Young Women Values: Not Princesses & Not for the Faint of Heart Personal Progress Cards

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I never went to Young Women; by the time I was baptized, I was already married and had a baby on my hip. I kind of missed the boat for memorizing the themes, though I do recall attending a few youth dances as a teen with my neighbors. The first time we had a combined Relief Society & Young Women meeting after I was baptized, I was completely weirded out by the standing and the reciting. Twelve years later, it’s totally norma…nope. Sorry. Still totally weird.

As my two daughters inch towards the transition to Young Women, I’ve started to pay a little more attention to what’s happening down the hallway. There are tremendously good and faithful leaders giving it their all— I’ve seen it in my wards and I’ve seen it in the online community. But as in all things, there must be opposition. Pinterest is a good place to find both— and I went down the YW rabbit hole the other day. It was startling to find an overabundance of cute materials comparing my daughters to princesses, and my sons to future princes. Those princes would surely be expected to rescue their furture brides, blowing right though the smoke screen of Happily-Ever-After only to smack right into the wall of Hello-this-is-Reality!

Since the temple is not actually the center of a Mormon themepark, and since my teenage son is wearing a shirt that says “This is what a feminst looks like” and since my daugher fantasizes about her PhD in STEM fields, selling my family on princess songs as guidposts for a life wasn’t going to go over well. While I may be getting in a few passing digs at a cultural expression that is not entirely without worth, (princesses are nice, and the major animation outlets have been certainly making strides in portraying characters, especially their princesses, as more fully fleshed out characters) I decided to be proactive instead of just griping.

The Young Women theme (the chanting part not withstanding) is not for the faint of heart- these are powerful words with even more powerful ideals behind them— ideals the girls write on their hearts and live with their actions and intellect. Living these ideals would foster many virtues, not the least of which are respect, esteem and strength. These young women are so capable.

WE ARE DAUGHTERS of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love Him. We will stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places” (Mosiah 18:9) as we strive to live the Young Women values, which are:
Faith • Divine Nature • Individual Worth • Knowledge • Choice and Accountability • Good Works • Integrity • and Virtue

We believe as we come to accept and act upon these values, we will be prepared to strengthen home and family, make and keep sacred covenants, receive the ordinances of the temple, and enjoy the blessings of exaltation.

Given this, I cannot imagine sitting around waiting for a prince to take them to the castle is what God has in mind for these daughters. I know it’s not what he had in mind for me… and I hope the path for my daughters is one of service, empowerment and fullness.

So I made some cards. There are two cards for each value, depicting a real woman with a quote to support that value.  These Young Women Personal progress cards might be a nice addition to the support already available— at least if you’re like me and think nice isn’t the only pathway to heaven.


















Download the PDF here.


  1. it's a series of tubes says:

    These are wonderful. Making copies now for my daughter about to enter YW.

  2. Fantastic!!! This post needs 100 “like” buttons.

  3. lmzbooklvr says:

    Going to print these out for my girls. Thank you so much for sharing!!!

  4. Tracy, thanks so much for these thoughts. I’m a current YW president and we’ve scrupulously avoided the “princess” idea during my time in the calling, focusing instead on developing a relationship with Christ and strengthening the girls’ personal identity, confidence in themselves, agency, and ability to act.

    I love what you’ve done with these cards to highlight remarkable women and their thoughts on the values. Do you have ones for Integrity as well?

  5. love!

  6. Emig- yes! I didn’t realize I hadn’t attached them. They’re up now. Thanks for pointing that out.

  7. WI_Member says:

    Wouldn’t it be great if the theme were changed to say “we are daughters of our Heavenly Parents…and we love them”?

  8. WI_Member says:

    Grrrrr…..was changed, not were changed. Double grrrrrr.

  9. These are excellent. I do wish they hadn’t coopted virtue as a narrow euphemism for chastity, when the scriptural usages are both broader and more powerful. The “virtuous” wife of Proverbs 31, for example, is assertive, decisive, controls her own finances and makes business decisions, provides for her family, among other things. Her “virtue” (Heb. ḥayil) is a word summarizing all those things that follow in the passage, and means something like “able/capable/competent/powerful” (either physically or in terms of moral/quality of character, dependent on context.) Ruth is described using this term.

  10. Yeah, Ben- I tried to pull quotes about virtue that were far from anything having to do with virginity.

  11. This was clearly a lot of work, Tracy. Job well done.

  12. These are beautiful.

  13. Great cards, Tracy.

    And, WI_Member: we all know that the subjunctive is nearly dead, but there are those of us who love it. “[W]ere changed” is perfect–no reason to be sorry for that.

  14. WI_member says, Wouldn’t it be great if the theme were changed . . . and then corrects herself, Grrrrr…..was changed, not were changed.

    Nope, you were right the first time. Kudos on the correct usage of the present subjunctive in English, a dying art but one which imparts an exquisite, subtle uncertainty to your statement. :)

  15. Tracy, this is an amazing service for LDS young women and their leaders. Thank you for taking the time to do this! This post needs a “gushing love” button. :)

  16. Mark B., great minds, etc. :)

  17. Gladiolas says:

    Excellent quotes to go along with the values! Thanks for doing this!

  18. melodynew says:

    HEY, SALT LAKE CITY! Are you listening? (Wow, Tracy, this is beautiful. Thank you.)

  19. As a father of four daughters, Tracy, I can only say: thank you.

  20. @melodynew–ditto. big fat ditto.
    I LOVE these cards!

  21. Well-said. Please, SALT LAKE CITY, listen!

  22. *commencing to flood Pinterest with these!*

    Thank you for creating a beautiful and appropriate alternative to the “happily ever after” paradigm. I can’t wait to share these!

  23. I wish that these had existed when I was a YW. The embody perfectly the ideas I tried to teach during my 7 years of YW service as an adult. Thank you.

  24. Tracy, this is important work! Thank you.

  25. This brought tears to my eyes. I want to print these all out and make something for my almost-12 year old daughter. I’ve said you change culture by making new culture. Thank you Tracy for making new culture we can be proud of.

  26. Lets Pinterest these babies. Genius. My thousand thanks to you.

  27. Rechabite says:

    Absolutely magnificent, Tracy. Brava!

    One note: The quote you have attributed to Eliza R. Snow was actually said by Lucy Mack Smith. (“We must cherish one another…”.) It’s recorded in the minutes of the second-ever Relief Society meeting in Nauvoo, March 24, 1842.

  28. Absolutely amazing. I can’t even find the words to express how much I wish someone had done something like this when I was in young women’s 25 years ago. How powerful.

  29. Tracy, I love that the women you chose are both LDS and not LDS. I love that there are women of color. I love that there are old and young. I love that you’ve captured some of the power and possibility that comes with being a strong and capable woman.

  30. If I pinterested, I would pinterest these. Instead, I will link and share them everywhere I can!

  31. Thank you! Even though I was born & raised in the church I’ve always felt an aversion to standing and reciting the theme in unison. It feels so… brain-washy or programming — something opposite from agency, whatever it is.

  32. Love these. Thank you.

  33. Jenni Lee says:

    I LOVE these cards. You have chosen wonderful quotes that have helped me so much today. I was a bit disappointed to see Oprah pictured and quoted, however. She is a wonderful humanitarian and person in general, but I would not classify her as a righteous woman and would not want my daughters to emulate her. Thank you so much for the others though!

  34. These are fantastic. And THANK YOU for illustrating that Virtue isn’t a synonym for virginity.

  35. Thomas Parkin says:

    Thanks for sharing these, Tracy. I found reading them a transforming experience, since, of course, they apply to old men as much as to young women.

  36. To Jenni Lee’s point:

    It would be nearly impossible to find an array of women this broad without including one that some person or another might object to. It’s important to teach our young folks that it’s possible to appreciate the words of someone we might not entirely agree with.

    Tracy: so much awesomeness here I’m getting a bit choked up.

  37. These. Are. Awesome. Thank you so much, Tracy.

  38. Aaron Brown says:

    So great, Tracy.

  39. LOVE THESE! One of my favorite things about them is that there are several quotes from those not of the Mormon faith. Finally! Hey SLC, you can be an incredible inspiration without being Mormon!

  40. Anarene Holt Yim says:

    Amazing. Beautiful work. Thank you.

  41. Florida Amy says:

    So there is a lot about this post I love. There are a couple things I am still thinking about. First, why do people keep saying “Are you listening Salt Lake?” What is Salt Lake supposed to listen to? “Salt Lake” is not putting out princess stuff. We are. Secondly, I love the concept of real women. However, I just don’t know if I am okay with putting political figures or Oprah on there. I am not anti-Oprah….just don’t know if she’s real in a lot of ways either. It’s a bit gray. Maybe it’s not a bad idea, I think I just need to let it percolate in my brain for a few days.

    Secondly, I am not from Utah nor have I ever lived there. But when I visit for a few weeks and go to church, that’s when I see Holy Handout land with cutesy princess stuff. I don’t see it where I live, and as Stake Camp Director I sure as heck am not printing it out. And I want to say I am not anti-princess either. Let a girl have a Frozen moment and then a Maya Angelou moment. Balance. Remember these girls start out as little 12 year olds in the beginning. It’s a journey.

    But I did appreciate your post. Lots of good stuff to think about and I like the direction you’re heading. Thanks for your words, I appreciate them.

  42. Rechabite, thanks for the head’s-up. I changed it to a Belle Spafford quote. :)

  43. I think Blair’s point above is important- While I may not personally subscribe the ideology of everyone, I can still appreciate their words and intent, where I discern goodness. That is, after all, what we’re supposed to do. I thought carefully about each quote, and I know they would be different if someone else made them. That’s okay too!

  44. Jenni Lee says:

    Thank you though. These are beautiful!

  45. Reader Rachel says:

    I love these, Tracy! Thank you so much.

  46. I too hate the stand & recite thing. Then again, the YW theme and values didn’t exist until I had graduated from YW, so this whole recitation thing is unfamiliar to me. In general, I’m not a fan of group recitation.

  47. There are enough men who we quote — even in scripture — who lack a perfect history, that we should be completely okay with quoting women who aren’t perfect, either.

  48. Wonderful idea. Brilliant execution. I wonder if the push to princessing stems from a desire to protect daughters from things their mothers had to go though. Not exactly healthy for anyone.

    I’m a little iffy on the Mary Wollstonecraft quote. Virtue should not depend on someone else being equal, especially not here. I want my daughter (and sons) to work on her own virtues, not be worried about how they are in relation to others.

    Also, are there no good quotes from Jane Manning? It’d at least be a good way to get conversations started about women and blacks in the early Church.

  49. This is clearly not an exhaustive list, and I will likely be compiling another in the future. Also, a PDF is coming posthaste for downloading and printing.

  50. These are amazing Tracy. For the next round, can we do Joni Mitchell, Joan Jett, Heart, and maybe Nicki Minaj? (You know, for the kids!)

  51. I love these. I am the first counselor in YW right now and I love what you wrote and the cards, too.

  52. Years ago I wrote a play for our young women. At the time there were seven values and we had seven girls represent the stories of different women from the scriptures. No pink, thank you very much, but their costumes were value-color based and the effect was very cool. We also had delightful racial variety in that ward. Mary Fielding Smith for faith. Mary (mother of Jesus) for Divine Nature. Jane Manning James for Individual Worth. Eliza Snow for Knowledge (who quoted from her song to give a plug to Heavenly Mother). Eve for Choice and Accountability. Emma Smith for Good Works. Esther (in resplendent, queenly, deep purple and gold) for Integrity. It was so much fun to put together and for the girls to participate in. The girls were lovely and powerful.

    As for the recitation . . . I like it a lot. Almost like a rosary? I don’t know. I think ritualistic types of worship can have a really powerful place in helping us remember and really helping principles of the gospel becoming a part of us. A lot of our ordinances involve this kind of repetitious ritual.

  53. Florida Amy’s point–

    “Salt Lake” is not putting out princess stuff. We are.

    –is absolutely accurate. I am quite willing (probably too willing) to fault the corporate structure of the present-day church bureaucracy for many things, but American Mormon kitschiness is not one of them. That one falls on us, the members. (Which is why it’s perfectly appropriate to celebrate members like Tracy who do something about it!)

  54. Gushing love button is right!! I love these cards!! As the YWP in my ward, I wil put these cards to good use! Our #1 goal of 2015 is: We can do hard things. So we are reaching for the stars, pushing ourselves physically and spiritually. These cards are the perfect motivation. Thank you!

  55. I just read through Jane Manning James’s biography twice, Frank. It’s definitely worth reading in its entirety, but her thoughts tend to be too extended to fit into a small space like these cards except perhaps for the following two thoughts from the last paragraphs:

    “…the Lord was with us and gave us grace and faith to stand…”

    “I want to say right here that my faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is as strong today—nay it is if possible stronger—than it was the day I was first baptized.”

    Those might both be more testimony and mean more in the context of her experience than prescriptive and inspirational like the thoughts Tracy chose, so her words might have more meaning in a setting like the one scienceteachermommy mentioned.

  56. “Virtue can only flourish among equals”
    If virtue is measured in part by how we interact with others, it would be lacking when we see others as greater or lesser than ourselves. I think it’s incompatible to say I’m a virtuous person if treat someone else as sub-human.

  57. I like all of these except the Oprah card. I believe Oprah is a counterfeit role model. She has certainly said and done admirable things, but these do not outweigh, for me, some of her outspoken statements contrary to my principles- for example when she said that marriage is not necessary and our society has moved beyond it, I felt this was a direct message in opposition to The Family: A Proclamation to the World. That is just my opinion, I am sure some would disagree.

  58. What a gift, Tracy!! I too will flood the pinterest with it all. Thank you!

  59. SPOT ON Tracy! This is wonderful, a way to show our girls how to become real women, not just giggly girls flitting around in fairy tales.

  60. These are so wonderful and useful! Thanks Tracy!

  61. So do you Also have a problem with the fact that we will become queens in the next life also? Or do you only disagree with some of the doctrine of the church? It goes both ways for men also you know. We need each other, we work TOGETHER and we help each other achieve exhalation. Most of your cards do a good Job of highlighting these great values with great women, but your article beforehand is ridiculous. I’m sorry that you feel unimportant because you are truly amazing and it is hard to be a mom and raise children and take care of a family and work, and clearly you are doing that, but this whole feminist crap about trying to be equal when what is really happening is comparing or should we say coveting what men have or how they are treated is really from the world and satan. Who said being a princess means you need a man to rescue you? It is all how you interpret it.

  62. Thank you, Tracy! I’m thrilled about this! And of course we don’t have to entirely agree with a person’s life to appreciate his or her wisdom and contributions; for me that’s half the value of learning church history. Speaking of wisdom, there’s a lot of wisdom in this entire project. Thank you!

  63. I love these! Can you make a printable link for the cards? I want to pass some out!

  64. Yes, we’ve created a PDF for printables, we’re just figuring out how to post it. Check back- I promise!

  65. Thanks for this, Tracy!

    Stewette, I’m not sure what you object to in Tracy’s post, but I’m pretty sure you’re imagining whatever you object to. Tracy isn’t objecting to anything doctrinal, or even to any church policy. For that matter, she’s not objecting to cutesy Disnified cards. She is, though, providing an alternate series of role model and aspirations we can give to our girls. Frankly, I prefer the inspiration that comes from living in this messy world.

    And with that: I’ll confess that I’ve never really fallen within the demographic that Oprah aims for. But the idea that we can’t glean wisdom from an imperfect person really, really limits those from whom we can learn. As in, it cuts out essentially all potential role models other than Jesus. The good news is, even flawed and imperfect people can provide us with wisdom and guidance as we return to our heavenly home. And Tracy has done a great job finding and presenting some of that wisdom as a Midrash on the YW theme.

  66. Stewette, thank you for pointing out that there is nothing in the world hotter than achieving exhalation with a man. TOGETHER.

  67. Prudence McPrude says:

    I wish to join the chorus of complaints about Oprah Winfrey being held up as a roll model for our young women. I understand the point that nobody’s perfect. But Oprah’s moral imperfections aren’t the problem, per se. It’s that Oprah is imperfect AND black. Why should I expose my daughters to (admittedly) wise advice if it’s uttered by someone whom my daughters can never aspire to be, racially? I believe that our Heavenly Father made us the colors we are for a reason, and I see no reason to second-guess his racial classification scheme. We don’t know what His reasons are, but this doesn’t mean He doesn’t have them. Surely there are other women worth quoting, other than those who engage in morally questionable behavior AND who don’t sport a fair complexion.

    I notice there are other black women represented here. This also makes me a tad uncomfortable, but I’m not aware of any unresolved sins committed by Bell Hooks or Maya Angelou, so I don’t have any strong objections to their inclusion.

    Again, like I said, I add my voice to others in this thread who are troubled by the same things I am.

  68. That took my breath away, Karen H.

  69. Thanks for this post! It really resonates with me, and I like the cards.

  70. I’m reminded of the fact we are counseled by scripture to seek wisdom and knowledge out of the best books. We have several institutions of higher learning dedicated to that premise. I consider the Winfrey quote to be “praiseworthy and of good report” – something we are commanded to seek after. The fact this quote comes from a source I don’t particularly care for does not diminish the truthfulness of the statement.

  71. It might not be Salt Lake’s fault that YW has gone princessy; however, I think that when they are told to follow the prophets all the time, when most of what they hear at church and in conference comes from men, when they see men’s pictures on the walls, they’re probably starving for female role models. They’re also told they aren’t supposed to be like women “of the world”, so no one’s encouraging them to look up to, say, Hillary Clinton or Condoleeza Rice or Alicia Keys. I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch that their leaders and even the girls themselves turn to fictional women who embody so many unattainable ideals as their role models.

    We have plenty of women worthy of emulation in our own church, and yet, we can’t even order photos of female church leaders from distribution online. I haven’t been in many Young Women’s rooms in our church buildings, so I could be wrong on this one, but I would be very surprised if those rooms contained photos of general YW leaders or portraits of female figures in church history. We need more of this type of thing from Salt Lake (meaning photos and art and quotes from women), so that Young Women in the church can look up to women who possess the virtues that they are supposed to be seeking.

  72. For anyone asking, the PDF link is now available for download. Link is at the bottom of the post after the cards.

  73. Prudence McPrude says:

    “So do you Also have a problem with the fact that we will become queens in the next life also?”

    Stewette, for the record, NO ONE is going to become a “queen” in the next life. On the contrary, we know that those who suffer from same-sex attraction will be cured of their disorder and will be able to partake of the normal, heterosexual coupling that leads to exaltation. (Provided they live worthily here). I, for one, am SICK and TIRED of those who would pervert the ways of the Lord by teaching false doctrines about the afterlife, and I must ask you to stop sowing confusion and to repent. Jesus will touch your heart with the Spirit of Truth, if only you’ll let Him.

  74. KK, those are interesting considerations- there could be something to it. Actually, it makes me want to continue and make more these cards, maybe with more youthful and contemporary quotes, (for the kids, as Kyle M said) as well as a some good old historical ones.

  75. ctr1linda says:

    These cards for young women can be useful for mature (old) women as well.

  76. I love these, but please can the Faith ones be edited to read Heavenly Parents rather than Heavenly Father? We have a Heavenly Mother too.

  77. Desirae Olsen says:

    These are AMAZING! As a counsellor in the Young Women’s Program, as well as a mother of one of the young women, I am very excited to have come across these! Thank you for your interest and creativity!

  78. I absolutely love this. Thank you

  79. Hey, Tracy, while I have your ear, I miss regular posts on Dandelion Mamma. Just saying.

  80. Thank you for sharing these! I can only hope there will be another round in the future. This actually inspires me to get my own list going……

  81. Love these Tracy M! As a father of a 6 year old daughter I sometimes worry about what and how things will be taught when she enters YW. I never want her to feel less than or that she can’t accomplish anything she wants in life because she’s female. I love the diversity in the women you chose, all women we can look up to.

    btw… For all the anti-Oprahites, I’ve met her and she was nothing but nice and gracious… Just sayin’…

  82. My first thought, after a gigantic Amen, was ‘why couldn’t my daughters have had more of this from their YW experience?’ and then I thought ‘why couldn’t I have had more of this when I was in Mutual?’ And then I had the same impulse many others here have expressed, it’s not too late to learn from this uncommon (at church) wisdom. I felt a few thrills of inspiration too as I read through the quotes.

    I think your daughters will benefit a great deal more from YW because you are paying attention and will help her improve on what she is taught, and navigate any rough patches.

    Last thought: BCC has some awesome commenters.

  83. Brilliant! Impressive! Love Mother Theresa, love Chieko Okazaki, love Anne Frank. Admire the others. Oprah Winfrey?
    Thank you for sharing this.
    Years ago my Visiting Teacher was the YW President of our ward. She never had the YW stand and recite whatever it is they recite. She made sure the girls were exposed to different things, and she had so many good activities that did not always focus on traditional female roles. She was a great YW President.

    If people in YW use these cards done by Tracy M I truly hope the girls will really read them and consider what the cards say and take it to heart. Where I live there are so many young women (and young men too) who have troubled home lives and therefore have troubles in general. Even though I live In a town that is about 45% LDS, the LDS community as a whole is not a strong community.

  84. As cheesy and programming as group recitation is, it actually has some really important advantages.

    I have been reading books such as _Girls Will Be Girls_ and _Reviving Ophelia_ and attending seminars on raising girls at the Laurel school for girls in preparation for my own daughters approaching adolescence. Something that has been a common theme in everything I have read and attended has been that girls with a strong sense of personal and group identity tend to navigate the troubled waters of adolescence with more confidence. To that end, the recitations are an effective tool for establishing a group identity. (And as a Boy Scout leader, I have also seen how it benefits adolescent boys)

    Adolescence is a period of impossibly competing demands where both programming and deprogramming are necessary. These cards are a good addition to the resources that may help balance those needs.

  85. Also joined the church as an adult, but did memorize and come to love the YW theme when I was later called as a counselor in the YW presidency. I don’t think it’s any creepier than say, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. But most of the girls understand what they are reciting, whereas with the Pledge of Allegiance… maybe not so much.

    I find it inspiring. I think that our girls are exposed to so many messages that their worth depends on their social media following or their sex appeal, that the act of physically saying the words repeatedly “We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us and we love him” helps the message sink in that they DO have value in and of themselves.

    Maybe it’s a little weird to someone who’s never seen it before to see a dozen girls stand and recite the YW theme, but I’ll take that if it helps teenagers internalize the message that they have worth and are loved.

  86. @ Bejamin

    Another good book for you on a similar topic is So Sexy, So Soon.

  87. So on the recitation thing. I was in YW as a YW when it was introduced, and I hated it. Still can’t do it, even when a YW leader. Just find it soooo toe-curling.

    Love the cards though, and will add my thanks for your use of the broader definition of virtue, though as my daughter frequently complains & mutters – why did they add virtue, all the other values are virtues, it doesn’t make sense. If they meant chastity, they shouldn’t be so squeamish about it!

  88. These are really nice, even the Oprah one. I think they would be even nicer if they could be used as an inspiration for YW (and maybe older women too) to make their own cards with pictures and quotes from people they know instead of LDS and non-LDS celebrities. I’d love a set of cards featuring some of the feisty ladies from the wards I’ve been in and my extended family and co-workers. I wish I’d thought to do something like this many years ago. Hm, perhaps I see a combined Relief Society-Young Women activity in my future. I’m going to call up my Enrichment Counselor right now.

  89. Avery Webb says:

    I am currently attending BYU-I majoring in Software Engineering. I am so glad that I had parents and leaders who all understood my divine potential and taught me that I could do whatever I wanted, not just be a princess waiting to be saved. I love these quotes and handouts!

  90. I like these cards, but I disagree with the negative view on the princess comparison. I love princesses. And I believe that they are a perfect metaphor for our role in the kingdom of God- and I think that the fact that the Lord Himself calls it a kingdom and Jesus Christ the Prince of Peace that we should honor that comparison.

    Yes, Disney princesses are a little froofy and it does seem that their main goal in the end is to get their prince. But I believe they embody quite a few Christlike virtues as well- Cinderella was patient in her suffering and showed love to the downtrodden. Belle was intelligent, headstrong, and loved the unloveable. Mulan was brave, and chose a difficult path to protect the ones she loved. Pocahontas cared deeply about her heritage but also realized the value of human life trumped centuries of tradition, and acted as a peacemaker. Elsa is a great example of overcoming personal weaknesses and facing adversity; Ana demonstrated pure love and courage in seeking out her sister even when she was at her worst.

    I think real life princesses are great examples as well- I don’t think I’ve ever known of a princess in history who sat around eating bon-bons all day. They are tireless humanitarians and intelligent, confident, well-spoken leaders. They wear a mantle of authority and they must be an example of the crown they wear in word and deed.

    I think we should embrace the princess metaphor but emphasize those royal qualities that define what a princess really is- NOT just the pretty dresses and castles (though I do love me some pretty dresses and castles).

    Okay, getting off my soapbox now. I just wish people would quit knocking princesses. Princesses rule (literally).

  91. I like Oprah. I like these quotes. Way to be a proactive problem solver and awesome.

  92. Kasey, did you read this part?

    //While I may be getting in a few passing digs at a cultural expression that is not entirely without worth, (princesses are nice, and the major animation outlets have been certainly making strides in portraying characters, especially their princesses, as more fully fleshed out characters) I decided to be proactive instead of just griping.//

    That’s actually praise from me. Nowhere do I even insinuate a dismissal of actual royalty and the societal roles they play. What I dismiss are unattainable illusory sky-castles that have little to do with being a daughter of God.

  93. This is amazing. Thank you.

  94. Consider these pinned! Also, I LOVE the idea to change “Heavenly Father” to “Heavenly Parents” in the YW theme.

  95. I love these, what a beautiful idea!

    There are two pictures for each value, if you don’t care for one quote (or the person quoted), use the other one.

  96. I love these. This would be a great project/activity for YW… perhaps in preparation for New Beginnings or YW in Excellence. We could share the card presented here as examples and then have each YW make one of her own–using her own ideal role model of that value.

  97. LOVE! Thank you! I didn’t see it mentioned (and I started to skim the comments so I apologize if it was brought up earlier): There is a typo in one of the knowledge quotes. (Just a space is missing.) Since you have gone to so much work (These are amazing!!) and so many people want to print them, I thought you’d want to know. I, too, questioned virtue until I looked into it. It’s POWERFUL! I love the quote by Joan of Arc, “One life is all we have and we live it as we believe in living it. But to sacrifice what you are and to live without belief, that is a fate more terrible than dying.” (I can see that quote on one of your cards some day.) What I love about this is just the whole idea of having EACH girl come up with the quote and the person that means the most to them! LOVE LOVE LOVE!! Thank you for sharing!!

  98. First and foremost, I love this idea! I love the quotes from all types of women…mormon or not. Religious or not. I think it’s great! I do have one innocent question to ask as clarification…why is it a problem to associate the new value Virtue with chastity? I realize the word virtue has many meanings and encompasses many traits…one big one being chastity. This is why it makes sense to me that they chose to associate Virtue with chastity specifically. It is certainly necessary to be reminded of the importance of sexual purity since it is losing more value in the world today. I may be wrong, which is why I would like to understand more clearly the deliberate avoidance. Thank you again for taking the time to create such a beautiful message! and for answering my question.

  99. concerned says:

    I avoid the princess junk like the plague and am always in favor of giving our YW real role models, so naturally I love this idea. However if I could change one thing it would be to remove the website from the bottom or provide a printable option without it at least. As a YW leader that is what will keep me from giving these to my girls. Teens are exposed to a lot these days and I don’t presume to treat them as naive, but the fact is that many of them still have young testimonies that are not yet equipped to withstand some of the discussions that happen on sites like this. Should we avoid having the deep discussions with them? No. But should we be handing out material in church that advocates without reservation a site focused on controversial church issues? Again, no. They need to have these discussions with adults they trust, in person. Not sent off to explore on their own under the assumption that their leaders support anything they find here.

  100. I sincerely hope my daughter gets young women’s leaders as great as you.

  101. Concerned, it’s on there so that people don’t steal it. Let me know if you have a different idea. I agree that no one should ever read this site.

  102. These are wonderful!

  103. @Tracy M- I did read that part and I appreciated the “not entirely without worth” part, it was the “passing digs” and the “griping” that I was addressing. Just sharing my point of view on the idea of princesses as a cultural expression, since it was brought up.

  104. Father of Two Amazing Daughters (and 3 Incredible Boys) says:

    As the father of a daughter still years from YW *and* a wonderful daughter currently in YW, but who is struggling with the orthodoxy of the program (which is getting better with a change in YW leadership), on top of being wonderfully more liberal than the rest of her peers, these cards and the women on them are a breath of fresh air. Love, love, love, them!!!!

  105. WI_Member says:

    @ST – If we mean chastity, then let’s just say chastity. I’m so tired of all the dancing around we do with our language. Why can’t we just say what we mean?

  106. I think there is value in standing and reciting(chanting) the YW theme. It helps internalize the ideas it contains and can help bring a group together. I can also see how it can be creepy, especially when it is done half heartedly and murmured.

    I like having ideas and quotes put together for me because it makes it so easy but what I really wonder here is why so many people act like YW is the beginning and end? YW is help to parents and families but it isn’t the be all end all. We have a duty to teach our children and we can all open our mouths and tell our children that fairy tales are great but there are real life people who are great heroes and great ways to live our lives.

    And why is everyone screaming at SLC? If you want a change be the change. So many people act as if they are victims of “the church” or the culture.

  107. Which is exactly why I made these and wrote this post. I said I wasn’t going to gripe- I decided instead to be proactive, and I’m so glad I did. I also didn’t complain on the woman’s website who made the princess cards I found so vapid- Instead of criticizing her, or even linking to her as an example of something I found lacking substantive merit- I simply walked away and opted to be constructive in my own yard.

    I put the watermark on the, as Steve said, to protect our property, not in an effort to corrupt youth. (Though truthfully, my kids live with me— a feminist and a writer here— and we talk about things like this all the time, they read my writing, and so far they’re great kids who are active in church and love their family and love the Gospel. Living with me hasn’t seemed to corrupt them.) I didn’t want to put my whole name on them, so I gave them to us as a collective. I’m happy with that choice. Anyone uncomfortable with that is free to print them and cut the border off. Or make your own.

    I’m still happy I did this, and I thank all of you who have so generously and kindly shown your support. I appreciate some of the suggestions, and will likely incorporate a few into the second set, which I will work on soon.

  108. concerned says:

    Thanks for addressing my concern Tracy. You should for sure be happy you made these. It’s a fantastic idea. Steve, the sarcasm wasn’t really necessary. I didn’t say this site has no value; I just said that I don’t think we should promote it to youth in a church setting (which is a factor that I put out there for leaders to consider before they print and I stand by that. Each can take it or leave it.) Like I said, hard topics should be discussed and I don’t shy away from them with my own kids or with my YW… these are great cards and I did not imply they are meant to “corrupt”… but I’m pretty sure it’s against guidelines for these to be passed out at church. Tracy I’m glad your kids are strong and great. I know too many people who have ended up otherwise to not be very cautious, especially in my role teaching other people’s kids.

  109. Concerned, wasn’t trying to be too sarcastic. It’s my specialty.

  110. Seriously though, nobody should read BCC.

  111. Tonight at New Beginnings we heard quotes from Eleanor Roosevelt, Martin Luther, and Oprah Winfrey. :) In addition to others, of course. It was cool.

  112. Fab. U. Lous!! Ah, that your cards had been a part of my 17 year-olds’ YW experience! They’re “SO DONE” with the whole program, as they reached the saturation point with boring, one-dimensional indoctrination (as they see it) years ago. I, too, appreciate how you changed up the 8th virtue of Virtue. Since when did one’s personal moral authority/goodness get co-opted for chastity anyway? Was it sleight-of-hand perpetrated by the last YW presidency?

    Tracy says “This is clearly not an exhaustive list, and I will likely be compiling another in the future.” Oo, oo, oo! May I suggest some candidates? Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Carolyn Pearson, Dolly Parton, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Camilla Eyring Kimball, Willa Cather, Cathy Stokes, Maude Powell, Lucy Gates Bigelow, Susan Young Gates. There are more. O so many more.

  113. Brilliant

  114. As the mother of a YW who created some Disney princess memes that have been making the rounds internationally (, I wonder if you have actually read the quotes selected for each princess. None of them fit the stereotypical “helplessly-waiting-for-my-prince-to-come-rescue-me-so-I-can-have-my-happily-ever-after” caricature you suggest. I think inspiring youth to seek the spirit, overcome the adversary, and reach their potential is a worthy endeavor. Your cards are inspirational to be sure–though I think the person being quoted should be worthy of emulation. As far as “Happily Ever After” goes, take it up with President Uchtdorf since his talk several years ago seems to have gotten the ball rolling. :-)

  115. Becky, I read through your princess meme cards, and I have to say that I get much more out of the ones in the OP. My reasoning is that these (above) are actual quotes from real women who have real world struggles and successes. Yours aren’t really quotes, and though they are well written and match each of the Disney Princesses chosen to represent, I didn’t feel that spark of inspiration that I felt reading those in the OP that come from actual lived experiences. But I realize that some women and girls relate much better than I to Disney princess material, so I don’t begrudge anyone their different preference from mine.

    I think that all of the above women are worthy of emulation in the areas where they are successful, and regarding the parts of their lives that you might find less exemplary, I neither judge nor endorse. People are human and fallible; I think that even our own church leaders must have less than exemplary qualities too, which I can easily overlook, and allow their achievements to be a shining guide.

    I decline to indict President Uchtdorf for our society’s fascination with princess culture for girls.

    Also, a designer tip: Using ligatures available in some italic fonts repeatedly in the middle of sentences makes them hard to read, and detract from the meaning.

  116. Right now, somewhere in some office building, the church’s lawyers are cringing at the copyright infringement nightmare that is multiple stakes deciding to have Disney be the official theme of their girls camps this year.

  117. Not sure I completely agree. I love the cards, but I still believe we are princesses. We have the potential to be queens- that makes us princesses. And being a princess DOES NOT mean you sit around waiting for a prince. It means you are the daughter of a king and have the potential for greatness. I don’t think belittling the idea of being a princess was all that necessary.

  118. Becky, while your cards are not to my taste, I understand others will find them appealing. As I said earlier, that’s fine- instead of complaining, I decided to make my own. To the point you tried to make about role models, I hardly find a girl who gave up her only talent and her identity to chase after a boy she saw once as admirable. I do not find a young, bright girl who subjected herself to mental and physical abuse and then fell in love with her captor to be a role model. The quotes you assigned to each card were not really quotes, but sound bites or song lyrics, and as you said in your post:

    “I looked at not only their character, but their dress color. I did that with the last bunch as well, and it seemed to actually work really well. I guess colors indicate quite a bit more than meets the eye!”

    That left me a bit cold, and I found myself imagining better intent and more apropos words from real women with real lived lives. Better words than Aurora saying “They say if you dream a thing more than once, it’s sure to come true!” for the value of Divine Nature. That just doesn’t resonate with me. I’m sure your intent was one of love, and I’m sure many YW and their leaders have enjoyed your cards. I wanted something different.

    We are commanded to seek out the best in all times and all places- that’s what I’ve tried to do with each of these women. They need not to have lived perfect lives to have contributed meaningfully in their fields or in the lives of those they love.

    The bottom line is, your cards are fine (NB: The Walt Disney Company owns and holds the copyright on every single image and quote on the princess cards. I’d probably be a little concerned about infringement), AND my cards are fine, too. There is room for many facets of expression for the Young Women, and I think that is also a wonderful and valuable lesson.

  119. +1, SB2.

  120. This is a nice concept, but why not use women from the scriptures? With references?

    There are many POWERFUL women who lived the values.

  121. There are more coming, as I have said. I don’t think it needs to be an either/or thing. These cards are not exhaustive or authoritative. Make your own. I’m making more. Some will be from the scriptures.

    As for the scriptures, with the Book of Mormon, the only named women are Sariah and Abish. Every other reference to a woman is as the Wife of… or the Daughter of… etc. Makes quoting a little hard without names or identities, and kind of defeats the purpose of encouraging the girls to establish their own identity apart from being someone’s something.

  122. I’m a Princess unto my husband.

  123. Great cards.

    Some of the comments are a reminder of why Mormonism is sadly an irrelevance in the world outside of intermountain West. We make good the hostage of perfect. People are rightly suspicious of the airbrushed hero.

  124. I think these cards, and the idea behind them, are fantastic! thank you for sharing them. I have a daughter rapidly approaching YW too, and would be so happy for her to chose some of these great women as role models.

  125. RJH, yep. Perfection paralyzes growth. It’s also antithetical to the Gospel.

  126. maya angelou on virtue? that is just so ironic. most of her poetry is about immorality/sexuality!

  127. Oh good grief, people. I’m not holding the women up as ideals of the word- I’m using something they said as inspiration beyond a traditional narrow LDS definition. The only person who lived a perfect life was Jesus. We’re all damned if we have to be perfect to have contributed something worthwhile to the world. Good. Grief.

  128. “I’m a Princess unto my husband.” Don’t bet on it.

  129. Tracy,
    I think that’s all the more reason to use the women who were the “wife of,” etc. Just because the men back then didn’t include their names doesn’t mean we should overlook them today–they were recorded in scripture because they were part of an important story. Someone’s name doesn’t have to be known for them to have made a difference in world. And the girls today know our culture doesn’t refer to them as the ‘daughter of”.

  130. In Britain we are currently remembering the 50th anniversary of Churchill’s death.

    He was a lousy peacetime politician, a poor tactician, and was, judged by today’s standards, a racist, misogynistic thug. He supported the mass killing of German civilians.

    He was also the greatest Briton of all time.

  131. But, Tracy, what if our young women begin to hold them up, on the whole, as a role model and go in search of other of their works and accomplishments. One quote does not a character make. Most of your cards I have no problem with, but others? I don’t want my daughter emulating some of them.

  132. Joyce, then you should research and create your own! That’s the wonder of the thing.

  133. it's a series of tubes says:

    My earlier comment was moderated? Boo :( Given that I was the first to chime in on this thread regarding how great these cards are, perhaps the comment could be released from moderation in light of that :)

  134. I nominate Bill as official BCC Maya Angelou scholar, by the way.

    This thread is amazing. I love you people so much.

  135. Also, Joyce, if you demand perfection of your (or your daughters’) role models, well, you (and they) won’t have any. There’s something tremendously inspiring about the fact that flawed people (people like you and me!) can think and say and do wonderful and amazing things. Because if they can think and say and do amazing things, maybe I (and you, and your daughters) can think and say and do amazing things.

    We’re not binary creatures, either good or evil, and when we dismiss others entirely because of some facet of who they are, we don’t show the charity that Jesus demands of us. He didn’t tell Peter to feed His perfect sheep; He didn’t say He was sent to earth to be a physician for the whole. And I don’t believe He expects us to only emulate people who have never made a mistake in their whole lives.

  136. And Steve, I think I will. I just hope that these don’t have much of an influence on young women. They need to have only the very best held up as role models. Some of these are not.

  137. it's a series of tubes says:

    They need to have only the very best held up as role models.

    Joyce, is it possible that such an approach might be counterproductive in certain instances, particularly when a young women might feel that she could never live up to them, so why try?

  138. Thanks everyone, for the support, the kudos, and the extracted angst for seasoning.

    There’s a great free photoshop-type website called, where you can create your own cards if you don’t have access to photoshop and if you hate mine. I suggest a few of you give it a shot!

    I’ll be working on a second edition of BCC cards, including our watermark, which I will share, and to which you will again be welcome to use, or not. That’s the great thing about choice.

    “I have seen the best of you, and the worst of you, and I choose both.”
    ― Sarah Kay

    “There’s something tremendously inspiring about the fact that flawed people (people like you and me!) can think and say and do wonderful and amazing things. Because if they can think and say and do amazing things, maybe I (and you, and your daughters) can think and say and do amazing things. We’re not binary creatures, either good or evil, and when we dismiss others entirely because of some facet of who they are, we don’t show the charity that Jesus demands of us.” ― Sam Brunson

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