Changes Announced to Strengthen Youth


Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced changes to Aaronic Priesthood quorums and Young Women classes that give young men and young women more opportunity for all-around growth. The Aaronic Priesthood is the lesser of two levels of priesthood in the Church and is conferred upon faithful male Latter-day Saints starting the year in which they turn 12.

“The adjustments we now announce are intended to help young men and young women develop their sacred personal potential,” President Russell M. Nelson said at the Saturday afternoon session of the Church’s 189th Semiannual General Conference. “We want also to strengthen Aaronic Priesthood quorums and Young Women classes and provide support to bishops and other adult leaders as they serve the rising generation. … [A bishop’s] first and foremost responsibility is to care for the young men and young women of his ward. The bishop and his counselors direct the work of the Aaronic Priesthood quorums and the Young Women classes in the ward.”


Changes for Bishops, Young Men and Aaronic Priesthood Quorums

Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles detailed what will change for Aaronic Priesthood quorums. He also announced a change for bishops to regularly counsel with Young Women presidents.

Local Bishops to Lead and Mentor Youth; Ward Young Men Presidencies Discontinued

Young Men presidencies (adult males who lead young men) at the ward level are now discontinued so local bishops can more directly lead and mentor youth. Elder Cook said this practice aligns with a scripture on Church government given to Joseph Smith in 1835: “The bishopric is the presidency of this [Aaronic] priesthood, and holds the keys or authority of the same.” This means, Elder Cook said, that a congregation’s young men and young women should be a bishop’s highest priority.

“These adjustments will help bishops and their counselors focus on their core responsibilities to the youth and Primary children,” Elder Cook said. “[The adjustments will also] place the power and duties of the Aaronic Priesthood at the center of every young man’s personal life and goals.”

In their responsibilities with youth, bishoprics will be assisted by adult men serving as Aaronic Priesthood quorum advisers and specialists and Young Women leaders.