In the Saturday Afternoon session of the October General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles announced the discontinuation of Young Men presidencies at the ward level. The move is an effort to let Young Men handle their own quorums and affairs with the support of the bishopric.

Elder Cook stressed the importance of bishops delegating responsibilities in recent years, but noted that bishops cannot delegate their responsibility toward the youth.

In remarks preceding Elder Cook, President Russell M. Nelson explained that changes to Young Women programs will be explained during the General Women’s Meeting. However, Elder Cook stated that ward Young Women presidents, not adult presidency leaders, will directly report to the bishop, not to a counselor.

Ward mutual will also be discontinued and changed into “Aaronic Priesthood Activities” and “Young Women Activities.” Elder Cook also noted that budgets for Young Men and Women will be the same, based on the number of members of a quorum or class.

The changes mark the third and final move to upgrade the Church’s youth programs, said Cook. The first step was home-centered church, followed by the forthcoming Children and Youth program. These organizational changes bring everything full circle.

Elder Cook also mentioned that we will start using the term organizations to refer to the various groups of our wards and branches, and we should stop using the term auxiliaries.

The march toward autonomy and not using Church apparatus as a crutch continues. We’ll update the article with additional information as it comes out.