The young women of the church should be invited to participate in visiting teaching, as junior partners, just as the young men participate in home teaching. I can think of several possible benefits:
1) The young women would be connected to more adult women. Kids tend to do better by most measures of achievement and mental health the more caring adults they have involved in their lives. It can’t hurt to have one more friendly face to say hello to at church.
2) These connections would ease the transition from YW to RS, which has been a major concern for many years.
3) Young women would get to see real-life versions of their possible future, instead of relying on crappy movies, sappy songs, and Hallmark ads (or, heaven forfend, Ensign articles about the joys of motherhood, travails of singlehood, and the neverending misadventures of Name Withheld).
4) Mothers of young children could use their visiting teaching connections to guilt-trip the YW into babysitting. (Just kidding)
5) Young women would have a chance to prepare visiting teaching messages, and might even learn the names of some of the auxiliary presidents quoted therein (because until the missionaries get in *much* better shape, it seems unlikely that names of RS presidents will ever be learned as rhythmic accompaniment to pushups in the hallowed gym of the MTC…). Teaching in an intimate setting like visiting teaching requires a particular skill set, not easily acquired in the rest of the YW program or any other forum I can think of, and these skills are really important for missionaries. It’s also a chance for young women to find their voices, their own way of expressing spiritual impressions and thoughts in a slightly less scary and/or potentially emotionally coercive atmosphere than, say, testimony meeting at Youth Conference or Girls’ Camp.
6) Having a visiting teaching partner could either give a daughter a chance to see her mother in a new role (if she’s paired with her mother), or a chance to hear and discuss gospel principles which she would be shy or unwilling to discuss with her mother (if she works with another woman in the ward).
I can think of a few potential pitfalls, as well, mostly logistical–YW Presidents tend to be massively busy and stressed anyway, as do RS presidents, and adding another layer of coordination to their schedules might be nightmarish. Young women could have bad experiences if their partners or teachees weren’t carefully chosen. It could be just one more obligation for “good” girls to feel burdened by, and one more opportunity for “bad” girls to rebel (and/or secretly feel guilty and inadequate about).
On the whole, though, I think it would be a net gain for the church and for the young women involved. What do you think?