Leading LDS http://leadinglds.com Become a Leader, not a Calling Sat, 20 Dec 2014 18:14:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1LDS leaders are faced with problems relating to home/visiting teaching, activation, missionary work, class participation, and many more. It’s time we consider applying established research and innovative ideas in order to find fresh ideas for these perpetual problems. By doing so, it will help leaders approach problems differently. There are also leaders that are currently over-coming problems with ideas that could be shared with the masses. We must find those LDS leaders and invite them to share. We encourage all to share ideas and strategies that have brought success in your respective ward or stake.Whether you are called to preside over meetings or vacuum cereal off benches LeadingLDS is for you. Regardless of your calling all are leaders in the church through example and fellowship. Leading LDS clean Leading LDS kurt@leadinglds.com kurt@leadinglds.com (Leading LDS) Leading in the LDS World Leading LDS http://leadinglds.com/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/Leading-LDS-Podcast.pnghttp://leadinglds.com Laughing at LDS Leadership Irony | An Interview With Cartoonist Jon Clarkhttp://leadinglds.com/my-blog/2014/12/honest-jon-comics.html http://leadinglds.com/my-blog/2014/12/honest-jon-comics.html#comments Sat, 20 Dec 2014 18:05:55 +0000 http://leadinglds.com/?p=1873 http://leadinglds.com/my-blog/2014/12/honest-jon-comics.html/feed 0 Jon Clark (a.k.a. Honest Jon....a.k.a. J.D. Clark) is from Knoxville, TN. He has served as an executive secretary, bishopric counselor, and is currently serving in his ward's Young Men's Presidency. He works full-time creating music for television shows. Jon Clark (a.k.a. Honest Jon....a.k.a. J.D. Clark) is from Knoxville, TN. He has served as an executive secretary, bishopric counselor, and is currently serving in his ward's Young Men's Presidency. He works full-time creating music for television shows. In his part-time he is making members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint laugh through his Honest Jon comics.Check out his website and subscribe to his newsletter. You can also hear him interviewed on the Mormon Channel with some other cartoonists.Buy his book When the High Priests Take Over the Nursery If you want to check out my not-as-funny cartoons visit drawYOUfunny.com Leading LDS clean 36:05 “Our Motto Is ‘Follow the Brethren,’ Not ‘Follow the Brother'” | Leader to Leader Episode 9http://leadinglds.com/my-blog/2014/12/our-motto-is-follow-the-brethren-not-follow-the-brother-leader-to-leader-episode-9.html http://leadinglds.com/my-blog/2014/12/our-motto-is-follow-the-brethren-not-follow-the-brother-leader-to-leader-episode-9.html#comments Fri, 12 Dec 2014 16:21:24 +0000 http://leadinglds.com/?p=1861 http://leadinglds.com/my-blog/2014/12/our-motto-is-follow-the-brethren-not-follow-the-brother-leader-to-leader-episode-9.html/feed 0 The following quote and story come from President Packer's address entitled "I Say Unto You, Be One" at a BYU devotional back in February of 1991. - He touches on priceless principles of unity in a council when seeking the Lord direction and revelation. The following quote and story come from President Packer's address entitled "I Say Unto You, Be One" at a BYU devotional back in February of 1991.He touches on priceless principles of unity in a council when seeking the Lord direction and revelatio... Leading LDS clean 12:07 Double the Effectiveness of Any Leadership Talk | Be a Storytellerhttp://leadinglds.com/my-blog/2014/12/double-the-effectiveness-of-any-leadership-talk-be-a-storyteller.html http://leadinglds.com/my-blog/2014/12/double-the-effectiveness-of-any-leadership-talk-be-a-storyteller.html#comments Fri, 05 Dec 2014 15:59:53 +0000 http://leadinglds.com/?p=1839 http://leadinglds.com/my-blog/2014/12/double-the-effectiveness-of-any-leadership-talk-be-a-storyteller.html/feed 1 "Someone is singing flat! It's one of the tenors.", said Mr. Christmas (no relation to the man in the North Pole, although they shared the same physique). This was high school junior choir back in 1998. I had joined the choir under the encouragement of... "Someone is singing flat! It's one of the tenors.", said Mr. Christmas (no relation to the man in the North Pole, although they shared the same physique). This was high school junior choir back in 1998. I had joined the choir under the encouragement of my sister who promised me it would be fun. I had no background in singing nor did I really want to sing. But here I was sitting among the tenors being accused of singing flat (which was probably true). Mr. Christmas then wanted to go through each row of tenors and make three of them sing at a time so he could determine who was flat. He was simply trying to fix the problem, but he didn't realize how terrifying he was making it for self-conscious high schoolers.I was in the 3rd row, so once he determined the flat note wasn't in the first 2 rows, he glared at my row. There were three of us. He played a simple measure of notes on the piano and told us to sing it. I didn't know what to do. I was about to be ousted as the flat tenor. So I did what any other insecure kid would do, I lied by mouthing the notes without stimulating my voice box with air from my lungs. After a few measures, Mr. Christmas looked at me and asked, "Are you singing?" I replied, "Yup." Praying he would believe me and then move on. My prayer was answered and I hope my lie is written off in the afterlife.Later in the school year I found myself in the audience at the school musical. Seeing people sing and dance on stage looked like something that would be fun, plus there were a lot of cute girls on stage. I told myself the following year I would try out for the school musical hoping to be a part of the background--maybe a rock or a forgotten tree would work for my talent. Over the next few months further practice improved my singing ability. I soon found that I enjoyed singing once I was able to hold a note and to sing with depth to my voice.The next school year, musical tryouts came and I did my best to sing and awkwardly dance to hopefully get a small role in the play. The final cut was posted and I found my name on the list--as on of the lead roles. I'd never felt so out of my comfort zone as I did in that very moment. How was I supposed to do this? I even found out later that I needed to learn an Indian accent in order to read my lines (my character was from India). It was a trying time and I even made the decision at one point to quit the musical and move on because I just wasn't cut out for it. Thankfully, the urging of good friends kept me on board.The musical in high school was a pivotal point. It pushed me so far out of my comfort zone that it uncovered a talent I didn't know I had. I had a talent for public speaking, training and feeling comfortable in front of a crowd. I later went on to travel North America for a large supplement company, presenting to crowds of 500 or more. I kept the audience engaged for 90 minutes and became a natural entertainer. Your Stories Need to Be Heard As a Leader You too have stories like this. My story is nothing amazing. I doubt I ever get a phone call from someone wanting to buy the movie rights to "Mr. Christmas Scolds the Tenors", but it impacted me personally in a way that helps me to teach others that life is about growing out of our comfort zone.Being a storyteller is synonymous with being a leader. No PowerPoint slide or data chart will ever move an audience as much as a story will move an audience. When you prepare a talk or have to open up a ward council meeting or training, starting with a story will get everyone off to the right start. Most stories aren't as well told when you just tell them off the cuff. A leader should take time daily or weekly to write down the unique stories in their life that taught them a lesson and record them (create your own topical guide). The story should flow and be interesting. I have no literary background but I still articulated the story above. It's engaging enough to keep one's attention. Leading LDS clean 7:07 How I Lead the Primary | Jessica Mortensenhttp://leadinglds.com/my-blog/2014/12/how-i-lead-the-primary-jessica-mortensen.html http://leadinglds.com/my-blog/2014/12/how-i-lead-the-primary-jessica-mortensen.html#comments Thu, 04 Dec 2014 02:04:26 +0000 http://leadinglds.com/?p=1849 http://leadinglds.com/my-blog/2014/12/how-i-lead-the-primary-jessica-mortensen.html/feed 1 Jessica Mortensen and her family live in Meridian, Idaho just west of Boise. She is married and has 4 children between the ages of 13 and 7. - Jessica has been serving as the Primary President for the past 2 years in her ward that has about 80 primary... Jessica Mortensen and her family live in Meridian, Idaho just west of Boise. She is married and has 4 children between the ages of 13 and 7.Jessica has been serving as the Primary President for the past 2 years in her ward that has about 80 primary children. Her previous callings include, among others, Wolf Den Leader, Ma for Trek, Counselor and Secretary in Primary. In this conversation Jessica talks about serving as a Primary President and the many roles that entails. From planning the annual primary program to supporting those that serve in nursery, the teachers and the primary chorister, she explains how she works to strengthen and support those that serve in the primary and most importantly how to strengthen and support the primary children to help them nourish and develop their testimonies.As a bonus, we learn how bubbles and ribbons can be a nursery leader’s best friend. Leadership principles:Teach the primary children about the Holy Ghost and help them recognize it’s presence on a daily basis Attend the temple Create unity with primary workers Keep raising the bar for the children Be in the children’s home, look for them in their school, show them love Be active in the ward council Leading LDS clean 48:24 How I Lead: Justin Ropelato | Bishopric Counselorhttp://leadinglds.com/my-blog/2014/11/how-i-lead-justin-ropelado-bishopric-counselor.html http://leadinglds.com/my-blog/2014/11/how-i-lead-justin-ropelado-bishopric-counselor.html#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 00:30:20 +0000 http://leadinglds.com/?p=1829 http://leadinglds.com/my-blog/2014/11/how-i-lead-justin-ropelado-bishopric-counselor.html/feed 0 Justin Ropelato is a father of three living in Roy, UT. He grew up in Hooper, UT and works for his family business. His grandmother, an Italian immigrant, was the first member of the church in his family, starting the faith-filled legacy he enjoys now. Justin Ropelato is a father of three living in Roy, UT. He grew up in Hooper, UT and works for his family business. His grandmother, an Italian immigrant, was the first member of the church in his family, starting the faith-filled legacy he enjoys now. Currently serving as Second Counselor in the Bishopric, Justin has previously served in various roles in the Elders Quorum Presidency including President, Counselor and Secretary. Justin served a mission in Rome, Italy, where he continued the work his father started as a missionary years before. Justin's legacy of focus on individuals is evident through his service. Key Leadership PrinciplesTeach the Atonement and everything else will fall into place It isn't important what others think of your leadership legacy; making a difference in the lives of a few matters! Never complain or talk bad about others Nathan Waldron replaced Justin Ropelato as Elder's Quorum President. You can listen to his interview HERE.  Leading LDS clean 54:46 “Your Father Will Ordain You” | Leader to Leader Episode 8http://leadinglds.com/my-blog/2014/11/during-the-vietnam-war-we-held-a-series-of-special-meetings-for-members-of-the-church-called-into-military-service-af.html http://leadinglds.com/my-blog/2014/11/during-the-vietnam-war-we-held-a-series-of-special-meetings-for-members-of-the-church-called-into-military-service-af.html#comments Tue, 18 Nov 2014 00:42:36 +0000 http://leadinglds.com/?p=5 http://leadinglds.com/my-blog/2014/11/during-the-vietnam-war-we-held-a-series-of-special-meetings-for-members-of-the-church-called-into-military-service-af.html/feed 0 father's blessing,priesthood blessings President Boyd K. Packer - "The Power of The Priesthood" President Joseph F. Smith made this statement about the priesthood in the home: “In the home the presiding authority is always vested in the father, President Boyd K. Packer"The Power of The Priesthood" President Joseph F. Smith made this statement about the priesthood in the home: “In the home the presiding authority is always vested in the father, and in all home affairs and family matters there is no other authority paramount. To illustrate this principle, a single incident will perhaps suffice. It sometimes happens that the elders are called in to administer to the members of a family. Among these elders there may be presidents of stakes, apostles, or even members of the first presidency of the Church. It is not proper under these circumstances for the father to stand back and expect the elders to direct the administration of this important ordinance. The father is there. It is his right and it is his duty to preside. He should select the one who is to administer the oil, and the one who is to be mouth in prayer, and he should not feel that because there are present presiding authorities in the Church that he is therefore divested of his rights to direct the administration of that blessing of the gospel in his home. (If the father be absent, the mother should request the presiding authority present to take charge.) The father presides at the table, at prayer, and gives general directions relating to his family life whoever may be present.”During the Vietnam War, we held a series of special meetings for members of the Church called into military service. After such a meeting in Chicago, I was standing next to President Harold B. Lee when a fine young Latter-day Saint told President Lee that he was on leave to visit his home and then had orders to Vietnam. He asked President Lee to give him a blessing.Much to my surprise, President Lee said, “Your father should give you the blessing.”Very disappointed, the boy said, “My father wouldn’t know how to give a blessing.”President Lee answered, “Go home, my boy, and tell your father that you are going away to war and want to receive a father’s blessing from him. If he does not know how, tell him that you will sit on a chair. He can stand behind you and put his hands on your head and say whatever comes.”This young soldier went away sorrowing.About two years later I met him again. I do not recall where. He reminded me of that experience and said, “I did as I was told to do. I explained to my father that I would sit on the chair and that he should put his hands on my head. The power of the priesthood filled both of us. That was a strength and protection in those perilous months of battle.”Another time I was in a distant city. After a conference we were ordaining and setting apart leaders. As we concluded, the stake president asked, “Can we ordain a young man to be an elder who is leaving for the mission field?” The answer, of course, was yes.As the young man came forward, he motioned for three brethren to follow and stand in for his ordination.I noticed on the back row a carbon copy of this boy, and I asked, “Is that your father?”The young man said, “Yes.”I said, “Your father will ordain you.”And he protested, “But I’ve already asked another brother to ordain me.”And I said, “Young man, your father will ordain you, and you’ll live to thank the Lord for this day.”Then the father came forward.Thank goodness he was an elder. Had he not been, he soon could have been! In the military they would call that a battlefield commission. Sometimes such things are done in the Church.The father did not know how to ordain his son. I put my arm around him and coached him through the ordinance. When he was finished, the young man was an elder. Then something wonderful happened. Completely changed, the father and son embraced. It was obvious that had never happened before.The father, through his tears, said, “I didn’t get to ordain my other boys.”Think how much more was accomplished than if another had ordained him, even an Apostle.   Leading LDS clean 7:32 Tithing Settlement Help for Bishopricshttp://leadinglds.com/my-blog/2014/11/tithing-settlement-help-for-bishoprics.html http://leadinglds.com/my-blog/2014/11/tithing-settlement-help-for-bishoprics.html#comments Sat, 15 Nov 2014 18:37:29 +0000 http://leadinglds.com/?p=1817 http://leadinglds.com/my-blog/2014/11/tithing-settlement-help-for-bishoprics.html/feed 2 tithing settlement Tithing Settlement can be a big feat to take on during the business holiday season of the year. We gathered a handful of experienced bishops together to discuss how they have found success with tithing settlement. Tithing Settlement can be a big feat to take on during the business holiday season of the year. We gathered a handful of experienced bishops together to discuss how they have found success with tithing settlement. It turned into an interesting discussion where many ideas were shared that will be very valuable to all bishopric members who listen.Let me introduce the fantastic guests we had on the podcast:Bill Reel, Host of Mormon Discussion Podcast, Former Bishop in Ohio I can't say enough about what Bill is doing at Mormon Discussion Podcast. His resource has helped me in so many ways to assist members in my ward that are dealing with faith transitions. I encourage you to check out his podcast. I interviewed him before about Helping Other Through a Faith Crisis and during a segment of How I Lead. Andy Chatham, Former Bishop in San Jose, CA This is Andy's second time on the LeadingLDS podcast. He joined me for one of my first segments of How I Lead. He also wrote A Bishop's Guidebook that is worth a read.Chad Francom, Current Bishop in West Valley City, UT (7 years and running) This is Chad's debut on the LeadingLDS podcast. He is my oldest brother. He is about to start his 7th tithing settlement so his perspective and approach is well thought out.Jon Albright, Current Bishop in Austin, TX This is also Jon's LeadingLDS debut. Jon has been following LeadingLDS for a few years and had great insights in regards to tithing settlement. I hope to have him back on in the future to learn more about his leadership.Tevya Washburn, Creator of Mormon Life Hacker, Past Executive Secretary in Boise, ID Tevya is the creator of the popular blog Mormon Life Hacker. He teaches individuals how to make their LDS life more effective and enjoyable through simple strategies and technologies. I encourage you to check out his blog. Resources mentioned in this podcast episode: First Presidency Letter - March 19, 1970 - Handbook 1, 14.4.1 Council on Disposition of Tithes - Doctrine & Covenants 120 YouCanBook.Me Mormon Life Hacker - Tithing Settlement in 2 DaysTo access the handout that I used in my sacrament meeting GO HERE. You can then make a copy of your own and edit it to fit the needs of your ward.Additional Resources: http://eom.byu.edu/index.php/Tithing https://www.lds.org/topics/tithing?lang=eng https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2013/10/the-windows-of-heaven?lang=eng https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2002/10/tithing-a-test-of-faith-with-eternal-blessings?lang=eng https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1980/10/the-law-of-tithing?lang=eng  “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; italics added.)If you have an effective approach to tithing settlement that wasn't covered in this episode, please share in the comments below. Leading LDS clean 1:11:31 How I Lead: Sunny Morton | Same 10 Peoplehttp://leadinglds.com/my-blog/2014/11/how-i-lead-sunny-morton-same-10-people.html http://leadinglds.com/my-blog/2014/11/how-i-lead-sunny-morton-same-10-people.html#comments Thu, 13 Nov 2014 23:16:13 +0000 http://leadinglds.com/?p=1787 http://leadinglds.com/my-blog/2014/11/how-i-lead-sunny-morton-same-10-people.html/feed 1 Sunny Morton and her family live east of Cleveland on the shores of Lake Erie near the Canadian border. She was raised in the Chicago area and grew up as the only sister of 5 brothers, which she says prepared her well to work within a ward council sett... Sunny Morton and her family live east of Cleveland on the shores of Lake Erie near the Canadian border. She was raised in the Chicago area and grew up as the only sister of 5 brothers, which she says prepared her well to work within a ward council setting. When she was 24 she served as a missionary in the California Arcadia Spanish Speaking Mission. After returning home she married and began a family with her husband that includes 3 children ages 8 to 13. She is the primary care giver to her daughter who has Spina Bifida and also helps with her husband who has some health challenges as well. She refers to herself as a busy mid-lifer who also works part time in the genealogy industry. She is a contributing editor and content provider for the Genealogy Gems podcast and blog. A few weeks prior to this interview she was released as her wards Relief Society President where she served for the last 2.5 years. It is evident in this interview that her background and life’s experiences prepared her well to serve the people of that area. Leadership Principles Discussed Include: - How she helped prioritize the focus of the Ward Council to family history work through the formation of a family history committee - What she did as the first relief society president of a newly formed ward to create a sense of community and togetherness - How she used social media and Facebook to help sisters connect and what she did when dissenting views crept up on the walls - How she operated as a woman on the ward council and worked with her fellow quorum and auxiliary leaders - Living like a full time missionary as much as you can both in your personal life and in the ways you serve others - Keeping peoples confidence - Letting the Spirit magnify your calling but also teach you the boundaries - Growing the STPs (Same Ten People) to the NTPs (Next Ten People) - How her transition period worked with the recent calling a new relief society president. - How she got out of the way of families, friends and visiting teachers to respond to their stewardships Links and references mentioned in this episode: The Genealogy Gems Podcast Instructions on how to create free access to premium genealogical services using your LDS account ancestry.com findmypast.com myheritage.com Use of social media and online resources in church callings LDS Tools Google Docs Leading LDS clean 56:47 “Go Sick” | Leader to Leader Episode 7http://leadinglds.com/my-blog/2014/11/go-sick-leader-to-leader-episode-7.html http://leadinglds.com/my-blog/2014/11/go-sick-leader-to-leader-episode-7.html#comments Tue, 11 Nov 2014 16:54:22 +0000 http://leadinglds.com/?p=1809 http://leadinglds.com/my-blog/2014/11/go-sick-leader-to-leader-episode-7.html/feed 0 Elder F. Burton Howard - "Commitment" - April 1996 General Conference - Our justifications are many. We say we will do it later. We have something more important to do right now. We don’t feel well or we don’t feel qualified or we don’t want to be f... Elder F. Burton Howard"Commitment"April 1996 General ConferenceOur justifications are many. We say we will do it later. We have something more important to do right now. We don’t feel well or we don’t feel qualified or we don’t want to be fanatical about it. When I think of those who want to postpone performance until another time, I remember a question someone once asked at a stake conference.A man said, “Brother Howard, do you know why we can never get more than 83 percent home teaching in the Church?” I said, “No, why?” He said,“Because no one wants to go on Halloween and New Year’s Eve.” When I hear someone say they can’t serve because they don’t feel well, I remember a stake I once visited in Mexico. The stake president spoke about a lesson he learned from his wife. He said that a week before the conference, he had scheduled some home teaching visits but came home from work and didn't feel well. He told his wife that he guessed he wouldn't go home teaching because he was sick. Her reply to him was,“Go sick!” And he went. I once talked with a man who said, “I know I could do a little more, but no one wants to be a fanatic.” His statement reminded me of a definition I heard once: “A fanatic is a person who does what he thinks the Lord would do if only He had all the facts.” But He who really does know all things isn’t a fanatic; neither are those who do what He would have them do. When I listen to people say they have something more important to do, I wonder what it could possibly be. What could be more important than keeping a commitment we have made with the Lord? As I travel the Church I often ask stake presidents what their concerns are and what they perceive to be their greatest need. Frequently the reply is,“We have wonderful people. Some of them just need to be more committed and more dedicated. They need to be more anxiously engaged in the work.” The Church does have many needs, and one of them is for more people who will just do what they have agreed to do, people who will show up for work and stay all day, who will quietly, patiently, and consistently do what they have agreed to do—for as long as it takes, and who will not stop until they have finished.*Leaders to Leaders is a series of posts that share what leaders of the church have learned from other leaders of the church. This might include stories from general conference, accounts of one leader attending a stake conference with another leader, or simply recollections one leader’s interaction with someone they respected. There are great leadership skills one can learn by pondering these interactions. Listen to other stories in this series HERE.  Leading LDS clean 5:24 How I Lead: Bishop Chris Staggs | Life Balance & Delegationhttp://leadinglds.com/my-blog/2014/11/how-i-lead-bishop-chris-staggs-life-balance-delegation.html http://leadinglds.com/my-blog/2014/11/how-i-lead-bishop-chris-staggs-life-balance-delegation.html#comments Wed, 05 Nov 2014 22:59:12 +0000 http://leadinglds.com/?p=1805 http://leadinglds.com/my-blog/2014/11/how-i-lead-bishop-chris-staggs-life-balance-delegation.html/feed 1 Chris Staggs is a father of four boys who lives in Overland Park, Kansas (suburb of Kansas City) and works in marketing for a multi-national corporation.  He grew up in western Kansas and, through a friends courageous question was led to the gospel. Chris Staggs is a father of four boys who lives in Overland Park, Kansas (suburb of Kansas City) and works in marketing for a multi-national corporation.  He grew up in western Kansas and, through a friends courageous question was led to the gospel.  He was baptized after high school, weeks before starting college at the University of Kansas, where he met his wife.He was recently released as bishop, where he served for 5-1/2 years. Prior to his service as bishop, Brother Staggs served as a counselor in the bishopric and in several Young Mens presidencies.  He currently serves as high councilor.Leadership principles:Don't fret over regrets, don't compare your service to that of others, learn from mistakes Don't bear others' burdens, help them apply the Atonement Work smart, especially with meetings and sharing the work Life balance  and delegation, learning to and being comfortable saying "no" Key principles of home and visiting teaching including:  honoring covenants and the power of return-and-report Leading LDS clean 1:04:48