News Release

New Young Women General Presidency Begins Service

President Emily Belle Freeman and her counselors, Sister Tamara W. Runia and Sister Andrea Muñoz Spannaus, were sustained in April and began serving August 1


A new Young Women General Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints began their service Tuesday, August 1. Young Women General President Emily Belle Freeman and her counselors, Sister Tamara W. Runia, First Counselor, and Sister Andrea Muñoz Spannaus, Second Counselor, were sustained during the April 2023 general conference.


The release of President Bonnie H. Cordon and her counselors, Sister Michelle D. Craig and Sister Rebecca L. Craven, who were sustained in April 2018 general conference, was announced April 1, with an acknowledgement of appreciation. They completed their service as the Young Women General Presidency on July 31.

President Emily Belle Freeman


Many people have come to know President Freeman through her work as a popular speaker, author, podcaster and teacher.

“Now all of that will take a little bit of a pause,” President Freeman said for an upcoming episode of the Church News podcast.

Sharing her witness and testimony on social media, in speaking engagements and through writing books has been the arena that she consecrated to sharing her witness of the gospel. Now, “I get to move into sharing that same witness just in a different venue, which I’m actually really excited about.”

Some things she’ll be able to keep doing, but others won’t be possible, she explained, as she spends her time in this new position.

President Freeman hopes those who don’t know her yet and those who do understand she has a deep and abiding belief in Jesus Christ. She thinks one of the things that is most important for the youth today is to help them realize at a young age that they can receive personal revelation, learn to pray, read the scriptures and hear the Lord speak to them.

“The Spirit of the Lord will not fail them. It will not fail them,” she said.

President Freeman said she did not know her counselors before they were called, but every time she is with them, “I am reminded of the power of prayer and revelation and how God can orchestrate the events of our lives to bring about miracles.”

Sister Tamara W. Runia


Sister Runia, First Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency, has held a variety of callings in the Church — stake scripture class instructor, stake Relief Society presidency counselor, Australia Sydney Mission leader — but most of her service has been with young women.

“I’ve loved every calling that I’ve served in … but I have to say I feel at home with the young women,” she told the Church News earlier this year. “I hope to give every single one of them a big hug.”

She has been to Young Women camp more than 20 times. One year, she was even asked to attend as the “camp cheerleader.”

Sister Runia said there are so many important gospel principles to teach young women, but before anything else, the young women have to connect with their Savior, who is waiting with open arms.“If we can help this rising generation learn that He will never leave [them], even when [they] fall, then that will be the thing that tethers them,” she said. “And that is what covenants do.”


Sister Andrea Muñoz Spannaus


Sister Spannaus, Second Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency, was born in Argentina and raised Catholic until missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ taught her family and she was baptized.

Sister Spannaus has had many opportunities to serve in youth leadership callings around the world due to moving for her husband’s career. In Lyon, France, she was called to be the Young Women president for the ward without knowing French.

She had a copy of the manual in English and a counselor who knew Spanish — she read from the English manual, taught in Spanish, and her counselor translated to French.

She said: “The Lord made it all work out, and it was a wonderful experience. I think the Lord was already teaching me that language is not that important.”

Regarding her new calling to the Young Women general presidency, she said: “I am grateful for the opportunity to serve and please God in this calling. That has been my greatest desire since I was a little girl in a Catholic school.”


Former Young Women General Presidency Says Goodbye

President Cordon wrote on Facebook on July 29 that “it feels like yesterday” when President Russell M. Nelson extended the call for her to serve.

“My heart exploded with love for you ― the Lord’s love for you. With every young woman I met, that wave of love has washed over me again and again. You are incredible,” she wrote.

She said she hopes the youth never forget they are loved and to trust in the Lord — they are capable and have the power to make a difference in the Lord’s work.

“How I love you, my friends — the glorious youth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am better because of my interactions with you.”

Sister Craig, who served as first counselor, wrote how difficult it was to put into words her feelings about the past five years.

“I know that our youth are so capable. I know that we can trust in the Lord. And I know that this is God’s work. I love each of you, and I am grateful for you.”

Sister Craven, who served as second counselor, said on Facebook that one of the sweetest blessings of serving in the Church is to gather new friends to love.

“I am grateful for all the new friends I have gathered throughout the world over the past five years! ... The testimonies you have shared and the services you have offered have enlarged my heart!”

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