Councils Should . . .
Annette Nay, Ph.D.
Copyright © 1997
- Allow each member to have a say with "free, open discussion with
clear, concise communication."
- "Have a joining of forces in a spirit of loving cooperation."
- Have a united action producing a greater effect that the sum of the
- Work together to produce an out-pouring of affection and interest for
those under their stewardship.
- Use the order of the church to gain help for its members.
- Help the members help themselves
- Get the members immediate and extended families to help the member.
- When a and b cannot provide the help for the member then the church
- Watch for opportunities to grow relationships between the members and
investigators to lessen the dependence investigators have with the
- Make sure new converts are:
- Have good Home Teachers and Visiting Teachers immediately
- "They receive an appropriate calling within days of their
- See that less actives receive a calling the assures they are needed and
- Be guided by those holding authority not by a democratic forum.
- Run by the direction of the Holy Spirit and are never superseded by
- Never underestimate the power and worth of other member's input especially
when guided by the Spirit.
- Do the work not the leader alone.
- Should run by a pre formulated plan or agenda put together by the leader
and the Spirit.
- The framework of which should include a vision or focus of where we
want to go, what we want to do.
- Work from an agenda distributed by the leader, at lease 24 hours before
- This time is used for council member to be able to read, ponder, and
pray about the items so they may be ready to discuss these items at the
- "Focus on ministering to people not administering programs."
- (See the mission of the church, #27.)
- Be motivated when they feel a sense of purpose or part of the cause, which
comes from seeing the vision or being focused.
- Be allowed to buy into the vision by free expression (agency) and a
participation in the decisions (= buying into the idea) which makes each
member feels responsibility for outcomes.
- Understand that if the decisions made in the councils are made in:
- righteousness holiness faith virtue
- temperance godliness charity
- lowliness of heart
- long suffering
- brotherly kindness
- they shall not be unfruitful in the knowledge of the Lord (D&C
- ...let every man learn his duty. . .to act in . . .his office. . . in all
diligence. . . to be counted worthy to stand" (D&C 107:99-100).
- Exercise themselves in prayer.
- Know that councils bring together the wisdom of divergent views and
backgrounds, that through the Spirit a correct accord can be reached and
- Power is gained from drawing upon the diversity of backgrounds, abilities,
and spiritual gifts of each member of the council.
- Listen to the member's point of view.
- Strive to create a proper climate in the meeting.
- Be sensitive to other's thoughts.
- Never interrupt another's conversation.
- Don't push their own ideas, but try to determine what would be best
for the kingdom.
- Should know that " . . .every decision. . .be by . . .unanimous
voice. . .every member in each quorum must agree to its decisions. . ."
D&C 107: 27
- Table all discussions that lack unanimity to convene further thought,
prayer, and discussion.
- However this is not always possible. Some decisions require a quick
- It is times like these that decisions are made by the President
through inspiration promised him/her through the keys and mantle of the
- When this happens the council should support the decision of the
President as if it were an unanimous decision.
- Be confidential about information discussed. Some information can be
destructive to other's lives.
- Make the central focus of each plan/activity be based around the mission
of the church:
- Bringing souls to Christ
- Proclaiming the gospel
- Perfecting the Saints
- Redeeming the Dead
- Will be surprised how much more focused and fruitful the work will become
when examining it through the lens of saving souls through the mission of
- The greatest mission of church councils are to make a difference in
Ballard, M. Russell (1997). Counseling with Our Councils. Salt Lake
City, Utah: Deseret Book Company.
Annette Nay, Ph.D.