Rebecca Petho currently serves as a Relief Society President in her Philadelphia, PA ward. She has spent her career working with non-profit organizations as a fundraising expert and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Leading Saints.

Sister Petho grew up in the Gettysburg, PA area in a home where hard work and the expectations to contribute and play a role in the home were emphasized. Those lessons have helped shape the type of leader she has been in her church service in Young Single Adult wards and traditional family wards from West Virginia to Salt Lake City to Philadelphia, where she now lives with her husband. In this episode, she talks about the lessons she learned while immersed in the Young Single Adult culture, the importance of being authentic when serving in leadership roles, and helping others to be authentic themselves.


(11:45) How can individuals avoid getting trapped in culture and traditions?

  • Try to avoid focusing on perceived external perceptions of ourselves

(16:30) How has her identity as a Latter-Day Saint woman been shaped by her YSA experiences?

  • Truly embrace the opportunities that are right in front of you
  • Controlling what you can control and embracing it
  • Faith that our lives will come together in a way we can’t even imagine
  • Recommended reading: “Where There is No Vision” – Elder L. Tom Perry BYU Devotional address
  • Identify the things that bring us true joy and finding ways to be involved in those things

What did you learn from the YSA culture?

  • So many who are willing to serve and support YSAs, but it becomes an extension of the YM/YW program
  • Provide opportunities for YSAs in the ward to be the true leaders in the ward
  • Help them feel more needed and empower them to be leaders in the ward

(29:15) What lessons were learned serving as Relief Society President in YSA wards that have helped her serve in the same calling in a family ward?

  • Examine our self-talk, fears, and past experiences in order to fully embrace the current opportunity to serve
  • Every individual and every ward is different and we must keep an open mind in how we approach our current calling

(38:10) What does it look like to be patient with others and allow them to be who they are in our leadership callings?

  • Being authentic with people and knowing who we are ourselves
  • Being willing to allow others to be authentic themselves

(41:30) How does she approach leadership while adapting to the needs of the ward

  • A groundwork of order and consistency
  • After those principles are established, allowing for individuality and authenticity
  • Approaching authenticity with humility

(51:30) Where do we put our energy?
(54:45) Sister Petho gives Kurt an assignment: How can the stewardship of the Relief Society President, Elders Quorum President, and Bishop work together more effectively?


“Where There is No Vision”, by Elder L. Tom Perry: textvideo

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