Oct 2, 2012

The Temple, the Savior, the Family: The Focus of Personal Progress

For our 5th Sunday this past month, our Bishopric asked our YM President and me to talk to the adults about Duty to God and Personal Progress.  I was super excited for the opportunity to teach the parents the purpose of the Personal Progress program. I was also very nervous to not bore them with the details they have heard many times from us already. It was a little bit of a challenge knowing HOW to best present the material that would be edifying to all the adult ages in our ward-from those who have Young Women, those who don't, and those who are elderly. 

I am journaling this experience here, for my future reference, and if it could help anyone else in a similar situation...GREAT!

If I were to teach this twice or even three times, I know it would get better with each experience, and be different each time.  I wanted to include some material in this that I will link below, because it is still very pertinent, but as I was teaching, I wasn't directed to go there.  I didn't have the time to cover all I wanted to.  That is how the Spirit works as we are teaching. We are to prepare our best, then go with the flow! 

Here is the lesson:

YW Theme:  I had the Poster with me, so that as I was quoting it, the adults not familiar with the theme, could read along.  This theme is so powerful, that I wanted to read it so they could understand the words and capture the meaning.  This gave me an opportunity to briefly mention the experiences, 10 hour projects,  how Virtue was added 3 years ago, and to touch on the importance of the YW reading the Book of Mormon for that project. Emphasizing the last paragraph of the theme...preparing for temple covenants led me right in to the first principle I wanted to cover.

I love the 4 statement overlayed on the theme poster: WE are daughter, WE will stand, We Believe, We will be prepared. They each have a message that is worth discussing.

The Personal Progress Book: I let them know that we were not going to talk about what was INSIDE the Personal Progress book, but instead what was at the front of the book (the temple, the invitation to Come Unto Christ) and what was in the back of the book, (The Family: A Proclamation to the World, and The Living Christ)

This is the "WHY" of Personal Progress


The very first page of this entire book is an overlay of the temple.  There is also a temple on the  front of the Personal Progress book as well as on the Young Women medallion.
Question: Why the focus on the temple?
Principles to teach:
  • The temple is  not for looks…it is has a holy purpose!  The official vision of the YW program is to lead the YW to the temple
  • We need to teach our youth about the temple. They need to understand more about the temple then just temple marriage, although that is the greatest blessing.  There are other ordinances that prepare and qualify them (Initiatory and the endowment) As they come to the temple to be married, they need to be prepared to make and keep sacred covenants throughout their whole lives.
  • Virtue was added because the key to entering the temple is to be worthy
  • Personal Progress is a temple preparation coarse


  • …The Lord doesn’t want people who have just “Been” to the temple, but he wants people who “GO” to the temple!
  • The First Presidency has said: “We want the young people of the Church to be valiant and righteous servants of God, dedicated to living each day so they can go to the temple and receive God’s greatest blessings for them.
  • Sister Beck explains: “The way to prepare to make temple covenants is to remember and keep the commitments you’ve already made. Personal Progress is a temple preparation course.”
  • Picture of the temple that is sent around Face Book with the quote: "If this isn't your castle, then you're not my prince!" The intent of this is good, in that the YW won't settle for anything less than a temple marriage, BUT this is very misleading to YW who are pretty unfamiliar with the temple. The YW need to know and understand that a temple is NOT a castle! It is SOOOO much more!!! It is not just about accomplishing the goal to get married in the temple, but it is about being ready to be there and knowing they are making sacred and holy covenants for their whole lives.


The invitation in the PP book is “to come unto Christ”  this is about each YW experiencing her own conversion and realizing the need for the Savior in her life. The Personal Progress program allows personal conversion for each young woman. 
Question: What is conversion?
Conversion is about seeing things with new eyes and a new purpose.  Through Personal Progress they will come to see their lives differently.  If they are on a sports team or club in school, they will come to see their teammates differently, their daily routine differently, what they do in between competitions differently, what they do when they are away from home differently.  Their heart become centered on the Savior and what he wants them to do.

Principles to teach:
  • Personal Progress is about personal conversion, by coming unto Christ
  • This isn’t about adding or fitting in another section into their lives.  The Personal Progress program gives meaning and purpose to all they do.
  • Personal Progress is not fluff or entertainment. The youth do not need us to sneak up on them with the gospel. They don't need it sugar coated. They are youth of the last days...they can take it undiluted! 
  • The doctrines of the gospel are explained in the most inspired way to engage the youth, apply it to their everyday lives, and bring them to Christ.
  • The Personal Progress program will get the young women IN the scriptures as they study by topic.  This may help some of our youth who struggle to read their scriptures straight through.
 Example FAITH experience #1: The first principle of the gospel is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Learn about faith from the scriptures and living prophets. Read Hebrews 11; Alma 32:17–43; Ether 12:6–22; and Joseph Smith—History 1:11–20. Read two general conference talks on faith. Exercise your own faith by establishing a habit of prayer in your life. Begin by regularly saying your morning and evening prayers. After three weeks of following this pattern, discuss with a parent or leader what you have learned about faith and how daily personal prayer has strengthened your faith. In your journal express your feelings about faith and prayer.
  • The Personal Progress book covers the Atonement!  It is so important that the YW begin to understand how the Atonement is personal for them, and how they can apply it in their lives right now for comfort, strength, forgiveness, and power.
  • The young women, are BUSY.  So busy doing so many good things, they should all have their medallions right now.  If they are in a school play or sports team: PROJECT. If they give a talk in Sacrament meeting: EXPERIENCE.  They should be getting credit for all that they are doing. 
  •  Sunday is the best time to work on Personal Progress. Schedule it in.

The Family: A Proclamation to the World and

The Living Christ

Principles to teach:
  • These two documents are the most powerful documents they could have put in the book to testify of Christ and lead them to their most important goal of having a righteous family now and in the future.
  • The Family Proclamation is applied in almost every single experience and project.
  • The gospel of Jesus Christ is about family...with the emphasis on the temple. 
"The Creation, the Fall, and the Atonement, are known as the Theology of the Family.  The Creation of this earth, was the creation of an earth where a family could live.  The Fall provided a family.  Without the Fall, there would have been no family.  The Atonement makes it possible for us to live after this life , with our Father in Heaven, as families...this is what it is all about."  Julie B. Beck
Quote :

"Give me a young woman who loves home and family, who reads and ponders the scriptures daily, who has a burning testimony of the Book of Mormon. Give me a young woman who faithfully attends her church meetings, who is a seminary graduate, who has earned her Young Womanhood Recognition and wears it with pride!  Give me a young woman who is virtuous and who has maintained her personal purity, who will not settle for less than a temple marriage, and I will give you a young woman who will perform miracle for the Lord now and throughout eternity."President Ezra Taft Benson

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting this. I enjoyed reading through it.


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