Women’s Organizations Research GuideYoung Women Programs

Young Women Programs

Women’s Organizations Research Guide

The first program for young women in the Church was established in 1869 by Brigham Young in Salt Lake City, Utah. It was founded in his desire for his daughters and other young women to separate themselves from the vanities and influences of the world. This organization was called the Young Ladies Department of the Cooperative Retrenchment Association. The organization was later called the Young Ladies Retrenchment Association and the Young Ladies’ Mutual Improvement Association. Today the organization is called Young Women, and girls around the world meet frequently to focus on core values and personal development.

Online Resources:

Meeting Minutes, 1871-1874

These are mMinutes of the bimonthly meetings of the Senior and Junior Cooperative Retrenchment Associations. The record also includes minutes for the Young Ladies’ Retrenchment Society, a precursor of the Young Women’s organization, documenting several meetings held during the fall of 1874.

History of the Young Ladies’ Mutual Improvement Association of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, from November 1869 to June 1910

As stated in the preface of this text, it was the “first published history of the organized work of women in the Church.” This book was written by Susa Young Gates and tells the history of the Young Ladies’ Mutual Improvement Association (Y.L.M.I.A.) from its creation in 1869 to 1910, when the book was written. The online version is hosted by the Internet Archive.

Textual Resources:

History of the Y.W.M.I.A.

This 1955 history of the Young Women’s Mutual Improvement Association (Y.W.M.I.A.) was written by Marba Josephson, associate editor of the Improvement Era and member of the Y.W.M.I.A. general board. The book includes several appendixces with biographies of Y.W.M.I.A. general presidents;, information on board members, stake presidents, and girls’ homes (summer camping lodges);, slogans and themes for each year;, and reading- course books.

Keepers of the Flame

Written by Janet Peterson and LaRene Gaunt, this book provides biographies of each of the Young Women General Presidents from Elmina Shephard Taylor to Janette Callister Beckham, as well as a time line of the Young Women organization. The preface of the book discusses the Nauvoo roots of the youth organizations in the Church.

Handbook for the Bee-Hive Girls of the Y.L.M.I.A.

This handbook, published in 1915, was part of the first personal recognition program for the young women of the Church. Subsequent handbooks were issued almost every year and were issued in multiple languages. More of these handbooks can be found by searching the catalog for “Beehive girls’ manual” or by the call number M257.46 B414g.