The period of my life that really solidified my testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were the formative years I spent in Young Women's. It is where I first heard a sincere testimony from someone my age; where I learned that women can go on missions,too; where I decided that whether my family could be there or not, I was getting married in the temple. It was the most pivotal and strengthening group that I have ever been a part of.
One of the greatest learning experiences I had in Young Women's was earning my Personal Progress award. At the time we had to do four 25-hour projects in different areas. I still remember meeting with Andrea, our personal progress leader, and discussing what values I wanted to focus on, what types of projects would help me to improve in those areas, and setting goals and deadlines. I still use these planning and goal-setting skills today and it is because of those projects that I know how to play at least 10 hymns on the piano for times when the ward is desperate.
That is why I am so glad there was such an emphasis on the youth to complete their Duty to God and Personal Progress. I think the most beneficial knowledge that someone can gain is that spiritual goals are just as important (if not more so) as academic and professional goals. And that there are always spiritual mentors within our families and our wards to help us in times when we struggle. I especially loved the story that one of the mothers told that she has been helping her fourth daughter complete her personal progress and wished she had done the same for her first three daughters. I can only imagine how much more special the daughter's teenage years have been being able to watch her mother grow spiritually alongside herself.
I plan on helping my daughters and sons with these programs because I feel that it gives teenagers an active role in realizing that they are indeed sons and daughters of a Heavenly Father that loves them.