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South Jordan Journal

Kindness, gratitude central to Bonnie Cordon’s leadership in church’s young women’s organization

Aug 08, 2023 03:56PM ● By Collette Hayes

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Young Women General President Bonnie Cordon has traveled to six of the seven continents often meeting with government officials and other faith leaders to share common hopes of strengthening youth and building better communities. (Photo credit Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Young Women General President Bonnie Cordon and her counselors have served in leading one of the world’s largest young women’s organizations since 2018. Their goal as a general presidency has been to empower the youth to have eyes to see others as Christ sees them and to be a force for good in the world essential to the health and social development of families, communities and countries.

Cordon grew up in Idaho Falls and graduated from BYU with a bachelor of science in elementary education. Cordon worked in management in the software industry and eventually owned her own business. As a young adult, Cordon served as a missionary in Lisbon, Portugal. From 2010 to 2013, she served as a mission leader with her husband Derek in the Brazil Curitiba Mission. In March 2018, Cordon was called to serve as General Young Women’s President and, for the last five years, Cordon has served as a member of the Missionary Executive Council, the Church Education System Board of Education and BYU Broadcasting Board.  

Young women are vital and valued leaders in the Church according to Cordon. They lead out in their classes as they are called to serve in their class presidencies. Their influence is vast and their perspective is needed, she says.  

“You will never find youth more capable and willing to make a difference than the youth of today,” Cordon said. “We need them. We need to hear their insights and their voices. When we allow them to be part of the process to solve problems, our lives and our work will move forward with fresh ideas and energetic support. They seek this Jesus that is mighty to save. We have so much to learn from them.”

As youth are given opportunities to lead, their confidence and capabilities increase as they serve in the many programs the Church has for youth. Leadership and personal development opportunities prepare a young person to meet life’s challenges.

“As the Young Women General Presidency, our hearts, prayers and focus are centered on youth,” Cordon said. “The days are always full and joyful. As you would probably guess, that includes a lot of meetings about all the wonderful parts and pieces of the programs the Church has for youth: For the Strength of Youth conferences, annual Young Women camps, the Children and Youth program, the annual youth theme and seminary. It has been really exciting to work on the new For the Strength of Youth, a guide for making choices. Recently released content titled ‘Taking Charge of Technology’ includes video resources and a quick guide to help youth and parents to manage these incredible and inspired devices. Everything we do as a presidency is in an effort to help all come unto Christ.”

Having opportunities and assignments to travel the world has been a highlight of Cordon’s calling to serve youth globally. According to Cordon, she has traveled to six of the seven continents often meeting with government officials and other faith leaders to share common hopes of strengthening youth and building better communities. 

In a world filled with violence and contention, empowering youth to value kindness promotes empathy which can help guide how youth approach the rest of the world. Cordon emphasizes the importance of being aware and grateful when kindness is shown and how kindness can make a difference in a person’s life. 

“There is not just one moment but thousands of moments where one person after another has noticed, stepped in with kindness, and made a difference in my life,” Cordon said. “Each day there is someone doing something to lift me. My blessing and responsibility are to be aware and to be grateful. Just today, someone offered me water. It made a difference. Someone smiled as I was struggling with all my stuff—it warmed my heart. I hope I don’t miss the kindness of others.  Challenges and struggles are part of this mortal life. Navigating them is always better when we link arms and cheer each other on.”

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints new resource “Taking Charge of Technology” helps youth to develop responsible technology use. 

“The advent of technology has been a huge blessing in our lives,” Cordon said “We can connect in ways that blurs borders, crosses seas, and skips lengthy travel. Language is becoming less of a stumbling block in communication with technology and all its wonders. We need to take charge of our technology and not have technology imprison us in the hours of mindless and sometimes destructive use. We have a new resource that helps youth and all of us with principles of taking charge of our technology use. You can find it on the Gospel Library app under the youth title. It is called ‘Taking Charge of Technology.’ You will love it; it is simple and powerful.”

Cordon and her counselors Michelle D. Craig and Becky Craven were released from their calling as general young women’s presidency during the 193rd annual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on April 1. Effective Aug. 1, the new general young women’s presidency will take the helm to lead the young women in the Church. λ