To help leaders learn their duties and to introduce resource materials that can be used for priesthood and auxiliary leadership training, the general presidencies of four of the auxiliaries of the Church held training for stake and ward auxiliary leaders in late March. (Training for Young Men leaders will be held on May 10). Webcasts, both live and on-demand, were provided or will be provided for all five auxiliaries in English and Spanish.
A summary of the four training sessions held in March is provided here for those without access.
The purpose of Primary is to help children along the path to conversion, said Rosemary M. Wixom, Primary general president, during auxiliary training for Primary leaders on March 28 and 29.
“We want [Primary children] to feel, to love, to act,” she said. “We want them to have a testimony. … Testimony means declaration. We want to go one step further. Conversion means to act. We want these children to have and feel the seeds of conversion in their lives.”
Sister Wixom and her counselors, Jean A. Stevens and Cheryl A. Esplin, told ward and stake Primary leaders that they can assist parents in planting those seeds of conversion. Sister Wixom said the process of conversion begins at a very young age. “It ideally begins in the home, where the parents love the Lord with all their heart, with all their soul, and with all their might. And then they teach their children.”
She said children will understand what it means to be converted “only if we take the time to teach them.” And, she added, if parents and Primary leaders don’t teach them, “the world will.”
Members of the Primary general board also gave presentations on using music to teach gospel principles and on the resources for Primary leaders found on LDS.org.
“You lead a great work!” Julie B. Beck, who was released as Relief Society general president in the Saturday afternoon session of conference, told Relief Society leaders during an auxiliary training session on March 27 and 28. “This is the Lord’s work. … We have a responsibility of great importance.”
Sister Beck addressed many topics, including the purposes of Relief Society, the important role women play in their families, teaching (especially the new sisters of the Church), working in committees, and leadership principles.
Stick with the basics, Sister Beck said. “It is a simple work, and then the Lord brings the ideas into focus. If we figure out what we need to do, He will help us get from revelation to implementation. We will receive revelation all along the way.”
In all of their teaching, the presidency and Relief Society general board members focused on looking for answers in Handbook 2: Administering the Church as well as in Daughters in My Kingdom: The History and Work of Relief Society.
The Leadership Training Library, a new feature on LDS.org, was a pervasive focus in the Sunday School auxiliary leadership training meeting held on March 28.
Portions of various video clips from the library were shown to support the discussion of what Russell T. Osguthorpe, Sunday School general president, outlined as four main topics in the meeting:
The role of a ward or stake Sunday School leader.
How to help others understand the Sunday School presidency’s role in improving the teaching in all organizations of the ward and stake.
How to counsel together more effectively as a presidency.
How to orient teachers and provide effective ongoing support.
“The Leadership Training Library, you will find, will be one of the most important tools you have to help train members of other auxiliaries and the Sunday School in their responsibilities,” said David M. McConkie, first counselor in the Sunday School general presidency. “The library was prepared by all the auxiliaries in the Church, by members of the Seventy, [and] by members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. This is a project that has gone on for many years, and it has spanned many continents.”
The library can be accessed at LDS.org by first clicking on Menu on the home page and then clicking on the Leadership Training Library link in the Service column.
“The standards haven’t changed, but the world has,” said Elaine S. Dalton, Young Women general president, during the Young Women auxiliary training meetings on March 27 and 28. She encouraged the leaders to “change the world” through being a good example of living a virtuous life.
“Your callings aren’t random,” she said. “The way you look, dress, and smile will affect these young women … just by being with them and teaching them the joy of being a woman and living the gospel. … We have to be modest. We have to be vigilant. We need to teach by example and great love.”
Counselors in the Young Women general presidency, Mary N. Cook and Ann M. Dibb, spoke of the importance of “letting Laurels lead.” The counselors used Young Women camp—which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year—as an example of an opportunity to let Laurels lead, but said there are constant opportunities for the leaders to distribute responsibilities, allowing the young women to be involved.
Presenters also focused on the many resources—websites, articles, videos, manuals, and the revised version of For the Strength of Youth—that are available for leaders to look to for ideas and help.
Contributed by Church News