“Introduction,” Priesthood and Auxiliary Leaders’ Guidebook (2001), 1–3

The Church prepared this guidebook to help priesthood and auxiliary leaders learn the responsibilities of their callings and how to fulfill them. All leaders and other Church members are to help accomplish the mission of the Church, which is to invite all people to “come unto Christ, and be perfected in him” (Moroni 10:32). To accomplish this mission, leaders help members:

  • Proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. Share the gospel by bearing testimony as prompted by the Spirit.

  • Perfect the Saints. Help new converts progress in the Church by ensuring that they have a friend and an assignment and are nourished by the word of God. Receive the ordinances and make the covenants of the gospel, strive to keep the commandments as they have promised, serve their fellowmen, care for the poor and needy, and fellowship one another to build the community of Saints.

  • Redeem the dead. Identify deceased ancestors and perform temple ordinances for them as far as reasonably possible to prepare for family exaltation.

Share the Gospel

The Lord asks Church members to share the gospel. Leaders are to do so themselves and should encourage and inspire other members to do so. Some ways to share the gospel include:

  • Setting a good example of living by gospel principles.

  • Telling friends and family members about the gospel and the blessings it brings into their lives.

  • Assisting district or full-time missionaries.

  • Planning activities and programs to introduce the gospel to others.

Another way to share the gospel is to help members prepare to serve full-time missions. Leaders can help youth prepare to serve, encourage parents to prepare their children for missions, and encourage retired couples to serve missions. Further, they can counsel members to save money to pay for their own missions and to support missionaries financially.

Under the direction of the branch president, the branch mission leader (when called) coordinates missionary work in the branch.

Perfect the Saints

Perfecting the Saints includes encouraging and helping each member live the gospel each day to prepare for exaltation. Perfecting the Saints has both a spiritual dimension and a temporal dimension.

Spiritual Preparation

woman praying

Leaders should pray continually for inspiration to know how to help members increase their spiritual strength. Leaders can help members prepare spiritually by teaching them the gospel and urging them to live it. They should encourage members to draw close to the Lord by praying, fasting, partaking of the sacrament, and studying the scriptures and the teachings of latter-day prophets. They should provide opportunities to serve, ensure that Church meetings are spiritually edifying, and show love by ministering to members individually.

Efforts to perfect the Saints should focus on individuals and families. The Church strengthens and supports families and homes. The home is the most important place for gospel teaching and leadership. Leaders are to encourage family members to love and serve each other and are to emphasize that parents have a responsibility to teach the gospel to their children and to hold family home evenings regularly.

All members of the Church should prepare to receive the blessings of the temple. Members’ responsibilities for doing this are outlined in the Family Guidebook (31180). Leaders can help members prepare to receive temple blessings by teaching them about the temple. Leaders are to encourage members to live worthily to obtain and always have a valid temple recommend and to receive their temple endowments and temple sealing ordinances where reasonable. A worthy person is one who has entered into covenants with the Lord, such as the baptismal covenant, and is striving diligently to keep these covenants.

Physical and Temporal Preparation

Leaders can help members prepare to meet physical and temporal needs by teaching them to be self-reliant and to prepare for unexpected events. Leaders can teach members to live the law of tithing and the law of the fast, encourage them to live within their means, and assign home and visiting teachers to watch over and help them.

Leaders should seek out and help care for the poor and the needy in the branch and teach branch members to do likewise.

For more information about how members can meet their physical needs, see the Family Guidebook.

Temple Ordinances and Family History

In addition to receiving their own temple ordinances, members help redeem the dead by identifying their ancestors and performing temple ordinances for them. They should concentrate initially on the first four generations of their ancestors. Leaders can help members by teaching them the doctrines relating to the redemption of the dead, encouraging them to submit names for temple work, and encouraging them to perform temple ordinances, where possible, for their ancestors and for others who have died.