Counsel Together

Leadership Lessons for Young Women Class Presidencies


 

Lesson #1:
Creating a Spirit of Unity in the Presidency

Introduce the Principle

In His great Intercessory Prayer, the Savior prayed that those who believe in Him might be one, even as He and His Father are one (see John 17:20–23). In the latter days the Savior commanded us to be unified when He declared, “Be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine” (D&C 38:27). 

Counseling together provides an opportunity to become unified as a presidency. Your presidency also bears the responsibility of being unified with and following the direction of priesthood leaders who hold priesthood keys (bishops, stake presidents, and apostles and prophets). 

Learn Together

  • Why is unity essential for success in the Lord’s work?
  • How can differences of opinion be helpful?
  • How will you, as a class presidency, resolve differences?
  • After a decision is reached, what is the responsibility of each member of the presidency?
  • How and where do you receive direction from priesthood leaders?

Live What We Are Learning

  • Identify one specific way to build more unity as a class presidency and then commit to act. Write down the blessings and benefits you receive. Prepare to share your observations at the next class presidency meeting.
  • Identify one thing you can do to increase unity among your class members.
  • What direction are we as a class presidency receiving from our bishopric and other priesthood leaders? How can we be unified with them?

Resources

Worldwide Leadership Training, “Keys Are the Authority Given to Us by God

Serving Young Women

Think of every individual in your class. What will you do to help each feel included?

 

 

Lesson #2:
Planning Activities with Gospel Purposes in Mind

Introduce the Principle

The Lord has called His followers to “strengthen [our] brethren … in all [our] doings” (see D&C 108:7). Therefore, it is essential to plan activities with gospel purposes in mind. Meaningful activities give you opportunities to put into practice gospel principles, strengthen testimonies, develop talents and leadership skills, give service, and foster friendships with others who are committed to living gospel standards. These are gospel purposes.

Learn Together

Sometimes leaders begin planning an activity by asking, “What do we want to do?” Instead, why is it important to begin by asking, “What does the Lord want to have happen in the lives of those we serve?” What differences will likely occur in the types of activities planned if you begin by asking the latter question first? 

Live What We Are Learning

Commit to planning the next activity with gospel purposes in mind. After the activity, discuss as a presidency specific ways lives were strengthened and gospel principles applied. 

Resources

"Youth in Action: Service," Mormon Messages for Youth

 


Lesson #3:
Preparing and Using an Agenda in Class Presidency Meetings

Introduce the Principle

The Savior has directed leaders in our day to “organize yourselves; [and] prepare every needful thing” (D&C 88:119). An agenda is a written plan for a meeting. It is an organizational tool that helps participants focus on the meeting’s purposes and use time effectively. It should be prioritized to ensure that the most important matters are discussed first. (See Handbook 2: Administering the Church, 18.1.)  

Learn Together

What do you think are some of the most “needful things” that could be included in a written agenda and why? 

An agenda for class presidency meetings might include the following: 

  • Have someone offer an opening prayer. 
  • Study a verse from the scriptures. 
  • Receive leadership training. 
  • Discuss counsel from priesthood leaders and how best to implement it. 
  • Counsel together about how to strengthen and bless individual class members. 
  • Report on assignments. 
  • Plan for upcoming events that meet needs. 
  • Give new assignments. 
  • Have someone offer a closing prayer.

Live What We Are Learning

Commit to prepare and use a written agenda in your next class presidency meeting. What benefits did you observe? Share your insights at the conclusion of the meeting. 

Resources

 

Lesson #4:
Conducting Meetings

Introduce the Principle

In our day, the Lord has instructed leaders to plan and “conduct the meetings as they are led by the Holy Ghost, according to the commandments and revelations of God” (D&C 20:45; see also Moroni 6:9; D&C 46:2). A well-conducted meeting will establish a dignified tone and invite the Spirit to be present. 

Learn Together

  • Discuss some qualities you like to see when someone is conducting a meeting. 
  • How do these qualities invite the Spirit to be present? 
  • Why is preparing in advance essential for an efficient and effective meeting? 

Consider the following suggestions for conducting a meeting effectively: 

  • Arrive early and make sure everything is ready for the meeting. 
  • When possible, make assignments ahead of time, including opening and closing prayers. 
  • Conduct with reverence as guided by the Spirit. Leaders always teach by example. 
  • Use a written agenda that outlines events to take place in the meeting. 
  • The person conducting announces who will pray, speak, lead the music, and do other things. 
  • Music:
    • Choose music that invites the Spirit. 
    • See that the music director and accompanist are prepared. 
    • Where appropriate, arrange for prelude music to be played before the meeting starts. 
  • Be efficient and aware of time limits.

Live What We Are Learning

  • Practice conducting a Sunday opening exercise or Mutual activity. Ask presidency members to identify the things you did well and possible ways to improve.
  • Identify one specific way you will better prepare and conduct a meeting. Share with your class presidency what you did and the difference(s) you observed.

Resources

 


Lesson #5:
Delegating Responsibility and Ensuring Accountability

Introduce the Principle

The Savior recognized the potential of others and called them to help in the work of His kingdom (see Matthew 10:1; 3 Nephi 11:18–22). Leaders help others grow by giving them meaningful assignments and providing encouragement and assistance as needed. 

Learn Together

A relay race is an exciting event in track-and-field competition. What would you think of a member of a relay team who decided to keep the baton and run the whole race by herself? How would she make her team members feel? What would happen to a class if the president or the class presidency planned and did everything alone? What growth would others miss? How can involving others make for a “better race”? 

Delegation includes more than giving someone an assignment. It includes the following steps: 

  1. Clearly outline the assignment in your own mind. 
  2. Prayerfully determine who should be given the assignment. 
  3. Meet with the other person to explain the assignment. 
  4. Decide together when the assignment needs to be completed. 
  5. Ensure that the assignment is understood and responsibility for it is accepted. Keep a written record of the assignment and check progress from time to time. 
  6. Respect the assigned person’s efforts to develop plans and fulfill the assignment. Leaders provide encouragement and assistance as needed. 
  7. Ask the person to report back about the assignment. After receiving the report, the leader accepts the person’s best efforts and expresses sincere appreciation for the good things the person has done.

Live What We Are Learning

As a presidency, counsel together about how you could involve class members in meaningful ways to prepare for an activity, to participate in a Sunday lesson, and so on. Use the guidelines for delegating. Discuss the benefits you observed by involving others. 

Working Together in the Ward Council” — Watch this video and liken the ward council to your class presidency. How can you better work together to bless the members of your class?

 

 


Lesson #6:
Keeping Confidences

Introduce the Principle

In 1 Peter 1:15 it says, “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation.” For the Strength of Youth teaches us, “Speak kindly and positively about others. Choose not to insult others or put them down, even in joking. Avoid gossip of any kind, and avoid speaking in anger. When you are tempted to say harsh or hurtful things, leave them unsaid” (20). 

As you show concern for and counsel about ways to support and strengthen members of your class, think carefully before you speak. Communicate in ways that build trust and respect individuals and families. As a leader you are in a sacred position to keep confidential any private or sensitive information that is discussed. 

Learn Together

  • Discuss Alma’s counsel to his son Corianton (see Alma 41:14). How can you, as leaders, “see that you are merciful unto your brethren; deal justly, judge righteously, and do good continually” as you strive to help your class members? 
  • Discuss together the importance of keeping confidences and not allowing anything shared in confidential settings to be turned into gossip. 
  • Discuss ways you as presidency members can stop gossip and encourage kindness. 

Live What We Are Learning

Commit to keeping confidences of individual class members. Determine as a presidency to keep your meetings and all your conversations gossip free. Speak kindly of others, and by your example invite others to do the same.  

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Judging Others? Stop It!” 

Mormonad, “Gossip