Many people have questions about Young Women in Excellence activities and how they differ from New Beginnings. Browse our list of frequently asked questions about Young Women in Excellence:
From the Church Handbook of Instructions
Young Women in Excellence is an event in which young women are recognized for the good things they are doing. It is a celebration of Personal Progress. Each young woman shares a value experience or value project she has completed during the year that exhibits excellence. Her presentation may include talents and skills she has developed through her Personal Progress goals. Young Women leaders invite parents to attend.
At the beginning of the year, leaders encourage each young woman to give serious thought to the values she might focus on for this event. She may work with a family member, another young woman, or others on the projects, which may take several months to complete.
This event is usually held during Mutual at the ward level, but it may be held at the stake level. Adult leaders include the young women in planning it. The date and plans for the event should be announced early in the year. (Church Handbook of Instructions: Young Women in Excellence, 10.8.4)
When is Young Women in Excellence held?
If your unit is able to hold regular mutual/weekly activities, YWIE is typically held during that regular meeting. Other units plan it for a time convenient for their members. Most young women leaders hold this meeting in Autumn for calendaring reasons, but a specific time is not dictated in the handbook. On the other hand, young women leaders follow the handbook and hold New Beginnings at the beginning of the calendar year or school year. My unit is holding YWIE in May just before high school graduation so that we can recognize young women who earn the medallion at graduation time before they leave for school.
YWIE may be held on a stake level.
Who attends YWIE?
Young Women ages 12 and up at the time of the Activity and their parents are invited to attend YWIE. The handbook does not provide other instructions.
Do we present personal progress ribbons and medallions at YWIE?
“When a young woman completes the experiences and projects for each value, she receives an emblem and the scripture ribbon associated with that value. She places the emblem on the Personal Progress Value Achievement page of her book. She uses the ribbon as a bookmark in her scriptures. This recognition of her progress can be awarded in a Young Women meeting. Annually, at Young Women in Excellence, young women should be recognized for their accomplishments.” (Personal Progress manual, page 90)
“The bishop and his counselors recognize each young woman in sacrament meeting … when she receives the Young Womanhood Recognition. ” (CHI 2, 10.3.1)
When young women earn medallions, emblems, and ribbons, young women leaders ensure those awards are received as soon as possible.
Recognition, not presentation, occurs at YWIE.
Does the bishop speak at YWIE?
It is not required or expected for a member of the bishopric to speak at YWIE. The focus at Young Women in Excellence is young women. Each young woman presents at YWIE. Unlike the instructions for New Beginnings, the handbook does not specify that a member of the bishopric must speak at YWIE.
Our unit has not done much with Personal Progress this year. Do we need to hold Young Women in Excellence?
YWIE is one of the three required annual Young Women events (New Beginnings, Young Women in Excellence, and Standards Night) Girls camp is an “encouraged” event. Youth Conference is a combined YW/YM annual event planned on the ward or stake level.
Who plans Young Women in Excellence?
Unlike New Beginnings, YWIE is planned by young women leaders but it includes young women as much as possible. Remember that YWIE is girl-focused, so it’s an event best planned by leaders to recognize the girls. New Beginnings is the time for young women to practice planning major activities.
The handbook says “each young woman” presents at YWIE. We have some very shy girls in our class and some who do not like Personal Progress. Do they have to present?
It is important that each young woman be given a chance to shine at YWIE. A presentation does not need to be a talk. It can be:
- an exhibition
- a demonstration
- a time when you are presented — ie, someone else presents or introduces the young woman
- or a lecture
In our unit we have started giving the girls a specific assignment to create a small item that represents themselves for Young Women in Excellence. Two years ago they filled up a test tube. This year they are each decorating a glass slipper party favor. In this way, no one’s presentation is “bigger” or “better” than anyone else’s, and girls who may not be able to attend YWIE can still be represented. We even leave the display up in the foyer for ward members to enjoy after sacrament meeting. Be creative! There are many ways to help each girl participate in YWIE.
Can we hold Young Women in Excellence on Sunday?
President Joseph Fielding Smith taught: “[Sacrament meeting] is an occasion when the gospel should be presented, when we should be called upon to exercise faith, and to reflect on the mission of our Redeemer, and to spend time in the consideration of the saving principles of the gospel, and not for other purposes.” (Doctrines of Salvation,2:342) Elder Dallin H Oaks has also taught: “The ordinance of the sacrament makes the sacrament meeting the most sacred and important meeting in the Church. … Its content in addition to the sacrament should always be planned and presented to focus our attention on the Atonement and teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Sacrament Meeting and the Sacrament) YWIE focuses on young women, and does not meet directives for sacrament services.
YWIE is “usually held during mutual on a ward level” (Church Handbook of Instructions Book 2, 10.8.4).