I love the youth organizations in my church. Boys ages 12-18 participate in Young Men’s (or Aaronic Priesthood) as Deacons (ages 12&13), Teachers (14&15) and Priests (16&17). Girls ages 12-18 participate in Young Women’s as Beehives (12&13), Mia Maids (14&15) and Laurels (16&17). Every year, the youth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have a theme to inspire and guide them in their activities, gospel lessons and scripture study. This year’s theme is: Ask of God, taken from the Bible verses in James 1:5-6. (Actually, the theme is the scripture verses itself, but “Ask of God” sums it up well.)
I remember when I was a Beehive in Young Women’s. My leader was my next door neighbor, Holly. She would let me gab her ear off as she lovingly ironed every article of clothing her family owned. I remember wishing she could be my mother. She was so sweet and fun and she would take the time to listen to me. She had two daughters and I would play with them both even though they were years younger than me. The youngest daughter liked to play house and she always insisted I play the mom. I remember wishing I could play another role because in real life I was a second mom to my younger siblings. I had to be very responsible as the oldest child in my family and so playing house mimicked the things I had to do every day at home. Honestly, I was like a real-life Cinderella, as the household chores and child care always fell to me. To this day I am a very thorough cleaner because it’s so ingrained from the way my mother taught me to clean, but I will not get down on my hands and knees to mop (Thank you Swifter!) as I had to when I was young (and I don’t iron).
In Young Women’s there is a value based, goal-setting program called, Personal Progress. I once wrote a little about this on my previous blog (Happy Hearts Homeschool). Well, for my last value project, I took my baby book and each of my four siblings’ baby books and updated them to the current year. My mother had left mine off at 5th grade, which meant each of my siblings was left off at even younger grades. My baby sister’s was barely even started (she is twelve years younger than me). I really tried to make my siblings’ baby books special, adding touches such as stickers and journaling. This was when I discovered my love for scrapbooking and memory books.
That is my first memory or story for the 52 Stories project, which I wrote about in my last post.
Back to this year’s youth theme, Marcus is my only child left in mutual, but all of my children have fully participated and benefited from Young Men’s and Young Women’s. Having just turned 14, Marcus will be ordained a Teacher this upcoming Sunday at church. He has really enjoyed passing the sacrament as a Deacon these past two years. I have loved watching him solemnly pass the sacrament bread and water in his suit and bow tie (he prefers bow ties to regular ties). He can still continue to pass the sacrament if there are not enough Deacons, but as a Teacher he will now help prepare and clean up the sacrament.
♥ Was there a youth program that you participated in as a teenager? Do you have a childhood memory about your next door neighbor? I’d love to hear about it! ♥