Memories of a Former Beehive

My calling as a stake YW leader gives me the opportunity to attend some of the functions in the various wards of our stake. This time of year it is New Beginnings. This is a treat for me--I love to see the sweet young ladies as they participate in the program. And the very dedicated ward leaders who love them and guide them through their tender, formative years between childhood and womanhood. It reminds me of the wonderful leaders my daughters had/have and also the ones who were an influence in my life as I was growing up.

I turned 12 while we were living in Twin Falls, I had spent the year before that babysitting for the Mia Maid advisor (Sis. Rasmussen) each Wednesday as she went to Young Women. My Mother was the Laurel advisor and the two of them became good friends. I saw how much they loved the girls they served and all of the time and effort they put into their callings. I also really looked up to the older girls and couldn't wait to graduate from being a "Primary Child" to become one of them...a "Young Woman".

My first Beehive leader had beautiful, long hair--past her waist long. She was soft-spoken and sang alto so beautifully I would mouth the words so I could hear her voice when we sang. I was called to be the Beehive President and she began the foundation of my leadership training. I remember her guiding me to call a girl who attended sporadically and who was a little gruff, to be our secretary. I was skeptical about how she would function. She taught me that functionality wasn't the purpose. We visited this girl's home and invited her to Mutual activities and she gradually became more involved. This leader moved away and our new advisor was newly married and very enthusiastic. We had activities at her house. She pointed out things that were wedding gifts and told us about her temple marriage and showed us pictures. I was completely enthralled with all of it and looked forward to my own temple marriage someday.

We were part of a stake that covered several small towns around Twin Falls. One Saturday morning this leader drove us to one of the far-off ward buildings for a play try-out. The stake was putting on "A Bee in My Bonnet" a play about a young girl who learns to be kind and considerate when a bee shows up in her room and gives her advice. There were lots of girls from each ward there and they had us go up on stage and read a part so they could decide who would play which part in this production. I was very shy and my outgoing, enthusiastic leader encouraged us all to get up there and do our best.

There was some discussion among those in charge as we stood around waiting for the final word. Then they announced the parts. I got the lead. The look of shock on my Beehive Leader's face was priceless. I remember all the way home how she gushed and congratulated me and told me she couldn't believe it was me up there on that stage--her quiet Beehive girl. My little Beehive heart swelled with the encouragement from my beloved leader. I still remember the song I had to sing for the play:
"Good manners means, being thoughtful of others
Your Mom and Dad and your sisters and brothers..."

I carried the good wishes and good memories of my Beehive class in Idaho with me when we moved to Orem. My BFF, Kellie Shaffer was a fellow Beehive and we continued to write back and forth over the years. In Utah I finished out my Beehive year with a new leader and new friends. Moving was difficult but it was eased through the kindness of my new Beehive group. Two girls: Kristen Schaefer and Colleen Anderson, came to my house the day we were moving in and invited me to Young Women. They told me all about the school and where the bus stop was and provided me with essential information about the youth in our ward: which guys liked which girls. They picked me up for Young Women and walked with me to the church. They continued to be good friends through the years and subsequent family moves.

The Beehive experience is a beautiful "New Beginning". It's a testament to the inspiration behind the Young Women program. It is such a wonderful transition from little girl to young woman and it works because of the dedicated and fun and spiritually strong women who exemplify true womanhood for the girls. And the spirit of kindness and fun and friendship that dwells in every Beehive heart!


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