When you turn twelve in our church, you get to start going to “Young Women” and no longer attend “Activity Days” (which I teach twice a month).
So as much as I’m excited for Lucy to be twelve (oh man, she is SO EXCITED), I’ve been holding onto the chance I’ve had to be her teacher in Activity Days. We have had a pretty good time together:)
Teaching Activity Days is one of my favorite callings I’ve ever had at church. You meet with a group of ten and eleven-year-olds twice a month and watch their eyes sparkle at whatever type of activity you throw at them. You could be cleaning up cow manure for all they care, they’re just excited to get together!
Aside from my side-kick helper Lucy, who has seemed to help manage and create ideas for every activity, I have the best teaching partner named Shelly. I learn so much from her as well as from these sweet girls. I talked a little about this back HERE, but in September we learned to bake and had a little bake-off:
Chocolate zucchini muffins:
…and pumpkin muffins:
We also learned how to cut up various fruits:
And celebrated a birthday of one of the girls we were losing to Young Women (she was turning 12 that week).
Part of the idea was to serve each other a meal (from their “Faith in God” books), so these sweeties served each other up with big smiles.
The next week we learned about keeping our bodies healthy…
We talked about the food pyramid and cut out all kinds of pictures of different foods (from newspaper coupons) and put them onto our “food pyramid.”
Then we did a little “deck of cards” workout, (Lu’s favorite) and wrapped it up by bringing a birthday banner to my neighbor (who is the primary president).
We have fun I tell you!
Last week we learned interesting facts about all the leaders of our church in preparation for General Conference.
Not the grandest picture in all the land, but you get the idea (which we took from HERE).
As much as Lucy has adored Activity Days, I think she’s ok to go ahead and leave me, dang it all!
She got invited to a Personal Progress gathering the Sunday morning before her birthday and it was so weird to have all three girls load up in the car and head off together, leaving Dave and I all alone.
(We were kind of ok with the all alone part though…:)
Her new class “heart attacked” our door and yard on her birthday:
(more back HERE)
Her new leaders came to visit (more on that back there too…)
She loves them already.
They brought her a new Young Women necklace she has worn with pride ever since:
And then, just like that, she marched off to her first Young Women activity on Wednesday night and never looked back.
I always wish I could hold onto my kids.
Just snuggle them up forever.
But alas, life doesn’t work like that, gosh dang it!
I’ll take all the side snuggles I can get as she marches forward, becoming the girl God wants her to be with amazing church leaders joining her “village.”
Those girls and leaders came to take Lucy from primary on Sunday. It’s a tradition for the older girls to come sing the “graduating” primary child’s favorite song together in Primary before they take her to Young Women’s class. Lucy chose “The Miracle,” and I stood in the back with a lump in my throat and tears welling up in my eyes at that song. Happy tears, so grateful for miracles in life, the ones that buoy this girl (and all of us) up on a daily basis, the way she is growing and learning in such beautiful ways, with all of us at her side, but mostly for THE miracle.
Love that girl and her forever “cheerleaders” behind her in that picture.
Such a special time for Lucy! xo
I love the tradition of having the new (older) group come and get the younger member! That's a wonderful way to make those first days feel special and welcoming!
that song. EVERY.SINGLE.TIME. tears.
time is going so fast!!!
Awww, what a sweet experience to share with your youngest Lucy. 12 is a big deal for her and I'm sure for you as well.
I am also genuinely curious about the leaders of our church. I could not help but notice that they are all male, and none of them are People of Color. I wonder how you help these young girls make sense of that as they age (and hopefully aspire) to be equal members in their own churches, in their workplaces, in their educational settings, etc. Or do you not hope that also become leaders "with interesting facts" about them? (Which is totally fair and reasonable, I'm actually just really curious) if you aspire for Lucy and your other daughters to be full-time at home Mom's? Or do you hope for them to have careers? And aspire to have them have representation of themselves in the leaders around them?
I live in diverse place and belong to a faith where women and People of Color are equally represented, so seeing your image of the "leaders of the church" being all, older, white males, really just struct me as very interesting given the community I live in, and how different it seems from yours.
We believe men and women are equal but have various roles. In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we have a living prophet to lead and guide us. He holds Priesthood keys (only men can hold the Priesthood but we all have the blessings from it) The prophet has 2 counselors and then 12 Apostles to help him guide his church. They all are Priesthood holders. Women also have leadership positions in our church. They are over the Relief Society (group for all women ages 18+) and the Young Women (girls 12-18) and Primary (children younger than 12). As for your question about why the Prophet and Apostles are all white men – It might be hard to tell from the picture but they all have various backgrounds and occupations. One is from Germany, one is from Brazil, and one is Asian-American. We have male and female leaders in our church from all backgrounds and races. The picture doesn't show the diversity of the church. We are worldwide. Here are some facts and statistics about it: https://www.mormonnewsroom.org/facts-and-statistics
I am just sharing this with you to answer your question. I hope it doesn't come across as correcting you – but I was just wanting to let you know the reason you don't see women and many nationalities in that picture 😊
Also – we encourage girls of our faith to pursue educations and be in the workforce when possible. We also know the importance of starting a family. Some mothers in our church work and others stay home. We believe we can have personal revelation from the Lord to help us know what best suits our family. I hope that answers your questions ❤️
Thank you, Sarah, for these perfect answers, amen to all you said. I'll just add that I also agree with Aaron and Camile's comment below, we should totally get to know the women leaders of the church as well! There are so many awesomely strong women who it would be so great for young girls to get to "know" as well. Thank you for the good question.
Such sweet, welcoming traditions. What a nice way to make a 12 year old feel included!
Unknown, thanks for your sincere questions – it’s good to get another perspective and it gave me some food for thought. I think it is a great idea to have the young girls (and everybody) become familiar with the faces of the women leaders (relief society, young women, and primary) in our church and get to know some fun facts about them as well. They are such wonderful and inspired leaders!
Our leaders (in the highest levels – both women and men) do not accurately represent the diversity within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and I don’t think they are meant to represent the people. I believe they are representatives of Jesus Christ. But they do visit and love and serve all of God’s children. 🙂
Love this, and next conference we are totally going to focus on getting to know the women leaders better!
Why must you know interesting facts of your living church leaders?