2024 Church History Symposium

2024 Church History Symposium

“Shall the Youth of Zion Falter?”

The Young Women?and Young Men Organizations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The Department of Church History and Doctrine at BYU and the Church History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announce the Church History Symposium, October 24–25, 2024. The symposium will convene at Brigham Young University (October 24) and at the Church History Library in Salt Lake City (October 25). Keynote speakers include Young Women General President Emily Freeman, and Young Men General President Steven J. Lund, and Dr. Monica Mercado, Professor of Women’s Studies and North American Religions at Colgate University. 


We invite scholars of varied backgrounds and career stages to submit proposals addressing the broad theme of “The Young Women and Young Men Organizations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” Topics that could be explored under this theme include, but are not exclusive to, the following:  


  • Early Latter-day Saint youth programs in Nauvoo
  • Founding stories of the Young Women and Young Men organizations in Utah
  • Institutional and administrative history of the Young Men and Young Women organizations
  • Evolution in youth programs, names, ages, values, mottos, slogans, logos, themes
  • Material culture of Latter-day Saint youth 
  • Youth curriculum, magazines, manuals, and handbooks
  • For the Strength of Youth pamphlet
  • Youth modesty standards, such as music, dancing, and dress and grooming
  • Latter-day Saint youth and religious practice
  • Young Women camp (formerly girls’ camp)
  • Boy Scouts of America
  • Youth conferences, pioneer trek, Especially for Youth, and For the Strength of Youth
  • Relationship between Young Men and Aaronic Priesthood
  • Relationship between Young Women and Relief Society
  • Youth and the global Church
  • Public perceptions of Latter-day Saint youth
  • Latter-day Saint youth in comparative context 
  • Sermons by Church leaders on “the rising generation”
  • Latter-day Saint youth and Church responses to countercultural movements
  • Young Women representation at the National Women’s Council at the New York World’s Fair


Proposals should consist of a brief abstract (no more than 500 words) and a current one-page CV. Proposals may be sent to [email protected] 


Deadline for submission is January 13, 2024. Notification of acceptance will be given by February 1, 2024. Selected papers will be published by the BYU Religious Studies Center and Deseret Book following the symposium. 




Mary Jane Woodger

Professor, Church History and Doctrine, BYU


Amber Cecile Taylor

Managing Historian, Church History Department


Justin Bray

Historian, Church History Department


Steven Hepworth

Manager Public Services, Church History Department


Maclane Heward

Assistant Professor, Church History and Doctrine, BYU


Devan Jensen

Executive Editor, Religious Studies Center