SALT LAKE CITY — Elaine S. Dalton, the former Young Women general president for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has been a leader to many teenage girls.
During the church's 183rd Annual General Conference, the Dalton and the LDS Young Women general presidency was released after six years of service, from 2008-2013. A new presidency was immediately instated, with Bonnie Lee Green Oscarson as Young Women general president, Carol Louise Foley McConkie as her first counselor and Evelyn Neill Foote Marriott as second counselor.
While interest in the new presidency is high, church members have also expressed gratitude for the lessons they learned from the past leaders. Several young women took to social media this weekend to express their gratitude for Dalton's service.
In a post on mormonwoman.org, a writer named Ashley expressed her appreciation for Dalton.
"Sister Elaine S. Dalton indeed has a unique way of teaching millions, while focusing on 'the one' — just as the Savior did during his earthly ministry," Ashley wrote. "She really believes what she teaches that 'one virtuous young woman, led by the Spirit, can change the world.'
"Such was the case when I had the privilege of meeting Sister Dalton a little over five years ago. Because of her belief in me, I have gained greater trust in the Lord, and have tried to become a better person in every aspect of my life."
Later on in the post, Ashley encouraged readers to sign a "thank-you card" that will be sent to Dalton.
Others have turned to Facebook and Twitter to express their gratitude.
Erin Sperry Zacharias wrote on Facebook, "You are a wonderful example of our Savior. Thank you for your dedication to the gospel and your smiles. We will miss you!"
Freda Tautava Amituanai wrote, "Ever so grateful for your words of wisdom Sister Elaine Dalton. You served him well. Love Sister Amituanai."
Nathan Tripp wrote, "Elaine S. Dalton is wonderful. So thankful for her influence and leadership in the young women's organization! What an awesome example she is."
Paige Ann Cavaness tweeted, "Sister Elaine S. Dalton and her counselors will never know how appreciated they are as our leaders and role models. #thankyouHeavenlyFather."
Quotes, graphics, videos and pictures of Sister Dalton have also flooded Pinterest during her time as the Young Women General President. Statements such as "I can do hard things" and her discussion on what makes a girl "shine" have been shared, posted and passed through social media.
Sarah Sanders Petersen is an intern for Deseret News where she writes for Mormon Times and other feature articles. She is a communications major and editing minor from Brigham Young University.