating, & now the Los Angeles VT. center is beautiful & very impressive with the up scale electronics, sound and visual presentations. Thank you for your help, just a thought have you shared your frustration and ldeas with you class adult, or YW President?? Usully we are pretty excited when a girlscomes to use with ideas she would like to see done. Hoping to hear from you with more ideas!! Love to you, CM

  22. Paradox-Lessons are supposed to be discussions, not lectures. I’m sorry if that is not what you are getting. There are many opportunities for YW to use what they learn and be involved in the gospel, IF the programs are being implemented.

    The Personal Progress program may seem like a trite prescribed program to some, but from participating in it myself I know that it gives the type of experiences you are looking for – filling that gap between hearing the gospel and LIVING the gospel.

    The youth are supposed to be deciding activities and participating in leadership. I won’t go into details but it is really supposed to be the YW’s (possessive) program. If you feel that isn’t happening then it is your responsibility to speak up. To your YW president first, then to the bishop if you feel you aren’t heard.

    Good luck and keep striving for what your heart tells you is right!

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