I know that at the beginning of this week I was panicking a little about what to do for New Beginnings, so I hope this skit will help alleviate some stress for someone!
for the 2016 "Press Forward" Theme
Mrs. Fredrickson—An old lady wearing black frame glasses and dressed similarly to Mr. Fredrickson in the Disney movie "Up."
Russelina—A young girl dressed like Russell in the move "Up"-- wearing a baseball hat, yellow shirt, orange neckerchief, long shorts, brown sash, and backpack.
Wilderness Explorer Leader (WE Leader)—wearing a baseball hat, orange neckerchief, and sash with 'badges.' Badges can be paper circles stapled to the sash with the YW values and the following phrases from 2 Ne. 31:20 in the following colors:
White: Faith; A Perfect Brightness of Hope
Blue: Divine Nature; A Love of God
Red: Individual Worth; Press Forward
Green: Knowledge; Feasting upon the word of Christ
Orange: Choice and Accountability; Press Forward
Yellow: Good Works; A Love of all Men
Purple: Integrity; Steadfastness in Christ
Gold: Virtue; Endure to the End
All of the rest of the YW can be dressed as Wilderness Explorers, wearing baseball hats, neckerchiefs, and sashes with badges (this is of course optional according to how much work you want to do!) Each girl can have a short speaking part, including:
A Beehive, Mia Maid, and Laurel "spokeswoman" who reads the description of the class symbols and then tells what she loves about Young Women's. Each Beehive, Mia Maid, and Laurel can also share a brief statement about why they love YW.
A spokeswoman for each of the 8 values (each wearing a shirt the color of the value, if possible). Each will read the scripture and statement from the Personal Progress book and will comment on how the value relates to a specific phrase from 2 Ne. 31:20 (These parts can be personalized by the girls).
A spokeswoman for Personal Progress who shares how Personal Progress has blessed her life.
Old-fashioned suitcase containing scriptures, a Personal Progress book, a journal, a New Era magazine, a For the Strength of Youth pamphlet, and a picture of the Savior.
Two simple maps. One should show how each of the YW values lead to "The Blessings of Exaltation" and the other should show how the phrases from 2 Ne 31:20 lead to "Eternal Life." If you'd like, you can have the phrases or key words on pieces of paper that can be removed from one map and taped to the correlating map during the section where the values are presented.
16 helium balloons in the YW value colors (white, blue, red, green, orange, yellow, purple, and gold) and labeled with the corresponding values and phrases from 2 Nephi 31:20. For instance, there would be two white balloons, and on one would be written "Faith" and on the other would be "A Perfect Brightness of Hope." (See the instructions for the badges).
A Gift bag with the phrase "Eternal Life" taped to one side and the phrase "The Blessings of Exaltation" on the other side. If everything goes according to plan, this gift bag will be lifted in the air by the helium balloons at the end of the skit. The bag should initially have a heavy, easily removable object inside to weigh it down, and, if applicable, should have a long string like invisible fishing line to tether it so it can be easily retrieved from a tall ceiling after the skit.
Pictures or other representations of the YW symbols, including a Beehive, a white rose, and a Laurel wreath.
Skit: Reach Upward and Press Forward
(All the YW are sitting as if in a Wilderness Explorer meeting. The WE Leader is conducting the meeting at the podium, and Russelina is sitting on a chair in the forefront with Mrs. Fredrickson standing nearby. If needed, Mrs. Fredrickson can hide her script in a folder or book marked "My Adventure Book" and the master script can be on the podium).
WE Leader: Welcome to our Wilderness Explorer's meeting, Tribe 52, Sweatlodge 12
All Girls: (Stand and do the hand signals Russell used in the movie for a W, a bird and a bear as they yell in unison:) The Wilderness must be Explored! Caw-Caw! Caw-Caw! Grrrrrrrrr!
WE Leader: The first thing on our agenda tonight is to welcome our newest recruit, Russelina.
Russelina: (In a choppy voice) Good after-noon. My name is Russel-ina.
WE leader: Will everyone please join me in welcoming Russelina with a big, Wilderness Explorer salute?!?
All Girls: (Stand and do the hand signals for a W, a bird and a bear as they yell in unison:) The Wilderness must be explored! Caw-Caw! Caw-Caw! Grrrrrrrrr!
Mrs. Fredrickson: Hey, kid; if you want a real adventure, you should check out the Young Women's program.
WE leader : Ahem-- excuse me. Mrs. Fredrickson? Russelina? You happen to be in luck, because this particular tribe of the Wilderness Explorers participates in the Young Women's program. We've got a great group of girls here who are ready to tell you all about it.
All girls: The Wilderness must be explored! Caw-Caw! Caw-Caw! Grrrrrrrrr!
Mrs. Fredrickson: (covering her ears) Do you have to keep making that annoying sound?
WE leader : Don't worry—we only use that call during Wilderness Explorer meetings. During Young Women's each Sunday, we all stand together and repeat the Young Women's theme. The theme is a reminder of the Lord's love for you. It also provides direction in your life and introduces each of the eight values we focus on in the YW program. You're going to want to memorize it, Russelina, and here's a copy so you can follow along. But don't worry—we'll all help you along the way.
Mrs. Fredrickson: It's got to be better than those irritating animal noises.
WE Leader: Let's show her how it's done, ladies.
All Girls repeat the YW theme: "We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love Him. We will stand as witnesses of God in all times, and in all things, and in all places as we strive to live the Young Women values, which are: faith, divine nature, individual worth, knowledge, choice and accountability, good works, integrity, and virtue. We believe as we come to accept and act upon these values, we will be prepared to strengthen home and family, make and keep sacred covenants, receive the ordinances of the temple, and enjoy the blessings of exaltation."
Mrs. Fredrickson: I like that theme much better than all that caw-ing and grrr-ing nonsense (mimic the WE explorer theme and then wave it away in irritation). Now that theme sounds to me like a map—like if you follow those values you can get someplace. You can find exaltation.
Russelina: (Looking at the theme) But what are the "blessings of exaltation?"
WE Leader: (Pulling out the gift bag and showing the words "Blessings of Exaltation"). The 'blessings of exaltation' are an incredible gift that our Heavenly Father offers to us through our Savior Jesus Christ. Through our baptismal and temple covenants, we can someday live with our families and with our Father in Heaven forever. Applying the YW values to your life is like following a map to exaltation (Display the "Map" showing how the values in the theme lead to the blessings of exaltation).
Mrs. Fredrickson: Wait a minute—I've seen a map that looks an awful lot like that one (Display the "Map" of how the phrases from 2 Nephi 31:20 lead to eternal life). But maybe the destination here is a little different.
WE Leader: Actually, it's the same destination. The "Blessings of Exaltation" are another way of saying "Eternal Life," which the scriptures say is "the greatest of all the gifts of God" (D & C 14:7). (Turn the bag to the other side to show the words "Eternal Life"). During 2016, all the youth of the church are focusing on 2 Nephi 31:20 as this year's theme. Why don't you share that with them, ladies?
All Girls repeat 2 Nephi 31:20: "Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope and a love of God and all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting on the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father, Ye shall have eternal life."
Russelina: Wow, so when I learn all that, will I be a Senior Patrol-woman?
WE leader: Not quite. Young Women's is for girls ages 12-18, but it's actually broken into three different age groups: Beehives, Mia Maids, and Laurels. We'll let some of our experienced Young Women read about the classes to you from the Personal Progress book and then tell a little more about them.
(Each class comes to the podium as a group and take turns with speaking parts ).
Beehive spokeswoman: The Beehive class is for ages 12 and 13. "The beehive was a symbol of harmony, cooperation, and work for the early pioneers of the Church. (Display a picture or other representation of a Beehive) Beehive was also the first name by which young women were known. Beehives today learn to work together in cooperation and harmony as they strengthen their faith in Jesus Christ and prepare to stand for truth and righteousness." One reason I love being a Beehive is because __________________________________________ (allow each of the Beehives to complete this statement, including ideas like weekly activities, girls' camp, and starting Personal Progress)
1. One thing I love about Beehives is __________________________________________
2. I like being a Beehive because __________________________________________
3. I like being a Beehive because __________________________________________
(Continue until each Beehive gets a chance to share)
Mia Maid spokeswoman: (ages 14-15) "The name Mia Maid refers historically to the Mutual Improvement Association, which adopted the emblem of the rose as a symbol of love, faith, and purity (Show a white rose). Mia Maids today learn about love, faith, and purity as they strengthen their testimony and accept and act upon the Young Women values. " I love being a Mia Maid because ___________________________ (again allow the rest of the Mia Maid class to take turns sharing what they love about being a Mia Maid, remembering to share events like attending dances and youth conference).
1. I like being a Mia Maid because ___________________________________________________
2. I like being a Mia Maid because ___________________________________________________
3. I like being a Mia Maid because ___________________________________________________
Laurel spokeswoman: (ages 16-17) "For centuries the laurel wreath has been a crown woven from the leaves of the laurel tree (Show the Laurel wreath). It is given to someone who finishes a significant achievement as a symbol of honor and accomplishment. Laurels today are finishing their preparation to make and keep sacred covenants and receive the ordinances of the temple." I love being a Laurel because _____________________________________________ (Allow each Laurel to share ideas like dating and preparing for missions, college, temple, marriage).
1. I like being a Laurel because____________________________________________________________
2. I like being a Laurel because ________________________________________________________
3. I like being a Laurel because ____________________________________________________________
Russelina: Wow, activities every week, Girl's Camp in the summer, and stuff like dances and youth conferences when I get older—that sounds fun! When do I start earning my badges?
Mrs. Fredrickson: You're not going to earn badges in Young Women's, but you will get lots of chances to accomplish goals through the Personal Progress program, right?
WE Leader: Absolutely. And we actually do have a few badges for you today; but first things first. I've got a copy of the Personal Progress book that will tell you everything you need to know—it's even better than the Wilderness Explorer's manual. Maybe we should have someone who's finished the program tell you a little about it.
Personal Progress spokeswoman: Personal Progress is an amazing program that helps us develop talents and skills, serve others, and draw closer to Heavenly Father. For each of the 8 YW values, we do several values experiences. Once we've finished those we can choose a project that we spend at least 10 hours doing in each area. Personal Progress has helped me grow by _________________________.
Russelina: You keep talking about the YW values, but I'm still not sure I understand what they are?
WE Leader : We'll have some of our girls read the scriptures and statements from the Personal Progress book about each of the values. These values just happen to correlate with some of the phrases from our youth scripture for the year, so we'll let them tell you how they work together for the same goal. And you're in luck, because we do have badges to help you remember them.
(Badges: As each value and the coordinating scripture phrase is presented, Mrs. Fredrickson could staple two paper badges to Russelina's ribbon sash (for example, the white badge labled 'Faith' and the white badge labeled 'A Perfect Brightness of Hope.") Repeat this process until all 8 values and phrases have been discussed—Russelina will have 8 rows of two badges on her sash).
Balloons: Have another girl or leader take the white balloon labeled 'Faith" and the white balloon labeled "A Perfect Brightness of Hope" and securely tie both to the gift bag, which should be weighted down with something that can be easily removed. Repeat until all 16 balloons are tied to the gift bag.
Maps: If desired, you can have another girl take the key words from one map and pair them with the corresponding words on the other map).
(Have each of the 8 girls assigned to talk about these values stand in a line before taking turns at the podium).
Faith (white): "Faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true (Alma 32:21). I am a daughter of Heavenly Father, who loves me. I have faith in His eternal plan, which centers on Jesus Christ, my Savior."
Having faith is like having "A Perfect Brightness of Hope' since both involve having confidence in something that we trust, expect, or believe. When my faith is centered on Jesus Christ I can have a perfect brightness of hope because I know my Savior will never let me down.
Divine Nature (blue): "Be partakers of the divine nature. ... Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity" (2 Peter 1:4–7). "I have inherited divine qualities, which I will strive to develop."
Recognizing my divine nature as a daughter of God increases my "Love of God" as I better understand my Heavenly Father and my own potential to become like Him.
Individual Worth (red): "Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God" (D&C 18:10).
"I am of infinite worth with my own divine mission, which I will strive to fulfill."
Knowing my individual worth helps me "Press Forward" at a constant and steady pace, and reminds me that I am capable of doing hard things.
Knowledge (Green): "Seek learning, even by study and also by faith" (D&C 88:118). "I will continually seek opportunities for learning and growth."
One of the very best ways I can seek for knowledge is by 'Feasting upon the Words of Christ," including the scriptures and the words of our modern day prophets and leaders. I don't want to just mindlessly read, but to truly savor the word of God and to draw strength from it each day.
Choice and Accountability (orange): "Choose you this day whom ye will serve; ... but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" (Joshua 24:15). "I will choose good over evil and will accept responsibility for my decisions."
Knowing that I am free to choose but am also accountable for my actions inspires me to 'Press Forward' in doing what my Savior would have me do.
Good Works (yellow): "Therefore let your light so shine before this people, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven" (3 Nephi 12:16). "I will help others and build the kingdom through righteous service."
Doing good works and service for others helps me remember to have a 'Love of All Men' as I look outside myself to make someone else's life better.
Integrity (purple): "Till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me" (Job 27:5). "I will have the moral courage to make my actions consistent with my knowledge of right and wrong."
Having integrity reminds me of having a "Steadfastness in Christ" since being steadfast means standing firm and not moving. Steadfastness in Christ means that I exercise unwavering faith in Him, even when it's difficult or unpopular.
Virtue (gold): "Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies" (Proverbs 31:10).
"I will prepare to enter the temple and remain pure and worthy. My thoughts and actions will be based on high moral standards."
Being virtuous is part of "Enduring to the End" as I prove to the Lord that I will always remember Him and keep His commandments. I can choose to be virtuous, and to be faithful and clean throughout my life.
Russelina: Great! So that means that while I do Personal Progress, I can assist the elderly!
Mrs. Fredrickson: (Rolling eyes and sighing). I guess so—if you must. In any case, Russelina, it looks like you're ready for an incredible adventure. You've got a great map to follow, and if you apply the Young Women's values and press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, you'll reach that destination.
Russelina: But what if I don't? I mean, I'm so excited to be part of Young Women's, but there's so much to learn!
Mrs. Fredrickson: Well we're not going to send you off on your own, without any help. (Opening the suitcase) Don't worry—there are plenty of resources to help you along the way. You've got things like the scriptures, church magazines, the Personal Progress book, and For the Strength of Youth pamphlet to help you remember your standards. You've also got your parents, your leaders, and all the YW in this room. Most importantly, you can always rely on our Savior Jesus Christ and on our Father in Heaven as you reach up and press forward. Let's get you started.
(Russelina removes the object from the bag, and she and Mrs. Fredrickson allow the balloons to lift the bag—holding onto the 'tether string' so the balloons don't get stuck on the ceiling).
All YW Sing "Press Forward"