Young Women OrganizationYoung Women Organization Timeline

Young Women Organization Timeline

Young Women Organization Research Guide

Portrait of Susa Young Gates, circa 1900, founder of the Young Woman’s Journal

Providing definitive dates for firsts can be challenging. It is important to note that many of the activities associated with the Young Women or youth programs, such as camp, mutual, and stake dances, initially began in the wards and stakes and were then adopted by the general organization.

This timeline is not comprehensive but provides a basic understanding of how the Young Women organization started and evolved to meet the changing needs of a global Church.

1870 - Organization of the Young Ladies’ Department of the Cooperative Retrenchment Association1

1880 - Organization of the General Young Women Presidency

1889 - Founding of the Young Woman’s Journal, with Susa Young Gates as editor2

1893 - First manual printed, Guide to the First Year’s Course of Study in the Young Ladies’ Mutual Improvement Association3

1896 - First Annual Conjoint YWMIA and YMMIA Conference held (later to become June Conference)

1912 - First summer camp for girls held in the Liberty Stake4

1915 - Bee-Hive Girls program organized

1923 - The name Gleaners given to the senior girls

1924 - First roadshow introduced in the Granite Stake5

1925 - MIA Jubilee held

1929Young Woman’s Journal merged with (“married to”) the Improvement Era6

1934 - Name changed to Young Women’s Mutual Improvement Association (YWMIA)

1934 - Age of entry becomes 12 years of age

1943 - Class symbols of beehive, rose, laurel, and sheaf of wheat introduced

1949 - Girls’ Program becomes part of the YWMIA

1950 - Age-groups realigned: Bee-Hive Girls (12–13), Mia Maids (14–15), Junior Gleaners (16–18), Gleaners (19–29)

1959 - Junior Gleaners become Laurels

1962 - Worldwide Youth Conferences begin

1965For the Strength of Youth pamphlet published

1969 - YWMIA centennial celebrated

1971 - Youth magazine the New Era introduced

1972 - Gleaners program (ages 19–29) discontinued

1974 - Name changed to Young Women

1974 - My Personal Progress program introduced7

1975 - June Conferences discontinued8

1978 - First General Women’s Meeting Broadcast9

1980 - Women’s organization presidencies (Relief Society, Young Women, Primary) seated on the rostrum during general conference

1985 - Name changed to the Young Women Program, including introducing values,10 a new Personal Progress book, and a special edition of the New Era

1986 - Young Women worldwide celebration11

1987 - Mission statements and symbols introduced to each age-group12

1989 - Second worldwide Young Women celebration13

1989 - Personal Progress program revised

1992 - Third worldwide Young Women celebration14

1993 - New camp manual introduced15

1994 - Celebration of 125th anniversary of Young Women

2001 - “Be prepared to strengthen home and family” added to Young Women theme

2001 - Revised and simplified Personal Progress book introduced16

2001 - New For the Strength of Youth pamphlet introduced

2009Virtue added to Young Women values

2011For the Strength of Youth pamphlet updated17

2012 - 100th anniversary of Young Women Camp18

2019 - Names Beehives, Mia Maids, and Laurels discontinued and theme updated19

2019 – Young Women can serve as witnesses for baptisms, including baptisms for the dead

2020 - Personal Progress program discontinued

2020 - Young Women organization sesquicentennial

2020 - For the Strength of Youth conferences begin20


1. Ladies Cooperative Retrenchment Association minutes, May 28, 1870, in Zina Card Brown family collection, 1806–1972, Church History Library, Salt Lake City.

2. Susa Young Gates papers, circa 1870–1933, Church History Library, Salt Lake City.

3. Guide to the First Year’s Course of Study in the Young Ladies’ Mutual Improvement Association (Salt Lake City: George Q. Cannon and Sons, 1895).

4. Salt Lake Liberty Stake Young Women’s Mutual Improvement Association minutes and records, 1904–1973, Church History Library, Salt Lake City.

5. Granite Stake Young Women’s Mutual Improvement Association minutes and records, 1909–1969, Church History Library, Salt Lake City.

6. “Wedding announcement: Mrs. Y.L. General Board announces the marriage of her daughter Miss Young Woman’s Journal and Mr. Improvement Era on Saturday, June the eighth, nineteen hundred twenty-nine,” June 1929, Church History Library, Salt Lake City.

7. “Presidents of the Young Women Organization through the Years,” Ensign, June 2008, 40–45.

8. “Report of June Conference,” Ensign, Aug. 1975,

9. Spencer W. Kimball, “Privileges and Responsibilities of Sisters,” Ensign, Nov. 1978,

10. “Young Women Organizations,” Church History Topics,

11. “300,000 Young Women Send Balloons Messages of Hope Worldwide,” Ensign, Nov. 1986,

12. “Young Women Fireside Telecast,” Ensign, Dec. 1987,

13. “Young Women Celebration: A Challenge to Greatness,” Tambuli, Dec. 1989,

14. “Worldwide Young Women Plan Activity,” Ensign, Oct. 1992,

15. “New Young Women Camp Manual Produced,” Ensign, May 1993,

16. “Revised Resources to Strengthen Youth,” Ensign, Nov. 2001, 110–11.

17. “Message to the Youth from the First Presidency,” in For the Strength of the Youth (2011), i–iv.

18. Elaine S. Dalton, “Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Young Women Camp,” New Era, June 2012, 24–27.

19. Bonnie H. Cordon, “Beloved Daughters,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2019, 67–70.