Note: Names have been changed to protect privacy.
When I entered the chapel on Sunday just at the start of Sacrament meeting, I noticed that all four members of the Young Women’s Presidency were seated on the stand. Seated next to them was the smiling face of a young woman who had just completed the last of her Personal Progress requirements and would therefore be receiving her Young Womanhood Recognition Medallion. After the meeting started and the rest of the ward business had been taken care of by a counselor in the bishopric, our Bishop stood up and took a few moments to explain the long and difficult process of earning the medallion.
In addition to giving this stellar young woman the microphone to bear her own testimony and praising her accomplishments, the Bishop recognized the help of the Young Women leadership, the parents, and others who had assisted her along the way. Then the Bishop made an another announcement: he motioned to two other people sitting on the stand–it is almost beyond me how I could have failed to notice them before: Emily–a young, wheelchair-bound woman with severe physical and mental disabilities–and her mother.
My Bishop explained that, some time ago, the young women in our ward had approached him and asked about the possibility of earning “another” medallion on behalf of someone who could not earn it herself–Emily. He then explained further that, with the help of Emily’s family, the young women in the ward all combined to accomplish each of the requirements twice: once for themselves, and once for Emily (I.e., two different projects, read the BoM twice, etc…).
As the Bishop congratulated Emily on receiving her Young Womanhood Recognition Medallion, and as Emily’s mother told the ward family that she and her husband had never dreamed that Emily would have such an opportunity, and as she spoke of the time, effort, and love willingly given by the young women to read and work and serve with, and on behalf of, her daughter, there was not a dry eye in the chapel.