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June 23, 2019
Finding the Seed of Greatness in Troubled Youth | An Interview with Kami Smith
Kami Smith grew up in Arizona, Kansas, Utah, and Idaho in an active Latter-day Saint home. She suffered abuse as a young child and had a troubled youth with anxiety and addiction, but found her way back with the help of loving leaders, earthly parents, and heavenly parents. Her story can help us as we lead and help troubled youth. Highlights 5:00 Abuse at a young age 12:00 Experience with therapy 16:00 Struggles as a teenager 18:40 Recognizing her abuse 21:00 Advice to leaders of rebellious teens 24:00 How to create safe places for youth to have real conversations 35:00 Shame and guilt Kami felt 37:30 More advice to leaders 42:15 Dad's prayer to know what to do- love is the answer 48:00 Love even though you don't agree with their choices 49:45 Kami's addiction 53:00 Kami's experience with Anasazi wilderness therapy 55:00 Kami's turning point Links Being the Child of a Gay Parent in Latter-day Saint Culture | An Interview with Mike Ramsey Anasazi Foundation Instagram: hey_kamismith
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62 min
June 16, 2019
Suicide Prevention for Latter-day Saint Leaders | An Interview with Kristen Coltrin
Kristen Coltrin has a bachelor's degree in psychology and is working on a master's degree in clinical social work. She has been working as an intern with the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline, and felt called to help support Church leaders after an August 19, 2018 letter asking us to be more educated about suicide. The people she worked with at the hotline were excited to do outreach with organizations, and she stepped into the role of providing knowledge about suicide to Church leaders in her area. Highlights 5:45 Letter sent requesting ward councils to review information and become more educated about suicide 6:45 There is an entire section of churchofjesuschrist.org that is about suicide 8:35 Some statistics: suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, and the second leading cause of death for ages 10-24; some reasons people in areas with higher rates are more likely to die from suicide 10:25 Use the term suicide or dying by suicide and avoid the term “commit suicide” 11:25 The crushed bone perspective on mental health 14:00 The Church’s resources and statements about suicide, debunking some of the cultural misconceptions 16:00 Why do people choose to die by suicide? * A lack of feeling connected * A lack of belonging * Feeling like a burden 17:00 Why is the Church a good place for suicide prevention? Community, belonging, finding a purpose in life, resources, commitments to bear one another’s burdens 18:00 Why would the Church be a place that makes people feel any of those three things? People might feel disconnected or feel they don’t belong within the culture, feeling of being a burden to the ward members, feeling shamed for who they are, leaders aren’t trained counselors 20:40 Risk factors for suicide: prior suicide attempt, substance abuse or diagnosable mental health disorders, access to lethal means, family history of suicide or violence, lack of social support, loss of a family member or friend (especially by suicide), desensitization to pain (military, first responders) 22:30 Some warning signs of suicide: inability to sleep or sleeping all the time, changes in weight or eating habits, neglecting school or personal appearance, chronic headaches or fatigue, suddenly more or less religious, and many more 23:45 Triggering events can be anything but it’s usually a buildup of difficulties over time 25:45 Is suicide preventable? Yes! 27:15 Often when people start a new mental-health medication or otherwise begin to come out of depressing circumstances, that is when they follow-through on the suicide they have been thinking about 28:45 How do we know if someone is suicidal? Listen for the indirect verbal cues/invitations and be as direct as possible in asking them if they are considering suicide 30:55 Use the word “suicide” or “killing yourself” because it’s not just harming themselves, it’s killing themselves; contrast with cutting 32:15 Warning sign of looking for ways to prepare to take care of their family 33:30 What do you do in that moment when they answer “Yes”? Most important is to listen. 35:40 Resources to prepare in advance: * Suicide prevention hotlines and crisis lines: Know your national number and any local numbers * Church legal hotline: Wear out that number asking questions you might think are stupid * Local counselors: develop some resource relationships in your area * Utah mobile crisis line (University Neuropsychiatric Institute) 801-587-3000 * Hospital emergency departments 44:30 Last resort when they won’t go along with you, call for a welfare check: call the local non-emergency police number and ask for a “crisis intervention-trained officer” 47:40 Veterans hotline, The Trevor Project,
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55 min
June 9, 2019
Implementing JustServe.org in Your Area | An Interview with Autumn Stringam
Autumn Stringam is from Alberta, Canada, and now lives in Nampa, Idaho. She and her husband are the parents of five children and have two grandchildren. She grew up with a community-minded mindset, and works in mental health nutrition and at a special-needs high school. Autumn was called as a JustServe specialist when the program was beginning in her community, and took that opportunity to help grow a thriving program in the Treasure Valley area. Highlights 7:15 Autumn's call as a JustServe specialist for the area’s coordinating council 9:45 What is JustServe? A website intended as a tool to minister with others within the community, managed through the stakes and coordinating councils 11:30 Agreement to serve together and just to serve together 13:45 Anyone can post and manage sites—members and nonmembers 14:30 Stake public affairs specialist, JustServe specialist, and a committee work with the stake high council and sometimes a stake youth council to develop the program in their area 16:25 Groups and individuals can go to the app, sign up, and go serve 17:20 JustServe manuals are in the gospel library 18:00 The JustServe specialist’s responsibilities 19:05 Relief Society has taken over leading Church members within the program so the specialists can reach into the community 20:00 Every area needs to get entrepreneurial and figure out how to best use the program in their area 21:20 How Autumn applied the program through the youth program 24:25 How to keep it focused on service only: finding common ground and getting acquainted 28:35 Advertising goodness: experience with LGBT youth 33:25 How to combat the fear among others, such as schools, that this is a church-related organization 36:00 The overwhelm of “another thing”: take a step back and see how this helps fulfill every part 37:30 Take the challenge and the Lord will not fail us: Her experience with the “pick a date” program and how this is the model for our time 42:25 Overcoming obstacles with other organizations in the community: the program is funded by the Church but it isn’t owned by the Church 45:00 Have a full inventory of opportunities before you recruit volunteers 46:05 Look at zip code 83606 at JustServe.org for examples 47:10 The momentum will come 49:10 Using social media to advertise and promote service opportunities 53:20 Using the app and website 54:20 Campaigns for volunteers: “JustServe January” “JustServe Summer” 57:30 Start with one campaign, without the expectation of immediate results 59:35 Familiarize yourself with what is already happening out there; we are advertising what others are already doing, so plug in and then let them shine 1:01:15 How JustServe led to finding and adopting their daughter Links JustServe.org Instagram: justservetreasurevalley
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65 min
June 2, 2019
“I am a Young Single Adult Advocate” | An Interview with Rob Ferrell
Dr. Robert Ferrell has served as an elders quorum president, high counselor, YSA bishop, and YSA stake president, and has presented at firesides and conferences—including BYU Education Week—about connecting with young single adults. He grew up in the Bay Area of California but lives in Mountain Green, Utah, and is a periodontist working in the Ogden area. He has a bachelor's degree in psychology and a doctoral degree in dental surgery, and he and his wife are the parents of eight children. Highlights 7:30 His call as a YSA stake president came while serving as a bishop, forming a new YSA stake 11:00 He saw a need for a greater understanding of young adults today, and decided to present at BYU Education Week as an advocate for young adults 13:10 Stigmas of the Millennial generation in and outside of the Church 14:20 The Gospel of Jesus Christ does not lose people; the culture, tradition, false doctrine, and application loses people 15:20 Creating a young adult program needs to start with a strong organizational structure 16:00 Most wards are not aware of the problem with the activity rate among YSAs 17:10 Priesthood keys and leadership have to be behind the leaders in a YSA program 21:10 It can be easy to lose track of YSAs, and family wards need to work with YSA programs to focus on rescuing—most effective when the stake presidents work together with YSA leaders 25:00 Worked with his area seventy and coordinating councils and were able to see great success with the program * Multiple ward mission leaders were assigned to the stakes that funneled YSAs to their YSA ward, and senior adult couples assigned to be the bridge between the YSA ward and the home stake * Returned missionaries are prepared to help rescue other YSAs 27:25 Wanted as many of the less-active records as they could, so they could organize and reach out to rescue them * Focused on organizational structure with leaders working together * Ministering happened among the active members, YSA ward mission leaders handled the rest 31:10 The organizational process has to be there to help young adults come unto Christ 31:50 #1 cultural concept that must change: YSA wards are not about marriage, they don’t need to be reminded, and that message turns them away 34:00 The purpose of the young single adult program is helping them connect with Jesus Christ 36:40 YSA programs are not glorified YMYW programs, and activities need to be planned by the YSAs and be focused on things that help connect them to Christ 40:15 Leadership by collaboration instead of control: turn it over to them * The Lord used young adults to restore the Church; they can be trusted with the YSA program 45:10 Example of giving autonomy: Stake YSA Relief Society presidency recognized a pornography problem with the sisters and taught about it at ward conferences 47:10 Encouraged the sisters to turn to their Relief Society president when they have a problem, and take it to the bishop when they are ready to repent 49:30 Counsel given to him as the stake president was that you cannot rescue YSAs and then throw the book at them * Is that approach too soft? Story of missionary who returned after less than a week in the MTC, due to sexual transgression 1:00:30 The sins are a symptom of a more serious doctrinal problem and the purpose of discipline is to save the soul of the transgressor, not to punish 1:04:00 Bishops and counselors need to be working on the same level so they can develop relationships with the YSA ward members 1:05:00 Behavior vs. doctrine: sin is the consequence of Satan’s real purpose 1:08:00 Leaders need to help them resolve contention in their lives
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91 min
May 26, 2019
Motivating and Connecting with Story and Vision | An Interview with Barry Rellaford
Trena Anderson and the DFCU Foundation 3:10 Deseret First Credit Union started in 1955 by a Church employee to serve his fellow employees 4:30 Formation of the credit union’s charitable organization, the DFCU Foundation 6:00 The foundation takes referrals for missionaries to help 7:10 Story of refugee twins in Buffalo, New York, who joined the Church and eventually decided to serve missions (video clips of stories available on the website) 9:10 The foundation helps outfit missionaries as they prepare to serve, whereas the Church's general mission fund helps with the monthly stipend 10:50 Donors can also help specific missionaries 11:40 Upcoming annual golf tournament at Stonebridge Golf Course in Salt Lake City, July 30th 13:20 Go to dfcu.com/foundation/ for more information, to make a donation, or to register for the golf tournament Barry Rellaford Barry Rellaford is a globally sought-after leadership development expert with over 30 years of experience as a coach, facilitator and leader in multiple organizations. He teaches in the Business department at Brigham Young University, and previously worked with Stephen M. R. Covey in developing FranklinCovey's “Leading at the SPEED of TRUST” program. He has a Master’s degree in Labor and Human Resources from Ohio State University and a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communication from BYU’s Marriott School of Management. Barry is the bishop of a young single adults ward in Provo, Utah. He and his wife, Lorilee, are the parents of six children. Highlights 00:30 Grew up in Paradise, California, which burned in the 2018 Camp Fire, California’s deadliest, most destructive wildfire 17:10 Joined the Church while in high school 18:20 Kept a journal of his thoughts and experiences from that time 19:30 Served a mission to France 20:25 Developed a career in the leadership development field, seeking to help individuals grow, and desired to be a teacher 23:00 Transitioned his desire to teach into being a leadership coach, and ended up with FranklinCovey 24:35 Currently serving at a Young Single Adult ward in Provo, Utah 25:15 His experience with the Camp Fire 26:15 Sought to help the residents of Paradise with a service project focused on travel trailers and RVs for temporary housing, along with other donations 28:30 Told his story on Facebook and the project took off 30:45 We are hard-wired for story 32:30 Housing quickly became a serious problem with the displaced residents from the fire 35:00 Our church leaders are telling a positive story of faith, despite the negative stories we see all around us in the world 41:40 The Church in northern California has been involved with many organizations in the disaster recovery efforts 42:30 If we are faithful and strive to be obedient, the promise is there 46:10 Taking the first trailers to California 48:30 Returning to Paradise this spring was more positive 51:20 Our purpose as people has been revealed, both in general and specifically for each of us 51:50 GPS: We have gifts, passions, and situations * The Strength of Ten: Talents, time, and treasure, energy and experience, a network and know-how 42:15 Overwhelmed when first called as a YSA bishop 57:00 In our leadership callings, we need to discern why the Lord has called us 57:30 Being purposefully engaged in the work * Figure out what your talents are * Go meet your neighbors and minister to them * Helping others see themselves as God sees them, and to see their future differently 59:25 Faith and vision: “Live out of imagination, not memory.”—Steven R. Covey
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76 min
May 19, 2019
How I Lead as Stake Young Women President | An Interview with Kari Roppe
Kari Roppe lives in the Twin Cities area, in a lake cabin destination area in Wisconsin. She grew up in Provo, Utah, moved to Minneapolis as a young adult, and became inactive in the Church for many years. She is an elementary school teacher, the single parent of three children, and was called unexpectedly as a stake Young Women president. Highlights 6:40 Kari's experience coming back to the Church after years of inactivity 10:30 Served in Primary, Relief Society, and as gospel doctrine teacher before being called to the ward Young Women presidency 11:30 YW camp testimony meeting with stake presidency attending 13:00 Stake Young Women president calling 14:00 Called even though she was a single, working parent of teenagers 15:15 Choosing her counselors—including her own sister Leadership principles * 17:45 Surround yourself with people who know more than you * 19:30 The Lord calls presidencies, not individuals * 20:30 Formal meetings didn’t work for her, but they communicated well * 22:25 Be willing to go offroading a bit * 23:00 Using Dr. Seuss as a theme for young women * 26:00 Make sure that you don’t check your sense of humor at the door * 26:30 Twilight-themed skit at YW camp helped them be more approachable * 28:35 Always have the needs of those you serve first and foremost 30:00 Her stake president gave them freedom but one directive to always provide three things for the youth: * Service * 32:35 Fun * 33:50 A spiritual experience 36:30 Mourning “my girls” after serving 38:40 We love those we serve and begin to feel the love the Lord has for his children
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42 min
May 12, 2019
Balancing Church and CEO Leadership Duties | An Interview with Jim Quigley
James Quigley is a retired CEO of Deloitte, the world’s largest professional services company. He currently serves as chairman of the board of directors at Hess Corporation, and on the board of directors for Wells Fargo, Merrimack Pharmaceutical, and Chatbooks. He also has a passion for leadership in education and is working to support the leadership development of school principals through Deloitte University. Jim served as a bishop while working as CEO of Deloitte. He and his wife Bonnie have three children and many grandchildren. Highlights 4:15 His father’s experience singing with the Tabernacle Choir 5:40 Growing up in a small town and learning leadership as a football quarterback 7:10 Schooling and how it led to leading an international company 9:35 Learned a great deal about leadership through his church callings and mentorship with church leaders 12:00 The principle of “the one”: Success is connecting to the individual 12:45 Make moments matter in both one-on-one interaction and group interactions that result in the listener having a one-on-one experience 14:00 Connecting with the person in front of him is always his priority 15:15 Everyone cannot come to you for direction every day. Establish the organization’s culture and both allow and expect others to direct themselves. 16:40 Tell those you lead what you expect of them in the culture of the organization, explaining the values using simple stories to explain the how and why 21:50 Helping people look at their commitment as more than a job, and teaching them the organizational culture 25:20 His experience being called to serve as a bishop while working as a CEO 26:25 Assemble a capable team, then do the things you cannot delegate and delegate the rest 27:40 He focused on what the ward wanted to accomplish, then set goals as a leadership team 28:50 The importance of knowing how to run an effective meeting as a bishop: “The Spirit leaves when the allotted time has expired” 29:45 Rely on the executive secretary to prepare the meeting agenda 31:40 His spouse is a relationship partner who was an important part of his team, and the bishop’s wife influences the tone of what happens in the ward 34:00 Advice for newly-called bishops: encourage self-reliance in individuals 34:50 A bishop’s job is to help make the Atonement real in the lives of the individual members of the ward. Everything else can be delegated. 36:45 Transitioning away from a major role: don’t get overly-invested in the title, but come to it with a sense of urgency and know that at some point you will be leaving it behind 37:50 Make sure people want to do the job they are being asked to do so that they can come in with enthusiasm and be a team player 39:20 What he is doing post-retirement: Deloitte’s Courageous Principals Program for leadership development of school principals 43:00 Look to Christ as the ultimate leader and personalize what he would do in individual interactions Links The Mormon Way of Doing Business, by Jeff Benedict
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45 min
May 1, 2019
A Case for the Book of Mormon | An Interview with Tad R. Callister
Tad R. Callister was recently released as Sunday School general president. He previously served in the Presidency of the Seventy, as a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy, an Area Seventy, president of the Canada Toronto East mission, regional representative, stake president, bishop, and as a full-time missionary in the Eastern Atlantic States Mission. Brother Callister holds an accounting degree from BYU, a Juris Doctorate degree from UCLA, and a master’s degree in tax law from NYU Law School. He is the grandson of apostle LeGrand Richards, the author of four books including The Infinite Atonement and most recently A Case for the Book of Mormon. He and his wife Kathryn Louise Saporiti are the parents of six children. Highlights 2:30 Moving on from being released as General Sunday School president 4:20 Which came first, the book or the talk? 5:15 How his law practice helped him crystallize thoughts when writing 5:50 His approach to personal study 6:10 Lesson to seek and ponder his own insight first before turning to doctrinal commentary 8:00 Studying first thing in the morning, and writing along with reading has helped him summarize his thoughts while studying the scriptures 8:50 Questioning and discussing with others is part of pondering 10:00 Reason can strengthen faith, and logic and the Spirit can go hand-in-hand 11:40 The audience for the book is first people who have testimonies that can be strengthened and who can help strengthen the testimonies of others, as well as those who may have questions, and finally critics 12:40 A partial truth, when presented as a whole truth, is an untruth 13:00 Less than 2% of the archeological finds in ancient America have been unearthed 16:00 An intellectual witness of scripture does not come from archeological findings, whether regarding the Bible or the Book of Mormon 16:40 His grandfather LeGrand Richards was a common-man leader, related to everyone, and simply loved people 19:15 Ward Sunday School presidents are not merely bell-ringers because they are in charge of the teacher councils, and they have the responsibility to help improve the teaching of every teacher in every organization, and to see that the individual and family curriculum is being implemented in every home 21:50 One purpose of the Come Follow Me curriculum is to take us from reading the scriptures to pondering the scriptures and discussing them. In the homes, it is the catalyst for discussion and learning the gospel together. 23:30 There has been a substantial increase in individual and family study, and class members from children to adults are better prepared for Sunday meetings 24:10 He and his counselors traveled internationally and were able to get a good idea of what was happening with teacher council meetings 25:10 Practising through role play at the end of teacher council meetings was one thing they observed and recognized as an effective implementation in those meetings 25:45 Another effective implementation is the change to Christ-centered Easter Sunday and Christmas services so that members can invite others to come worship with them 27:30 Surprised at his call as the General Sunday School president 28:20 They were given a lot of latitude but there was a clear expectation to improve teaching in the home and at church 30:20 Traveling and visiting as a Sunday School general auxiliary president was to teach in general how to teach more like the Savior, to help teachers make teacher counsels more effective, and to discuss in focus groups what was working or not working in areas around the world 31:40 In the presidency of a Quorum of Seventy, they were given responsibility for a specific area, and were to train area seventies,
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37 min
April 29, 2019
Big Announcement!
We are excited to team up with Cumorah Tours to organize an epic church history tour that will happen in September of 2019. Listen to the attached interview to hear further details. There are only 48 seats available on this tour bus and they are going fast so check out all the full itinerary and reserve your seat on the bus today! SEE FULL TOUR DETAILS
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13 min
April 21, 2019
Encouraging Faith that Sees Through Complexity | An Interview with Bruce and Marie Hafen
Bruce and Marie Hafen are most recently the authors of the book "Faith is Not Blind", in which they "acknowledge complicated gospel issues, yet clearly and gently guide readers through the steps necessary to work through complexity, develop informed testimonies, and become filled with the faith that comes from knowing God." Bruce has served as president of Rick's College, dean of the J. Reuben Clark Law School and provost at Brigham Young University, president of the St. George Temple, and in the First Quorum of the Seventy. He is also the author of several books. Marie has served alongside and co-authored books with Bruce. She also taught religion, literature and writing at both BYU-Idaho and BYU in Provo, and served on the Young Women General Board and the Board of Directors for the Deseret News. In this interview, the Hafens share experiences helping young people deal with uncertainty, doubt, and trial as they struggle to reconcile the simple faith of youth with the complex realities of adulthood. Learn how you can apply their experience to your own ministry and learn to develop the kind of relationship with young adults that allows you aid their progress between simplicity, through complexity, and on to simplicity coupled with understanding. The journey need not surprise or lead anyone away from the gospel. It can bring us all, like Adam and Eve, back to an understanding of and into a closer relationship and reconciliation with God. Highlights 0:26 - Bruce’s background: President of Rick’s College, Dean of BYU Law School, called as a general authority in 1996, President of the St George Temple 1:08 - Marie’s background: native of Bountiful, Utah; was a BYU student when she met Bruce; lots of experience with college-age students; interested in helping others reach out to that age group 2:15 - Our Religious Questions course - talking about gospel questions with friends and peers normalized these discussions 3:55 - Elder Hafen gave a devotional, “Dealing with Uncertainty”, at BYU in 1978 that is an early work on questions that may disconcert this demographic 5:24 - Did individuals ask the same questions then as they do now? 5:57 - Dealing with complexity and ambiguity - college students were very idealistic, and they found generalized discussion helped students deal with practical reality; how do adults deal with the gap between our idealized expectations and the reality of our daily lives? 8:49 - We should expect all adults to experience this; how can we help people not be shocked by the bigger, broader world and learn it is nothing to fear 9:25 - Some people are so idealistic that they remain shocked by these discoveries; another group switch over to embracing reality so single-mindedly they have no interest in idealistic visions and reject religion quickly 10:42 - Ideas contained in their book, "Faith is Not Blind" - How should we view complexity and simplicity? 12:12 - Untested simplicity is not to be desired 13:34 - It may not be just doubts or questions that create complexity, but could be health or many other life experiences 13:51 - Anecdote about a female inmate who came to understand her simple testimony in a different way because of her life’s experiences; complexity informed the simplicity - she came to understand that earlier testimony 15:52 - Anecdote about Holly who struggled with the topic of women and the priesthood, and left the Church 19:10 - It wasn’t a regression, but turning to simplicity offered peace 19:21 - Adam and Eve gained maturity through their fall and subsequent experiences 22:10 - How might leaders respond when members encounter complexity? 23:16 - A typical problem is when a struggling member goes to a leader who is wedded to a black and white perspective that they get the message the leader does not understand them
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86 min
April 15, 2019
Maintaining Relationships When Loved Ones Leave the Church | An Interview with the Packard Family
Josh Packard, his wife Heidi, and his parents Cindy and Blair Packard join Kurt to discuss Josh’s faith transition away from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the lessons learned from the entire family about maintaining love in the family while respecting decisions. Josh was raised in a traditional Latter-day Saint home, serving a mission, marrying Heidi in the temple, and attending medical school. While in medical school, Josh encountered areas that caused him to question his faith, ultimately leading years later with him deciding to resign his membership. Cindy and Blair, then serving as mission presidents when they learned about Josh’s decision to leave the faith, struggled (along with the rest of their family) with how to engage with Josh and Heidi regarding not just Josh’s faith status, but the impact to their family. Through learning from their mistakes, the Packard family came out even stronger by learning how to love unconditionally, engage in thoughtful and respectful discussions, and understand the other’s perspective in this difficult faith transition. ***REGISTER FOR THE QUESTIONING SAINTS SUMMIT NOW*** Highlights Kurt Francom (LS): Today, I have the opportunity through the powers of the internet to connect with two couples who know each other well. Blair and Cindy Packard in - I'll get this right this time - Gilbert Arizona. Is that right guys? Blair: Actually it's wrong. Now we're in Mesa right now. LS: Now you're in Mesa, okay. Blair: From Gilbert. We're in my Mesa office. LS: Very good. Nice. Then your son Josh and his wife Heidi, who are in Georgia. Am I right, Josh? Josh: Right. Columbus, Georgia. LS: Nice. Cool. Obviously, Josh was raised by this great couple, the Packards. We're going to talk about an important subject as far as the dynamic of families, especially when an individual member or members of family take a different faith journey, that many times may lead people outside of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I guess this started...It was interesting. I went to Mesa area and then had opportunity to visit with the Packards in Gilbert. But the night before I visited them, I had somebody that's in the audience of Leading Saints, and they said to me, "You know what we need is an interview that talks about the dynamics of when a son or daughter leaves the church and how that impacts the family." And I said, "Wow, that sounds like a great story, but I don't even know who I would talk to about that but I'll try and find somebody." Then the next day, I met Cindy and Blair, and they said, "That that's our situation. Let's talk about it." So let's maybe put the story into context here. Cindy, you want to start maybe where this all began? The day you held little Josh in your arms...No, I'm just kidding. I mean, wherever you want to start. Cindy: Well, I think speaking for all of us, we'd like to say we're very grateful for the opportunity to do this. After we kind of made our way through this journey, we thought it'd really be helpful if we could find a way to share this with people. So we're happy for the opportunity. It's also a bear journey, where we want to share this personal journey - and it hasn't been easy. We hope that we can help other people who are going through this in some way. We did some things wrong; we did some things right.
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83 min
April 8, 2019
When Someone Questions Their Faith…
We are excited to announce the Questioning Saints Virtual Summit. An online conference dedicated to helping Latter-day Saints validate and love those who begin to question their faith. We have some remarkable presenters including: Anthony Sweat, BYU Professor Adam Miller, Professor at Collin College in McKinney, Texas, Author of Letters to a Young Mormon David Ostler, Former Mission president and author David Snell, Co-host of Saints Unscripted Elder & Sister Hafen, Authors of Faith is Not Blind Jana Riess, Author of The Next Mormons John Hilton, BYU Professor Kurt Francom, Executive Director of Leading Saints  Michael Goodman, BYU Professor Packard Family (Blair, Cindy, Josh, Heidi) Ryan Gottfredson, Professor at California State University - Fullerton Spencer Fluhman, Executive Director of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship Yohan Delton, BYU-I Professor REGISTER TODAY - Conference starts April 16
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13 min
March 31, 2019
Addressing Feelings With Therapy, Life Coaching, or Spiritual Mentorship | An Interview with Beckie Hennessy
Born and raised in Utah, Becky Hennessy has been in the mental health field since 2003 and a therapist since 2007, licensed in Utah. Prior to launching her private practice, she worked for the Division of Child and Family Services in Child Protection and Family Preservation. She also worked in private practices and in foster care. For LDS Family Services she was a therapist member of a Child Trauma Team and ran a therapeutic group for adult women who were molested as children. She serves on the board of therapist advisers for Leading Saints. Married since 2004, Beckie and her husband have three children. Highlights 5:08 Life coaching compared to therapy. The former does not require licensing, is unregulated and does not make diagnoses. Coaches often have valuable certifications. Therapists are licensed, regulated, make diagnoses and help connect dots from past to present to future. Therapists often work with past experiences while coaches work with current struggles. 9:00 Some may find therapy too intense or stigmatized and prefer life coaching. Life coaching is a growing field involving various models. Some individuals find one model more useful than another. Lay leaders need to exercise caution in recommending one over the other. Some individuals sign up for ongoing coaching as they would for a gym membership. 15:00 Beckie’s practice involves some degree of live coaching, combined with a measure of seminar-style instruction. Therapy and life coaching are not competing approaches. A good life coach is willing to refer a client to counseling, where appropriate. 17:10 CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Training/Therapy) approach discussed. The thought precedes the feeling which precedes actions. Controlling thoughts helps manage feelings and behavior. 20:25 ACT (Acceptance Commitment Therapy/Training) model discussed. The feeling may happen—you didn’t choose it. Acknowledge feelings and their sometimes-overwhelming effect. Commit to how to respond based on your value system. Grab the wheel and steer, rather than allowing feelings to manage you. Be aware of what’s going on with the body (chest, stomach, head). 33:30 How might church leaders profit from these approaches? Exercise caution in advising, “Do such and such and you’ll feel differently,” or “Just wake up and tell yourself to feel differently.” People may visit you with a bucket of feelings and leave feeling unheard if feelings aren’t acknowledged. Don’t encourage “Fake it till you make it” or “poser” behaviors. Advising counselees to pray/read scriptures more may help them feel the Spirit without altering the deep feelings they experience. Christ is the Healer. 48:15 As leaders, learn to acknowledge your feelings about certain triggers. Don’t stifle your feelings. Remember, Christ experienced difficult emotions. Feelings don’t define us. Invest in self-awareness and self-care. Empathy (feelings) and compassion (actions) can include self-compassion. 55:40 As you become more adept using these principles in your life and home life you can help others more. A leader doesn’t have to be the expert—Christ is the expert. 57:25 Firehoses vs lawnmowers discussion. Follow Christ’s lead on empathy/compassion. Lazarus story. 1:02:20 Questions to ask: Where is it hurting the most? What is one thing I can do to help? What do you need? They may not assess their need accurately, but they need to feel heard. The “fix” may take time. Links * The Path of Imperfection Podcast with Beckie Hennessy * B.R.I.C.K.S. Family Counseling * beckiehennessy.com * Facebook:
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68 min
March 24, 2019
Good, Better, Best of the Addiction Recovery Program | An Interview with Brad Barber
"It is not enough that something is good. Other choices are better, and still others are best." —Dallin H. Oaks Brad Barber co-hosts The Next Step Podcast, which is based around the Church's Addiction Recovery Program and addiction in general. He grew up in the Church in southern California, served a mission, and attended Brigham Young University. Brad has seen many friends caught in addiction and became involved with ARP after hearing podcast co-host Jay's testimony of the program and wondering why there weren't ARP addiction meetings in his area. Highlights 6:45 How Brad got involved with ARP and started The Next Step Podcast 12:00 Setting up the ARP program is supposed to start with the stake 12:20 A facilitator who is an addict in recovery should be leading the meetings 12:50 Leaders who have not been through the process do not know what addicts have gone through and addicts can tell 13:30 A sponsor is a person who is in sobriety from addiction 14:55 At first, addicts categorize themselves against each other until they realize everyone's struggles are the same, but anyone who has experienced addiction can facilitate for others experiencing different types of addiction 15:45 Quote from the intro of the ARP manual (in LDS Tools) about what addiction is 17:00 Some statistics about addictions that go beyond alcohol, drugs, and pornography 18:10 "Atonement Realization Program" because the 12 Steps walk you through the Atonement to improve yourself 18:40 Elder Oaks' talk, "Good, Better, Best": Have people been lifted, encouraged, and changed? 20:15 A 12-Step meeting is different than counseling, but ARP is organized under LDS Family Services 20:35 Meetings usually start from the bottom up, where a family member starts a group after discovering the program exists 21:05 The 12 Steps were invented by the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous in the 1930's 21:40 Good: There are ARP meetings in the stake, and ward leaders are aware of them 22:15 Group leaders are generally not addicts in recovery, and need to be a person who has no judgment toward others 23:50 Brad's advice to group leaders: Don't show up dressed like a missionary or pretend to be something you are not 24:45 Better: Passionate group leaders who coordinate with other group leaders 25:25 Invite leaders to go to a meeting and challenge them to not be afraid of what other people might think 27:00 Some do's and don'ts about attending a meeting: * Introduce yourself by first name only * Resist the urge to share your testimony 29:50 Better: Have meetings with a varying mix of people at stages of sobriety to help support the participants 30:25 It's the responsibility of group leaders to find those addicts in recovery and get them to come 30:55 Bishops have a responsibility to help identify those people and connect them to ARP 32:35 It's the purpose of sponsors to follow-up and that's how to maintain sobriety 33:30 Spouses also need to understand that sobriety isn't the end 34:20 Better: Have your bishops attend ARP meetings 35:25 Treat the ARP meetings the same as self-reliance meetings and attend a full 12-week course to really understand the power of these steps 36:30 In ARP, everyone shares their experience instead of listening to an "expert" 37:00 Story: everyone can benefit from learning the 12 Steps 37:50 Better: Persons who have done the 12 Steps are now supporting others 38:05 "What gets you sober won't keep you sober" 39:50 Best: You have facilitators who have broken anonymity
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70 min
March 18, 2019
Finding Leaders in Your Ward Outside the Same Ten People | An Interview with Jessica Johnson
Jessica Johnson works in leadership development with the RBL Group. She holds an MBA from Brigham Young University and previously worked in management and marketing consulting, and in television sports. Jessica spoke about councils as part of the Leading Saints Leadership Conference in November 2018. The video of this podcast is also part of the Motivating Saints Virtual Summit. Highlights 8:30 We try to find the best people for the job, but our own biases can cause us to overlook latent leaders 10:10 Metrics for success are different in the Church 12:10 Think about the role and needs: Who are the stakeholders? Who are they serving? What are their needs? 15:15 Don't start with the people who can fill any calling, but start with the people who are less visible 16:15 Will trumps skill: look for the Amuleks along with the Almas 17:10 First seek the Spirit, but pray for discernment 18:15 Always be training new leaders 20:15 As we seek inspiration and get to know the members of the ward better, inspiration comes 20:25 Example of a bishop who had a weekly new-member meeting in his office that was a Sunday School class, including representatives of the bishopric and relevant auxiliary leadership 23:45 We often have unrecognized internal assumptions about people that we don't question: question those assumptions 25:40 There may be leaders in the ward that are not in formal leadership positions 27:10 Storytelling is how we build culture: Tell stories to spark genuine ministering 29:20 Facts and figures can be dismissed but we remember stories because we insert ourselves into them 30:45 How do we support new leaders? What does that look like? How do we train them? 31:35 Support them by doing assignments and tasks with them first 31:45 Follow-up by giving very specific positive feedback 32:35 Kurt: Sometimes we don't choose that less-than-ideal candidate for a calling because we don't know how to support them 33:45 Kurt: Hold those stewardship meetings 34:20 Not everyone knows exactly what they're supposed to do: example of newly-returned member with a Primary calling 36:00 Give them a few expectations up front so they can create habits and grow into more expectations 36:45 Knowledge about how to do things is often assumed in our culture and we all need a little help knowing how to do things 38:00 Consider assigning a mentor 39:00 "One of the most important things you can leave after you're released is people who have increased in capacity and confidence."—Elder Bednar 40:30 In a business, 20% of the time should be spent on developing people and not "administratia": flip this in a ward setting to 80% 42:20 "Feed forward" (not feedback): Look to the future and ask, "How do we make this better for the future?" then have a collaborative conversation. 44:35 SCARF model of dealing with feedback (David Rock) 45:45 You can learn a lot from those conversations that help with understanding and compassion 47:00 There will be "failure" and struggle but they will learn from it 47:40 Kurt: example of parade float and what was learned 49:00 Look outside your network to find these latent leaders: get to know people you don't know 49:30 If no one disagrees with you in a presidency meeting, that is actually a problem: conflict is healthy (not contention) 51:40 We want everyone involved: D&C 82 That every person may gain other talents Links SCARF Model
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54 min
March 12, 2019
The Unique Opportunity Local Leaders Have to Encourage Faith Among Latter-day Saint Millennials | An Interview with Jana Riess
Jana Riess is a historian and editor in the publishing industry, primarily working in the areas of religion, history, popular culture, ethics, and biblical studies. From 1999 to 2008, she was the Religion Book Review Editor for Publishers Weekly, and continues to freelance reviews for Publishers Weekly as well as other publications. She holds degrees in religion from Wellesley College and Princeton Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in American religious history from Columbia University. She grew up with no religious affiliation and became a Protestant in high school. While going to college to become a pastor, she converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Her book, "The Next Mormons: How Millennials are Changing the LDS Church", came about after starting a Kickstarter campaign to fund a survey to learn about Millennials in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Highlights * 6:45 Millennials are leaving religion * 7:30 Retention rate of 46%-62% and is trending downward * 8:30 What is a Millennial? * 10:00 What to say to those who say the Millennials will grow out of this phase? * 12:30 What can the church do to retain these Millennials and solve the problem? * 15:40 What part does conformity & obedience have in Millennials leaving the church? * 16:40 The two main reasons Millennials leave the church * 18:35 How do Millennials view the temple? * 23:20 Millennials have a higher rate of ministering * 25:00 Why church? * 26:00 How church meetings could be better & different for Millennials * 27:00 How do Millennials see church callings differently * 28:30 Millennials & religious authority * 32:55 Millennials & the word of wisdom * 33:55 Millennials & temple recommends * 37:15 Millennials & pornography * 40:10 Millennials & the traditional family * 44:00 Millennials and the Prophet and General Authorities * 48:30 Millennials and American exceptionalism * 50:10 What can Millennials bring to our church? * 53:00 What's the biggest sticking point for Millennials going forward? * 56:00 What can leaders do? * 58:00 How has writing this book impacted Jana's discipleship of Jesus Christ? Links The Next Mormons: How Millennials are Changing the LDS Church An LDS Leader’s Guide to Millennial Mormons Transcript Kurt Francom (LS): Today I have the opportunity to sit down with Jana Riess. Jana, you are the author of "The Next Mormons: How Millennials Are Changing the LDS Church". So tell us as far as your personal background and how this project and book came to be? Jana: Sure. This project basically started in 2016. I was very interested in getting solid data on what's going on generationally with Latter-Day Saints and former Latter-Day Saints. And not just anecdotally "here's what I'm seeing in my social media feed." Anecdotally, it felt like more younger people were leaving the LDS faith and for possibly different reasons than older people had left, and I wanted to know if that was really valid, and if so, more about it - everything we could. So along with the help of Benjamin Knoll, who's a political scientist, we crafted this survey, raised money on Kickstarter in order to fund the survey because it's very expensive to try to get valid information that's nationally representative about such a small minority population. Mormons are only about one and a half percent of the United States population. That's how it began. LS: Nice.
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62 min
March 3, 2019
What Latter-day Saint Youth Leaders Need to Understand About LGBT Youth | An Interview with Brittany Ellis
Interview transcript is available below Brittany Ellis grew up in Riverside, California, and realized as a young woman that she experiences same-sex attraction. She lives in the Los Angeles area with her husband of ten years and their two children and is in school studying American Sign Language interpretation. In this interview, Brittany and Kurt talk about her journey as an SSA woman and how youth leaders can better approach the subject and work with SSA youth. Highlights 10:10 Brittany’s experience realizing she is attracted to women 11:45 Buried her feelings and decided to focus on being a strong member of the Church 12:00 At age 15, admitted it to her best friends and tried talking to her bishop 13:25 Her bishop’s response did not help 14:10 Dated a lot and eventually met her husband 16:10 Experience dating her husband 17:00 Wanted to turn to her bishop for support as a youth but figured it would be useless so she tried to deal with it on her own 17:55 Loving her husband made him attractive 19:00 Didn’t talk about her SSA as a couple for seven years of marriage but eventually worked on it together and individually with the help of a therapist 20:05 The rollercoaster ride is still there but no longer includes shame 20:55 She journals and uses humor to make it easier and to manage her feelings 21:35 Her husband’s desire to learn and understand has made him a good listener and partner 23:05 We all have a void but the gospel helps fill it 24:35 Like many others, she thought she was the only woman married to a man and dealing with SSA 25:25 Her involvement with North Star International 26:00 Terrified to go to the first conference 26:55 North Star has helped her make many friends and the workshops at the conferences have been a great, always-positive resource 28:15 North Star is now doing regional activities throughout the year 30:00 Discussion of LGBT youth in the Church: 30:20 Poem she wrote at age 15 32:00 Just saying it out loud makes it real 33:25 Vulnerability hangover: it’s freeing to talk about it, but then fearful thoughts come and are overwhelming 34:40 We need to have these hard conversations at church so that we can support the youth 35:20 The vulnerability hangover still happens as an adult 37:10 Leaders need to understand that SSA is not a sin 38:10 No reason these youth cannot participate in activities in the Church and even serve a mission 38:45 As leaders, our job is to help the youth feel the Spirit, which won’t happen if they aren’t there 39:35 Important that the youth can take the lead and establish communication, and for leaders to do it if the youth aren’t ready for that 41:50 Ask them what they need from you and follow their lead 43:50 The youth don’t have a problem with their gay peers. It’s the adults who are concerned. 45:15 Experiencing SSA doesn’t mean they are perverted or attracted to everyone 47:00 Building barriers actually gives the issue power 47:45 Example of leaders and parents overreacting, but the youth weren’t uncomfortable at all 49:05 It’s good to have a connection and include the youth instead of excluding them 50:15 Example of an SSA youth with a girlfriend: establish the rules but don’t prevent them from being there and feeling the Spirit 51:45 Love them even if they aren’t making the best choices. Make the boundaries universal for all youth, not just SSA youth. 53:05 Loving the youth and being inclusive isn’t condoning. Have the awkward conversations. 55:00 It's okay to love your gay child who marries a same-sex partner. If we don’t stay connected to them, who will invite the Spirit into their life? 57:10 Easier to leave the door open for them as a youth than waiting until they are adults a...
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69 min
February 24, 2019
What Young Single Adults Need YSA Bishoprics to Hear | An Interview with Rosie Card
Rosie Card is the founder of Q.NOOR, a clothing company that creates temple, baptism, and blessing dresses, and the host of the Q.MORE podcast, discussing questions about culture and doctrine in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A former model, BYU grad, and returned missionary, Rosie is also the author of "Model Mormon", the story of her experience in the modeling industry and discovering that true happiness isn't found in looking beautiful, but in seeking to become more like the Savior. She recently returned to attending her local ward after years of experience in singles wards. Highlights 5:00 Experience as a model 5:50 The story behind her book, “Model Mormon” 6:30 How and why she started Q.NOOR, creating temple dresses that help women feel comfortable in the temple 9:35 What started the Q.MORE podcast: discussing questions openly in conversations 13:55 People usually just need to know that they aren’t the only one with questions 14:20 Leaders should encourage people to turn to God for answers 17:40 Getting away from making singles wards all about dating 18:15 The sense that single adults need to get married so that they can “join the rest”, when we all actually have the same purpose to become like Christ 20:25 The unintentional message that singles wards exist to push marriage 21:25 Being comfortable with singleness 22:40 The focus on relationship discussions in singles wards needs to be balanced out 23:40 If you want to have lessons on chastity or healthy sexuality, be straightforward about it all instead of tiptoeing around the subjects 26:10 YSA activities are great, but YSA are no longer “youth” 27:10 Sometimes we treat singles like children instead of the adults they are 28:35 Single members are growing and progressing in the same ways as married members, but through different experiences 29:45 Stop it with the date boxes 30:25 Dating committees: We should be encouraging men and women to have the maturity and confidence to date, not facilitate dating for them 33:20 Ward Council that built activities around their network and skills for YSA 34:55 Unintentional disrespect for YSAs: they don’t need adult supervision, they aren’t kids, and they are no less of contributing members in the Church 38:55 Consider: a 28-year-old single adult is as capable as a 28-year-old married adult 40:20 YSAs have more time than same-age married adults-with-children and could potentially contribute even more in a calling, not less 42:10 The myth that a YSA can’t have the same opportunities to contribute or serve in leadership callings in a family ward as they would in a singles ward 45:10 Discussion of what dissolving singles wards could do for everyone 47:25 Sacrament meeting coordinator calling 49:55 Decided the topics, speakers, and order of speakers as a member of the Ward Council 51:40 Local ward bishops could use this to take those tasks off their busy plate 52:25 How she worked with the bishop in the coordinator calling 53:50 Encouragement for YSA bishops: have open and honest discussions with the people in your ward about their experiences there 56:55 Observations of the Church and the gospel from the outside have helped her have more compassion for others who might feel disenfranchised Links Q.MORE podcast Q.MORE podcast with Kurt: Thus Saith the Lord Rosie's book, Model Mormon Q.NOOR.com LDS temple, baptism, and blessing dresses
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56 min
February 17, 2019
7 Self-Sabotaging Habits of Latter-day Saint Lay Leaders (and What to Do About Them)
Kurt Francom, Executive Director of Leading Saints, flies solo for this episode as he talks about some invisible habits some leaders have that self-sabotage their leadership and diminish those around them. Highlights 4:40 Invitation to become more reflective and ask yourself if you are possibly doing some of these things without realizing it 1. Creating a culture of unquestioned obedience to what the leader directs (6:00) * This happens with the best intentions* 6:30 Common example: Primary President doesn't hear about changes in the Primary until it is announced in Sacrament Meeting because the Bishop is not giving them autonomy over their auxiliary* 9:00 From Dan Pink's book, "Drive", three things every individual looks for: autonomy, mastery (becoming proficient at what they do), purpose (my opinions matter; I'm making a difference) What to do about it: * 10:50 Bishops should turn callings over to the auxiliaries, and then the bishopric can facilitate and encourage auxiliary leaders* 13:20 Ask the Ward Council/counselors: How are decisions being made? Is this a problem?* 13:40 One-to-one monthly interviews with your auxiliary leaders and counselors 2. A leader's lack of motivation to acquire accurate self-awareness by seeking-out alternative perspectives and general leadership training (16:15) * 17:00 Self-awareness about your approachability as a leader* Subconsciously sabotaging difficult conversations* 18:15 Story of Seminary/Institute teacher who always had the answer to questions* 19:10 It's not about having the right answer, but about having the conversation What to do about it: * 20:00 Ask, "How approachable am I?" and create a safe circumstance for others to come to you* 20:40 Seek leadership training from every source possible * 21:50 Elder Bednar's leadership skills came from decades of experience as a professor and author, not simply because he is an apostle * 23:30 Pick up a book* 23:40 Seek out other resources such as conferences, websites, therapists, Leading Saints, etc. 3. Providing no venue to experience real connection (27:30) * 28:00 Kurt's experience at Wild at Heart Boot Camp: Men talking and connecting in ways that they don't normally experience in elders quorum* 30:35 "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation" (Thoreau)* 31:55 Never let a quorum meeting become another Sunday School class; create more connection What to do about it: * 32:45 Create vulnerability* Sit in a circle* 33:35 Stimulate the group with questions* 34:40 Brene Brown's books about vulnerability and shame* 35:55 The leader needs to lead out with vulnerability* 37:20 Vulnerability leads to trust 4. Church/family imbalance: An excessive emphasis on the importance of family responsibility that causes individuals/families to disengage with the Church (and vice versa) (38:10) * 39:45 Quote from "The Divine Center," by Steven R. Covey* 41:25 Culture shifting to putting the family first and losing the balance with church service What to do about it: * 42:40 Talk about this dynamic as a bishopric and as a ward* 43:10 Infuse your ward, Relief Society, or quorum with more purpose/vision 5. Creating unintentional shame (44:00) * 44:40 Shame is the greatest counterfeit that the adversary uses instead of guilt* 45:45 Shame comes with the best intentions but creates a dynamic of unattainable perfectionism * 46:30 Quote from Brené Brown,
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71 min
February 12, 2019
Changing our Perspective on Addressing Welfare Needs | An Interview with Blair and Cindy Packard
Blair Packard is a physical therapist and Cindy is a midwife. They are from Utah but have lived in Arizona since 1976, first in Mesa and now in Gilbert. They have seven children and 25 grandchildren. Cindy learned some Portuguese after starting a nonprofit, Care for Life, based in Mozambique. This came in useful later when they served a short-term humanitarian mission to Mozambique, and then as mission president from 2006-2009. In this interview, Kurt and the Packards talk about how to address primary problems instead of secondary problems in welfare service programs, mentoring and guiding people toward comprehensive self-reliance instead of simply giving them short-term support. Summary 1:40 Church service in Mozambique 4:50 Their experience in a robbery/hostage situation involving President and Sister Nelson near the end of their mission 8:10 How Care for Life came to be 11:00 They couldn’t just do one thing. There were so many needs, and they boiled it down to a need for knowledge and teaching. 12:20 Welfare and self-reliance principles came from their service * Documentary: Poverty, Inc. * When we think we are helping, we are more often creating dependence 14:45 Preventing the primary problem instead of trying to solve secondary problems, going into the “orphan prevention business” 16:50 At first they started an agriculture class, but eventually learned to mentor instead of simply teaching and walking away 17:45 Specialists work with the communities in different areas, setting goals, evaluating, and mentoring over time, much like a ward welfare council 20:50 Make it clear that they are only helping short-term and the community will need to support themselves after that 21:25 Took time to develop the Care for Life “family preservation program” based on the needs of the people, as determined by the community * Eight areas in the program: education, health, and hygiene, food security and nutrition, sanitation, income generation, home improvement, psychosocial well-being, community participation * Over 15 years, they were able to reduce maternal mortality rates in the villages by 78% and infant mortality rates by 57% 22:50 How they did it wrong at first, training birth attendants but not teaching entire villages of families 24:25 The comprehensive problems need to be addressed, and it starts with families 26:20 Kurt: It’s easy to project our perspective on someone else, but the solution needs to come from the people 27:35 Sending toys to Africa: not understanding what the villagers really needed 29:20 How to not project your experience on others: talk with them and observe what they don’t know how to do 32:00 It’s not a matter of intelligence, but a lack of experience and opportunity 34:22 Empowering individuals to believe that they can do this themselves and change their own lives 37:55 They monitor villages for five years after the initial program and see how the people then take ownership and teach others 39:30 It’s not about money but about giving people rewards for doing the work themselves 40:20 Mentoring is ministering 41:15 The self-reliance program isn’t just giving someone a manual, but working with the people to learn the principles 42:30 You have to celebrate success when a goal is reached, giving positive feedback 43:35 Many of the people they have taught skills to have gained the capacity to serve and gone on to be Church leaders 44:40 Maslow hierarchy of needs: begin with the basic needs before they can engage in Church service
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68 min
February 3, 2019
Building Bridges and Ministering in Your Community | An Interview with Jodi Taylor
Jodi Taylor lives in Anchorage, Alaska with her husband and children, where they both work in real estate development. She is currently Coordinating Council Director of Public Affairs in the area. The coordinating council is responsible for building bridges in our communities, taking the ideas of ministering outside and into our neighborhoods to expand how the church works with community groups. Highlights 7:20 Jodi explains what the church is like in Anchorage. 8:35 Role of stake public affairs to help the stake leaders—but not just within their own boundaries. The coordinating council is there to help the stake public affairs to meet their goals. The public affairs department are the opinion leaders for the area. 10:10 She presents some general principles on how we can be involved in our communities 11:10 Jodi presents a story of stake and community involvement as a family and their coordinating council. She encourages all to find ways to be involved—find a need and fill it. 13:50 How we can find common ground and how the coordinating council helped with the evolution of discussions and changes within the LGBT community and legislation. Importance of knowing key people who can get to know you and trust you. She describes relationships built and a summit that was held to bring experts together. 24:15 It is important to have a dialogue. There are ways to bring our beliefs in the Savior into the activities we are involved in. We all have the ability to make change by doing what matters to us and what matters to others. 25:50 Find an issue that matters to someone else 28:20 We must talk openly about our faith 30:20 Jodi shares story of her teenage daughter who got involved to cause change. We can help make change no matter our age. Utilize social media. 38:55 How you bring something up to others will determine if they will listen. We should acknowledge pain/hurt and concerns—they will listen. The time to be involved is NOW. 42:30 Jody addresses public affairs and politics 45:30 Everyone should get involved. God has designed a role for each of us to add light to our communities. We shouldn’t just pray for the Lord to provide opportunities but we should actively seek them out. 46:45 "It has expanded my understanding of my brothers and sisters and I appreciate the good that each person brings."
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49 min
January 27, 2019
How I Lead as the Bishop’s Wife | Interviews with Jill Walker and Kasandra Merrill
In this podcast, Kurt interviews two women with the unofficial leadership calling of Bishop’s Wife. Sister Jill Walker First he speaks with Jill Walker, the wife of Bishop Jason Walker of Phoenix, Arizona. Bishop Walker has been serving for about seven months. They have been married for 27 years, have three children, and have lived in Phoenix for seven years. The Walker family Highlights 4:00 Introduction with Bishop Jason Walker 8:50 Called as bishop and then called again when ward boundaries were changed 9:45 Called shortly after a calling to the high council 10:45 Expectations she had, surprised and confused by new emotions such as feeling jealous of his time away 13:00 Journaled about her emotions but didn’t talk to anyone 13:50 The loneliness of not being able to talk about what he has been doing 14:20 Thoughts that she couldn’t burden him further with trivial family things when he had so many obvious burdens from his calling added to the sense of loneliness Principles of Leadership as the Bishop’s Wife * 16:25 Journal * 18:25 Find ways to help–helps with loneliness * 20:00 Pray–for your husband and for comfort for yourself * 21:20 Spend time together–go with him to anything that is appropriate, but also on intentional dates, to the store, any moment possible * 23:25 Focus on the positive–look for the blessings and personal growth 24:55 Started sharing whatever spiritual moments they can, which has helped their partnership 26:30 She has learned to pay more attention to everyone and be more compassionate Sister Kasandra Merrill Next, Kurt speaks with Kasandra Merrill, wife of Bishop Scott Merrill of Mesa, Arizona. They both grew up in Mesa and have lived in the same ward since they were married. He has been serving as bishop for over four years. Kasandra comes from a large mixed family of 12 children, including step-siblings, and she and Scott have been married 24 years and have seven children. The Merrill family Highlights 30:30 She saw his calling coming but he did not 31:10 The circumstances in their family when he was called: five teenagers who then married or went on missions since his call, plus his busy job and she was in school full time 33:00 The first year was the most difficult for them to understand each other and each other’s roles because they approach life differently 34:00 She could sense the pain of ward members through him, but felt totally alone and unable to share her burdens with anyone 35:10 She was handling and carrying some heavy difficulties with their children all alone 37:00 She felt that he had the mantle of the calling to support him, while she had nothing 37:45 Figured out together how to handle their loneliness together and to share their burdens 38:40 Realized she has angels watching over and strengthening her, too 39:00 They were both called in for his calling as bishop 40:00 They may not have it all together but they are together 41:15 Allowed herself to not parent alone, or to own her children’s mistakes as hers 42:10 Their children all seemed to have had a positive experience with their dad as the bishop, but he let them know that if they wanted to talk to someone else they could go to the stake president 44:00 Don’t dwell on the negative 44:50 Living in a “glass house” 46:00 Her husband has been very private as bishop; she could sense anger and heartbreak but he didn’t/couldn’t share 48:05 Keeping their struggles open instead of private 48:45 Son came home early from his mission and they were open about everything with the ward, eliminating possible shame 50:15 Daughter attempted suicide and they were open about that too,
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54 min
January 20, 2019
The Bishop’s Strongest Tools to Help Addicts | An Interview with Tony Overbay
Tony Overbay began his career in the high tech world but felt the call to become a therapist and help men. For the past 13-14 years, he has been a licensed marriage and family therapist with a practice in Roseville, California. While Tony grew up in Utah, he is an adult convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He has been married 28 years, is a father of four, an ultra-marathoner, host of the Virtual Couch Podcast, creator of The Path Back, and currently serves on the Leading Saints Professional Therapists Advisory Board. Tony Overbay Highlights 12:45 Men in therapy - the stigma, stereotypes 14:40 Treatment of pornography addiction - behavior modification, identifying triggers “crimes of opportunity,” then thought, which leads to action/behavior. Tools to put distance between thoughts and action, initially, then work on thought, but have to deal with core issues to heal. 16:30 Core issues—feelings of inadequacy, not feeling connected to partner, job, or faith, poor health—have to be dealt with to heal from addiction. Go-to patterns of behavior learned in youth 17:45 Men have a harder time connecting, less likely to go to therapy, need to find ways to connect with a therapist first before talking about emotions before talking about the elephant in the room 20:45 "The bishop is not the therapist" mentality brings shame to the table because it doesn’t bring the connection. How can bishops help build connections? Bishops need authenticity and vulnerability to build connection, to avoid shame spiral by pushing to get to transgression immediately. Don’t rush it, show gratitude, build relationships, meet with love. A relationship is more important - can’t go and find another bishop, like a person can go find another therapist 26:20 Perfect Love Casteth Out Fear - Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf April 2017 - many bishops over-emphasize shame - sprinkling shame glitter - to make them know they did something "really bad." Have to give people hope and remove shame. 27:30 - Brother Tad Callister- guilt is the stop sign. Shame hangs around guilt and isn’t productive, is negative, and makes people feel horrible. Have to change the conversation because will lie when there are relapses 29:20 - Shame - leaders mix up shame and guilt. Shame is "you’re bad" and not "what you did is bad". Pornography addiction - first exposure - 8 to 11 yo - early exposure to pornography is early sexualization, which changes the wiring of the brain because the brain doesn’t know how to process information. Changes their perception of the world, have to understand with it to work with, and will remove the shame. 32:30 - Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf - minor things take a person further off course over time. What not to say to someone when talking to them because it makes the other person view it as shame and more broken and not empathetic because coming from a different point of view. 33:45 Dr. Patrick Carnes - sexual addiction counselor, sex addiction and pornography can be harder to overcome than drug or alcohol addiction because addictive obsession can cause mood alteration. Sex addicts carry their own source of supply in their brain. Prolonged use alters the brain. Why can’t I get it under control? Bishop asks why and doesn’t understand the why of a person wanting it. Unintended shame happens. 37:20 Double down on the empathy when people share. Jesus saw sin as wrong, but as needs not met. Look into lives of others to see their shortcomings, unmet needs, etc, that aren’t filled that we’re trying to fill. Need to focus on the deeper reason of why we sin and the need we’re trying to meet to become better. Have to help people find something to replace the void. Easier to add things to life than subtract from life. 40:00 - EFT - Emotionally Focused Therapy to connect with a...
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71 min
January 13, 2019
How to Support Latter-day Saints Struggling With Depression & Anxiety | An Interview with Jane Clayson Johnson
Jane Clayson Johnson grew up playing the violin and attended BYU on a music scholarship, then changed her studies to journalism. After graduating, she worked for KSL News in Salt Lake City, then moved to Los Angeles where she was a correspondent for programs such as ABC World News Tonight and Good Morning America. She was later an anchor on The Early Show and a correspondent for CBS. Jane left her full-time job when she married her husband, Mark Johnson, to be a wife and mother. They have two children together and reside in Boston, where she also works as a fill-in host for NPR's On Point. She has written two books, I am a Mother and Silent Souls Weeping. Jane Clayson Johnson Highlights 5:45 About her book, I am a Mother 6:20 Hosts On Point for NPR 6:50 Considers self a storyteller 7:25 Authoring new book, Silent Souls Weeping, on the subject of depression, especially as it relates to her own experience with clinical depression 9:25 Wondered “How can I be so depressed when I am so blessed?” 11:35 After receiving treatment and beginning to feel better, Jane began to speak with others and realize how many people suffer with depression. She began interviewing others, and the book was born. 12:30 All interviews are with faithful Latter-day Saints who have struggled with depression 13:00 Kurt recommends the book for church leaders who are battling with depression, especially since as a leader he did not have any framework to help people who are suffering—no advice to offer beyond “go see a professional”; the book helps him understand different perspectives. 14:25 Jane has learned that we need to reach out and help each other, because so many of us don’t speak about the suffering; feels the worst part of depression is the “profound isolation” 16:30 So often we suffer in silence—it’s where the title of the book comes from, Silent Souls Weeping 17:35 Depression is easy to hide at church 18:00 One bishop made a list of the mental illnesses he saw in his ward and concluded about about one quarter of his ward were affected, and that was just the issues that he knew about 19:35 Depression can block us from feeling the spirit, God’s love 20:10 "It was like the most important part of my soul had been carved out of me" 20:20 When you are depressed and active in a church that often equates happiness with righteousness, depression can be tormenting 22:15 One sister described a sense of desperation, seeking help anywhere, felt depression was a sign that she was somehow unworthy, hypocritical 23:30 Depression happens to us regardless of our circumstances, the loss of the spirit may be the most distressing part of depression and why we need to seek treatment 23:50 Kurt reminds us depression does not only affect those who “don’t understand” the gospel but can affect anyone 24:20 One theme of the book is how depression affects our ability to feel the spirit. Another theme is the stigma attached to depression. 25:25 Kurt tells the story of one sister suffering with depression wished to be in the place of a sister with cancer’s shoes because of the extreme stigma and embarrassment she felt related to suffering with depression 26:30 Jane explains the woman with cancer and woman with severe depression were both admitted to the hospital at the same time—they were sisters. The depressed sister felt like people would treat her and her family differently if she had cancer instead of something stigmatized like depression. 27:25 Depression is not the result of personal inadequacy
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62 min
January 6, 2019
One Couple’s Journey Through Sexual Addiction | An Interview with Chris & Autumn Bennett
Autumn was born and raised in Utah. She met Chris while they were in high school. They have three children, and she is very creative and crafty. Chris also grew up in Utah. When he was of mission age, he told his bishop that he wasn’t going to serve. At a baseball game that same day he very nonchalantly proposed marriage to Autumn. They had been best friends but hadn’t even gone on a single date. Highlights Chris’ Story 6:00 Introduction to pornography and masturbation * 6:20 Differences in accessibility between then and now. * 6:50 Shame caused him to keep it secret. He wanted to approach his bishop but didn’t know how. * 7:30 Sexuality was not openly discussed in his family. * 8:20 He began seeking out pornography * 9:30 Decision made not to serve a mission 10:15 Avoidance tips and how to help your children: have an open relationship with your children, sons and daughters * 10:45 Framing the question: “When was the last time…” as opposed to “If”. * 11:15 Don’t let this be a taboo subject. Statistics show that 90% of children are exposed to pornography by age 9. * 12:00 Talking about these subjects all along mitigates the shame of approaching parents when something happens. * 12:20 When something happens, first express love. * 12:45 Talking to the bishop is not a bad or shameful thing, but is a normal part of the healing process. 17:20 Thought getting married would make addictions go away. Most of his friends in recovery had the same belief. 19:00 Called as ward Young Men president. Addictions triggered, multiple affairs began. 21:20 First meeting with bishop after getting caught, getting released, and the disciplinary council. Wanted to keep from his wife. Confessed only to the one affair, kept all else secret. 23:30 Example of the “addict brain”: he prayed to be excommunicated so that upon rebaptism he could be forgiven of all the other things which he had not disclosed. 29:00 Disfellowshipped. Starts marriage counseling. 29:30 Autumn confronts him about additional affairs, is hospitalized for a suicide attempt. Bargains with God to stop all bad behavior if Autumn lives. She survives. Chris begins disclosing most of his secrets to Autumn. 35:00 Breaking those promises to God. 36:00 The wisdom of allowing time to pass between a traumatic event and holding a disciplinary council. A buffer of time allows for stability and opportunity for spiritual healing. 36:40 Chris’ disciplinary councils were some the most spiritual experiences he’s ever had, and allowed him to feel God’s love, with the love of those in the council. 37:35 Excommunicated. 48:30 Church-sponsored Addiction Recovery Program (ARP) meetings: bishops are encouraged to attend shortly after being called so that they can refer individuals with knowledge of the resource. 1:02:10 Autumn empowers him to finally disclose every detail during a therapy session. True healing begins. Autumn and Chris start their therapy from square one, the real starting point for their recovery. 1:08:00 After full disclosure, commits 100% to church and Autumn. Focuses on falling back in love with her, by * Checking in with her daily. * Praying daily, asking for help to love her again. * Studying his scriptures every night and finding personal application, which he then communicated with Autumn. * 10 years sober, still maintains these habits. 1:12:00 Finally gives self to Christ. 1:13:15 Leaders are there to empathize, connect, and to love--not to fix. Leaders assist members in coming to a point where they are ready to give themselves to Christ. Until members embrace “the formula” for themselves (read, pray, go to church),
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89 min
December 16, 2018
Developing Leaders Through Immersive Learning | An Interview with LDS Business College Leadership Students
Kurt Francom, the host of the Leading Saints podcast, is an adjunct professor at LDS Business College in Salt Lake City, Utah. During the fall semester, he taught a class called Leadership for Life and this episode is the main part of a final project of the course. You will hear from President Bruce C. Kusch, president of LDS Business College, and several students who were in the class. As this semester had gone by his class has gone thru many experiences in which they have been able to grow and change due to the way this style of learning. This new style of learning has been developed with the help of the college president, President Bruce Kusch, to create a new way of learning that they hope to bring to the whole curriculum of LDS Business College. Along with President Kusch and the students, they have been willing to share just how this changed them and made them into young leaders that can go forward in this world and be a light to follow. They have been willing to share some of the principles include: * Becoming Converted to and hard work * How to become unified by leading with friends * Finding the courage to lead by creating a personal vision This Leadership for Life class has grown into a group of leaders that have demonstrated the necessary skills to become the young leaders that are so instrumental to create change in their own lives and the lives of others. We invite you to listen to his student’s experiences as they have grown in his class and how their stories can help you to become a leader through the darkness. You should also consider how you can stimulate an immersive learning environment in your ward and specifically in the lives of the leaders you work with. After listening to this episode we invite you to TAKE A SHORT SURVEY that will help the students get feedback about the quality of the podcast episode (their final project). Links: Learner-Centered Teaching: Five Key Changes to Practices (this is a book that teaches more about immersive learning styles) LDS Business College Website President Henry B. Eyring's Devotional Address Take the feedback survey
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63 min
December 9, 2018
How I Lead as the Bishop’s Wife | An Interview with Alanna Francom
Alanna Francom grew up outside of Blackfoot, Idaho, the oldest of seven children. She attended Brigham Young University–Idaho and then decided to become a massage therapist and went to school in Salt Lake City, Utah. She met her husband, Kurt, in a Young Single Adult ward in Salt Lake, and has served alongside him while he was a bishop and in a stake presidency. They have two children. If you are a former/current bishop's wife, consider TAKING OUR SURVEY. Highlights 3:00 How Kurt and Alanna met 9:00 The need for content around being a bishop's wife 11:15 The bishop's wife is an unofficial calling 11:45 When Kurt was called as bishop 13:50 Alanna's perspective on their marriage during Kurt's time in leadership positions 16:40 Changes when Kurt was called to the stake presidency 17:10 Dealing with situational depression 20:40 Leadership principles: Advice for the bishop's wife * Share experiences: Grow in the experience together * It is helpful to know what he is doing and see the purpose of his service * How to share and still maintain confidentiality (25:00) * Make it a family calling (26:15) * Rewarding to participate in visits together * Ask yourself: What sort of bishop's wife do I want to be? * Stake presidents: Invite the family to stand when the bishop is called (29:00) * Look for simple family traditions to incorporate into your service * Finding connection (31:40) * Attended the wards Kurt visited as counselor in stake presidency * Connected with ward members, stake presidency families, bishopric/stake presidency wives lunches * Bishopric/presidency meetings as "guys night out" (35:40) * Possibility of feeling left out * Go out of the way to seek that sort of connection for yourself * Bishops: Allow your wife to have spiritual opportunities at church (38:00) * Sometimes it's hard and that's okay (38:40) * "My wife has never complained" testimony (40:00) * It's okay to give yourself permission to be sad, to want your husband there when he isn't * Let yourself feel the feelings and be aware, and that will help dissipate it (42:45) * Talk about what you're feeling and have real conversations with your husband 45:20 Sharing Leading Saints feedback with Kurt and meeting listeners 45:50 Sharing growth experiences through callings has strengthened her testimony Links Leading Others to be Better Than Happy | An Interview with Jody Moore Be Bold with Jody Moore
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49 min
December 4, 2018
#LightTheWorld
What a beautiful time of year it is to focus on the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. The #LightTheWorld campaign online is one of my favorite parts of this season and we hope that everyone will feel the effects of this effort. I am grateful for the opportunity we have had to team up with other Latter-day Saint podcasters and share of the sweet spirit of Christmas. In this episode you will hear from the following podcast hosts: * Shawn Rapier, Latter-day Lives Podcast * Nick Galieti, Latter-day Saint MissionCast * Zack Cordell, Latter-day Saint Nutritionist * Richie Steadman, The Cultural Hall * Brandt Malone & Jenny Dye, Mormon News Report * Jay & Brad, The Next Step Podcast Other Links: * Lighttheworld.org * Share your December 23 plans
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45 min
December 2, 2018
Leading with Your God-Given Talents | An Interview with Dustin Peterson
Dustin Peterson is a leadership trainer with Proof Leadership Group and works with organizations to help develop their culture. He is also the author of “Reset: How to Get Paid and Love What You Do”, and coaches individuals to help them get unstuck in their careers. He currently serves in a stake presidency in Houston, Texas, and has previously served on a high council and as an early morning seminary teacher. In this podcast, Dustin talks about why we often believe we don't have talents, and how to identify and put our talents to work to bless those we lead and serve. Highlights 8:00 Calling to the Stake Presidency 10:10 Talents: People believe they don’t have them and don’t know how to identify them; helping people identify their talents is a tremendous gift 11:35 Identifying talents first allows us to magnify them 12:20 Talents are superpowers. They are powerful skills that make you unique. 14:30 Men are that they might have joy (2 Nephi 2:25) 15:10 Parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30) * Every person has talents (verse 15) * You can gain more talents (verse 15) * Talents lead to joy (verse 21) * When we are afraid, we tend to hide our talents (verse 25) * Everyone that uses their talents gets more (verse 29) * Those who bury them have them taken away (verse 29) 16:30 Elders Quorum discussion of talents vs. 6th-grade class discussion of talents 19:45 The Broken Paradigm: What’s the problem with identifying our talents? Our mindsets * Deficit perspective: we identify our weaknesses * (22:30) Scarcity belief: a few people have talents and the rest are left behind * (25:30) Humility complex: we overvalue humility when it comes to talent and talk ourselves out of our own talents 28:00 The secret is to be grateful. 29:00 How do we identify our talents? * Definition: Things you do naturally, consistently well. Think energy. * Skills are transferable and can be taught; talents are innate, energizing, and can be developed; a sign of talent is that it is instinctual * 33:50 Talents energize and makes us feel good; we can become highly skilled at a weakness * 34:20 What moments in my calling do I feel energized in? * 36:00 God knows our talents and if we use our talents to serve, we will get where we need to be * 36:30 Diversify your perspective on talents; talents come in three varieties, but we only give respect to “doing” talents * Doing: arranging, organizing, developing, communicating, writing * Thinking: connecting, influencing, positivity, relating, empathy * Feeling: ideating, inputting information, learning, analyzing 41:30 What do you do when you don’t have a talent in a certain area? God expects us to develop all of these talents 42:15 Examples of talents that are easy to identify, and talents that are more difficult to notice * Easy: being a good athlete, gardening, singing, dancing, playing a musical instrument, drawing, painting, sculpting, cooking, baking, writing, public speaking, teaching, acting, composing songs, sewing, storytelling, repairing things, photography, bow hunting * Less easy to notice: having empathy, being a peacemaker, being positive and energetic, communicating effectively, being a good listener, having self-control/discipline, being able to make decisions, setting goals, getting tasks accomplished, giving service, inputting or retaining information, mentally organizing information, analyzing and sorting data, being friendly and kind to others, putting others at ease,
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64 min
November 25, 2018
Being the Child of a Gay Parent in Latter-day Saint Culture | An Interview with Mike Ramsey
Mike Ramsey lives in Burley, Idaho, with his wife and four children (ages two to nine years). He is president of Nifty Marketing, an internet marketing company, an author and speaker, and currently serves in his stake young men presidency. He was raised in a single-parent home with a lesbian mother, and his experience coming to terms with his his mother’s sexuality has taught him tools that other leaders can use to better connect with and support the youth they lead. Highlights 8:00 Mike's mother’s struggles with the Church, dating his father, and acknowledging her same-gender attraction 11:30 How Mike finally connected with his father 14:30 His experience as a youth, learning about and dealing with his mother’s same-sex attraction 18:00 His mother’s struggles with religion and living in a spiritual but inactive home 21:00 Why he moved to his grandparents’ home, struggling with shame, and not knowing how to handle his mother’s sexuality 23:10 How he started going to church with his grandparents and friends 25:25 Wanting to belong: it’s hard to be different and no one was willing to talk about Mike’s experience growing up with a gay parent. Leaders need to be willing to talk with youth about what they are experiencing, and just listening. It’s not about the answer, but about the conversation. 29:15 Most youth want to learn how to live their lives and need leaders to open the door for conversation by sharing their own genuine life experiences. Youth need to hear the vulnerable experiences about how adults struggled as they were growing up. Shame is eliminated when we talk openly about our own lives. 34:45 The cultural experience in the Church where no one is willing to talk about mistakes or transgressions they have experienced, and how that creates shame. This is changing as the Church is embracing transparency, but the transparency of sharing difficult life experiences hasn’t yet been embraced by everyone. 38:05 Example of Alma the Younger and how approaching the Atonement that way facilitates trust between leaders and youth 39:10 Trusting the bishop: Kurt’s experience as a bishop with a young man who only went to see him because his mom told him to 40:30 Building trust as a bishop 42:00 How youth leaders can help youth who are afraid to open up to their bishop 43:40 Mike’s mission experience and creating connections of trust with his mission president, who was open and willing to love his missionaries. Experiencing sanctification through the Holy Ghost when he was finally able to connect to a leader who was willing to be vulnerable and accepting. 50:50 Finally coming to terms with his shame and struggles about his mom’s sexuality, her difficult choices, and finally accepting who she is 55:45 We are all broken in big and little ways, and fall short of the perfection of God. Asking questions, listening, and seeing people through the Savior’s eyes can help us be accepting of each other.
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61 min
November 18, 2018
How I Lead as General Relief Society President | An Interview with Julie Beck
Interview transcript available below. Julie Bangerter Beck served as Relief Society General President from 2007-2012. She was born in Salt Lake City, Utah with nine siblings in Granger and Alpine, Utah, and in Sao Paulo, Brazil where her father served as mission president. She is a graduate of Dixie College (now Dixie State University) and Brigham Young University. Before her service as Relief Society General President, she served on the Young Women general board, as First Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency, and with her husband, Ramon, at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah. Sister Beck is currently vice-chair of the Board of Trustees of Dixie State University. She also serves on the executive committee of the BYU Alumni Association. Her new book Joy in the Covenant shares deep-seated feelings and beliefs and draws heavily from her own experiences, the lives of her parents, and the lessons she learned from them. Highlights 5:40 Sister Beck's father and his service in the church 7:00 Sister Beck's parents' leadership examples 7:30 Advice from her parents as she served in leadership callings 8:30 Lessons from her father 9:10 The Lord builds his church through building people 9:40 Experience working with a general Young Women board member 13:20 Delegating in callings 15:00 Delegating as General Relief Society President 16:50 Her role as General Relief Society President- Agent of the Prophet 20:15 Relief Society President is an agent to the bishop and serves under his keys 22:35 Relief Society President's keys when set apart/Daughter's experience as Relief Society President 25:30 How to navigate the relationship between a Relief Society President and the Bishop 29:10 How to measure success in leadership/ Preach My Gospel pages 10-11 32:00 Sister Beck's experience being called as General Relief Society President with President Hinckley 34:00 President Hinckley's counsel and emphasis that presidents choose their own counselors 37:30 Counselors help the president be the best they can be 40:45 Best practices for a sister that sits on a ward council 44:00 What was her first day like as General Relief Society President 51:00 How being a General Relief Society President has made her a better follower of Jesus Christ Links Joy in the Covenant Interview Transcript [00:04:00] Kurt: Today, I’m in downtown Salt Lake City in a room with sister Julie Beck. How are you? Julie: I’m doing great. Thank you. Kurt: Good. Well, this is quite an opportunity. I’ve seen you on TV a lot but never in person, so this is a great opportunity. Julie: People look different in person. Kurt: Right? You’re a little more blonde than I think I remember you. Julie: It’s called being outside and sun-bleached hair. Kurt: Nice, okay. Good. You recently poured your heart and soul into a book project that you recently released called Joy in the Covenant. What was the impetus for this book project? Julie: The impetus was that I had been preparing messages for a number of events and things, and I wanted to share them with my family. But in today’s world, you can’t just send out an email, and I decided I needed to protect those messages, and they needed some refinement. I wanted them for my family and friends, people who have been asking me to share. So I thought, “We’ll see if we can collect these into something that would [00:05:00] be a book. And I am quite pleased with it, how it turned out.
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56 min
November 11, 2018
Church Doctrine, Policy, & Leadership | An Interview with Prof. Anthony Sweat
Anthony Sweat is an assistant professor of Church History and Doctrine at BYU, teaching approximately 1000 students each semester. Previously he taught seminary and institute for 13 years. With an early interest in art he obtained a BFA from BYU before pursuing religious education, earning an M.Ed and Ph.D in curriculum and instruction from Utah State University. His sustained interest and skill in art provides him an avenue of expression that he often blends into his teaching of religion, especially by painting church history scenes previously undepicted. He has authored books including a recent one regarding the temple endowment. His outside interests include basketball and triathlon. Dr. Sweat and his wife Cindy are the parents of seven children. Highlights 07:20 Discussion of what constitutes official Church doctrine? Doctrine of Christ; other doctrines. 10:23 Culture or doctrine? 13:00 Where do we find doctrine? Church handbooks, standard works, official correlated Church publications; Family Proclamation. Multiple witness concept versus “outliers.” Unanimous (by the Brethren) declarations. Cohesive, cumulative statements from Church leaders acting as the Lord’s agents. Reference to D&C 107:27. 19:00 Types of doctrines. 2011 official Church statement during the campaign season involving presidential candidate Mitt Romney. What about a single statement by a single leader on a single occasion—binding? Avoid pitting one general authority against another. Are some doctrines more important than others? Are core doctrines unchangeable? What are “supportive doctrines” according to the model (four rings) developed by Dr. Sweat and his colleagues? Can faithful members have differing views on supportive doctrines? Progressing in the next life? Discussion of policies or doctrines that are authoritative, timely and unique to a given time period. Are they “mere policies?” Can they be clarified/amplified? 30:13 Don’t try to get ahead of or undercut prophets/revelators. Scriptures authenticate that God honors His prophets. Example of tribes of Israel that were required to wait to receive the priesthood. Orthodox today but heterodox tomorrow. Brigham Young said Section 76 was a “great trial” to him, but he did not reject it and later understood. 33:42 Fourth ring: “Esoteric doctrine” is obscured or ambiguous. Role of Mother in Heaven? Is Jesus married? Is there kingdom progression in the next life? What’s on sealed portion of Book of Mormon? 34:33 Section 128:9 relates to receiving revelation and is “bold doctrine.” Prophets who hold sealing keys, acting truly and faithfully as the Lord’s agents, have the authority to record on earth and bind in heaven. The role of “agents.” 39:51 Dealing with ambiguity in a church classroom setting. Clarity can come through the “wrestle.” Inviting discussion without straying from doctrine. Teaching what is declared and known without shutting off sincere comments about things that are not. “Managing opinions.” Listening without agreeing. 49:30 Leaders need to be dialed into core doctrines and official policies. 50:25 There are clearly things that have not yet been revealed. Embrace ambiguity. Just as artists don’t always reveal precisely what they had in mind in their work of art, God seems to want us to grow by wrestling with some things where only hints are provided. He wants “seekers” who ask and knock. 53:35 Gratitude for Joseph’s role as a called, inspired, and revelatory prophet who nonetheless had mortal weaknesses. Each of us, though weak, can be instruments in the Lord’s hands. Links anthonysweat.com Instagram: brotheranthonysweat
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59 min
November 7, 2018
New to Leading Saints? Start Here.
What is Leading Saints? You can read more about Leading Saints on our ABOUT PAGE, but in short, Leading Saints is a non-profit (501c3) organization that is striving to help lay leaders be better prepared to lead. Simply put, we help leaders say, "I know what to do!" As many of you probably know, when you are called to lay leadership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints you are not given any official training as a leader. We hope the resources at Leading Saints will supplement your leadership development and help you bless the lives of other Latter-day Saint who you lead. What Topics Are Discussed on Leading Saints? You will find a variety of topics discussed through our podcast, online articles, and webinars. The best place to start is to use the website search function or to explore content related to the following callings: * Bishopric * Stake Leadership * Relief Society * Elders Quorum * Primary * Youth Leadership * Ward Mission * Teaching (Includes Teaching Helps) Leading Saints Podcast We post new podcasts once a week (sometimes more) in which Kurt Francom interviews an author, trainer, or lay leader (typically with a Latter-day Saint background). Our episodes are easy to listen to on the go — about 30-60 minutes — and are available on most major podcast providers: Stitcher, Apple Podcasts (iTunes), or any other player of your choice. Be sure to subscribe through your favorite podcasting app so that you don't miss any future episodes. If you need help with subscribing watch this video. We have over 250 episodes so we recommend starting with the most listened to episodes and going from there. Popular Podcast Series * How I Lead These are podcast interviews where we sit down with every-day, prolific, leaders that serve in various lay leadership callings (bishops, EQP, YW President, mission president, etc.). We ask them basic questions about how they approach the challenges in their calling, and what you can learn is priceless. * WIWIK (What I Wish I Knew) These are compilations of short clips where leaders share a short perspective about what they wish they knew before they were bishop, or Relief Society president, etc. We also answer questions about what they wish they knew before performing a wedding, or organizing a primary program. * Leaders Teaching Leaders This is a series of posts...
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16 min
November 4, 2018
How I Lead as a Servant-Leader Bishop | An Interview with Jason Mount
Jason Mount is a medical doctor practicing emergency medicine in Georgia, originally from California. He is near the end of his third year serving as a bishop, after previously serving as a counselor in the bishopric. Highlights 5:20 Calling as bishop 8:20 Making calls as the bishop: sometimes the Lord leaves the decision to him 10:50 Demographics of his ward 12:35 Principles of servant leadership he has applied as a bishop * 13:50 Learned the principle of servant leadership that "whatever works for them, works for me" * 15:50 Habits of being a servant leader as a bishop: makes a greater effort to be more accommodating with his schedule * 16:50 Refers to his office as "The Bishop's Office" * 18:00 Personal prayer before leaving home to serve as bishop: "What would you say? And I will say it" 19:30 General advice is not always the best advice: taking it case-by-case 21:30 Drawing boundaries and delegating: doesn't give out his cell number, food orders through Relief Society President, interviews 24:30 The Lord can use different types of leaders to do the same calling 27:25 Experience as a ward mission leader, learning to report back on his calling 32:30 The insight as a leader to see others as the Lord sees us is humbling and gives hope
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34 min
November 2, 2018
Ministering Saints Global Leadership Conference – November 27
You need to seriously look at your calendar on November 27, 2018. We are having an event calling Ministering Saints Global Leadership Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. If you can be there in person we strongly encourage you to do so. (Seats are very limited) If you will not be in the Salt Lake City area on November 27, that's okay. We are going to live stream the event online for the world to see (but you still need to register). The conference is completely free and will change your leadership forever! To find out all the details and to register visit THE EVENT PAGE.
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7 min
October 29, 2018
How I Lead as Relief Society President | An Interview with Rebecca Buxton Petho
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. Highlights (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? Links "Where There is No Vision", by Elder L. Tom Perry: text | video
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62 min
October 19, 2018
What Every Leader Should Consider About Community in Their Ward | An Interview with Ryan Gottfredson
Ryan Gottfredson is an assistant professor of Organizational Behavior at Cal State Fullerton where he researches and teaches leadership, and is a leadership consultant. He first became interested in organizational behavior during high school in a sports psychology class, and now holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior and Human Resources from Indiana University and a BA from Brigham Young University. He has worked for Gallup and written multiple articles for Leading Saints, including a series of articles on community. Highlights 8:10 Where the community articles started 9:50 Many people attend church but they don’t feel they fit, or don't attend * “What community is and why is it important?” * How do we create a community in the church so everyone feels welcome? 14:00 There are three community types: basic, involved and united. It is a continuum. * 14:45 Basic community: little attachment, little involvement, much like an alumni group, few demands and little connection * 15:45 Involved community: share more, some emotional connection but still disconnected but not fully accepted, much like a large workplace * 17:30 United community: Share interests, goals and beliefs. Strong identification with group much like a family: when they hurt, we hurt. Provides acceptance, love and protection. This is what it should be within the church. 20:20 A united community is ingrained deep in the LDS culture and doctrinally founded, but with some negative side effects * Low cognitive diversity. Can't think outside a box, inability to allow different perspectives. This is not doctrinal thought, but community thought. * 25:30 Lack of inclusivity. Difficult to allow others in, many feel judged, hard to accept others. Often is unintentional judging over what is/is not socially acceptable (tattoos, piercing). * 29:00 Lower psychological safety: When something is different, or comments in class get questioned, others are less likely to share. People feel uncomfortable expressing their opinions. * 33:40 "Sometimes we have a stronger desire to be right, than we do to love others." 36:20 How do we improve the united community in the Church? We must be "intentional". 37:20 Six elements of an intentional community * Charity * Safety * Openness * Inclusiveness * Being present * Having a clear purpose and common cause 38:30 Charity: we must see everyone as people, and value them as such. 41:00 Safety: do our members feel safe and able to to comment in class? 43:25 Openness: we have a social pressure to certainty. If value is on knowing, we are limiting learning. We don't know all and we can learn from others 45:50 Inclusiveness: everyone should feel welcome. Don't let little things get in the way of loving them. Care less about how they look and more about how they feel. 47:40 Be Present: we are as involved as we can be, regardless, while we are there in attendance we should be present. Make our meetings matter, provide a value. Intentionally create meetings worth coming to. 50:45 Having Purpose: is everyone heading in the same direction? 53:00 Cliques are not necessarily bad. Smaller groups may allow more connections with others. Perhaps smaller groups can strengthen the whole community. 56:40 Most important to understand what community is and why it is important. Be mindful. Links https://ww...
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60 min
October 14, 2018
What Every Leader Needs to Know About Faith Crisis | An Interview with Scott Braithwaite
Scott Braithwaite has a PhD in Clinical Psychology and specializes in marriage counseling. He is an associate professor at Brigham Young University and a popular presenter at BYU Education Week, where he most recently taught about supporting loved ones through a faith crisis. He is currently serving as bishop of his ward. Highlights 10:10 The difference between sadness and depression 13:40 Leaders should ask for recommendations for good qualified counselors 14:15 You choose who to marry. God gives you agency. 17:40 Scott shares his experience going through a faith crisis 22:40 James Fowler’s Stages of Faith can be helpful in understanding what someone may be going through. Stage three faith identifies as a group, has rules, and is concrete. Most fall under this level of faith. Things also appear black and white. 29:00 During a faith crisis the bottom falls out, they can leave the faith and find community elsewhere. 30:35 Going through the stages of faith are not linear 33:00 Perfectionism shows up in our minds as rules, as all or nothing. 33:40 Doctrinal Latter-day Saints vs. Cultural Latter-day Saints 34:50 Sometimes struggling with faith comes from cultural issues 36:50 The idea of organic evolution showcases the different thought processes of doctrinal vs. cultural Latter-day Saints 38:10 You can’t go back to stage 3 40:30 Stage 5 is accepting the complexity of faith 40:50 Faith allows room for doubt 42:00 All faith allows room for wrestling 43:00 Stage 6 examples, such as Mother Teresa. Most people fall between stages 3, 4, and 5. 46:40 We can act as a midwife and help while people are in a faith crisis 48:30 Help others going through a faith crisis by listening to them. Listen more than talk. 50:50 Elder Ballard: Leaders ought to know and be able to address the difficult questions 56:00 There is a progression from stage 3 to stage 4 57:00 We should be able to talk about doubt at church 59:45 Help create a culture of faith 1:02:00 Elder Hafen's stages of faith Links * "Like a Broken Vessel", by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland * Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith, by Linda King Newell * Stages of Faith, by James Fowler * Planted, by Patrick Mason * On Dealing with Uncertainty, by Bruce C. Hafen Scott Braithwaite BYU Bio
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67 min
October 10, 2018
Wild at Heart in Church Leadership | An Interview with Doug Nielsen
Doug Nielsen is a psychotherapist, executive coach, and motivational speaker who decided from an early age to become a psychotherapist and speak to and teach others. In his practice, he works mostly with individuals battling depression, anxiety, addictions, and marital problems. In his coaching and speaking work, he works with small business owners all the way up to very high-earning professionals. He works with individuals as well as speaking to groups of 1000 or more individuals. He is also a published author of a book called “Take Life By the Helm” and has another one in the process of being written. He has served in multiple bishoprics and is currently on a high council. In this podcast episode, we discuss the book Wild at Heart by John Eldredge. The target audience of this book is mostly men, although women will benefit greatly by understanding better where a Christian man is coming from. Doug will be hosting a retreat in Liberty, Utah, November 8th-10th, 2018. For details on this retreat, please visit https://www.awarriorheart.com/ Highlights 17:30 – Introduction of some principles from the book “Wild at Heart”. A typical male heart naturally seeks: * A battle to fight * An adventure to live * A beauty to rescue 18:30 – Discussing the principle of the male heart’s desire for a battle to fight and some discussion on helping self and an elders quorum to recalibrate after an encounter with a numb heart. 37:45 – Three questions to ask God and ways to incorporate these principles and promote vulnerability and realness into your elders quorum. * How do you see me, Father? Do you like me? * What are you up to in my life? What are you trying to teach me, Father? * How can I glorify you? How can I bring praise to you? 39:50 – Discussing the principle of the male heart’s desire for an adventure to live. 41:20 – Discussing the principle of the male heart’s desire for a beauty to rescue. Some ways to approach talking to the women in our lives and helping them and engaging with them in meaningful ways. Discussion of slaying the natural man dragon within ourselves. How to define our mission in our relationships. 48:00 – Discussion on applying these principles in a ward or quorum. 50:00 – Discussion of the retreat and information on how to participate in this or a future retreat. Links * DougSpeaks.com * Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret to a Man's Soul * Take Life by the Helm! Proven Strategies for Gaining Control * A Warrior Heart Retreat - Sign Up
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59 min
October 8, 2018
What I Wish I Knew Before Tithing Settlement
Tithing settlement is, no doubt, a busy time of year for not only the bishop but for the bishopric. Thousands of wards and branches around the world will all make it happen starting October 15 and so it would be helpful to share notes and find the best approach to tithing settlement. In this episode, bishops or bishopric members share how their ward approaches tithing settlement. They each share some great ideas that can improve you efficiency to tithing settlement this year. We will build on this episode and add additional tithing settlement ideas. If you would like to share your approach in order to help other wards better execute tithing settlement, please contact us and we will give you further details. Links: * How I Lead: Brandon Leavitt * How I Lead: Mark Sieverkropp * How I Lead: Nathan Waldron * How I Lead: Marco Ferrini * How I Lead: Aaron Chesley * Tithing Settlement Tear Off Schedule * Tithing Settlement in 2 Days Quotes about Tithing A Prerequisite to Higher Ordinances Tithing is one of the many standards that allows us to rreceive saving ordinances. Brigham Young wrote in an epistle of the Quorum of the Twelve: “Enter steadily and regularly upon a strict observance of the law of tithing … then come up to the House of the Lord, and be taught in his ways, and walk in his paths.” (History of the Church, 7:282.) Elder Taylor then taught: “It is our duty to pay our tithing, one-tenth of all we possess, and then one-tenth of our increase, and a man who has not paid his tithing is unfit to be baptized for his dead. … It is our duty to pay our tithing. If a man has not faith enough to attend to these little things, he has not faith enough to save himself and his friends.” (History of the Church, 7:292–93; italics added.) The Lord's Revenue System Tithing is the Lord’s revenue system, and He requires it of the people, not because He is lacking in gold or silver, but because [we] need to pay it. … "The prime … purpose behind the establishment of the law of the tithe is the development of the soul of the tithe-payer, rather than the providing of revenue. The latter is an all-important purpose, for so far as money is needed for the carrying on of the work of the Church the Lord requires money that is sanctified by the faith of the giver; but blessings beyond estimate … are assured unto him who strictly conforms to the law of the tithe because the Lord hath so commanded.” (James E. Talmage, The Articles of Faith, Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1924, pp. 528–29) A Test of Faith “I think when people say they haven’t money enough to pay tithing, they should say they haven’t faith enough to pay tithing. It is my conviction that we pay tithing with faith and not with money, because when a man has so much money that he has a large tithing, he can’t pay tithing. He has too much money and too little faith to pay tithing,
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35 min
September 30, 2018
How I Lead as Young Men President | An Interview with Aaron Chesley
Aaron Chesley lives in Boise, Idaho, and says he wouldn’t be the same person without Leading Saints. He currently serves as a bishop, but has racked up most of his church leadership experience while serving as a young men president, serving twice for a total of four years. He’s also been a scoutmaster three times and has served in his stake young men presidency. He has military experience in the Army reserves, served as a missionary, and has been married for 21 years. Highlights How Can Bishops Help Young Men and Young Women Prepare for Military Service? * Aaron served in the military and suggests that bishops teach young men and women to go in to the military with “eyes wide open”. Bishops should help youth be aware that they can make a choice to fold in to military culture and give up your standards, or they can choose to stand out. The military is a difficult environment for keeping gospel standards, but it’s fantastic for learning and leadership. * Ensure that youth understand that temptations will abound. Expect to, like Aaron, be the designated walker or driver, and be ready to accept the challenge of keeping standards. Including Bishop’s Wife Appropriately in Service Based on his experience as a bishop, Aaron recommends that a bishop use their wife as a third counselor. He says his wife’s insights are valuable and different than his. Kurt and Aaron agree that bishops can appropriately include wives in the blessings the bishop is seeing through his service by communicating with her about non-confidential experiences. Advice for Young Men Leaders * The first time he was called to serve as young men president, Aaron was a young leader. He felt out of place and that he didn’t know what he was doing. He asked many questions, but felt overwhelmed because he had so little training. * After a ward split, Aaron was called again to serve as young men president. By the time he served again, he had much more experience serving in the young men and scouting organizations. He felt he was more ready and had ideas about organizing the young men president. Five Leadership Principles for Young Men Presidents (16:00) 1. One half of one percent Aaron believes the spirit is the most important factor in Priesthood third hour. After a particularly discouraging lesson where he ended class early and sent young men to their parents, he had to decide whether he’d quit or try to stick it out as a young men’s leader. After some calculating, he learned that he’d spent just one half of one percent of a young man’s time in the third hour of church. What could he share with these young men that would be meaningful to them? He determined the spirit was the most important thing to invite into every classroom and implemented that the following week. During this segment Aaron explains how he sought to make third hour a spiritual experience. (22:00) 2. Train leaders Aaron mentions how he didn’t know what other people’s responsibilities were, so he took on everyone’s responsibility themselves. During later service he received a specialized training with each member of the presidency using the handbook, and explained what was expected of them in their position. During this segment, he describes how he implemented what he learned about training effectively during his later tenure as young men president, including ensuring spouses understand what the time commitment will be. (28:00) 3. Never use a planning night as an activity Aaron believes that planning night discourages young men from coming, and planning is meant for presidency meeting. He also describes how to teach young men to use the military-style After Action Report (AAR) to learn from mistakes and avoid them in the future. (34:00) 4. Communication Aaron believes communication between leaders and youth,
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48 min
September 23, 2018
Understanding Priesthood Keys in Leadership | An Interview with Mark Mathews
Mark Mathews was born in Houston, TX. He served a mission in Guatemala and met his wife at Brigham Young University. He later earned a Ph.D. in education from Utah State University. He has been involved with Seminary and Institute for 14 years and has spent his last 1.5 years at Brigham Young University. Highlights Temples * 5:27: Will include the word “temple” in his class titles moving forward. * 6:14: There are many things that happen in the temple that can and should be discussed. * 7:24: To understand the temple, the best source is the Doctrine and Covenants as the Lord reveals and restores knowledge regarding the purpose and power of temples. Priesthood Keys (8:42) * 9:21: Understanding priesthood keys * 9:36: What is the priesthood, and what are priesthood keys? * 10:37: Keys give the right to be the president, to direct, control, and preside over the priesthood and the work of the priesthood in the church within a jurisdiction * 11:20: Different keys were gradually restored over time and as needed. * Aaronic Priesthood keys, John the Baptist: authority to baptize * Melchizedek Priesthood keys; “The Keys of the Kingdom”; Peter, James, and John: authority to preside over, organize, and lead the church * Keys of the Gathering of Israel, Moses: “gathering” begins with missionary work, and culminates in gathering disciples to the temple * Keys of Abraham’s Dispensation, Elias (27:25): celestial marriage * Sealing Power, Elijah * 14:47: Quorum presidents * 17:24: Before being taught anything regarding priesthood keys, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery are taught in Doctrine and Covenants 18, “remember, the worth of souls is great in the sight of God” and the importance of bringing those souls unto Christ. Each quorum president, adult, and youth, must understand the worth of the soul, and the charge to help bring those souls unto Christ. * 22:36: Keys helps members know whom to follow. When members hear contradictory messages, follow the keys. * 24:00: While we have many general authorities, we have only fifteen individuals who hold all of the keys, and we sustain them as “prophets, seers, and revelators”. * 25:11: Delegation. Seventies do not hold keys but are acting using keys delegated to them by key holders. The same principle applies to counselors to keyholders. Sealing Power * 26:22: Seals all ordinances performed for both the living and the dead. * 32:43: The importance of proper record keeping: Joseph Smith taught that as ordinances are recorded on earth, they are recorded in Heaven. “All things are spiritual.” * 34:28: On sealing cancellations. “When you are sealed in celestial marriage, you aren’t just sealed to your partner. . . you are being sealed up to Eternal Life. . . When a marriage is dissolved, you don’t want to cancel that sealing until they are ready to renew it again with someone else. Even if they don’t want to be with their partner, they still have been sealed up to certain blessings that they don’t want to loose/unseal.” (not ‘lose’--important distinction). God is perfectly just and perfectly merciful. He will not force somebody to spend eternity with somebody against their will. * 39:22: What happens to the sealing of the children of divorced parents? All your losses will be restored to you; see Doctrine and Covenants 130:2. * 45:54: We should seek to better understand the doctrines behind sealing and God’s love The New and Everlasting Covenant * 46:28: The sum of all ordinances and covenants, not simply eternal marriage. * 49:17: This is the same covenant that was given to Abraham. It is the fulness of the gospel.
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66 min
September 16, 2018
Launching a Rising Generation of Leaders | An Interview with Steven Hitz and Michael Leonard
Steve Hitz has founded and led companies, and served with his wife, Ginger, as a young single adults bishop. He is a founding member of Launching Leaders Worldwide Inc. Michael Leonard is the Executive Director of Launching Leaders and has worked in higher education and Church public affairs. Launching Leaders is a faith-based nonprofit leadership program for young adults. It started as a course at BYU Hawaii and later became a book and online course. Highlights 9:00 Come alongside: learning together instead of learning in a hierarchical manner 12:00 Their mission is to empower young adult leaders, offering the course worldwide to groups of many faiths 13:30 Discussion in a group setting without hierarchy empowers young adults in applied learning, bringing enlightenment 17:00 How the course operates with interfaith groups * Speaking the language of young adults reaches them where they might otherwise be losing their faith * Religious Freedom and Business Foundation * Using the course in YSA wards and church schools 26:00 YSA bishoprics * Allow space for faith with young adults * Cycle of spiritual guidance 30:00 Compartmentalization and congruency: bringing the parts together and embracing your whole self 34:30 Example of reaching congruency 38:00 The formula: Get up early, work hard, get your education, make your mark, give back * 42:00 Developing daily mindfulness * 44:00 Giving back every day instead of waiting to do it as older adults 47:00 Mentorships * Finding and adopting their own mentors * Be bold to create a relationship * New models of mentoring * The Mosiah principle: Every gift comes from God 56:00 Advice for YSA bishops 58:10 How to get started using Launching Leaders or contributing to the organization Links Website: www.llworldwide.org Book: Launching Leaders: An Empowering Journey for a New Generation Steven A. Hitz Michael Leonard
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62 min
September 9, 2018
Creating The Best Darn Ward Possible | An Interview with Mark Matheson
Mark Matheson is a visiting professor of business at "the BYU of the East Coast", Southern Virginia University. Matheson received a doctorate in organizational leadership from the University of Phoenix, a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Utah. In 2010, Matheson was an Entrepreneur in Residence at The Willes Center for International Entrepreneurship at BYU-Hawaii. He worked for 25 years as a stock market analyst. He grew up in Utah, lived in seven different states during his childhood, and served his mission in Switzerland and France. He has an instagram page, @scriptureanalyst, that makes you see scriptures in a different way. Highlights 8:30 Southern Virginia University mission statement- create leader servants 11:00 Being a proactive leader, not just serving the squeaky wheel 13:00 Using ideas of others not just the bishop 14:25 Return and report- how to hold people accountable 16:30 Being an effective servant leader- removing obstacles and providing resources 17:45 3 T's- Time, Tools, Training 18:40 "People don't know how much you know until they know how much you care" 21:00 Leadership by walking around 21:45 Two to-do lists 23:30 Less time being reactive and more time being proactive 24:45 Good interactive prayers 25:45 Book: It's Your Ship, by D. Michael Abrashoff "Being the best darn ward in the stake" 29:00 Am I doing good for someone else today? 31:00 Example of Sunday school teacher going the extra mile 34:00 Balance between humble and meek 35:40 Accountability in church callings 37:00 Stephen R. Covey- emotional bank accounts- put deposits in followers' bank accounts 40:00 A good leader takes more blame than credit 43:00 Giving permission for those you lead to be creative in their callings 46:00 Making church procedures better by doing them differently Links Instagram: Scripture Analyst Book: It's Your Ship, by D. Michael Abrashoff
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51 min
September 3, 2018
The Art of Teaching Latter-day Saints | An Interview with Hank Smith
Dr. Hank Smith has taught seminary, institute, and now teaches at Brigham Young University. He is a regular speaker at religious programs, corporate training events, school assemblies, and educational conferences. He is a master teacher and in this episode, he shares with us some of his secrets and tactics that we can all apply to improve our teaching. This interview was originally part of the Leading Saints Teaching Saints Virtual Summit. Transcription Available Below Highlights 4:45 Start with remembering why you are teaching: Genesis 44:34 How can we go back to Heavenly Father without these students? 7:00 Teaching is like art: There are fundamentals but otherwise everyone's art is different. Get the fundamentals and then play to your strengths. 10:45 What to do when a discussion is not happening * Write out your questions beforehand * Add "Why do you think...?" when asking a question * Build-in the silence so it isn't awkward * Let people know you're going to ask them * Avoid the easy questions * Be authentic about wanting a discussion 18:30 Look at examples of the Savior teaching: John 4 * Set them up to get their attention * Know your students and make it relevant to them * Bring up testimony at the right moment 25:30 More effective when teaching by a one-by-one ministry 29:20 Watch for moments to get to, rather than getting through material 30:30 Using gratitude and praise 33:45 Collect and use stories 38:25 Prepare until you're excited 39:50 Mark 2: four people working together to carry a man to Jesus 42:45 How to share scriptures * Power in translating it into modern language, in word-for-word reading, and in summarizing * Ask: did you understand? * Read with enthusiasm and personality 47:45 There's an ideal, but be okay with the real Interview Transcript Leading Saints (LS): Welcome back to another session of the Teaching Saints Virtual Summit. This is one of the later recordings that we're doing, and it's been fun to see everything unfold, and people from around the world, thousands of individuals tuning in and hopefully gaining some insight on how to be better teachers in the church. Today I'm back on the campus of BYU, talking with Dr. Hank Smith. How are you? Hank Smith: Hello. Good to be with you, Kurt. LS: Now, tell the 10 people out there listening that have never heard of you, give them some background. Hank: Yes, the 10 out of the 11 who are listening. I've taught in [seminaries institutes? 00:00:52] for...it's been since 2000, so 18 years. I moved over to BYU in 2010, and I've taught here since then. [00:01:03] I work for Deseret Book a little bit, BYU Education Week, EFY, try to spread some goodness. LS: Nice, awesome. As I usually start out with, I want to imagine that we're in front of a room full of new gospel doctrine teachers, maybe seminary teachers, youth teachers, let's go through some points on improving teaching. But where do we start? What's a good jumping off point? Hank: I think for me, personally, I have to remember why we do what we do because it can get tiresome. And sometimes things don't go as well as planned, and you think, "Why do I even try," because it's not working. So you have to remember why. You come back to why. I have to go through my reasons why I do what I do, and in Genesis 44, Joseph is testing his brothers to see if they've changed. This is when he's in Egypt and they've come to Egypt for food, and he wants to see if they've changed, [00:02:03] and so he frames Benjamin. Most people have seen the play, haven't read the book, but most people know the play.
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51 min
August 26, 2018
Ward Mission Leaders & The Art of Neighboring | An Interview with Dave Runyon
Dave Runyon served as a pastor for nine years in the Denver area. In 2010 he launched a neighboring movement that mobilized over 70 churches and 40,000 people in the area, and then turned his experience into a book, The Art of Neighboring. Today he helps government, business, and faith leaders unite around common causes and helps businesses that have a desire to make a difference in their communities. Dave and his wife, Lauren, have four kids. Highlights 6:45 Introduction: * Dave's background * His experiences with members of the Church * His own church experiences 10:50 Service as a pastor and creating the neighboring movement 19:00 The block map quiz * An activity to test yourself and work on * The key to the neighboring movement 22:20 Having mildly awkward conversations 29:15 What neighboring is not; we do this not to convert, but because we are converted 32:40 Tactics to minister instead of treating relationships as a program 36:30 Reducing the anxiety in the relationship by bringing up the difficult questions 38:00 Embracing getting out of your bubble with people who are different 46:20 Where to start: putting neighboring into action 48:00 Learning to move through anxiety in relationships as a leader Links Building Bridges Before Baptisms | How I Lead as Stake Public Affairs Specialist The Art of Ministering Through Neighboring | Facebook Live with Andrew Stewart The Art of Neighboring ArtofNeighboring.com Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community
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52 min
August 23, 2018
What I Wish I Knew Before Organizing a Primary Program
Finding yourself in charge of planning, teaching, and organizing the Primary to put on a sacrament meeting program can be overwhelming! Thankfully, Leading Saints is here to help. In this episode we have gathered experiences from current and former Primary leaders from around the world sharing what they wish they knew before they were called to prepare and present the yearly program. You will find their advice inspiring and practical. Contribute Your Own WIWIK Experience In an effort to help others learn how to get from A to Z in preparing their Primary programs, we are organizing future podcast episodes that will feature current and past leaders sharing what they wish they knew before they were called. You will only have 5 minutes to record so write some thoughts on a paper and then record! How to record: * Click the green button below * Answer the following question in less than 5 minutes: * What do you wish you knew before you were called to lead the Primary program? * Start your answer with “Before I was called as _________, I wish I knew…” * Stop recording * Listen to recording and record again if you would like * Enter name and email * Submit recording by clicking “send”
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23 min
August 19, 2018
Helping Leaders Understand Faith Crisis | An Interview With David Ostler
Dave Ostler, who lives in Northern Virginia (Washington, D.C. metro area), was raised in Salt Lake City, served a mission in Japan, married in the temple, and was educated in the Eastern U.S. He and Sister Ostler have lived in New York, Minnesota, England, India, and Sierra Leone, Africa, where they presided over the Church’s mission until it was temporarily closed due to an Ebola outbreak. They subsequently served a mission (one of five for Brother Ostler) with a responsibility for historical sites in Palmyra. More recently they were asked by their stake presidency to explore the reasons some LDS members cease attending church or lose their faith. Brother Ostler has also served as a bishop and stake president. Now retired, he professionally developed research data to help people make better healthcare decisions. Highlights 3:00 Letter with survey link sent to 700 people asking why they don’t attend church. Conducted focus group and met in non-church setting before forming conclusions. Spoke with ward/stake leaders to ascertain their views.  Recommended a training plan for the stake to address the survey findings. 5:00 Solicited ward/stake leader views with 120 statements/questions. Analyzed 600 responses to compare leader assumptions to responses given by members who had left. 6:27 Anecdotal examples of non-church goer reactions to the invitation to be surveyed. 9:00 What survey recipients want church leaders to know. (Responses to an open-end question) 12:00 Listen as Christ would listen. Don’t respond to fewer actives with an overly prescriptive approach. Avoid the tendency to “talk them into” returning to the fold. 14:00 Faith “transition” (not “crisis”) perhaps has a less negative connotation for some who will transition to a more meaningful faith. Crisis often happens in a compressed time where something causes a person to lose all footing as to what they believe and can rely on. Leaders should avoid overly broad assumptions. 21:45 Summary of common assumptions by leaders as to why people have fallen away, compared to what survey respondents said were their actual reasons. Do the assumptions about members being offended, having conflict with a fellow member or not wanting to live the commandments hold up under scrutiny? 25:00 Discussion of “triggers” that prompt some to lose their faith foundation. What about church history, gender roles, transparency and LGBT issues? Respondents’ views vary by their age and gender. 27:20 Making effective use of the “Gospel Topics” essays on the Church website to provide context and build trust. Some leaders have not read them. Does faith mean having the answers to everything? 32:05 “Social” issues may fuel the fire of someone already in a faith crisis. Building a community of acceptance versus being dismissive. Does the content of church meetings reflect relevancy to help people develop a pathway forward? They want to be able to trust the institution, feel supported and find relevance. Are teachers/leaders tempted to respond to inquiries by testimony alone?  Leader example. 41:00 Protecting the doctrine while also showing empathy as a leader. Teach people, not lessons. Christ dined with the publicans. Are we more accepting of investigators than we are of members? A “culture of certainty” in congregations may, in some cases, diminish the reality of those who struggle. 49:30 Dual nature of a bishop’s role—(a) pastoral and (b) organizational. In sacrament meetings is there a tendency to overuse certain themes at the expense of other relevant topics? Address the issue of faith struggles from the pulpit. Are teachers examples of inclusion or are people induced to form a “foyer ward?” Dealing with these issues in ward council and first-Sunday priesthood/relief society councils. Seeking to understand,
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75 min
August 13, 2018
When Tragedy Strikes the Bishop’s Family | An Interview with Jim Hastings
Jim Hastings is a bishop in Dallas, Texas. He and his wife have been married 23 years and have five children. About three years ago during the time he was serving as bishop, his 19-year-old daughter, Zoe, was kidnapped and murdered. In this interview, he talks about that experience and other experiences dealing with grief and tragedy as a bishop. Highlights 5:40 Personal background 7:30 Calling as a bishop 10:30 About his daughter, Zoe 14:10 Narrative of his experience with Zoe's abduction and murder 20:20 Personal reactions through the experience 26:00 The days after 28:35 Previous experience with losing his dad and coming to terms with death 30:30 How he handled the emotional trauma; support and therapy experience 34:30 Support needs from neighbors and ward members 39:00 Forgiveness in a situation like this 44:40 Serving as bishop during this experience 49:35 Gratitude for the tools he was given to handle the experience 52:15 Approaching individuals experiencing trials 54:20 Using a bishop's checklist for funerals to support and help the family left behind 1:00:00 The Savior can help us make connections between past experience and preparation for future experiences Links Troy and John Interview Bishop's checklist for helping with funerals
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65 min
August 10, 2018
Join Us at the Moral & Ethical Leadership Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah | Sept. 14
Last year I (Kurt) attended the Moral & Ethical Leadership Conference in Salt Lake City and left the conference inspired and feeling like a better-prepared leader. I am excited to attend again this year on September 14 in Salt Lake City, Utah and I'd love to meet you there. Be sure to listen to the attached podcast episode where David Austin, Vice President of the BYU Management Society Salt Lake Chapter, discusses the conference and what will be experienced there. To register for the conference visit: https://saltlake.byums.org/ (then click on the blue text on the right side of the page) ***EARLY BIRD PRICING ENDS AUGUST 15 - ACT NOW!*** Please let us know if you plan to attend the conference so that we can notify you of a special Leading Saints gathering that will happen in conjunction with the event. Conference Speakers Event Details To register for the conference visit: https://saltlake.byums.org/ (then click on the blue text on the right side of the page)
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14 min
August 5, 2018
Leading Others to be Better Than Happy | An Interview with Jody Moore
Jody Moore is a life coach and is well-known for her podcast, Better Than Happy. Her background is in corporate training and leadership coaching, and she has a master's degree in Adult Education and Training. She is a Certified Coach through The Life Coach School and works primarily with women who want to move from good to great in their lives. She enjoys helping people navigate topics such as relationships, confidence, and money, and works to guide them with tools based in cognitive functioning, understanding their own brains, and how emotions drive us to action. Born & raised LDS, Jody followed her own journey to find her testimony. Her husband is her business partner and they live in Spokane, Washington, with their four children. Highlights 14:30 Advice for Bishops specifically related to LDS Women: the root of problems stems from not understanding their own value. Women tend to be harder on themselves. * Love them * All must be on their own journey to learn and understand worth * Divide the doctrine from the culture of the church * It's ok to feel negative emotions. “Opposition in all things”. Reading, studying scriptures are important but you will still feel sad, mad, etc. at times. 18:45 What do we need to know about feelings to help us appreciate the journey. * Unhealthy ways to deal with emotions: * Resisting feelings – we do it, but it is not healthy * Escaping feelings – we do it, but again not healthy (sugar, alcohol, shopping, pornography) * Healthy response to feelings/emotions - just FEEL the emotion. Relax into the emotion, breathe into it. It’s ok to be sad, we need to learn to work through the emotions. 23:00 Difference between Clean pain (loss) and Dirty pain (gossip, resentment, natural man) 25:00 Typical trends for women, her 5 pillars in coaching: * Relationships – women get sense of joy and fulfillment from relationships * Health – physical, mental & emotional health * Money – healthy relationship with money * Confidence – recognizing own value, requires practice * Contribution – basic human need to contribute to society, sometimes with raising kids, others with working * Advice for RS president to affect contribution: Ministering requires more spiritual maturity. Keep all “involved in the discussion”. Church seems a good model for contribution and fulfilment, but many are not fulfilled with this activity. Not “what am I doing” but “why am I doing it” will create feeling of fulfillment. * Don’t resent what you are doing, life is too short. “People pleasers are liars.” How do we operate in full integrity. We need to work to get to a place where we “want” to do things that are asked. AND – it is ok to say no. Appreciate being asked, but it’s ok to say No. Find a loving reason to do things. * Culture of the church is prescriptive, the Doctrine of the church is NOT. We need to be careful when we make decisions, that we are following the doctrine and less concerned about the culture. 39:45 Advice for leaders to stimulate healthy Relationships: * We are aware of people outside of us but we cannot control them. We can control ourselves. “Who do I want to be in this situation?” How do I feel about me when I think poorly of this other person? How do I want to feel? * Realizing that we can’t be for everyone, but we can still show love 46:20 Health – we are healthy in relation to the rest of the world. Culture of the church hangs on to the “no’s”, but we need to see individually what in our own lives is disconnecting me. 48:50 Money – helping people get to a more abundant mindset, realize all you have. It’s not about having more,
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61 min
July 31, 2018
Grace in the Bishop’s Office | An Interview with Robert Millet
Robert Millet, Ph.D., is an author, speaker, and professor of ancient scripture and emeritus Dean of Religious Education at Brigham Young University. Author of 76 published works, Millet has been involved in BYU Education Week for many years and is well-known as a commentator on the BYUTV Scripture Discussions program. He is also Manager of Outreach and Interfaith Relations for the LDS Church's Public Affairs Department. Highlights 6:45 Experiences with the scripture discussion series on KBYU 10:00 Teaching and administrative experience at BYU 11:45 His experience writing 77 books 13:30 What led him to write The Atoning One and the growth of a Christ-conscious movement in the LDS Church 24:30 Teaching doctrine in Sunday School 29:00 Importance of knowledgeable teachers 31:45 Creating an environment where class members feel safe to be vulnerable 37:30 The leader’s role in correcting doctrine and creating safety at church 43:00 The Atonement and grace in the Bishop’s office 44:00 The Bishop should always be teaching kindly 45:00 The Bishop as a channel for God’s grace 53:00 Teach what the steps of repentance mean and give study assignments 55:30 Bring closure to the individual 58:15 Don’t take the fast track to repentance 1:01:30 Leadership offers the opportunity to see others as the Lord sees them Links BYUTV Scripture Discussions The Atoning One Image: LDS Living/Deseret Book
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60 min
July 22, 2018
How I Lead the Youth Through Truth & Doctrine | An Interview with Erin Tanner
Erin Tanner lives in Cortez, Colorado, and is the mother of three children. She served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Along with being a youth leader she has been a presenter at Especially For Youth for three summers. Highlights 4:49 Youth come hungry to learn the gospel. 5:17 Data shows testimony growth is attributed most to four years of seminary and second to that was attendance at EFY. 7:19 EFY happens through the Church Education System. It is held throughout the country at various locations. 7:46 They have different varieties of EFY such as, outdoor, humanitarian, and adventure for youth. 8:43 Leaders could become familiar with EFY options and help encourage youth to attend the one that is best for them. 8:51 EFY has a scholarship program to help cover some of the cost. 11:07 Young Women Ideas: Harry Potter Young Women in Excellence theme, and a Harry Potter New Beginnings. 12:31 Be a window. Have the youth leave knowing their Heavenly Father loves them instead of thinking their leader is cool. 16:20 Pull back and be intentional. 17:50 Teaching with object lessons. 19:04 Have fun with the youth and allow fun to happen. 26:46 Be a useful instrument. You don’t have to do it all and be all. Look to those around you for help. 29:29 Fill your mind with truth. Turn to the scriptures, podcasts, and conference talks. 33:02 Let the scriptures wash over you. 33:46 Teach true doctrine. 40:46 Help the youth learn where to go to find answers. Teach clear doctrine. 41:46 Use Pinterest to log ideas and customize them for your young women. 48:43 Be authentic and genuine. Be a follower of Christ. Links Especially For Youth The Divine Center, by Stephen Covey YW in Excellence Value Pageant YW in Excellence and New Beginnings w/ a Harry Potter theme
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56 min
July 15, 2018
Leading Early Returned Missionaries | An Interview with Destiny Yarbro
Destiny Yarbro is the author of Home Early Now What?: How to Navigate Coming Home Early from a Mission and maintains a related website with resources for early returned missionaries. She served in the Hungary, Budapest mission but had to return home early and recognized the universal struggle of missionaries whose missions were cut short for whatever reason. Destiny grew up in Prescott, Arizona, and lives there now. Highlights 02:15 Background and mission experience 16:30 The ward and stake follows the example of the Bishop: Treat them like any other missionary coming home — 18:30 When transgression is involved, coming home is the first step forward — 21:45 Importance of the first Sunday home — 24:15 Finding some way to keep them involved — 25:45 Discussing the return announcement with the missionary — 26:15 Examples 27:45 Meeting with parents/family prior to the missionary's return to offer suggestions and support 34:15 Meeting with the early returned missionary immediately and often — 36:30 Healing suggestions for the missionary — 38:30 "Normal" experiences and universal need for professional counseling — 40:30 Worries about people they didn't teach 41:15 Addressing the question of returning to the mission... or not — 42:15 Different mission options: online and young church service missionaries — 44:15 Approaching the subject with the missionary — 45:30 Dealing with change from serving to being the subject of attention 47:15 Points for the ward council and ward members 50:15 Mission Fortify recommendation 51:00 Advice for early returned missionaries 51:45 The Atonement takes difficulties and turns them into opportunities to serve others Links Home Early Now What?: How to Navigate Coming Home Early from a Mission Earlyrm.com LDS.org: Young Church Service Missionaries Mission Fortify: firesides and online support Written Transcript Kurt Francom (LS): Today we're talking with Destiny Yarbro. How are you, Destiny? Destiny Yarbro: Doing well, thanks Kurt. LS: Awesome. Now, what does the Leading Saints audience need to know about you and what led you to be a guest on this podcast? Destiny Yarbro: Well, I grew up in a small town. I wanted to go on a mission for a long time and when I finally got the opportunity (06:00) to go things went very differently than I planned, I had to come home early for health reasons and thankfully I was able to go back out, but I was only able to go back out for another three or four months. And then I had to come home again. So, I got that experience twice. LS: So, take us back to when you opened up your call. Where did you expect to go or want to go? Any inclination one way or the other and then where did you end up going? Destiny Yarbro: I wanted to go anywhere, but, I hope this doesn't offend (06:30) anyone, but except for Albuquerque. Good people in Albuquerque, but for some reason that's the place I didn't want to go. So, when I opened my call, and I opened it by myself because I was convinced I was going to Albuquerque and I needed some time to process. So, I opened up my call by myself and it was to the Budapest, Hungary Mission and it blew me away. I did not expect that at all. LS: So where were you living at this time when you opened the call? Destiny Yarbro: I was living in Arizona (07:00), but I was on the steps of the St.
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56 min
July 8, 2018
What I Wish I Knew Before I Was Bishop- Ep. 1
Do you remember the first month you were called as a bishop? Trying to get organized. Trying to learn names. Trying to figure out how to lead. Here is the first episode of many that will feature short clips of past and current bishops sharing their go-to advice for new bishops. Contribute Your Own WIWIK Experience In an effort to help other bishops gain some quick leadership experience on day 1, we are organizing future podcast episodes that will feature many current and past bishops sharing what they wish they knew before they were called as bishop. You will only have 5 minutes to record so write some thoughts on a paper and then record! How to record: * Click the green button below * Answer the following question in less than 5 minutes: * What do you wish you knew before you were elders quorum president? * Start your answer with “Before I was elders quorum president I wish I knew…” * Stop recording * Listen to recording and record again if you would like * Enter name and email * Submit recording by clicking “send” The transcript for this episode will be available in a few days.
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23 min
July 1, 2018
Applying Leadership Principles at Work and Church | An Interview with Nate Checketts
Nate Checketts is the Co-Founder & CEO of Rhone, a premium men’s activewear company founded in 2014. Prior to Rhone, Nate worked for and consulted with some of the biggest technology and entertainment properties in the world including Cisco, The National Football League, Legends, FanVision and Sport Radar, and serves on the board of Veritone. Nate is also an avid entrepreneur who founded and launched 4 companies before the age of 30, including Rhone and Mangia Technologies, whose patents were later acquired by the San Francisco 49ers. Nate graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in Finance. He and his wife Dayna reside in Connecticut with their three young boys, Gabriel, William, and Nicholas. He has served in a bishopric and as an Elders Quorum president and is currently serving as an early-morning seminary teacher. Highlights In this wide-ranging interview, Brother Checketts discusses principles of leadership that he uses daily in his church service as well as in the business world including: (16:00) How can we have an impact in our callings/positions? How can we create positive change? —Getting past the administration and focusing on helping those we serve feel like we love and care about them and helping them feel and recognize the spirit —Looking to other great leaders as examples (23:30) The importance of genuine empathy for those within our stewardship (28:30) Conducting one-on-one interviews —Asking what’s on their minds – starting with their concerns —Being clear about expectations prior to the meeting (30:15) Importance of building relationships of trust (31:00) Leading with love Links Rhone.com The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey Alexander Hamilton, by Ron Chernow John Adams, by David McCullough
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38 min
June 24, 2018
Being the Relief Society President the Lord Needs You to Be | How I Lead: Brooke Romney
Brooke Romney is a freelance writer, speaker, and blogger about motherhood and life in general, and writes monthly for the Deseret News. She served as a Relief Society president when she was a young mother in Arizona. After living in several locations around the United States, she currently resides near Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband and four boys. Highlights 2:45 Writing for the Deseret News —3:20 Being a friend instead of just being friendly —3:50 Being a stonecatcher —6:50 Mistakes and difficulties don't equal failure 10:40 Calling as a young Relief Society president 12:00 Involving everyone in activities Leadership Principles: —18:00 Utilizing the talents of others —20:00 Learning from the experience of others —21:30 Harnessing your own abilities 24:40 Advice for handling welfare situations 28:00 Reaching out to nonmembers 34:00 Relationships are key 37:40 Jesus calls leaders because he needs someone to take care of people Links BrookeRomney.com Brooke's Deseret News articles Facebook: Brooke Romney Writes Twitter: @BrookeoRomney Pinterest: Brookerom Instagram: @brookeromneywrites
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41 min
June 17, 2018
Modeling Leadership in Mongolia | An Interview with President Joseph Benson
Joseph Benson served as mission president in the Mongolia Ulaanbaatar mission from 2013-2016. He and his wife Heidi are the parents of five (almost six) children and both served as young missionaries in the Mongolia Ulaanbaatar mission; Joseph in 1996-1998 and Heidi in 1999-2001. They met when they both taught Mongolian at the missionary training center in Provo. Just after they were married, they spent a year in China, where Joseph completed a Fulbright fellowship, studying Chinese and Chinese history. Later, Joseph practiced patent law in Southern California for many years before taking a job with a San Diego based Real Estate Company, which transferred their family to Singapore. Joseph was called as a mission president at the young age of 35. As a mission president, he was a leader of the people in Mongolia as well as the missionaries. His experience presented unique challenges in a growing area of the church. Highlights 3:00 President Benson's experience as a young missionary in 1996 7:00 How the church and country was different in Mongolia in 2013 9:20 Restrictions on missionary proselytizing in Mongolia 12:35 Called to serve as a mission president at the age of 35/meeting with President Russell M. Nelson 17:00 Previous experience/inexperience in callings in the church previous to being a mission president 18:00 Experience in Mongolia as mission president 21:00 Use of church handbook in leadership 23:30 Using church handbook to train leaders 30:00 Welfare assistance in Mongolia 32:00 Advice to implementing church self-reliance program 35:15 Secret to missionary work 40:00 Importance of scripture study 45:00 Preparation for zone conference 51:00 Advice for leaders in growing areas of the church 53:30 Elder Rasband's visit to Mongolia 55:00 Focusing on individuals/ minister first and the administration and procedure aid in your endeavors 58:30 Advice to those preparing to serve missions- D&C 11 & chapter 2 and 3 of Preach my Gospel
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64 min
June 10, 2018
Leading with Trust | An Interview with Stephen M. R. Covey
Steven M. R. Covey is the son of Steven R. Covey of “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” and co-founder of Covey Link and the Franklin Covey Global Speed of Trust practice. He is a highly sought-after and compelling keynote speaker and advisor on trust, ethics, sales, and high performance, and speaks to audiences around the world. He is also the New York Times and #1 Wall Street Journal best-selling author of “The Speed of Trust", which teaches 13 Behaviors of High Trust Leaders. This is a groundbreaking, paradigm-shifting book that challenges the assumption that trust is merely a soft social virtue, demonstrating that it is instead a hard-edge economic driver. Trust is a learnable skill that makes organizations more profitable, people more promotable and relationships more energizing. Highlights 3:19 What it was like growing up in the Covey home and how the principles his father was teaching in the marketplace were first taught in the home. Things like “green & clean”, “listen first”. The principles in the book were for the marketplace but were started at home with his family. They were the guinea pigs of “7 habits”. 4:40 How he started on the business side but shifted career path to current leadership roles 5:20 Not one thing that lead to “trust” as his focus, but many different things that lead to that. * There is a high cost to low trust * Trust is learnable * Trust is not just a good thing, and social thing but it is a multiplier and key to leadership. All things are better with trust. * Trust and love are critical, you can love and not trust but it is best to have both. It is better to be trusted than loved. (David O McKay) Love is critical. * It applies to everything, business, church, marriage, every level of human interaction. 10:40 “Fish are the last ones to discover water.” How to determine amount of trust when we are called to a position. We need to be intentional, not just use position power, but rely on credibility, influence, trust. Seek best interest of others. 12:50 Positions may not come with trust. Description of low trust tax, that may confer to us from prior leaders, as well as low trust dividend. 14:00 Trust is built through our credibility and behavior: * Credibility: character trust (integrity, intent, care, more about others well-being, showing we care) and competence trust (current, learning, performance, do what we say) * Behavior – how we do whatever we do, we want to model behavior that builds trust * We want leaders that care, and are very competent as well. We don’t have to be perfect, we have to be willing 23:00 We need to look in the mirror and see how we are doing with trust. 24:10 How do we help those who have a deficit of trust – first look inward. How do I focus on my credibility, my confidence? * Declare intent – what you are doing and why. * Extend trust to others, people will return the trust. There is a risk. We are good at understanding trustworthiness, but not always good at understanding the importance of extending trust – trust others. * The quickest way to make someone trustworthy, is to extend trust to them. 28:50 Don’t treat people according to their behavior, treat them according to their potential. They will rise to that trust. 29:30 Behaviors that build trust: * Extend Trust – make sure they know you “trust” them to fulfill their calling * Clarify Expectations * Practice Accountability 33:45 “To be trusted in the most inspiring form of human motivation”. It brings out the best in people. Less micro-management and better trust returned to you. 34:45 Our positions/hierarchy type leadership need to be changed to a leadership of trust & i...
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49 min
June 5, 2018
When the Bishop is Too Nice | An Interview with Dr. Robert Glover
Raised in Seattle and presently living in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, Dr. Glover is a psychotherapist, author, former minister and recovering “Mr. Nice Guy.” He is a frequent talk-show guest who has been featured in various publications and is the author of No More Mr. Nice Guy. In this podcast, he describes the pitfalls sometimes associated with men trying to be Mr. Nice Guy. Highlights 4:45 Dr. Glover’s experience working with LDS men 6:20 How co-dependence relates to Mr. Nice Guy syndrome 8:50 Three characteristics/covert contracts of Mr. Nice Guy: (1) If I’m a good guy I’ll be liked and loved—my value comes from external sources; (2) If I meet other people’s needs without them asking they’ll meet my needs without my having to ask; (3) If I do everything right I will have a problem-free life. 15:00 How to determine if you are a Mr. Nice Guy. Nice-guy behaviors in marriage and at work. 17:08 Root causes of Nice Guy syndrome in boys and men, and the development of survival mechanisms. 22:30 Organizational and family culture impacts leading to Mr. Nice Guy. “Emotional fusion.” Truly accepting a belief system versus merely following rules. 27:55 How can youth leaders teach correct principles and value systems without seemingly asking for compliance with rules for the mere sake of compliance? Authoritarianism versus making allowance for pushback or inquiry. 32:20 What can a bishop do if he perceives someone is suffering from Nice-Guy syndrome? Connecting with other imperfect people. Teaching the value of growth people achieve by coping with challenges. 38:15 Nice guys becoming chameleons can be detrimental to being true to one’s self. Can the syndrome lead to interest in porn or other addictions? 44:06 The title of the book No More Mr. Nice Guy is not intended to suggest men should not be nice. They should be nice but need to know when to say “no,” while saying “yes” to the most important things, including family. Looking to the example of Christ. 53:25 Conclusion Links Dr. Glover's Website Buy Dr. Glover's Book No More Mr. Nice Guy Self-Assessment
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55 min
May 27, 2018
How I Lead as @ldsbishop | An Interview with Ross Trewhella
Ross Trewhella has served as bishop of the Redruth ward in the Plymouth, England stake for nine years. He is from Cornwall, England, and joined the LDS Church while living in Utah. Ross is best known online as @ldsbishop on Twitter, where he offers up humorous insights into the role as part of the #twitterstake. Highlights 03:05 @ldsbishop and being a bishop for 9 years 10:35 The church in his area of the UK; going to the temple 14:05 His conversion story 21:55 Called as ward executive secretary: serving in a Christ-like manner firms up your testimony 23:40 Called as a counselor in the bishopric and then as bishop 27:20 Being bishop to the previous bishop, and characteristics of his ward 29:45 Ministering: Being good at looking after each other 31:05 Minimizing meetings and using technology to communicate as a bishopric 33:55 Ward service efforts for shelters, homeless charity, and food bank 35:25 Leadership principle #1: Keep a sense of humor 38:10 Leadership principle #2: Have skin as thick as a rhino 41:25 Leadership principle #3: Don’t procrastinate 43:45 Leadership principle #4: Listen more than you speak 47:30 Leadership principle #5: Let people serve and forgive them when they mess up 51:05 Managing callings and giving autonomy 53:45 Being open to different opinions and transcending culture and categories 1:03:45 Seeing people as Christ sees them Links @ldsbishop on Twitter #twitterstake on Twitter Signal app
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64 min
May 20, 2018
Creating Effective, Engaging, and Enjoyable LDS Leadership Meetings | An Interview with Mamie Kanfer Stewart
Mamie Kanfer Stewart founded her first business at the age of 12 and her entrepreneurial spirit combined with the desire to optimize how people work led Mamie to build Meeteor, whose mission is to enable individuals and teams to thrive at work, with a special emphasis on effective meetings. Mamie is a dynamic speaker and has presented at numerous events and been interviewed on a variety of podcasts. She has been featured in Forbes, Inc, Business Collective, and PCMag, and writes about productivity, healthy team culture, and meeting best practices. She is also a nationally syndicated columnist and national media personality and the author of “Momentum: Creating Effective, Engaging and Enjoyable Meetings”. Highlights (8:30) Common meeting challenges #1: Meetings that don’t have a clear purpose * “I don’t know why we’re having this meeting” and “I don’t know why I’m at this meeting” * (11:35) How to create a clear purpose * Create a desired outcome – “I want the outcome of this meeting to be….” * Detailed agenda helps to see if meeting is leading to desired outcome (agenda is created from desired outcome) * (19:20) At beginning of the meeting or subsection of meeting, state the desired outcome (22:30) Six kinds of meeting types: * Make a decision * Create a plan * Generate ideas * Align people’s understanding (different than sharing information) * Connect (building relationships) * Produce (24:25) Common Meeting Challenges #2: How meetings end and what happens after * Record of the decisions made and next steps (stated and written) * Make record easy for everyone to access * (34:00) Meetings are a cycle * Decisions and next steps coming out of one meeting may become part of the desired outcome of the next meeting * Helps people get out of the mindset that meetings are discrete isolated events * (37:15) Importance of reviewing and revisiting meeting notes (42:00) Engaging meeting participants as a meeting leader (45:00) Best practices for avoiding meetings that should be emails * Could this outcome be achieved by another form of collaboration? (50:00) Creating space in a meeting for private reflection time (51:00) “Norms” – ground rules or expectations for how the conversation/meeting is going to be run Links Momentum: Creating Effective, Engaging, and Enjoyable Meetings, by Mamie Kanfer Stewart Successful Meetings Start with Why Advance Your Meeting Conversation with Norms 5 Practices to Make Every Meeting Matter www.mamieks.com On Twitter at: @mamieks www.meeteor.com 7 Unbreakable Rules of Church Meetings, by Leading Saints
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61 min
May 13, 2018
Build an A-Team in Your Calling | An Interview with Whitney Johnson
Whitney Johnson is an expert on disruptive innovation and personal disruption, recognized as one of the 50 leading business thinkers in the world. She is a writer, speaker, consultant and coach on innovation initiatives for leaders. Her book, “Build an ‘A’ Team: Play to Their Strengths and Lead Them Up the Learning Curve” is the leadership handbook to accompany her previous book, “Disrupt Yourself: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work”. Whitney served a mission in Uruguay and currently serves as a Laurel adviser. She and her husband live in Massachusetts and have two children. Highlights 06:20 Background of the book, “Build an ‘A’ Team” 07:30 It’s people who disrupt, not organizations, and when people are learning something new they are innovative and drive disruption innovation within their organization 08:20 Protesters who demand change vs. people who drive change 11:00 Being a leader means having humility and allowing others to have their own revelation 12:50 Applying the S curve to learning in church callings 18:00 The importance of engagement 22:50 Personal engagement fatigue and church callings 24:30 Comparing where we are today to our past 26:00 Is the life of someone we serve better because of what we have done? 28:15 Repetition and change 29:00 Changing the job description to what is needed now 31:30 Choosing leaders by who they are on the inside, choosing people for potential and what really needs to be done 35:30 The learning curves of people in a calling Links Previous Leading Saints interview with Whitney: Disrupting Your Calling WhitneyJohnson.com Whitney's books: Build an “A” Team: Play to Their Strengths and Lead Them Up the Learning Curve Disrupt Yourself: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work Dare, Dream, Do: Remarkable Things Happen when you Dare to Dream
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42 min
May 10, 2018
Supporting Divorced Members in the LDS Church | An Interview With Cydney Hatch
Cydney Afton Hatch is a polka-dot-wearing business owner, photographer, cupcake enthusiast and recently-turned writer, who through her work shares her personal experience with divorce and encourages others to rebuild their lives, redefine their relationship with God, and find peace. As a lifelong member of the church and always having a gift for finding and creating beauty, her biggest challenge was finding beauty in the aftermath of her divorce. Through her faith in Christ, she has found that even in the challenges of life there is beauty in the struggle. Turning to faith with patience, many tears, a big dose of laughter, and creativity, Cydney embraced her unexpected life and found beauty even in her struggles. Raised in the nation’s capital of Washington D.C., Cydney owns Afton Photography where her work has been featured in major publications including Cosmopolitan, The Hill, The Washington Post, and Minted. She received a bachelors of History from Brigham Young University-Idaho, has worked with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and currently works for Disruptive Advertising. She resides in Utah. Episode Highlights 4:15 Married in 2011 & divorced after 3 years 6:45 Peace about letting go of her marriage 7:30 How she sought help for her marriage 8:00 Going to see the bishop Talk about it—there needs to be more discussion in the church about divorce 12:45 Cydney’s decision to go to the bishop 17:00 The need for resources for single parenting & divorce in the church 22:15 What resources can help someone who is divorced feel love & stay active in the church 24:00 Divorce members need to be involved 26:00 The grieving process of divorce 31:45 Rock bottom is from where we rebuild 34:00 How bishops can help through & after divorce 38:30 Normalizing divorce in the church 40:00 How to include divorced members 43:30 Cydney’s journey since her divorce 45:15 How can a YSA bishop encourage a divorced member Links When Eternity is Not Forever wheneternityisnotforever.com Instagram: @wheneternityisnotforever Twitter: @WhenEternity Facebook: When Eternity is Not Forever
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60 min
May 6, 2018
How I Lead in Turkey | An Interview with Murat Cakir
Murat Chakir is a pioneer for the LDS Church in his native country, Turkey. He joined the church while studying in Norway, served a mission to Arizona, completed his education at Brigham Young University, and then returned to Turkey where he served as branch president. He currently serves in the mission presidency of the Central Eurasian Mission, which includes Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey, and Uzbekistan. Episode Highlights 4:55 Personal faith development before joining the church 10:00 School in Norway and discovery of Jesus Christ as more than a prophet 14:30 Meeting the LDS missionaries 16:00 Gaining a testimony of Jesus Christ as a truth-seeker from a Muslim background 18:20 Experiencing the Spirit through the missionaries 19:20 Joining the LDS Church 21:40 Gaining a testimony of a living prophet 23:20 Choosing to go on a mission 24:45 Mission to Arizona and resolution of passport issues 31:30 Working on Book of Mormon translation while at BYU 33:30 Joseph Smith translating the Book of Mormon compared to translating it into Turkish 35:00 Discovery of 1903 translation by Armenian missionaries; no animosity between nations within the gospel 39:50 Creating the Turkish name for the church 43:40 Return to Turkey and building the church there, from Babylon Street to Dove Street 47:30 Dedication of building by Elder Christofferson 48:25 Experiences as a branch president in a developing area with great challenges, and creation of website that brought in referrals 53:50 Muslim perspective of Christians in Turkey 54:35 Elder Holland quote about his experience dedicating Turkey 56:15 Growth of the church in Turkey 57:15 Attending the temple from Turkey 58:05 Continuing goals and efforts to reach truth-seekers and grow the church 59:50 Being part of a mission presidency over a large area with few members 1:02:00 Suggestions for struggling branch presidents: minister like Christ did 1:04:10 Using technology to create missionary experiences and conversions 1:07:50 We need to be out and listening to the people 1:08:25 Pray for the saints in Turkey, where ancient saints lived Links http://www.mormonum.org/
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72 min
April 25, 2018
Creating Engagement Through Ministering Interviews | An Interview with DeAnna Murphy
DeAnna Murphy is a leadership consultant, coach, facilitator, and speaker, and the founder/CEO of Strengths Strategy Inc. and its affiliate, People Acuity, where she consults businesses, coaches, and individuals. She was born in Provo, Utah, but grew up in Canada, and met her husband at Ricks College. They had three children and live in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she has served as Stake Relief Society President. Highlights 5:25 How do we help ourselves and others stay fully engaged? 7:35 How can you understand your auxiliaries strength? 8:10 How can we apply engagement at home? 8:35 To be meaningfully engaged there must be a sense of connection, and an ability to understand your contribution and purpose alignment. 12:00 Understand your role/purpose 12:45 What is the bigger “why”? 14:00 Doctrine and Covenants 43:8,9 The Lord teaches Joseph Smith by council 15:20 Ask good questions/teach by council 19:30 Get correct counsel on core principles. 22:20 To feel alignment while teaching ask: What did you notice about that? What's important about that? What does that mean? What will you do? (How would you apply that?) Has anyone had an experience like that? 24:15 John 17- Why does He want us to be one so badly? That my joy might be fulfilled in you. 28:35 Which of these points in the lesson are important to Heavenly Father? 30:45 The council creates interdependence. 32:20 There is no engagement from a talking head. 33:20 Co-dependence is the primary voice of us vs. them. 34:15 There should not a be a “you people” in our church culture. 36:20 Our value does not go up and down like the stock market. 38:15 When people begin to see their value through the lens of strength they see God's DNA in them. 39:00 We need to understand our identity, but have lost it 41:50 If I'm not judging myself, I feel connected to other people and to God 42:10 Four categories of strengths Strategic Thinking Executing Relationship driven —Influencers —Relationship-builders 50:30 We are drawn to those like us because they validate us, and afraid of those who are unlike us because we do not understand them. 53:45 We disengage when our needs are not being met. 54:30 What does my patriarchal blessing show me about my strengths? 57:40 What can you count on me for? What do I need to feel confident? 59:00 The power of one-on-one ministering 1:00:00 During one-on-one interviews, pull up an extra chair for the Savior to sit with you as you minister 1:00:50 Be okay with no knowing, and always pray with them. 1:01:25 During the interviews ask them: How are you doing? What are you learning from the Spirit in your personal study? What are you learning in your assignment? These questions create connection. 1:05:00 Finally, ask tell me about the people that you are serving and what do they need? 1:06:15 Everyone is a "one" and there is great power in ministering and one-on-one interviews. 1"06:55 Ask your children—even grown children—what the Spirit is teaching them. 1:09:00 Experience with a group in Abu Dhabi learning six strengths strategies. 1:16:45 Read Moses 1:6 with your name instead of Moses: He will magnify your gifts through Him Links Print version of Shift Up!: Strengths Strategies for Optimal Living Ebook version of Shift Up!: Strengths Strategies for Optimal Living PeopleAcuity.com DeAnna's How I Lead interview: 
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82 min
April 11, 2018
Creating More Good in the World & in Leadership | An Interview with David Neeleman
Born in Brazil and raised in Utah, David Neeleman is an entrepreneur who has founded or co-founded five commercial airlines: Morris Air, WestJet, JetBlue, Azul Brazilian Airlines and TAP Air Portugal. Morris Air was acquired by Southwest Air in 1993. David served a mission in Brazil as a young adult and speaks Portuguese. He and his wife have ten children, including one they adopted in recent years. The Neelemans have 18 grandchildren. David was featured in The Mormon Way of Doing Business and in Flying High. Episode Highlights 1:00: Undistinguished academic background in high school and University of Utah. Has ADD. Served LDS mission during period of explosive church growth in Brazil in the late 1970’s. Sold Morris Air to Southwest when he was 33 years of age. Wanted to remain passionately involved in something of value and not simply be an investor. Highlights of his involvement with the airlines referenced above. 5:40: Impact of serving a mission and the necessity of faith combined with works. Witnessed the area of Brazil where he served grow from five branches to five stakes in a very short time. 7:18: Father of a large family. Advice he gives his kids as they go to serve missions: lose yourself, don’t think about home excessively and love the people. 9:20: Missionary success began to shape his life. Invented e-ticket travel and in-home reservations by people who are working from home. Is wired to see things differently and attempt what no one else has done before without being discouraged by naysayers. Being entrepreneurial requires making sacrifices. 12:48: ADD discussed, including the fact that children in same family can be very different from one another. Proper encouragement is needed. Some great business leaders have suffered from ADD. Street wisdom about A, B, C and D students. 15:58: How the egalitarian structure of the Church has affected his business approach to dealing with employees and providing customer service. His thoughts about executive lunch rooms and parking spaces. Impact of satisfied employees on customer base. Discussion about pleasing employees vs shareholders. 21:00: Establishing a healthy culture by leadership style in Church organizations. Helping people feel fulfilled and loved, not guilty. Prayerful thought is required. 22:40: Establishing and leading by values. JetBlue’s values. Breaking the china when necessary. 25:45: Serving as ward mission leader for about eight years in New Cambridge, CT. 26:25: More on vision and values—what would Jesus do in setting the tone in Church organizations. Church service a respite from the “belly of the beast” all week long. Keeping values at the forefront. 29:00: Making time for family, not golf. LDS leavening influenced is needed in the world. People respond to leadership that is inspired by gospel principles even if it’s not presented as such. 33:00: David’s preferences for books, especially books about world progress and development more than books about leadership. Some favorites, other than religious, are: Outliers, David and Goliath, Tipping Point, Accidental Superpower and books about founding fathers of the U.S.A. 35:20: Founding the More Good Foundation. Helping maintain a positive image for the Church. Buying URL’s so that people on search engines have positive encounters online regarding the Church. 41:22: Being a better follower of Christ by learning to k...
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44 min
April 8, 2018
Stimulating a Culture of Ministering | An Interview with Nola and Mike Patterson
Nola & Mike Patterson have been married for more than 26 years. Originally from the Alberta, Canada area, they now make their home in Las Vegas, Nevada. Brother Patterson has served in various callings, including Young Men presidencies, as an Elders Quorum President, in bishoprics, and as a bishop. He currently serves as an early-morning seminary teacher. Sister Patterson has served as a Young Women’s President and Relief Society President, among other responsibilities. Brother and Sister Patterson have found success in their leadership responsibilities as they have focused on ministering to individuals and families not well known to the ward and creating opportunities for those individuals to participate and serve. They have also focused on finding others to assist them in these efforts, realizing that there was only so much they could do on their own. In this episode of How I Lead, Brother and Sister Patterson discuss with Kurt their approach to reaching out and helping those who need ministering to. Leadership Principle #1: Focus on Ministering (19:00) Leadership Principle #2: Be respectful of people’s time (37:45) Leadership Principle #3: Do what you can and then let go (46:40) Leadership Principle #4: Seeking out those who are under utilized (52:30)
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62 min
March 25, 2018
Introverts in the LDS Church | An Interview with Adam McHugh
Interview Transcript Available Below Adam McHugh is a spiritual director, chaplain, speaker, and retreat leader. The author of Introverts in the Church: Finding Our Place in an Extroverted Culture, he is an ordained Presbyterian minister, having earned a Masters of Divinity and Masters of Theology in Greek New Testament from Princeton Theological Seminary. He is also the author of The Listening Life: Embracing Attentiveness in a World of Distraction, and lives in Santa Barbara, California. Episode Highlights 4:30 Becoming an ordained minister 7:30 What led to writing Introverts in the Church 10:50 Explanation of introversion and extroversion 16:00 Problems that introverts experience at church 19:00 Understanding the discomfort of personal vulnerability and sharing beliefs as an expression of faith 22:00 Introverts generally prefer depth over breadth 24:00 The power of listening: experience at a hospital 30:00 Introverts and small talk 34:00 How introverts approach dealing with conflict and decisions 40:00 Silence, reverence, and the internal experience compared to active social environments 45:20 Cultural clash of introvert and extrovert leaders: overcoming stereotypes and encouraging introverts to be leaders 48:50 Reaching out to invite introverts to participate Links * Adam's Website * Introverts in the Church: Finding Our Place in an Extroverted Culture * The Listening Life: Embracing Attentiveness in a World of Distraction Interview Transcript LS: Today we are communicating with Adam McHugh in California. How are you, Adam? ADAM: Doing very well. How about yourself? LS: Very good. Did I say your last name correctly? ADAM: You got it. LS: All right. Very nice, very nice. Now, you are, tell us (00:04:00) a little bit about what we need about know about you. The big thing I guess on this podcast we generally have LDS or Mormons on as guests, but you are not a Mormon. So what are you? ADAM: It is true. I am an ordained Presbyterian minister. Though in truth I go to an Episcopal church. LS: Nice. ADAM: But I was ordained in the Presbyterian church about 12 years ago. LS: Nice. And so what is the, when you say you're ordained, (00:04:30) what does that mean? Does that mean you went to seminary for awhile or what does that even mean? ADAM: It means they made me jump through about a thousand hoops, is basically what that means. I went to Princeton theological seminary and that is required for ordination, not Princeton. But going to seminary, getting a master's of divinity. I also stuck around for another year and got a masters of theology and Greek New Testament as well and had to do 2 church internships and one internship at a hospital as a chaplain, was actually (00:05:00) very instrumental in my future calling. And yeah. And then I had to go to about a thousand meetings in order to get approved. LS: Wow. Wow. Intense. ADAM: It was a, I would never do it again. I'm glad I was young when I went through all that because now it sounds exhausting. LS: So does that mean, I mean, your day to day or are you some type of pastor to a church or what's your day to day job now? ADAM: I have the title now, you know, writer and speaker and retreat leader (00:05:30) is really how I identify myself and certainly connected to churches and...
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57 min
March 18, 2018
How I Lead as Relief Society President & Businesswoman | An Interview With Gail Miller
Gail Miller is the owner and chair of the board of directors of the Larry H. Miller group of companies, which includes 65 car dealerships, the Utah Jazz basketball team, Utah Bees baseball team, a chain of movie theatres, and related businesses. She is also a mother, a former Relief Society president, and the author of “Courage to Be You: Inspiring Lessons from an Unexpected Journey”. Episode Highlights * 1:45 How the book came to be * 6:15 Gail’s service experience as a Relief Society president * 10:55 Coming back from inactivity in the church * 16:40 Saying the right thing to those who are grieving * 18:10 Developing yourself as the spouse of a leader * 20:55 Patience as the wife of a busy entrepreneur and as a woman in the church * 25:00 Making decisions as a leader * 27:30 Stewardship and service Links Courage to Be You: Inspiring Lessons from an Unexpected Journey
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36 min
March 11, 2018
Relationships Before Progress | A Conversation with Tom Christofferson, President David Checketts, and Bishop Bruce Larson
Interview Transcript Available Below Tom Christofferson is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who experiences same sex attraction. He is also the brother of Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Tom grew up in the church as a member, served a mission and married in the temple. His short marriage ended and he came out as gay and lived that lifestyle for many years. He started coming back to church with Bruce Larson as a bishop and David Checketts as his stake president. Tom's story is told in his book, That We May Be One: A Gay Mormon’s Perspective on Faith and Family. As leaders we can learn a lot from his experience of coming back to church and being rebaptized. Episode Highlights * 6:30 Tom's story from the beginning * 9:30 His story of excommunication * 10:50 How his family wanted their love to be perfect as they accepted him * 13:20 Bishop Bruce Larson's side of the story * 16:00 Stake President David Checkett's side of the story * 18:00 Bishop Larson and President Checketts did not know at first that he was related to Elder Christofferson * 20:30 Sharing with the ward coucnil how to make feel Tom welcome * 22:30 Response of the ward council * 24:00 Tom was welcomed and loved unconditionally * 29:00 Tom attended the ward for 5 years before wanting to come back to live the commandments * 31:45 During the 5 years how Tom felt welcome in the ward * 33:20 Everyone focused on the the relationship with Tom and not his progress * 34:30 Study sessions with Tom and President Checketts * 38:00 Meeting with Tom's partner * 42:00 President Checketts meets with Elder Christofferson about Tom * 45:00 Tom Christofferson's rebaptism * 48:00 How this experience has helped Bishop Larson to be a better disciple of Jesus Christ * 50:00 How this experience has helped President Checketts to be a better disciple of Jesus Christ Links That We May Be One: A Gay Mormon’s Perspective on Faith and Family Register for the North Star Leadership Session President David Checketts (far left) and the Christofferson brothers Interview Transcript LS: [00:02:30] Welcome back to the leading LDS podcast. My name is Kurt Francom and today I have the opportunity to be a in beautiful downtown Salt Lake City with and really, I'm across the world and we'll explain that in just a minute. But, let's start with you Tom. I'm in the home of Tom Christofferson. How are you? Tom: Very well, thank you. Thanks for joining us. LS: Yeah, well, I'm excited to, to have this opportunity. And, mainly this interview came to be as you release your book that we may be one, a gay Mormons perspective on faith and family and you've been on the interview circuit for. Tom: It's [00:03:00] been an interesting journey. LS: I bet it's been very fulfilling that to share your faith through, through this method. Tom: It has been a unique opportunity to be able to talk about my feelings about the Savior and the journey that I feel I have been led along. LS: Obviously we'll get the, the obvious things out of the way. So, your last name is Christofferson and our Elder Christofferson's brother. Tom: And he is my brother. LS: Oh, that's right. You're becoming more and more famous through this, these interviews. Tom: So, we are a family of [00:03:30] five sons. He is the oldest and I'm the youngest. LS: Nice. I'm the youngest too, so I can, I can empathize with that. That's right. That's right. And now,
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58 min
March 4, 2018
Being Prepared to Love LGBT Latter-day Saints | A Conversation With 4 Latter-day Saint Bishops
Interview Transcript Available Below Scott Mackintosh and his wife Becky live in Lehi, Utah and are the parents of seven children, including their son Xian, who came out as gay at age 24. Scott is currently a bishop in a YSA ward at BYU, and Becky is on the board at North Star International. Chris Staggs and his wife of 18 years live in Overland Park, Kansas  with their four sons, ages 7 through 17. He experiences same-gender attraction and began to talk about it after serving as a bishop. Travis Steward and his wife Margaret have been married 32 years and have six children and grandchildren. Travis is a former bishop, mission president (Houston, Texas), and has served in stake presidencies. He has experienced same-gender attraction throughout his life and finally began to talk about it a few years ago. In this podcast, we talk about how we can be better leaders week-to-week for the LGBT members in our wards and communities. Episode Highlights * 7:30 Chris Staggs’s introduction and how he became involved with North Star through coming to terms with his same-gender attraction * 12:00 Scott Mackintosh’s story of his son coming out, and how that led to a change of heart for him and a conversion to love and empathy for everyone * 18:00 Travis Steward’s introduction and his experience as a man who experiences same-gender attraction but buried it for most of his life and struggled through shame and his own inner stories * 26:45 How Travis came out to his wife and openly acknowledged his same-sex attraction and began to deal with what he had held inside for so many years * 30:55 Chris’s experience coming out to his wife and church leaders after he had served as a bishop * 35:35 Scott’s realization that he needed to look at the experience of others instead of focusing on himself, how his son’s experience helped him realize how much shame is involved, and how it changed how he leads * 42:40 Proactively creating an open, safe, compassionate space to have these conversations and diminish shame * 48:00 What am I doing as a bishop to make sure that people would trust me and be willing to share the most personal, painful issues in their life? * 51:00 Bishops don’t have to know everything * 53:00 We need to be prepared so that when someone comes to us we can get it right the first time * 1:04:00 What to say or not say as a leader * 1:17:25 These are principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ that are applicable to everyone Links North Star Conference leadership session registration Scott's story mormonandgay.lds.org Interview Transcript LS: Today I'm sitting down [00:05:30] with, both in person and through the magic of the Internet with a Travis Steward, Scott Mackintosh and Chris Staggs. How are you, Travis? Travis: Good, Scott, how are you doing? LS: Excellent. I have all sorts of names going through my head and Chris, you're joining us from, uh, from Kansas City. Is that, right? Chris: Right. LS: The reason for this gathering here is to hopefully promote a message of love and also make leaders out there [00:06:00] more aware of resources that are available to them as they strive to enhance their leadership ability, especially in the context of our LGBT brothers and sisters that, hopefully are finding a place in, in our congregations and our wards and in a place that they feel comfortable and they can worship with us there. It's, uh,
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86 min
February 25, 2018
The Worth of LGBT Souls | North Star Conference
North Star is a faith-affirming resource for Latter-day Saints addressing sexual orientation and gender identity, and who desire to live in harmony with the teachings of Jesus Christ and the doctrines and values of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. North Star has been a remarkable partner with Leading Saints to help leaders better understand the experience of LGBT members of the Church. North Star has their annual conference coming up March 15-17 with Saturday (17th) including a free leadership session for lay leaders of the Church. THIS IS A MUST ATTEND OPPORTUNITY! We can't stress enough how much this free leadership event would enhance your ability to lead. If you are in a realistic travel distance you will not regret making it a priority on March 17th. To attend the free leadership session you must REGISTER HERE. To give you a sense of how helpful these leadership sessions are, North Star was kind enough to allow us to publish a leadership session from the 2017 North Star conference for this weeks Leading Saints podcast episode. Be sure to listen above! Episode Highlights Joseph Stith knew from an early age that he experienced same gender attraction. He married the one workman he had been attracted to in his lifetime, that he met right before putting his missionary papers in. As a young man getting married he thought that would take care of his SSA (5:00). * Nearly everyone at the conference had been experienced someone coming out to them (2:20) * Shared a story of a member going into a disciplinary council and was blown away that all of the leaders learned as much as they could from the Mormonandgay.lds.org website (2:54) * Joseph joined the Marine Corps and became a drill instructor, to help him “overcome” his SSA (5:30) * When he was almost at a crisis of faith, he turned to his family, the temple and church callings (6:00) * After being released from his calling he found his SSA spiraling out of control. He was recommended to go to a blog, where he then found that he wasn’t alone. 7:30 * Dealing with the age of the individual 10:36 * The most painful thing that he has heard is after a youth tells their bishop and then says they ignored them for two years. 11:38 * Truth and fiction (12:09) * Fiction: If someone has same gender attraction, they should not associate with others of the same gender who also has same gender attraction. Menfindingpeace.blogspot.com, offers men supporting other men with SSA. * Fiction: SSA is an addiction or Sin. * Truth: Coming out to themselves is the first step (15:30) * Truth: Coming out to others at their pace and at their choice is part of the healing process (15:39) * Personal Crisis of Faith: Individuals bargain with the Lord (16:06) * How do people identify if the are SSA. The church has accepted that it’s ok to be SSA (16:34) * Remember the spouse is on their own journey. (18:06) * Just listen first, don’t try and fix it! (19:07) * If you recommend therapy, know what it is you are recommending the therapy for. (19:49) * All of us are children of our Heavenly Father have two innate needs (21:51) * To be accepted by others (particularly God) * Fear rejection * What to Say and What not to say 22:35 * Don’t: * I suspected it all along. * We all have our challenges. * If you have enough faith.
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84 min
February 18, 2018
Battling Mental Illness as a Missionary | An Interview With Alex Whittingham
Alex Wittingham is a Utah resident, lifetime member of the LDS church, student, returned missionary (New Zealand), football player and son of University of Utah head football coach, Kyle Wittingham and his wife Jamie. Following his missionary service Alex began playing football as a long snapper on the U of U football team. Alex loved his mission, had wonderful companions and a supportive mission president. However, he returned home early following 15 months of dedicated service. The reason for his early release was a combination of anxiety, depression and OCD tendencies. * 5:02 Recognized some OCD tendencies by age 12 but assumed it was normal and didn’t have a name for it. There was no dramatic increase in the intensity level until his missionary service when feelings of anxiety were exacerbated without the relief valves he enjoyed before his mission (movies, being with friends). * 9:04 Alex discusses his decision to serve a mission and feeling a lack of confidence as he tried to envision himself as a missionary. Was nevertheless overjoyed in being called to serve in New Zealand. * 11:40: MTC experience brought on added anxiety, notwithstanding wonderful and supportive fellow missionaries who helped him cope. * 14:00 Arriving in New Zealand and facing new realities: contacting strangers. Obsessing over scrupulosity, even though he had done everything necessary to render himself worthy to serve prior to entering the mission field. Being OCD and living in a world of spartan obedience to rules. * 18:45 His anxiety and other issues came and went in phases during his missionary service. Opening up to his family in P-day letters was therapeutic. * 21:00 Confiding in empathetic companions and his very supportive mission president. Referred to LDS Family Services in New Zealand. * 23:15 Turning point—beginning to feel at peace regarding the value of his missionary service and the likelihood of an early departure. * 26:10 Returning home; weekly counseling continued; coping and managing; useful medications and learning new coping skills. * 27:50 Being supported by family and close friends through any feelings of “stigma.” “Your mission is between you and God.” * 29:40 The role of his loving stake president and his reassuring bishop in helping him get re-integrated into the ward family. * 31:00 Concluding thoughts: Alex is glad he served and loved his mission. It was life-changing and not a mistake. It had not occurred to him, prior to his mission, that he suffered from anything out of the ordinary. He’s glad there now seem to be more pre-mission questions regarding mental wellness. He wonders if leaders recommending candidates for missions should obtain the view of the youth’s parents about any possible emotional or mental conditions that would impact on the ability to serve. * 36:12 Why Alex suddenly chose to tweet about his experience following the suicide of a popular singer—desire to help someone else. Describes response to his tweet and a related article in a local newspaper. * 38:50 Words of encouragement to fellow sufferers—You are not alone. There is support in the form of angels on earth. Don’t be afraid to reach out and accept help. Links: * The OCD Mormon * Chad Lewis Interview * Salt Lake Tribune Article * Anxiety Disorders and Mormonism Confer...
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44 min
February 11, 2018
Disrupting Your Calling | An Interview With Whitney Johnson
Whitney Johnson started as a secretary on Wall Street while taking business classes at night. She worked her way up as a successful investment banker. She later co-founded an investment firm with Harvard Business School’s Clayton Christensen. She is an accomplished author of several books, Dare, Dream Do, and Disrupt Yourself. Her newest book coming out this May is called, Build An “A” Team: Play To Their Strengths and Lead Them Up The Learning Curve. Whitney grew up in San Jose California. She also served a mission in Uruguay for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She attended Brigham Young University and received a B.A. in music. While at BYU she met her husband and they were married in the Temple. They currently live in Lexington Virginia and have two children, a son and a daughter. Whitney and her husband have been married for 31 years. Podcast Highlights: * 10:35 In her twenties Whitney asked herself, “Do I believe” While she took a step back her husband fasted for her on and off for two years. * 13:13 While serving in her current calling she realized, I don’t need to save them just love them. * 18:20 Early in her career she started a blog to help her discover what her dreams were. * 19:30 Every man and women needs to learn how to be a ship and a harbor. * 21:00 Her first book came out in 2012 Dare Dream Do: Remarkable Things Happen When You Dare To Dream. * 22:30 She later wrote the book Disrupt Yourself: Putting The Power Of Disruptive Innovation To Work. * 23:00 A disruptor is a silly thing that takes over the world. When you disrupt yourself you take over your world. * 24:13 Disrupting is managing change. * 26:08 How do you disrupt yourself or your ward? Seven Levels of Change #1 Take the right kinds of risk 28:05 * 28:05 Serve the Lord the way you need to using your talents. * 31:25 Ask yourself what I want to accomplish in this calling. #2 Play to your distinctive strengths in your calling. 32:42 * 34:40 What am I bringing to the table in regards to my calling. * 36:26 Think about the things that make you feel strong. * 36:46 Think about what exacerbates you. That is one of your strengths. * 37:08 What compliments do you get all the time? That is your super power. * 37:21 Read your patriarchal blessing. Look for your spiritual gifts while reading it. * 38:30 Are you using your strengths and your super powers deliberately in your calling? #3 Embrace Constraints 38:51 * 39:08 How do we turn those constraint into a tool of creation? * 40:20 Elders Bednar's 2017 General Conference address Bear Up Their Burdens With Ease is a great example of how our load is what gets them out. * 42:04 Elder Carmack's address about the Powers of the Priesthood is a great example to use your Priesthood Power at its fullest. * 42:19 Be prayerful and listen to the Lord. * 43:59 Communicate and be open about your constraints with your Bishop. * 45:19 Extend callings and invite them to pray about it first. #4 Battle Entitlement 45:56 * 46:57 The Church helps battle entitlement by the way it is organized, and callings change. #5 Give Failure its Due 48:45 * 48:52 Reframe your failures. * 49:29 We believe we can change, but we don’t always act like we believe it. * 50:11 Be open about the things that are hard for us. * 51:45 Ask yourself, “how can I make meaning of this?” * 51:39 Shame limits disruption, not failure. #6 Step Back in Order to Grow 53:51 * 54:20 In church we step back to grow as we get new callings. #7 Be Driven By Discovery 55:03
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66 min
February 5, 2018
How I Lead as Bishop After a Faith Crisis | An Interview With Dan Conway
Dan Conway is a bishop in Newcastle, in northeast England, and has also served as an elders quorum president. He served a mission to Scotland, and works as a digital marketing executive. In this episode Dan walks us through his crisis of faith prior to being called as bishop, and how that affected how he leads now. Episode Summary 5:45 Mission to Scotland 8:45 Faith crisis 14:40 Reading and praying didn’t work as a solution 19:20 Call as Elders Quorum president in the midst of a faith crisis 21:50 Finding the answers to his questions 28:30 Experience bearing his testimony of Joseph Smith 31:15 Becoming the bishop after a faith crisis 43:45 Understanding that people can change and become better 46:15 First year as a bishop 51:20 How he does ward council: short meetings every other week, then visits 56:35 Using an agenda and PPIs 1:01:00 Visiting people after ward council 1:04:00 PPIs  Links: Interview with Arthur Boutin FAIR Mormon
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January 31, 2018
What I Wish I Knew Before I Was Elders Quorum President – Ep. 1
Being a newly called elders quorum president can be nerve-racking! So many things to organize and consider. Thankfully, Leading Saints is here to help. In this episode we have gathered experiences from current and former elders quorum presidents from around the world sharing what they wish they knew before they were called as elders quorum president. You will find their advice inspiring and practical. Contribute Your Own WIWIK Experience In an effort to help other elders quorum presidents to learn some quick leadership experience on day 1, we are organizing future podcast episodes that will feature many current and past elders quorum presidents sharing what they wish they knew before they were called as elders quorum president. You will only have 5 minutes to record so write some thoughts on a paper and then record! How to record: * Click the green button below * Answer the following question in less than 5 minutes: * What do you wish you knew before you were elders quorum president? * Start your answer with “Before I was elders quorum president I wish I knew…” * Stop recording * Listen to recording and record again if you would like * Enter name and email * Submit recording by clicking “send” Episode Transcript KURT: Hello and welcome to [00:00:30] the Leading Saints podcast. My name is Kurt Frankham. I'm the executive director of Leading Saints and also the host of the Leading Saints podcast. If you're new to Leading Saints I welcome you. We produce a regular podcast where we discuss topics that will help lay leaders in the LDS Church enhance their leadership ability and capacity. And we do that through various methods. One of those being we interview really smart and intelligent people who have experience in leadership whether in or outside the church, and we talk about strong leadership principles in the context of the LDS church. We [00:01:00] also have a segment called “How I Lead” where we interview everyday leaders and ask them how they go about their day to day, week to week responsibilities as a lay leader in the church. And what you're bound to hear is that we weak segment where we crowdsource the community of Leading Saints and ask them to finish the sentence, what I wish I knew when I was Elder's quorum President, when I was Bishop, Relief Society President, Young Men's President, Young Women's President whatever it is and in this episode, we focus on what I wish I knew before I was Elders Quorum President. Each voice you'll hear we've given them [00:01:30] five minutes or less to talk about what they wish they knew before they're called as Elder's quorum President. Thank you for all the support you show to Leading Saints. And now what I wish I knew before I was Elder's quorum President. CALLER: My name is Adam Elsworth I'm currently an Elder's quorum President. I have been for about two years now. What I wish I knew before I was called or when I was called as an elders quorum president. It's a little bit of a challenging [00:02:00] question, so I feel like I had all the spiritual tools I needed to go to Heavenly Father and find out what my quorum needed and I already somehow, because I didn't have them had a strong sense that I shouldn't be having one on one interviews with my quorum members regularly. So we have done that and those have been very effective and very helpful for ministering in my quorum and to those we home teach. So I had those tools in place. But one thing that is maybe a little surprising or didn’t[00:02:30] suspect although it obvious  is that the more things that I can put on auto pilot, or better said the more things I can have pre scheduled that I don't have to go through the process of scheduling each month, the more effective I've been. So for example with my first elder’s quorum presidency my two counse...
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25 min
January 28, 2018
Ministering to the Doubter | An Interview With Terryl Givens
A transcript of the interview is available below. Terryl Givens, PhD, is a professor of literature and religion at the University of Richmond, a private liberal arts college. Baptized initially in the Presbyterian faith by his minister grandfather, Terryl and his family became LDS when Terryl was eight or nine; however, the family of nine became less active. Born in upstate New York and raised largely in the Southwestern U.S.A., when Terryl was sixteen the family relocated to Virginia from another state, having no immediate prospects for employment, friends or a home. Initially they lived in a tent. In Virginia the family was reactivated and Terryl experienced a personal spiritual reawakening. Although he set his sights on a wrestling scholarship at Yale, Terryl was always “bookish,” as he describes it. Following a successful church mission in Brazil he graduated from BYU, where he courted and married Fiona. After graduate work at Cornell he completed his graduate studies at UNC, Chapel Hill, by which time the Givens had five children. Dr. Givens’ scholastic work included a semester abroad in Vienna. Fiona has a graduate degree in history. Terryl has served as a bishop. Although he did not initially fancy himself an author, Dr. Givens has authored a dozen books, including some that have been co-authored with Fiona. He has a special interest in Mormon studies, history and culture. His podcasts are accessible through terrylgivens.com. Episode Highlights * 11:37 Unlikely journey to becoming an author…His father’s collection of 19th century anti-LDS literature…Impact of learning the Book of Mormon was the most widely produced book, other than Bible. * 15:15 Books are no longer the primary vehicle for disseminating information…Desire to celebrate intellectual and theological richness of Mormonism…People struggling with their faith. * 18:00 There is not one, “typical” Mormon testimony…Finding one’s own path in “coming to Christ.” * 19:25 Called as bishop in Richmond the week of 9/11…Occupying a position with enormous ability to make a difference in people’s lives…Using the power of the mantle as an influence for good…Ministering to members and promoting member interaction. * 23:00 Dealing with faith crises…The gift of empathy…Feeling the weight of their burdens and the texture of their cross…Bishops need to “feel,” not simply fix…Avoiding tendency to view others’ experiences through one’s personal lens regarding matters of faith and other personal struggles. * 29:25 President M. Russell Ballard’s powerful statement to leaders: ‘bearing testimony is not the answer to every question’ from people experiencing doubt…Dealing with legitimate perplexities and apparent incongruities…Asking, “What’s at stake in that question?”…Some faith questions are based on false assumptions…Helping people navigate distractions by refocusing on what matters most. * 35:10 As a leader, having courage to refer someone to a person with more expertise…Demonstrate validation…Be careful about trying to shut off sources of intellectual inquiry…Transparency. * 38:15 “Criminalizing” doubt…Elder Hugh B. Brown’s comment about “apprenticeship in doubt” on path of discipleship…Can faith and uncertainty can co-exist?... “Help thou my unbelief.” Knowing vs believing…On being authentic as to what we know or feel…The culture of “certainty.” * 44:52 Scriptural examples of individuals having faith without absolute knowledge…Scriptures appeal to both mind and heart…Saying “I don’t know” and learning together. * 47:56 Asking “real” questions in adult Sunday school classes…Does everyone truly agree…Importance of truly spiritual gospel doctrine class teachers…Dealing with boredom in SS class. * 52:00 Is there resistance to addressing questions head-on? In the long run,
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57 min
January 21, 2018
How I Lead as Primary President | An Interview With Rachel Davis of TheMormonHome.com
Rachel Davis is a two-time Primary president and lives in Santa Clarita, California, with her husband and children. She was raised in the LDS Church as her family traveled internationally and around the United States for her father's work. She blogs at TheMormonHome.com where she posts resources for LDS families and Primary leaders. Episode Highlights * 3:00 Rachel's background and blogging experiences * 9:15 How living internationally shaped her experience in the church * 13:00 The bulletin board metaphor * 14:30 Rachel's family story and development of her testimony * 19:20 "Digging deep" in developing a testimony * 22:50 Gay marriage issue in California and her family * 24:40 Diversity of thought in a room * 29:00 Primary presidency experience * 32:30 How Rachel's Primary operates * 39:40 Five Leadership Principles * Stop trying to find someone to tell you No * 42:10 Every time you start a program, think about how you're going to finish it (traditions are perilous) * 44:10 Church is a volunteer organization, not a corporation * 46:15 Be ready to apologize all the time * 49:45 Practice spiritual self-care * 54:10 Seeing the big picture with Primary children Links Microphone Rachel's ward uses in Primary TheMormonHome.com
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57 min
January 14, 2018
Love Without Works is Dead | An Interview With Chad Lewis, Former BYU Player & NFL Pro-Bowler
Photo Credit: BYU Photo Chad Lewis is from Orem, Utah and walked on to played football for Brigham Young University from 1993 to 1996. After not being drafted into the NFL he walked on to play for the Philadelphia Eagles where he had a successful career as a 3-time pro-bowler. Now retired from football he works for the BYU Athletic department and continues to have a passion for BYU sports. In this episode we talk about his personal development as a leader and how he found the grit and determination to succeed in a difficult sport when he was required to "walk-on" at every level. Chad describes what made his two famous coaches, LaVell Edwards and Andy Reid, incredible leaders and motivators. Episode Highlights: * Chad's background 4:00 * Chad's childhood and mission 6:00 * What advice will you give your children about serving a mission? 11:50 * How Chad decided to walk-on to BYU 13:30 * How to stay humble and confident on the football field 19:30 * How to attack each day and succeed as a competitor 22:00 * What Coach LaVell Edwards taught Chad about leadership 24:20 * How Coach Edwards showed love through leadership 27:00 * How to be a leader and not just a player 32:00 * How to motivate as a leader 35:00 * What Coach Andy Reid taught Chad about leadership 39:00 Links: The Greatest Salesman in the World, by Og Mandino Tom Brady's Book, The TB12 Method Kurt Francom & Chad Lewis the day of the interview
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46 min
January 7, 2018
How I Lead as Relief Society President in Palestine | An Interview With Sahar Qumsiyeh
Sahar Qumsiyeh is the author of Peace for a Palestinian: One Woman's Story of Faith amidst War in the Holy Land where she tells of her life as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Palestine. In this interview we hear her story of converting to the LDS Church at Brigham Young University and then serving in church leadership positions when she returned to the Jerusalem Branch and also in Turkey during her graduate school. Sahar currently lives in Rexburg Idaho where she teaches Mathematics. Episode Highlights * 2:20 the development of her faith before joining the Church * 4:20 What lead her to BYU * 5:45 What she knew about Mormons before going to BYU * 7:30 Her conversion story * 9:30 The transition from Provo, Utah to Palestine as a member of the Church * 12:15 Why going to Church was difficult for Sahar as a Palestinian * 21:25 Sahar’s experience serving in the LDS Church in Turkey while she attended graduate school * 23:15 Being in the Relief Society presidency in Turkey * 28:00 Being called as Relief Society president in the Jerusalem Branch * 29:30 What the Jerusalem Branch is like * 34:00 The creation of the Bethlehem Branch * 42:00 Serving as Primary President in the Bethlehem Branch * 47:00 Leadership principles learned as a leader in the LDS Church Links: Buy Sahar's book Kurt Francom from Leading Saints with Sahar Qumsiyeh during the interview Interview Transcript Kurt Francom (LS): Today I'm sitting down in downtown Salt Lake at the [00:03:30] Deseret Book headquarters with Sahar Qumsiyeh. How are you Sahar? Sahar:  I'm doing good thank you. LS: Awesome. Now you are not from Salt Lake. You were from the other side of the globe. Sahar: Yeah. LS: When people  ask you where you're from what do you tell them? Sahar:  Palestine. LS: Nice, And is there specific city? Sahar:  I tell them I'm from Bise Lahore but a lot of people don't know Bise Lahore but it's right next to Bethlehem is about a five minute walk from the Church of Nativity where the savior was born so its just down the hill. LS: I've heard of Bethlehem [00:04:00] this is good. You're born in Jerusalem right? The reason we were together is you recently wrote a book about being a Latter Day saint in Palestine.  Obviously there's a story behind this but what led to this book actually coming to reality? Sahar:  Well actually it started out by a very simple Relief Society Project where they encouraged us to write our personal history and I decided I'm going to write my life story. And I did. And I kept adding to it.[00:04:30] As time went by and then one of my friends is like well why don't you publish this. This is interesting because I was sending her my weekly e-mails about sneaking in to get to church and all the difficulties I was facing. She's like you have an interesting life.  You should publish this. People could be interested in my life? So I changed the format a little bit and made it look like something kind of inspirational and kind of topic base. So it's not a biography format. LS: [00:05:00] Here it is, nice!  There is a few things I want to talk about. Obviously it's interesting you've served as early Relief Society president and District Re...
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54 min
December 31, 2017
How I Lead as Young Women President | An Interview With Kimber Uluave
Kimber Uluave is a three-time Young Women president (different stakes) who resides in Washington, Utah, near St. George. Born and raised in Cedar City, Utah, she met her husband-to-be, Kivalu , while they were students at Southern Utah University. A Provo native, Kivalu  played football for SUU. The two coincidentally met again while at the MTC. Kimber served in the California San Jose Mission, while Kivalu  served in the Japan Tokyo South Mission. Following their respective missions they reconnected, courted, married and now have three children. Kimber has also served as a gospel doctrine teacher and in a relief society presidency. 8:00 Feelings of inadequacy in leading 42, mostly active young women; different wards—different dynamics; developing deep and profound relationships; listen to spiritual promptings and seek to avoid regrets about your service. 15:00 “I am called of God; my authority is above that of the kings of the earth.” Lord will magnify us if we rise to the occasion. Be courageous; testify; allow your children to see your example of faithful service. 19:30 Helping young women move past tension and competition can restore the spirit of the overall group. Asking an inspired, bold question led to forgiveness and reconciliation. Either allow the Lord to magnify the positives or deal with having the adversary magnify the negatives. Don’t lead by shaming. Getting past the cliché of “just love them.” Inviting people to take action. A relationship based on trust and love makes it easier to extend bold invitation to improve. Contagious love. 5 Key Leadership Principles * 29:15 Ministering: We’ve been given the mantle and responsibility and the tools to know what the YW need. Getting to know them on their “turf.” Is the use of social media a help or a hindrance in dealing with young women? * 32:02 See and love the youth as the Savior does: We stand in His place and He wants them to be taught leadership and motherhood skills. Being the Lord’s instrument and mouthpiece. Approaching those who are resistant. * 33:53 Know the mantle of the calling: Inspiration is available. The Lord fills in the gaps. The “law of compensation.” Witnessing miracles. * 36:41 Seek revelation and be in tune to the promptings of the Holy Ghost: Many need us and are on their needs asking for help. Be in tune to know what God wants you to do to respond to their prayers. * 39:31 Magnify the Lord’s love in all our efforts: He will magnify you in your calling and that magnifying component can last long after your official efforts/calling have ended. * 41:50 Let the girls be leaders and offer ideas that will change their lives: Excellent example of young women, with the relief society’s assistance, deepening relationships and fulfilling a Personal Progress requirement through a group quilting project. Concluding Thought on Discipleship 43:36 How has being a leader helped you to be a better follower and disciple of Jesus Christ? Kimber’s response: In this life we can represent our Savior and say the things He would say and do if He were here. I have seen my joy magnified in every aspect of my life. The joy in our home luminates because of service. It is a gift to have the privilege and ability to serve.
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47 min
December 17, 2017
Approaching Difficult Conversations as a Leader | An Interview With John Stoker
John Stoker currently lives in Springville, Utah and is the President and CEO of DialogueWORKS. John earned a masters degree in Organizational Behavior at Brigham Young University and has had an exciting career. His career has taken him all over the country and he even went back to Law school and practiced as a criminal defense attorney. DialogueWORKS helps leaders to develop communication and thinking skills that will help them be more effective with the people that they manage in the organizations that they lead. They help businesses to shift their paradigm by teaching courses on communication, leadership development, or emotional intelligence and critical thinking. In short, they help leaders get out of their "stinking thinking” by helping them achieve results, build relationships, and create respect. John is also the author of Overcoming Fake Talk. Episode Summary * Served as a Bishop at BYU 2:50 * “What should I do with this person, having a difficult conversation” 5:08 * Worry/avoid the conversation and when they do have it they don’t do it well * Avoid and compound the problem * Handling poor performance 7:40 * Address the the issue one-on-one not with the whole team * 4 Steps in having a difficult conversation 12:00 * 1st Step Initiate: Starting the conversation * Identify the intent for holding the conversation. What do you want to happen? * Create an Attention Check “Can we talk?” 12:43 * Share data that you have or are experiencing and interoperation of the data. “I noticed…I’m wondering, thinking, or believing…” * Start with data and then share your perspective 14:25 * 2nd Step Discovery: Ask as many questions that you can 17:05 * Confirming Question: * Have I or Is it accurate? * Learning question: * What’s going on? * Write down questions: * What do I not know? * What do I need to know? * 3rd Step Connect: 30:32 * Summarize their perspective first, then add yours. “If I understand correctly… Does that make sense?" * Share your expectations & natural consequences * 4th Step Build: 38:00 Create Accountability * Build Plan: It needs to be their solution * What have you tried? What has worked? What hasn’t worked? * Get commitment to plan * Will you do this? Connects to motivation * Can you do this? Connects to ability * Is there anything you need from me? Connects to support * The answers to these questions become the facts for the next conversation. “Last month when we talked you said…” * Read the persons reaction to check their commitment level * General encouragement for leaders 45:40 * Prepare: Sit down, think about the person and the context * Don’t judge: Learn to suspend judgement and realize we don’t know as much as we think * Ask more questions. * Listen
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49 min
December 10, 2017
How I Lead as CEO & Bishop | An Interview With Don Adams
Don Adams is the CEO of Bear River Mutual in Utah. He was born and raised on a farm in southeast Idaho and served in the military before graduating from Brigham Young University and becoming an elementary school teacher. In 1974 he began working in the insurance industry and has continued doing so ever since. He served a mission to the Central States mission and has served in various church leadership callings, including as a Bishop. In this podcast, Kurt talks with Brother Adams about the experiences he has had in church and business leadership positions and how specific principles can apply to both. Episode Highlights * (9:40) How do you create and transfer passion? * If done correctly, it's a noble cause if you treat people well * (17:45) The importance of being an example as a teacher * Think through the process and who your audience is. * Establish a relationship with your audience. * Help audience to feel comfortable with you establishes a "safe zone" where audience is more likely to listen. * (21:00) Establishing rapport with someone. * Taking the time to get to know them. * "go where they go" * Good questions to ask to help someone open up. * Quit talking and let them talk. * (27:20) Effective youth interviews * Limit quantity of questions and keep them open-ended. * If they're not responding, don't make a big deal about it. * (35:15) How can you get "an honest day's work" from individuals in church callings? * (39:30) Teaching others to become leaders * "Are you prepared to allow them to fail?" Leadership Principles * (31:30) Principle #1: Your attitude sets the tone. * (43:45) Principle #2: Don't be afraid to fail. * (49:00) Principle #3: Continue to learn. * (57:15) Principle #4: Live by your values and principle
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64 min
December 3, 2017
Leading OCD Mormons | An Interview With Kari & Jamund Ferguson
Kari Ferguson is a wife, mother, BYU graduate, returned missionary, author and experienced local church leader, presently serving as a relief society president. She has also suffered for many years from obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and anxiety. Kari and Jamund, her husband of nine years, reside in Vancouver, Washington and are the parents of two children. Kari can also be found on LDS Living and The Mighty. Her newest book is The OCD Mormon: Finding Healing and Hope in the Midst of Anxiety. Following is a summary of their podcast interview in which Kari and Jamund discuss symptoms of OCD and its debilitating effects. Suggestions are offered as to how LDS leaders can exhibit sensitivity, and help OCD sufferers in their flock in ways that do not marginalize them or trivialize their condition. Many people with OCD and acute anxiety are very capable of rendering high-quality service in the ward, but it helps to understand what they are up against. The interview concludes with a description of a planned March 3, 2018 conference devoted to OCD/anxiety disorders among church members. It will be held in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. Episode Highlights * 4:35—What prompted Kari to write her new book, as a follow-up to an earlier book and her blogsite: https://www.theocdmormon.com. * 6:15—Jamund describes meeting Kari and relates his own family background dealing with a parent’s bi-polar disorder, making him more sensitive to the needs of someone with Kari’s condition. * 8:08—Kari’s symptoms described; previous issues while serving as primary president; being supported by her husband; being called as relief society president by a bishop who became aware of her condition; learning to delegate; not comparing oneself to the last person who occupied the same position/calling. * 12:13—Dealing with the stigma; more symptoms described (hoarding, fear of contamination, hit-and-run fears, tapping, etc.). OCD sufferers tend to hide it with facades, and too many are not getting needed help. * 15:04—Knowing when professional intervention is required; living a balanced and healthy life; constant need for reassurance; obsessing over repentance; leaders can recommend professional help without giving offense; missing work and losing sleep; getting “sick” at last minute to avoid social situations; avoiding shopping for fear of contamination. * 20:26—The big decision for Kari to seek professional counseling; feeling like a failure; the challenge of finding the “right” therapist. * 22:25—Medicine, therapy or both? Changing behavior vs masking it; developing coping skills; perfectionism. * 25:04—Is the root cause of a person’s OCD irrelevant? OCD can steal your life; cognitive-behavior therapy; international OCD website; retraining the brain; church leader empathy alone is likely not sufficient to help a person overcome acute OCD. * 29:00—Religious scrupulosity/perfectionism; LDS Family Services or another path for intervention? Spousal support. * 33:00—Healing and coping will often require more than reading scriptures, praying more often and attending the temple. Connection between mental and spiritual; leaders should avoid tendency towards on-the-spot diagnosis. Leader listening skills paramount. * 40:00— Decreasing the stigma and creating a culture/climate where it can be discussed in a healthy way at the ward level. Reference to an apostle who dealt with some mental health issues. * 45:23—Just how capable are people with OCD—can they serve in leadership capacity? Allowing for flexibility in how things are done. * 52:45—If you are a sufferer, set realistic expectations for yourself; essential vs. non-essential decisions. Kari’s envelope-licking issue.
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78 min
November 26, 2017
How to Lift Your Missionary & Unify Your Family Through Letters | An Interview With Robert & Shauri Quinn
Robert and Shauri Quinn are a father, daughter duo who has put together a remarkable book titled Letter from Home: How to Lift Your Missionary & Unify Your Family. This book is a perfect read for families and leaders that are striving to connect with a missionary in their life. In this intervew we talk with Robert and Shauri and discuss what principles leaders need to understand in order to better prepare the future missionary and their family in order to grow closer together when they are serving far apart from each other. Interview Highlights: Bob & Shauri's background (7:00) When they realized they had a book (14:00) How Bob set expectations with his children to be extraordinary missionaries (17:20) The discover of this powerful letter writing process (23:00) Putting a letter writing plan together with the entire family (28:00) Who is the missionaries' most interested investigator? (32:30) How to influence missionaries to improve their letter writing to their family (38:30) * How leaders can use this resource to help future missionaries be better letter writers (48:00) * How leaders can apply these same principles to their quorums and wards (53:00) * Some simple tactics to help you start writing better letters today (57:00) Links: Buy the book * Letters From Home Website & Blog
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65 min
November 19, 2017
Be an Instrument in the Lord’s Hands | An Interview With Jenny Oaks Baker | #LighttheWorld
Interview Transcript Available Below Jenny Oaks Baker is the daughter of Elder Dallin H. Oaks (4:15) Jenny started playing violin at age 4 and she says that her faith evolved as her talent evolved. She saw her prayers answered as she performed and was able to be comforted and to do her best. She was also strengthened by priesthood blessings. She received her Bachelor’s degree from The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and her Master’s degree at Julliard. She met her husband while attending Juilliard and they were married in the temple. She was invited to join the National Symphony and continued with them until her 4th child was born. Heavenly Father has blessed her with lots of opportunities to perform since that time. She was nominated for a Grammy for her “When you Wish upon a Star” album. She talks about receiving her Grammy nomination and how grateful she was for that honor and how it opened doors for her. She realizes the gift that it was, and is grateful for her affiliation with Shadow Mountain Records. Her husband and family help to keep her centered. She is busy raising them, keeping things done at home, and doing her music on the side. 2:55 - spoke of re-evaluating her music career. 6:26 - She practiced violin hours and hours a day. Her patriarchal blessing indicated that Heavenly Father had a plan for her. She says her parents encouraged her to reach her potential. She is very grateful that the Lord has lit her path. 8:06 - How do we encourage children in their musical talents? She always hated practicing, but knew she needed to practice to play well. She loved to perform and so she would practice to perform. Her mother would set up home performances, community performances and many opportunities for her to perform, which helped her to improve. Those performances kept her going. The performances keep her practicing. She LOVES to perform. Now, she only practices when she has a performance. She doesn’t practice now just to practice, due to busy home, children. As she grew, it became more about sharing her gift with others and reaching her potential. 11:44 – Finding her gift for music: The moment she found her “gift” was when she was asked to play for Pres. Hinckley’s 90th birthday celebration in the conference center. Since she knew she loved to perform, and she wanted to showcase her talent. She was 22 and just completed her Masters. She offered some violin virtuoso pieces as options. President Hinckley requested something slower and more well known. This was a disappointment, and wondered how that would “show her skills”. But she offered “Believe me if all those endearing young charms”, and “Hoedown from Rodeo”. Pres. Hinckley requested only the slow piece and she was really worried. Before the performance, the producer spoke to those performing and reminded them that the program wasn’t about them, but it was about President Hinckley and bringing people together and feeling the unity of the church. The chosen song fit so beautifully into the program. It was a great lesson in following the prophet, and that he knew more about music than she did, even though she had just graduated from Juilliard. This helped me become a different artist. How can my music impact people and touch them and bring them together and help them feel Gods love. It’s not about “showing people how I play”, it is a bigger purpose. When she needs to be reminded what she is doing it for - she says, “The Lord will have a humble Jenny”. 16:40 – Being an instrument in the Lords hands: It’s not about us, but about how we share our gifts. This is a good message for lay leaders, about how they can learn and grow and serve and become an instrument in Gods hand. She relayed a memory of a talk by her father to missionaries, using a pen as an object lesson. The pen does what the master requires. He encouraged them to be an instrument in the Lord’s hand.
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40 min
November 12, 2017
How I Lead as Clerk | An Interview With Brandt Malone, Host of the Mormon News Report
Brandt Malone is a current Young Men's president who was recently released from serving as ward clerk. He lives in Michigan with his family and is the host of the Mormon News Report podcast. In this episode Brandt discusses how to lighten the load of the bishop as a ward clerk. * 12:45 Who is Brandt Malone? * 20:00 Ward clerk calling * 22:30 Demographic of ward in Michigan * 31:00 Ward clerk and Executive secretary working as the 3rd and 4th counselor to the bishop. * 34:00 Disagreeing with the bishop * 37:00 Bishopric meeting being a safe environment * 40:00 Confident leaders are confident with other leaders that see things differently. * 40:50 5 leadership principles- #1 There's always work to do. * 43:00 Keeping balance * 44:00 Technology makes callings easier. * 45:45 Starting out as ward clerk * 47:30 #2- Don't expect hand holding. * 50:00 Unknown records tips- find your own system. * 51:15 #3- Always offer to help. * 56:00 #4- Respect the bishop's time- don't expect him to micromanage you. * 1:00:39 Relationships matter. * 106:00 Be an active not a passive ward clerk
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71 min
November 9, 2017
Around the Globe on November 28 | #GivingTuesday
On November 28, 2017 we will be taking a virtual trip around the globe to visit lay leaders in the Church in every timezone! It will be an event you do not want to miss. For full details visit the #GivingTuesday page.
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10 min
November 5, 2017
How I Lead With District Leaders | An Interview With Matthew Stevens
Matt Stevens is a recently released elder’s quorum president in Parker, Colorado. Originally from the Salt Lake Valley, Matt served a mission in northern Argentina and has spent many years as a member of the ward council and priesthood executive committee as a ward mission leader, young men’s president, activities co-chair, and elder’s quorum president. He has also served as an early-morning seminary teacher. Professionally, Brother Stevens is a dentist, having practiced for eight years. He and his wife have lived in Chapel Hill, N.C. and in Oregon before settling in Colorado, and they have four children. As quorum president he was dedicated to the principle of empowering and giving ownership to his counselors, secretary and home teaching district leaders, as well as quorum members. Episode Summary The call to serve as quorum president: 7:55 Scope of responsibility 11:10: Ward size, growth rate and other dynamics. Continuity amid change. Using District Leaders Effectively by Empowerment, Clear Delegation and Trust: 15:20: Organizing to help people move. Getting beyond reliance on “Same Ten People” doing the bulk of the work. Making assignments versus asking for volunteers. Dealing with new move-ins. Support for home teaching companionships. Inclusiveness. Setting apart district leaders. Meet to discuss home teaching “best practices.” District break-out sections during quorum meetings. Share things learned from “failures.” Presidency Meetings: 28:00 Flexibility in selecting meeting times and respecting family priorities. Handling of some administrative matters offline, electronically. Counselor ownership for districts. Home Teaching Designed to Meet Family Needs: 31:29: Determine with the family what constitutes “effective home teaching” in their eyes. Understand Church Handbook meaning of “regular” home teaching. Using district leaders for more than simply gathering numbers. Insight from classic general conference discourse by Elder Holland on home teaching. Five Leadership Principles: * Validation through genuine appreciation: 36:00 * Lead by Listening, Modeling Supportive Behaviors and Being Authentic: 42:00 * Trust and Empower Counselors and Secretaries with Meaningful Assignments: 48:30 * Administrative “Minimalism” and Focus on Ministering: 54:30 * “Don’t Be a Squeaky Wheel on the Ward Wagon” (helping the bishop vs unloading problems on him) 58:40 How Leading Helps Me to Be a Better Follower: Hard work, grace and self-discovery (Fully invested or just a consumer?) 101:50
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67 min
October 29, 2017
What Every Bishop Needs to Understand About Betrayal Trauma
Interview Transcript Available Below In this episode we interview Dr. Jill Manning, a licensed marriage and family therapist, and Anne Blythe, Director of Betrayal Trauma Recovery. Jill Manning is a PhD level marriage and family councilor and has been practicing for 17 years. She is on two national boards, Enough is Enough and App Status.  She lives in Colorado. Anne Blythe spent seven years trying to save her marriage as her husband battled a pornography addiction. She currently coaches women online who are going through a similar situation. She has a website and hosts a podcast, Betrayal Trauma Recovery. Her website and podcast are dedicated to helping support women through this trauma.   Episode Highlights * 2:26 Betrayal trauma is when someone who loves you violates your trust in a critical way. This betrayal can happen to these victims multiple times. * 9:36 Anne struggled to put the pieces together in the midst of her trauma and recognize this was in an abusive relationship. * 11:13 Sometimes Bishops can have a hard time helping couples through these pornography addictions as two different perspectives are shared, ”he said, she said”   * 12:11 For Anne going to church during this time was extremely difficult. She kept going because she knew it was right. * 13:51 As a Mormon culture we are a trusting people. That can make it hard dealing with addicts who are not always honest due to shame and minimizing the situation. They can also gas light the situation and manipulate reality. * 14:36 When helping in the “he said, she said” situations step back and evaluate who is motivated by what. * 15:41 It can take women some time to realize they are in an abusive relationship * 18:50 It can take months or years to get the full story from the addict. Help teach them that it is ok and normal to spotlight the situation. * 21:52 The addict is not mentally capable of divulging everything at once. * 22:13 The spouse can be the barometer for what is really happening. * 24:21 Secondary Trauma is trauma that comes from asking for help and feeling dismissed. * 26:19 For the victims it can help to see action being taken and the addict held accountable. * 30:44  Consuming pornography is unrighteous dominion. * 31:29  Emotional, spiritual, and financial, abuse is real and often linked to pornography addiction. * 34:11  Studies have shown that 2/3 of people struggling with pornography addiction have been found to have a mood disorder. Those studies also show that 44 percent have a personality disorder and narcissistic traits. * 34:14 Three studies have shown that 71 percent of women meet the criteria for PTSD as victims of their spouses pornography addiction. * 35:29  Zoom into helping the victims with safety first. That includes being physically and spiritual safe. * 37:35 Lean on Heavenly Father to help you through this and always establish emotional safety.  Resources and Links: * Enough is Enough * Betrayal Trauma Recovery  * Steve and Kayla's Story of Sexual Addiction and Recovery * Jill Manning's Website Interview Transcript: Kurt Francom: Today we are welcoming into the podcast Jill Manning and Anne Blythe. Dr Jill Manning: Doing well.
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45 min
October 22, 2017
Becoming a Master Interviewer | An Interview With David Farnsworth
David Farnsworth is a retired leadership and executive coach that spent years helping organization improve their interviewing skills through the 3D Interviewing method. In this episode David explains methods LDS leaders can use in order to improve the effectiveness of 1-to-1 interviews and class room teaching through effective questions. Episode Highlights: * (7:15) Why do I want to develop my interviewing skills? * The question is how do you see your role? * Understanding the leader's role in an interaction * (11:35) The Fundamentals * Be sincerely interested in others. * Reading others accurately. * Having the vocabulary to articulate. * Be willing to be authentic and consistent. * Having a good sense of ourselves (self-awareness). * Trust others in their ability to respond. * Not seeing yourself as the expert, but to uncouple yourself from having all the answers. * (17:45) Drawing the Cube exercise * (22:00) The Art of Formulating Focused Questions Preparing questions in advance. * Draft good questions. * Try to put them in a logical order. * Examine questions carefully and fine-tune them. * (29:45) Active Listening * Paraphrase in your own words what the other person has just said: * Leaving the other person in control allows you find out how they think, what they're feeling, etc. * Three levels of paraphrasing: * What was said? (make sure you're clear about what they've said). * How was it said? (for example, "I can see this is difficult for you..."). * What was not said? * Three reactions to paraphrasing - agreement, correction/clarification, or amplification. * (44:20) Summarizing - different than paraphrasing. * Pulling together the major points of the discussion or topic (your understanding of the discussion). * Same three reactions to summarizing as paraphrasing (agreement, correction/clarification, or amplification). * (52:45) Sequencing questions - Getting acquainted example. * (55:00) Sequencing questions - Problem-solving example. * (58:50) Sequencing questions - Classroom example. * (67:00) How can I start interviewing using the 3D-I model? * "After Action Review
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77 min
October 15, 2017
How I Lead as a Seventy | An Interview With Elder John H. Groberg
Interview Transcript Available Below Prior to his calling as a general authority seventy, Elder and Sister Groberg (Jean Sabin) lived in Idaho Falls, where Elder Groberg worked in a family-owned residential and commercial construction and land development business with his brothers. He was an eagle scout and holds a BS degree from BYU and an MBA from Indiana University. He served as bishop, mission president in Tonga, and regional representative, before being called to the First Quorum of the Seventy in 1976. In the latter service he served for a time as area president over the Asia, Utah South and North America West areas at various times. On church assignments the Grobergs have lived in Utah, Hong Kong, Idaho Falls, Argentina, Tonga and Hawaii. They have owned a home in Bountiful, Utah since 1978 and served as temple president and matron of the Idaho Falls Temple following service as an active general authority. Elder Groberg has authored five books, typically at the urging of others. His first book, dealing with his experiences as a young missionary in Tonga, was made into a 2001 movie, The Other Side of Heaven, starring Anne Hathaway and Chris Gorham. It was filmed in New Zealand and the Cook Islands and was directed by Mitch Davis. Elder Groberg wrote the book at the urging of President Thomas S. Monson, a member of the First Presidency. Episode Highlights: * Why The Other Side of Heaven (Eye of the Storm) Was Written (1:30) * Serving as Bishop (12:00) * Called to Serve as Mission President (17:41) * Serving as a Regional Representative—tantamount to present-day Area Authority Seventy (33:18) * Serving as a General Authority (35:39) * Serving as President of the Idaho Falls Temple, 2005-2008 (58:10) Links: The Other Side of Heaven John Groberg's Books The Stray Movie Interview Transcript: Kurt Francom: Today, I'm not too far from my home in Bountiful, Utah, in the home of Elder John Groberg. How are you? John Groberg: Just fine. Kurt Francom: Good, I appreciate you taking some time for us to chat. We actually ran into each other. You were at the BYU Bookstore during Education Week. John Groberg: Right. Kurt Francom: Is that something you typically do? John Groberg: No, that was the first time I've done it, in fact. Kurt Francom: Oh, really? John Groberg: Maybe the second. Kurt Francom: And you were kind enough to sign some books for me, and I was a bit nervous, I said, "Hey, would you ever consider doing an interview for my podcast?" And here we are. I appreciate you being open to that. John Groberg: Thank you. Kurt Francom: Now, how long have you lived here in Bountiful? John Groberg: We've been here since 1978. That is, it's been our home base. We've lived in Hong Kong and Argentina and Tonga and Hawaii and Idaho Falls, and during that time we just rented it out, but we've been here just shortly after I was called as a general authority. They asked us to be in the Salt Lake area. Kurt Francom: Now, I'm sure many listening that are ... you were giving conference talks before I was even born, but I remember you and obviously, on my mission, I was serving in Sacramento, California and I remember the day that my mission president called us and said, "Hey, guess what? I'm taking you to a movie." And we thought, "A movie, wow. On our mission,
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65 min
October 8, 2017
Seeing Church Leadership in 12 Different Countries | An Interview with Jake Carlson
Jake Carlson, MBA/JD, is a leadership development expert and host of the Modern Leadership Podcast. He created the Elite Achiever Academy to encourage leadership through the CIA of Influence (Conviction, Irresistibility & Accountability). He holds a JD in taxation from California Western School of Law, an MBA in Finance from San Diego State University and a BA from Brigham Young University. Additionally, he is the former Chief Operating Officer of the Silicon Valley Monterey Bay Area Council, BSA and Associate Regional Director of the National BSA Foundation. Jake has been a Young Men leader, a Sunday School teacher, and Sunday School president. His passion is leadership, influence, and helping others discover their zone of genius. After a year abroad, Jake, Kari, and their three children settled (for the time being) in Gilbert, Arizona. Recently, Jake and his family returned from spending nearly a year traveling to twelve countries around the world experiencing the cultures and how the church functions. The Carlson family began their journey in the Philippines, where Brother Carlson served his mission, before traveling to Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Czech republic, Italy, Scotland, England, France, and Wells before returning home to the United States. In the podcast episode, Brother Carlson shares his experiences about the uniqueness of the church in different parts of the world and lessons that he learned as he had opportunities to serve far from home. Enter Jake... In the last year, as a family, we traveled through 12 countries in Asia and Europe, attending 11 different wards, eight branches, one group, and even worshipping in Mandalay, Myanmar, where the Church doesn’t have a presence (yet). Every Sunday provided unique experiences, new friends, and even a few universals (who is teaching Elder’s Quorum this week… anyone?) The Church is awesome wherever you travel; regardless of culture, language, or the poverty within the local geography. We learned a lot, grew closer as a family and saw things our journals will memorialize for generations. We love the Church and found a warm, welcoming church family in every house of worship we attended. The Lord knows the experiences we need and continues to provide opportunities for us to learn. One opportunity in particular changed my understanding of leadership as we passed through Prague, Czech Republic. What started as a two-week stop to see the world-famous Christmas markets turned into 75 days of fun, fellowship, and service. It was there that I learned, really learned, about Sunday School lesson preparation. It happened when a Sunday School teacher asked if I could fill in for her by preparing a Gospel Principles lesson on the Creation for the following week. I agreed. The Czech Republic ocated in Central Europe, east of Germany and north of Austria and has a population over 10 million,  2,500 of which are church members. Formed following the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1993, the people have endured many difficult years, including German occupation during World War II and subsequently becoming a one-party communist state. The Church likewise struggled, but the Saints grew strong. For over 40 years, public activity of the Church was prohibited, but members quietly kept their faith, at times sneaking copies of The Book of Mormon into the country with false covers to avoid confiscation. Finally, in 1990, through the efforts of President Monson, the church was granted recognition; there were 345 members. In 2016, President Uchtdorf organized the first stake in the Czech Republic, headquartered in the capital city, Prague. Leadership in the Prague Ward is incredible and missionary work is gathering momentum. Each Sunday, about one quarter of the Prague ward attendance consists of visitors....
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42 min
October 2, 2017
How I Lead as Stake Young Women President | An Interview With Heidi Tucker
Heidi Tucker is a current Stake Young Women president who has also served as ward Young Women president and an early morning seminary teacher. Check out her other interviewed called When a Missionary Returns Home Early | A Mother's Perspective. Episode Summary 4:00 First experience serving in Young Women's 6:00 What was surprising serving in Young Women's on a stake level? 7:40 5 principles of leadership 7:45 Keep lines of communication open with ward Young Women presidents 12:25 Support the stewardship of the ward Young Women's president. Don't replace them. 15:20 Love the youth and teach them with respect 17:00 We're all at different levels of the gospel. Don't judge...teach. 18:50 Pray to know the path for your stake. Put your ego aside. 23:45 How has serving in the Young Women's made you a better disciple of Jesus Christ?
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24 min
September 24, 2017
5 Dale Carnegie Principles for LDS Leaders | An Interview With Clive Winn
Raised in Bakersfield, California, Clive Winn obtained a B.S. degree in law enforcement and a Master of Public Administration degree from B.Y.U. He was employed for many years as an F.B.I. special agent in various locations. As a church leader, he has served in numerous capacities including elders quorum president, bishop, stake president and mission president (Argentina). More recently he was called as a stake patriarch. During the podcast interview, Brother Winn briefly describes his interviews with a member of the Council of the Twelve and a member of the First Presidency prior to being officially called as a mission president. He further describes his joy in seeing how teachable missionaries typically are in receiving counsel from their mission president. As a patriarch (15:34), he has reaffirmed his conviction of the worth of every individual soul in the eyes of a loving Heavenly Father. He asserts that when you get a glimpse into peoples’ eternal possibilities you view them differently. We should all strive harder to treat each other in a way that recognizes the great potential that God sees in each of us. While employed by the F.B.I. Clive was often called on to train other staff members. He loved seeing the “light come on,” prompting people to change workplace or personal-life behaviors while becoming more enthusiastic and genuinely happy. The late Dale Carnegie authored world-renowned How to Win Friends and Influence People, plus How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, and other books related to interpersonal success skills. Brother Winn has been officially involved with the Dale Carnegie training program for four years. As a church leader, he periodically witnessed members rejecting callings and local church officers falling short of their potential success and responsibilities to serve. He observed ward councils having to repeat the same discussions about member needs without moving the ball forward. He learned that many of the principles he practiced and taught in his professional life and, more recently, in the Dale Carnegie courses can lead to more productive leadership and happier saints. He discussed five of those 30+ principles in a recent interview, summarized as follows: 1. Don't Criticize, Condemn or Complain (19:57): If we personally refrain from such tendencies in leading church units, quorums and auxiliaries we’ll treat people with greater dignity and positively affect the overall organizational dynamics. Exhibit confidence and belief in the people you lead so as to help them understand their enormous potential and have greater clarity as to why they should perform at a higher level. The leader must set the tone for a positive culture, recognizing that sometimes other ward leaders under his/her direction are unaware they are expressing negative thoughts. All ward or stake members and leaders will benefit greatly from knowing that their leaders are positive. 2. Give Honest, Sincere Appreciation (20:32): Leaders often do not take time to consistently do this. Praise needs to be authentic and not for purposes of manipulation. Many people are “down” on themselves and a little reassurance goes a long way in rebuilding their faith and self-confidence. Don’t hesitate to send notes of commendation and gratitude. Look for opportunities to express appreciation from the pulpit to individuals, groups or congregations, including the recognition of small acts of service. Ward youth will greatly benefit from appreciation and positive reinforcement of specific things they have done well. 3. Smile (31:16): Some people are smile-challenged, especially when nervous or tense.
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48 min
September 17, 2017
How to Mentor a Newly Called Leader Through Situational Leadership | An Interview With John Hester
John Hester is a leadership consultant, trainer, researcher, and writer with The Ken Blanchard Companies. He currently serves on the High Council in his Vancouver, Washington stake and has previously served as an elders quorum president, Young Men president, and early-morning seminary teacher.  Episode Highlights (9:30) Biggest mistakes leaders make someone is called to a new position and feels lost Micromanaging Allowing the individual to go and flounder on their own, occasionally swooping in and then flying away again (seagull management) (10:20) How can this be handled more effectively? How can a leader find balance somewhere between the two big mistakes? Key is to take the time to diagnose recognize the goals and tasks that someone might have in a particular role what is your "development level" in each of these tasks?  Then providing the necessary leadership to help in areas where someone may not be as strong or experienced (11:45) Development Levels example (15:30) Collaboration between the leader and the individual to diagnose development levels Importance of recognizing that development levels are task-based rather than calling or position-based (21:00) Reassessing the diagnosis beyond the initial calling (regular stewardship interviews) (22:15) Characteristics of effective stewardship interviews Consistency Assessing task-based progress (25:15) Matching leadership style to the current development level (29:00) How can leaders make these regular stewardship interviews a priority so that progress can keep happening? Recognize that this is when the personal interaction can happen Making the time for them can free up time down the road (32:00) The importance of leaders always listening Links: The Ken Blanchard Companies
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35 min
September 10, 2017
“The Atonement Works for Me”: One Couple’s Recovery from Sexual Addiction
In this episode we share with you a recorded fireside that was held in Salt Lake City in August of 2017 with a Young Single Adult ward. We interview Steve and Kayla Shields who are dedicated to helping others understand sex/pornography addiction and how they found hope and recovery. Steve runs the website UnashamedUnafraid.com which helps those struggling with sexual addiction find community. Steve and Kayla share their personal story of sexual addiction in hopes of removing the stigma of shame associated with addiction. Episode Highlights * 6.20  Steve’s first interaction with pornography was at age 12. * 7:14  Steve continued to struggle with pornography though his teen years. * 8:28  His addiction was beginning to escalate. He did not feel he could talk to anyone about this. * 9:02  Before Steve left for his mission he did go to talk to his Bishop. * 10:42 Steve felt that his addiction was manageable during his mission. * 11:35 Once Steve returned home from his mission he fell into old behavior and his addiction began to escalate. * 13:10  Steve sought help from his Bishop however, the problems continued to escalate. * 15:02  Steve and Kayla got married. Steve was an ordinance worker in the Temple and still struggling with his addiction. * 15:22 Kayla shares how she asked Steve before they got married if he had ever struggled with a pornography addiction. Kayla did not want to marry anyone with a pornography addiction. * 16:55  Steve felt emptiness from his addiction so he worked harder and served more to compensate for that emptiness. * 17:43 Steve was currently serving as a counselor in the Bishopric. Kayla went out of town on a trip with their baby. During that time Steve spent that time acting out on his addiction. * 19:07 Steve made a choice to get help. The Lord helped him to see his addiction for what it was. * 20:19 Steve choose to speak with his Dad first about his addiction, and then he spoke to a therapist. * 21:07 Steve also spoke with Kayla’s Dad about his addiction prior to talking to his wife. He wanted Kayla to have support when he shared this with her. * 21:37 Steve spoke with his Bishop about his addiction. * 22:07 Steve picked his wife up from the airport as she returned home from her trip. He drove her right to the therapist office first instead of going home. He wanted to share his addiction with her at the office. * 22:14 She suspected he was going to tell her he struggles with pornography. There were clues while they were dating. * 24:25 Steve shares how numb he felt from his addiction. * 25:19 Kayla learned about Steve’s addiction and felt shock. She stormed out of the therapist office. She wanted a divorce. * 27:50 Kayla prayed and felt comfort to move forward to heal ther marriage. * 28:23 The months that followed were rough, especially as they moved into a new ward and questions followed from ward members. * 29:50 What Kayla was feeling was betrayal trauma. She had things she had to heal from as well. * 32:31  When you are dating ask questions. Invite them to be honest with you. * 34:58  Addiction is very shameful. Talk to those you date in a way that doesn’t put their self worth on the line. * 37:36  Be sensitive when addressing the topic of sexual addiction. Addiction brings shame. * 38:26 Talk about sexual addiction while you are dating. Build a strong level of trust. * 40:31 Start discussing your addiction with the safest person to you and work your way out. * 41:48 When discussing your addiction you do not have to share everything at the first time you discuss this. Start where you can.
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73 min
September 3, 2017
When a Missionary Returns Home Early | A Mother’s Perspective
Interview Transcript Available Below To say that Heidi Tucker, found her self in  at a difficult junction in her life, would be an understatment.  She had just turned 50, her 4th child was about to leave home, she was nearing the end to her calling that required her to teach early morning seminary at 4:30 am every morning. She was physically, emotionally and spiritually beat up.  She was on a flight between Phoenix and Salt Lake City, where she had a dream and saw her hands holding her book that she was to write (1:50). Episode Highlights * Heidi tells what she had originally thought when she woke up from the dream (2:45) * She tells about seeking personal revelation after she had allowed herself to forget about the dream. (3:40) * “I showed you that book" There was no getting away from the promptings she received. (4:40) * The book includes personal true stories of how Heidi found hope in trials in addition to gospel principles that helped her and her family through the difficult times. (7:31) * Improving Scripture Study (8:12) * Turning personal prayer into 2 way communication (9:22) * Protect yourself from outside influences (11:30) * Learning and relating to sacrifices other family members have made (Family History) (8:48) * The audience for this book is for anyone, but has gotten a positive response from Relief Society Sisters and other women (12:45) * Know that “Everyone is doing their best, at the level that they are at.”  Gaining a testimony is a process, not an event. (14:35) * Connecting with others by being real and honest. (16:38) * Combining personal experiences combined with gospel principles help make leaders seem real. (17:55) * “Struggle is as much a part of the plan as joy." (18:42)  Instead of saying ‘Why me,” say, “What now” * Experiences with Missionaries coming home early (20:55) * Don’t ask why they returned home. * Don’t ask what they are going to be doing or ask if they are going to be going back out. * Understand there are a lot of unanswered questions. * Understanding as a parent that your child is on their own path to their Heavenly Father (26:00) * Love them, support them and quit trying to fix them. (27:27) * Keeping RM’s involved (32:54) * Be Direct and let people know that you care. (35:36) Links: Finding Hope in the Journey: Recognize His Message Heidi's Blog Interview Transcript Kurt Francom:       03:39           Today we're actually in my childhood home talking with Heidi Tucker.  How are you Heidi? Heidi Tucker:       03:44          Very good to be here. Thank you. Kurt Francom:       03:47          You're from Cave Creek Arizona. Remind me where that is again? Heidi Tucker:       03:52          That is on the north east corner of Phoenix and Scottsdale area. Kurt Francom:       03:55          Nice and you're visiting some grand kids and children here? Heidi Tucker:       04:00          They all went to college in Utah and never came back. Kurt Francom:       04:04          Wow. So you have to come visit? Heidi Tucker:       04:05          I have to be here every opportunity I get.  And so we organized. My parents home was available and here we are in a nice air conditioned home. Are you to record and learn about you so you are the author of "Finding Hope in...
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45 min
August 30, 2017
Being an LDS Leader Comfortable With Doubt: 8 Tips to Help Those You Lead Who Doubt
People in your ward doubt the validity of gospel and you don't know it. You don't know it because they are afraid to tell you, their leader, that they doubt. They are afraid how you will respond, what you will say, and what you will do. Some are even afraid their newfound doubts will cause you to begin to doubt because they were once fully convinced of the gospel's validity too. No, they haven't sinned or need an excuse to sin—they just doubt. If the bishop, or any other leader, is lucky enough, members with deep questions about the restored gospel will actually set an appointment to meet with you before they fade away into inactivity, or worse. This type of appointment is one of your greatest leadership tests. A moment when you will feel like you need to say the right thing or you might unintentionally push them away. To help leaders prepare now rather than in the 15 seconds you will have when they say, "I'm not sure I believe anymore" here are seven things leaders can consider to help those in your ward who doubt. Validate, Validate, VALIDATE Most people who have developed doubt in the claims of the LDS Church feel like they have gone crazy. They live in a church culture where they see people every month stand and deliver a testimony with "every fiber of their being." These strong testimonies can be inspiring for many, but for those suddenly doubting, they feel like an outlier for even having thoughts of doubt. Validation is the first step to a productive conversation. No matter how radical or outlandish the leader perceives the member's new perspective, it is critical to validate the fact that any normal, believing church member could develop such questions. Validating their doubts, concerns, or different beliefs doesn't mean you agree with them or that you should give them the impression you agree with them. Validation is simply recognizing the feelings a member might feel as he or she wrestles with a newfound perspective. For example, if an individual shares with a leader that she has read new information that causes her to question Joseph Smith's validity as a prophet of God, the leader could say, "I can imagine you have been feeling confused, unsure, and possibly even betrayed by this new information. It is important to realize that questions and doubts are part of a normal process we all go through as we strive to discover a deeper faith, even when we thought we had a stable testimony of these principles." When a doubter hears validation, she suddenly realizes she isn’t going crazy. If she feels like her perspective is scoffed at or dismissed, she will realize the mistake she made by trying to communicate her concerns with her church leader. Remember, she won't feel loved if she feels like you are trying to win a disagreement or straighten out her beliefs. Offer a New Framework When an individual experiences a faith crisis he feels he is in a spiritual free fall. He begins to question concepts in life he had never questioned before—especially those concepts based on faith. He moves from a life of certainty to a life of questions. This destroys hope and stimulates anxiety. One of the best ways a leader can help others to establish a foundation of hope is to give the individual a new framework in which to start reconstructing his faith. Up until now, most with an LDS background have had a black-and-white framework to define their faith. They thought they had most of the answers that helped them understand the world and the eternities. It's not so much that the doubter’s faith has been damaged; it's their framework of defining faith that is needing repair. In my experience, James Fowler's Stages of Faith is effective when needing a dynamic framework for understanding the human experience related to faith. We hope to produce more resources on Leading Saints th...
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39 min
August 27, 2017
Be Pleasantly Persistent | How I Lead as Ward Mission Leader
Bryan Hughes currently serves as the Ward Mission Leader in his Topeka, KS ward. Raised in the Seattle, WA area and baptized shortly before his 18th birthday, he shares of his conversion experience after becoming inactive shortly after his baptism. These experiences have helped shape his approach to missionary work and serving in his current calling. Bryan's approach to serving in the ward mission is guided by President's Hinckley's counsel that every new convert needs a friend, a responsibility, and to be nourished by the good word of God. He applies these teachings by regularly using the new member list in ward council to identify if these three things are happening for newly baptized members. Five Leadership Principles Principle #1 Recognize that you lead through influence (13:25) * D&C 121:41-44 Principles that help us lead and influence others righteously. * To pull someone rather than push them you need to earn that right. * This can be done by making and keeping commitments yourself - effective communication with those whom we serve. Principle #2 Don't assume that everyone knows how to be effective in every calling (16:00) * We need to have grace for individuals and be willing to serve (and serve with) those who are learning in their callings. * Seeking first to understand and then to be understood. * Revelation comes to all of the parties associated in the work as we counsel together. Principle #3 Recognize that this is the Lord's work (25:20) * If not aware, we can unintentionally close ourselves to revelation or get stuck in routines and become unable to adjust or change as needed. Principle #4 Be pleasantly persistent (28:35) * Avoiding making things a fire when it doesn't need to be a fire. * Be pleasantly (and proactively) persistent. * Everybody can find their own way to be pleasantly persistent. * Remember that we work with volunteers (as we are ourselves). * Being more persistent in accountability, getting face time, getting the message of our auxiliary across, but doing so in an effective (pleasant) way. Principle #5 Make sure you have a strong team (35:30) * First and foremost we must defer to the Lord - we must not bypass the process of revelation. * Should not hesitate to recommend individuals to serve in our auxiliaries if prompted to make those recommendations. * Be willing to work with anyone the Lord sees fit to call to our team. * Our responsibility as a leader is to make sure our team is strong, whomever has been called to be on that team
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49 min
August 24, 2017
An App for When You Are the Closing Speaker in Sacrament Meeting
Jacob Barlow is a Southern California native, and former Utah resident, who now resides in the San Francisco Bay Area. A BYU-Idaho graduate, Jacob is married and was previously employed at Google as a member of the company’s former Google Glass team. Inspired by his church-leader father’s assembled database of pearls of wisdom, Jacob has developed a free app of quotable quotes. It is called The Closing Speaker and is useful for people serving in the Church and home as leaders, speakers, teachers and parents, as well as those responsible for inserting a meaningful quote on the front page of a Sunday ward bulletin. It has a practical application for both youth and adults. For example, Church youth may find the app very valuable in talk preparation, including last-minute assignments they may be called upon to fulfill in a quorum or classroom setting. The app is evolutionary and currently contains 3088 quotes from 241 authors on 287 separate topics (1). At present, it is only available for Android devices and may be available for IOS users in the future, the advantage to Android being its more global reach. The app’s name (The Closing Speaker) borrows from the concept of a leader who finds himself or herself occupying valuable time at the pulpit at the end of a church service, and doing so in a way that helps ensure a successful meeting outcome. Users of the app may quickly search the database by topic or by author. The Closing Speaker functions somewhat as a topical guide; however, there is an important difference that many users will prefer over a topical guide or the use of a search bar on lds.org. The Closing Speaker provides actual quotes that are highly relevant, rather than overburdening users with a long list of citations that may have a one-word connection but offer limited value in the required context. While some of the quotes are lengthy and others are pithy, all are selected on the basis of bringing added value and understanding to a given topic. The Closing Speaker allows users to “favor” certain quotes for future reference and to also see what other users have highly favored. Jacob’s plans for The Closing Speaker’s future include the possibility of user-input, and doing so in a way that continues to safeguard the app’s integrity as to verifiable, published quotes from trustworthy sources. The app’s current user rating is 4.8 on a five-point scale. Brother Barlow reported that the process of app development, and the necessity of reading every single quotation used, has been both inspiring and educational. DOWNLOAD THE CLOSING SPEAKER (Not Yet Available for iOS)
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24 min
August 20, 2017
Why We Married in the Temple After 20 Years in Same-Sex Relationships | An Interview With Bennett & Becky Borden
Transcript of Full Interview Available Below Bennett and Becky Borden are a married couple who both experience same-sex attraction and who were both in same-sex marriages and relationships for many years prior to returning to the LDS Church and prior to their marriage to each other. Bennett and Becky both grew up in the South in active LDS families. They met about 28 years ago when Bennett was a young man and served his mission in Becky's ward. Bennett became close with Becky's family and over they years they have remained friends. In their early 20s, both Bennett and Becky came out as gay, left the Church and went on to live a gay lifestyle for many years. After many years away they both decided separately they wanted to come back to the church. They met up at Becky's family reunion and knew they should get married. They returned to church attendance, were married and after time had their blessings restored and were sealed in the temple. A lot can be learned and gained from their amazing story, their relationships, their faith transition, their interactions with family and church leaders, and their spiritual experiences. 3:15 Bennett's upbringing 5:00 Becky's upbringing 7:30 Bennett's close relationship with Becky's family 8:00 After his mission, Bennett's first marriage to a woman 9:30 Bennett lives a gay lifestyle and stops going to church 10:30 Becky's journey coming out as gay 13:30 Their relationships with God as they left the church and lived the gay lifestyle 14:30 Bennett's experience studying other religions 16:00 Becky's experience joining several other churches 18:00 What can we learn from our crises of faith? 19:00 Every relationship has goodness to them 20:30 "The light and love of God shines everywhere"/Growth can happen even as we are lost 22:00 Becky's excommunication and the blessing of it 24:30 The thing that brought them back to the gospel 26:00 Bennett's same sex relationship and what brought him back 28:20 Becky and where she was as Bennett's relationship ended 31:00 Leaders and family members and how they reached out to Bennett and Becky while they were living a gay lifestyle 34:00 Love within church disciplinary councils 35:30 Bennett and Becky's friendship as they came back to the church 44:00 How to reconcile thoughts of going back to the church with being gay 45:00 Reading the scriptures assuming it's all true 48:00 Bennett and Becky decision to get married 50:00 Becky's experience meeting with her bishop to discuss coming back to church 53:20 Bennett's experience meeting with his bishop to discuss coming back to church 56:15 How Satan worked to keep them from coming back 57:00 Their marriage by a bishop in Washington D.C. 58:45 Bennett's ex-husband Richard joined the church 1:02:30 How to pray for a child with same sex attraction 1:08:00 How can leaders use Northstar to help them 1:09:00 Message to individuals wanting to come back to the church Links: North Star Bennett & Becky's North Star Conference Keynote Bennett & Becky would love to connect with anyone who has questions or needs further support. You can reach them at their joint email: Bennettandbecky@gmail.com Interview Transcript Kurt Francom: [00:03:00] Today I’m in a beautiful Immigration Canyon with my good friends Bennett and Becky Borden. How are you two? Becky Borden: Doing great, thanks.
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74 min
August 14, 2017
Why Many Young Single Adults Are Delaying Marriage and It’s Probably Not What You Think
Interview Transcript Available Below Jon Birger is a magazine writer and contributor to Fortune Magazine. Jon is also the author of Date-onomics: How Dating Became a Lopsided Numbers Game. In this book he explains the reason behind the lop-sided dating demographics and the decline in marriage rates with a focus in one chapter on the Jewish and Mormon religions. A big shout out to Geoff Openshaw from This Week in Mormons that helped conduct the interview. Go listen and subscribe to his podcast! Episode Summary: * 5:56 Date-onomics looks at the demographics of why dating may be more challenging for women vs. men. * 7:12 For the last fifteen years there have been four women graduating college for every three men. * 7:48 There is a college gender gap that is responsible for the decline in marriages for educated women. * 8:22 What is the scarcity rule and how is that effecting dating influences? * 9:32 In Date-onomics Jon studied the secular world and how they can be less susceptible to outside cultural influences. * 12:55 The gender ratio in the Mormon faith. * 14:00 Is there a marriage crisis within the Mormon and Orthodox Jewish faith? * 15:36 For the Mormons living in Utah, there is a gender gap. There is a 60/40 ratio women to men. * 16:00 The gender ratio affects our behavior. * 18:04 The ratio can cultivate very picky men. * 19:49 Data suggest that in all religions women tend to be more devout then men. * 20:31 Approximately 30 to 40 percent of LDS young men go on missions. * 21:50 Most men who fall away from organized religion are between their late teen years to their twenties. * 23:03 The age change for LDS missions reflected a surge of those choosing to go. * 25:00 Why Millennials don’t date? * 26:01 Millennial men are not happy couch potatoes. Case in point is Silicon Valley. * 27:07 The Bay area in California has more men graduating from college than women. The marriage rates are much higher and divorce rates are very low. * 28:52 Millennials are marrying late because of a faith crisis, not a dating crisis. This has become a demographics issue. * 30:05 The science in Date-onomics shows how some of these patterns are hard wired within us. This is based on the demographics problem. * 31:02 To shift the demographics slant, help encourage young men to stay active in the church. * 33:11 The gender gap is not as great outside of Utah. Young men who do not serve missions may feel less ostracized outside Utah. * 36:09 Elder Scott, “If you are a young man of appropriate age and are not married, don’t waste time in idle pursuits. Get on with life and focus on getting married. Don’t just coast through this period of life." * 38:21 Freshman classes at BYU are 60/40 women to men due to LDS missions. * 39:25 If college graduates were willing to date non-college graduates, the gender ratio may not be as bad. * 41:46 As men age, they become locked into their ways and more rigid. * 42:36 The plastic surgery surge in Utah can be contributed to the lop-sided demographics. * Suggested Solutions: * 45:47 Do not assume millennials are not marrying because of laziness. * 46:45 Make gender ratios a consideration when choosing a college. * 49:16 College educated women can expand their dating pool to include non-college educated men. * 50:26 Avoid the musical chairs syndrome. Links: * Date-onomics Book * Jon Birger 
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60 min
August 6, 2017
Discovering Authentic Leadership in the Book of Mormon | An Interview With Jerry Smith
Interview transcript available below In this episode, we welcome back Jerry Smith who has been on the Leading Saints podcast before. I will remember, yeah, he is the author of Schooling the Prophet, How the Book of Mormon Influenced Joseph Smith and the Early Restoration. Jerry is originally from Salt Lake City and served his mission in Boston, Massachusetts area and later returned there to continue his college education. He now teaches in the School of Business at Boston College and also teaches institute classes at the Boston LDS Institute. He has served as bishop three times and in a stake presidency and in many other church callings.  Specifically in this episode we talk about a very interesting subject regarding the changes or corrections ancient prophets made in the Book of Mormon text— not grammatical changes that Joseph Smith made or others in the translation of the Book of Mormon, but changes ancient prophets themselves made, anciently as they were actually writing this and why they made it. Through this discussion we discuss the concept of every leader being human and making errors from time to time as they are given a daunting task of leading. We sometimes hold up these Book of Mormon prophets as impeccable leaders. In reality, they were human and we can see a lot of their mortality through their writings in the Book of Mormon but that makes it very rich. It makes it real and we can learn more about the Book of Mormon, about these prophets, about the personalities and so I think you will enjoy this conversation as I geek out with Jerry about the extemporaneous changes that we see in the Book of Mormon.  Links: * Improvisation and Extemporaneous Change in the Book of Mormon (Part 1: Evidence of an Imperfect, Authentic, Ancient Work of Scripture) * Improvisation and Extemporaneous Change in the Book of Mormon (Part 2: Structural Evidences of Earlier Ancient versus Later Modern Constructions) * Jerry Smith's first interview on the Leading Saints podcast * Schooling the Prophet, How the Book of Mormon Influenced Joseph Smith and the Early Restoration * Understanding the Book of Mormon: A Reader's Guide, by Grant Hardy Interview Transcript Jerry Smith: Well, Kurt, nice to just talk to you again. Kurt Francom: Now you are originally from Boston and you just happened to be in Salt Lake so we thought let's get together and talk about something. Jerry Smith: I'm actually originally from Salt Lake City. Kurt Francom: [00:03:30] Oh right, yes, but you've lived there. Jerry Smith: I've lived in Boston for 40 years, so does that count as a Bostonian? Kurt Francom: Well, you're the better judge of that than I am. We talked prior in a previous interview, which I encourage all to check out about your book called Schooling the Prophet: How the Boo...
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45 min
July 31, 2017
An LDS Leader’s Guide to Millennial Mormons
Author's Edit 8/18: The purpose of this article is to help Latter-day Saint leaders and members understand why a large number of Millennial members are leaving the church (I personally see Millennials leaving the church as a negative thing, and something I would like to prevent). This article does not suggest that the LDS church should change its doctrines or lower its standards to cater to Millennials. But, I do suggest that the Church can change some practices (not doctrines and/or standards) to better engage Millennials and improve the retention of Millennials. An example of how the church recently changed a practice to cater to and improve the engagement of a certain demographic group is they began allowing women to say prayers in General Conference. This was a change in practice and not a change in doctrine or standards. The suggestions in this article are similar in nature. My hope is that all members of the church will work together to help all who need the atonement of Christ to feel comfortable coming unto Christ by worshiping him within the walls of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. About six months ago, as part of ward conference, my ward held a special ward council, with stake leaders also participating. The primary topic we discussed was what the ward could do to better support young adults and youth. As the discussion progressed, I made two observations. First, I observed a large age gap between those in the meeting and the demographic group being discussed. Most of the individuals in the meeting were from the Baby Boomer generation (born between 1946 and 1964), a few were from the Generation X generation (born between 1965 and 1979), and I was the only individual that was from the Millennial generation (born between 1980 and 1996). Second, it became clear that most in the meeting did not understand the needs and perspectives of young adults and youth, and were thus not in a great position to support, serve, and reach them in a meaningful way. The purpose of this post is to help leaders in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints understand why Millennials are unique, what their needs are, how their needs and philosophies may clash against Latter-day Saint tradition, and what Latter-day Saint leaders can do to better support, serve, and reach a generation that Baby Boomers and Gen Xers have a hard time relating to and understanding. What makes Millennials Before answering this question, it is important to point out two things related to research on Millennials. First, not all Millennials fit the “Millennial” mold or stereotype. While generational research focuses on the averages/generalities associated with different generations, there is great variation across Millennials. Second, while Millennials are unique from older generations, some of the differences are due to the difference in age common to different generations. Stated differently, while the needs, interests, and thought processes of Millennials are currently different than older generations, in many ways, the older generations had similar needs, interests, and thought processes while in their twenties and early thirties. For example, Millennials are currently more likely to change jobs than older generations, but that is a phenomenon that has always been the case for those in their twenties and early thirties, regardless of their generation. This is primarily the case because Millennials generally have fewer ties to others than older age groups. The following summarizes some of the primary ways Millennials are truly unique from other generations. Millennials: Have worse health than prior generations at the same age (e.g., more obesity). Have a lower level of general knowledge coming out of high school (National Center for Educational Statistics, U.S.
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23 min
July 30, 2017
Helping Future Missionaries Set Realistic Expectations | An Interview With Craig Harline
Craig Harline is an accomplished author and professor at Brigham Young University. He teaches Cultural and Religious History. He resides in Provo, Utah with his family but he also travels to Europe as he continues his research. Craig grew up in Fresno California. He was later called to Belgium to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It was those experiences he had while on his mission that lead him to write the book Way Below The Angels, the Pretty Clearly Troubled but not even close to tragic confessions of a real life mormon missionary. In this book he shares what his expectations for his mission looked like, and what really happened as he enabled the power of the atonement. Episode Highlights: * 5:32- Expectations for your mission or calling. * 6:54- Your ideals are a starting point. * 7:39 - Avoiding feelings of failure. * 8:22 “Ideals are stars to steer by; they are not sticks to beat ourselves with.” (Barbara B. Smith) * 12:28- How to help young missionaries set expectations before they leave on a mission. * 15:45- The right answer is not always the heroic one. * 18:37- We are not called to save everything, the Savior has already done that for us. * 22:32- Sometimes we look for affirmations of success in all the wrong places. * 28:16- Why people convert? * 30:25-Helping missionaries understand social structures. * 31:16- Who am I converting vs. Who am I befriending. * 34:43-Learning to speak their language and learn their culture is an act of love. * 35:53-Having unrealistic goals makes the mission about you, and not the people you are there to help. * 38:15-The mission may not go the way you thought and it is ok to talk about it. * 39:48-Sometimes you will not get along with your companion. Links * Craig Harline website * Way Below The Angels, the Pretty Clearly Troubled but not even close to tragic confessions of a real life Mormon missionary * Craig Harline’s published books * Times and Seasons Blog
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42 min
July 23, 2017
Lift Someone Daily | An Interview With Richard Seaman
Richard Seaman is a business analyst and the founder of Beacon Leadership Development. Richard was raised in Flagstaff Arizona and now lives in Kaysville, Utah with his wife of 30 years. He has 5 kids and 6 grandchildren and currently serves in the High Council. Richard loves the youth of the church and has served as Young Men's president 6 times. Professionally, Richard is a certified executive life coach, trains leadership teams and is also a motivational speaker. He is well versed in leadership development, collaborative work group training and management consulting. In this episode Richard talks about being an intentional leader and having a vision statement in your calling. Episode Highlights: * 19:15 Advice for a new Young Men's president * 21:30 What can we understand about being intentional as a leader - know what your purpose is for the entire time you serve in your calling * 24:00 How to be intentional * 26:00 An example of a vision statement for a Young Men's presidency * 29:00 Ward council- not making it gossip * 29:30 Having a meeting facilitator in ward council * 32:30 Ward council- dealing with facts and not gossip * 39:00 Being addicted to LSD- lift someone daily * 41:15 Be intentional with leadership activities * 43:30 Example of lifting someone daily- Atlanta airport * 48:00 Smile more * 49:30 Leadership is one on one Links: * 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Steven Covey * Motivating the Minister Summit * Beacon Leadership
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49 min
July 16, 2017
Returning to the LDS Church: “The Further I Got the Easier it Was” | An Interview With Brian Wilson
Brian Wilson who was born in San Diego, but moved frequently due to being raised in a military family, now lives in Kansas City Missouri. Brian’s was born into a family where both parents converted to the church. As a youth Brian overcame many struggles in his youth including being abused. In this episode he shares his story of being born into the church, leaving it, and the bumpy path back. There is great insight into the thoughts and stories in a member who has left the church, but still remembers what is right. Episode Highlights: * Suggestions for youth leaders that may work with abused youth (9:41) * Brian’s journey from baptizing a friend to inactivity in the church, “The farther he got the easier it was." (11:12) * How he slid on the slippery slope (14:14) * Fading strong friendships (15:20) * Removing his name from the records (16:10) * Realizing that anger lead to unhappiness (19:20) * Realizing his weakness (20:30) * Leaders can reach out and let less active members know they are needed and loved (21:13) * Some members are looking for a reason or an excuse (24:24) * It isn’t as hard as it seams to remove your name from the roles (24:50) * Finding purpose outside the church (25:45) * The bumps on the road to reactivity was rough (26:35) * Brian’s family didn’t give up (29:44) * The power of a good neighbor.  The invitation was always there. (30:55) * Receiving simple service (33:20) * “All that I ask is that you listen,” Brian tells about supporting his wife as she learned more about the gospel (36:14) The fellow shippers really wanted to get to know them (37:52) * "Going back to church after 20 years…" (39:04) * Process of being rebaptized (40:09)
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46 min
July 13, 2017
3 Pitfalls When Administering Ward Callings
We learn from the Fifth Article of Faith and from the Church Handbooks that "a person must be called of God to serve in the Church." Notice the preposition is “called of God,” not called by God. It's easy for leaders to assume that God has a calling board in heaven on the wall of His office covered with magnetic pictures of each person in your ward. We assume He has determined every calling in your ward and carefully placed individuals in specific auxiliaries, and He is waiting for you, the leader, to read His mind so that you put every person in his or her perfect calling so that your calling board matches His. This results in leaders straining to read the mind of God; or trying to figure out who was called by God, rather than who is called of God. Elder Bednar gave a similar message in the April 2017 General Conference when he said, "...a missionary is not called to a place; rather, he or she is called to serve." Likewise, a member of your ward is called to serve, and where they are assigned in your ward may not always be gift wrapped in revelation. I'll be the first to admit it’s a powerful experience when a specific person comes to the mind of the bishop, and he knows where this member should be called to serve. But leaders must also feel confident in placing individuals in callings per their own decision making capacity rather than expecting a clear revelation in every instance. Elder Robert D. Hales said, "I remind all of us that the Holy Ghost is not given to control us. Some of us unwisely seek the Holy Ghost’s direction on every minor decision in our lives. This trivializes His sacred role." This guidance can be applied to making decision in our wards and organizations. Often, revelation comes by leaders deciding with the good judgment the Lord gave him or her, and then considering it revelation. The life experiences and decision making ability the Lord has given leaders is a way He influences and directs through revelation. Once leaders recognize the autonomy they have in whom to select to serve, the more confidence they have to make a call and not fret when it doesn't work out, or the process is messy. That said, the following are key pitfalls some leaders experience in the calling process. My hope is that leaders can watch out for these pitfalls and act with confidence, minimizing the burden of trying to read the mind of God in every instance. Expecting Specific Revelation for Each Calling When leaders have the mindset of finding who is called by God rather than who is called of God, we tend to search for a specific name who could serve, rather than a list of options. This is often seen when the bishop is approached by the Relief Society president and the Primary president, both having received inspiration that a specific sister is to serve in her auxiliary. It may be that the Lord places the name of an individual in the mind of the leader not that the individual should be specifically called to that position, but rather, He is guiding you to consider someone you haven't, helping you arrive at a better decision. So, when two auxiliary leaders approach the bishopric with the same name coming from the same Heavenly Source, it is important for the bishopric to validate the auxiliary leader’s prompting that is part of the revelatory process, and know "that final responsibility to receive inspiration on whom to call rests with the stake presidency or the bishopric." (Handbook 2: 19.1.2) When the Bishopric Makes All the Assignments
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16 min
July 9, 2017
What Every LDS Leader Needs to Understand About the Addiction Recovery Program | An Introduction to The Next Step Podcast
The Next Step Podcast is a weekly podcast focusing on the joys of recovery and sobriety in an LDS context. Creators and hosts, Brad and Jay, join Kurt to talk about the Addiction Recovery Program and how everyone, including church leaders, family, and friends, in addition to those suffering from the disease of addiction, can benefit by understanding the 12 steps, knowing when and where meetings are held, and understanding how to reach out to those in need of help.  Jay explains how he became addicted to prescription painkillers while on his mission, his struggles with addiction after, and the moment someone reached out to him and invited him to an Addiction Recovery Program meeting. Together, Brad and Jay discuss the leader's role in addiction recovery, how a sponsor is different than a priesthood leader (and the important, but separate, roles that each play in helping those with addictions), how to help youth and teens struggling with addiction, and the important role the family plays in the ongoing recovery process. (38:30) What is a sponsor in the addiction recovery program? How does someone become a sponsor? (40:00) How does your sponsor differ from a priesthood leader? (44:30) As leaders, we carry the message, not the person (46:45) Helping youth with addiction (51:00) Treating addiction as a family (55:00) Addiction and "Betrayal Trauma" Links: Addiction Recovery Program Website The Next Step Podcast on iTunes The Next Step Podcast Facebook page
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67 min
July 3, 2017
Creating Joy in Church Service | How I Lead: Steve Russell
Steve Russell, of Lehi Utah, practices law in Salt Lake City and is a graduate of the BYU’s J. Reuben Clark Law School. Steve completed an honorable mission in Bolivia and married a returned missionary. He and his wife Janice are the parents of eight children and he has served in many church callings: counselor, teacher, high councilor, youth choir/orchestra leader, family history consultant and as bishop in Tooele, Utah. Among the family traditions in the Russell household is the annual celebration of the Passover during the Easter season. At the time of his conversion to the Church in 1982, Brother Russell was a 22-year old jazz musician in Southern California. He was experiencing a season of serious contemplation about influential people and the nature of God when missionaries knocked on his door.  Through faithful study, prayer and participation he felt the light of the Lord enter his life, obtained a fervent testimony of the Book of Mormon and came to realize how someone can declare “I know” when speaking of spiritual convictions. When asked about milestones or turning points in his spiritual life, Steve references attending his first post-mission general conference where he was privileged to hear the stirring final testimony of the late Elder Bruce R. McConkie in 1985.(1) Brother Russell has an abiding testimony of the “commitment pattern.” He knows from personal experience and from serving as a bishop how vital it is to strive for personal purity by overcoming one’s sins, beginning with the most serious, and making definitive commitments to God through fervent prayer and “reporting back” to the Lord. This same pattern will help serious-minded Saints in dealing with a variety of challenges, including such things as compulsive behaviors (e.g. pornography, overeating, anger, etc.). He referenced pertinent and meaningful talks by President Spencer W. Kimball (2) and Elder David A. Bednar (3) on this same subject. Brother Russell asserts that Church leaders at any level must study the relevant handbooks and learn to love, serve and lead with the help of God through mighty prayer.  His experience is that there are many Church members who love deeply and desire to be valuable servants in the Kingdom. Serving and leading have helped Brother Russel appreciate the many blessings afforded by the gospel of Jesus Christ, especially the power of the Atonement. Five Principle of Leadership: Assume the best in the people serving. Don’t judge people by outward appearances, be they youth or adults. Find ways to connect with them and allow them to experience growth. (29:05) Every person has a unique perspective. Build on their strengths and do not make them feel inadequate. (30:35) Every person has something to offer. Don’t try to control circumstances to the point of stifling contributions. This occasionally happens in gospel classes. Consider their various contributions seriously, even if the meaning is not clear on the surface. Appreciate their courage in contributing. (32:05) Remember to discover and create joy in church service. It’s counterproductive to be stressed in church work. Leaders should seek to make serving joyful and/or fun. (34:10) If you are not loving those you serve, repeat steps one through four, above. (36:44) Links: “The Purifying Power of Gethsemane,” Elder Bruce R. McConkie, April 1985 "Converted Unto the Lord," Elder David A. Bednar, October 2012 Youtube Links: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2v5K40Jghw https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kfTZTJ2J4I
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46 min
June 25, 2017
Female Latter-day Saint Leaders “At the Pulpit” | An Interview With Kate Holbrook
Kate Holbrook is the managing historian for Women’s History at the Church History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Kate is co-editor of two books, The First Fifty Years of Relief Society, and At The Pulpit, 185 years of Discourses by Latter-Day Saint Women. Before working for the church Kate served a mission in Russia. She went on to earn her masters degree at Harvard Divinity School in World Religions. She also earned her PHD from Boston University in Religious Studies. Episode Highlights: At The Pulpit, 185 years of Discourses by Latter-Day Saint Women. Relief Society, The Early Years. *  While Kate was working on her PHD she worked on a comparative project where she examined women, food, and religion in the LDS religion and the Nation of Islam. She studied how our emphasis on self sufficiency helped shape our recipes. She is working on publishing this book. 8:33 *  Kate’s first task while working for the church was helping to publish The First Fifty Years of Relief Society. She worked on this for the first 4 years of her employment. 10:53 * In early church history adult women had to apply to become a member of the relief society. 11:35 *  Membership cards for relief society were distributed in early Nauvoo. 12:10 *  It was not until the 1970’s when you automatically became a member of the relief society if you were a female adult member of the church. 12:14 *  When the relief society was first founded it was referred to as the women’s quorum. 12:30 * The early years of relief society the women were very involved in the local board and local Red Cross. As the church grew, that fell away and they focused on ministry to a global church. 12:59 At The Pulpit, 185 years of Discourses by Latter-Day Saint Women. * The authors of the book wrote introductions to each discourse and gave biographical information on the speakers. 14:00 * In the early years of the church the women would speak at sacrament meetings and cottage meetings, Talks could also be found in the Women’s Exponent Newspaper. These were all looked at as they studied which talks to included in the book. 16:07 *  Eliza R. Snow was a champion in helping women to stand up and find their voice. 19:24 *  Belle S. Spafford’s picture is on the cover of this book. She was the General Relief Society President for 30 years (1945-1975). She was also on the General Relief Society Board for 40 years. 19:49 * The criteria for this book was timeless well written talks, and talks that engage doctrine, and inspire. 26:39 *  The women in the book had a strong vision of their potential. They were going to save the world, not just the Mormon world but the whole world. 27:51 *  The support the women had for the suffrage movement was to restore women to her rightful place so her voice can be part of the running of the world. 28:02 *  As they prepared the book, they picked two or three talks per decade. 29:10 *  The talk they included from Sheri Dew explains how to learn the language of revelation when the Spirit talks to you. 29:57 *  The early sisters in the relief society were very organized and great at mentoring the coming generation. 30:39 Links: * The First Fifty Years of Relief Society * At the Pulpit 185 Years of Discourses by Latter-day Saint Women * Church History Site: At the Pulpit 185 Years of Discourses by Latter-day Saint
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36 min
June 18, 2017
Why Every Leader Needs to Understand Time Budgets | An Interview With Dave Crenshaw
Dave Crenshaw is an author, speaker, and master of building productive leaders. He has appeared in Time magazine, USA Today, FastCompany, and the BBC News. His courses on LinkedIn Learning have received millions of views. He has written three books and counting, including The Myth of Multitasking which was published in six languages and is a time management bestseller. His fourth book, The Power of Having Fun, is due for release in September 2017. Dave was called to serve a mission in Portugal and was later reassigned to the Indiana, eventually assisting in the opening of Spanish-speaking Indianapolis. He attended Brigham Young University and currently resides in Herriman, Utah with his wife and kids. Episode Highlights: (14:00) Importance of clearly defined “dividing points” within the day/week. * “Bank of time” principle – time behaves like money. * Time demands and “interest rate” in repayment. * Determining your “budget” and then not crossing it – actually under spend your time. * Budgeting transition time between activities to allow for buffer time. * Google setting “Speedy Meeting” that automatically adds buffer time in calendar. (20:00) How to Communicate time budget boundaries to others. * Correct answer: Regularly scheduled meetings with those with whom you need to meet. * Establishing a clear “when” to reduce the occurrence of “now”. * Practical answer: Leave time each day/week unscheduled to allow for unexpected needs (buffer time). * Time budget equivalent of a rainy day fund/emergency preparedness for our time. (24:30) Principles for running an effective meeting. * Make sure that all meetings are action-oriented. * Every meeting ends with a question. * What are the actions that are going to be taken? * Who is going to do them? When are they going to deliver them? * Secretary makes note of the actions, gives reminders to the individuals assigned a task and a summary to the individual running the meeting. (27:20) The Myth of Multitasking. * Be aware of “switch-tasking”. * Switch-tasking on an individual communicates to them that they are not important. * “Back-tasking”. (35:00) Public speaking tips (sacrament meeting, teaching lessons, etc). * Went through seminary training program while at Brigham Young University. * Feel confident about what we are doing. * Teach Ye Diligently, by President Boyd K Packer. * (39:00) Effectively using principles of Readiness, Participation, and Application. Links: * DaveCrenshaw.com * The Myth of Multitasking by Dave Crenshaw * The Power of Having Fun by Dave Crenshaw * Teach Ye Diligently by President Boyd K. Packer
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47 min
June 11, 2017
New Children’s Book to Teach Young Children About the Dangers of Pornography | An Interview With Kristen Jenson
Kristen Jenson, is the founder of ProtectYoungMinds.org and best selling author of Good Pictures Bad Pictures: Porn-proofing Today’s Young Kids. She serves on the Prevention Task Force of the National Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation. She received her Bachelors degree in English Literature and a Masters degree in Organizational Communication. She currently lives in Washington state. She recently wrote the book Good Pictures Bad Pictures Jr: A Simple Plan to Protect Young Minds, a book aimed at 3-6 years old. It’s an easy way for parents to start the conversation early to protect their young children. Episode Highlights * Kristen shares that she didn’t receive a script on how to help talk to her children about pornography (4:34). * How pornography impacts children in general was covered in the prior episode. * The FBI did a study and found that among the growing problems with the internet and children the the biggest problem is sextortion (8:14). * The book teaches children that it is never okay for someone to take pictures of themselves with out their clothes on or to take pictures of themselves and to post or share pictures (9:19). * The best time to start taking to your kids about pornography is when they are 3-6, because this is when they are on the internet (10:32). * Kristen explains the how she decided to adapt the message from the first book to the second book, when it targets a younger demographic (12:04). * Introduces the Turn, Run & Tell plan for kids to use when they are exposed to bad pictures (14:12). * The book contains sticky notes to encourage parents to have discussion with kids about different topics (14:49). * This process is not just educating your child about the harm of pornography, but it’s about persuading them on an ongoing basis that you will be safer and happier if you stay away from bad pictures (15:41). * Parents say that the book has helped them have better relationships with their children by discussing these difficult topics (16:16). * The book compares bad pictures to poison and how it can hurt your body (17:28). * One of the most dangerous things parents can say is that their children are 100% protected (19:00). * If you start teaching your children young, the discussion won’t be awkward (21:20). * Focus on building an eternal filter, that the child can recognize what the bad, know it can be harmful and to know what to do when they find it (21:40). * How can church leaders use the book as a tool to help parents (22:38). * Seeing Pornography as an addiction (25:20). * Shame can fuel children to keep things they see a secret (31:17) Links Protect Young Minds Good Pictures Bad Pictures Jr: A Simple Plan to Protect Young Minds Good Pictures Bad Pictures: Porn-proofing Today’s Young Kids Past Leading Saints Interview with Kristen
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31 min
June 5, 2017
Fighting Addiction Like a Dragon | An Interview With Maurice Harker
Maurice Harker is a Clinical Mental Health Counselor (CMHC) based in Farmington, UT. Born in the Pocatello, ID area, he served a mission in Detroit, MI originally started his career focused on marriage therapy. He is the founder of Life Changing Services, which includes programs such as Sons of Helaman, Men of Moroni, Daughters of Light, and others. He is the author of “Like Dragons Did They Fight,” which bridges the gap between the Spiritual and the Temporal (physical) factors of addiction and addiction recovery. Highlights 16:30 “For such a smart kid, you sure do some stupid things sometimes”. * There’s a stereotype that the people we work with and have these problems are the “stupid” or undisciplined ones (they’re not) 19:00 “Watch your thoughts”. * What if Satan has learned to talk to us (in our heads) in our own voice? * What happens if he can get us to feel like we’re fighting against ourselves and create a civil war within our own minds – a psychological civil war – fighting ourselves within our own heads? * What can be the consequences of civil war? * It is a mistake to convince people they are fighting against themselves – there is an actual enemy fighting against them. 24:30 Fighting “harder” or “smarter” isn’t always the answer. * Must train the person fighting the battle to acquire the spirit of discernment to recognize microscopic brain chemical changes. * Thoughts cause chemical reactions (Satan can’t affect chemicals, but can affect thoughts). * Example: A basketball team calling timeout in an attempt to shake an opposing player out of “the zone,” a mental state wherein the chemicals of their brain are running smoothly. * Satan attempts to shake us from our “zone” state by creating a change in our chemical reactions (via our thoughts) 31:45 “Chemical Scale” – A useful way to identify how “off” we are. * Level 10: Crash - A crash, or lost battle, is when your behavior is against your value system. * Levels 5-10: “Stupid Mode”. * Level 5: “Give Up Moment”. * Level 4: “Irrational Conversation”. * Level 3: “Dude Moment” – the suggestion moment, trigger moment (as called by scientists), the temptation moment (as called by religionists), or the thought moment. * If we set our alarms to go off at Level 3, we’re missing the opportunity to win the battle at Levels 1 and 2 because those levels are being skipped (i.e. Bishops asking someone to call them AFTER they’re tempted – it won’t work). *  Level 2 – Emotions and Feelings – when looking at the thoughts or emotions themselves and not the chemical associated with them an important level is being skipped. * Level at which you’re having a strong negative feeling for legitimate reasons. * Satan’s “psychological massage” moment. * Level 1 – Chemical level – when you’re not deviant, but just “off”. * Level 0 - “Awesomeness Zone” – the natural, spiritual state of mind. 40:45 Doing spiritual things to stay connected to God is necessary, but not sufficient. * We still must train our bodies to respond correctly to being attacked. * Insight and motivation doesn’t conquer an addiction problem 45:00 The antidote is already in our head. * The chemical release needed to win our battles is similar to what David felt as he went up against Goliath – the chemical release that gives us the confidence that we can win. * This is the complete opposite of what someone feels when they’re feeling shame. * If we communicate with someone in such a way that they are depleted or more scared or weak we increase the likelihood they are going to lose their next battle.
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60 min
May 28, 2017
How I Lead as Bishop in Hawaii | An Interview With Mark Harris
Mark Harris, currently a bishop in Hawaii. He served his mission in Idaho, attended Ricks College, and was married in Idaho as well. 5 Principles of Leadership 37:09 - Center decisions on long term eternal perspective. 41:51 - Train, lift, and empower those you call. 46:16 - Sustain those in authority, your leaders and subordinates. 49:21 - Maintain order and humble obedience 51:31 - Go and Do Episode Highlights Where were you raised? As an “Army Brat” he lived all over the world. Where were you baptized? In Germany as an 8 year old. What is your church legacy? Martin Harris is a (many) great-uncle. 12:40 - Who’s the most famous Mormon you’ve met? 14:35 - Does your family have any General Conference traditions? 15:16 - Church callings, elders quorum instructor, elders quorum Counselor, elders quorum president, Single Adult Branch Presidency Counselor, Third Counselor in the Bishopric, HP Group Leader, and Bishop. 17:15 - What was the purpose of calling a third counselor in the Bishopric? There was a large military ward with high turnover with which a third counselor helped to lighten the load. 18:43 - Tell us the story of being called as a Bishop. 23:09 - Tell us about being in a “military” ward. 25:42 - Did you institute specific programs to make sure that everything was covered with military families schedules? 28:34 - Any general approach to keeping the ward staffed and not making it the focus of each bishopric meeting?         The bishopric was able to forecast callings as people’s military assignments changed. The counselors are also responsible for reaching out to their auxiliaries and making sure that staffing needs are understood. 30:08 - Are the current presidents training replacements?         It’s disappointing to not have training available. The bishopric can sit down and help the individual understand the scope of the calling and what is expected of them. Through PPIs and continued communication, all callings are receiving their appropriate level of training. Auxiliary leaders know that they are responsible for training anyone under their umbrella. 32:08 - In a military ward, what does your week to week look like?         A lot of officers and enlisted members work together, they are able to work together as saints when they are at church and swap roles when they are working in the military. 34:51 - Any unique approaches to weekly ward meetings?         Never show up to a meeting unprepared. Every bishopric meeting starts with a hymn and a spiritual thought or handbook training. Focusing on the spiritually uplifting part of the meeting has made a difference. 37:09 - Center decisions on long term eternal perspective.         If you don’t have a goal in mind before you start, it’s easy to spin your wheels. Remind yourself that everything you do in the church has one purpose, bringing people to Christ. Keeping the eternal perspective helps you stay focused and not get distracted by the small stuff. If you rise above your problems that are obscuring your view, you’ll be able to see beyond the temporary problems. 41:51 - Train, lift, and empower those you call.         As the Bishop, you help the administration of the ward, you also help guide spiritually. Point out the spiritual principles and teach every chance you get. As leaders, you train, uplift and teach spiritual principles to those you lead. Have regular PPIs with auxiliary heads, it makes sure that each auxiliary has the bishop’s support and helps train leaders in the future. Empower everyone in the ward and not just the leaders. 46:16 - Sustain those in authority, your leaders and subordinates.         Recognize that everyone in their calling has been called of God and you sustain them as much as they sustain you.
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58 min
May 21, 2017
What to do When the Bishop is an Accidental Diminisher | An Interview With Liz Wiseman
Liz Wiseman has been named as one of the top 10 leadership thinkers in the world and teaches leadership to executives and emerging leaders internationally. She is the President of The Wiseman Group, a leadership research and development firm headquartered in Silicon Valley. She is the author of three best-selling books: Rookie Smarts: Why Learning Beats Knowing in the New Game of Work, Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter and The Multiplier Effect: Tapping the Genius Inside Our Schools. Her book Mulitipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter was recently revised and updated.  In this episode we talk about these revisions and what to do when we have a leader that is a "diminisher." A FULL TRANSCRIPT OF THE INTERVIEW IS BELOW Interview Highlights: 3:30 Revised edition of Multipliers 7:00 Diminishers as leaders 8:30 How do we build a culture of leaders 11:30 How to see the accidental diminisher in you 16:00 How to approach a diminisher?               Most common strategies (that don't typically work)- * Confront them * Avoid them * Quit * Comply and lay low * Ignore the diminishing behavior 18:00 Experience of Liz confronting a Relief Society President 21:00 Role play- good guy/bad boss 25:45 How to respond to a diminisher- Curiousity approach/ask questions          "I wonder why?" Have empathy.  Who did wrong by this person?  Who micromanaged them? 27:40 Having empathy for the people we work under changes the dynamics 28:15 Instead of excluding the diminisher, ask their opinion 30:00 You don't get to change other people but you can change your response 31:00 You have the choice to be the Multiplier yourself.  It doesn't have to come from the top 32:00 Choose to respond with love 33:00 You don't have to be the boss to be the Multiplier 34:15 Fluid leadership 37:00 Defensive moves- turn the volume down 39:00 Retreat and regroup- example from Apple executive Steve Jobs 42:00 Assert your capability- good strategy to deal with accidental diminisher- "I got this" 46:15 What Liz has learned about her discipleship of Jesus Christ Links: Order the revised edition of Multipliers Other Liz Wiseman interviews with Leading Saints Full Interview Transcript: Kurt Francom (LS): Liz, this is your third time on the Leading Saints podcast, and I welcome you back. Liz Wiseman: It's good to be here. You know, I actually thought it might be my fourth time, but it might- LS: It may be! Liz Wiseman: It might be the third or the fourth, but I hope you're suspicious that I'm out for your job, that I actually want to be the host of the Leading Saints broadcast. LS: There you are. Well, it's yours. Liz Wiseman: Because I keep coming back. LS: You speak the words, and you can be the host of Leading Saints. I think you're much more qualified than I will ever dream of being. Nonetheless, [00:03:25] I always mention how kind you've been to the Leading Saints organization, and the way we've interacted. I do name drop your name for various times. "Yeah, I actually know Liz Wiseman, you know, so, she's a pretty big deal." Right?
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47 min
May 14, 2017
How I Lead as Assistant Ward Clerk | An Interview With Mikel Roper
Mikel Roper is an Assistant Ward Clerk over Finance, and a Temple Ordinance Worker. Episode Highlights * 4:20 - There is a lot of responsibility that goes along with being called as a clerk * 5:19 - Where were you raised? When were you baptized? Did you serve a mission? Did you attend college? What is your vocation? Are you married and where did you meet? Do you have any children? Who is the most famous Mormon you’ve ever met? What is the first general conference talk that comes to mind? What is your favorite General Conference tradition? If you were to speak in General Conference which would you choose? What makes you a unique Mormon? What callings have you had and what’s your current calling? * 17:00 - Did your technical background help you as a clerk? When the high councilman asked him to do it, he said it’s for the ward and not for the stake. How have you seen that manifest? The Bishop stated he didn’t have to worry about the finances because it’s in good hands. It’s a support to the bishop. * 18:54 - How would you describe the week to week duties? Counting tithing, making sure it’s correct so when audits happen, he knows that everything is correct. * Kindness begins with me: * 20:02 - Kindness doesn’t always come natural, it’s not what you say to people but how you say it. When you’re helping others with finances, it’s very easy to say no, but in the role as a clerk you can build relationships. By helping everyone understand the math involved, it’s * 21:36 - There are policies involved, but seeking to understand helps validate concerns and efforts by others. Interacting with all auxiliaries is part of the calling and be * LISTEN: * 22:34 - God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason. If we’re always talking we can’t hear the words others are saying. We may be hearing what is said but not listening. The spirit can help guide. * Provide people with the experience with being free to choose and leave them satisfied with the process that led to their choice: * 23:47 - Coming from a leadership training, we want to feel like our point is valid. When you limit the ability for others to do something, you limit their agency. People don’t have to be satisfied with the choices they make or the consequences, it’s more about the ability to choose. As a clerk, you provide policy advice and help the others understand how to make choices along policy lines. Be sincere and open about choices and consequences. * Manage your stewardship: * 26:58 - Create a process that works for you and be consistent. Having a clean audit and making sure that your process works is important. Making sure that getting reimbursements are out in a timely manner is important as a clerk. Make sure to communicate with members on when reimbursement checks are going to be available. Make sure that your processes help the bishopric work smoothly and that reports are available in a timely manner. Checklists can help get you started with getting everything done that’s necessary and important. * Counsel when appropriate: * 31:20 - Clerks have a responsibility to know the policy and procedures and make sure that the bishopric is aware. The bishop can counsel from there on what the ward can do, but it’s important to make sure that what is under your stewardship is in line with church policy. You can respect priesthood authority by offering information, then the authority can make a better informed decision. * Invite the spirit by following the promptings that come: * 35:24 - Make sure to listen to the voice that suggests you double check your work. The spirit will help you remember work that you need to get done. We need the Holy Spirit in our administrating c...
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48 min
May 8, 2017
Managing the Counseling Burden as an LDS Leader | An Interview with Dr. Paul Jenkins
Paul Jenkins is a positivity psychologist, author, and speaker. He has written three books, gives keynotes and trainings on positivity and related topics, produces a weekly podcast called Live On Purpose Radio, and sees individual clients at his office in a positive psychology counseling setting. He is also a former bishop (twice). In this episode, Paul gives advice from the perspective of a counselor to ecclesiastical leaders. Episode Summary 4:15 Men are that they might have joy—positive psychology 7:20 Approach to depression 8:30 Helping members with addiction, as a bishop 13:50 Podcast—Live On Purpose 15:00 Labeling people instead of looking at them as a child of God 16:00 Serving multiple roles as a bishop/ecclesiastical leader 18:00 Take care of yourself first 20:00 Put competent people in positions of power and get out of their way 22:30 Practice receiving any information as a bishop as if it's the news report 26:45 Using members' talents in the ward as part of the bishop's storehouse 31:45 Enhancing communication between a bishop and a counselor 35:55 A bishop's role to help those with problems progress from appointment to appointment 38:00 What to do if the leader is taking more of the burden than the member 44:00 How do we live on purpose? Links: Pathological Positivity by Dr. Paul Jenkins Falling to Heaven, by James Ferrell Dr. Paul Jenkins Website Dr. Paul Jenkins Podcast
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47 min
May 1, 2017
How I Lead a Stake of Zion in Ireland | An Interview With Pres. Mark Coffey
Mark Coffey was raised in an LDS family on the coast of southern Ireland, and has lived in Dublin, Ireland, since he was 12 years old. He works as an IT Manager. Mark met his spouse as a teenager and they have been married 22 years. He was a missionary in the Canada, Winnipeg mission, has served in many ward callings including as a bishop, and is now part of a stake presidency. Episode Highlights * How his call in the stake presidency came about (16:15) * Transition from being Bishop to being a counselor in the stake presidency (18:30) * Helped to have been a bishop and know what he needed from his counselors * Different characteristics of the Church in Ireland (19:45) * Missionary work is at the top of their minds all the time * A lot of non-national members and recent converts, making it very multicultural * Meeting approaches as a bishopric and stake presidency (22:45) * Temple recommend interviews (25:20) * Home and Visiting Teaching approaches for spread-out units (26:20) Five Leadership Principles Have a clear view of God’s vision for you and your calling (27:15) Home teaching example: Channel your inner President Monson Learn the difference between the traditions and the doctrine in the principles of your calling (32:15) Find out the core of what you’re trying to do, don’t cut out the things that work, but cut out the unnecessary Enable those around you to see and achieve their potential (36:10) Give direction and allow others to run with it Embrace change: This is God’s work and he will change you to make you fit for purpose (38:20) Look for criticism “Leadership in the Church is not about directing others but your willingness to be directed by God.”—President Dieter F. Uchtdorf (40:00) Be in tune and find a way to make sure you’re doing what the Lord wants you to do How has serving as a leader made you a better disciple of Christ? (42:10) Links: Good, Better, Best by Elder Dallin H. Oaks This Week in Mormons Tie Tracker
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42 min
April 25, 2017
Gold Medal Leadership | Guest post by Jeremy C. Holm
Jeremy is a renowned keynote and motivational speaker and conducts leadership and teamwork seminars and lectures for corporations and groups across the map. He is also a sought-after presenter for firesides, school assemblies, public events, expos, and tradeshows. Jeremy served his mission in the San Pedro Sula, Honduras mission, currently resides in Salt Lake City, Utah, and is a member of the Willow Creek 1st Ward. Be sure to listen to the attached interview with Jeremy where he talks more about his leadership and coaching experience. Enter Jeremy... Leadership Under Fire On February 13, 1945, “I” Company from the U.S. Army’s 11th Airborne Division’s Third Battalion and “D” Company from Second Battalion were ordered to attack Mt. Bijang, a hill overlooking Manila, that allowed Japanese forces to shell the city. The battle lasted all day long with attacks and counter-attacks, and as D Company’s commanding officer, Steve Cavanaugh said, “The action was pretty bad up there…” In all the commotion of the battle, a lone figure crept up to Cavanaugh’s side, firing away with his M-1 Garand rifle when Japanese machine gun fire burst into their ranks and a voice cried out, “Steve, I’ve been hit!” Cavanaugh glanced over with concern that turned to surprise. “Carrico!” he shouted. “What are you doing up here?” The wounded paratrooper was my grandfather, 1st Lieutenant Andrew J. Carrico, III. Despite the pain he was in, Grandpa obediently responded to his CO, “I had to be with my men.” You see, Cavanaugh had ordered Grandpa to rest that day and to stay behind the fighting line since he had experienced front line combat for over a month. But Grandpa couldn’t do that. Why did Grandpa place himself in such danger? Why did he seek out those who were in such precarious circumstances on that South Pacific hillside? The purest answer that can be given is that he did it out of love. Champion Leaders You learn a lot of things when you’re coaching athletes who are hurtling themselves down icy tracks at over eighty miles an hour in fiberglass and metal rockets. You come to appreciate perspective and the wider viewpoint that comes from experience. You come to respect guidelines and safety measures even more when you are in charge of organizing and running a semi-experimental program. You learn that every athlete learns differently and comes to the table (I mean, ice) with their own mindsets and goals and emotional energies. When I was the head coach for the U.S. Adaptive Bobsled Team, I felt a kinship to my grandfather, who demonstrated such courage and compassion for his men and for the future of the free world. While I will never match his level of sacrifice and bravery, I wanted to honor his example as I sought to help develop some of the world’s first adaptive bobsled athletes. As I thought about the way he led his men, I could not help but think of the Savior and the way He leads. Indeed, His example is the ultimate case study on leadership and if we sincerely desire to make a difference in the lives of those around us, we would do well to study His life and follow His pattern. If we are but willing to do this, then we will be able to follow the invitation of President George Albert Smith who said, “It is your duty first of all to learn what the Lord wants and then by the power and strength of your holy priesthood to so magnify your calling in the presence of your fellows that the people will be glad to follow you” (The Church News, 7 Sept 1968, p.15.) To that end, here are three principles of what I call Gold Medal Leadership, which I have observed from the Savior’s life and teachings in the scriptures. 1. Know Who You Lead Whether you are a leader in combat, in business, in sports, or in a Sunday School classroom,
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49 min
April 18, 2017
The Art of [Mormon] Manliness | An Interview With Brett McKay
Brett McKay founded The Art Of Manliness in 2008 while he was attending law school. It has grown into one of the largest men’s magazines on the web. Brett has also published several books and eBooks. He also hosts the popular podcast, The Art of Manliness. These podcasts cover a wide variety of topics, all centered around helping men. Brett grew up in the LDS Church and served a mission in Tijuana, Mexico. He has served in many capacities in the Church including Sunday School President. He is currently serving as the elders quorum president in his ward. Brett, his wife Kate, and their two children reside in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Episode Summary & Highlights What I learned as Sunday School President (16:31) * The importance of good teachers (16:50) * Discuss with your bishop the importance of calling the best teachers (18:03) * Model what good teaching looks like and encourage good class discussion (18:25) Why more women are attending church vs. men * The gender disparity in church and why more women are actively attending vs. men (21:30) * How dating behavior changes among men and women. See Date-onomics: How Dating Became a Lopsided Numbers Game (23:25) * Millennial dating is affected by gender ratios (26:05) * How men express their spirituality (29:54) * Ward Council: The relationships between the people in the ward (33:45) * Introverts and extro`verts express their spirituality differently (35:40) * Ways the Elders Quorum can serve on Sunday (39:33) * Train future leaders during Elders Quorum (41:16) Resources and Sites: The Art of Manliness website The Art of Manliness Facebook page Brett McKay’s Books and eBooks The Art Of Manliness Podcast Why Men Hate Going to Church, by David Murrow Manhood In The Making, by David Gilmore Date-onomics, by Jon Birger
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47 min
April 17, 2017
Motivating the Minister – Podcast Preview
Join Us Starting April 22, 2017 I wanted to invite all the podcast listeners to join me starting this Saturday, April 22, for the free session of the Motivating the Minister Virtual Summit. We are all leaders, but do we know how to motivate? At Leading Saints the number one question we receive from elders quorum presidents, relief society presidents, or any leader called to serve is, how can I motivate those I lead? They won’t home teach, they won’t do family history, they won’t share the gospel, they won’t even bake a casserole for the sick neighbor down the street. How can leaders motivate those they lead to accomplish the goals that are set before us? Thank goodness this big question is being answered during a virtual online summit called, Motivating the Minister: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Home/Visiting Teachers. Leading Saints has gathered some of the sharpest mind on motivation: Brad Wilcox, Paul Gustavson, DeAnna Murphy, Scott Newman, Steve Shallenberger, and more. Over 8 hours of content! These leadership experts will all instruct us on building the skillset to be leaders that motivate. Join us starting April 22 when the keynote session will be free for 7 days. To attend you need to visit leadingsaints.org and put your name on the list. Let’s start a journey together to become leaders that can motivate! Click HERE for details.
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9 min
April 11, 2017
How to Help Future Missionaries Serve Strong But Stay Sane | An Interview With Gary Taylor
Born in Southern Idaho and now living in Hurricane, Utah, Dr. Gary Taylor spent his career of more than 40 years working as a clinical psychologist. Now retired, he and his wife have served two senior missions, first in Europe and most recently in the South Pacific. Working with mission presidents and missionaries to offer mental health advice and assistance, Brother Taylor began to see patterns emerge of the common struggles that missionaries have. The experiences have become the basis for his book, Serve Strong and Stay Sane: 10 Mistakes that will Ruin Your Mission and Your Life. Brother Taylor continues to learn new things in his work with missionaries, emphasizing that as he would work with them he could feel the love and concern that Heavenly Father has for them. He also emphasizes that while the transition from teenager to missionary can be a difficult one, the struggles experienced may not always be mental illness-related, but rather the normal added stress that comes with being a missionary. For some missionaries this can be an unexpected and difficult process to deal with. In this episode, Brother Taylor discusses a number of common mistakes and offers prospective missionaries, parents, and leaders tips and counsel as they prepare for—or assist others in preparing for—effective missionary service. Episode Highlights * Many of the tools that are generally recommended to those suffering stress and anxiety (i.e. going for a run, reading a novel, talking to a friend) are not available to missionaries. Other methods must be utilized. (10:00) * Tips and counsel for leaders meeting with prospective missionaries - become familiar with the 10 common reasons why missionaries struggle (12:00) * Having unrealistic expectations (13:00) * Mission service isn’t going to necessarily solve any existing personal problem(s) – in many cases it actually makes them more difficult to solve * Expecting it to be a non-stop spiritual experience * With enough faith and effort baptisms will happen (if that is the measure of success, as defined by the missionary) * Be more prepared for an “Aaron experience” rather than an “Ammon experience” * Failing to see the big picture – why they’re there and what it's really all about (19:00) * Bishops and Stake Presidents can help prospective missionaries to set realistic expectations * Help them be able to answer the questions “When things aren’t working out, how can I stay motivated to do the right thing?” and “What are the reasons to be here when it doesn’t look like anything productive is happening?” * Worrying about things that are beyond the missionary’s control (23:45) * Mission related things * Things happening back home * Have prospective missionaries inventory their worries (write them down), then take each one and ask, “Is this something I can control?” If not, then decide not to worry about it. If it is, then I need to come up with a plan to do what I can to resolve the worry or concern. * Sometimes it's unclear if the worry is beyond control or not. Parents and leaders can be a resource to go to to understand if there is something I can do to overcome it. * ADD (Awareness, Decision, Distraction) technique: When we are aware of a thought, worry, temptation, etc, we make a decision to not go there and then immediately distract ourselves away from the thought that is causing the anxiety * Be wary in thinking and speaking in absolutes, or “all or none” thinking (29:30) * Avoiding thinking in terms of “have to” (versus “want to”) * Sets ourselves up for stress and anxiety if the “have to” does not come to pass * Listen for that type of thinking and reframe it to something ...
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54 min
April 4, 2017
How This Professional Entertainer Can Help Improve Your Next High Council Talk | An Interview With Jason Hewlett
Jason Hewlett was born in Park City, UT and now lives in Daybreak, UT. He is a former convention performer and now spends his time as a professional keynote speaker for corporate events as well as speaking at youth fireside and mentoring other entertainers. In this episode Jason shares his journey with us from being bullied in priest quorum to having his mission president call him out the second he stepped of the plane to performing in every casino in Las Vegas. Jason share best practices for public speaking that apply to speaking in church or teaching a class. Episode Highlights: * 5:33 Childhood/youth * 7:00 Getting bullied in priest quorum and why he kept coming back. * 10:40 What is your advice to leaders regarding bullying at church? * 11:33 Full time missionary service * 22:19 When and how did you decide to become an entertainer? * 28:00 How did you get involved in mentoring entertainers? * 30:27 Tell us about the book you authored. * 38:30 How do you prepare to speak at these corporate events? * 42:00 Why set a goal when you can make a promise? * 47:23 What advice would you give to a leader who has 10 minutes to fill at the end of a meeting? * 56:45 How do people contact you for a youth fireside? * 58:20 How has being a presenter made you a better disciple of Jesus Christ. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aM4wKKr-eqM Links: Jason Hewlett's Website Jason's Youtube Channel Hank Smith
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60 min
March 25, 2017
How I Lead With 20 People in Sacrament Meeting | An Interview With Jeff Schooler
Jeff Schooler is a Branch President of the Lake Region Branch in Devils Lake North Dakota. In this episode he tells about his conversion story and sheds some light on what it’s like to be the president of a small LDS branch with large geographic boundaries. Episode Highlights * Jeff tells his conversion/reactivation story 6:00 * Expanding on how easy it is to fall into inactivity 9:14 * Most famous Mormon Jeff has ever met 10:25 * First General Conference talk that comes to mind 11:00 * If asked to speak in General Conference, what would the talk topic be? 11:14 * What makes Jeff a unique Mormon 11:55 * Callings that he has served in 12:28 * Which past Branch Presidents do you resemble? 12:23 * Story of how he was called to be the Branch President 14:28 * Challenges of serving as the Branch President in such a small unit 16:25 * LDS Video (Personal Video Conferencing) 17:47 * A typical Sunday in the life of a Branch President 19:50 * Are you as a leader ever worried about the Branch being dissolved? 24:10 * Supporting members who struggle to balance their families needs vs Branch needs. 25:16 * Home & visiting teaching solutions with letters, email & video conferencing. 12:26 * Loving those you lead 29:30 * Follow the Spirit, make a phone call at anytime 30:25 * Speaking assignments & 5 minute talk 31:44 * Transferring from two blocks to three 32:45 * Give the benefit of the doubt, everyone is doing the best that they know how. 34:10 * Read, read, read! 36:44 * A favorite book: Hearing the Voice of the Lord 37:47
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43 min
March 22, 2017
An Open Letter to Bishops From a Wife of a Porn Addict
Sara Walker currently lives in Amity, Oregon. She served in the Chicago Illinois North mission, met her husband at BYU-Idaho, and has a been striving to improve her marriage and help her husband overcome his addiction to pornography. Enter Sara... Dear Bishop, Thank you for your service as a bishop in the Church. I believe you were called of God to your calling for such a time as this. We need people who are willing to be on the front lines in the battle for families and individuals against sexual addiction. I am hoping to give you some insight into what women with husbands involved in sexual addiction (SA) need from you as an ecclesiastical leader. I have talked with many women who are dealing with this in their lives, and their stories are varied and poignant. All the women who shared their insight did so knowing that I would be submitting this to you. Out of respect for them and the battles they continue to fight, I won't use names or specific details. The feelings and thoughts expressed in this letter are my own, although not every item listed has been applicable to me and my situation. It is my hope that you will use this letter—as well as the spirit of discernment—when counseling with individuals and couples, as each situation is somewhat unique. There are, however, a number of similarities between them as well. I will be attempting to address those. I feel like it's important to begin this by sharing with you some attitudes and attributes of the addict. Many of those who come to you with SA will be men—although not exclusively. Therefore, I will use the term addict and husband interchangeably. When a man comes to you admitting he has looked at pornography, please consider the following: * Most men do not fully confess everything the first time, or the second, or the third… * They may say they don’t have an addiction, that it was just a here-and-there problem. * They have likely struggled for years, and are only coming to you because they got caught. * They have lied to themselves and to their spouse for so long that they believe many of their own lies. * They are so programmed to hide everything that it usually takes a “hitting rock bottom” moment before full confession happens, and sometimes not even then. * Often there are things like masturbation and infidelity that they are not talking about. As a bishop, please consider asking the difficult questions. Be specific. Ask: Do you masturbate? Have you had virtual relationships or physical relationships? Do you go to strip clubs or porn shops? How often? For how long? Do you use your phone or tablet? Do you call hotlines? And so forth. They do not need to be graphic in the details of what they do, but they do need to be accountable. Many of these men have a distorted sense of time. They will say the last time they looked was a few months/weeks ago. In reality, it was likely sooner and for longer than they would admit. They are most likely in something referred to as “addict brain” or “addict mode.” Unless they have been actively working at recovery, they are in addict brain. It gives them a distorted sense of reality. (For more in-depth discussion of addict brain, see the book, Like Dragons Did They Fight.) Dealing with someone who lives much of their life in addict brain is difficult. When we—the women dealing with this—come to you for help, we often have no one else to turn to. Begin to educate yourself about the nuances of SA. Each of the below items is just a brief overview; this is meant as a starting point and not a comprehensive document. Please consider the following as you seek guidance in counseling us: 1. Do not imply or flat out say that if we would give our spouse more time sexually he wouldn’t have this problem
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71 min
March 16, 2017
How LaVell Edwards Influenced His Team to be a Team of Leaders | An Interview With Paul Gustavson
Paul Gustavson studied Organizational Behavior at Brigham Young University, where he was on Coach Lavell Edwards’ first football team at the school. Today he is president of the consulting firm Organization Planning and Design. He has authored two books about team building and leadership—including one with Coach Bronco Mendenhall: Running into the Wind: 5 Strategies for Building a Successful Team, and A Team of Leaders: Empowering Every Member to Take Ownership, Demonstrate Initiative, and Deliver Results. After the passing of Coach Edwards last year, Paul wrote an article for the Deseret News, “Three Key Leadership Qualities Lavell Edwards Exhibited Early On as Head Coach That Could Benefit Any Leader.” He has also served as a bishop of a young single adult ward. Episode Highlights * 5:00 His history playing football, serving a mission, and attending/working with BYU * 8:36 How the article about Coach Edwards came about * 9:29 Interviewed Coach Edwards about things he had witnessed as a player * 10:00 Being a bishop had an enormous influence on Coach Edwards and his coaching * 12:34 He was always clear about the strategy * 13:45 He was a principle-based coach * 15:23 Coach Bronco Mendenhall was humble and willing to learn the principles of team-building * 17:00 Referred him to the article, “What is Strategy?” by Michael Porter, HBR * 19:06 Choosing “team members” inside a ward * 22:00 Why/how Paul got involved in team building in college * 23:50 Five smooth stones: strategy, processes, design, knowledge, capturing hearts and minds * 26:39 Application of these principles as a bishop * 28:26 Managing by councils: Five stages * 31:35 Having a framework helps * 33:20 Excellence comes through performance models and repeating best practices * 36:40 Steps to reach stage five in ward leadership * 37:52 How it happened with home/visiting teaching * 41:50 Shared stories of how they were blessed or blessed others as home/visiting teachers * 43:18 Ward theme: “We care for and bless one another”; D&C 82:10 * 44:30 What leaders talk about is what people do * 46:14 Where his books and research are available * 47:38 Discipleship and team leadership: engaging people to take action and become more Christlike Links: Organization Planning and Design A Team of Leaders Website Running into the Wind: 5 Strategies for Building a Successful Team A Team of Leaders: Empowering Every Member to Take Ownership, Demonstrate Initiative, and Deliver Results “Three Key Leadership Qualities Lavell Edwards Exhibited Early On as Head Coach That Could Benefit Any Leader,” Deseret News “What is Strategy?” by Michael Porter, Harvard Business Review
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51 min
March 11, 2017
Being Myself While Being Bishop | How I Lead: GR Gordon-Ross
GR Gordon-Ross served as bishop for 6 years in Lawrence, Kansas. He was raised in Kearney, Missouri and was converted to the Church in 1994 because of his influence from a childhood friend. He served a mission in Russia and later married his wife whom he met at LDS Institute. He is self-described as a non-orthodox bishop which he credits to much of his success. Leadership Principles * The Power of Delegation (32:13) * Allow those you call to exercise their own leadership talents * How to help auxillairy leaders to exercise autonomy in their callings (34:23) * Setting Expectations (37:33) * Leadership requires personal sacrifice (39:40) * You cannot come together as a cohesive unit if there is a belief or view that one person does all the work * Willingness to Serve (42:00) * Arrive early and be willing to stay late to clean up after every church activity * Be a leader and not a calling (45:30) * Listen (45:53) * Make sure that all opinions in a council setting are heard and valued * Be Yourself and Don’t Be Afraid to Adapt to Local Needs (49:10) * Be yourself, be human, don’t be afraid to make mistakes Links: Making Right Choices, by Elder Richard G. Scott
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61 min
March 7, 2017
Friends of Scouting Best Practices | An Interview With Mark Francis of LDS-BSA
Mark Francis is the Director of LDS BSA Relationships, where he has worked for the past 5 years. He also serves on the High Council in his stake, where he is responsible for working with the Young Men and assists in all things Scouting. Mark was previously interviewed on Leading Saints in January, 2015. Mark’s position with the Boy Scouts of America has its roots in President David O. McKay’s request to the BSA that an employee be based in Salt Lake City and work with the Church. Episode Summary & Highlights: How is Scouting the activity arm of the Priesthood? Why do we do varsity and venturing? (10:32) “Activity arm of the Priesthood” is no longer in any handbook There are other activities, not just Scouting Varsity (Teachers Quorum) and Venturing (Priests Quorum) allow the boys to take over as the leaders Five Fields of Emphasis High Adventure/Sports Service Personal Development Advancement Special Programs & Events Varsity & Venturing is where shadow leadership really comes to life Funding channels (19:10) These are sacred funds and we need to be wise stewards. Handbook 2 directs funding for activities (8.13.7) as follows: From ward budget If ward budget insufficient, we can ask particpants to pay for part or all Fundraising Much too often we start with fundraising Scouting Handbook Is Committee Chair a separate calling from Primary President? (22:10) See Scouting Handbook section 4.3 Tips for maintaining continuity of records with consistent changes in leadership (24:50) See Scouting Handbook sections 3.1, 4.1 and 4.3 Who are members of the committees? Fathers and mothers - he recommends at least one parent of each scout be on the committee Those of other faiths A member of the bishopric See Scouting Handbook section 4.3 If you have a functioning committee that is aware of what the boys want to do, the parents know since they are members of the committee. Managing advancements, service projects, campouts, etc.? (30:00) ScoutBook Commissioner Tools Available via the my.Scouting portal. Online applications are coming! Friends of Scouting (35:50) When: each council choosing when to do it (the majority of councils in the U.S. do this during the springtime) Goals (36:43) are established through LDS-BSA Relationships Committee working with the Council Many Councils now changing approach to invite all households to participate How: Take it to the Ward Council and discuss Funds raised stay within the local Council Council Executive Board determine how to distribute funds--salaries, camps, training, etc. If you feel frustrated, speak with your priesthood leader (51:30) Mark related that President Owen, Young Men General President,
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55 min
March 4, 2017
How I Lead as Mission President | An Interview with W. Durrell Nielsen
W. Durrell Nielsen served as a mission president of the Oklahoma Tulsa mission from 2003-2006.  He was born and raised in Brigham City Utah and currently resides in Bountiful Utah. As a young man he served a mission in Scotland and attended the University of Arizona where he received a Law degree.  He practiced law for the United States Treasury Department, for his own private law practice and also as estate planning lawyer.  He met his wife while attending college and has 5 kids and 12 grandchildren.  In this episode he shares his experiences as a mission president and ways to help guide and teach others as a leader. Episode Highlights 11:00 Experience being called as a bishop 13:20 Experience being called a mission president 14:45 Appointment with President Boyd K. Packer 17:45 Appointment with President James E. Faust 19:30 Mission call as president to Oklahoma Tulsa mission 21:00 Surprises as a newly called mission president 27:00 Unwritten Order of Things- talk by President Boyd K. Packer 27:30 Teaching zone and district leaders- teaching how to time talk 35:00 Follow the brethren- for example do they comment on talks at the end of General Conference? 36:00 Correct principles and governing self 40:30 Being a great shepherd- attending to the one 41:00 The key to attending to the one as a mission president 42:00 Demonstrating love is so important as a shepherd- know their names 47:30 Teaching the Doctrine 51:15 How to connect with former missionaries Links: Beware of Pride, by Ezra Taft Benson The Unwritten Order of Things, by Boyd K. Packer How to Remember Names
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57 min
February 28, 2017
The Transformational Power of the Addiction Recovery Program | An Interview Scott Koenig
Scott Koenig of Arlington, TX was recently released as bishop after serving for over five years. He has a love and a testimony of the addiction recovery program. Upon his release he asked his stake president what he could do to help spread its inspired and healing message. Listen in as Scott tells us about his experiences with the addiction recovery program as a bishop and now as the co-chair of the program and his stake. (2:20) Getting to know Scott (4:15) What lessons did you learn while serving as a bishop? (6:00) Getting involved with the addiction recovery program. (7:49) Kurt tells us about his first day as serving as a bishop. (8:24) What was your understanding of the addiction recovery program when you were first called as a Bishop? (10:25) Was pornography addiction the most common addiction you encountered as a bishop? (12:05) Inviting Ward Council members to help the bishop counsel addicts. (15:34) The keys to success with the addiction recovery program. (21:28) How does your stake structure it's addiction recovery program? (24:45) Implementing a successful youth addiction recovery program. (26:40) Kurt's first experience attending an ARP class. (28:13) Scott meets with and introduces the Bishops of his stake to the ARP. (30:50) Scott shares a sacred experience… The importance of family and spousal support. (39:57) How did serving as a bishop transform you? Links: LDS Addiction Recovery Program
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44 min
February 21, 2017
Reconciling My Faith and Same-Gender Attraction While I Lead
Ryan lives in Wilsonville, Oregon, and is a graphic designer/art director, designing big-screen graphics and animations for conferences and events. He and his wife moved to Oregon twelve years ago from the San Francisco Bay area, where he grew up. He served in the Rochester, New York mission and has since served as a ward mission leader, Elder's Quorum president, ward executive secretary, and most recently on his stake high council. Ryan is also involved with North Star, a resource for Latter-day Saints addressing sexual orientation and gender identity. In this podcast interview, he speaks about experiencing same-gender attraction and opening up to his wife and stake president. Episode Highlights: * What is North Star? (4:58) * Identifies as a man who experiences same-sex attraction, but never spoke about it until a year ago (7:00) * How he experienced growing up in the church (7:35) * Prayed for years to have this changed in him (10:46) * The single biggest challenge of his life, and tried to manage it entirely alone (12:20) * The church has made great strides in clarifying doctrine and there are new resources for those experiencing same-sex attraction (16:17) * Experiences as a young adult and decision to serve a mission (18:00) * Sank into intense depression (19:30) * How he met and married his wife (20:15) * His experiences with marriage, family, and in church service (23:10) * Found article in LDS Living magazine and began to consider discussing it (24:20) * Spoke with his Stake President and his wife (28:08) * His realization that it didn’t change anything with his church membership and calling (33:03) * Resources available for LDS leaders (38:37) * Experiences sharing his story with others (40:38) * Story of same-sex couple who divorced to return to membership in/join the church (41:18) * Change from environment where he didn’t talk about it, to where he can (44:40) * These conversations are about individuals and not social/political dialogues (46:24) * Found the book Voices of Hope, and North Star (48:40) * Wendy Ulrich essay was especially helpful (49:56) * What’s coming at the North Star Conference, March 17-18, 2017 (51:30) * How he has developed a greater sense of love and compassion as a leader (56:47) Links: mormonandgay.lds.org ldsvoicesofhope.org northstarlds.org conference.northstarlds.org Voices of Hope The God Who Weeps The Crucible of Doubt 2017 North Star Church Leader Handout Episode Transcription Kurt Francom (LS): Today we are headed up north to Oregon, to Wilsonville, Oregon to talk with Ryan. How are you, Ryan? Ryan: I'm doing well, how are you, Kurt? LS: Good, now we had met in a different life. I have a friend that runs an audio/visual company and sometimes recruits me to help him in different events, and you were on an event. We were in Vegas doing a show backstage and we found out we shared the same religion and then we met up again later on as we discovered we had a connection through our association with North Star and that is what lead to this conversation.
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61 min
February 18, 2017
Creating Unity in Elders Quorum | How I Lead: Toby Eborn
Toby Eborn was called as an Elder’s Quorum President in July 2016 in his Midvale, Utah-area ward. He was born and raised in Montpelier, Idaho, and was called to serve in the Minnesota Minneapolis Mission. Upon his return, he attended Utah State University for a time as well as culinary school before heading east and meeting his future-wife while living in Ohio. He has served as a primary and Sunday school teacher, a counselor in the Young Men’s presidency, ward executive secretary, co-ward mission leader, and most recently as a counselor in the Elders Quorum presidency. His approach as an Elders Quorum President is centered on helping people to get to know one another better (32:00). He looks for ways to get people together in a fun and relaxing atmosphere and has seen success in his quorum growing in their relationships with one another through these activities (46:00). In this podcast, he discusses five principles of leadership that he follows in his callings, as well as his approach to home teaching and quorum lessons. Principles of Leadership: 1. Love (35:00) * It is easier to do things for people you love. By cultivating that type of brotherhood in the quorum, brethren understand that they are not alone in their struggles. * President Eborn tries to have personal contact with each member of his quorum prior to the quorum meeting in the third hour block by greeting them with a handshake as they arrive for sacrament meeting. 2. Stewardship (37:30) * Everyone has a stewardship, even if it is in our own family or even our own life. We can’t neglect the responsibility we’ve taken upon ourselves as priesthood holders to be the Savior’s representatives. * We must make ourselves available to our stewardship and build that relationship with them. * If we are good stewards it strengthens our priesthood power. 3. Faith (38:45) * Are we remembering to encourage those experiencing a crisis of faith to do the “primary answers” – studying the scriptures daily, regular personal and family prayer, attending church – as a means of watering and nourishing the seed of testimony? * Are we constantly working on our own faith? If we are, and we are conscious of the struggles of those in our stewardship, we are more equipped to assist them. 4. Accountability (40:55) * We have agreed to and accepted callings to serve our stewardship and have made covenants to serve and follow through. * Work to change our mindset from “it’s easier to not do the right thing” to “I really need to hold myself accountable to what I’ve committed to do.” 5. Discipline (42:15) * How many days in a week are we “on the plan?” individually and as a family? * Failure to be consistent in doing these things leads to lasting results and consequences. Turning Lessons into conversations (51:00) * Improved quorum meeting attendance and participation has been a direct correlation to the brethren becoming friends and getting to know each other better. Approach to Home Teaching (52:00) * Did not intend to talk about home teaching every week, but finds himself doing so. * Avoids taking the “hey everyone, it’s the last week of the month, everybody get out and do your home teaching…” approach and then not saying anything for another month. * Doesn’t talk about it because of a concern for numbers, but because he knows there are individuals and families in his quorum that need to be home taught. * Focuses on the individual and helping the brethren to understand that people have struggles and need to be home taught – and that the home teachers can provide that strength. * Just because someone is at church every week doesn’t mean they aren’t struggli...
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60 min
February 15, 2017
Understanding the Conversion of Muslims to Christianity | Interview with Duane Miller
Duane Miller is an Anglican Christian and the author of Living Among the Breakage: Contextual Theology-Making and Ex-Muslim Christians, which covers a few reasons why Muslims are being converted to Christianity. He has a B.A. in Philosophy, an M.A. in Theology, a diploma in Arabic, and a Ph.D. in Divinity.  During the interview, Kurt talks to Duane about how, as Christians, we can reach out to Muslims in love. Episode Highlights: * The reason for candles in the Catholic Church (6:21) * Duane explains how he became interested in understanding the conversion of Muslims to Christianity (7:45) * Social media stories about Muslims converting: #ExMuslim (9:15) * How many Muslims are converting? Global Census of Believers from a Muslim background (10:16) * Religious conversion is both a turning away from something old and turning to something new (11:28) * One reason why Muslims are attracted to Christianity is because of the non-violent example of the Savior (13:00) * Are people leaving Islam and then becoming agnostic? (14:36) * Muslims believe in Jesus, as a prophet (16:00) * Do Muslims convert in order to seek asylum? (18:10) * Are Muslims converted because people reach out to them or because they reach out? (19:24) * Quest for truth (20:22) * Sharing the gospel through interpersonal relationships (22:40) * Getting to know your Muslim friends and co-workers (24:17) * How did the research change you as a person? (25:52) * The best way to reach out to a Muslim? (30:15) * The Quran is not like the Bible (31:50) * Duane helped Nazareth Evangelical Theological Seminary (35:06) Links: * Global Census of Believers from a Muslim background * LDS church provides place for displaced Muslim community to pray * Living among the Breakage: Contextual Theology-Making and Ex-Muslim Christians * Duane Miller's Blog
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39 min
February 8, 2017
Creating Influence as a Church Leader | Interview With Justin Hale of VitalSmarts
Justin Hale is a Master Trainer at VitalSmarts, a corporate training company in Provo, Utah, that teaches leadership principles. Justin has had the opportunity to apply the principles he teaches in his church callings, previously as an Elder’s Quorum President and currently as a member of a Young Single Adult ward bishopric. Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, he served a mission in the Philippines and earned his undergraduate degree from BYU in Social Psychology. It was through those studies that he became interested in understanding why people do what they do. Episode Highlights: What is VitalSmarts? (3:40) How he was called to the YSA bishopric (9:00) VitalSmarts Leadership Principles Helpful in the Bishopric (13:00) Being Clear Up Front About How Decisions are Made in a Group * Explain which of four types of decisions will be made: a consult, a vote, a command, or a consensus A bishop wants ward council members to contribute because he values their opinions (15:30) The Six Source Model (17:20) Answers the question “Why do people do what they do?” A variety of reasons why people don’t follow through (19:00) Ability vs. motivation Factors such as social skills and environment Helps pinpoint where a problem is (24:00) Prevents us from oversimplifying Accountability in Church Callings (26:00) Starts with specific expectations Establish an environment where it’s okay to discuss difficulties (31:00) Invite the Differences (33:20) Ask the question after sharing your opinion: The measure of a good question is the degree to which it invites difference How Teaching These Principles Have Made Him a Better Disciple of Jesus Christ (37:15) Learning how to show forth an increase in love: before, during, and afterwards Links: * Crucial Conversations * Crucial Accountability * Influencer * Change Anything * Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness * 6-Source Model for Home Teaching * VitalSmarts Interviews on Leading Saints * Behavioral Science Videos from VitalSmarts
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43 min
February 4, 2017
How to Influence the Perception of the LDS Church in Your Area | Guest Post: Kyle Morey
You'll probably recognize Kyle Morey from a How I Lead interview I did with him about his experience being the public affairs specialist in his stake. Kyle had some remarkable ideas about using technology to spread the gospel and mentioned an in depth article series he wrote that goes into detail about his strategies. I encourage you to spend some time reading the four part series (see links below) or listen to the attached podcast episode and hear it from Kyle himself; definitely an episode to share with your ward mission leader and public affairs specialist. You may want to continue following Kyle's family's adventures as they jump around the country. Kyle Morey's four part series of inviting others to Christ through your digital device Part 1: Invite others to host the missionaries for dinner and a discussion Part 2: How to bump opinion leaders into the gospel through chapel tours Part 3: Will you help me with my talk? Part 4: Involve the youth in missionary with social media
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25 min
January 31, 2017
Being a Leader in a Faith Crisis | Guest Post & Interview With Tom Tolman
Tom Tolman teaches leadership to future military officers as the director of the Army ROTC program at James Madison University. He has served in two branch presidencies, as an elders quorum president and as a missionary in Japan. During his military career he has led and served in a variety of units including the 82nd Airborne Division, U.S. Special Operations Command, British Army Headquarters and the United States Military Academy at West Point.  He has deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. Tom lives in Harrisonburg, VA with his wife Erin and four kids - Emma, Mary, Bennett, and Connor. Be sure to listen to the attached interview where Tom and Kurt talk in detail about what led up to Tom giving this talk in sacrament meeting.  Enter Tom... I like to run.  A few years ago I was training for a marathon.  Every Saturday I’d go for a long run - sometimes as long as 20 miles.  After the run, I had a particular craving for and would usually eat a large bowl of ramen soup.  After one run, a friend pointed out that the raman soup I was eating was terrible and contained high levels of sodium increasing my risk of high blood pressure and other problems.  I stopped eating the soup. As it turns out, because of the long runs and the physical activity, my body actually needed the extra salt. Thomas McConkie, author of Navigating a Mormon Faith Crisis, used a similar metaphor to talk about our spiritual needs.  He wrote: We have similar cravings spiritually. They feel counter-intuitive because in our mind, we know what we need for spiritual nourishment. Our culture has taught us what a proper diet looks like: read scriptures, go to church, pray, lose yourself in service to others. Repeat. Of course there is true sustenance in this formula. In Mormonism, it’s a bit like the spiritual food pyramid. And yet, we know more about developmental nutrition now than ever before. There are modifications in our diet that can lead to exhilarating growth spurts. There are different kinds of nutrients that we crave during different phases of our spiritual becoming. There are foods we need that we might not realize just how much we need. We all need different food. We all know members of the Church who aren’t attending regularly.  Or at all.  A close friend.  A family member.  Well over half the members of our branch don’t attend and that’s pretty normal across the Church.  Why is this?  Sometimes we are quick to propose reasons - perhaps they were offended; maybe they wanted to sin; maybe they were misled by some anti-mormon material or they just weren’t diligent enough in their scripture study and prayer. Perhaps, in some cases, despite our best efforts, everyone doesn’t find the spiritual nourishment they need at church.  When we, in well-meaning ways, attempt to force others to follow the diet that has always worked for us sometimes the consequences aren’t what we hoped. Now, I’m not speaking in some hypothetical or theoretical sense.   I’m going to be very candid.  About two years ago I had what we often call a crisis of faith.  Many of the things that I had regarded with great certainty I was no longer able to view the same way.  I had questions about seer stones and polygamy.  And dozens of others.  Nothing seemed to quite make sense. In the midst of my questioning, I felt alone and like I was suffocating.  Although I sat on the stand each week and was surrounded by loving and well-meaning friends and family I felt like my questions weren’t appropriate.  That my questions might be contagious and cause others to doubt - an outcome I didn’t want to inflict on anyone.  That my questions, if verbalized,
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61 min
January 24, 2017
Teaching Strategies in the Bishop’s Office With Maria Eckersley
Maria Eckersley lives now lives in Draper city, but was born in Illinois and raised in Blackfoot Idaho. She is the designer and creator of Meckmom.com.  The blog started out as a blog for mom tips, and has now transitioned it to a blog designed to make “Mom-life easier.”  The site has great ideas and principles for family home evenings and scripture study.  She also has a Youtube channel designed to help with object lessons and ideas improve teaching.  Maria currently serves in her ward as the gospel doctrine teacher. Episode Highlights * 7:10  Shares the experience of having her husband called to be the bishop. * 9:14  Advice for Bishop’s and their wives, “Although he can’t share specific details.. he can come home and tell you how he is changing through the process.”  “What did you learn today?” * 11:22 Turning the bishop’s office into a classroom. * 12:14 Maria was a partner with Sugardoodle.net and created the youtube channel to help her husband teach lessons * 13:10 Teaching people not lessons * 13:45 When teaching Primary kids, have as many visuals as possible.  They love object lessons, surprises, and using as many senses as possible. Break lesson into three basic points. * 15:28 When teaching the Youth be authentic.  Tell your own stories and experiences.  Use simple object lessons that relate to things they use or see everyday.  Guide them to resources and tools that they can use.  Use LDS.org and Mormon.org to answer difficult questions. (17:53). * 19:08  When teaching adults tell stories.  Adult’s need time to think and relate to the stories you are telling.  Direct the students to the stories in the scriptures.  Ask more questions then information and be vulnerable. Object Lessons: * 23:54 Teaching adversity to primary kids by using dice. * 25:30 Teaching adversity to the youth by using a piano. * 27:08 Teaching adversity to adults by using the allegory of the olive tree Jacob 5: 21-22. * 28:12 Teaching primary kids how to resist temptation by using a fishing lure and bait. * 29:28 Teaching youth how to resist temptation by using a wooden spoon, “Stirring the harts of men." * 31:07 Teaching adults how to resist temptation by using the Lehonti principle “poisoned by degrees” (Alma 47). * 33:36 Teaching Primary kids about repentance by using cotton candy. * 35:16 Kurt’s magic trick * 37:07 Teaching teens about repentance by using a $10 bill. * 39:25 Teaching adults about repentance by using wheat. * 40:40 Teaching how to understand and feeling the Holy Ghost, by asking primary kids to rub their hands together. * 41:45 Teaching teens how to understand the Holy Ghost by relating it to Wifi. * 43:00 Teaching adults how to understand the Holy Ghost u...
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51 min
January 21, 2017
How I Lead as Scout Master | Interview With Eric Allen
Eric Allen was raised in Bountiful, Utah and currently lives in Centerville, Utah, and has served as a scout master many times for many years. He served a full-time mission in Florida. He met his wife in an awkward fashion but it has turned out to be a wonderful marriage. Even thought Brother Allen didn't earn his Eagle as a young man, he has benefited from his experience mentoring young men in the scouting program to achieve the rank of Eagle. His soft spoken manner is based around strong leadership principles that has brought him success. * Empower the boys (10:00) * Value all ideas (18:10) * State needs forcefully (20:50) * Become and Instant Expert (25:05) * Own your failures (26:45) Brother Allen also discusses his approach to Friends of Scouting and effectively and kindly gathering donations for the Boy Scouts of America program (32:00). Links: Don't Kill the Little Birds, President Kimball
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39 min
January 17, 2017
What the Council of 50 Can Teach Us About Ward Council
In this episode we speak with Matthew Grow, Director of Publications at the LDS Church History Library. Brother Grow graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in History before completing a Masters and Ph.D in American History at the University of Notre Dame. Currently serving as an elders quorum president in his Salt Lake City-area ward, Brother Grow’s responsibilities at the Church History Library include supervising the publications of historical church documents, the Joseph Smith Papers project, the history section of LDS.org and other documents. He is a descendant of Parley P. Pratt and co-authored the biography, Parley P. Pratt: The Apostle Paul of Mormonism. (10:20) Leadership Traits of Parley P. Pratt for leaders today: Bold in his beliefs Tireless in service but balanced in service in the gospel and time with his family (13:20) Introduction to the Council of Fifty (Administrative Records, Council of Fifty, Minutes, March 1844-January 1846 published as part of the Joseph Smith Papers) (21:20) Principles by which Joseph Smith oversaw a council: Councils are where revelation should come It is the duty of every member of a council is to speak candidly – all are expected to participate Agree to disagree long enough to think through, debate and deliberate through an issue Take our councils seriously – returning and reporting at subsequent meetings Go through the process, do our part to work to find a solution and then expect the revelation to come (33:15) Resources to assist leaders in helping individuals with historical concerns: Don’t dismiss the question – take the question/questioner seriously ( Can’t testify the question away Leadership portal on LDS.org – synopses of gospel topic essays available As a leader, know the gospel topic essays ourselves History section of LDS.org – Pioneers in Every Land History section of LDS.org – Revelations in Context (also available in print) (42:00) Which leadership principles do we sometimes overlook? Church history in its totality is more faith affirming than faith troubling Receiving revelation takes work, no matter what our calling is. It is a misconception to some to think that when you reach a certain level of leadership that revelation comes easier or in a different manner Links: Parley P. Pratt: The Apostle Paul of Mormonism Administrative Records, Council of Fifty, Minutes, March 1844-January 1846 An Evening with Elder M. Russell Ballard 2016 address to CES Instructors www.history.lds.org Gospel Topic Essays Revelations in Context
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48 min
January 14, 2017
Slow Down and Lead | How I Lead: Marshall Askins
Marshall married his high school sweetheart, who happened to be a member of the church. While Marshall didn’t join right away he eventually joined the church at 38 years old, served in many different callings and has gained leadership experience. Marshall made a commitment to go to church after a diligent home teacher asked him, he started attending as he saw how his family loved him being there and the difference the gospel made in his own life. Home teachers need to teach the gospel to make sure that true doctrine is being taught to those who may need to hear it. The talk entitled Beware of Pride by Ezra Taft Benson was a turning point in Marshall’s conversion and after baptism he was quickly included in the Elder’s Quorum and given responsibilities that helped him see the gospel in action first hand. After attending the temple he was asked to serve as the ward mission leader. After moving and a few other callings, he was called as the elders quorum president and a few years later as a bishop. Principles of Leadership: Love your flock and let them know it (18:13) Slow down, listen, and be observant (22:00) How would you restructure bishopric meetings? (25:34) Communicate and teach communication (27:19) Make your office inviting and your presence wanted (33:19) Always Teach (36:32) Balance (42:38) What stands out the most from your EQP experience and serving as a bishop? Marshall truly learned to love and receive revelation. Through training with the stake president he learned about interviewing and leading people to Christ. Serving as a bishop was a highlight of his church service. Love your flock and let them know it Having a loving heart and letting people know that you love them. When you learn about the people and pray for them, you enrich your relationship with them and the Savior. Show love by telling them, praying for them, and praying that they can feel the love. Don’t be afraid to show emotion as you lead. When people know you love them, you’ll be able to help them, especially when you ask them to do hard things on their path to exaltation. Slow down, listen, and be observant The work of the Lord sometimes requires us to work slowly. When you have a leadership situation that requires council, make sure you’re taking the appropriate time to think about the council you can give them. Make sure to ponder decisions and mentally slow down to communicate with the Lord. (See D&C 61) How would you restructure bishopric meetings? Marshall suggests to be more structured and focused. Make sure that people are on task and that tangents are held to a minimum. Communicate and teach communication Each relationship is different and have different dynamics. Effective communication is important as you counsel individuals. It’s important that individuals aren’t making decisions off a misunderstanding from your communication. Make sure that everything makes sense to the individual. Improve your communication with your Father in Heaven as well. Make your office inviting and your presence wanted Whether you’re in your office or someone’s home, people have difficult situations and you want them to like to see the bishop. Having a comfortable environment helps keep a dialogue going to help them with their problems. Always Teach Teach the doctrine and teach it everywhere. Teach in interviews, teach in homes, teach and minister while you’re administering. When you teach you prepare everyone to make covenants and then after they’ve made the covenant, you’re teaching them how to keep their covenants. Balance Delegate and let others lead.
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48 min
January 10, 2017
Faith and a Life Jacket | Interview With Ben Bernards
Ben Bernards author of Faith and a Life Jacket: 7 Truths for your Eternal Mission. Ben also teaches at Especially For Youth conferences. Ben served his mission in the Fiji Islands mission, serving mainly in New Caledonia, the mission experience enriched his testimony in unique and challenging ways. He shares unique mission experiences that show tender mercies from Heavenly Father. Episode Highlights: * Mission prep book that also ties into leadership qualities for LDS leaders. * What advice can you give ward leaders to help reach out to youth? * Try to bridge the age gap and connect on their level. Make sure that you understand the secular culture that they are living in so you can converse with them about things they are interested in. Being real and genuine with the youth can help connect with them and build relationships. * Ward leaders should strive to help those preparing for a mission understand that it will be difficult. As you team up with Heavenly Father and inspired leaders, you will find success. We’ve been asked to take His yoke upon and and not our own. * Ben Bernard’s book discusses 7 Truths that also apply to leadership within the ward. * It’s going to be harder than you think but it’s possible with God’s help. * Leadership is hard but it’s possible with God’s help. * Social media is fine but don’t compare someone’s highlight reel with your behind the scenes. * Your faithfulness and obedience that isn’t a guarantee of a smooth road. 100% obedience and hard work doesn’t mean that leadership or missionary work is going to be easy. Don’t let it get you down, let your faith help you keep going. * Evil is real but God is more powerful. * The reality of how difficult things can be, when the adversary tries to throw you off your path. Hold on to the fact that God’s power can cast out the darkness and bring light to everyone around us. * Miracles happen and are unlocked by the patient obedient The Lord will reward and work best with those who are willing to follow His principles. * How are you going to show love to those you lead? * What ways can you serve the people you are leading in their everyday lives? Be willing to genuine and real with those that you serve. Try to become a minister of Christ in your interactions. * What was helping for leadership development during your mission? * Make the scriptures familiar with yourself and can apply the different stories and teaching to real life situations. Keep a record of scriptures that you continually use to help, write them down and keep them in an easily accessible location. Focus on bringing people to Christ at their own speed. * Focus on the progress of the people and not the statistical aspect of the gospel. There is wisdom in helping those begin their journey and not rushing them through gaining a testimony. Timing is in God’s hands and success is sometimes measured in qualitative ways, this helps you see this as a people’s church and not a race for numbers. Putting standards on yourself is difficult as a leader and as you learn to set that aside and just love people, you’ll find success and joy in serving. The small progress that people make can be counted as success and it’s just as important as the large steps. * When we set aside the best things for our lives and work in God’s vineyard that we see the miracles and blessings happen. Let God direct the work. * Now Go Out There and Teach Someone. Links: Faith and a Life Jacket Book BenBernards.com
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80 min
January 7, 2017
Achieving the Savior’s Vision of Home Teaching | An Interview with Adam Ellsworth
In this episode of the How I Lead segment we talk to Adam Ellsworth. Adam is currently serving as the president of his elders quorum in Maryland. Both Adam and his wife were raised in Southern California but did not meet until they attended the same student ward at Brigham Young University. After receiving his bachelors degree at BYU, Adam graduated law school from Pepperdine University after which he took a job in Washington D.C. as a patent attorney. Adam and his family have called D.C. home for the last 10 years. Adam also shares with us his five leadership principles accompanied with an effective and unique approach to home teaching. He and his presidency have effectively changed the culture of home teaching in their quorum. 5 Principles of Leadership: * Exercise inspired judgment and allow others to do the same (46:30) * Focus on Christ (47:23) * Lead with Christ's authority in the manner that he instructed (49:00) * If you want something done, talk one on one (52:57) * Be one, build unity by communication. Episode Highlights: * What was your childhood like? (4:00) * Did you serve a full time mission? (4:51) * How did you meet your wife? (6:20) * What is the first general conference talk that comes to mind? (7:48) * What other callings have you had? (12:20) * How were you called as elders quorum president? (13:04) * HOW DO YOU APPROACH HOME TEACHING? (14:00) * Five Principles of Leadership (40:37) Links: * DOWNLOAD the Home Teaching document from Adam's stake * The Power of a Strong Testimony, by Elder Richard G. Scott * DeAnna Murphy Episode * The Weightier Matters of the Law: Judgment, Mercy, and Faith, by President James E. Faust * Essentialism Episode
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59 min
January 3, 2017
Being an Organized Spiritual Counselor (Bishop) | An Interview With Beckie Hennessy
Beckie Hennessy is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has years in counseling. In this episode we talk about how a clinical counselor organizes their counseling appointment in a way that helps their clients progress and benefit from the counseling provided. Bishop or Stake Presidents can learn from their systems and hopefully help individuals they are spiritually counseling feel more loved. Episode Highlights * What should a bishop expect when working with a professional counselor? (7:05) * Thoughts on the LDS Addiction Recovery Groups (14:40) * Elder Dallin H. Oaks - Recovering from the Trap of Pornography * How should bishops work as a team with the professional counselor? (15:42) * How can bishops best organize and track their own progress when counseling with members? (19:45) 5 Ways to Stay Organized as a Spiritual Counselor * Embracing Technology (22:05) * TheraNest (for professional counselors) * Google Docs * Evernote * OneNote * Organize with F.H.E. (How to keep notes during your meetings) (33:26) * Focus - describe in notes the reason why they wanted to meet along with your thoughts about additional areas of focus * Help - what did you advise them to do, what was your commitment to help them? * Expectations - what are the specific actions required of the bishop and of the individual * Be Present or Postponing (40:45) * What do to and say when your are called with an urgent matter during personal time * Become familiar with local crisis lines and resources * Follow Through (53:00) * Timely follow through expresses care, love and genuine concern Links: * Bricks Family Counseling * Cobalt Counseling
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66 min
December 26, 2016
10 Most Popular Leading Saints Content of 2016
2016 has been the largest growth year for Leading Saints yet! It's exciting to see more leaders in the Church discover the content and gain from the knowledge of other leaders. We had close to 200,000 unique podcast downloads and almost 100,000 unique visits to the website. We are truly making a difference and I am excited to see the progress that is made in 2017. If you are new to Leading Saints or want to look back on 2016 to discover the most popular content on Leading Saints, here you go! Most Downloaded Episodes of 2016 1. What I Learned About Leadership When My 2nd Counselor Left the Church An incredibly real discussion about leaders perspective on those that leave the Church and why. I interviewed one of my bishopric counselors that recently left the Church. Listen here 2. Loving Our LGBT Brethren & Sisters | An Interview with Bishop Carl Hull Bishop Hull had a remarkable journey to better understand the LGBT community and most importantly how to love them more fully as a bishop. Listen here 3. Being an Essentialism Bishop | An Interview with Greg McKeown I am so happy to see that this interview got so much traction. Every busy bishop or church leader needs to listen to this multiple times and then read Bishop Greg McKeown's book Essentialism: The Disciplined Persuit of Less. It has changed my approach to what I focus on and how I can more effectively lead by doing less. Listen here 4. The Art of Significance in LDS Leadership | How I Lead: Bishop Dan Clark This was probably one of the more fun interviews I did. Dan Clark is a riot to be around and that fact that I was able to visit him in his home and ask him deep leadership principles was awesome. This interview will leave any leader motivated to change the world through their calling. Listen here 5. How to Support Transgender Members In Your LDS Ward The General Authorities have not said much about the issue of Transgener Mormons. I am sure more is to come but this was a fantastic interivew where I sat down with Brigit Pack, who is affiliated with North Star, and we discussed her experience of having a spouse that is transgender. It was an enlightening interview and I have had a new perspective ever since I was apart of it. Listen here 6. Home Teaching During Tragedy | The Story Behind Elder Holland’s #LDSconf Talk More details about Elder Holland's story about the heartwrenching story of the loss of Austen Russell can be found in this interview. I chatted with Troy Russell,
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19 min
December 19, 2016
How I Lead as Stake President in Australia | An Interview With Robert Gordon
Robert Gordon is from New Zealand and currently lives in Brisbane, Australia. He has served as bishop, stake president, and in several mission presidencies. He also served a mission in Brisbane, Australia as a young man. In this interview he shares of his experience in leading and has many great stories to go along with it. 5 Leadership Principles * Love the people (13:45) * Build unity, starting with the presidency (16:43) * Turn the keys of priesthood authority (23:58) * Have a vision people can embrace and be careful with goals that don't mean anything. (28:28) * Have competent people do the administering and don't sweat the small stuff (35:51) Episode Highlights * Robert's background (02:39) * How did it come to be that you were called as Stake President? (06:13) * What's the process of getting called to a mission presidency? (09:20) * Principle 1: Love the people (13:45) * Principle 2: Build unity, starting with the presidency (16:43) * What can a presidency to do establish presidency? (21:17) * Principle 3: Turn the keys of priesthood authority (23:58) * Principle 4: Have a vision people can embrace and be careful with goals that don't mean anything. (28:28) * What was your process of setting goals? (31:37) * Principle 5: Have competent people do the administering and don't sweat the small stuff (35:51) * Any in your area that created a unique challenge? (39:07) * How has your time in leadership made you a better disciple of Jesus Christ? (43:43)
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47 min
December 13, 2016
The Human Element is Crucial for Inspired Leadership | An Interview with Dr. Gregory Prince
Dr. Gregory Prince was born and raised in Southern California. He served a mission in Brazil. After his mission he became a Dentist and later received a Ph.D in pathology. As a young elders quorum president in Washington DC he began researching and writing about the history of the priesthood in the LDS Church and produce a book called, Power from on High: The Development of Mormon Priesthood. He later met a mission president in Washington DC that would soon become a friend and change the course of his life. That mission president was Robert Wright who Dr. Prince co-authored David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism. This book project led Dr. Prince to meet the daughter of former Church Historian, Leonard Arrington, who asked him to write Leonard's biography. In this episode Dr. Prince discusses the role of history as it relates to doctrine of the Church. We also discuss what the realities of inspiration look like and how perfect revelation is received through mortals that can make mistakes. We also discuss how leaders can mentor lay members who struggle with some aspects of Church history. Episode Highlights * How did the path of becoming an author begin for you? (03:21) * Power from on High, The Development of Mormon Priesthood (05:55) * Being asked to become David O. McKay's biographer (06:37) * What did you learn from your research on the Priesthood that would help an Elders Quorum President to lead more effectively? (08:33) * How Sidney Rigdon influenced the doctrine of the Priesthood? (11:26) * Priesthood Authority vs. Priesthood Power (14:23) * The significance of the temple endowment and missionaries (17:23) * A brief synopsis of David O. McKay's biography and the Leonard Arrington biography (23:48) * What comprises inspiration for our Church leaders? (30:23) * Why should leaders feel comfortable saying "I don't know?" (33:13) * Recognizing hyperbole in Church leadership inspiration (37:32) * "Don't they realize we're just human beings doing our best?" (43:01) * How different leaders see the relationship between truth and history (44:38) * History can inform testimony but it is not testimony (48:56) * What would you say to a leader that wants to use history to bring someone out of doubt? (50:27) * How can a local leader get ahead of these historical data points so that people learn of sticky Church history from their bishop rather than online? (54:13) * What can you tell us about Leonard the person that would encourage people to read his biography? (56:36) * Would you agree that Leonard was a person that had a different viewpoint but still stayed in the Church and found room? (59:58) * What about leadership to these two biographies teach us the best? (01:02:24) * Over your time studying the history of the Church and researching some of the mistakes of prophets and seers, how have you become a better disciples of these prophets, seers, and revelators? (01:06:01) Links: Power from on High: The Development of Mormon Priesthood David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism  Leonard Arrington and the Writing of Mormon History PBS Mormon Documentary President Kimball's talk where he mentions plateaus
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75 min
December 10, 2016
Leading Relief Society With Boundaries | How I Lead: President Amy Durham
Amy Durham lives in Salt Lake City, Utah and is the Director of Production for Deseret Book. She was recently released as Relief Society president in her ward and has also had experience working in the Young Women program. In this episode we discuss how she led as Relief Society president, including what were the unique dynamics she faced as a single Relief Society president in a traditional family ward. She shares some incredible tips on how she handled Church welfare requests, and how she ministered to the many different demographics in her ward. 5 Leadership Principles * Assess your own strengths as a leader (13:05) * Delegate (16:30) * Provide opportunities, not obligations (30:59) * Sometimes it  is a jungle gym! (39:06) * This is His gig! (42:17) Episode Highlights * Rapid Fire Questions (04:09) * What is your best advice for Young Women leaders? (07:50) * How were you called as RS president? (09:05) * "I don't have the Relief Society voice." (10:42) * What processes did you go through to prepare to be RS Pres? (12:07) * Principle 1: How did you assess your own strengths as a leader? (13:05) * What are the demographics and unique challenges of your ward? (15:08) * Principle 2: Delegate (16:30) * What were you focusing on and not delegating to others? (18:28) * What was your ward welfare process like and how did you approach it? (19:51) * How did you tell people no? (28:23) * Principle 3: Provide opportunities, not obligations (30:59) * Why plan a weekly Relief Society activity? (36:27) * Principle 4: Sometimes it's a jungle gym! (39:06) * Principle 5: This is His gig! (42:17) * What unique challenges did you face as a single Relief Society president? (45:55) * What was your approach to visiting teaching? (51:08) * As you have served as a Relief Society president, how has that made you a better disciple of Jesus Christ? (53:41) Amy's Food Order Packet * Food Order Process Explanation * Food Order Sample Menu * Food Order Blank Menu * For serving size menu see the Food Order Reference Guide Links: Like a Broken Vessel, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
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58 min
December 6, 2016
Preserving the Relationship When Loved Ones Believe Differently | An Interview With Jon Ogden
Jon Ogden is the author of When Mormons Doubt: A Way to Save Relationships and Seek a Quality Life, as well as an Op-ed for the Salt Lake Tribune: “Belief in ‘Sad Heaven’ hurts relationships in era of Mormon doubt.” Interview Highlights * How our perspective of the afterlife can hurt our family relations with those who disagree with us. (3:38) * When relationships are defined by difference, it’s unhealthy. 5:40 * Where did the concept of a “Sad Heaven” come from? 5:50 * Reconsidering what constitutes success. 7:00 * Will family relations be the way we think they will in Heaven? 8:00 * Mr. Rogers & Pascal’s wager, “I love you just the way you are.” 10:10 * Becoming closer to God by loving those as they are.  13:30 * “You are worrying about the wrong problem. You just live worthy of the celestial kingdom, and the family arrangements will be more wonderful than you can imagine.” The Hope of Eternal Family – President Henry B. Eyring August 2016 Ensign 14:33 * Finding common ground between believers and doubters. 18:10 * Doubting is wrestling at an intellectual level. 19:20 * Finding beauty, goodness and truth in the church and appreciating it. 20:25 * Being open to uncomfortable historical facts of our church. 23:46 * Finding and embracing beauty all around. 28:52 * When I followed my religion, I became the man I want to be.  31:49 * Why do we worry when people leave the church? 34:10 * What if they don’t return to our church? 39:00 Links: The Hope of Eternal Family—President Henry B. Eyring
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45 min
December 3, 2016
Being a Sunday Mom | How I Lead as Primary President
In this episode of "How I Lead" we head back to Edmonton, Canada to speak with Danica Forsyth. Danica has been married for 7 years and is the mother of a 3 year old little daughter. Sister Forsyth was born and raised in Fort Macleod, Alberta before school took her to Edmonton where she met her husband. Through out her interview Danica discusses with us the challenges and blessings of serving in the primary for 7 years and most recently as the primary president. Danica is a registered nurse who works hard at putting her family first while continuing to magnify her calling. Not only is she a primary president but she is also a missionary...Danica shares with us how she introduced a life long pen pal from Japan to the restored gospel. 5 Leadership Principles: * First calling first * Communication * Children are people too * Go and Do * Have fun Links: Interview with Danica's bishopric Wendy Ulrich Interview
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41 min
November 30, 2016
The Role of Doubt and Faith | An Interview With Prof. Michael Goodman
Michael Goodman is a member of the faculty in the Church History and Doctrine Department at BYU where he teaches various classes including Marriage and Family and Mission Prep. He describes his experience teaching at BYU as a “sheer delight.” Brother Goodman joined the Church at 18 and served a mission a year later in Bangkok Thailand. He served again in Thailand as a mission president 13 year later (at 33-years-old) where he served as presiding authority for the majority of the country. After his time has mission president Michael served as bishop of a BYU singles ward. Brother Goodman has spoken at BYU Women’s Conference and at a BYU Devotional on the topic of seeking help during times of doubt. His counsel includes many gems and some of the key take-aways are:  help those who doubt to find answers through proper preparation (reading essays on LDS.org, etc.), recognize the extreme fear being experienced by the doubter as their entire belief system is crumbling. Questions and Points Addressed: How can we include those who doubt or have questions? First, create an environment of love and safety. We are all experiencing the gospel at our own pace and in our own way so steer toward a common ground and work from there. How do we build a safe environment? Ask those who may threaten safety to help you create it. Make sure everyone knows that you do not fear questions. What are the dangers of doubt? We tend to go to extremes and villainize or lionize doubt--both are hurtful. Doubt can be either beneficial or harmful. If the object of the doubt is false, doubt can be helpful. If the object of the doubt is true then doubt is typically more harmful. Either way, doubt is part of the belief spectrum and needs to be understood (doubt → hope → belief). Doubt does have consequences. Does a change in policy mean that the policy was wrong? Change does not equate to error. Just because something has changed does not mean that it was wrong before and is now right. If you want to know something is a doctrine, check for these three things and the likelihood the thing is doctrine is higher: Is it eternal (unchanged from dispensation to dispensation)? Is it being taught by a united First Presidency and Quorum of Twelve Apostles? Is it have to do with our salvation? Great Quotes and Notes: “People don’t grow if they don’t have hope...which is the gospel of Jesus Christ.” “People want to help.” “You can’t solve a problem you aren’t aware of.” An admonition to believe is not an attempt to make those who doubt to feel guilty. “Belief and doubt are living attitudes, and involve conduct on our part. Our only way, for example, of doubting, or refusing to believe, that a certain thing is, is continuing to act as if it were not.” -William James “One of the surest ways of creating doubt in current prophets is to judge past prophets as having been in error.” We follow living prophets because God is infallible and He is using the imperfect prophet to accomplish His work. Heavenly Father wants us to use our agency. He wants us to learn truth and He is THE source of all truth and we need to involve Him in finding that truth. Links: BYU Speeches: Become a Seeker: The Way, the Truth, and the Life BYU Devotional: "The Truth Shall Make You Free" BYU: Bio - Michael Goodman Daily Universe: BYU religion teacher’...
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75 min
November 29, 2016
#GivingTuesday 2016
Giving Tuesday is an opportunity to give back after a long weekend of Black Friday deals and Cyber Monday steals. The holidays are an exciting time and there are many loved ones finding the perfect gift for you. But on #GivingTuesday, you have the opportunity to give back to a cause you believe in. At Leading Saints we encourage you to consider the many ways you can serve those around you and possibly contribute to a non-profit organization. There are many valiant non-profit organizations that are digging wells, providing clean water, or helping the homeless. But in a time when society puts too much weight on who is leading our country and doesn't consider the local lay leaders we interact with on a daily or weekly basis. If we want to change the world we must start with the leadership closest to us. For this reason Leading Saints was created; to enhance the lay leadership ability of those asked to lead beyond their capacity. Those asked to handle situations beyond their communications skills. Those that feel alone because they were asked to lead, but they don't know where to start. On this #GivingTuesday we ask you to help us with our mission in making leadership possible for those not prepared to lead. If we enhance our local leadership, our society is more likely to succeed, and if we all succeed we can then help those around the world needing so much more. It all begins with LEADERSHIP. 1-Time Donation $ Donation Amount: * $10.00* $20.00* $50.00* $100.00* $500.00* Give a Custom Amount Would you like to help cover the processing fees? I'll help Leading Saints by covering the 0 processing fee for this donation Select Payment Method Credit Card * PayPal Personal Info First Name * Last Name Email Address * Credit Card Info This is a secure SSL encrypted payment. Donation Total: $20.00 {amount} donation plus {fee_amount} to help cover fees.
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5 min
November 22, 2016
Home Teaching During Tragedy | The Story Behind Elder Holland’s #LDSconf Talk
In October 2016 General Conference, Elder Holland told a story about the tragic death of Troy Russell's son, Austen, and how he was helped out of despair by a "home teacher extraordinaire," John Manning. In this interview we talk with Troy and John as they give more background to the story and the tender mercies that the Lord bestowed upon the Russell family and their surrounding community. Troy shares how it was ward leaders, ward friends, and community that didn't know what to do, but still showed love to their family, that really made the different and helped them through this tragic time in their life. John Manning talks about the friendship that was established long before the the passing of Austen that made it possible to be there for John as his home teacher, but most importantly, as his friend. The early morning basketball games gave Troy something to do and to get active again. Now the basketball group wears a jerseys that proudly displays Austen's logo in his memory. The Christlike love and service that came out of this story has truly honored Austen and will inspire all that listen to be a true home or visiting teacher. Transcript available.
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67 min
November 19, 2016
Building Bridges Before Baptisms | How I Lead as Stake Public Affairs Specialist
Kyle Morey is from Indianapolis Indiana and served as his stake's public affairs representative during the open house and dedication of the Indianapolis Indiana temple. He also recently wrote the book Ask God: My 30-Day Experiment with Prayer and Its Potential to Answer Yours. Kyle and his family of 7 are currently in Omaha, Nebraska as they travel and tour on a 3 year personal service mission. Episode Highlights This episode explores the calling of stake public affairs representative and Kyle's experience in that calling. * Kyle's book- Ask God: My 30-Day Experiment with Prayer and Its Potential to Answer Yours (8:45) * Public affairs in the LDS Church Handbook (14:15) * LDS public affairs in Utah (15:00) * Focusing on building bridges instead of baptizing Connecting with community leaders to give them a positive opinion of our church and sharing that Mormons are all about Christ How Kyle Morey was called as public affairs representative (17:00) * Separating missionary work and public affairs (26:00) * Public affairs during Joseph Smith's time (29:00) * How public affairs helped defend the church during the building of the Indianapolis Indiana temple (31:30) * Kyle's experiences as public relations representative during the open house of the Indianapolis Indiana temple (33:00) Kyle's 5 Leaderships Principles (52:00) * Prepare each day * Be willing to be vulnerable * Remain teachable * Be patient and understanding * Teach and lead more by what I do, not by what I say Links: Starting and Growing My Business (LDS Resource) Ask God: My 30-Day Experiment with Prayer and Its Potential to Answer Yours Kyle's Family Blog The Power of Everyday Missionaries, by Clayton Christensen The Power of Vulnerability (TED Talk) How to Invite Others to Christ Using Your Digital Device Geoff Thatcher Interview About Public Affairs
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71 min
November 15, 2016
Learning Leadership from My Father | An Interview with Debbie Marriott Harrison
Debbie Marriott Harrison is currently the Global Culture Officer and a member of the Board of Directors for Marriott Hotels and is the daughter of J.W. Marriott Jr. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a major in History and a minor in French and is the mother of five children. She has served in numerous leadership callings, including more than 33 years in the Young Women program, as well as Stake Public Affairs director. She and her husband served as mission president of the Belgium Brussels Mission from 2000-2003. Upon her return, after more than 25 years as a stay-at-home mother, Sister Harrison re-entered the workforce working in the Government Affairs Department for Marriott Hotels. In this interview Sister Harrison discusses lessons she has learned from her professional career that she has applied in her church callings as well as ways church service has prepared her for and continues to help her succeed in the business world. How have callings or assignments in the church prepared her for success in the business world? (15:45) * Learning to stand and speak or present to groups of people from an early age * How to effectively run a meeting * How to get along with people * Learning at above all love and relationships of trust are key in both settings * As a missionary, and then as a lobbyist, learning to listen to someone else’s point of view learning from rejection Lessons learned from her father, J.W. Marriott Jr (18:25) * No job is worth sacrificing your health * Be fully committed * Learn how to say no * Experience builds resilience * Human touch matters Human Touch Matters (20:10) * We must have a human touch and express compassion to those whom we serve * Number one leadership quality is to be a good listener * “What do you think?” – the four most important words, as learned from experience with President Eisenhower Learning How to Say No (22:20) * Realize we can’t be everywhere and everything to everybody all at once * We should take joy in what you’re doing and be present in the moment * Must step back and take stock of our lives to examine if we are in balance * Must occasionally so no and we shouldn’t feel guilty about it * When we overextend and are out of balance we risk burnout Focus on the Individual (24:45) * Love the people you work with and serve * Pray over them by name and get to know them individually * When they know you care about them they will do anything for you * Second important key is to have fun with them rather than only serving out of duty Help others to see the vision (30:30) * Train, train, train – the church as numerous great training programs * Know the limitations of people and do your best to help them * Is it a good fit? Is it something that’s going to help this person perform? * Sometimes they just don’t know how to do it. Once they do, they become motivated to do it How Sister Harrison feels leadership callings have made her a better disciple of Jesus Christ (33:00) * “Do I really believe in this?” * Through our service and our love toward those whom we serve we come to better emmulate the Savior * We learn Christ-like characteristics as we serve and support one another despite our weaknesses and we try not to judge Additional Links: What This Working Daughter Learned from her Working Father by Debbie Marriott Harrison
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38 min
November 13, 2016
From Abuse Victim to Young Women President | How I Lead: Michelle Kaley
Update 9/21/2018: Outside of the recording of the interview, Kaley shared with Kurt that she had recently been diagnosed with cancer. She was hopeful about the prognosis and since then the Leading Saints team has been cheering her on in her battle. Sadly, our hearts were broken (along with many others) when we received word she passed away on September 12, 2018, due to the effects of cancer. She was a woman who faced so much adversity in this life and still found a way to love and lead others. How grateful we are for a Savior that will lift Michelle above mortality as well. See Michelle Kaley's Obituary to learn more about her remarkable life. In this episode of the How I Lead segment, we head down to Austin, Texas to speak with Michelle Kaley. Michelle is from Southern California who is a mother of four and has been a dance instructor for over 22 years. If life isn't busy enough being a mother and working she is also serving as the young women president in her ward. In her early teens Michelle was a victim of sexual abuse by multiple abusers. This lead to promiscuity, partying and being disfellowshipped before she was 16 years of age. She met her future husband at the age of 17 and introduced him to the Gospel. He was baptized soon after and they were eventually sealed in the temple for time and eternity. Michelle's trials with sexual abuse did not end there. She was later raped by a coworker. Michelle's experiences with sexual abuse has given her a unique perspective in regards to the atonement and how to teach sexual purity to the youth of today. She discusses her approach to talking to her young women about the law of chastity and repentance and how bishops and other leaders can approach youth who might feel that their value and Virtue is lost or diminished. 5 PRINCIPLES OF LEADERSHIP * Love them as he would, treat them as he would. * Be a coach, not a boss. * Teach them to lead. * Make it about them. * The gospel is designed for the individual. * Always have a Plan B and C and D and maybe even an E.  
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56 min
November 8, 2016
How to Disagree as a Leader Without Making an Enemy | An Interview with Gary Rhoads
Gary Rhoads grew up in Pocatello, Idaho and received his undergraduate degree and MBA from Idaho State University. He holds a PhD in Marketing from Texas Tech University and is currently the Stephen Mack Covey Professor of Marketing and Entrepreneurship at Brigham Young University. He has taught at Brigham Young University for 25 years. Rhoads teaches an executive MBA course focused on his method of Stop Think & Lead which helps leaders dealing with critical situations. Recently at BYU Education week Dr. Rhoads taught his Stop Think & Lead approach—teaching how to make a point without making an enemy. He's an expert in how to deal with critical situations and how to avoid conflict. In this episode he shares his great knowledge how we as leaders (and even just people in any relationship) can best deal with conflict and not make enemies in the process. Episode Highlights Introduction to Stop Think & Lead approach (11:45) 3 types of people in conflict: * Robotic- following the manual, stating the facts * Pooh Bear- avoiding the situation * Dish Out- makes a point but makes an enemy Learn skills without having regrets (13:30) Similar to diving certification- Stop Think Breathe (15:00) Stop- don't react, do no harm- most people fail to do this Stopping tactic- acknowledge concern (17:00) Think- What outcomes do I want? (17:30) Lead- Take action Examples of the Stop, Think, Lead Approach Example 1: Bishop vs. Sister Stone (19:00) There are multiple outcomes in situations (25:00) U turn stopping tactic (28:40) If you feel angry, say the kindest thing you can say. Calming tactic (30:00)- This is how I see it... Example 2: Conflict between husband and wife (33:00) Keep walking and come back with a plan (41:00) Help to a bishop dealing with conflict (43:00) Tactic that works the best dealing with conflict in the church (45:00) Example 3: Pinewood Derby conflict (46:00) Example of U-turns (53:30)- truthful kind words help you gain back control Links: Stinkomojo Website
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59 min
November 5, 2016
How I Lead in a “Singles Emphasis Ward” | An Interview with Lisa Gregory
Lisa Gregory currently serves as a Stake Young Women Secretary in the Washington D.C. area. She has previously served as a counselor in her ward Relief Society and Primary presidencies and served a mission in Japan. She is the oldest of six children and grew up in a traditional LDS home. She attended and graduated from Brigham Young University and later earned her Master’s degree. She met her future husband at the age of 36 and they were sealed in the Washington D.C. temple a little more than a year later. They have now been married approximately 5 ½ years. As a young single adult in the Church, Lisa spent time in Boston, Virginia, New York and Atlanta before returning to the Washington D.C. area. It was there that, now as a mid-single adult, she was called by her stake president to assist in organizing and serving as co-chair of the first mid-single adult program on the East coast; a calling she would serve in for nearly four years. In this interview Lisa shares her perspective on some of the struggles that single individuals in the church face and how her stake has worked to address those concerns, specifically among the mid-single adult population, by establishing a “Mid-Singles Emphasis Ward.” In Lisa’s opinion, one of the most difficult aspects about being single in the church is judgment (16:30) * Judgment of self – Is it me? * Judgement from others * Real judgment * Perceived judgement What leaders did to help Lisa and those that worked with her feel more connected to the family culture of the church in her calling working with other Mid-Single Adults (21:30) * Leaders valued input. They didn’t assume to know what was best for singles in the stake. * Stake leaders leaned on and expressed confidence in the Singles leadership that had been called. * They listened to and followed input from the Singles leadership * Made the focus on serving singles in the stake a partnership between the Singles leadership, the stake presidency and the Lord. Structure and parameters of a Mid-Singles Emphasis Ward (24:30) * One ward in the stake designated as the Mid-Singles Emphasis Ward * Anyone in the stake between the designated ages can transfer their records into the Emphasis Ward (an existing normal family ward) * If an individual transfers their records in they are expected to attend and be active in that ward * Individuals must be willing to receive a calling and assignments (including home and visiting teaching assignments) in that ward * A Mid-Singles Gospel Doctrine class is created but singles are fully integrated into Sacrament Meeting and Relief Society and Priesthood quorum meetings * Separate Mid-Singles Activity committee (in addition to any ward-level activities committee) * Once a month Saturday activity and once a month mid-week activities held (to accommodate singles who choose to remain in their home ward) * Regional and multi-stake Mid-Single Adult conferences and institute classes also held Leadership Principles * Clear delegation – follow up and gratitude are critical for any leadership calling in the church (36:00) * Other’s blessings can be “short-circuited” when we don’t allow them to serve and become involved * Leaders are in danger of losing sight of the ministry of their calling when they overwhelm themselves taking on too much * Leaders can help others develop as leaders as responsibilities are delegated to them * By following up and holding individuals accountable we show them that their contributions matter * Helping others see the vision and showing gratitude for their efforts is a key to this process * Be clear with yourself and others around what the Lord is calling you...
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61 min
November 1, 2016
Loving Our LGBT Brethren & Sisters | An Interview with Bishop Carl Hull
Update: In this episode mormonsandgays.org is mentioned, but the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has since changed this resource to mormonandgay.lds.org Carl Hull was raised in Heber City, UT and later attended high school in Orem and college at Brigham Young University in Provo, UT. He served a mission in Chile and currently serves as Bishop of a ward in Highland, Utah. Melody is from Carlsbad, California and has held many positions in the Church serving and loving others. Carl’s journey of understanding started in 2014 when he was serving on the High Council in his stake and the Stake President arranged to have Joseph Stith speak about his experience with same-sex attraction. (Joseph is President of North Star and has been on Leading Saints previously—How to Support Transgender Members In Your LDS Ward and How to Support Gay Members In Your LDS Ward – Part 2.) Prior to this experience, Carl viewed those who identified as gay as “just plain evil” but during Joseph’s presentation Carl started to view him with compassion. As a result of this experience, Carl wrote a post on Ben Schilaty’s blog titled The Eyes of My Understanding Were Opened and created a presentation on loving and accepting those who struggle with SSA, which he gave to his ward—adults and youth separately—with the goal of creating greater openness and understanding. Carl’s change of heart is one focused on loving others and founded on the teachings of the Savior and modern-day prophets and will help you to be a better, more loving disciple of Jesus Christ. Links: Mormon and Gay (LDS Church Sponsored) North Star
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53 min
October 29, 2016
Mentoring Relief Society Presidents Through Love | How I Lead: DeAnna Murphy
DeAnna Murphy serves as a Stake Relief Society President in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She also runs Strength Strategy where she consults businesses, coaches, and individuals. She was born in Provo, UT, but grew up in Canada. She met her husband at Ricks College, and had 3 children. DeAnna shares a touching spiritual moment she had during General Conference a few months after giving birth to a daughter with spina bifida (9:14). She said “It helped her look forward rather than focusing on the challenges that were to come." * United in hearts and mind: Looking forward, rather than seeing challenges and obstacles. “If ye are not one then ye are not mine.” How do we get everyone on the same page and get a 360 degree perspective. (13:30) * Talk to leaders about where their strengths are, “Where is Zion happening here and now?” (16:00) * “Stop looking at what’s wrong and focus on what is right, and how can we get more of it?” (16:55) * Differently Imperfect: When we are authentic with others, and ourselves we can progress (18:15). * Don’t judge. The first thing the Savior did is love. (21:45) * As a Stake Relief Society President, “Here is why I’m here.” D&C 43:8-9 & 16 (23:15) * Uplifted and edified together: Monthly One on One visits (24:19) to talk about many things including their personal life, and reviewed the questions “What has the Spirit taught you this month? What is working well and what keeps you up at night?” * How to not start from a deficit point of view? (29:38) * DeAnna's experience being called as the Stake Relief Society President (31:30) * “If I love them, they will find their own way.” (36:08) * We need to know who the leaders are (37:25) * Finding direction and goal setting (41:27) * Mosiah 4:11-12 Always rejoice and be filled with the love of God (53:24) Links: Wendy Ulrich Interview Weakness is Not a Sin, By Wendy Ulrich Strengths Strategy Website Written Transcript Kurt Francom (LS): In this episode we talk to a stake Relief Society president. Buckle up. She knows her stuff. LS: In this episode we are going all the way to Minneapolis and talking to DeAnna Murphy. And this is so good. She is a stake Relief Society president. Really has a great perspective on how to approach this calling, and I think this is a calling that so many people get into, and they’re not overly certain what it is they’re supposed to do. And so she has a great framework and model that she followed and did and such inspiration that any leader will gain from this. If you know a Relief Society president - and don’t act like you do, there’s one in your ward, OK?- email this episode to them and they will be blessed by what DeAnna has to offer, and her perspective and how she approached her calling as a stake Relief Society president.  It’s a fantastic one. LS: Today I have the opportunity to interview DeAnna Murphy. How are you DeAnna? DeAnna: I am wonderful, Kurt. Thanks so much for the opportunity to be here today. LS: Yeah, well, you know you were recommended that I reach out to you by Wendy Ulrich, and Wendy’s episode, if any of you have not heard, would be one to definitely not miss. And it was great to go to her home and meet her, and when we were talking about other individuals that I could interview, you were probably the first name that came out of her mouth.
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77 min
October 25, 2016
What I Learned About Leadership When My 2nd Counselor Left the Church
In August of 2015 I was released as bishop, but my second counselor didn't show up to be release. I was concerned about what he was going through. A few months before that meeting Heath, my 2nd counselor, disclosed to me the faith struggle he was experiencing. He had been striving to put his doubts to rest and gain a new level of conviction to the Restored Gospel. I was even more shocked when he and his family removed their names from the roles of the Church. . Thankfully my friendship with Heath has continued. We have had many uplifting conversations over lunch. These discussions were so uplifting that Heath suggested I interview him for my podcast. He was mainly joking, but I liked the idea. It turned out to be a special experience for me. I have learned so much about faith and testimony, and what leaders need to be aware of when members in their ward doubt. . I strongly encourage you to listen to the episode above and then share it with a leader and a friend. Episode Summary Heath is an immigration attorney in Salt Lake City, UT. He completed his undergraduate work at Brigham Young University-Idaho before graduating from the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University. He became active in the LDS Church as a Junior in high school and later served a mission to Ecuador. He has served as Elders Quorum President and most recently as Second Counselor in the bishopric when Kurt (podcast host) served as bishop. He, his wife and their three kids stopped attending church the day the bishopric was dissolved and in June 2016 chose to remove their names from church records. . In this podcast Heath tells his story of the doubts he had, his struggles with uncertainty, the day he finally got an answer and how he has begun to feel more at peace since discovering others like him who are struggling with similar issues but who believe in the church and are still able to serve. . Kurt also explores one of the most difficult questions facing leaders in the church: How to encourage individuals who are struggling in their faith—in their quest for certainty—without discouraging them or putting too much pressure on them to get there? Podcast Summary with time marks (Transcript Available Below): * Began to have concerns about certain aspects of church history in 2006 as a student at BYU-I (8:30) * Began reading Rough Stone Rolling, a biography of Joseph Smith by author Richard Bushman * Took a class in law school entitled "Joseph Smith and the Law" that caused further doubts on what he had read (11:20) * Soon after law school, took a job at a non-profit in Salt Lake City and was called to serve as Elders Quorum President (13:45) * Became consumed with the goal of extinguishing all doubts in order to feel like a more effective leader * Continually prayed, fasted, attended the temple and did all of the things he was taught to do in order to receive the testimony he desired * Feelings of uncertainty intensified when he was called as Second Counselor in the bishopric, as he felt he was supposed to know all of the answers whenever there was a question posed to him * Desired to have the kind of testimony Elder Holland speaks of, one that is able to warm the hands of others, but got to a point where he could no longer say that Joseph Smith was a prophet. * As he wanted to know more and more if Joseph was a prophet, and feeling like he couldn't get an answer or couldn't recognize it, he became increasingly depressed. Questioned if the problem was him. Was he not good enough? (24:00) * Received an answer one Sunday afternoon that provided relief for a time. That relief was gradually replaced with thoughts of,
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65 min
October 22, 2016
How I Lead as Primary President | An Interview with Ladean Anderson
Ladean Anderson is a stake primary president in Ithica, Michigan. In this interview we discover how she approaches her calling in the unique area where she lives. What is your typical approach on Sundays and what do you ask of your counselors? (13:30) * Goal is to have monthly contact with ward Primary Presidencies (call / email / text / personal visit) How can we better support ward Primary Presidencies and help them to lead beyond week-to-week administrative tasks? (15:00) * You are not alone * Reach out to priesthood leaders and other members of your Ward Council How the Savior and the Church provide a way for our children to be strengthened (19:12) * “The world will teach our children if we do not, and children are capable of learning all the world will teach them at a very young age. What we want them to know five years from now needs to be part of our conversation with them today. Teach them in every circumstance; let every dilemma, every consequence, every trial that they may face provide an opportunity to teach them how to hold on to gospel truths.” Rosemary Wixom - Stay on the Path - October 2010 General Conference * Nursery is taught, “I am a Child of God” * Junior Primary taught how to choose the right * Senior Priary taught how to be valiant in keeping their covenants Be a student of Handbook 2, Chapter 3 - Leadership in the Church of Jesus Christ (21:05) * Study in Presidency meetings. * Two phrases I live by in preparation and planning (21:52) * Preparation = Revelation * The introduction to Handbook 2 begins by saying, “The Lord admonished, “Let every man learn his duty, and to act in the office in which he is appointed, in all diligence” (D&C 107:99). Church leaders seek personal revelation to help them learn and fulfill the duties of their callings. Studying the scriptures and the teachings of latter-day prophets will help leaders understand and fulfill their duties. The Lord has admonished leaders to treasure up in their minds continually the words of God so they will be receptive to the influence of the Spirit (see D&C 84:85).Leaders also learn their duties by studying the instructions in Church handbooks. These instructions can facilitate revelation if they are used to provide an understanding of principles, policies, and procedures to apply while seeking the guidance of the Spirit.” * “It might be wise to look at the handbooks and even the scriptures not as checklists or detailed scripts, but rather as opportunities to prepare our minds and hearts to receive divine inspiration for our responsibilities”
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32 min
October 18, 2016
5 Prophets Overwhelmed by Their Call to Leadership
Dr. Mark R. Grandstaff, PhD., a former Presidential Advisor and Fellow of numerous leadership think-tanks, is President and CEO of Renaissance-Thinkers, an educational consulting firm.  He is a Certified Master Practitioner in the field of Jungian Depth Typology.  His work on strategic leadership and the role of individuation and archetypal awareness has been cited as a refreshingly new approach to self-awareness and creativity by leaders like Bronco Mendenhall and Stephen Covey.  An emeritus associate professor of History and Institutional Leadership at Brigham Young University, he has lectured at UC Berkeley, UCLA, Oxford, the London School of Economics, The University of Victoria, New Zealand and The University of Maryland, College Park.  He assists people in getting to know themselves better through tying their work into their larger life journey — hence, finding a renewed sense of calling and mission, excitement, and satisfaction in their careers and lives.  His Church assignments have spanned Ward, Stake and Area callings.  He and his spouse, Amy L. Dixon, Esq., reside in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA and have recently returned from a mission to Frankfurt, Germany. Enter Mark... The Journey Back:  Vision, Crises, and the Role of God in Our Lives. We are all on a journey — A journey back to God who gave us life.  And as religious leadership, we are here to provide vision and work with people so that they might develop their God-given attributes.  As President Lorenzo Snow explained, “Our spirit birth gave us godlike capabilities.  We were born in the image of god our Father; He begot us like Himself. There is the nature of deity in the composition of our spiritual organization; in our spiritual birth our Father transmitted to us the capabilities, powers and faculties which He Himself possessed. . . .”  (The Teachings of Lorenzo Snow, comp. Clyde J. Williams, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1984, p. 4). Indeed, as it is recorded in D&C 4 and 2 Peter 1, we are one with the Divine Nature.  Our leadership calling is to help people understand this.  We are not earning the celestial kingdom, as I once heard, rather we are returning after having recognized that it is our internal, external, and eternal home.   In my 40+ years in the Church (I was a twenty-year old convert) — most of them in some kind of leadership position — I learned that yes, the Saints need Jesus personally, but usually what they need is for another person to be a Christ to them.  I often have had to ask myself what does it mean for me “to be Jesus” in my work, my relationships (especially with family), my ward and the world. Most of my time was taken up in calling, encouraging and pointing out the hand of the Lord in a given person’s life.  I usually started by reviewing Christ’s sojourn.  A careful reading of Matthew 3, 4 and 10 demonstrates that Christ was baptized, acclaimed of God and then tested, proved and taught while in the desert.  When he was proved, he went out and called twelve others to be his inner council and students.  Those whom he called recognized that Christ offered them a vocation (a way and purpose in life) which went beyond what they did as a job.  Who better to show them the way than a man who was able to overcome the world through His own series of crises by continually choosing God’s purposes for His life.  Times of testing Christ’s sense of vocation included the desert and the cross.  And the Lord’s time in the Garden demonstrated to God again that, despite the Savior’s pain, He was willing to have the Father’s will be done.  He chose God and His ultimate purpose — to overcome death and atone for mankind’s sins.   I do not know of many Mormons who overcame the world without at some time reaching a crisis...
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45 min
October 15, 2016
Connecting With Youth | How I Lead as Young Women President
Angie Young is a mother of 3 young girls and serves as a Young Women President, just outside of Ogden in Clinton, Utah. She was married in the Salt Lake Temple to her husband that she met online.  When asked what makes her a unique Mormon, she says, "Her time away from the church in her early youth, gives her a unique perspective on the gospel.”  She currently works from home in addition to being a mom, and has makeup line called, “Younique.” 5 Key Leadership Principles * You gotta have love (11:25) * Overcomes  the challenge of having a large group of children * Know their story (11:55) * When you know about them it’s easier to love them and apply them to the program. * Love them through their challenges * 13:15 use social media to contact them * Anytime you know of something to encourage or support them * 14:16 Be with them, be true and connected with them in the minute. * Getting to know you activity (15:08) * Write numbers on a beach ball then play music.  When the music stops, which ever number your right thumb is closest to it corresponds with a question.  The girl with the ball answers the question along with anyone else who would like to.  Quirky questions are the best.  An example is, “If your life was a book, what would the title be?” * Making Fudge in ziplock bags. * Do as I do (17:33) * Never ask the girls to do something you won’t do yourself.  An example of this is a service project at girls camp. * “In the middle, hands on leader.” * 18:48 Bubblegum pink cowboy outfit * Feelings (20:40) * "It doesn’t matter if the girls like me or if they don’t, it only matters how they feel around me.” * My goals it to have them feel the spirit, to feel important, and to feel like they matter. (21:40) * It takes a village (22:25) * As a leadership team, together we have everything we need. * Recognize unique talents in each other. * Presidency meets every other week and once a month with the class advisers and personal progress specialist * Meet at around the circle table to talk. * Working with the Bishop (28:55) * They have always had her back and trusts her. A big thanks to Buster Summerhays for writing up this summary.
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38 min
October 11, 2016
The Secret to Keeping Sacrament Meeting on Time
Most bishoprics that have been set-apart longer than a few weeks will know the feeling of trying to read the mind of the speaker at the lectern that has gone over their allotted speaking time by a few minutes. "Do they not realize their time is up? It sort of sounds like they are concluding their remarks. But he said he would be sharing a list of 7 analogies and I think he is only on number 4. But look at the clock, I'm sure he realizes his time is up." Before the bishop knows it, the speaker has carried on and now the meeting is almost over, and there is still a 15 minute talk standing by. With only 5 minutes left in the meeting everything will feel rushed and there is little room for the Spirit to settle. This is a tough situation, especially if you have little experience presiding over a meeting. The reality is, most members of the Church are inexperienced when it comes to public speaking. They tend to over prepare because they don't want their message to sound shallow or be too short. When a member of the bishopric asks them to speak for 10 or 15 minutes that feels like an eternity to them. After spending weeks preparing they think their outline will take 10 minutes to deliver but it will actually take 25 minutes. The task of putting a well-rounded outline together hasn't left them any time to practice to see how long the talk will actually last. Their nervousness is generally magnified once they stand at the lectern and they fail to ever look at the clock to pace themselves. They have one mission: get through their outlines and then sit down. They then plow through their 25 minutes of notes and sit down not realizing they have been unintentionally disrespectful to the other speakers and to the audience. This inexperience causes the bishop to sweat, the other speakers to become frazzled since they now have to cut down their talk, and the audience is more distracted by the sideshow of everyone stressing out on the stand. An in-depth discussion took place in the Leading Saints Helpers Facebook group about this topic (yes, you should join this group). Many noted how difficult it is to be that concluding speaker when the previous speaker takes up all of your time. Others talked about the agenda gymnastics the bishopric has to do in order to conclude the meeting on time, including skipping the intermediate hymn or musical number, asking the concluding speaker to simply bear a testimony, or just riding it out while the Sunday School teachers glare at the bishop. After reading the discussion in the Leading Saints Helpers group the solution is found in two simple priorities: (1) bishopric preparation and communication, and (2) having the presiding authority ask someone to pass a note to the speaker reminding them that their time is up. Bishopric Preparation & Communication As the old proverb goes, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." I would encourage any bishopric or ward council to review the article 3 Tips For Bishoprics That Lead to Better Sacrament Meeting Speakers. This article includes great tips on how a bishopric could effectively prepare and communicate to potential sacrament meeting speakers instructions that would lead to more spiritual meetings, or using a term from Elder Bednar, more spiritual revelatory experiences. In short, the bishopric or presiding authority could communicate quickly with the member prior to the meeting and simply emphasize that the purpose of the meeting should be focused on the Savior and His gospel, and clarify when they expect them to conclude their remarks. Gently Tell Them Their Time is Up
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9 min
October 8, 2016
Baptized at 19, Bishop at 22 | How I Lead Interview with David Deford
David Deford has an amazing story. Born and raised in Indiana David became involved with various drugs that contributed to his leaving home during college (without telling his parents). He experienced glimmers of God’s love during this time and ultimately met his wife, Kathy, when he picked her up as she was hitchhiking. They were introduced to the Church while hitchhiking cross-country and through God’s grace received answers to their prayers and they chose to be baptized. After several months, they did exactly that. Three years later, at the age of 22, David was called as bishop of the ward in Lexington, Kentucky. As bishop, he focused on the youth—including attending seminary, youth conference and girls’ camp--and put the best people he could in youth leadership positions. He even released one of his counselors to serve as Young Men President! Later, as branch president of a small branch in Wahoo, Nebraska where there were only two youth, he thought creatively and, through the stake president, called other young members of the stake to attend church in Wahoo. David also served as branch president of a Sudanese refugee branch and had the opportunity to teach self-reliance. Serving with people who came from very violent backgrounds, David faced death threats and other unique situations where he learned a lot. While service as social media and public affairs representative, David trained other leaders how to use social media to help in missionary work and to benefit the church. David now serves as bishop again in Omaha, Nebraska where he lives with his wife. 5 Leadership Principles: * Shake it up - intentionally break with traditions * Treat the Ward Council as Senior Executives - trust their revelation as leaders of the ward * Focus less on Sunday business and more on Sunday worship - leaders need to be in class where they can worship with the other members of the ward * Focus on the Youth (Adults can take care of themselves) - listen & ask questions during * Let Counselors and Councils handle the organization; focus on ministering - leaders need to know they can make decisions David works as a leadership speaker, trainer, coach, and author. Links: http://www.daviddeford.com/
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67 min
October 4, 2016
Creating an Atmosphere to Share the Gospel | An Interview with Manoel Bezerra
As Elder Dallin H. Oaks referenced in his 2016 October General Conference, Manoel Bezerra is a Brazilian cab driver who makes a habit of handing out copies of the Book of Mormon; especially when the Rio Summer Olympics were in town. He is passionate about missionary work because he remembers fondly his own conversion to the LDS Church in New York after honest prayer and meeting the missionaries. He now serves as a member of his stake’s high council. Ashley Kewish of KSL News put a spot light on him when she was in Brazil for the Olympics. She was originally planning on interviewing an Area 70 of the Church, but when she found her cab driver to be LDS and a strong missionary, she knew she had a story to bring back to Utah. Manoel always heard of people who had never heard of the Savior and after a brief car ride with a Chinese individual, he was determined to carry around copies of the Book of Mormon in every language possible so he could be ready. He put his card inside of every book so that anyone who receives it has a way to contact him with additional questions. He strives to let the spirit be his guide as he brings up the gospel with clients who ride in his cab and in his everyday life. Manoel has had many experiences sharing the gospel as a cab driver. He’s always looking for a moment where he can bring up the gospel and share his testimony. Manoel has helped his family join the church. He’s held many callings that have strengthened his desire to serve and find the joy in each calling. He recognizes that he’s on the Lord’s errand to share the message of the gospel and he’s been blessed with the opportunity to share with so many different individuals. Interview Transcription The following is a rough transcript of the interview. Please excuse the many grammar mistakes or misspelled words. It is our intention to make the transcript available as soon as possible rather than perfect. Kurt Francom (LS): Today we are headed down south to the beuatiful land of Brazil to Copa Cabana Beach just outside Rio De Jenero to talk to Manoel Bazerra. How are you, Manoel? Manoel: I'm doing very well, sir! I'm doing well, Kurt. LLLD: We are recording this at the beginning of September of 2016 so how is the weather down there in Rio De? Manoel: It's cloudy, it's drizzling. You know it is not one of those gorgeous buatufil days. As I'm a cab driver, raining is a wonderful day because people have need for the cab. LLLD: So you pray for rain as everyone else prays for sunshine? Manoel: Well, I just let it come. When it comes I appreciate it. LLLD: I bet! That's fantastic! The original way I got in contact with you, I saw a story on KSL here in Utah and I am sure there were other news outlets that carried this story of you being a cab driver during the Olympics that just ended there a few weeks ago and sharing the gospel through sharing copies of the Book of Mormon. It was a wonderful experience. How was the experience of having the Olympics there? 5:06 Manoel: Oh it was fantastic, Kurt. It was really amazing seeing the whole world was here. So many people; different people, you know, they are all very excited and having fun and having a good time. We showed them a lot of hospitality and good manners, it was amazing! I really appreciated it. 5:44 LLLD: Was it quite busy for you then as a cab driver? Is that the busiest you have been in a while? Manoel: It was very nice, it was very busy and especially because of my cab it is written "English Spoken" so people really reach and want, "Hey, come over!" 6:06 LLLD: They like to have the cab driver understand them? Manoel: They prefer, yeah,
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33 min
September 27, 2016
What are the Most Popular Hymns Sung in Sacrament Meeting? | An Interview with Samuel Bradshaw
Samuel Bradshaw is a Church employee and a part-time student. His interest in music and statistic led him to creating a project called SingPraises.net where he analyses how the hymns are sung in the LDS Church. He gathers hundreds of data points from wards around the world and then organizes the data to see which hymns are being sung the most and which hymns are being neglected. A bishopric or ward music chair would find this interview helpful as you seek to better use all the hymns in some way to invite the spirit into your meetings. Top 10 Most Sung Hymns in Sacrament Meeting (Excluding Sacrament hymns) * I Know That My Redeemer Lives (168) * Because I Have Been Given Much (153) * How Firm a Foundation (150) * Lord, I Would Follow Thee (145) * I Believe in Christ (134) * Now Let Us Rejoice (124) * High on the Mountain Top (121) * Teach Me to Walk in the Light (116) * We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet (116) * Choose the Right (114) See the full list HERE. Highlights from the interview: * What is SingPraises.net? (2:00) * How do you gather information about what hymns wards are singing? (7:00) * What are some of the more popular hymns sung? (8:30) * Visit the hymn statistic page * What information do you collect on hymn books? (13:20) * What is the best way a ward could use SingPraises.net? (14:00) * What is the best way to resurrect some forgotten hymns? (17:05) * To get involved with the SingPraises.net project and submit your weekly hymns CLICK HERE Samuel Bradshaw
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24 min
September 21, 2016
The Why of Your Calling | An Interview with Wendy Ulrich
Wendy Ulrich, Ph.D., M.B.A., was a psychologist in private practice in Ann Arbor, Michigan for almost fifteen years before moving with her husband to Montreal (where he presided over the Canada Montreal Mission), then Alpine, Utah. She founded Sixteen Stones Center for Growth, which offers seminar-retreats for LDS women (sixteenstones.net). She is a mother and grandmother, a columnist for Deseret News, a former president of the Association of Mormon Counselors and Psychotherapist, and a business consultant with The RBL Group. Her books include Forgiving Ourselves, Weakness Is Not Sin, and national best seller The Why of Work, co-authored with her husband, Dave Ulrich. Presenter at FairMormon Conference * 2005, 2007 Presentations * 2016 Presentation: What I hope we will teach our daughters (and sons) about the priesthood * What topics interested Wendy most as she researched this topic? (5:35) * Information on how to view / purchase presentations from FairMormon conference Research and Published Books * Let God Love You * The Temple Experience * Habits of Happiness * Forgiving Ourselves: Getting Back Up When We Let Ourselves Down * Weakness Is Not Sin: The Liberating Distinction That Awakens Our Strengths * The Why of Work: How Great Leaders Build Abundant Organizations That Win * Amazon author page The Why of Work (18:48) * Leaders as meaning makers. * Creating meaning for people vs. creating meaning with people. * What is real leadership in the church? * Leaders who focus on meaning create an abundance response (33:55) * How the Lord seeks to empower us * How we can follow the lead of our Heavenly Father to empower others (45:30) * 7 Questions that Drive Abundance (49:38) * What am I known for? * Where am I going? * Whom do I travel with * How do I build a positive work environment? * What challenges interest me? * How do I respons to disposability and change? * What delights me? * “What was really needed was a fundamental change in our attitude toward life. We had to learn ourselves and, furthermore, we had to teach the despairing men, that it did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life,
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59 min
September 17, 2016
Leading as Bishop on a 1-2-1 Level | How I Lead: Mark Sieverkropp
Mark & Lacie Sieverkropp live in Ephrata, Washington where they both grew up as non-members. Examples of LDS friends started their interest in the gospel which led to their conversion. Mark helped fellowship Lacie and they later got married after her baptism. They have now been married 9 years and have two children. Episode Highlights: * How Bishop Sieverkropp was called as bishop (11:00) * Dealing with the complacency of a ward (21:20) * How Lacie has taken on the role/calling of bishop's wife (23:00) * How Bishop Sieverkropp manages the Spanish group in his ward (49:20) * Bishop Sieverkropp's approach to home teaching (53:15) * How has Lacie's time serving with her husband made her a better disciple of Jesus Christ? (57:00) * How has Bishop's Sieverkropp's time as bishop made him a better disciple of Jesus Christ? (58:00) 5 Principles of Leadership * Delegate a lot, focus on doing what only I can do (25:00) * Focus on individuals, connect with members 1-on-1 (31:15) * Stick with the Brethren (33:50) * Train, Train, TRAIN (36:15) * Show appreciation (44:15) Links: What I Wish I'd Known Before My Mission, by John Bytheway Quote by Andy Stanley
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66 min
September 13, 2016
Perfection is Not 100% Home Teaching | An Interview with Yohan Delton
Yohan Delton received his PHD in Applied Social Psychology with an emphasis in industrial organizational psychology.  He was born in France and served a mission in Louisiana.  He has spent a lot of time teaching, he taught at BYU as a graduate student, at the MTC teaching French, and has been teaching at BYU Idaho for 9 years.  He currently teaches the History of Psychology and Organizational Psychology. In this episode Bro Delton shares his personal experiences as well as his knowledge in organizational psychology, and how it applies to leading in the church. * Story if working for the LDS church in Risk Management (13:30) * He started a company called the Burton Group, where he works hands on with students in South East Idaho, to get real world experience in Organizational Psychology (16:30) * The Burton Group was created to make the workplace human * They have found that mangers have a hard time interacting and motivating employees, and making a healthy workforce.  These environments are often too compulsive and mechanical or are too money or incentive driven.  They are missing the human component. * Employees often feel like they are in a machine, are a machine or treated as if they are a replaceable part. * The leader and member relationship becomes transactional * Common themes in programs and missions (16:59) * They are connected to people * Money is a means, it is never an end. * Companies that do things because of traditions (18:00) * Employees feel like they are a machine or a part * There are often more policies and procedures * Theere is little room for the employe to breath * In these circumstances employees are limited as to what they can do.  They very seldom do more than what is asked. * What can a leader to influence the human aspect of the church (23:00) * Ego hinders the work (25:00) * Remember the Lord gives blessings, not us (27:00) * Danger of seeing blessings as transactional * Eternal Rewards * Pavlov’s Primary Children (34:00) * Addressing the behavior not the heart * Great story about displacing the internal desire by awarding behavior * Appealing to the core (36:45) * Reaching out to others hearts is hard to do * Do we worship principles or use them to point to Christ? * Are we trying to create a machine? * People need to feel love. * When we are trying to serve and are we approaching them with the heart of Christ or our ego?  If we approach with our ego then we are wanting them to be more like us, not like him. (46:00) *  Home teaching is a Covenant, not a calling * In regards to home teaching perfection is not 100% of visits, perfection is an event when a home or visiting teacher visits a family and the Lord speaks through them (48:00) Links: Burton Group Drive Book, by Dan Pink Man's Search for Meaning, by Viktor Frankl Teaching, No Greater Call Manual Elder Holland's Education Week 2016 Talk Thanks to Buster Summerhays for writing up the summary to this interview. 
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74 min
September 10, 2016
How I Lead as Temple President | An Interview with Bob & Jenny Cowan
President Bob Cowan served as a counselor in the Australia Brisbane Mission. He has also served as an Area Seventy, president of the New Zealand Wellington Mission, stake president, bishop, and temple ordinance worker. Sister Jenny Cowan has served as a multi-stake young single adult adviser, stake and ward Relief Society presidents’ counselor, stake Young Women president and stake seminary supervisor. Bob learn on his mission that leadership is more about the individual that you’re leading than the group as a whole. After Bob returned from his mission he married Jenny and they struggled with infertility and this taught them to have empathy and that there are always opportunities to reach out and comfort those going through similar situations. Children eventually came into their family and have three grandchildren. Being a mission president was rewarding to Bob and Jenny because they enjoyed being a part of the missionaries lives and seeing how the Gospel change them and helped develop stronger testimonies. As a temple president and matron, they like to focus on making sure that each patron can connect with Heavenly Father during their service at the temple and that the individual is important to include and being flexible helps each person find the comfort and joy in serving. Bob suggested an idea for stake presidents and bishops to invite one individual each week to come in for an interview and help that person become more focused on temple attendance. This individual would be someone who is unendowed, unbaptized, or uncommitted in some way and the invitations would help them focus on their personal journey back to Heavenly Father. (minute marker 40:00) 5 Principles of Leadership (minute marker 44:00) Teaching them correct principles and letting them govern themselves. Return and Report This concept applies to life outside the church as well. We also must not give false praise or over the top praise so they have the opportunity to self reflect and improve. Focus on Outcomes and not Procedures Leadership isn’t about having people do things your way but making sure that end results are what matters most. How did you encourage missionaries to not focus on baptism numbers? Having missionaries feel that they are an essential part of warning the people of Christ’s coming Getting the right leaders in place Zone leaders were never chosen by who baptized more or whether baptisms mean that a missionary is better than any others. The individual’s focus on Christ is the only leadership quality to look for in a potential leader. Worthy Workers Win became a mission standard to be obedient and hardworking. The 90% vs The 10% If your ward has a low percentage of tithing payers, a normal strategy is to having a sacrament meeting to help inspire the members, but really it’s a limiting move. It’s more important to sit down with the individual and talk to them face to face to have them commit to change. The same idea applies to home and visiting teaching, it’s easier to motivate the individual on a personal level rather than as a whole.
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66 min
September 6, 2016
A Framework to Help LDS Teachers Create Memorable Lessons
Imagine walking into your parents' attics after years of living away. You hope to find the box full of your childhood toys so you can share with your own children. You approach a shelf full of cardboard boxes. Some are old, beat up, and most are dusty. Each box is labeled with a piece of tape describing in a few words the contents of the box: Christmas, Grandma's China, Winter Clothes.  Finally, you find the box labeled Children's Toys. You take the box off the shelf and peel back the old packaging seal. As the dusty air of the box escapes you are immediately reminded of memories of happier times. You're grateful for such memories and are excited to share them with your own children. As individuals leave Gospel Doctrine, Relief Society, or Priesthood meeting on Sunday the affects of the lesson rarely get put into a mental attic of retention. One of the many responsibilities of the class instructor is to frame and teach the lesson in a way that will help the students retain the principles. The learner should be able to revisit the topic and feel the same strong feelings of the spirit as they felt while in the class. Many times we attend a class and find it extremely insightful and full of the Spirit. Unfortunately, a week later we have difficulty recalling the specific principles taught. The lack of retention causes us to forget the feelings of the meeting. As an instructor, there are many ways to frame a lesson in order to create retention and engagement. This article is meant to share with you one method I have found effective in helping class members retain principles taught in a class. Using the analogy of the attic and how items are stored using the BOX, the TAPE, and the SPIRIT. The Box—Framing the Lesson In Sunday School the teacher may overwhelm the class with quotes, scriptures, and other content as the brain attempts to compartmentalize them. In other words, the brain is trying to figure out what "box" to put the information in. It's paramount that the teacher (metaphorically) pass out boxes to the class to give them something to "hold on to" during the lesson. Or in other words, frame the lesson in a way that will create boundaries. One of the best ways to give context or frame the lesson is through stories. An example of someone who has mastered this technique is Elder Jeffrey R. Holland (one of the most effective speakers). It's hard to think of a talk he has given that hasn't included a well told story that frames his entire discourse. In 2012 October General Conference he did this amazingly well by telling the story of the disciples at the sea of Tiberias. He stated some verses verbatim then took personal liberties with the story in order to more effectively engage the audience. Something remarkable happened when he framed his talk in this manner. At the end of his biblical retell every last person listening was 100% engaged. All seemed to hold an empty "box" ready to receive the core principles he was about to tell in the remainder of his speech. Telling a story is not only about gaining their attention by making it interesting or funny. It should create engagement AND create a reference point for each principle taught in the lesson. When Elder Holland used the biblical story it didn't end after the first couple paragraphs. It changed from a story to a theme and gave the listener reference throughout the talk. Elder Holland would teach a principles, relate it to the story, and then the listener was able to relate it to their life. Framing the lesson or creating a reference point for the lesson isn't only done through stories....
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10 min
September 3, 2016
How I Lead as Bishop in Abu Dhabi | An Interview with Wayne Brockbank
Wayne Brockbank was a mission president in the Nigeria Uyo and the Ghana Accra missions from 2006-2009.   He has lived and worked as a consultant and professor in Abu Dhabi for the past 7 years and experiences the unique culture of the LDS church in a Muslim country.  He was born in Salt Lake City and grew up in Petaluma, California. As a young man, Wayne along with his wife served missions in the South German mission.  He has degrees from BYU and UCLA and has taught at the University of Michigan where he also served as a bishop for 9 years. He also was recently released as a bishop in Abu Dhabi. In this episode we cover the following topics: * The feelings of being called as a bishop 21:00 * Being LDS in Abu Dhabi among Muslims 29:30 * The growth of the LDS Church in Abu Dhabi 35:00 * The unique challenges of being a bishop in Abu Dhabi 45:00 * Advice to share with other bishops 48:00 * Experiences as a mission president in Africa 56:20 Links Chris Kittle Interview
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72 min
August 30, 2016
What If All Church “Programs” that Compelled Service Were Abolished?
I live in a very transient ward. Some month we get up to 30 new members moving in and roughly the same amount moving out; most of these we never see in church. It's the nature of our ward and it has its pros and cons. This results in the fact that we have a significant number of members on our rolls that we don't know. They are just a name with few facts. About a year ago I went through the ward roster and marked each name that I didn't know. With roughly 500 members on the roles, 190 names were unfamiliar to me. This was concerning. I stewed over this problem for weeks and knew I needed to find a solution. Reactivating these 190 names was a long shot; however, I felt it was our duty to at least know who these people were and understand their basic life situation even if they didn't want to attend church with us. To solve this problem I did what most leaders do; I created a program. I called it the Hour a Week program. If I, as bishop, could find extra time in my week to do interviews and fulfill other responsibilities of my calling than I am sure each active member of the ward could find one hour to knock on doors in the ward and say, "Hi! Who are you? We are here to serve." So that is the program I created. I challenged each member of my ward to find one hour they could take a few names and go find out who these people were. They could choose any day Tuesday through Friday at 7pm; we would meet at a center point in the ward, and then start visiting. To be honest, it worked. We got the number of unknowns down to about 25. It was a great experience! After a few months of doing the Hour a Week program, I realize it took a lot of motivation from me as the leader to keep encouraging members to participate. Once I stopped nagging about the program in church and to my auxiliary leaders it faded away. What happened? Why did I have to create a program in order to get people to seek out the lost sheep? Why did I have to "command them in all things? (D&C 58:26) Why were they not "anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will?" (D&C 58:27) I realized I had a leadership deficit. I had to "compel in all things" rather than building a culture that naturally influenced other to serve. Why Do We Compel Others to Serve? What if all the "programs" that compelled service were abolished? No more home or visiting teaching. No more callings focused on simple tasks (i.e. door greeter, church cleaning, stacking chairs, etc.).  No more activities committee. I realize there needs to be some level or organization of those called to serve. If we opened up all positions (including leadership positions) to anybody that "felt like serving", we may suddenly have a circus on our hands. However, the service culture of our organizations skews towards those in leadership positions to pick up the slack. The list of what only a bishop can do is really quite short. The fact he is greeting people at the beginning/end of church, or that he is visiting more families during the week isn't because he is the only one that has authority to do so. So why don't more member just DO without being compelled? That's the million dollar question and has been analyzed in many forms at Leading Saints. Doing proactive service is much more difficult than doing reactive service. Leaders realize this and create a "program" that changes the proactive act to a reactive act. Instead of just visiting and fellowshipping members naturally, we make lists of families and then follow up at the end of the month to see if they have visited them. Is it good leadership to make everything reactive? I don't know,
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12 min
August 27, 2016
How I Lead as Relief Society President in Texas | An Interview with Beth Young
Today we head down to Friendswood, Texas to visit with Beth Young. Prior to becoming a Texan Sister Young was raised in Arizona in a family without the blessings of the Gospel. In this episode Beth shares what it was like to be raised in a home without the restored gospel by a father and mother who loved her but struggled with alcoholism. Sister Young was introduced to the Gospel in high school which ultimately led to her being baptized, serving a full-time mission, being sealed in the temple and holding leadership callings such as ward and stake relief society president. Beth discusses how her leadership and experience in her own home prepared her to be a leader in the church as she shares how she navigated the waters of motherhood when her children experienced the struggles of mortality. She is very candid in discussing her experiences with one child who battled drug addiction and another who experiences same gender attraction and the heartache of his excommunication. Sister Young teaches us how to show tough yet unconditional love to our children. Links: North Star International 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Steven Covey Young Captain Hook (Beth's son) Andy Young Youtube Channel LDS Addiction Recovery Program A Bishop's Guide to Gay Mormons A big thank to Brandon Leavitt for doing the summary for this episode.
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80 min
August 25, 2016
What the Backwards Piano Man Taught Me About LDS Singles | An Interview with Jason Lyle Black
Jason Lyle Black is an award-winning concert pianist, composer and stage performer from Salt Lake City.  He is also know as “The Backwards Piano Man,” who’s music videos have over 30 million views.  In this interview Jason tells the story of how he went from an EFY performer to performing on the Ellen Show. He gives great advise to parents on how to support your musically-inclined child as well as how leaders can help support members with musical talents in our ward or branch. Black also shares different ways to Home Teach and serve in a Single Adult Ward, and stresses the importance of being a true friend to those you serve. Links: JasonLyleBlack.com Jason's Youtube channel Check out his newest album, Piano Preludes Text "Lyle" to 444999 and get updates about Jason's upcoming concerts. A big thanks to Buster Summerhays for writing the summary for this episode
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80 min
August 16, 2016
Being an Essentialism Bishop | An Interview with Greg McKeown
Greg McKeown has dedicated his career to discovering why some people break through to the next level—and others don’t. He has also dedicated himself to the gospel of Jesus Christ and currently serves as a bishop in Menlo Park, California. From Greg's online bio: "He has authored a remarkable book which was an instant New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less.  As well as frequently being the #1 Time Management book on Amazon, this book challenges core assumptions about achievement to get to the essence of what really drives success." "McKeown is the CEO of THIS Inc, a company whose mission is to assist people and companies to spend 80 percent of their time on the vital few rather than the trivial many. Clients include Adobe, Apple, Google, Facebook, Pixar, Salesforce.com, Symantec, Twitter, VMware and Yahoo!." In this interview we talk about how the principle of Essentialism apply to his calling as bishop and the culture at-large in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Links: Buy Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less Greg McKeown's Website 7 Unbreakable Rules of a Meeting Liz Wiseman Interviews & Articles on Leading Saints Interview Transcript The following is a rough transcript of the interview. Please excuse the many grammar mistakes or misspelled words. It is our intention to make the transcript available as soon as possible rather than perfect. Kurt Francom (LS): Today I'm very excited to welcome and author that I've been following his last few books and been following the content he puts online and it's really been life changing and impactful for me and that person is Greg McKeown.. How are you Greg? Greg McKeown (Greg): I'm just doing wonderful. Thanks for having me. LS: Yeah for sure. Now you are in Menlo Park area in California? Greg: That's it. LS: Now you don't sound like you're accent doesn't sound too Menlo Parkian. Greg: I love how that sounded like you said accident. Referring to my accent. LS: No there's nothing accidental about your accent. Greg: I'm from London, England originally and grew up in Leeds and Yorkshire in the north of England. LS: Great so I know there's a long story behind it but generally speaking how did you land all the way in California from London. Greg: Well, it really started right when I came home from my mission and enrolled in Law school and I just was so hungry to feel the sense of mission and to maintain the sense of mission I've felt for 2 years. I just couldn't seem to feel it fully in law and there's nothing wrong with law and lots of important work to be done there but I just could not sense my complete mission there but I was still in it. I was actually, actually this story that's interesting I was reflecting on recently was I went back to visit somebody in the church office building and they said something just curious and in passing said look if you do decide to stay in America you should come and help us with this event and it wasn't so much what they wanted me to do as that question and the assumption of if you didn't have to do what you are doing if you could do something different what would it be? And so I went down the foyer of the church office building and wrote down on a piece of paper, "What would you do if you could do anything?
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67 min
August 13, 2016
How I Lead in the Kyiv Ukraine Temple Presidency | An Interview with David Terry
David Terry is a former Bishop and Stake President in Washington State. David and his wife answered an advertisement in a newspaper to teach English in China. After this experience, they were able to serve in the temple presidency in the Kiev Ukraine Temple. This interview follows the life and service of David Terry, in and out of the church. He shares stories of successful missionary work and tough times learning to lead and help people return to Heavenly Father. David served in the army during the Vietnam War. His story of attending church abroad during the 1960’s is the jumping off point for his continued dedicated service. David served in the Kiev Ukraine Temple Presidency and his wife served as the assistant to the matron. They then returned to serve again as temple workers for 18 months. They currently live in Utah close to some of their children and grandchildren.
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73 min
August 9, 2016
What did Joseph Smith Learn from the Book of Mormon about Church Leadership? | An Interview with Jerry Smith
Jerry Smith is the author of Schooling the Prophet: How the Book of Mormon Influenced Joseph Smith and the Early Restoration. He is originally from Salt Lake City and served his mission in the Boston Massachusetts area and later returned there to continue his college education. He now teaches in the School of Management at Boston College and also teaches Institute classes in the Boston LDS Institute. He has served as bishop 3 times and in a stake presidency, and in many other Church callings. In this interview we discuss the research that went into his new book and how it relates to the administration of the Church. The following is a brief summary of some of the answers he provided. To hear his complete responses listen to the full episode above. Why did Joseph Smith not quote from the Book of Mormon after he translated it? (15:00) This may surprise you but Joseph Smith rarely quoted from the Book of Mormon after he translated it. This was the same for Brigham Young and for the general membership of the Church during the early restoration. In fact the Bible was quoted 20 times as much as the Book of Mormon. The Bible was such a dominant book of scripture at that time that even the members of the Church mainly quoted from it. Jerry Smith believes Joseph was frustrated by this, as seen in a revelation from the Lord chastising the Church for "treating lightly the things you have received." (Doctrine & Covenants 84:54) Were temple ordinances influenced by the Book of Mormon or by Joseph Smith's exposure to Free Masonry? (22:20) From Jerry Smith's research he is convinced that in the early years of the Restoration Joseph Smith's early vision of the temple worship was not influenced by Free Masonry, but was initially inspired by what he found in the Book of Mormon and in the schooling experiences centered in the Book of Mormon translation period, from 1823 to 1830. From the very beginning when Joseph Smith was receiving "schooling visions" from Moroni, one focus of those visions was the return of the latter-day temple. This set in motion the ongoing search Joseph had in restoring temple worship. He began early on looking to build temples, first in Independence, MO, and then in Kirtland, OH, then in Far West, MO, then Adam-ondi-Ahman, MO and finally in Nauvoo, IL. Obviously, these temples, other than at Kirtland and Nauvoo, were never constructed but it was clear that Joseph felt an urgency to restore temple worship. His restoration of the temple was influenced early by temple worship protocols in the Book of Mormon, as well as in the Bible. Nephi talked about the Temple of Solomon and as a model for his own temple (there are 3 temples mentioned in the Book of Mormon). Jesus' temple worship at Bountiful provided models for priesthood leadership and instruction. The Book of Mormon people also had smaller altar sanctuaries in local communities. Joseph must have been impressed by this pattern of many temples and altar sanctuaries in the Book of Mormon. Dual-Form Worship (28:00) Dual-Form Worship is a term that Jerry Smith uses in his book to point out the unique characteristic that the restored Church has, where we worship in small chapels on the Sabbath and then separately attend the temple on another day. No other Christian church has this form of worship. There is only one mention of the word synagogue in the Old Testament. The Book of Mormon records synagogue worship and temple worship happening side-by-side in many accounts. Why Does the Presiding Authority Take the Sacrament First? (31:30) Joseph Smith recognized the details and protocols that were being followed in the ancient Church in America. One of those protocols is that the presiding authority first takes the sacrament. We see this example in 3 Nephi 18 when the Savior blesses the sacrament and first gives it to his disciples and...
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82 min
August 6, 2016
Using Social Media in Stake Public Affairs | An Interview with Geoff Thatcher
Geoff Thatcher grew up in Farmington, Utah in an LDS home. He is a descendant of the apostle, Moses Thatcher. He served his mission in the Kentucky Louisville Mission. He graduated from BYU in Journalism and now lives in Cincinnati, Ohio where he works with large corporations to help them create attractions and museums to advertise their brands. Geoff Thatcher's calling involves working with all stake public affairs directors in a coordinating council (group of stakes). In the interview Geoff talks about the shift that is happening in the direction we are receiving from the general authorities to use social media and technology more activity to spread the message of the gospel. The following is a summary of some of the points he makes. For a full understanding of his message it is recommended that you listen to the full audio episode. Encouragement from our Latter-day Prophets to use social media and other internet tools Handbook 2 21.1.22 now states: Members are encouraged to use the Internet to flood the earth with testimonies of the Savior and His restored gospel. They should view blogs, social networks, and other Internet technologies as tools that allow them to amplify their voice in promoting the messages of peace, hope, and joy that accompany faith in Christ. Geoff quotes Elder M. Russell Ballard who said in his 2007 address at BYU-Hawaii (the same year the iPhone was released), "With new technological tools, you can further the work of the Lord by joining the ongoing conversation about the Church." This was a big moment for members of the Church to hear from one of the 12 Apostles encouraging them to participate in the conversation online related to the Church. This comment was followed up a few years later by Elder Adrián Ochoa when he said in his 2012 April General Conference address, "the Internet, social media, and other technologies are tools the Lord has placed in your hands to help you exercise your priesthood duties and extend the influence of truth and virtue." Elder Perry later encouraged the same message in his talk, Missionary Work in the Digital Age when he stated "Just as missionaries must adapt to a changing world, members must also change the way they think about missionary work. In saying this, I wish to make it clear that what we, as members, are asked to do has not changed; but the way in which we fulfill our responsibility to share the gospel must adapt to a changing world." Finally, this message came loud and clear from Elder Bednar during the 2014 BYU Education Week when he stated, "I believe the time has come for us as disciples of Christ to use these inspired tools appropriately and more effectively to testify of God the Eternal Father, His plan of happiness for His children, and His Son, Jesus Christ, as the Savior of the world; to proclaim the reality of the Restoration of the gospel in the latter days; and to accomplish the Lord’s work." The Church has come along way and still has some adjustments to make in order to really leverage the available internet tools to effectively spread the gospel. Geoff talked about a personal example of a missed opportunity when he took the sister missionaries out for Cincinnati chili and interacted...
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71 min
August 3, 2016
11 Funeral Tips for Bishops & LDS Leaders
When someone dies in a local ward many families turn to the bishop and or Relief Society president for direction and organization. In this episode I interview Greg Ballard, who is a former bishop and has had 20+ years of experience as a funeral director in Salt Lake City, Utah. We discuss some best practices of conducting and facilitating funerals. To get the most out of what Greg Ballard discusses it is recommended that you listen to the attached episode in its entirety, but here is a brief summary of the big take-aways: 1. Read the handbook This should come as no surprise to any leader. The handbook discusses simple policies that will help guide a leader to have a successful funeral program and one that is in harmony with the spirit of the gospel. This information can be found in Handbook 2, 18.6 and Handbook 1, 17.2.2 2. Create a Funeral Committee The bishop or Relief Society president should not attempt to plan and organize the funeral proceedings by themselves. The funeral experience creates high emotions for the family of the decedent and the funeral experience should be a positive experience for them. Any sign of disorganization or mismanagement can cause frustration with the family. Having a funeral committee of ward members that can help plan the program, prepare the building, assist in dressing the decedent (if needed), and organize the family luncheon. Because theft of the family home is common since funeral details are often published in local newspapers, it is a good idea to have members of the funeral committee monitor the family home so that the home doesn't remain empty and vulnerable to theft. Funeral committees are not only for wards with a higher level of funerals. Any ward could assign individuals to a funeral committee that are trained and ready to help when a ward member passes away. 3. Be ready to recommend a funeral home to the family Many families will not have prearrangements in place for their recently deceased loved one. They most likely will look to the bishop for suggestions and recommendations of a funeral home to use. The bishop or Relief Society president might find it helpful to get familiar with the local funeral homes in the area so that they can confidently suggest one for the family to consider. The leader can assure the family that any funeral home is ready to take their loved one into their care 24-hour a day. They are just a phone call away, ready to serve. 4. Be prepared to educate non-LDS funeral directors LDS leaders living in Utah have the luxury of dealing with funeral directors that most likely have an LDS background or are at least familiar with LDS customs. These funeral directors will easily guide certain details while respecting the customs of LDS funerals. However, if you live in an area where the funeral director is not familiar with LDS customs, it would be nice to have the local bishop or Relief Society president make sure the funeral director is educated on these customs and offer help where needed. 5. It's not required that the family dress the decedent Some family members might feel obligated to dress the decedent. It is not required that family members dress the body. If the decedent was temple endowed and the funeral home is not familiar with the dressing, this is another area where the ward funeral committee can be helpful. 6. Be ready to conduct a funeral with cremated remains When I served as a bishop, a member of my ward passed away and was cremated. At the funeral I found myself a little unprepared with certain details, like how the urn would be displayed during the services. Thankfully the family was patient with me as I discussed with them how they felt most comfortable with displaying the urn. They ended up not even bringing the urn to the chapel. A funeral with cremated remains presents new questions to consider be...
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102 min
July 30, 2016
The 5 Pillars for Leadership in Life | An Interview with Scott Newman
In this episode I interview Scott Newman who has had over 25 years of leadership experience in Corporate American and now shares of that experience by teaching business courses at LDS Business College. One class inparticular that he teaches is called Leadership for Life where he focuses on 5 pillars of leadership. We take time to discuss some of these principles and how they relate to leadership in the LDS Church. The 5 Pillars for Leadership in Life * Jesus the Master Leader * Charting Your Course * Inspired Mentoring * Problem Solving & Improvement * Execution & Evaluation Scott also shares the reason his stake president got rid of the high council table, what his stake has done to improve home teaching, how to leave a legacy as a leader, and many other principles that will have a dramatic impact on how you lead.
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71 min
July 26, 2016
An Important Field Trip Every Bishop (or Relief Society President) Needs to Take
Buster Summerhays lives in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. He was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. He served a mission in Ft. lauderdale Florida 2004-06. He has been married for 8 years, no children yet. He is a former bishop. Enter Buster… Thanks Bishop, but now what? As a newly called bishop in the inner city of Salt Lake, there were a lot of things I didn’t know, but this was one of the questions that worried me the most. I felt that if I gave a member a Bishop’s Order for Commodities (food and supplies, clothing, household goods or an authorization for services) that I should be able to let them know what happens when they go to redeem it. I found that some members were well versed with the Church’s Welfare Resource program, while others had no idea. Visiting the Bishop’s Storehouse I took a few days off of work my first week as bishop and visited Welfare Square in Salt Lake City, starting with the Bishop’s Storehouse. I walked in and told the shift coordinator that I was a recently called bishop and wanted to see what my members will experience when they come to turn in their order. The brother in charge had me first view a PowerPoint that volunteers review before they serve. Although I can’t remember everything I learned, there is one point that stood out to me. It was a small point, but it made a big impact on me. They mentioned that volunteers are to help push the cart around the storehouse and the recipient are to put the goods into their cart. This was to help foster self-reliance. This left such an impression upon me because it taught me that self-reliance does not always mean applying for x number of jobs per week; it could start as simple as putting your own groceries in a cart. The next activity was a tour of the storehouse. They showed me how all of the food was organized on the shelves in the same order as it was on the Bishop’s order form. There was even a particular way recipients and volunteers are to walk up and down the aisles. This reinforced to me the need for order in our lives. Often times members that are looking for assistance when they find their lives in chaos; the order found at the storehouse was an effective example of how our lives can have order. The last thing I did was meet the shift coordinator. I asked him the same questions I asked the coordinators at all of the other locations, which was, “If you had a microphone and could speak to all of the bishops in your boundaries, what would you say?” He offered a few good tips. First, to go back to my office and review the printed dates on the bottom of my orders. He said that often times bishops are writing requests on outdated forms, and that creates a sticky spot for them when they no longer offer that item and have to find a substitute. The second item of value was that it was ok to have members volunteer service hours before receiving their order, all I had to do was make a note at the bottom stating how many hours of service needed to be fulfilled before the order was issued. Deseret Industries My next visit was to Deseret Industries. While there I did the same thing; I asked the store manager what a member could expect when they were coming to fulfill an order that I had completed. He walked me around the store and showed me items they offered, including those that were new or could be requested new, such as jackets. I was amazed at everything they offered! I then moved on to the skills training that the DI offers. They have a wonderful training program to help individuals learn the skills necessary to gain employment. They train for many different skills, ranging from how to understand a schedule, communicating with your manager and co workers to how to drive a forklift or count change back from a cash register. It truly was amazing. They were teaching many skills that most would take for granted. Had I not known about these services,
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10 min
July 23, 2016
Being Bishop in Florence Italy | How I Lead: Marco Ferrini
In this episode I am pleased to introduce you to the voice of Leading Saints Italia, Marco Ferrini. Marco is a bishop in Florence, Italy and got turned on to the Leading Saints podcast last year by another bishop who recommended it to him. He loved the resource so much that he contacted me about doing a similar podcast in Italian. I am excited to extend the Leading Saints brand over to Italy and continue the work of enhancing leadership in the Church. Bishop Ferrini also talks to us about his Italian pioneer heritage. His mother was one of the first members in Italy. He has served in most leadership callings available in the Church and now has had the opportunity to serve as bishop for the last couple of years. Bishop Ferrini's 5 Leadership Principles * “Remember, Brethren, in this work it is the Spirit that counts.” – Ezra Taft Benson - https://goo.gl/zZjtWZ * “Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved.” – President Monson - https://goo.gl/5ghC6c * “For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.” – Mosiah 3:19 * “I did read many things unto them which were written in the books of Moses; but that I might more fully persuade them to believe in the Lord their Redeemer I did read unto them that which was written by the prophet Isaiah; for I did liken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning.” - 1 Nephi 19:23 * “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” – Benjamin Franklin - http://goo.gl/rfzN0W Links: "Do not spend more than two nights a week away from home..." -Elder Robert D. Hales WhatsApp Slack Clash Royale Snapchat Episode Follow Marco on Snapchat @Marcowakko Listen to Marco Rap
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82 min
July 19, 2016
Motivation & Building Teams in Latter-day Saint Councils | Guest Post by Blake Dalton
Blake Dalton is a full-time teacher from West Valley City, Utah. He served a full-time mission in Eugene, Oregon. He has served as an elder’s quorum president, a high councilman, executive secretary, and currently serves as the bishop of his ward. Also be sure to listen to Blake's How I Lead interview. Enter Blake… In April and May Freakanomics Radio did a series of episodes on self-improvement. This seemed right up my ally because, as a self-proclaimed “lazy perfectionist,” I am always looking for ways to improve. While listening to these episodes I could not help notice what was being discussed through the filter of serving in Church callings. One episode in particular peaked my interest. The episode was titled How to be More Productive. The interview involved two main guests, author Charles Duhigg who wrote the book Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business and Laszlo Bock, senior vice president of People Operations at Google. One main aspect of the episode I want to share with you was in relation to a major study that Google conducted called Project Aristotle, You can find more information about that study in the article What Google Learned From Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team. Project Aristotle was implemented because Google wanted to discover the best way to build the perfect team. This Project was a topic of discussion in Charles Duhigg’s recent book (referenced above). I could not stop thinking about Ward Councils and presidency meetings while listening to this episode and how some of these concepts could help our attitudes as we participate in those meetings. There were many topics discussed in the episode but the two I want to focus on here relate to our callings: Motivation and Building Teams. Motivation Duhigg explains that our motivation or lack of motivation stems from how much we feel we can control the outcome of any situation. Psychology calls this the Locus of Control (Latin for location of control). There is an internal and external locus of control, meaning that we believe that we are in control of an outcome (internal) or we believe our environment or other people are in control of the outcomes we desire (external). So in short if we feel we can dictate outcomes then we are more motivated to do it. If we feel we have no control in a situation we are more likely to give up or perform at less than full capacity. Think of how this works in our daily lives, starting a new diet for example. We exercise and eat right and don’t see any change in our waistline, so we blame genetics, lack of willpower or the holidays for our inability to lose weight… and then we give up. This would be an example of an external locus of control. I think it's safe to say that most of us would rather be in control of our own outcomes rather than waiting and relying on others to accomplish them for us. However gaining an external locus of control can become a habit. Just look at the child who is told to clean their room and sits on the floor waiting to be told how to clean it, or for a frustrated parent to come in and clean it for them. Or the home teaching companion who never sets the appointment or hopes that his companion forgets about home teaching all together. While gaining an external locus of control can be habit forming and a bad one at that, building an internal locus of control can be habit forming as well. Perhaps Elder David A. Bednar says it best when he states,
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22 min
July 16, 2016
Fellowshipping LDS Australian Aborigines | How I Lead: Sister Christine Shaw
Christine Shaw is no doubt an individual on a mission of service. Though she has completed a formal mission with her late husband in Malaysia, she has been on a mission all her life. In this episode she tells of her experience as a Relief Society president and Primary president in a branch that was started with the help of herself and her husband. She tells interesting stories of helping invite Australian aborigines to church and some of the stories of faith that they showed in joining The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
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54 min
July 12, 2016
Why Your “Without a Shadow of a Doubt” Testimony is Hurting Your Leadership
One of my favorite gospel stories is about the father who brings his possessed son unto the Savior to be healed (Mark 9). After pleading with the Savior's disciples "that they should cast him out; and they could not," the Savior quickly rebuked His disciples. He then turns to the father and says, "If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth." The father's response has lead me to hours of pondering. The father says, "Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief." In the same sentence, it seems that the father proclaims his faith in the Savior and then has a crisis of faith. In the beginning I can hear the conviction in his voice stating an unwavering testimony as he says, "Lord, I believe!" Then doubt snatches that conviction and turns the tone into a plead, "help thou mine unbelief." "Without a Shadow of a Doubt" Testimonies As latter-day saints we experience something similar. We have a culture that highlights those that can stand at the lecterns of the Church and proclaim, "I know the Church is true without a shadow of a doubt!" Such conviction is inspiring, and deep within my own testimony I probably wouldn't hesitate to use such an LDS cliché. I believe... I know... I have a witness... It doesn't matter how we testify. As we testify, we sincerely want to communicate that we have received a spiritual witness and we want others to receive that same witness. It has been decades of "without a shadow of a doubt" type of testimonies, or some form of them, announced from lecterns, tearfully shared in Sunday School, and even testified in bishop's offices. However, my fear is that all these years of conviction has created a culture of "gold-stars-on-foreheads" or honoring those with the right kind of testimony—that you only belong if you have received such a dramatic witness and can stand with a broad chest and speak such words. The general believing membership of the Church didn't intend for this. Of course, everyone sharing their testimony wants all to come unto Christ, and their only intent with sharing such a bold testimony is to produce other bold testimonies. But what about the individuals who showed up on Sunday with a prayer on his or her heart that says, "Lord, help thou mine unbelief?" Do they feel like they are among struggling saints seeking for sanctification? Or do they feel out of place because it seems everyone else has arrived? The Leader Testifies Now what about the local leaders of wards, Relief Societies, or quorums? Of course they have conviction of the gospel truths, and I count myself among them. They don't hand out these leadership responsibilities to the public doubter. The Church needs leaders who can boldly proclaim their witness. And the last thing a leader should do is fake uncertainty of their faith in order to validate those that truly are uncertain. The doubter needs validation nonetheless. They need to know their leader not only understands their struggle to receive a testimony, but that the process of faith they are going through is normal and not a spiritual handicap. So, what's a leader to do? How can the leader make room for those that are not as far down the path of conviction as other members of the ward? Invite Them to Share the Struggle When I was bishop and I found myself initiating the fast and testimony meeting on 1st Sundays of the month by sharing my own testimony, I would make it a habit to invite all to stand and share their version of their testimony—even if that testimony contained overtones of struggle and delayed certainty. It would be refreshing to hear in a testimony meeting the simple words, "I want to believe, but I'm not sure I'm there yet." Or, "I thought there was no room for a shadow of a doubt in my heart, but this week was tough.
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18 min
July 9, 2016
How I Lead as Bishop in Leesville, Louisiana | An Interview with Dr. Chris Kittle
Chris Kittle lives in Leesville, Louisiana and works as an oral maxillofacial surgeon (a really awesome dentist). He has been bishop for 2+ years for a military ward. In this episode he shares with us his Catholic background, joining the LDS Church at 19 and then serving a mission in Brazil at the age of 22. Bishop Kittle's 5 Leadership Principles * Be Flexible * Use Your Counselors * Communication, Communication, COMMUNICATION * Follow the Spirit * Listen to Leading Saints Links: Text 2 Group App
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63 min
July 5, 2016
From Inactivity to Bishop | An Interview with Warwick & Samantha Allen
Warwick & Samantha Allen live on the east coast of Australia in beautiful city of Brisbane. Warwick is currently serving as the bishop or his ward and his wife Samantha is a great support and has many years of leadership service herself. In this episode we learn about their unique background of gaining a strong testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ while dealing with growing up in a home impacted by divorce. We talked with Samantha about how her single-parent family was supported by her ward. Warwick talks about his awkward experience in the youth program and how it lead him to go inactive in the church for more than 14 years. His story of returning to the gospel will inspire all who listen to it and then how he has developed his leadership ability to lead his ward for the past six years. The Allen's 5... 6 Principles of Leadership: * Lead from Behind * Love Your Counselors * Embrace Your Sisters * Show the Members Your Heart * Impart Confidence and Optimism * Tomorrow is Another Day
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82 min
June 25, 2016
The Book of Mormon DNA Debate | An Interview With Ugo Perego
From time to time church leaders will counsel with someone in their flock that has concerns and confusion related to how science relates to the Book of Mormon; more specifically how DNA relates to the people talked about in the Book of Mormon. It would be beneficial for all leaders to listen to this podcast interview and also review the links below. This will help leaders to have more confidence when counseling with someone that is having a faith struggle because of a scientific perspectives. Dr. Ugo Perego is currently Director of the Rome Italy LDS Institute. He is a Population Geneticist and has consulted with the LDS Church related to the Book of Mormon and DNA. He contributed to the research mentioned in the Church's Essay about this topic. Dr. Perego is also a bishop in Rome, Italy. Bishop Perego and his wife, Jenna Links: Book of Mormon & DNA Studies Essay Joseph Smith DNA Research Elder M. Russell Ballard CES Talk Foundations of the Restoration Manual Pathway Program A Reason for Faith Book
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81 min
June 21, 2016
What Every Leader Can Learn from King Mosiah
Mosiah: the Consumate Leader We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion. —Joseph Smith, D&C 121:39 In the history of the world, we're hard-pressed to find more George Washington's. That's part of why he's so revered and even deified. He could have taken a lot more power after the war, like Bonaparte and Cromwell. He didn't. Not only did he not amass power to himself, but he even rejected consolidating too much power in the office of POTUS. The most enduring example of this is probably his refusal to put himself up for re-election for a third term. It set a precedent that was honored for well over a century afterward, and then made law in the 22nd Amendment in 1947. Interestingly, the Book of Mormon has a number of such leaders. If that was the only history you knew (like a Nephite might) you'd probably think these sorts of leaders were somewhat common. The truth is, they're extremely rare, and there's maybe only a few other candidates in all of world history. Book of Mormon Leaders That book starts right off with Nephi, who was so beloved by his people they called kings that came after him 2nd Nephi, 3rd Nephi, and so on. The name "Nephi" literally came to mean "king" or "honored leader" among them. He was able to lead with such unselfish effectiveness, that all his people loved and revered him. He was also able to give up that power, selflessly choosing a righteous successor who was not his own descendant (it appears), before he died. Captain Moroni also comes to mind. He had the hearts and minds of the people, and command of the army. He even marched on the Capital to overthrow the government, when he perceived a lack of ability on their part. But he doesn't go to take over or become dictator, he simply wanted a government that would support the fight for freedom. He had no desire to be supreme ruler. Many others could be listed here as well: Mosiah I, King Benjamin, Alma the Younger, Mormon, and others. They are these selfless leaders who had a great deal of power, but didn't use that power for evil or in selfish ways. They only exercised that power to do the will of the Lord and help their people. They're the ultimate leaders and absolutely deserve studying. Mosiah II Mosiah II stands out in my recent studies. As a king and judge, he's faced with 2 major controversies in his time. The first is when many non-believers are persecuting the members of the Church. His kingdom becomes divided between those who believe and those who do not. The division occurs when many of a new generation grow up. They don't remember king Benjamin and the things he taught, nor did they experience the captivity of Limhi's people or Alma's followers. They turn to wickedness and apostasy. These non-believers commit many sins, and are brought to the priests with witnesses who testify of their iniquities. The priests take them to Alma, because they don't know what to do. This kind of widespread and public wickedness hasn't been a problem among the Nephites before. Alma doesn't know what to do either. So he takes them to Mosiah. In Mosiah 26:11 we read what Alma said to Mosiah: Behold, here are many whom we have brought before thee, who are accused of their brethren; yea, and they have been taken in divers iniquities. And they do not repent of their iniquities; therefore we have brought them before thee, that thou mayest judge them according to their crimes. Now, the typical leader would see this as a problem to be solved, and if he's power hungry (as most are), an opportunity to amass more power. He'd quickly judge these people and thereby set precedent that he's the supreme jud...
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17 min
June 14, 2016
How I Lead the LDS Young Women in Sao Paulo, Brazil | Interview with Neal & KaLee Mortensen
This was a fun interview! I had the chance to chat with Kalee and Neal Mortensen, both Arizona natives, who have been living in São Paulo, Brazil for the last 2 years. They have had a unique experience as newly weds in a foreign country while also attending a familiar church. Neal, who served his mission in Brazil, has served as ward clerk and is currently in the bishopric. Kalee is the Young Women president and has learned Portuguese since she has been there. As we learn about their leadership experience we also learn about the status of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Brazil and how their culture influences the day-to-day life of a Latter-day Saint in Brazil. We talk about some of the ramifications sensitive policy changes has had in Brazil, what apps are helpful for Brazilian leadership, and what it's like speaking in stake conference in a 2nd language. Listen in. Links "Things As They Really Are," Elder David A. Bednar Same-Sex Marriage in Brazil Why Youth Leaders Need to Use Snapchat WhatsApp Slack
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63 min
June 11, 2016
5 Preparation Tips for Teaching in Church With More Power
Guest Post: Brigham Rupp Brigham Rupp is a full-time seminary teacher in Gilbert, Arizona. He’s served as elders quorum counselor, executive secretary, stake Sunday School, and currently serves as bishop. He served a mission in Chicago, Illinois and share many of his scriptural thoughts at The Silver Grey.  Also be sure to listen to Brigham's How I Lead interview. Enter Brigham… One of the things I love (and sometimes hate) about teaching is that a teacher never "arrives." No matter how well you teach, you can always do better next time. It's no secret that teaching in the Church has room for improvement (as John Milton wrote, sometimes "the hungry sheep look up but are not fed"), nor is there a shortage of material meant to help us do better. In the spirit of Elder Jeffrey R. Holland's plea that we "revitalize and re- enthrone superior teaching in the Church," here are five preparation tips that will take your teaching to the next level. There are hundreds of valuable teaching tips (see links below). These five are focused on common mistakes we make in our approach to teaching in the Church. While easier said than done, remembering these will make our teaching easier, more enjoyable, and most importantly more powerful. 1. Focus on teaching people, not lessons Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. - John 21:17 I know this sounds like a meaningless gimmick, but following this simple maxim changes the entire approach to teaching. Because teaching for most of us is such an anxiety-inducing activity, our natural tendency is to focus on ourselves from the onset. "How am I going to use up the time? What am I going to do? What am I going to say? How am I going to be received?" The danger is to give our lesson all the attention instead of the students. This tendency is manifest when we teach well prepared "lessons" that are not relevant to our students, when we rush past questions because we need to "get back to the lesson," or when our minds are blank after a meaningful comment because while they were talking we were thinking about the lesson plan to which we are so rigidly attached. As we pray for charity and focus on our students, we empower the Spirit to direct us in ways that will bless those we teach. Elder Dallin H. Oaks taught, “A gospel teacher will never be satisfied with just delivering a message or preaching a sermon. A superior gospel teacher wants to assist in the Lord’s work to bring eternal life to His children.” 2. Determine what to teach before you plan how to teach. And again, the elders, priests and teachers of this church shall teach the principles of my gospel, which are in the Bible and the Book of Mormon - D&C 42:12 This one is harder than it sounds. Again, because we are so often focused on ourselves, we have a natural tendency to jump straight into how we're going to teach when we sit down to prepare. This is a huge mistake and it makes preparation very difficult. Powerful teaching usually comes from knowing what specific principles and doctrines you want to emphasize. I don't just mean "I know I'm teaching the Gospel Essentials lesson on Prayer" or "I'm teaching the Sunday School Lesson on 2 Nephi 32-33." This is not enough. In any given Church class, you generally have enough time to effectively cover one or two specific principles. These should be identified so specifically and clearly that someone could ask, "What did you want us to learn today?" and you could respond with a single clear sentence. So for example,
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13 min
June 9, 2016
A Glimpse of Being a Bishop | Helping Bear Other’s Burdens
A few years ago a close friend was over at my house visiting with my wife (we will call her Ashley). As I entered the room Ashley said she wanted to tell us about a conversation she had with one of her longtime friends. Ashley's friend called the day before to let her know she experiences same-sex attraction. They had a good talk about the gospel and what this means for her spiritual journey going forward. Ashley was touched that this person felt comfortable enough to share this information with her. Ashley said it was remarkable how much compassion she felt towards her friend because she cared about her so much. Ashley then said, "It's just been on my mind all day, I had to share this experience with someone." A subtle bishop smile came to my face as I said, "Imagine if people told you this sort of stuff every week and there is nobody you can share it with." Bearing Other's Burdens--A Form of Christ As I pondered on this conversation I had with Ashley, it made me reflect on some of the experiences one has as a bishop that many don't experience as often. This process of someone coming to you with a huge burden they carry, looking for someone else to assist in the carry. Suddenly the stakes of the baptismal covenant become reality, and you aren't sure you are "willing to bear one another's burdens, that they be light." (Mosiah 18:8) Throughout the scriptures there are many forms of Jesus Christ mixed into each story. His atonement is the central message of the gospel and is represented in all things therein. When one is asked to stand and bear the burden of others, it is simply a form of Christ. Psalms 55:22 Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. Matthew 11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Alma 24:21 Yea, and in the valley of Alma they poured out their thanks to God because he had been merciful unto them, and eased their burdens, and had delivered them out of bondage; for they were in bondage, and none could deliver them except it were the Lord their God. The Burden of Leadership (Available to All) In Numbers chapter 11 Moses pleads with the Lord because of the burdens of his people that he is called to carry (another form of Christ). These verses sound like they are coming from the lips of every bishop of the church. (emphasis added) 10 Then Moses heard the people weep throughout their families, every man in the door of his tent: and the anger of the Lord was kindled greatly; Moses also was displeased. 11 And Moses said unto the Lord, Wherefore hast thou afflicted thy servant? and wherefore have I not found favour in thy sight, that thou layest the burden of all this people upon me? 12 Have I conceived all this people? have I begotten them, that thou shouldest say unto me, Carry them in thy bosom, as a nursing father beareth the sucking child, unto the land which thou swarest unto their fathers? 13 Whence should I have flesh to give unto all this people? for they weep unto me, saying, Give us flesh, that we may eat. 14 I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me.  Bishops find themselves bearing others' burdens more often than they may want to (like Moses), but this "burden-carrying-blessing" is available to all, regardless of leadership title. From time to time, one will experience (as did my friend Ashley) the feeling of representing Christ and bearing other's burdens when they need it most. The atonement of Jesus Christ does not fall from the sky in the form of magic pixie dust; it generally comes through people--other servants called at that time to give a hug or an open ear. As Moses pleads later in Numbers chapter 11:29, "would God that all the Lord’s people were pro...
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7 min
June 7, 2016
Having a Game Plan for Sunday School | An Interview With Greg Trimble
Greg Trimble is a very popular blogger that produces great content around LDS culture (see gregtrimble.com). Part of that content includes leadership articles, teaching articles, and some inspiring words for those serving full-time missions. I had the opportunity to interview him for the Leading Saints podcast about leadership and what inspires him to write about leadership. It turned out to be a great discussion and I look forward to sharing with you his perspectives about being a stake Sunday School president (spoiler alert: it's more than ringing the bell). Leadership Articles by Greg: What Every Leader Should Learn About True Leadership What To Do If You Don't Want to Sustain A Church Leader The One Thing Every Missionary Should Learn Before They Leave You Know... It's Alright to Smile at Church Other Links: Greg Trimble's Blog "Lift Where You Stand," President Uchtdorf "The Greatest Leaders Are the Greatest Follower," President Stephen W. Owens "Teaching in the Saviors Way" Elder Ballard's CES Talk Mosiah 5 Game Plan Pro
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57 min
June 4, 2016
6 Reasons LDS Youth Leaders Need Snapchat Accounts
Disclaimer: When I first wrote this article I was naive to the strong negative opinions some parents and church leaders have against Snapchat. I hope to get all your concerns recorded so we only offer the best guidance on Leading Saints. Until we do so, please read the following article with an open mind and know that the author is not trying to recommend anything that would harm youth or put them in inappropriate situations.  It should also be noted that the LDS Church recently created a Snapchat account and is doing a great job connecting with youth through this popular social media platform. You can follow the Church @ldschurch on Snapchat. You have seen the youth in your Sunday class giggle as they all take a silly group selfie on Snapchat. You allowed such silly behavior before the lesson starts, but you never considered participating. Snapchat appeared immature and only for the youth. Well, times are changing. Now is the day that you, as a LDS youth leader, need to be on Snapchat. I know, you never anticipated this day to come, but it's no longer an option. If you really want to connect and form bonds with your youth, they need to see you on Snapchat. Here are 6 reasons why... 1. It's Not What You Think It Is Early on, Snapchat earned the stigma of being a naughty app. Pictures shown on Snapchat disappear after viewing them, which led to the idea it was perfect for sexting and trading inappropriate pictures. This was the practice of some users but it is definitely not allowed on the platform. About 1% of photos shared on Snapchat are sexually explicit and they won't randomly show up in your account unless you voluntarily connect with Snapchatter that do so. It is against the terms and conditions of Snapchat to post "content that contain pornography, graphic violence, threats, hate speech, or incitement to violence." (Snapchat Terms) This content should be reported and the account producing inappropriate content will be suspended. So, no, it isn't an evil app, but it can be used for evil just as much as other popular platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Google. 2. Youth Are Fleeing Facebook Adult leaders probably feel pretty hip now that they have their own Facebook account. Sorry to tell you this, but that was totally last decade! Facebook has a problem, and they know it. The youth are bored with Facebook and many don't even bother to check their feed regularly. Apps like Snapchat provide a more dynamic experience that appeals to the youth. So if you only have a Facebook account to stay in touch with your youth, it might be time to join the world of 2016. 3. It Humanizes You As a Leader A recent University of Michigan study revealed that Snapchat brings more happiness than Facebook. Facebook is built on idealism. Don't we all have those friends on Facebook that appear to always be on vacation or finishing their third marathon of the week? That's because people only put their best of the best on Facebook. The way that Snapchat is set up causes people to be real. You can only view the photos and messages shared in the last 24 hours on Snapchat. S0, you get what you get. No constant bragging about your trip to Europe that you took 6 months ago. By participating in Snapchat you show your youth the real day-to-day of your life. Sitting at work. Watching your kid play soccer.
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42 min
June 2, 2016
The Power of Delayed Recognition
Like any Mormon boy who was raised going to a church with an indoor gymnasium, I love playing basketball. It was one of the focuses of my teenage years and it taught me many life lessons. One of the great things about basketball is you can learn so much about the character and personality of individuals that are on the court. A manager would have an easier decision about whom to hire by watching them play a pick-up basketball game compared to a sit-down interview. The only problem is, this would require each person you interview to have fundamental basketball skills. Many would look like confused rodeo clowns if you pushed them onto the hardwood. I digress... Many articles could be written about the personal human characteristics which are manifested by playing team basketball. However, I would like to discuss a theory that comes from my time playing hundreds of church ball games. Most people find it beneficial and appropriate to be a good teammate by showing good sportsmanship to the other players on their team. This is why you see many high-fives, pointing at one another after a big play, and even yelling "GOOD JOB" after a teammate makes a good play. Cheering after a play is culturally normal. The loudest part of a game is when a player makes a basket. In my years of playing basketball, whenever I try to shout my congratulations to a teammate immediately after his big play, all the other noise, coming from players, coaches, and the crowd, would drown my voice out. But if I waited 5 seconds for the noise to dissipate then my praise was more likely to be heard. This same principle is applied in LDS leadership. Imagine sitting through a sacrament meeting talk that is downright remarkable. After the meeting, you—along with others—approach the speaker and thank him or her for the remarkable job. This is fine and very encouraging. I can think of many times I have given a talk and people have thanked me after the meeting. It feels good and encourages me the next time I am asked to speak. However, there is something magical that happens when we delay the recognition. The pause should be much longer than the basketball analogy of 5 seconds—more like 5 hours or 5 days. When someone accomplishes something great and their leader calls them (or writes a letter) a few days after, the praise is received with more impact; it is heard more clearly because the noise of other superficial acknowledgements have diminished. The next time you are impressed by the performance of someone in your life, especially someone you lead, give them a quick pat on the back and then delay your words of recognition until it will be heard more clearly.
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5 min
May 31, 2016
A Journey of Conversion | How I Lead: President Sesily Lee, Relief Society
Sesily Lee is an inspiring Relief Society president in Las Vegas, Nevada. If you are an avid listener to this podcast you might remember her husband, Trent Lee, when I interview him prior. It was a fantastic episode and this one might be a little better. :) In this interview we hear Sesily's engaging story of conversion as she grew up in a less-active home and had many influential people in her life that guided her to the gospel. She married in the temple and currently has a beautiful family as she serves as Relief Society president. Links: Her husband's How I Lead interview Elder Holland's talk, "An High Priest of Good Things to Come" SignUpGenius Jack Christianson talk
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73 min
May 26, 2016
From US Senator to Mormon | An Interview with Senator Larry Pressler
In this podcast, we talk to a 3 Term Senator that just became a Mormon. Senator Larry Pressler from South Dakota, Retired.  He was baptized in April 2016. While Senator Harry Reid helped him along the path, he first read part of the Book of Mormon in a Marriott.  He served with many in senate and house that were Mormon and has had a lot of feelings and run-ins with members along the way.  It’s been a 30 year journey. Senator Pressler confirmed that Harry Reid has a stack of Books of Mormon to give out in his office, he openly talks about the church. Senator Pressler currently teaches Sunday School-his first calling in the church, and is an Elder. Clayton Christensen baptized him, and was introduced by Harry Reid.  Clayton once shared Moroni’s prayer with Senator Pressler. He shared that he wishes he had listened to his inner voices earlier in life. General leadership guidance he’d give: You can be a leader in any capacity-parents, etc. Leadership by example is the most important thing. He’s still learning, searching. Links: Larry Pressler's Books
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16 min
May 21, 2016
Mental Illness & the Bishop’s Office
Jeff Case is a clinical psychologist, former elders quorum president, return missionary, and gay Mormon. In this interview we primarily focus on the basics a ward leader need to understand about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, personality disorders, suicide, and other mental illnesses. It's a fascinating discussion with best practices of how to help these individuals find a place in the walls of the church and really feel apart of the ward. We take a few minutes at the end of the episode to discuss what life is like being a gay, married (to a woman), active Mormon. Listen in. Links: North Star Elder Holland's talk on depression David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism Voices of Hope: Jeff Case https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAPzZVaAbFY Watch extended version HERE.
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75 min
May 17, 2016
Leadership Systems | How I Lead: Ross Richey, High Priest Group Leader
Ross Richey is originally from North Ogden, Utah. He is currently serving as a high priest group leader in South Salt Lake, Utah. In this episode Ross shares his 5 principles of leadership and other unique perspectives on leadership. 5 Key Leadership Principles * Be excited * Show Up * Have a system * Identify the Sheep * Take advice and wisdom from everywhere Links: Getting Things Done Doctrine & Covenants 93:30 C.S. Lewis Doodles
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53 min
May 10, 2016
The Art of Significance in LDS Leadership | How I Lead: Bishop Dan Clark
Dan Clark is an award winning motivational speaker and best selling author. He has traveled to 59 countries in the world motivating the masses to create a life of significance. He has also served as a Young Single Adult (YSA) bishop (twice). I first came across Dan's speaking ability when I listened to his BYU Devotional. It inspired me to be a better leader in the Church and it inspired me to get him on the podcast as soon as possible. After a few miraculous encounters, I was able to meet Dan and he willingly agreed to sit down with me for an interview. This is definitely one of the top 3 interviews I have done on Leading Saints and I am excited to share it with you. We discuss his young football career at the University of Utah, how he became a motivational speaker, his time teaching public speaking at BYU, how he was called as a YSA bishop, what he learned from that calling, how to run a linger-longer, how to increase the rate of marriage in a YSA ward, how to increase the quality of teaching in a ward, the power of stories and how to record them, and other basic guidance for public speaking in church. Transcript is available below. Links Dan's 21st book, The Art of Significance Dan's BYU Devotional Address Book: The New Drug DanClark.com Interview Transcript: Kurt Francom (LS): I had the opportunity to be be invited to Dan Clark's home and— how are you Dan? Dan Clark (DC): I’m great Kurt. How are you, Bishop? LS:Good. Well, you know I appreciate— you've been kind of on my bucket list of interviews for a while and I think my first initial introduction to you was when (remove the I)you gave a devotional address at BYU and I think I'd probably been familiar with some of your work before, but that was sort of one of those moments I was like, “Wait, that guy is Mormon?” [laughter] So— and I really enjoyed them and I thought, “I've got to track him down and see if I can interview him,” and we randomly ran into each other at an event and I said, “Hey! Would you mind if I interviewed you?” and you were so gracious to say, “Yeah, come on over and we'll do it,” so I appreciate that. DC:Oh thanks, you just— your comment reminds me of my mentor, Zig Ziegler- he used to always say, “If somebody has to ask if you are a Christian, you must be doing something wrong,” so I apologize that you didn't know that I was a Mormon. [laughter] LS: Obviously I didn't have too much experience with you to make a moral judgement on your background but ... DC: On on funny note, I'm a public speaker so I'm usually on a huge stage. Most of my audiences are about four to ten thousand folks and there is always kind of like a follow spot . Back in the day I used to have the craziest comments. People would come up and go, “Are you a Mormon?” and I'd just look and them and smile, and I'd say something like, “Why, do I glow?” and they would say, “Oh no, I saw your garment mark on your suit pants,” and I'm like, “Are you serious?” That's just funny. LS: Well, all the way from the top tier and they can pick you out? DC: Oh yeah, that's funny, so— proud to be Mormon, proud to be a Latter-day Saint. LS: Nice, now many people may know you as an author. You've written twenty one books, right?
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121 min
May 7, 2016
Understanding the Willpower Trap in the Bishop’s Office
The following conversation might sound familiar to many bishops: Bishop: So you are struggling with pornography addiction? Brother Neveragain: Well, Bishop, it has happened a few times but believe me it won't happen again. Nooooo way! I can't believe I did such a thing when so much is at stake! From here on out it will NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN! Regardless of the sin, bishops hear claims like this all the time. Brother Neveragain is very convincing. He said it with determination in his eyes. He said it with a clinched fist. He PROMISED! But then he left the comfortable bishop's office; the sound of hymns are no longer fresh on his mind; the feeling to be better is distant. Now he's in a dark basement all alone with his computer. Brother Neveragain then becomes Brother Relapse. What you have just witnessed is the willpower trap. So many addicts leave it to personal willpower to lift them from addiction. The real problem with Brother Neveragain is that he is blaming his addiction on his lack of willpower. The authors of Change Anything call this tragically wrong: It's wrong because it's incomplete. And it's tragic because it gives us nowhere to go when we struggle to change our own bad habits or improve our lot. When people believe that their ability to make good choices stems from nothing more than their willpower—and that willpower is a quality they're either born with or they're not—they eventually stop trying altogether. The willpower trap keeps them in a depressing cycle that begins with heroic commitment to change, which is followed by eroding motivation and terminated inevitably by relapse into old habits.(Change Anything, chp 1) If you allow Brother Neveragain to keep thinking he will succeed because of willpower, he will continue to fail and he will begin to think he can't change because he "just wasn't born with the willpower that success requires." The problem isn't that he doesn't have the willpower; the problem is that he is blind to those things that are encouraging the addiction. Brother Neveragain may go home and listen to hymns all day but he doesn't consider the fact that his gloomy marriage is playing a major role in his addiction. The next time you have Brother Neveragain in your office make sure he doesn't walk out relying on his willpower. To further understand the willpower trap check out the book Change Anything. How have you handled the willpower trap?
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6 min
May 4, 2016
The Bishop That Quit Home Teaching | How I Lead: Bishop Scott Bumbaugh
I first came across Bishop Bumbaugh's name when I read his article called, What Happened When I Quit Home Teaching. I thought it was a fantastic story and I was pleased to see he was serving as a bishop in Huntsville, Texas. I reached out to Bishop Bumbaugh and he agreed to do an interview with me and talk about how he leads. In this episode we discuss his conversion to the Church and what guided him to a career teaching high school German. He's shares with us how he was called to be the bishop and how accepting the call was a very difficult decision to make. He also shares how he has led best by serving, thinking outside the box, and focusing on the little things. Links: What Happened When I Quit Home Teaching Interview with Aggieland Mormons
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54 min
April 30, 2016
Helping Members Control Technology in Their Home | An Interview With Skylar Walker of Router Limits
I had the opportunity to attend the Utah Coalition Against Pornography Conference in February where I met the owners of Router Limits, a hardware company looking to help families control content coming into their home. Their stuff is cutting edge and they are experts in the field. I set up a time to visit their Layton, Utah office and interview their CEO, Skylar Walker. In this interview Skylar gives bishops and families a few tips to do a tech audit on their home at no expense. I've posted some screen shots below that give you a visual of how to protect devices from negative content. Promotional Offer for the Leading Saints Audience CLICK HERE to get 2 MONTHS FREE and support Leading Saints by using Router Limits. VidAngel - Rent Filtered Movies for $1 Screen Shots Google SafeSearch YouTube Restricted Mode NetFlix Rating Restrictions Apple iOS Parental Controls Android Parental Controls
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50 min
April 26, 2016
How to Stay Awake On the Church Stand | How I Lead: Scott Hall
Scott Hall lives in Taylorsville, Utah and was recently released as bishop after a call to serve in a stake presidency (with my brother). He is a successful real estate agent and is supported by a wonderful wife and 6 children. We talked about his few years serving as bishop and most importantly, how to stay awake in church when everyone is watching you. He talks highly of the examples he has had in his life and the many leadership lessons they have taught him. 5 Leadership Principles: * Stop Trying to Fix It * Personal Worthiness * Example (Father, Husband) * Learning the Names of Members * My Wife Links: How to Remember Names Interview with Chad Francom LDSCallings.com
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61 min
April 23, 2016
A Conversation About Being Single in the LDS Church
Local LDS leaders are always striving to help single members of the Church feel comfortable in their wards. Each individuals situation is so different that it is difficult to know exactly how to support them. I wanted to gather a group of single LDS members in a room and discuss their experiences with being single in their ward. We talk about the stigma of eternal marriage, the doctrine of sealings, the impact children face, how leaders can help them maintain worthiness, and how to show support when they decide to start dating again. The individuals on this panel interviews include Liz, Brooks, and Brian and Laura Hales. Links: Brian & Laura Hales Interview About Joseph Smith's Polygamy "A Reason for Faith" Book
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60 min
April 21, 2016
The Ward Fellowship Rating
On a scale from 1 to 10 how well does your ward members know each other? During a 3rd hour 5th Sunday lesson we had a short activity that was quite telling. As the bishop, I allowed everyone to settle into their chairs where ever they wished. Many sat by friends or spouses, others found any available seat. During the lesson I randomly seated everyone into groups of four. I then had each person rate on a scale from 1-10 how well they knew the other three people in their group (1 = just met, 10 = BEST FRIENDS FOREVER!!!). I then asked the group to add up and find the average rating between the four group members. We then wrote down each average on the board and then took the average of the entire room. My ward is generally friendly so I anticipated the average to be 5 or 6. I was shocked when the average came out as 2.5. Two point five!?!? We then discussed ways to improve that average. Imagine if the fellowship average was a strong 8 or 9. Think of what a new member of the ward would experience as they walked into the chapel for the first time? They would never want to leave or they would for sure look forward to attending the following week. Is a 9 or 10 possible? I think so. If not, it is worth trying for. I challenge you to put your elders quorum or Relief Society through this experiment. Post your findings below. If you are above 7 I want to visit your ward and see what you are doing right.
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4 min
April 20, 2016
“What could I have done better?” | Leader to Leader Episode 18
This Leader to Leader story comes from a BYU Devotional called Constructing Spiritual Stability, by Elder Dale G. Renlund: On one occasion I was assigned to accompany Elder Neal A. Maxwell, then of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, to a stake conference. It was marvelous to be with one of the most remarkable gospel teachers of this dispensation. At the conference I gained an insight into how he had developed and magnified what was undoubtedly a God-given gift. As we were driving away from the stake center on Saturday evening, he turned in his seat and asked me, “What could I have done better to teach the principles we taught?” I thought he had to be joking. But he kept on grilling me until he extracted from me a comment about some minor thing that might have been slightly unclear. The next day, in the Sunday general session of the stake conference, he clarified that minor thing that I had mentioned. I realized that I was with a humble disciple of Jesus Christ who welcomed counsel, was committed to being a lifelong determined learner, and desired to become better. How we receive counsel makes a difference in whether those around us will feel comfortable in giving us counsel. We can become prickly, cantankerous, and defensive, or we can welcome the input, knowing it is given with loving motives and, if taken in the right spirit, will help us learn and improve.
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4 min
April 19, 2016
A Question for an Apostle | How I Lead: Trent Lee
In this episode we hear from Trent Lee in Las Vegas, Nevada. He has rich experience as an instructor, teaching Gospel Doctrine, early morning seminary, ward mission leader, and currently serves on his stake's high council. We start off the interview by sharing both of our personal experiences of with Elder Oaks and how that influenced us as leaders. Trent's Leadership Principles: * What I learned from Elder Nash * Presidency meetings * Monthly home teaching PPI’s * How and what to report for home teaching numbers * Family mission plan Elder Bednar Quote About Alma: “You will be called President by all the people in the stake and that’s appropriate. But I never want you to hear the word ‘President.’ Every single time someone calls you ‘President’ I want you to think of Alma. You read Mosiah 23 through Alma 40 and you become Alma. You’re not running an organization here. You are Alma. And as you begin to organize this new stake, I don’t want you to just fill up the boxes; don’t just call a new stake Relief Society president, don’t just call a new Young Women’s president. You get real clear about the priesthood work. You need help from the Relief Society and the Young Women and others, and you be real clear about what that is and you can’t be clear if you haven’t figured it out for yourself. In fact, don’t you call any stake auxiliaries until you, President Alma, are clear about the priesthood work you need help with.” I said, “And by the way, you only have one task, Alma. Shepherd people to the temple. that’s it. You’re Alma. Shepherd people to the temple, that’s it.” ("A Conversation On Leadership", February 24, 2010) Links: Download Trent Lee's Agenda Template Here justserve.org Increase Home Teaching by 20% WorkFlowy Doctrine & Covenants 43:8 Leading Saints also interviewed Trent's wife
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76 min
April 13, 2016
“We’ve got to find her.” | Leader to Leader Episode 17
A story told by Bruce C. Hafen in 1979 in his talk Love Is Not Blind: Some Thoughts for College Students on Faith: I once had an experience that taught me a great lesson about the way a highly developed tolerance for “being realistic” can inhibit the workings of the Spirit in our lives. When I had been on my mission in Germany about a year, I was assigned to work with a brand new missionary named Elder Keeler, who had just arrived fresh from converting—or so he thought—all the stewardesses on the plane from New York to Frankfurt. Within a few days of his arrival, I was called to a meeting in another city and had to leave him to work in our city with another inexperienced missionary whose companion went with me. I returned late that night. The next morning I asked him how his day had gone. He broke into a big smile and said that he had found a family who would surely join the Church. In our mission, it was rare to see anybody join the Church, let alone a whole family. I asked for more details, but he had forgotten to write down either the name or the address. All he could remember was that the family lived on the top floor of a big apartment house. “Oh, that’s great,” I thought to myself as I contemplated all those flights of stairs. He also explained that he knew so little German that he had exchanged but a few words with the woman who answered the door. But he did think she wanted us to come back—and he wanted to go find her and have me talk to her that very minute. I explained to him that the people who do not slam the door in missionaries’ faces are not all planning to join the Church. But off we went to find her, mostly to humor him. He could not remember the right street either, so we picked a likely spot in our tracting area and began climbing up and down those endless polished staircases. After a frustrating hour, I decided that I really needed to level with him. “Based on my many months of experience,” I said, “it is simply not worth our time to try any longer to find that woman. I have developed a tolerance for the realities of missionary work, and I simply know more about all this than you do.” His eyes filled with tears and his lower lip began to tremble. (That elder was no dummy—he recently graduated from Boalt Law School at Berkeley.) I remember it so well—he said to me through those tear-filled eyes, “Elder Hafen, I came on my mission to find the honest in heart. The Spirit told me that that woman is going to join the Church, and you can’t stop me from finding her.” I decided that I had to teach him a lesson. So I raced him up one staircase after another until he was ready to drop, and so was I. “Elder Keeler,” I asked, “had enough?” “No,” he said. “We’ve got to find her.” I began to smolder. I decided to work him until he pled with me to stop—then maybe he would get the message. Then, at the top of a long flight of stairs, we found the apartment. She came to the door. He thrashed my ribs with his elbow and whispered loudly, “That’s her, elder. That’s the one. Talk to her!” Not long ago, brothers and sisters, up on Maple Lane a few blocks from here, that woman’s husband sat in our living room. He was here for general conference because he is the bishop of the Mannheim Ward. His two boys are preparing for missions; his wife and daughters are pillars of the Church. That is a lesson I can never forget about the limitations of the skepticism and the tolerance for ambiguity that come with learning and experience. I hope that I will never be so aware of “reality” that I am unresponsive to the whisperings of heaven.
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6 min
April 12, 2016
How I Lead As Bishop & Teach Seminary
Brigham Rupp is a full-time seminary teacher in Gilbert, Arizona. He's served as elders quorum counselor, executive secretary, stake Sunday School, and currently serves as bishop. He served a mission in Chicago, Illinois and share many of his scriptural thoughts at The Silver Grey. In this episode we discuss how he decided to become a seminary teacher and how he was later called as bishop. We also talk about how he handles spiritual thoughts in ward council, being reactive verse proactive, and how to improve one's ability to teach. Brigham's 5 Leadership Principles: * Effective Teaching * "Small changes we could make in things we do often." Pres. Eyring, 1998 CES * "Feast Upon the Words of Christ" 2 Nephi 32:3 * "If ye have not charity, ye are nothing" Moroni 7:46 * "whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it" Matthew 16:24-25 Links: The Silver Grey Talk, by President Boyd K. Packer Teaching, No Greater Call: A Resource Guide for Gospel Teaching The Silver Grey Blog
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73 min
April 9, 2016
How LDS Leadership Happens in Mongolia | An Interview With Rick & Karen Francom
In this episode you get to meet Rick & Karen Francom (my parents). They recently returned from an 18 month of service in the Mongolia Ulaanbaatar Mission. I thought it would be a great opportunity to learn about how church leadership works in a foreign land like Mongolia. They also talk about their formal leadership experience and how surprised they are that I turned out as an adult that contributes to society. ;) Listen in. Links: Read/See more of their experience at their mission blog.
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60 min
April 6, 2016
Improving Temple Prep | An Interview with J Washburn
Preparing to go to the temple for your first time can be an experience like none other. Many have complained that their first experience left them a bit stunned and confused (count me among them). Comprehensive preparation is a must and can be difficult at times when we must be careful to keep sacred things sacred. Nobody wants to say too much and many temple prep teachers simple don't know what can be talked about and what cannot be talked about, so it is easiest to remain vague and push the individual into their first experience unprepared. The way I see it, saying too much is less of an offense than saying too little because a first-timer with little knowledge is forced to be an innocent swine witnesses an experience full of pearls--that is the greater offense. Bishops are tagged with the role of making sure each individual is worthy and also understands the sacred steps they are about to take. The church has produce various temple prep resources but many leave too much up to the teacher in determining what will be said and lack practical advice. Dear Jeff: Candid Advice from an Older Brother on Preparing to Enter the Temple Back in November of 2012 J Washburn posted a question on MormonLifeHacker (worth a read). He wanted to know if others shared his concern about the inadequacy of typical temple prep classes to prepare one for their first visit to the temple. He received some interesting feedback and was determined to do his part to provide a better resource. I received a copy of J's book and read it in just a few weeks. I was so impressed by how solid his book was that I asked if he would sit down with me for an interview. I feel leaders in the church would benefit from knowing about this resource. Take a minute to watch (or listen to the mp3) of my interview with author J Washburn. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlPF9cvbMBw Buy the book HERE. Check out J Washburns temple photography at Helaman Gallery (really cool stuff).
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27 min
April 6, 2016
“I Am Not a Dreamer.” | Leader to Leader Episode 16
A touching story told by Elder David A. Bednar in his book Act in Doctrine: Some time ago I spoke with a priesthood leader who was prompted to memorize the names of all of the youth ages thirteen to twenty-one in his stake. Using snapshots of the young men and women, he created flash cards that he reviewed while traveling on business and at other times. This priesthood leader quickly learned all of the names of the youth. One night the priesthood leader had a dream about one of the young men whom he knew only from a picture. In the dream he saw the young man dressed in a white shirt and wearing a missionary name tag. With a companion seated at his side, the young man was teaching a family. The young man held the Book of Mormon in his hand, and he looked as if he were testifying of the truthfulness of the book. The priesthood leader then awoke from his dream. At an ensuing priesthood gathering, the leader approached the young man he had seen in his dream and asked to talk with him for a few minutes. After a brief introduction, the leader called the young man by name and said: “I am not a dreamer. I have never had a dream about a single member of this stake, except for you. I am going to tell you about my dream, and then I would like you to help me understand what it means.”The priesthood leader recounted the dream and asked the young man about its meaning. Choking with emotion, the young man simply replied, “It means God knows who I am.”The remainder of the conversation between this young man and his priesthood leader was most meaningful, and they agreed to meet and counsel together from time to time during the following months. That young man received the Lord’s tender mercies through an inspired priesthood leader who turned outward from his own concerns to gain a greater acquaintance with the youth whom he served. Similarly, as we develop the character of Christ and act in doctrine, we become His agents in performing His work among His sons and daughters.
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4 min
April 2, 2016
“Women at Church” | An Interview With Neylan McBaine
Neylan McBaine was born and raised in New York, New York. She is the founder of the Mormon Women Project and the author of the book Women at Church: Magnifying LDS Women's Local Impact.  In this episode we discuss the ways local leaders in the Church can consider ways to bring more purpose to women in their wards and branches. It's a fascinating discussion and it will bless the lives of all leaders that listen. Links: Buy the book Women at Church The First Fifty Years of Relief Society: Key Documents in Latter-day Saint Women's History A Reason for Faith: Navigating LDS Doctrine and Church History Liz Wiseman's Book Mormon Women Project Friend Article, "When I Grow Up … I Want to Be an Architect" Ensign Article, "Progression into Relief Society" Sunday School Supplements for Women Neylan's Blog
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73 min
March 30, 2016
“…the Lord hasn’t called you because of anything you have done.” | Leader to Leader Episode 15
A story shared by Elder Dale G. Renlund shortly after his call as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve: My dear brothers and sisters, thank you for sustaining me yesterday as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. It is hard to express how much that means to me. I was especially grateful for the sustaining vote of the two extraordinary women in my life: my wife, Ruth, and our dear, dear, dear daughter, Ashley. My call gives ample evidence to the truthfulness of the Lord’s statement early in this dispensation: “That the fulness of my gospel might be proclaimed by the weak and the simple unto the ends of the world.” I am one of those weak and simple. Decades ago, when I was called to be the bishop of a ward in the eastern United States, my brother, slightly older and much wiser than I, called me on the phone. He said, “You need to know that the Lord hasn’t called you because of anything you have done. In your case, it is probably in spite of what you have done. The Lord has called you for what He needs to do through you, and that will happen only if you do it His way.” I recognize that this wisdom from an older brother applies even more today. Something wonderful happens in a missionary’s service when he or she realizes that the calling is not about him or her; rather, it is about the Lord, His work, and Heavenly Father’s children. I feel the same is true for an Apostle. This calling is not about me. It’s about the Lord, His work, and Heavenly Father’s children. No matter what the assignment or calling is in the Church, to serve capably, one must serve knowing that everyone we serve “is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, … has a divine nature and destiny.” "Through God's Eyes." by Elder Dale G. Renlund
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4 min
March 29, 2016
From Catholic to Bishop | How I Lead: Bishop Eric Shuster
Eric Shuster is the author of 3 books, (1) Catholic Roots, Mormon Harvest (2) The Biblical Roots of Mormonism (3) Where Are the Christians? He currently serves as bishops in a small farming community in Taylor, Texas. He was raised devout Catholics, married a former nun, and joined the LDS Church 26 years ago. In this episode Bishop Shuster briefly shares his conversion story and what inspired him to write books. He also shares what his experience was like as a young elders quorum president and his progression through church leadership. He has a remarkable perspective of home teaching and how to organize assignments for your quorum. We also discuss, bishop's calendar organization, ward assignments, Family History Olympics, and avoiding the "same ten people". Leadership Principles * You can't teach what you don't know, and you can't lead where you won't go. * Give the Lord His time first. (Matt 6:33) * Where much is given, much is required. (Doctrine & Covenants 82:3) Links: Eric's Books EricShuster.com Matthew 25:14-30
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73 min
March 23, 2016
“…you are right and I am wrong.” | Leader to Leader Episode 14
A great leadership lesson from Elder Charles A. Callis as told in the biography of Harold B. Lee: Elder Charles A. Callis (1865-1947) Elder Charles A. Callis had presided over the Southern States Mission for over twenty-five years prior to his being called to the Council of the Twelve and was virtually "sainted" in the hearts of Church members living there. The assignment to create the first stake of the Church in the South had been long contemplated in 1946, but was reserved for Elder Callis to perform when his failing health permitted him to travel. At the beginning of 1947 Elder Lee was assigned to accompany this mighty Apostle and on January 11 the Lees departed for Jacksonville, Florida. Elder Callis arrived in Florida a day ahead of the Lees to clear up a personal matter with a dear friend. Once this was taken care of, Elder Callis told Elder Lee. his junior companion, that he was willing to leave the details of organizing the stake in his hands. In the course of the interviews, however, some difference of opinion arose concerning whether Orlando and some of the other mission branches should be included in the new stake. Differing from Elder Lee and some of the local priesthood leaders, Elder Callis was insisting that Orlando, Florida, ought to be included. Eleven years later Elder Lee used this experience to teach an important characteristic of prayer to seminary teachers of the Church. He recalled: When Mission President Heber Meeks and President Douberly from the Orlando Florida Branch and I all disagreed, it worried President Callis. That was always a rather serious situation to me, too, to not be in agreement with Brother Callis. He was a man of strong, vigorous, and powerful thinking. He said finally, "I will have to sleep on this." With that statement he dismissed me. The next morning he called me into his room, and as he pulled his chair close alongside mine, he said to me with an impressiveness which I shall never forget, "Last night I talked with God, and he has given me to understand that you are right and I am wrong." (From an advanced course in theology at Brigham Young University, July 6, 1956.) Goates, Brent L. (2011-01-14). Harold B. Lee: Prophet and Seer (Kindle Locations 3271-3272). Deseret Book Company. Kindle Edition.
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4 min
March 17, 2016
How to Increase Stake Conference Attendance By 20%
Every six months stake conference is a symbolic mile marker for most stake presidencies. When one ends the next one is ready to be planned for. Having the experience of going through my first stake conference as a member of the stake presidency, I realized what a hectic time it is for stake presidencies as they plan each detail. Not to mention we had a visiting authority that makes you feel like you are being graded each step of the way. With so many items to consider when planning a stake conference, stake leaders can be left holding their breath when the weekend arrives, hoping that people actually show up. I'd like to share with you a strategy we used to assure that people showed up to stake conference. It's hard to say what works and what doesn't, but we were very pleased by the results and we calculated that we had about 20% more people in attendance then prior stake conferences. Step 1: Create a private Facebook event for stake conference I remember being in the bishopric and announcing stake conference for 4-6 weeks prior and then being frustrated when a member would ask why nobody was at sacrament meeting the day of stake conference. The reality is, announcements or ward bulletin notices are not very effective. Most people need a constant reminder the days leading up to the stake conference. A Facebook event is a great way to do this. I would recommend that you create the Facebook event 4-6 weeks prior to your stake conference. In my situation, I was a little late and created it 2 weeks prior to the stake conference and it still made a huge difference. When you create the event you can add event name (stake conference), location (stake center address), date and time (generally Saturday evening until Sunday) and a description. Be sure to allow guests to invite friends to the Facebook event. Just to give you an idea, this is what we put in the description: Dear members of the _________ Stake, Stake Conference will be held on January 16th and 17th. _____________________ Quorum of the Seventy will be our visiting authority. Please join us at the following sessions: General Session Sunday, January 17th, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 Noon Stake Center Chapel Adult Session Saturday, January 16th, 7:00-8:30 p.m. Stake Center Chapel *Nursery will be provided for children ages 1 and up Priesthood Leadership Session Invited: High Council, Bishoprics, Clerks, Executive Secretaries, Assistant Clerks & Secretaries, High Priest Group Leaderships, Elders Quorum Presidencies, Young Men Presidencies, and Ward Mission Leaders & Assistants. Saturday, January 16th, 4:00-6:00 p.m. Stake Center Relief Society Room As you prepare to receive instruction at these Stake Conference sessions, please consider your next ordinance, whether it be baptism, priesthood ordination, temple endowment, marriage sealing, or partaking of the sacrament in remembrance of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. How will that ordinance bless your life? What must you do to prepare yourself for that sacred ordinance? How will that ordinance increase your faith in the Savior and help you return to our Heavenly Father? We look forward to strengthening our faith and testimonies with you as we learn together and enjoy this conference with each of you. Sincerely, The Stake Presidency Step 2: Dress up your Facebook event page Using a free design tool call Canva I made a simple image for the event image. This took no design experience at all since I used on of the Canva templates. Here's what it looked like: I used a simple photo from the
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13 min
March 8, 2016
Why your next ward leader should be inexperienced | A conversation with Liz Wiseman
In this interview I sit down again with Liz Wiseman who has been such a wonderful resource for Leading Saints and I truly consider her a great friend and mentor. Liz recently spoke at a BYU Forum and spoke wonderfully about the power of rookie smarts and how what one knows can be a disadvantage to a growing leader. She discusses how learning how to learn is more important than the content of what one is learning. She also shares some rich stories of what she learned from Lee Perry (Dean of BYU School of Business, and son of L. Tom Perry), when she was a student at BYU, why her husband was recently called to a bishopric, and how to focus on being a hungry, and humble leader. There's a lot of information here and it is definitely worth a thorough listen. Links: Liz Wiseman's BYU Forum Address Other Liz Wiseman interviews with Leading Saints Liz Wiseman's website Elder Bednar's talk
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57 min
February 27, 2016
How to Support Transgender Members In Your LDS Ward
In this episodes we continue the conversation with leaders from North Star as we focus on Brigit Pack's story of finding peace and faith in her home and in her Church. Her spouse was born Ryan, but now prefer the name Ann. Ann is a transgender Mormon and Brigit tells her story of how leaders are working on finding a place for Ann in their LDS ward. It's an inspiring discussion that will definitely help other leaders understand available resources and where to start in loving transgender members of their ward. Editor's Note: Throughout this interview I use the term transgender-ed. Brigit was kind enough to correct me after the episode had been edited. I hope you can all learn from my mistake and refer to these individuals as transgender.  Voices On This Episode: Brigit Pack, North Star Conference Co-Chair Brigit's story is a story of inspiring faith. As she tells the story of her spouses journey through gender identity, she helps leaders understand how they might find a place for transgender Mormons in their ward. Greg Harris, President-Elect of North Star At the time of this recording Greg Harris is the incoming president of North Star. He shares a unique story of coming to terms with is sexual orientation soon after his brother announced to his family that he was gay. There is a lot to learn from Greg and Church leaders will find he is a remarkable resource to helping navigate the SSA world. Read more of his bio HERE. Joseph Stith, Director of Talent for North Star I hope everyone gets the opportunity to meet Joseph in person. I consider him a wonderful friend and he is doing wonderful things for North Star. Joseph shared the details of his story in PART 1 and continues in the conversation in this episode talking about his experience working with youth that experience SSA. Read more of his bio HERE. Links: Journeys of Faith Project
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55 min
February 27, 2016
How to Support Gay Members In Your LDS Ward – Part 2
In this episode we meet again with member of North Star, a non-profit organization that is a faith-affirming resource for Latter-day Saints addressing sexual orientation or gender identity, and who desire to live in harmony with the teachings of Jesus Christ and the doctrines and values of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. On March 17-19, North Star is having a conference in Provo, Utah. A portion of that conference will be dedicated to helping Church leaders understand this delicate subject. We hope this episode gives you a clear understanding of why all leaders should attend this fantastic conference. Voices On This Episode: Greg Harris, President-Elect of North Star At the time of this recording Greg Harris is the incoming president of North Star. He shares a unique story of coming to terms with is sexual orientation soon after his brother announced to his family that he was gay. There is a lot to learn from Greg and Church leaders will find he is a remarkable resource to helping navigate the SSA world. Read more of his bio HERE. Joseph Stith, Director of Talent for North Star I hope everyone gets the opportunity to meet Joseph in person. I consider him a wonderful friend and he is doing wonderful things for North Star. Joseph shared the details of his story in PART 1 and continues in the conversation in this episode talking about his experience working with youth that experience SSA. Read more of his bio HERE. Brigit Pack, North Star Conference Co-Chair Brigit's story is a story of inspiring faith. As she tells the story of her spouses journey through gender identity, she helps leaders understand how they might find a place for transgendered Mormons in their ward. Links: Register for the North Star Conference (Leadership Session is FREE) Ty Mansfield's Article in LDSLiving
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60 min
February 25, 2016
How to Support Gay Members In Your LDS Ward – Part 1 (Revisited)
This is a review of an episode recorded last April 2015. I am posting this here so that it can be reviewed by the podcast audience prior to the release of Part 2 and Part 3 which will be posted in a few days. To read and review the original post click HERE.
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97 min
February 23, 2016
How I Lead: Being a Bishop of Mercy & Love | An Interview With Bishop Brandon Leavitt
Bishop Brandon Leavitt was called as bishop 8 months ago, and has grown greatly. He is from Logandale, Nevada (close to Las Vegas) and works in the road construction industry. 5 Leadership Principles (In Bishop Leavitt's own words) 1. Don't steady the Ark When the Ox cart shook, Uzzah touched the Ark to steady it (Samual 6:6-7). By doing so he disobeyed the Lord and the Lord smote him. I don’t pretend to know or understand exactly what happened here but I do believe there is something I can learn from Uzzah’s mistake. It comes down to a lack of faith for me. Uzzah may not have had enough faith to realize that the Lord had a plan for the Ark when it shook and would protect it. I am learning to not be so quick to “steady the Ark”. If an individual is struggling or if a program or auxiliary is not performing to the standards that are expected I have learned and am still learning that the Lord has a plan, He is still in charge, this is His work and things will most likely work out. I’ve learned to be patient with the process and to let the Holy Ghost work in the hearts of people to help them make the appropriate changes. I’m learning not to always be so quick to rush and steady the Ark unless prompted by The Holy Ghost. President Howard W. Hunter said, “Our detours and disappointments are the straight and narrow to him” (Oct 1987 April #ldsconf).   2. Avoid the Rameumptom After being released as the Young Men President in my ward and then called to be the Young Men President for our stake, I was excited to share with those I was asked to train the successes that I was able to experience by using the tools and programs given to us by the Lord through the brethren. My approach when training for the first year was doing just that… sharing MY successes. I good friend pulled me aside and told me that to some I was coming across as boastful and that my style of training may leave the impression that "my way" was the only way. I was embarrassed. I took this opportunity to ponder how I went about things in regards to training others. I came to the conclusion that I would concentrate more on highlighting the tools and resources and where and how to use them and less on how I implemented them. I found this to be a better approach. It gave those being trained the opportunity to go to the Lord in prayer and receive their own inspiration on how best to approach their calling. I highlighted our Savior more and myself much less. 3. Follow the Handbook. This is the Lord's church. He gives us handbooks of instruction to help carry out the work in a manner pleasing unto Him. I treat the Handbooks akin to scripture unless moved upon by the Holy Ghost or directed otherwise by my priesthood leaders. The handbook also helps me remember to represent the Lord to the people and not the people to the Lord. 4. Grace, Mercy, Charity All of us, I mean, ALL OF US are struggling with something. All of us want to be loved and supported by those around us. Offer a hug, a kind word, a helping hand, a prayer… judgment is not ours. When it comes to the two sided coin of mercy and justice, mercy is the only side of the coin that we have been given permission to give. We tend to judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their actions. I am learning to give to those around me the benefit of the doubt and realize that we are all doing our best and that the grace of Christ is sufficient. The Lord has offered me nothing but love and mercy in my life, I’m learning to do the same with those around me. 5. Covenants, Covenants, Covenants Everything we do in the church and in our homes should lead us to the sealing alters of the temple and/or in preparation for this crowing ordinance. When Elder Bednar taught that it would be appropriate to identify the next savings o...
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60 min
February 9, 2016
How a Young Bishopric is Impacting Unity & Culture in Their Ward
One of the first questions Bishop Allan Reay was asked when he was ordained a bishop was, "How old ARE you?" He was 31 at the time and has two young counselors to match. In this interview we discuss their unique approach to managing a ward with unique ideas that are increasing the unity and culture of the ward. They share how they put on a "Come & See Sunday" that encouraged members of their ward to invite their non-member friends. It's something every ward mission leader needs to understand and consider implementing. Interview Links: "Come and See", by Elder David A. Bednar BillionGraves.com 7 Unbreakable Rules of a Meeting
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56 min
January 30, 2016
Biannual Visits to Young Men in Your Ward | An Interview With Chris Allen
You may recognize Chris Allen's name because he was the author of the previous post called Encouraging Young Men to Lead.  Again, Chris Allen is a Young Men President in Sandy, Utah. He works for a local blood laboratory and enjoys being with his family when he isn’t mountain biking. He has years of experience in the Young Men program and shares a fascinating approach to helping young men become leaders in his ward. After Chris wrote that awesome article I asked him to stick around and let me interview him to learn his tactics for leading the Young Men program. What came to the surface was fascinating. Below you will find his keys to leadership, but we also discuss his interesting approach to biannual visits and how that has helped him build trust with the young men in his ward. He also shared the importance of boarders and transitions. This is definitely worth a listen! Chris Allen's Keys to Leadership: 1. Vision: "Where there is no vision, the people perish." (Proverbs 29:18) Jesus called plain fishermen as his closest and most trusted associates. What is my vision, purpose, and associated mission? Leaders must have a vision. This dictates every activity and every goal for every level of an organization. If the vision isn't clear for everyone, people are moving in different directions and energy isn't as focused. In the Young Men program, if the vision is on preparing young men for temple ordinances and missionary service, every activity, lesson, and goal will be focused on that end. I see this in action when I teach the priest quorum assistants what the vision and mission are and help us set goals for the quorum and then let them plan activities on their own. They routinely plan activities that work towards the goals and are in line with the vision rather than just basketball or video game nights. Jesus taught this so many times when he used phrases like "Who hath ears to hear, let him hear." (Matthew 13:9) 2. Courage: "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid" (Joshua 1:9) Jesus showed incredible courage in making his vision a reality when He went into the garden. What sacrifice am I willing to make to fulfill my mission? Courage is what a leader needs to execute the vision. It's easy to sit in a room and daydream about the perfect world, but to go out and work to make the vision a reality is scary stuff. You have to stand against the status quo and have thick skin. People will criticize new ideas and avoid making changes. It takes courage to stand in the here and now and say we want to reach perfection and this is how to do it today. To persevere even when the odds are against you and people don't yet believe in you. Be bold like Captain Moroni. Step to the edge of the current state and push the boundaries. 3. Integrity: "...when Zoram had made an oath unto us, our fears did cease concerning him." (1 Nephi 4:37) Jesus demonstrated integrity. This is why we can put our faith in Him. This is the trait that holds together all the other traits. A leader must be absolutely trusted and honest. To me this means exact obedience. My current bishop comes to Sunday school every week. I know when I go sit in a temple recommend interview and he asks me if I attend my Sunday meetings, that he attends his. There is no deception. With the young men this is vital because more than just about anyone else, they watch the behavior of their leaders. They expect me to practice what I preach and if I don't, they lose trust and won't listen to me. 4. Commitment "...we should waste and wear out our lives in bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness..." (D&C123:13) Jesus was committed to the core. No matter what hunger, thirst, fatigue or other obstacle got in his way,
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68 min
January 23, 2016
Encouraging Young Men to Lead | Guest Post by Chris Allen
Chris Allen is a Young Men's President in Sandy, Utah. He works for a local blood laboratory and enjoys being with his family when he isn't mountain biking. He has years of experience in the Young Men's program and shares a fascinating approach to helping young men become leaders in his ward. Enter Chris… I was sitting in one of those 7:00-am-and-I'm-way-too-tired-to-be-here priesthood training meetings, listening to the stake president teach. I was struggling to pay attention until a single phrase focused my thoughts and brought the promptings of the spirit on me like floodwater bursting over a levee. The stake president said, "If a young man has to come to you at the start of Priesthood meeting to find out what the plan for the upcoming mutual activity is, you're not doing your job right." This simple phrase changed the way I lead my young men. I've been serving in the YM program pretty much continually since I turned twelve, whether formally or informally and my leadership of young men has changed dramatically over the years. I used to try leading them from the front of the room where I could speak and teach and share my wisdom and knowledge in a strong and authoritative manner. As my understanding of young men and their needs has matured, I now lead from the back of the room. This back-of-the-room approach is often referred to as shadow leadership and, in my experience, it's much more difficult to master than the alternative, but yields significantly better results. The Church Handbook makes clear that the young men are the leaders, and the adults are called as youth advisors. As an advisor it's my job to guide and mentor the leaders who can then lead the rest of the young men. I'm essentially acting as a sounding board and a validator. Let's look at this in action in a few key scenarios: a presidency meeting, Priesthood opening exercises, a quorum meeting and a mutual activity. As we walk through each scenario, look for principles of shadow leadership. We'll summarize them at the end of the tour. The quorum presidency meeting is where it all starts. Presidency meeting for the young men is vital and we try hard to hold it every Sunday. This is where the quorum leaders learn how to lead. This is where they develop skills, knowledge and confidence for what they need to do the rest of the week. Presidency meeting is presided over by the quorum president, who is either a Deacon, a Teacher, or the Bishop, it can be conducted by any member of the presidency, but it shouldn't be the bishop. The secretary should have prepared an agenda for the meeting as shown here. The adult advisors, including the bishop should try hard to not speak unless necessary. (For a fun exercise, try counting how many sentences you speak each meeting and try to reduce it each week). The conducting youth should lead the discussion seeking input from the adults when needed. This takes time to develop, but is amazing to see done well. At the beginning the young men will need to be prompted on each agenda item and will often look to the adult for permission to start the meeting, move to the next agenda item, or assign action items. Coach the youth to do these things on their own. Sit in silence and wait for that awkward tension to build while the youth venture out from being led to being leaders. The young men will discuss the needs of each member of the quorum, what Come Follow Me discussion topics would be best and who should teach them, what mutual activities will best meet the needs of the quorum, what training is needed for priesthood duties assigned to the quorum, and they will reflect on past activities or lessons and discuss things that went well and why as well as things that didn't go well and why. Key training items can and should be assigned to the adult advisors, but once again, let the youth pick topics to train on. As they progress you can even try not showing up to presidency meeti...
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12 min
January 20, 2016
Why Every Ward Needs Digital Ward Missionaries | An Interview With Aggieland Mormons
In 2013 the bishop and ward missionaries of the College Station Ward in Texas had an inspiration. They wanted to infuse the internet with positive messages of Jesus Christ that would help the world understand the Mormon Church better. That led to the creation of Aggieland Mormons and now they have created hundreds of posts that is spreading the good word and making it easier for LDS members to share content about the Church. In this interview I talk with Bishop Nate Sharp and former member of the College Station Ward, Brother Andrew Devey. We discuss their journey of stimulating the ward missionary program through this blogging effort and how it has helped excite their ward about missionary work. This is a fantastic interview for bishops, ward missionaries, and ward council to listen to and consider ways you can start being a digital ward missionary. Links: Aggieland Mormons Homepage The Power of Everyday Missionaries To Sweep the Earth As a Flood, Elder David A. Bednar 15 Signs You Might Be a Texas Mormon What Happened When I Quit Home Teaching 7 Financial Mistakes Every Latter-day Saint Family Should Avoid Taysom and Emily Hill: Faith, Football, and Trusting in the Lord Aggieland Mormons Facebook Page
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54 min
January 13, 2016
How I Lead as Sunday School President | Discussing the Upcoming Changes to the Sunday School Program
Glenn Wright is a Sunday School president in Saratoga Springs, UT. In this interview we discuss his focused approach to really making an impact in his ward Sunday School program. His ward is also participating in a Church pilot program to test out adjustments to the ward teaching that should be rolled out next year. Every Sunday School presidency and bishopric should listen to this episode. It's inspiring and informative to learn about how he is magnifying his calling and to also learn about upcoming changes to the Sunday School curriculum. Links: LDS Meetinghouse Librarians Facebook Group Rethinking the Material Center Article 2012 Sunday School Auxiliary Leadership Training
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54 min
January 9, 2016
4 Fixes to a Lackluster Sunday School Program
Recently I was reminded of Elder Holland's April 1998 General Conference talk titled "A Teacher Come From God". It is a talk that was given soon after President Hinckley expressed that each member of the Church needs a friend, a responsibility, and nourishment by the good word of God. I took the time to listen to the talk, which led to me reading the talk, which led to me reading the talk again. It's an Elder Holland classic, but what talk of his isn't an Elder Holland classic? As I read this talk I was captivated by his phrasing, including, "Are we really nurturing our [members] in a way that will sustain them when the stresses of life appear? Or are we giving them a kind of theological Twinkie—spiritually empty calaries?" The quote that was the biggest frying pan to the face for me was when he quoted President Kimball by saying, "Stake presidents, bishops, and branch presidents, please take a particular interest in improving the quality of teaching in the Church. I fear that all too often many of our members come to church, sit through a class or a meeting, and... then return home having been largely [uninspired]. It is especially unfortunate when this happens at a time ... of stress, temptation, or crisis [in their life]. We all need to be touched and nurtured by the Spirit and effective teaching is one of the most important ways this can happen. We often do vigorous work to get members to come to Church but then do not adequately watch over what they receive when they do come." Elder Holland then quotes President Hinckley when he said, "Effective teaching is the very essence of leadership in the Church. Eternal life will come only as men and women are taught with such effectiveness that they change and discipline their lives. They cannot be coerced into righteousness or into heaven. They must be led, and that means teaching." As I studied this talk I saw it as an opportunity to share on Leading Saints and start a dialogue about some of the pitfalls many church units face when it comes to teaching. I can only speak from my own experience, but I have rarely been a student in a church classroom where it moved me spiritually on a consistent basis. I generally go to church for the ordinances, and I wish I could say, I stay for the incredible teaching. So why does the teaching become mediocre in a ward? What new approaches have been tried that have changed the dynamic of the church classroom? I am sure a higher level of church teaching has been done consistently, and I hope others will share success stories so we can all benefit. Here are a few thoughts that came to the surface as I discussed Sunday teaching with other members and leaders. Problem #1: Lack of Experienced Teachers In basketball, many teams pride themselves on having a "deep bench". What this means is that most players on their team, even the ones sitting at the end of the bench, can come into the game and make a difference. I've heard of wards with a "deep bench" where in one classroom you can have a half dozen former bishops, a few past stake presidents, and even a mission president or two. This is fantastic, but for most wards, it isn't reality. When a ward doesn't have a "deep bench", by the time teachers are needing to be called there isn't much experience left. The bishopric, Relief Society presidency, ward and stake auxiliaries have sucked up all the teaching talent and what is left is good-hearted members that will really be stretched in a teaching calling, which leads to rookie teaching. No fault to the inexperienced teacher for doing their best. It's simply the reality of the ward. Many times it's hard enough to find experienced teachers to place in the Sunday School presidency, let alone finding solid teachers to actually do th...
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39 min
January 5, 2016
How I Lead As Ward Mission Leader | Creating a Culture of Missionary Work
Robert Mortensen has just been called to his stake high council in Meridian, Idaho. Prior to this call he was the ward mission leader where he developed some remarkable strategies to inviting people to Christ. He shares these ideas in the following article and we discuss them in audio form on the attached podcast episode. Enter Robert... Being a ward mission leader (WML) can be an exhilarating experience. If you desire, you can learn how the Lord wants missionary work to go forward in your ward and you can become an instrument in His hands. Being a participant on the front lines of the Atonement with all the highs and lows that go along with this great work...now that is really living! I am currently blessed with the calling as ward mission leader for the second time. My first opportunity was in Mesa, Arizona ten years ago and now again in Meridian, Idaho. I don’t claim to be some great or special ward mission leader because I’m not. I’m observant and have studied the WML role and I am striving to be useful to the Lord. One of the things that we are doing in our stake that we find very helpful is the stake high councilor over missionary work holds a monthly training session with all the WML’s. Time is given in each meeting for WML’s to share their inspiring stories as well as their best practices. This collaboration is so advantageous and motivating. I hope sharing some of my experiences and practices might help other ward mission leaders across the church. It is important for WML’s to recognize that the bishop is the mission president for his own ward mission and he and his counselors preside over the work. The WML is the executive assistant and head cheerleader; the assistant to the president, if you will. The WML acts with delegated authority through the keys of the bishop. Be careful not to tread on the stewardship of the bishopric and auxiliary presidencies, but rather be a steady support to them. I’d like to stress the importance of a ward mission leader and of ward missionaries being able to share current missionary experiences, not just experiences from the past. Pray in faith and act in faith for daily missionary opportunities. When the Lord shows you the opportunity, act on it immediately. If you haven't had a missionary moment that day, make one happen. It can be as simple as sharing an uplifting scripture on social media. Having missionary experiences is exciting. Sharing these experiences energizes fellow ward members. Ward Missionary Meetings Ward Council & Priesthood Executive Committee (PEC): As a member of the ward council the WML can insure that all ward activities, including service, are missionary activities. Activity Days, Cub Scouts, and youth activities are some of the most successful missionary opportunities. As a member of the ward council, a WML can demand encourage strong home and visiting teachers for new members and part-member families. Missionary Coordination Meeting (MCM): Make sure missionary coordination meetings are short, but powerful and spiritually uplifting. Make sure every ward missionary leaves with an assignment. I was terrible at this my first time as WML, but I am trying to do better this time round. Ward missionaries need to feel valued and challenged. In this meeting we get updates on the status of the people the full-time missionaries are teaching as well as reports from ward missionaries on their visits to part-member families and potential investigators. We also make assignments to visit active member-missionary families and cheer them on in their efforts. In my ward, we make visits on Thursday nights at 7pm and follow those visits with our MCM with the full-time sister missionaries at 8:15pm at the Church or in my home. We sometimes also make visits on Sunday afternoons or evenings. Focus on Finding
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56 min
December 29, 2015
How I Lead: Teaching & Loving Those You Serve | An Interview With Cindy Burt
Cindy Burt is a counselor in her ward young women's program in Kirkland, Washington. She has also served as a Relief Society president, stake Young Women's President, and seminary teacher. She joined the LDS Church at 26 soon after she married her husband. She shares with the listeners her approach to leadership; including the following key leadership principles: * The importance of personal revelation and the Holy Ghost * Prioritization * Having love for Heavenly Father's children * Stand in Holy Places * Teaching by the Holy Ghost Sister Burt also shares her unique opportunity of teaching early-morning seminary in her public school classroom. This created some unique missionary opportunities that blessed the lives of her students and their friends.
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54 min
December 19, 2015
3 Thoughts on Easier Delegation | Guest Post by Chance Mikos
We have all done it, said to ourselves, I’m just going to go ahead and do this task because it's easier for me to just handle it. Or we might say, Oh, Brother Smith is so busy. Let me do that task for him. I think it's a natural feeling for those in leadership roles to want to take the best care of their people. We often feel like asking someone to take a task or assignment is in some way unkind. Becoming more comfortable with delegation is just like any skill, it's learned. Learning to delegate is a skill that takes time and practice. I have found these 3 simple steps extremely helpful. 1. Have Assignments for all Responsibilities Having assigned responsibilities seems pretty straightforward, right?  We all do that, don’t we? The first  step a presidency or bishopric should undertake is to determine what tasks or assignments they are responsible for and then go through the process of making assignments for those duties. So, for example, in my Bishopric we’ve decided that the First Counselor would handle Sunday School. Any change, communication, or extending of callings once we have agreed within the Bishopric is totally on his plate. In fact, we have gotten so good at this that I don’t even need to physically make the assignment. He just knows he is responsible for the Sunday School. 2. As the leader, make spiritual and temporal welfare your focus Making spiritual and temporal welfare your focus is a must for bishops; however, I feel it should be the focus of every auxiliary president as well. If we take step one seriously (assigning all responsibilities), you can assign out all of the other tasks to ensure that spiritual and temporal welfare are your priority. Of course, there are the day to day administrative things that will come up, but make sure you spend as much time as possible ministering rather than administering. If the leader makes this his or her known focus, the rest of the presidency will take assignments and allow you to be successful in this area. When I got called to be the bishop of my ward we had quite a heavy welfare load. I had no choice but to have my counselors do almost everything outside of welfare. Once I was able to figure out how to best handle it we had gotten into the habit of me mostly focusing on the spiritual and temporal welfare issues. Specifically helping with financial situations, worthiness issues and spiritual guidance. Since then the delegation has been a natural and fluid part of our serving together. 3. Training your replacement Training someone to do what you do is a very difficult one to master. As stated before, we are busy and taking the time to train someone feels like an impossibility. However, trust that the investment of time will pay off. You will find it usually only takes one or two times to get someone proficient enough to replace your need to do whatever that certain task is. And honestly it's one of the most satisfying rewards of leadership, some call it training your replacement… Delegation is a key leadership principle that requires patience and practice. But in the scope of your calling as a leader, your call is to lead, not to do it all. Make assignments, trust in your people, make adjustments or suggestions as necessary, and grow the capacity of the organization over which you preside. It will change your life, as well as theirs.
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6 min
December 17, 2015
Unnecessary Sacrifice is Evil | Leaders Should Do More By Doing Less
In the LDS church, leadership sometimes comes with formal responsibility through a calling or assignment. Someone newly called to positions like, bishop, Relief Society president, or ward mission leader, might find themselves subject to a life of limited time. The reality is, most callings in the church will take as much time as you are willing to give—even more if you aren't careful. Every minute that callings take rarely seem wasted. That is what is so hard about time management in church callings; it always feels like time well spent. I remember being called as a elders quorum president in a young single adult ward where I met my wife. Late at night, I found myself sitting in a clerk's office organizing the ever-changing home teaching assignments. It was essential, so I thought, to put in the time to get the assignments organized so that I could be ready for the next month when even more changes would come. It consumed my time as elders quorum president. It was to the point where I didn't do much of anything else. Not only did I have no idea how to delegate, but I was also fighting a battle of time that would never be won. One trait of a strong leader is being able to step back, with a spirit of contentment, realize there isn't enough time to do every worthwhile thing. By focusing on one priority you avoid another priority. Then there is another priority waiting after that, which is in the way of another priority. There are times I have found myself ranking a priority above other more important priorities, such as family time, simply because it is easier, or the consequences of those priorities are the most obvious to the public eye. In April conference of 1981, Bishop Victor L. Brown addresses this concept perfectly by quoting President Gordon B. Hinckley on "the evil of unnecessary sacrifice." Take a look at a clip from his talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-2F6WHEJ6Y  I should like to say that sacrifice, where needed, is an important aspect of the gospel. It is of the very essence of true worship. But unnecessary sacrifice, that requested because of extravagance or poor management, is evil.   -President Gordon B. Hinckley Unnecessary sacrifice is evil. Wow. The word "evil" seems like a strong word for poor management. However, in this instance, that word is strong enough to make a point. It should give leaders pause to reevaluate how they are organizing their time, their meetings, their appointments, and any other form of sacrifice. This point is even more valid when it comes to local leaders in the Church. I have no doubt they are inspired, they hold authority to preside, and they are called of God. However, it worries me when such good men and women fill their time with unnecessary tasks that appear urgent. They misinterpret a meeting for serving. They confuse long hours at the church with magnifying a calling. They become powerless to say, "NO". When I wrote the article, The 7 Unbreakable Rules of a Church Meeting, I got a lot of dissenting feedback. Passionately dissenting feedback. Individuals felt like I was diminishing the presence of the spirit in leadership callings. I understand why they are so frustrated with such an article when I challenged their mode of operation in their callings. I do not write such things to be critical, but rather to challenge them to achieve higher efficiency This can be done by finding better tools, and to by revisiting their approach to their leadership. Having meetings, holding appointment, organizing lists feels so good because it give the...
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13 min
December 15, 2015
Always Be Teaching! | How I Lead: President Tommy Haws
In this How I Lead interview we talk with Tommy Haws who is a stake president in the Gallup, New Mexico area. His stake covers 10,000 square miles! He presides over 5 wards and 7 branches that meet in 11 buildings. President Haws has years of leadership experience, serving as elders quorum president 3 times, a councilor in a stake presidency, and then a bishop before he was asked to serve as the stake president. We first discuss the unique challenges he faces with a ward so large and with so many units. We talk about the native-american branches and his approach to unity  a stake with such diversity. President Haws' 5 Leadership Principles: * “True Doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behaviors”- Boyd K. Packer. (“Little Children”, Ensign, Nov. 1986, 17) * “Teaching is the very essence of Leadership in the Church” – Gordon B. Hinckley (As quoted by Jeffery R. Holland, “A Teacher Come from God”, Ensign May 1998) Quote continues, “ Eternal life,” President Hinckley continued, “will come only as men and women are taught with such effectiveness that they change and discipline their lives. They cannot be coerced into righteousness or into heaven. They must be led, and that means teaching.” * Councils are to be revelatory, not just administrative meetings (see 2010 World Wide Leadership Training – particularly comments by Elder Bednar “If I had the wish of my heart, I would remove from the vocabulary of the Latter-day Saints the word meeting. We have not been talking about a ward council meeting. We’ve been talking about a revelatory experience with the members of the ward council. And if members of councils, if members of families, as they come together, would think in terms of “I’m preparing to participate in a revelatory experience with my family” instead of going to a meeting—a revelatory experience with the members of the ward council—I think we would prepare and act much differently.” * Priesthood keys have real power and are meant to bless lives (D&C 65) * Have no personal agenda- follow prophetic priorities (see Quentin L Cook, Priesthood session April 2008 General Conference, and Richard Hinckley in BYU devotional address) Links: Elder Bednar's Book Series "Your Work is Not Yet Finished" - Elder Glenn L. Pace
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73 min
December 12, 2015
Leading Those That Have to Wait Until 18 to Be Baptized | The Jacob Khalil Story
Jacob Khalil is a student at Brigham Young majoring in Vocal Performance. He grew up in a home with a Mormon mother and a Muslim father. In order to respect his father's request, Jacob didn't get baptized until he was 18 years old and could make the decision as a legal adult. In this interview we discuss how Jacob's parents, youth leaders, and other members of his ward influenced him during his youth. We talk about best practices a leader can make when faced with a situation where a child cannot be baptized until they are an adult. Links: Panel Discussion About Policy Change on This Week in Mormons BYU Singers YouTube Channel Listen to Jacob sing... He's really good!
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48 min
December 8, 2015
How I Lead in Spain | An Interview With Bishop Tony Batanero
In this episode we head all the way over to El Puerto de Santa Maria and interview Bishop Tony Batanero. You will find this interview inspiring as we discuss his conversion to the gospel, his service as a full time missionary in Missouri and Canada. He shares his experience of losing his mother during his mission and how that impacted his testimony. He claims that the best calling in the Church is stake executive secretary. He served in that calling for 6 years and was then called in September of 2015 as the bishop of his ward. He also talked about the influence that leader around him have made on his own personal leadership. He has learned how to love those in his ward, how to follow the spirit, and how to show great leadership. He has a great approach to studying the handbook and why the handbook is so important in our service. Interviews like this remind me that Church leadership is in good hands around the world. I'm very grateful for Bishop Batanero.
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72 min
December 1, 2015
How I Lead: Focus on Work, Church, & Family | An Interview With Bishop Shawn Hammond
Shawn Hammond is a bishop in Colorado Spring, Colorado. He's also had the opportunity to serve as a Young Men's president, elders quorum president, and was also blessed to serve in the California Sacramento Mission in the early 2000's. In this episode we talk about his 5 pillars of leadership as well as topics like helping families through a tragic loss. Another great interview! Bishop Hammond's 5 Leadership Principles It really is about the "ONE." "We must develop the capacity to see men not as they are at present but as they may become when they receive testimonies of the gospel of Christ." President Thomas S. Monson Don’t be satisfied just doing things the way others in similar positions do them. Err on the side of mercy and compassion. Your most important calling isn’t in the Church, but in your home. Links: Are We Not All Beggars? Elder Jeffrey R. Holland Doctrine & Covenants 121: 43 - "Reproving betimes with sharpness..."
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62 min
November 27, 2015
Who Cares If You Are Not the Bishop? | Lead From the Bottom
We hear it all the time in sacrament meeting; the invitation, coming from the lectern, to "stand after your name is read." This means members of your ward are getting a calling. Most callings that are extended to us require no leadership responsibilities. Maybe they are simply asking you to watch over small children, or organize an activity. These callings don't feel like a leadership calling, but they should. Leadership is born in the individual who realizes they can make a difference as a primary teacher, a deacon's quorum adviser, a home teacher, or even a door greeter. A few months back I was recommended the book Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us. The recommendation to read this book was delivered to me in such a way that I bought the book the same day. The author, Seth Godin would be described as a marketing genius in the business world, but I would describe him as a leadership genius that talks about marketing. Quite frankly, marketing has a lot to do with leadership. If you don't know how to transfer (or sell) your idea to those you lead you may not reach success. The idea that impacted me the most in this book was Leading From the Bottom on page 19. It reads: The skeptical among us look at the idea of leadership and we hesitate. We hesitate because it feels like something we need to be ordained to do. That without authority, we can't lead. That big organizations reserve leadership for the CEO, not for us. Perhaps you work at a big organization. Perhaps you feel as though there's just too much resistance to change. Here's a question: Is your organization stiffer than the Pentagon? More bureaucratic or formalized? Thomas Barnett changed the Pentagon. From the bottom. No, he wasn't on KP duty, but he was close. He had no status, no rank--he was just a researcher with a big idea. Here's what the Wall Street Journal said: Mr. Barnett overhauled the concept to address more directly the post-9/11 world. The result is a three-hour PowerPoint presentation that more resembles performance art than a Pentagon briefing. It's making Mr. Barnett, 41 years old, a key figure in the debate currently raging about what the modern military should look like. Senior military officials say his decidedly controversial ideas are influencing the way the Pentagon views its enemies, vulnerabilities and future structure. It's simple, really. Barnett led a tribe that was passionate about change. He galvanized them, inspired them, and connected them, through his idea. One man with no authority suddenly becomes a key figure. Tribes give each of us the very same opportunity. Skill and attitude are essential. Authority is not. In fact, authority can get in the way. You do not need access to a stage in front of hundreds of people in order to lead. Leaders don't inspire masses, they inspire individuals, and you can be surrounded by individuals in any calling extended to you. I hope that nobody waits for a title before they decide to lead. Lead because you able to lead, not because you are asked to lead.
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9 min
November 24, 2015
How I Lead: Ask the Right Questions as an Elders Quorum President | An Interview With Adam Barrow
Adam Barrow is a BYU graduate, accountant, father, past elders quorum president, elders quorum counselor, executive secretary, and currently serves as the secretary in his elders quorum. These are various callings he has received while living in San Francisco, California, Raleigh, North Carolina, and Salt Lake City, Utah. In this interview we discuss 5 solid leadership principles that Brother Barrow has followed in his leadership service. He also shares how he tracks home teaching as the quorum secretary; possibly a admin hack you want to use as well. 1- Don't let management get in the way of leadership This principle is rooted in Hugh Nibley's classic talk "Leaders and Managers" I came across several years ago: It's an incredible discourse that provides some very thought provoking insight about leadership vs management, including the interesting uses of the term "management" in the Book of Mormon, and contrasting key figures within who represent management (Amalickiah) vs those who represent leadership (Captain Moroni). 2. Remember the importance of asking the right question This comes from two of Clayton Christensen's writings/talks: * My Ways are Not Your Ways * The Importance of the right question (given at the J. Reuben Clark Law Society Conference) In the second talk particularly, he gives some interesting personal examples about asking the right question within the context of our church callings. "Unfortunately, too many of us are so eager to debate and get on with the right answer and the solution, that we often forget even to think about whether the right question has been asked. Lawyers pride themselves on their ability to ask penetrating questions, but I honestly think that the only people who are worse than lawyers at asking the right questions are business managers; and that the only people who are worse than managers at asking the right questions are Mormons." -Elder Clayton Christensen 3. Remember the Lord's metric "I realized that God in contrast to us, does not need the tools of statisticians or accountants. So far as I know, He has no organization charts. There is no need to aggregate anything beyond the level of an individual person in order to comprehend completely what is going on among humankind. His only measure of achievement is the individual." - Elder Clayton Christensen (How will you Measure Your Life pg 202) It's easy for us to get caught up in measuring others against our own notion of a correct standard, when our finite minds can't fully appreciate the context of where a person is on their own spiritual journey. That's not to acknowledge of course certain standards that ecclesiastical leaders must adhere to and hold others accountable to in certain situations. But we can compartmentalize people rather generally without taking the time to ask the Lord to help us see that individual as He sees them. I love the following quote from President Eyring, who provides a very important reminder about Who we all need to look to for help. As leaders we are there simply to help people remember that. "When I was a young man, I served as counselor to a wise district president in the Church. He tried to teach me. One of the things I remember wondering about was this advice he gave: “When you meet someone, treat them as if they were in serious trouble, and you will be right more than half the time.   "I thought then that he was pessimistic. Now, more than 40 years later, I can see how well he understood the world and l...
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56 min
November 22, 2015
A Review of Elder Gordon B. Hinckley’s 1969 BYU talk, “The Loneliness of Leadership”
There is a considerable amount of loneliness in leadership. Some days, as a leader, feel like loneliness is all that exists. The rough days of leadership send my mind to the words of President Hinckley in 1969. The speech was later titled The Loneliness of Leadership. It has become one of my favorite talks he gave because it talks so directly to the weight of leadership. So much so, that I play a clip from the talk to begin every Leading Saints podcast episode. Elder Hinckley had been an apostle for 8 years at the time of this BYU talk and little did he realize the responsibility that would be placed on his shoulders in the coming years, and the loneliness he would feel. In this episode I share various clips from this talk and how they are so applicable to leading in modern day, as they were in 1969. It's a powerful talk that will resonate with all leaders. After listening, please share your impressions in the comments section below.
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56 min
November 19, 2015
Permission Leadership | They Will Not Follow For No Reason
Let's face it! The only people that are qualified to be bishop are those that have a PhD in human psychology, a masters in Family Relations, and an MBA from Stanford for good measure. The type of problems and crises church leaders face are sometimes staggering. Thankfully, each bishop holds the priesthood, is blessed with keys, and has awesome support (counselors, ward council, etc.). President Monson put it best, "Whom the Lord calls, the Lord qualifies." Because of this, there are many bishops who are no more than trained plumbers, lawyers, salesmen, or even high school dropouts. Even though the Lord qualifies leaders to serve in their capacity doesn't mean he qualifies them in the minds of those they lead. I recently read a book called Permission Marketing. As I read the book there was a consistent thought that applied to church leadership—that is: to find more opportunities to ask those you lead for permission to be their leader. For example, just because you are the bishop does not mean members of your ward feel comfortable setting an appointment and sharing their deepest struggles with you. Many look at you as what you appear to be—just a plumber. If Thou Be the [Relief Society President], Tell Us Plainly Let's take the perspective of the Relief Society. In the scriptures we learn followers of Christ know His voice and follow Him. In John chapter 10 it states: 23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch.  24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.  25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me.  26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.  27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: When you are called to leadership you are given the title, but that doesn't mean they "hear [your] voice...and follow [you]." Many in the Relief Society are subconsciously asking, "If thou be the [Relief Society president], tell us plainly." Or in other words, "give us reason to follow you." Gaining Permission to Lead Getting those in your group to cross the chasm of trust and give you permission to be their leader is not an easy task—nor is there a perfect solution for all cases. This is accomplished through prayer and asking the Lord for spiritual direction on how to approach each situation. More often than not, the opportunity to win their permission happens on a one-to-one level. Reaching out to them specifically validates them and lets them know that you care. There may be times when you hear an individual is frustrated with your leadership style or a specific program you are pushing. These negative comments do not always mean that the person has a bad attitude and needs to repent. It simply means that you haven't earned their permission to be their leader. Acknowledge that stage of the relationship and make plans to earn that permission through one-to-one contact. Other individuals don't even realize that they haven't given you permission to lead them. For this reason, it is important you are constantly working to reach out to individuals and validate them. I can think of many experiences when I reached out to an individual through a letter, or a phone call, or simply tried to get to know them briefly in the church hallway. Many of those people have scheduled appointments with me to discuss specific struggles. They never would have sought me out if I didn't first seek them out to "ask permission to be their bishop."
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8 min
November 14, 2015
The Leadership Vacuum | Things to Consider When Transferring Authority
Recently I had lunch with a friend. This wasn't just a friend, but also a past bishopric counselor of mine. At the time of our lunch, I had recently been released as bishop and he had recently been called as bishop in a different ward. These scenarios led to a discussion about leadership vacuums. What is a leadership vacuum? Metaphorically speaking, it's the space left behind by a previous leader. The responsibilities the leader performed, and the information only he or she had access to. In a Church calling, when an authoritative person is released, that vacuum of space collapses on itself and causes issues. This might be made manifest in the form of how the previous leader managed the week-to-week schedule, or how he or she emphasized specific programs in the Church. Even the change in personality from one leader to another can cause uncomfortable adjustments for a ward or quorum. Maybe the last guy was really likable, but the new guy is an old grump. There is no way around this leadership vacuum collapse. The only thing that can be done is to make sure the leadership vacuum is so small that the collapse has minor effect. The outgoing leader holds the most power in keeping the leadership vacuum small enough to have no long term effect on the new leader. Transitions of leadership happen all the time in both in the secular world, and especially in the LDS religious world. Consider the change in the Quorum of the 12 Apostles. When apostles die is there a collapse? No. Thankfully the quorum is supported by 11 other men holding the same authority. The authority of those surviving provides support from the collapse. What about when the president of the Church dies, is there a collapse? Definitely to some extent, but again, the structure of those callings creates an expected result that minimizes the adjustment that members of the Church have to make with the new prophet. What about when Jesus Christ ascended into heaven? Did the leadership vacuum collapse? There was an apostasy in the coming years, but at the time, thankfully there was no collapse, and the Apostles carried on the work. At the time of Christ's arrest, and when Peter denied knowing the Savior (John 18), the leadership vacuum appears large and a leadership collapse seemed inevitable. Thankfully, after the Saviors resurrection, He spoke with Peter directly, reminding him of his role as the "Rock," or leader of the Church. This story, made even more memorable by Elder Hollands 2012 October #ldsconf Address, shrunk whatever remained of the leadership vacuum left by the Savior. Peter proved this as he later preached and produced miracles measurable to the Savior's. Now consider a typical transition for a Relief Society president or elders quorum president. How often are auxiliary leaders re-learning what the previous leader already learned? Of course, some knowledge and experience can only be gained through a personal experience, but most leadership vacuums left behind could be much minor with a thoughtful approach to one's responsibilities and effective delegation. As my bishop friend and I discussed the idea of a leadership vacuum and how to minimize it, a few ideas came to mind. I'd like to share them with you to get you thinking as well. Better ideas may come from you, the reader, as you share your thoughts below. I'd love to add your ideas to this list so other leaders can minimize their leadership vacuum. 1. Delegate More Often Many Relief Society presidents, bishops, and auxiliary presidents think that because they are the big cheese, the main man, or the key holder, they have to do everything. There are very few things the leader can only do themselves. The more they delegate the more they shrink the leadership vacuum. More often than not,
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13 min
November 12, 2015
Finding the Extraordinary to Fill Church Callings
Imagine if you sat on the board of directors for a large Fortune 500 company that needed to find a new CEO to improve the dismal progress of the company. You are not allowed to conduct any formal interviews. You can only choose from people that live in a specific geographical neighborhood (about 350 people). To top it off, you have to make your decision in only 2 weeks. Filling callings in a ward, quorum, or group can feel just as daunting. Most companies would think it was crazy to simply hire someone because you know the person (somewhat) and they seem like they could handle the task. This isn't like the secular world, where it would require a series of interviews and reference checks before making an offer. Thankfully, in any ward or branch people are working under priesthood keys held by a quorum president (i.e. bishop, stake president). Special inspiration comes through these keys and it is remarkable to see the right people chosen for the right callings. Of course, this isn't always the case since humans are involved in the process. It is beneficial to compare the more secular hiring process with the church calling process because though they are different in their approach many of the same mistakes can be made. I recently read a book by called The Rare Find: Spotting Exceptional Talent Before Everyone Else by George Anders. When I first saw the title of the book, my curiosity was peaked because I have spent many late nights with bishoprics going through lists of ward members simply trying to find "exceptional talent" for a vacant calling. In this book Anders shares his research on how large and small companies have found new ways of finding extraordinary team members to take their organization to the next level. Just like my example above, not all of the content of the book can be related to an LDS ward or stake but many hit the nail on the head. Compromise on experience; don't compromise on character When pondering over who should serve as the next elder's quorum president or high councilman, it's natural to look at one's previous church experience. Have they served in a leadership calling before? Did they serve a mission? Anders writes, "The difference between growth and stagnation comes down to finding people with bold, fresh approaches, who can create opportunities that no one else saw before." (p.237) Even with a lengthy church leadership resume, the individual's values may not match the values the quorum needs. I'm not talking about moral values or whether the elder quorum president has a felony on his record. Rather, do they value characteristics that the quorum or group needs? Choosing the elder that is always positive and friendly might not be the best choice when the quorum needs organization and consistency. The bottom line from the quote above is having someone with a fresh approach is sometimes all the position needs to succeed. Seek out "talent that whispers" Take a moment to analyze the process you go through to determine who is a "valid candidate". It doesn't matter which calling you are trying to fill because the process is most likely similar. Choosing an auxiliary leader may feel like a can't-make-a-mistake decision since so much responsibility comes with the call. Whether looking for a new CFO for a company or seeking a new gospel doctrine instructor for a ward—the reality is,
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11 min