Worldwide Leadership Training Will Focus on Families
By Ryan Morgenegg, Church News staff writer
Under the direction of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve, worldwide leadership training will take a new approach in 2013. Intended not just for leaders but also for parents, individuals, and families, the training will focus on “strengthening families and the Church through the priesthood.”
“All sons and daughters of God will be blessed if they follow the teachings and examples of these presentations,” said Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve. “Truly all of the blessings of the priesthood can come to His faithful children because of our Savior’s Atonement.”
Unlike previous training meetings, this year’s worldwide leadership training will not be broadcast as a single event for ward and stake leaders. Instead, it is divided into nine short segments that encourage discussion among leaders and families throughout this coming year and beyond, for members around the world. The content will be available on DVD in wards and on the Internet in mid-February. To access the training videos online, go to lds.org, click on resources, and select leadership and teaching. Then click on the Leadership Training Library.
Elder Ballard, Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Presidency of the Seventy, and Bishop Gary E. Stevenson, Presiding Bishop, conduct and introduce the training. Members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve, along with other General Authorities and general officers, also give inspired instruction in several video presentations.
• A video featuring a roundtable discussion led by Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve explains how leaders who hold priesthood keys can strengthen homes and families. With Elder Perry are Elder Donald L. Hallstrom of the Presidency of the Seventy and Bishop Dean M. Davies of the Presiding Bishopric. Also seated at the table are various ward and stake priesthood leaders who discuss priesthood keys and how they are used to serve the families in their wards and stakes.
• Another video teaches leaders and members how they can more effectively minister to others. It shows videos of priesthood leaders in action visiting with families in the Church. Elder L. Whitney Clayton and Elder Craig C. Christensen of the Presidency of the Seventy go on visits with ward and stake priesthood leaders. The video shows them praying with, teaching, and blessing members and families. The video is interspersed with comments from participants about key points of the visits they made and their thoughts about using the priesthood to strengthen families and the Church.
• The next video teaches, in a discussion led by Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve, how families can find strength and peace through the power of the priesthood. Participating with Elder Oaks are Elder Christoffel Golden Jr. of the Seventy and Bishop Gérald Caussé, First Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric. Using personal examples and stories from their own lives, they discuss how the priesthood is exercised in the home and how it strengthens families.
• How to help every family experience the blessings of the priesthood is a discussion led by Elder Ballard and filmed in the historic home of Mary Fielding Smith in Salt Lake City. Joining him are Elder Rasband; Bishop Stevenson; Sister Linda K. Burton, Relief Society general president; Sister Elaine S. Dalton, Young Women general president, and Sister Rosemary M. Wixom, Primary general president. Using Mary Fielding Smith’s life as an example, they discuss how the priesthood blesses the families of God, including when those families are led by single mothers.
A section of the training called “Bringing Up Children in Light and Truth” features a panel of women in various stages of life, including this grandmother, who discuss how the priesthood can bless homes and families.
• One video discusses how to bring up children in light and truth and features a panel of women who discuss the priesthood and how it blesses children. The discussion is led by Sister Wixom. Joining her are Sister Burton, Sister Dalton, and sisters from the Church in various stages of life and circumstances. A single mother, a mother of young children, and a grandmother each give their point of view about how the priesthood works in the family.
• A final video from the First Presidency is given by President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor to President Thomas S. Monson. In it, President Eyring explains the purpose of the training and how the Lord ministered to others. “This training is designed to help us learn through the power of the Holy Ghost how Heavenly Father would have us minister, particularly in families,” said President Eyring. “I pray that we will feel and teach diligently in our families the love of God as expressed in the priesthood ordinances and services that are so generously offered to us.”
All Church units will receive copies of the DVD, and ward and stake councils are requested to view it in its entirety. They should then counsel together about how to help ward and stake members benefit from the instruction.
In meetings and classes, members can view and discuss individual segments of the DVD. Families and individuals can view the segments, along with additional resources to enhance their study, at leadershiplibrary.lds.org.
Leaders and members are encouraged to create the most powerful part of the training by discussing each video segment after viewing it. As leaders, members, and families ponder, share, and testify about what they have heard and felt, it is hoped that the Holy Ghost will inspire and teach them how to apply the instruction to their own circumstances. Through these experiences, members will help strengthen families and individuals in the Church throughout the world by understanding the priesthood of God and its purpose.