October 14, 2019
Reverend France A. Davis has been the pastor at the Calvary Baptist Church in Salt Lake City, Utah, since 1974. He was born and raised in Georgia and attended school at Tuskegee University in Alabama, during which time he participated in marches with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He then served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War era and later came to Salt Lake City as a teaching fellow in the Communications Department at the University of Utah. Highlights 03:15 His mentors all held the conviction that it is not enough to believe, but that you have to take action to make it a reality. They took the Bible as their guide and sought to change laws so that people were treated fairly and not mistreated due to skin color or place of origin. He has continued to do that in our community, working to make it better for everyone who might be treated unfairly. 6:45 Felt the call from God to become a leader at a young age, and was prepared when the time came and the actual call came to serve 11:15 Explanation of the process taking place now, looking for a new pastor to replace him 14:15 The process of becoming a part of the Calvary Baptist congregation 16:10 His early experience and some of the service programs the Calvary Baptist Church has worked on with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 20:15 All people need to realize that there are other people who are different, and to appreciate those differences in the religious setting. The leaders of whatever the dominant group is need to make efforts to include those people who are not part of that dominant group. 24:15 Some benefits and the more obvious negatives to having the Church so dominant in Utah 27:45 Reaching out means getting to know people and interacting with them, appreciating differences and working together, and does not mean having a hidden agenda of proselyting 32:15 The legislative process should also involve input from leaders from a diverse community and not from simply the dominant culture 34:50 Principles of leadership: start with formal training and learning leadership * Everyone has something to say and the leader needs to listen to them * To be an effective leader, you must first be a good follower * Be willing to sacrifice your selfish wishes for the benefit of the total community * Have a vision for how to accomplish what you want to see in the community 36:25 Listen first before pronouncing your opinion 37:20 Every pastor needs a pastor, and in different settings you are a leader or a follower 38:50 Experience interviewing elderly church members who wanted a wheelchair ramp, but the congregation shot it down. He learned to talk to more people first so that everyone’s opinion is heard and they have a buy-in. 41:25 Vision is constantly changing, pointing the people forward to what they want to see happen in the future 43:45 How confession is handled between individuals and God 45:10 Spiritual counseling and financial or secular counseling handled separately 48:00 Being a full-time pastor means dealing with the people full-time 49:00 Worship services at the Calvary Baptist Church for those who wish to visit and worship 50:00 Leading a congregation for 45 years has helped him understand that he cannot do it alone Links Calvary Baptist Church
September 30, 2019
In this episode, Leading Saints Executive Director, Kurt Francom, shares his closing session from the Liberating Saints Virtual Summit. He approaches the subject of supporting and mentoring someone through a difficult struggle with pornography, from a doctrinal standpoint. Highlights 3:00 Approaching the topic from a doctrinal standpoint 4:20 Behaviors vs doctrine/heart 5:15 “The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior. Preoccupation with unworthy behavior can lead to unworthy behavior. That is why we stress so forcefully the study of the doctrines of the gospel.“—Boyd K. Packer 6:40 Change the heart, leading to a change in behavior 8:00 How Satan tempts us, catching us in our own traps by creating contention in our hearts (Doctrine & Covenants 10:12, 26, 63) * 11:10 Satan’s attack on our identity causes contention (Moses 4:11, Matthew 4:3) * 14:00 Setting our own trap (example from The Lion King) * 17:15 Steve’s story of overcoming addiction 19:40 Satan uses shame to alter identity * “As a shame researcher, I've learned that wherever perfectionism is driving us, shame is riding shotgun.”—Brene Brown * 22:20 “What does that say about you as a person?”—Sam Tielemans 23:15 The adversary’s work and glory is to destroy the agency of man. Shame leads to altered identity which leads to a lack of agency. 24:55 “I am an addict” * “No one wants to be defined by their hardest struggle, and so we have to find this really interesting space between owning it and identifying it but reject being labeled by it and reduced by it.”—Brene Brown * 27:00 Does this reduce or expand the individual’s identity? 29:50 Examples of Tom and Tim in the bishop’s office 33:10 A change of heart leads to good behavior * Offer hope * Explore doctrines (especially mercy and grace) * Admit you can’t “fix” them * Define the purpose of the behaviors (CPR: church, prayer, read scriptures) * Turn them towards their Father * Overwhelm them with connection 44:20 Story of James 47:45 Disappointment: another tactic of the adversary * The principal’s office, the dentist’s office, and the bishop’s office * 51:10 Contention created when we believe God is disappointed in us 52:30 Can God be disappointed? Can God be surprised? * Doctrine & Covenants 3:1-3 * Doctrine & Covenants 10:67 * “Repentance isn’t His backup plan in the event we might fail. Repentance is His plan, knowing that we will.”—Lynn G. Robbins 57:10 Example of learning to walk and falling down * “This shepherd, our Good Shepherd, finds joy in seeing His diseased sheep progress toward healing.”—Dale G. Renlund * “A car is made to run on gasoline, and it would not run properly on anything else. Now God designed the human machine to run on himself. He himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other.”—C.S. Lewis 1:01:15 Kurt’s scripture study shame cycle example: “You could _______ and I’d still love you.” 1:05:45 “The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us.”—C.S. Lewis 1:06:20 John 14:16 1:07:50 The Heart of Man movie clip: Think of the violin as commandments and covenants 1:10:10 If ye love me, hold on to my commandments * Abraham 3:26, Doctrine & Covenants 78:18 * Alma 33:16 * Romans 8:38-39 1:13:50 Luke 15:20 When he was yet a great way ...
September 22, 2019
Daniel Duckworth is a leadership professional. He works primarily as a transformational teacher to transform the leadership performance of executives and managers, and also as a transformational consultant to facilitate strategic execution of major change initiatives. He is affiliated with the University of Michigan Center for Positive Organizations. After a decade in Michigan, he returned to Utah, where he founded Crux Central, LLC in 2019 to facilitate his new mission to learn to make deep change accessible to the masses—not just to the executives. Highlights 07:00 Deep change for all: work experience is sucking the life out of people, and they can’t bring their best selves to their families and everything outside of work, such as church. His purpose is to help people get to the point where their work builds and motivates them instead of draining them. 09:30 Found these problems in Utah just as he had found everywhere else * We need to change * Utah doesn’t prioritize leadership development, despite a high-tech startup environment that claims to subscribe to a positive organizational culture * Nice guy syndrome: the ego shifts people’s true priorities and leads to poor leadership, micromanagement, and a negative cultural dynamic 18:40 Caring what other people think about you interferes with your ability to be a transformational leader 20:40 Church leadership creates subtle culture with hierarchy, but this is holding us back 22:35 Robert Quinn’s four strategies to change: * Telling * 24:30 Coercion * 27:45 Participation * 29:20 Transformation: transformational leadership lets go of control and focuses on building relationships while setting a vision and high standards 30:10 Example of the ward cleaning specialist: how can I get this person to do what I want them to do? Defeating assumptions that come with that question: * The task becomes more important than the relationship * There is one right way to complete that task, and it’s my way (church culture is the same everywhere: not a good thing) * If you don’t do it my way, there’s something wrong with you: people are problems 34:35 These assumptions limit your leadership and tools: let go of control and focus first on building a perfect relationship with the custodian * Get to that euphoric experience with the cleaning specialist first, and not from a hierarchical perspective: minister to the one and transform the relationship * Example of the ward and stake leaders cleaning the building before an apostle visits * This transformation is palpable and draws people in 42:15 Example from newsletter article of a phone call from the bishop/executive secretary * 46:30 Defies the culture and lets go of control * Jesus Christ defined transformational leadership * Trust in the personal line of revelation and the relationship * 50:35 Negative example of Relief Society President who was sent back seven times, and positive example of bishop and priest giving sacrament prayer with a speech impediment 54:00 Start with positive deviance: there are normal leadership behaviors that the culture enforces which reinforce mediocrity 57:00 The performance standard is the covenant path: we can both set that high expectation and also draw people in through transformational leadership 59:20 Break the cultural rules, not the commandments or the policies: peel back the cultural layers and look for opportunities to create a more powerful culture with better outcomes * Experiment, reflect, and learn: study how you can become better 1:04:00 Examples of individuals who created programs through posit...
September 15, 2019
Rob Eaton is originally from Seattle, Washington and now lives in Rexburg, Idaho, where he is an Associate Academic Vice President for Learning and Teaching and a member of the religious education faculty at BYU Idaho. Rob has served as an institute director and seminary teacher, a bishop, in a stake presidency, and as a mission president in the Washington, Federal Way mission, and previously oversaw Pathway and online learning at BYU Idaho. He also worked with President Hales and President Eyring on books they have written, and currently serves as a stake president for a YSA stake. Highlights 03:00 Work and service prior to his 2013 call as a mission president, and serving in his home mission where he lived for over 30 years 06:15 Change in the transition from mission president couple, modeled after what they taught their missionaries before they returned home from their missions 08:00 Asked missionaries to create their own “Work of Salvation plan” which they reviewed at an interview prior to their release: “Freelancing for God” 10:00 Keep your purpose in sight—God’s purpose should still be your purpose—and lean in to ministering to a smaller number of people 12:30 Actively look for and pray for those informal opportunities to be an instrument in the hands of God 14:30 Being quick to observe and to serve 18:25 Asking inspired questions and doing the Lord’s work at activities will open up opportunities for relationships and service 23:45 Two questions at dinner: What did you do for someone else today? and How often did you see the hand of the Lord in your life today? 24:50 “Holy boldness”: people will not likely change unless they are invited to do so, but questions can be catalysts to change and spiritual growth * Naturally-extended invitations stretch a little bit, but aren’t too uncomfortable and help instead of alienating * Doing those things outside of a calling is what we have covenanted to do 34:00 Introverts—those who are more naturally reserved—notice the subtle things. It is a strength, and while you may be stretched you will not be stretched too far. 38:15 Applying these principles while serving in a time-consuming calling such a bishop 43:45 Being mindful and intentional about looking for continued growth after being released from a demanding calling * Elder Hales quote: The quiet unnoticed corners of the kingdom * Family relationships * Following-up with people you served in previous callings * Look for ways to build ward unity Links David A. Bednar 2005 BYU Devotional, "Quick to Observe" Linda K. Burton 2012 conference talk, "First Observe , Then Serve" Richard G. Scott 2014 conference talk, "I Have Given You an Example"
September 7, 2019
Register for the Liberating Saints Virtual Summit Here This is a clip from the upcoming Liberating Saints Virtual Summit which begins on September 10, 2019. In this clip, you will hear Jonathan Daugherty who runs an organization called Be Broken Ministries. He is going to talk about how to stimulate healthy discussion about struggles with pornography in a church setting in order to stimulate healthy culture. To hear the full interview register for the Liberating Saints Virtual Summit
September 6, 2019
Register for the Liberating Saints Virtual Summit Here This is a clip from the upcoming Liberating Saints Virtual Summit which begins on September 10, 2019. In this clip, you will hear Geoff Streurer discuss the concept of patiently helping someone disclose their struggle with pornography and infidelity in order to help them effectively heal (and to help those around them heal as well). To hear the full interview register for the Liberating Saints Virtual Summit
September 5, 2019
Register for the Liberating Saints Virtual Summit Here This is a clip from the upcoming Liberating Saints Virtual Summit which begins on September 10, 2019. In this clip, you will hear Jody Moore talk about the 3 J's that can help someone maintain a healthy mentality when someone they love is struggling with pornography. To hear the full interview register for the Liberating Saints Virtual Summit
September 4, 2019
Register for the Liberating Saints Virtual Summit Here This is a clip from the upcoming Liberating Saints Virtual Summit which begins on September 10, 2019. In this clip, you will hear Anne Blythe who is the director of Betrayal Trauma Recovery, which is an organiation that helps women overcome the trauma they experience in abusive relationships. To hear the full interview register for the Liberating Saints Virtual Summit
September 2, 2019
Frank Layden is a retired basketball coach and executive of the National Basketball Association's Utah Jazz. Layden during his coaching days was known for his lighthearted approach to the game as well as to himself, often mocking his weight and looks, and known for giving one-liners to the media before and after games. In 1984, Layden was awarded the NBA's Coach of the Year. That same season, he was head coach for the NBA All-Star Game and won both the NBA's Executive of the Year and the NBA's J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Awards. Frank Layden will be speaking at the 2019 BYU Management Society's Moral and Ethical Leadership Conference this month. Highlights 03:15 Experiences around involvement with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and what President Thomas S. Monson said about him 05:15 How he ended up in Utah with the Jazz 07:50 First knowledge and interactions with members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 10:00 Approaching sports and culture in Utah with the attitude of, “What can we do to help here?” and always building relationships instead of focusing on differences 13:15 How he got into coaching 14:25 Believes his family was meant to be in Utah 14:50 How they built the Jazz up from a losing team 16:20 You’re not always going to succeed, and don’t measure your success by money; do something you like doing and involve service 17:30 Things the Jazz did to help the players and their families grow and become better than they were before * Wives club putting on fashion shows, making Christmas trees, and going to school * Chapel service with the Rev. France Davis and Pastor Jerry Lewis * Bonus to players who finished their college degrees 20:00 If the players feel you (the coaches) are for them, they will give everything for you 21:15 Wanted the players to know they were loved. Always asked, “What can I do for you today?” 22:25 Start with the small things: be there, on time, and read to play; you have to have both authority and discipline 25:20 The players need to believe in you, and you have to believe in yourself * You have to know who needs a kick and who needs a hug * The team needs to know who the leader is * Winning is not a sometimes thing: it starts the first day of practice 33:15 Connecting one-to-one with the players * Creating a relationship where they are comfortable coming to you as the leader * Listen to them (book club and reading) * Dressing like professionals * Showing the players respect and treating them like adults builds loyalty * The players will know whether or not you enjoy your job * Leave them laughing 49:00 Being part of the religious community in Utah made him a better Catholic Links 2019 BYU Management Society Moral and Ethical Leadership Conference
September 2, 2019
Register for the Liberating Saints Virtual Summit Here This is a clip from the upcoming Liberating Saints Virtual Summit which begins on September 10, 2019. In this clip, you will hear Dina Alexander who is the founder and CEO of Educate and Empower Kids. She shares some best practices of how to easily talk to kids about the dangers of pornography. To hear the full interview register for the Liberating Saints Virtual Summit
August 31, 2019
Register for the Liberating Saints Virtual Summit Here This is a clip from the upcoming Liberating Saints Virtual Summit which begins on September 10, 2019. In this clip you hear how Steve Shields has found community from his local leaders that has helped him maintain recovery from his sexual addiction. To hear the full interivew register for the Liberating Saints Virtual Summit
August 25, 2019
Whitney Woodruff was shocked when President Rob Ferrell extended the call for her to serve as the stake Relief Society president in her young single adult stake. This was a calling typically reserved for older, married women with much more experience. As a young single adult herself, she solicited the help of three other incredible women; Kaylyn Crawford, Stacie Leavitt, and Kimberly Webb. In this episode, Kurt Francom discusses with them their unique approach of visiting each Relief Society in the stake to discuss the complex topic of female pornography use and how individuals can fight through the shame and get the help to overcome this temptation. Transcript Availalbe Below Highlights * 4:45 Introduction of each participant and the story of how they were called to the stake Relief Society presidency * 8:30 How they began to consider addressing the issue of pornography use of those in Relief Society * 15:00 How they organized and formatted their lesson about avoiding pornography to the Relief Society * 18:00 What feedback was received after their lesson * 21:00 How this lesson impacted their presidency * 24:00 Why it is important to be direct and clear in lessons about avoiding pornography * 28:00 How they prepared for the lesson * 30:30 The role of priesthood leaders during this lesson * 32:00 How pornography is different for women compared to men * 42:30 How girls/women typically learn about pornography (especially in their developmental years) * 45:20 The most important topic of the lesson, the Atonement of Jesus Christ * 48:00 A powerful question to begin a discussion about pornography use with men and women * 50:00 How to create safety so that individuals want to talk to someone about their pornography use and get help * 58:00 Advice for male priesthood leaders to effectively approach this topic * 1:03:00 How to create local resources to help women struggling with pornography * 1:05:00 General encouragement for other Relief Society presidencies Links "I am a Young Single Adult Advocate" | An Interview with Rob Ferrell Protection From Pornography—a Christ-Focused Home, by Linda S. Reeves Register for the Liberating Saints Virtual Summit Interview Transcript Kurt: Today I am in a dentist's office, of all places, again for an interview. Thanks to President Ferrell for lining this up. This is his office. But I am going to chat with four fantastic women. Let's just have you introduce yourselves briefly to put you into context. We'll start with Whitney because you were the Relief Society president of the stake that we're referencing. Whitney: My name is Whitney Woodruff. It's been a couple of years since this all took place, but I had the opportunity to serve as a Stake Relief Society President. And I will never forget the day I was extended the call from President Ferrell and the overwhelming...He had I guess a little background. He had forewarned me that a couple of months before. I was serving as a Ward Relief president and he had put me in a PPI and we were talking, and it said, "What are your thoughts about this idea?" And I was like, whoever that happens to,
August 18, 2019
Spencer Cox is currently serving as Utah's Lieutenant Governor and running for Governor of Utah. He served as a bishop while also serving as the mayor of the town of Fairview, Utah, and currently has a calling as Primary music leader. In this interview, Kurt and Spencer discuss serving in those positions and why serving in the community matters. Highlights 04:30 Deciding to run for office; creating the RV they are using to visit cities across Utah 08:20 Where his spark of interest in politics came from 11:20 Served as a bishop while also serving as mayor of Fairview 13:45 The most challenging part of doing both 16:15 Delegating to his auxiliary leaders and choosing to focus on the youth 20:10 Putting away the list of tasks as bishop; listening for what you need to hear and not just what others are saying 27:45 Serving as Primary music leader while serving as Lt. Governor 33:30 Ben Sasse’s books, Them: Why We Hate Each Other--and How to Heal, and The Vanishing American Adult: Our Coming-of-Age Crisis--and How to Rebuild a Culture of Self-Reliance 40:00 How the concepts in these books changed his outlook on service 44:30 Obedience out of duty is exhausting and obedience from love is energizing 47:30 The Fairview dance hall, the community, and the Payson salmon supper 51:00 Why should a leader choose to serve in politics? 55:15 How serving in the Church trains leaders Links Cox & Friends podcast Twitter: @SpencerJCox LDS Primary Choristers Facebook group Books mentioned: Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, by Doris Kearns Goodwin Them: Why We Hate Each Other--and How to Heal, by Senator Ben Sasse The Vanishing American Adult: Our Coming-of-Age Crisis--and How to Rebuild a Culture of Self-Reliance, by Senator Ben Sasse Bowling Alone, by Robert B. Putnam
August 11, 2019
David Ostler is a former bishop, stake president and mission president (Freetown, Sierra Leone). Now retired, he has a professional business background focused on executive management of bioinformatics and evidence-based medicine. A lifelong member of the Church, Brother Ostler was raised in Utah, served a mission in Japan, and received undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Utah and Dartmouth College respectively. He and Sister Ostler, who reside in the Washington, D.C. area, are the parents of six children. Brother Ostler has been a previous guest on Leading Saints and has participated in the Leading Saints virtual summit on the subject of “Questioning Saints.” He is the author of the 2019 book Bridges: Ministering to Those Who Question. The book is the result of research, interviews, and surveys involving former Church members or those not presently attending. Highlights 03:45 A one-size-fits-all approach to gospel learning is ineffective. Reasons people stop attending vary. 07:10 Approach to surveying and writing on this subject discussed. It was vital to keep himself open to thinking about the issue in a different way. 09:25 His intent was to listen and better understand the issue. Existing books did seem to help current, believing members (e.g. parents, leaders) understand the issue. 11:20 Reworking the pronouns: It’s about “us”—we are all in this together, regardless of present activity status. It should not be “us versus them.” Nearly everyone has been confronted with difficult questions. 12:50 How can leaders sound more inviting? Using the right language. Labels reduce people to a “them.” The term “apostate” generally means an enemy, and that does not fit most people who have left the Church. They’re not necessarily “fallen, “anti-Mormon” or “tares.” 16:20 We all struggle in some fashion and are all sinners. Recognizing commonalities. Although we dress shiny at church many may be paddling upstream. Leaders should not fear exhibiting vulnerability. 20:10 We seem to be good about ministering when there’s a health or economic issue, but these other areas are more challenging and require some different skills. 23:45 Many who were surveyed or interviewed expressed gratitude that someone was trying to understand them. Leaders/parents may not have the perfect answers but can listen with empathy. 25:30 People reflect to some degree the era in which they are raised. They may have experienced things differently as to how they view authority, education, minority issues, mental illness, gender, nationality, and sexual orientation. Genuinely listen to avoid succumbing to blind spots. 28:35 Societal changes, including the internet, have had an effect. Try to understand. Not all they read on the internet is inaccurate. Many younger people are concerned about financial institutions, school debt, etc. Many don’t see issues as black and white. They’ve been exposed to non-traditional families and non-traditional gender roles. Avoid being overly simplistic in our approach to helping someone. 36:15 Focus on a “pastoral” role as a leader, not simply getting the person back to church. Pray for insight, treating people as individuals and not simply seeking “just the right scripture” to share. 40:00 Crucial conversations. Genuine empathy builds trust. Fear keeps us from listening or leads to the “Us” vs. “them” approach. As a leader, you may say the wrong thing, but is your heart in the right place? 42:45 Dealing with these issues as parents. Don’t let fear pervade our thinking. Doing the right things vs. doing things right. Strive to make gospel study home-centered and church-supported. 48:20 “Gospel Topic” essays. Missionaries need to have read those and not be caught off-guard.
August 6, 2019
Blake Dalton is a full-time teacher from West Valley City, Utah. He served a full-time mission in Eugene, Oregon. He has served as an elder’s quorum president, a high councilman, executive secretary, and currently serves as the bishop of his ward. Also, be sure to listen to Blake's How I Lead interview. Enter Blake… In April and May of 2016, Freakanomics Radio did a series of episodes on self-improvement. This seemed right up my ally because, as a self-proclaimed “lazy perfectionist,” I am always looking for ways to improve. While listening to these episodes I could not help notice what was being discussed through the filter of serving in Church callings. One episode, in particular, piqued my interest. The episode was titled How to be More Productive. The interview involved two main guests, author Charles Duhigg who wrote the book Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business and Laszlo Bock, senior vice president of People Operations at Google. One main aspect of the episode I want to share with you was in relation to a major study that Google conducted called Project Aristotle, You can find more information about that study in the article What Google Learned From Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team. Project Aristotle was implemented because Google wanted to discover the best way to build the perfect team. This Project was a topic of discussion in Charles Duhigg’s recent book (referenced above). I could not stop thinking about Ward Councils and presidency meetings while listening to this episode and how some of these concepts could help our attitudes as we participate in those meetings. There were many topics discussed in the episode but the two I want to focus on here relate to our callings: Motivation and Building Teams. Motivation Duhigg explains that our motivation or lack of motivation stems from how much we feel we can control the outcome of any situation. Psychology calls this the Locus of Control (Latin for location of control). There is an internal and external locus of control, meaning that we believe that we are in control of an outcome (internal) or we believe our environment or other people are in control of the outcomes we desire (external). So in short if we feel we can dictate outcomes then we are more motivated to do it. If we feel we have no control in a situation we are more likely to give up or perform at less than full capacity. Think of how this works in our daily lives, starting a new diet for example. We exercise and eat right and don’t see any change in our waistline, so we blame genetics, lack of willpower or the holidays for our inability to lose weight… and then we give up. This would be an example of an external locus of control. I think it's safe to say that most of us would rather be in control of our own outcomes rather than waiting and relying on others to accomplish them for us. However, gaining an external locus of control can become a habit. Just look at the child who is told to clean their room and sits on the floor waiting to be told how to clean it, or for a frustrated parent to come in and clean it for them. Or the ministering companion who never sets the appointment or hopes that his companion forgets about ministering all together. While gaining an external locus of control can be habit-forming and a bad one at that, building an internal locus of control can be habit-forming as well. Perhaps Elder David A.
August 4, 2019
In this podcast, Kurt and his wife, Alanna, talk with Melanie Meszaros, Celeste Jensen, and Michelle Miner from the team hosting the upcoming The Heart of a Woman retreat. Melanie was raised in Ogden Utah, the youngest of six children. She attended Brigham Young University, earned a Master’s Degree in Education, and served in the Vienna, Austria mission. She and her husband have four children and eight grandchildren. Melanie has served in Primary, Young Women’s, and Relief Society presidencies, as Stake Relief Society President, and as a Bishop’s wife. Celeste is Melanie’s daughter and lives in Hooper, Utah. She has served many years in the Young Women’s program and now serves in Primary. Michelle was born and raised in Southern California, the youngest of four. She has served in Young Women's, Relief Society, as a Gospel Doctrine teacher, and a Bishop’s wife. She has eight children and five grandchildren. The next The Heart of a Woman Retreat will be October 10-12, 2019, at Big Canyon Ranch, a Christian youth camp in Wanship, Utah (between Coalville and Park City). Everything is comfortable, prepared, and cared for, and participants will have the area to themselves for activities, learning, and reflection. Retreat Details & Registration Highlights 5:35 About The Heart of a Woman Retreat: an opportunity to have your heart fed, connect with Heavenly Father, restore your vision of who you were created to be, and refresh your soul in the beauty of God’s creations. It is an introspective focus and learning opportunity. As women, we spend so much time focusing on loving God and loving our neighbor, and we forget to love ourselves. 9:45 The state of the heart of a woman in our culture is exhaustion and shame. We are checklist-oriented and are hustling to earn love from God. When we see the flaws and imperfections in each other, we can help each other on this journey. The retreat can serve as a model for Relief Society leaders to follow. 16:45 Michelle’s story: broken after a divorce, felt abandoned, unworthy, unloved. She knew that God could forgive her husband’s betrayal, but didn’t believe He could heal her heart as well. She did not want to feel and was navigating through her life with her intellect because she did not want to feel rejection again. She was able to lean on others and borrow from them and was able to open her heart to believing again that God loved her. 23:45 Melanie was “religid”: A perfectionist following the letter of the law with precision and not seeing the spaces in-between that Heavenly Father sees. She has been able to transition and become about the relationships. 25:20 Perfectionism’s message was that if you obey with exactness, then things work out, but Celeste discovered that things don’t happen that way. She felt that God was disappointed in her and blessings were being withheld because she wasn’t being good enough. Through the retreat, she learned that she doesn’t have to hustle for God’s love, that she was blinded to the messages God was trying to give her, and that she can turn to him. She is now motivated by his love and accepting of herself instead of coming at life with a checklist mentality. 33:10 Melanie’s introduction to the retreat: she asked God what he felt about her, what he saw in her, and how to hear that. She was able to feel his love, joy, delight, and trust in her, and learn how the Spirit communicates with her. Over time, she has been able to see the gift of this understanding unfolding over time. 40:10 God wants whole women,
July 28, 2019
Anthony Sweat is a “regular Latter-day Saint” who is trying to do his best.  He is a Church Education System educator for his career, has a PhD in Religious Theory, and is a professor of Church History and Doctrine at Brigham Young University.  He is also a writer and speaker.  His Bachelors degree is in fine arts and he is a painter as well. Anthony's latest book is “Seekers Wanted”.  This is not a book to tell people what to think or to provide answers, but rather “how” to think, how to approach history, concepts and doctrine.  The purpose of the book is to help people learn skills to answer questions. “We should seek learning by study, but we need to not overlook seeking learning by faith”.  The focus of this podcast is related specifically to ambiguity. Highlights 10:30 Embracing Ambiguity: the Lord can make things very clear.  “Joseph Smith was given a one-point plan and received little by little”.  God didn’t lay everything out for him; we are continuing to develop.  He was required to “move forward with faith” and receive little by little as the restoration happened. 15:20 How can we be the “one true church” but still have ambiguity?  The Church is “true” is more likely the Church is “authorized” for things that it does; it doesn’t mean perfection.  Section 1 of the D&C states it is a “true church” but at that time still no temple endowments, no Relief Society, etc.  We need to recognize that the Church has authority to receive guidance from God, but we don’t have anything figured out.  True does not mean complete.  True means it has the authorized keys to operate.  We do have some answers that other churches may not, and vice versa.  We have truths of salvation and exaltation.  We have revealed answers about the purpose of life, eternal families, etc.  We don’t have ALL the answers.  There is a difference between fullness of the gospel, vs the fullness of truth.  We do have the fullness of the gospel, but not all the truth. 21:35 Do we need to have a string of declarations of truth to have a testimony or is there room for ambiguity?  “I am uncertain about certain things, but I trust Jesus”.  It can be just as powerful and meaningful to hear “I trust this” versus “I know this without a doubt”.  It is less about being certain but more about the trust that comes in a relationship with God.  We may not be certain about everything but can be certain about some things: that God loves us, that Jesus is his son.  This can allow us to be certain about this trust relationship. 24:00 Definition of dogma.  We should beware of it.  Implies we are overly declarative of things that might have other possibilities.  Means we are unwilling to consider alternatives.  It is not a friend of faith or growth. 28:35 How do we begin to become comfortable with ambiguity?  Recognize it is there. "Be firm on the knowns and what God has revealed but be flexible on the unknowns." Avoid "overclaiming"; we shouldn't be overly declarative on what we know. 34:35 Be comfortable saying “I don’t know”.  If there are things we don't know, it doesn't mean we should avoid those things.  We need to seek. 36:55 As I leader, I feel the need to be seen as knowing all the answers.  We shouldn't say things or claim things we shouldn't.  We need to be humble and that it's okay to say "I don't know". 39:40 What is the grounding of my faith? Identifying non-negotiables.  There are things we know and we need to identify them.  Examples: Jesus ministered to people in the Book of Mormon.  Joseph translated the Book of Mormon. Is there a failproof way to guard against false non-negotiables?  "If this doesn't hold true does that mean the faith collapses?" One false non-negotiable: a prophet can't be wrong; history and scripture show that prophets can make mistakes
July 26, 2019
The Ministering Muscle
July 21, 2019
In this podcast, Kurt interviews two women with the unofficial leadership calling of Bishop’s Wife. Sister Jordan Brown First he speaks with Jordan Brown, who lives in Spanish Fork, Utah, where her husband has been the bishop of their ward for two years. Highlights 4:25 The circumstances surrounding her husband Brian’s calling as Bishop 9:45 The makeup of their ward 11:35 Leadership Principles: Communication as a couple: it first stopped being as intimate until they decided to focus on talking about his feelings so that he could process them better and she could support him without knowing the causes of those feelings 20:20 Look for the kind eyes: so many people are watching and it’s easy to personalize comments because you are now the bishop’s family, and this can become very negative inside your head. But when you look for the kind, positive eyes instead of the critical, judgemental eyes, you will find them. 25:35 Let yourself serve as the Bishop’s Wife: ask in your prayers to find the opportunities to serve others 27:55 Being the bishop’s wife has given her many opportunities to be intentional about keeping her covenants 31:45 Kid hack: “Sunday Centers” set up four rotationg, 15- to 30-minute stations for quiet activities such as reading, talk with Mom, work on Faith in God, making something with legos, and making a treat 34:55 Living her covenants has become more intentional and less like going through the motions, bringing her closer to Christ Sister Amanda Fristrom Amanda Fristrom and her family live in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where her husband has been bishop for one year. Highlights 37:00 Her background and how her family ended up in Dubai, UAE 39:00 Life in Dubai 39:55 Being a member of the Church in Dubai: every ward is diverse, dynamic, and inclusive 41:55 The circumstances surrounding her husband’s calling as bishop 43:00 Give yourself time to transition into the position of bishop’s wife: identifying as “the wife of” 44:40 UVU professor Susan Madsen’s article about how women need to be kind to themselves and do what they want to do where they are 47:50 The Sabbath is the day she most has to deal with the position of “the wife of”, and looking to feel love for others gets her out of a negative mindset and into a service mindset 49:25 If the bishop is the shepherd, the bishop’s wife is the first follower 51:00 Bring the Spirit back into a conversation by bearing testimony of the Savior 53:20 Debriefing the former bishop’s wife (and others): listen to their advice 54:15 You can help develop a vision with your husband and others, and help support him and the ward 56:05 Singling out the one: pray about individuals and get creative at finding opportunities to serve them, even when you don’t know why 58:00 Setting an example for the ward 59:35 Working through depression and anxiety and the accompanying loss of the Spirit: stay the course 1:01:50 Use everyone in the ward: Asking others to serve you is a powerful way for them to be able to serve you, as well as for you to be served, and the blessings are reciprocal 1:05:30 The Lord has entrusted you with a lot, but He never intended for you to do it yourself 1:07:00 Getting to know the Savior has led to a greater understanding that all pain and difficulties are encompassed in the Atonement, and this has been a growth opportunity for their entire family Links How I Lead as the Bishop’s Wife | An Interview with Alanna Francom
July 14, 2019
Matthew Dicks is an author, columnist, teacher, storyteller, podcaster, blogger, playwright, and more. He is the co-founder and creative director of Speak Up, a storytelling organization that produces shows throughout New England as well as a weekly podcast, and the author of Storyworthy. Matthew is a 40-time Moth StorySLAM champion and 6-time GrandSLAM champion and has told stories for a wide range of events, radio shows, and performance venues. He lives in Connecticut with his wife, Elysha, and their two children. Highlights 7:26: With his wife runs an organization called “Speak Up” which puts on storytelling events 8:13: The science of telling a good story, i.e., public speaking in an engaging way 10:15: Basic storytelling principles: * Know what a story is: a moment in your life that is transformational and reflects change over time, as opposed to a simple retelling of chronological events. * Ask yourself: Am I speaking about a moment in my life that changed me in some way? You can’t really change your audience with a story unless that story changed you. * Share something of yourself, that makes you authentic and vulnerable. Being vulnerable to others also makes you safe to others, and they will be more willing to be vulnerable with you. * Set out to have your listeners feel like they connected with you in the end. * Showing emotion is acceptable so long as you can speak your truth in a clear way. 21:10: Teaching from scripture versus sharing of yourself * It is hard for people to care about the scriptural content or lesson unless they can see a relatable example of application from a person they trust. 24:26: Using our own stories versus using “borrowed” stories, e.g., using a story given in General Conference in a sacrament meeting talk. * Telling your own story is the best way to be authentic. 26:50: Improving our storytelling: * “Homework for life”: Before going to bed, ask yourself “what’s the most story-worthy moment of today?” Write it down. Explore why and how the experience changed you. * Matt has noticed that he has changed every day of his life, as documented in his “Homework for life” spreadsheet. * Frame of the story is most important: what is the end, and what is the beginning? * Must have some entertainment value. * Jump right into the story. Stay within the story. * Remember the story without memorizing--rehearse! Tell the story in “scenes”. * How to tell a story “on the spot”: what does something mean to me? Listeners should know how you are different at the end of the story from the beginning. * Asking “why?” five times about your storyworthy moments. I.e.: Today I was changed by X experience. Why did X experience change me? Why A? Because B. But, why B? Because C. Why C? Because D. Etc. 55:21: Storytime! 65:49: Reviewing and deconstructing the story 72:25: How storytelling has helped him become a better person Links Storyworthy: Engage, Teach, Persuade, and Change Your Life through the Power of Storytelling TED Talk: Homework for Life
July 12, 2019
The Hidden Poison of Being Called to Lead
July 11, 2019
I Need Brotherhood
July 7, 2019
Wendy Ulrich is a psychologist, educator, and writer. She holds a PhD in education and psychology from the University of Michigan and an MBA from the University of California, Los Angeles. A former guest on the podcast, Wendy is the founder of Sixteen Stones Center for Growth, has been a practicing psychologist for over 25 years, a former president of the Association of Mormon Counselors and Psychotherapists, and a visiting professor at Brigham Young University. She and her husband Dave Ulrich presided over the Canada Montreal Mission and also co-authored the Wall Street Journal #1 business bestseller, The Why of Work: How Great Leaders Build Abundant Organizations that Win. Her most recent book is Live up to Our Privileges: Women, Power, and Priesthood. Wendy and Dave have three children and eight grandchildren. Highlights 00:48 - Wendy’s background - psychologist 01:21 - Her new book discusses “What does it really mean for women to have priesthood power”? How do we get it in our lives and use it effectively? 03:49 - How can leaders better understand the experience of women in the Church? What can Wendy share about the female experience of feeling dismissed at church? 04:47 - The work of women is often invisible and misunderstood. 05:05 - Women and men have different styles of communication. Women may find being talked over (a male communication pattern) to be dismissive. 06:21 - Women can feel dismissed by the structure of the Church or even the text of the scriptures 07:02 - The book is structured after the organization of priesthood offices. Why? 07:44 - The work of women is also captured in the work of priesthood offices. 08:39 - In many cases women do more of the work of priesthood offices during the natural course of their lives than men. 09:12 - Christ was not a priest. He did not hold the priesthood of his day. 09:50 - Women who may not see themselves as holding priesthood may find something to learn from the Savior’s example and authority. 10:39 - Women can say I am doing what I’m doing because of the authority I’ve been given in my calling, my temple endowment, my home, my assignments … I have been given authority. 11:17 - We sometimes project secular perspectives on women and the priesthood and fairness. What can we understand about this topic? 12:49 - We are not going to be the same or have the same opportunities. 13:33 - Wendy believes Church doctrine emphasizes the reason we are here on this earth is to become empowered with the power that God has. We believe the most important thing God is trying to do is to create eternal relationships. 14:45 - What women do and goes unseen may be just as important as what men do in the eternal scheme of things. Even in secular society family is essential, and women are the key “resource” for keeping society functioning 17:17 - The Lord’s priority is raising the next generation of gods. 17:20 - We think God is someone who gives power away. We believe he wants to empower us to be joint heirs—to give us all He has. 18:59 - At times it does seem like some roles are inflated. Kurt shares his experience while all three of his brothers were serving as bishops and the difference in attention his sister received, who was serving as a Primary President at the time. As we consider this, women will have less of that experience of being dismissed. 20:40 - Chapter 8: Governing with Power and Compassion. How to rise to power in organizations. 22:00 - Kachner’s research shows how people get into power, but once they get into power people actually lose the skills that got them there. They become more self-serving, less empathic. They are less likely to listen to others, less able to read other’s emotional states.
July 6, 2019
Take Your Ward Behind the Scenes
July 5, 2019
Start with Heart
July 3, 2019
How to Lead When You're Not the Leader
June 30, 2019
We are instructed in Handbook 2 (7.1.2) that "The primary purposes of quorums are to serve others, build unity and brotherhood, and instruct members in doctrines, principles, and duties." How effective is your quorum at succeeding in this purpose? Is the more that can be done to leverage the inspired quorum structure that has been restored in these latter days?  The reality is, men live lives of quiet desperation even while attending elders quorum once a week. They attend elders quorum with the hope of brotherhood, unity, and a restoration of their heart. Every man is striving to answer one question, "do I have what it takes?" They wonder if they have what it takes to support a family, keep their job, overcome addiction, maintain their worthiness. They know the restored gospel can help them answer that question but they don't know where to find the answer. In this episode, Kurt Francom discusses some points to consider related to the heart of men and how the adversary is winning the heart of many men in ways we may not expect. There is great opportunity to build brotherhood in our quorum in order to give more purpose in the lives of those who attend. Kurt also discusses the powerful experience he and others have had by attending a Wild at Heart Boot Camp and how it can help establish an effective model for increasing elders quorum brotherhood and unity. Next Boot Camp Details & Registration Summary * The typical elders quorum (1:40) * What would you change about elders quorum? * What is the purpose of a quorum? * Handbook 2 - 7.1.2  (6:15) * "The primary purposes of quorums are to serve others, build unity and brotherhood, and instruct members in doctrines, principles, and duties." * President Kimball said, "We often do vigorous enlistment work to get members to come to church but then do not adequately watch over what they receive when they do come." * A Quorum of Strangers: On the isolation of Mormon Men, by Sheldon Lawrence (11:30) * "A recent article in the Atlantic points out that men, especially middle-aged white men, are increasingly dying from lives lived in isolation and addiction. I would like to believe that Mormon men somehow buck this trend. After all, aren’t we part of a tight-knit community capable of self-organizing in a moment’s notice? Just hand us a natural disaster and we’ll show up with rakes and shovels. But despite the Church’s obvious strength in organizing labor, it’s my observation that Mormon men lead surprisingly isolated and lonely lives. " * "The substance of a diligent man is precious." Prov. 12:27 * What is the biggest threat to men in our current day? (14:15) * The hearts of men are under attack (16:25) * "The devil has sought to lay a cunning plan, that he may destroy this work" Doctrine & Covenants 10:12 * How the adversary works * "Yea, he stirreth up [our] hearts" Doctrine & Covenants10:24 * "And thus he flattereth them, and leadeth them along until he draggeth their souls down to hell; and thus he causeth them to catch themselves in [our] own snare." Doctrine & Covenants 10:26 * Wild at Heart Boot Camp (21:05) * Principles based on the Wild at Heart book * A battle to fight * An adventure to live * A beauty to rescue * Wild at Heart Boot Camp Story Continued (27:45) * Real life experiences * Chris (33:10) * Steve (47:40) * James (from California) (53:45) * James (from Utah) (59:05) * Orin (1:06:25) * Conclusion (1:11:25) Links
June 29, 2019
Meet My Little Notebook
June 28, 2019
The Power of Small Commitments
June 23, 2019
Kami Smith grew up in Arizona, Kansas, Utah, and Idaho in an active Latter-day Saint home. She suffered abuse as a young child and had a troubled youth with anxiety and addiction, but found her way back with the help of loving leaders, earthly parents, and heavenly parents. Her story can help us as we lead and help troubled youth. Highlights 5:00 Abuse at a young age 12:00 Experience with therapy 16:00 Struggles as a teenager 18:40 Recognizing her abuse 21:00 Advice to leaders of rebellious teens 24:00 How to create safe places for youth to have real conversations 35:00 Shame and guilt Kami felt 37:30 More advice to leaders 42:15 Dad's prayer to know what to do- love is the answer 48:00 Love even though you don't agree with their choices 49:45 Kami's addiction 53:00 Kami's experience with Anasazi wilderness therapy 55:00 Kami's turning point Links Being the Child of a Gay Parent in Latter-day Saint Culture | An Interview with Mike Ramsey Anasazi Foundation Instagram: hey_kamismith
June 19, 2019
God's Glory Through You
June 16, 2019
What Conversation are You Avoiding?
June 16, 2019
Kristen Coltrin has a bachelor's degree in psychology and is working on a master's degree in clinical social work. She has been working as an intern with the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline, and felt called to help support Church leaders after an August 19, 2018 letter asking us to be more educated about suicide. The people she worked with at the hotline were excited to do outreach with organizations, and she stepped into the role of providing knowledge about suicide to Church leaders in her area. Highlights 5:45 Letter sent requesting ward councils to review information and become more educated about suicide 6:45 There is an entire section of that is about suicide 8:35 Some statistics: suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, and the second leading cause of death for ages 10-24; some reasons people in areas with higher rates are more likely to die from suicide 10:25 Use the term suicide or dying by suicide and avoid the term “commit suicide” 11:25 The crushed bone perspective on mental health 14:00 The Church’s resources and statements about suicide, debunking some of the cultural misconceptions 16:00 Why do people choose to die by suicide? * A lack of feeling connected * A lack of belonging * Feeling like a burden 17:00 Why is the Church a good place for suicide prevention? Community, belonging, finding a purpose in life, resources, commitments to bear one another’s burdens 18:00 Why would the Church be a place that makes people feel any of those three things? People might feel disconnected or feel they don’t belong within the culture, feeling of being a burden to the ward members, feeling shamed for who they are, leaders aren’t trained counselors 20:40 Risk factors for suicide: prior suicide attempt, substance abuse or diagnosable mental health disorders, access to lethal means, family history of suicide or violence, lack of social support, loss of a family member or friend (especially by suicide), desensitization to pain (military, first responders) 22:30 Some warning signs of suicide: inability to sleep or sleeping all the time, changes in weight or eating habits, neglecting school or personal appearance, chronic headaches or fatigue, suddenly more or less religious, and many more 23:45 Triggering events can be anything but it’s usually a buildup of difficulties over time 25:45 Is suicide preventable? Yes! 27:15 Often when people start a new mental-health medication or otherwise begin to come out of depressing circumstances, that is when they follow-through on the suicide they have been thinking about 28:45 How do we know if someone is suicidal? Listen for the indirect verbal cues/invitations and be as direct as possible in asking them if they are considering suicide 30:55 Use the word “suicide” or “killing yourself” because it’s not just harming themselves, it’s killing themselves; contrast with cutting 32:15 Warning sign of looking for ways to prepare to take care of their family 33:30 What do you do in that moment when they answer “Yes”? Most important is to listen. 35:40 Resources to prepare in advance: * Suicide prevention hotlines and crisis lines: Know your national number and any local numbers * Church legal hotline: Wear out that number asking questions you might think are stupid * Local counselors: develop some resource relationships in your area * Utah mobile crisis line (University Neuropsychiatric Institute) 801-587-3000 * Hospital emergency departments 44:30 Last resort when they won’t go along with you, call for a welfare check: call the local non-emergency police number and ask for a “crisis intervention-trained officer” 47:40 Veterans hotline, The Trevor Project,
June 9, 2019
Autumn Stringam is from Alberta, Canada, and now lives in Nampa, Idaho. She and her husband are the parents of five children and have two grandchildren. She grew up with a community-minded mindset, and works in mental health nutrition and at a special-needs high school. Autumn was called as a JustServe specialist when the program was beginning in her community, and took that opportunity to help grow a thriving program in the Treasure Valley area. Highlights 7:15 Autumn's call as a JustServe specialist for the area’s coordinating council 9:45 What is JustServe? A website intended as a tool to minister with others within the community, managed through the stakes and coordinating councils 11:30 Agreement to serve together and just to serve together 13:45 Anyone can post and manage sites—members and nonmembers 14:30 Stake public affairs specialist, JustServe specialist, and a committee work with the stake high council and sometimes a stake youth council to develop the program in their area 16:25 Groups and individuals can go to the app, sign up, and go serve 17:20 JustServe manuals are in the gospel library 18:00 The JustServe specialist’s responsibilities 19:05 Relief Society has taken over leading Church members within the program so the specialists can reach into the community 20:00 Every area needs to get entrepreneurial and figure out how to best use the program in their area 21:20 How Autumn applied the program through the youth program 24:25 How to keep it focused on service only: finding common ground and getting acquainted 28:35 Advertising goodness: experience with LGBT youth 33:25 How to combat the fear among others, such as schools, that this is a church-related organization 36:00 The overwhelm of “another thing”: take a step back and see how this helps fulfill every part 37:30 Take the challenge and the Lord will not fail us: Her experience with the “pick a date” program and how this is the model for our time 42:25 Overcoming obstacles with other organizations in the community: the program is funded by the Church but it isn’t owned by the Church 45:00 Have a full inventory of opportunities before you recruit volunteers 46:05 Look at zip code 83606 at for examples 47:10 The momentum will come 49:10 Using social media to advertise and promote service opportunities 53:20 Using the app and website 54:20 Campaigns for volunteers: “JustServe January” “JustServe Summer” 57:30 Start with one campaign, without the expectation of immediate results 59:35 Familiarize yourself with what is already happening out there; we are advertising what others are already doing, so plug in and then let them shine 1:01:15 How JustServe led to finding and adopting their daughter Links Instagram: justservetreasurevalley
June 2, 2019
Dr. Robert Ferrell has served as an elders quorum president, high counselor, YSA bishop, and YSA stake president, and has presented at firesides and conferences—including BYU Education Week—about connecting with young single adults. He grew up in the Bay Area of California but lives in Mountain Green, Utah, and is a periodontist working in the Ogden area. He has a bachelor's degree in psychology and a doctoral degree in dental surgery, and he and his wife are the parents of eight children. Highlights 7:30 His call as a YSA stake president came while serving as a bishop, forming a new YSA stake 11:00 He saw a need for a greater understanding of young adults today, and decided to present at BYU Education Week as an advocate for young adults 13:10 Stigmas of the Millennial generation in and outside of the Church 14:20 The Gospel of Jesus Christ does not lose people; the culture, tradition, false doctrine, and application loses people 15:20 Creating a young adult program needs to start with a strong organizational structure 16:00 Most wards are not aware of the problem with the activity rate among YSAs 17:10 Priesthood keys and leadership have to be behind the leaders in a YSA program 21:10 It can be easy to lose track of YSAs, and family wards need to work with YSA programs to focus on rescuing—most effective when the stake presidents work together with YSA leaders 25:00 Worked with his area seventy and coordinating councils and were able to see great success with the program * Multiple ward mission leaders were assigned to the stakes that funneled YSAs to their YSA ward, and senior adult couples assigned to be the bridge between the YSA ward and the home stake * Returned missionaries are prepared to help rescue other YSAs 27:25 Wanted as many of the less-active records as they could, so they could organize and reach out to rescue them * Focused on organizational structure with leaders working together * Ministering happened among the active members, YSA ward mission leaders handled the rest 31:10 The organizational process has to be there to help young adults come unto Christ 31:50 #1 cultural concept that must change: YSA wards are not about marriage, they don’t need to be reminded, and that message turns them away 34:00 The purpose of the young single adult program is helping them connect with Jesus Christ 36:40 YSA programs are not glorified YMYW programs, and activities need to be planned by the YSAs and be focused on things that help connect them to Christ 40:15 Leadership by collaboration instead of control: turn it over to them * The Lord used young adults to restore the Church; they can be trusted with the YSA program 45:10 Example of giving autonomy: Stake YSA Relief Society presidency recognized a pornography problem with the sisters and taught about it at ward conferences 47:10 Encouraged the sisters to turn to their Relief Society president when they have a problem, and take it to the bishop when they are ready to repent 49:30 Counsel given to him as the stake president was that you cannot rescue YSAs and then throw the book at them * Is that approach too soft? Story of missionary who returned after less than a week in the MTC, due to sexual transgression 1:00:30 The sins are a symptom of a more serious doctrinal problem and the purpose of discipline is to save the soul of the transgressor, not to punish 1:04:00 Bishops and counselors need to be working on the same level so they can develop relationships with the YSA ward members 1:05:00 Behavior vs. doctrine: sin is the consequence of Satan’s real purpose 1:08:00 Leaders need to help them resolve contention in their lives
May 26, 2019
Trena Anderson and the DFCU Foundation 3:10 Deseret First Credit Union started in 1955 by a Church employee to serve his fellow employees 4:30 Formation of the credit union’s charitable organization, the DFCU Foundation 6:00 The foundation takes referrals for missionaries to help 7:10 Story of refugee twins in Buffalo, New York, who joined the Church and eventually decided to serve missions (video clips of stories available on the website) 9:10 The foundation helps outfit missionaries as they prepare to serve, whereas the Church's general mission fund helps with the monthly stipend 10:50 Donors can also help specific missionaries 11:40 Upcoming annual golf tournament at Stonebridge Golf Course in Salt Lake City, July 30th 13:20 Go to for more information, to make a donation, or to register for the golf tournament Barry Rellaford Barry Rellaford is a globally sought-after leadership development expert with over 30 years of experience as a coach, facilitator and leader in multiple organizations. He teaches in the Business department at Brigham Young University, and previously worked with Stephen M. R. Covey in developing FranklinCovey's “Leading at the SPEED of TRUST” program. He has a Master’s degree in Labor and Human Resources from Ohio State University and a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communication from BYU’s Marriott School of Management. Barry is the bishop of a young single adults ward in Provo, Utah. He and his wife, Lorilee, are the parents of six children. Highlights 00:30 Grew up in Paradise, California, which burned in the 2018 Camp Fire, California’s deadliest, most destructive wildfire 17:10 Joined the Church while in high school 18:20 Kept a journal of his thoughts and experiences from that time 19:30 Served a mission to France 20:25 Developed a career in the leadership development field, seeking to help individuals grow, and desired to be a teacher 23:00 Transitioned his desire to teach into being a leadership coach, and ended up with FranklinCovey 24:35 Currently serving at a Young Single Adult ward in Provo, Utah 25:15 His experience with the Camp Fire 26:15 Sought to help the residents of Paradise with a service project focused on travel trailers and RVs for temporary housing, along with other donations 28:30 Told his story on Facebook and the project took off 30:45 We are hard-wired for story 32:30 Housing quickly became a serious problem with the displaced residents from the fire 35:00 Our church leaders are telling a positive story of faith, despite the negative stories we see all around us in the world 41:40 The Church in northern California has been involved with many organizations in the disaster recovery efforts 42:30 If we are faithful and strive to be obedient, the promise is there 46:10 Taking the first trailers to California 48:30 Returning to Paradise this spring was more positive 51:20 Our purpose as people has been revealed, both in general and specifically for each of us 51:50 GPS: We have gifts, passions, and situations * The Strength of Ten: Talents, time, and treasure, energy and experience, a network and know-how 42:15 Overwhelmed when first called as a YSA bishop 57:00 In our leadership callings, we need to discern why the Lord has called us 57:30 Being purposefully engaged in the work * Figure out what your talents are * Go meet your neighbors and minister to them * Helping others see themselves as God sees them, and to see their future differently 59:25 Faith and vision: “Live out of imagination, not memory.”—Steven R. Covey
May 19, 2019
Kari Roppe lives in the Twin Cities area, in a lake cabin destination area in Wisconsin. She grew up in Provo, Utah, moved to Minneapolis as a young adult, and became inactive in the Church for many years. She is an elementary school teacher, the single parent of three children, and was called unexpectedly as a stake Young Women president. Highlights 6:40 Kari's experience coming back to the Church after years of inactivity 10:30 Served in Primary, Relief Society, and as gospel doctrine teacher before being called to the ward Young Women presidency 11:30 YW camp testimony meeting with stake presidency attending 13:00 Stake Young Women president calling 14:00 Called even though she was a single, working parent of teenagers 15:15 Choosing her counselors—including her own sister Leadership principles * 17:45 Surround yourself with people who know more than you * 19:30 The Lord calls presidencies, not individuals * 20:30 Formal meetings didn’t work for her, but they communicated well * 22:25 Be willing to go offroading a bit * 23:00 Using Dr. Seuss as a theme for young women * 26:00 Make sure that you don’t check your sense of humor at the door * 26:30 Twilight-themed skit at YW camp helped them be more approachable * 28:35 Always have the needs of those you serve first and foremost 30:00 Her stake president gave them freedom but one directive to always provide three things for the youth: * Service * 32:35 Fun * 33:50 A spiritual experience 36:30 Mourning “my girls” after serving 38:40 We love those we serve and begin to feel the love the Lord has for his children
May 12, 2019
James Quigley is a retired CEO of Deloitte, the world’s largest professional services company. He currently serves as chairman of the board of directors at Hess Corporation, and on the board of directors for Wells Fargo, Merrimack Pharmaceutical, and Chatbooks. He also has a passion for leadership in education and is working to support the leadership development of school principals through Deloitte University. Jim served as a bishop while working as CEO of Deloitte. He and his wife Bonnie have three children and many grandchildren. Highlights 4:15 His father’s experience singing with the Tabernacle Choir 5:40 Growing up in a small town and learning leadership as a football quarterback 7:10 Schooling and how it led to leading an international company 9:35 Learned a great deal about leadership through his church callings and mentorship with church leaders 12:00 The principle of “the one”: Success is connecting to the individual 12:45 Make moments matter in both one-on-one interaction and group interactions that result in the listener having a one-on-one experience 14:00 Connecting with the person in front of him is always his priority 15:15 Everyone cannot come to you for direction every day. Establish the organization’s culture and both allow and expect others to direct themselves. 16:40 Tell those you lead what you expect of them in the culture of the organization, explaining the values using simple stories to explain the how and why 21:50 Helping people look at their commitment as more than a job, and teaching them the organizational culture 25:20 His experience being called to serve as a bishop while working as a CEO 26:25 Assemble a capable team, then do the things you cannot delegate and delegate the rest 27:40 He focused on what the ward wanted to accomplish, then set goals as a leadership team 28:50 The importance of knowing how to run an effective meeting as a bishop: “The Spirit leaves when the allotted time has expired” 29:45 Rely on the executive secretary to prepare the meeting agenda 31:40 His spouse is a relationship partner who was an important part of his team, and the bishop’s wife influences the tone of what happens in the ward 34:00 Advice for newly-called bishops: encourage self-reliance in individuals 34:50 A bishop’s job is to help make the Atonement real in the lives of the individual members of the ward. Everything else can be delegated. 36:45 Transitioning away from a major role: don’t get overly-invested in the title, but come to it with a sense of urgency and know that at some point you will be leaving it behind 37:50 Make sure people want to do the job they are being asked to do so that they can come in with enthusiasm and be a team player 39:20 What he is doing post-retirement: Deloitte’s Courageous Principals Program for leadership development of school principals 43:00 Look to Christ as the ultimate leader and personalize what he would do in individual interactions Links The Mormon Way of Doing Business, by Jeff Benedict
May 1, 2019
Tad R. Callister was recently released as Sunday School general president. He previously served in the Presidency of the Seventy, as a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy, an Area Seventy, president of the Canada Toronto East mission, regional representative, stake president, bishop, and as a full-time missionary in the Eastern Atlantic States Mission. Brother Callister holds an accounting degree from BYU, a Juris Doctorate degree from UCLA, and a master’s degree in tax law from NYU Law School. He is the grandson of apostle LeGrand Richards, the author of four books including The Infinite Atonement and most recently A Case for the Book of Mormon. He and his wife Kathryn Louise Saporiti are the parents of six children. Highlights 2:30 Moving on from being released as General Sunday School president 4:20 Which came first, the book or the talk? 5:15 How his law practice helped him crystallize thoughts when writing 5:50 His approach to personal study 6:10 Lesson to seek and ponder his own insight first before turning to doctrinal commentary 8:00 Studying first thing in the morning, and writing along with reading has helped him summarize his thoughts while studying the scriptures 8:50 Questioning and discussing with others is part of pondering 10:00 Reason can strengthen faith, and logic and the Spirit can go hand-in-hand 11:40 The audience for the book is first people who have testimonies that can be strengthened and who can help strengthen the testimonies of others, as well as those who may have questions, and finally critics 12:40 A partial truth, when presented as a whole truth, is an untruth 13:00 Less than 2% of the archeological finds in ancient America have been unearthed 16:00 An intellectual witness of scripture does not come from archeological findings, whether regarding the Bible or the Book of Mormon 16:40 His grandfather LeGrand Richards was a common-man leader, related to everyone, and simply loved people 19:15 Ward Sunday School presidents are not merely bell-ringers because they are in charge of the teacher councils, and they have the responsibility to help improve the teaching of every teacher in every organization, and to see that the individual and family curriculum is being implemented in every home 21:50 One purpose of the Come Follow Me curriculum is to take us from reading the scriptures to pondering the scriptures and discussing them. In the homes, it is the catalyst for discussion and learning the gospel together. 23:30 There has been a substantial increase in individual and family study, and class members from children to adults are better prepared for Sunday meetings 24:10 He and his counselors traveled internationally and were able to get a good idea of what was happening with teacher council meetings 25:10 Practising through role play at the end of teacher council meetings was one thing they observed and recognized as an effective implementation in those meetings 25:45 Another effective implementation is the change to Christ-centered Easter Sunday and Christmas services so that members can invite others to come worship with them 27:30 Surprised at his call as the General Sunday School president 28:20 They were given a lot of latitude but there was a clear expectation to improve teaching in the home and at church 30:20 Traveling and visiting as a Sunday School general auxiliary president was to teach in general how to teach more like the Savior, to help teachers make teacher counsels more effective, and to discuss in focus groups what was working or not working in areas around the world 31:40 In the presidency of a Quorum of Seventy, they were given responsibility for a specific area, and were to train area seventies,
April 29, 2019
We are excited to team up with Cumorah Tours to organize an epic church history tour that will happen in September of 2019. Listen to the attached interview to hear further details. There are only 48 seats available on this tour bus and they are going fast so check out all the full itinerary and reserve your seat on the bus today! SEE FULL TOUR DETAILS
April 21, 2019
Bruce and Marie Hafen are most recently the authors of the book "Faith is Not Blind", in which they "acknowledge complicated gospel issues, yet clearly and gently guide readers through the steps necessary to work through complexity, develop informed testimonies, and become filled with the faith that comes from knowing God." Bruce has served as president of Rick's College, dean of the J. Reuben Clark Law School and provost at Brigham Young University, president of the St. George Temple, and in the First Quorum of the Seventy. He is also the author of several books. Marie has served alongside and co-authored books with Bruce. She also taught religion, literature and writing at both BYU-Idaho and BYU in Provo, and served on the Young Women General Board and the Board of Directors for the Deseret News. In this interview, the Hafens share experiences helping young people deal with uncertainty, doubt, and trial as they struggle to reconcile the simple faith of youth with the complex realities of adulthood. Learn how you can apply their experience to your own ministry and learn to develop the kind of relationship with young adults that allows you aid their progress between simplicity, through complexity, and on to simplicity coupled with understanding. The journey need not surprise or lead anyone away from the gospel. It can bring us all, like Adam and Eve, back to an understanding of and into a closer relationship and reconciliation with God. Highlights 0:26 - Bruce’s background: President of Rick’s College, Dean of BYU Law School, called as a general authority in 1996, President of the St George Temple 1:08 - Marie’s background: native of Bountiful, Utah; was a BYU student when she met Bruce; lots of experience with college-age students; interested in helping others reach out to that age group 2:15 - Our Religious Questions course - talking about gospel questions with friends and peers normalized these discussions 3:55 - Elder Hafen gave a devotional, “Dealing with Uncertainty”, at BYU in 1978 that is an early work on questions that may disconcert this demographic 5:24 - Did individuals ask the same questions then as they do now? 5:57 - Dealing with complexity and ambiguity - college students were very idealistic, and they found generalized discussion helped students deal with practical reality; how do adults deal with the gap between our idealized expectations and the reality of our daily lives? 8:49 - We should expect all adults to experience this; how can we help people not be shocked by the bigger, broader world and learn it is nothing to fear 9:25 - Some people are so idealistic that they remain shocked by these discoveries; another group switch over to embracing reality so single-mindedly they have no interest in idealistic visions and reject religion quickly 10:42 - Ideas contained in their book, "Faith is Not Blind" - How should we view complexity and simplicity? 12:12 - Untested simplicity is not to be desired 13:34 - It may not be just doubts or questions that create complexity, but could be health or many other life experiences 13:51 - Anecdote about a female inmate who came to understand her simple testimony in a different way because of her life’s experiences; complexity informed the simplicity - she came to understand that earlier testimony 15:52 - Anecdote about Holly who struggled with the topic of women and the priesthood, and left the Church 19:10 - It wasn’t a regression, but turning to simplicity offered peace 19:21 - Adam and Eve gained maturity through their fall and subsequent experiences 22:10 - How might leaders respond when members encounter complexity? 23:16 - A typical problem is when a struggling member goes to a leader who is wedded to a black and white perspective that they get the message the leader does not understand them
April 15, 2019
Josh Packard, his wife Heidi, and his parents Cindy and Blair Packard join Kurt to discuss Josh’s faith transition away from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the lessons learned from the entire family about maintaining love in the family while respecting decisions. Josh was raised in a traditional Latter-day Saint home, serving a mission, marrying Heidi in the temple, and attending medical school. While in medical school, Josh encountered areas that caused him to question his faith, ultimately leading years later with him deciding to resign his membership. Cindy and Blair, then serving as mission presidents when they learned about Josh’s decision to leave the faith, struggled (along with the rest of their family) with how to engage with Josh and Heidi regarding not just Josh’s faith status, but the impact to their family. Through learning from their mistakes, the Packard family came out even stronger by learning how to love unconditionally, engage in thoughtful and respectful discussions, and understand the other’s perspective in this difficult faith transition. ***REGISTER FOR THE QUESTIONING SAINTS SUMMIT NOW*** Highlights Kurt Francom (LS): Today, I have the opportunity through the powers of the internet to connect with two couples who know each other well. Blair and Cindy Packard in - I'll get this right this time - Gilbert Arizona. Is that right guys? Blair: Actually it's wrong. Now we're in Mesa right now. LS: Now you're in Mesa, okay. Blair: From Gilbert. We're in my Mesa office. LS: Very good. Nice. Then your son Josh and his wife Heidi, who are in Georgia. Am I right, Josh? Josh: Right. Columbus, Georgia. LS: Nice. Cool. Obviously, Josh was raised by this great couple, the Packards. We're going to talk about an important subject as far as the dynamic of families, especially when an individual member or members of family take a different faith journey, that many times may lead people outside of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I guess this started...It was interesting. I went to Mesa area and then had opportunity to visit with the Packards in Gilbert. But the night before I visited them, I had somebody that's in the audience of Leading Saints, and they said to me, "You know what we need is an interview that talks about the dynamics of when a son or daughter leaves the church and how that impacts the family." And I said, "Wow, that sounds like a great story, but I don't even know who I would talk to about that but I'll try and find somebody." Then the next day, I met Cindy and Blair, and they said, "That that's our situation. Let's talk about it." So let's maybe put the story into context here. Cindy, you want to start maybe where this all began? The day you held little Josh in your arms...No, I'm just kidding. I mean, wherever you want to start. Cindy: Well, I think speaking for all of us, we'd like to say we're very grateful for the opportunity to do this. After we kind of made our way through this journey, we thought it'd really be helpful if we could find a way to share this with people. So we're happy for the opportunity. It's also a bear journey, where we want to share this personal journey - and it hasn't been easy. We hope that we can help other people who are going through this in some way. We did some things wrong; we did some things right.
April 8, 2019
We are excited to announce the Questioning Saints Virtual Summit. An online conference dedicated to helping Latter-day Saints validate and love those who begin to question their faith. We have some remarkable presenters including: Anthony Sweat, BYU Professor Adam Miller, Professor at Collin College in McKinney, Texas, Author of Letters to a Young Mormon David Ostler, Former Mission president and author David Snell, Co-host of Saints Unscripted Elder & Sister Hafen, Authors of Faith is Not Blind Jana Riess, Author of The Next Mormons John Hilton, BYU Professor Kurt Francom, Executive Director of Leading Saints  Michael Goodman, BYU Professor Packard Family (Blair, Cindy, Josh, Heidi) Ryan Gottfredson, Professor at California State University - Fullerton Spencer Fluhman, Executive Director of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship Yohan Delton, BYU-I Professor REGISTER TODAY - Conference starts April 16
March 31, 2019
Born and raised in Utah, Becky Hennessy has been in the mental health field since 2003 and a therapist since 2007, licensed in Utah. Prior to launching her private practice, she worked for the Division of Child and Family Services in Child Protection and Family Preservation. She also worked in private practices and in foster care. For LDS Family Services she was a therapist member of a Child Trauma Team and ran a therapeutic group for adult women who were molested as children. She serves on the board of therapist advisers for Leading Saints. Married since 2004, Beckie and her husband have three children. Highlights 5:08 Life coaching compared to therapy. The former does not require licensing, is unregulated and does not make diagnoses. Coaches often have valuable certifications. Therapists are licensed, regulated, make diagnoses and help connect dots from past to present to future. Therapists often work with past experiences while coaches work with current struggles. 9:00 Some may find therapy too intense or stigmatized and prefer life coaching. Life coaching is a growing field involving various models. Some individuals find one model more useful than another. Lay leaders need to exercise caution in recommending one over the other. Some individuals sign up for ongoing coaching as they would for a gym membership. 15:00 Beckie’s practice involves some degree of live coaching, combined with a measure of seminar-style instruction. Therapy and life coaching are not competing approaches. A good life coach is willing to refer a client to counseling, where appropriate. 17:10 CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Training/Therapy) approach discussed. The thought precedes the feeling which precedes actions. Controlling thoughts helps manage feelings and behavior. 20:25 ACT (Acceptance Commitment Therapy/Training) model discussed. The feeling may happen—you didn’t choose it. Acknowledge feelings and their sometimes-overwhelming effect. Commit to how to respond based on your value system. Grab the wheel and steer, rather than allowing feelings to manage you. Be aware of what’s going on with the body (chest, stomach, head). 33:30 How might church leaders profit from these approaches? Exercise caution in advising, “Do such and such and you’ll feel differently,” or “Just wake up and tell yourself to feel differently.” People may visit you with a bucket of feelings and leave feeling unheard if feelings aren’t acknowledged. Don’t encourage “Fake it till you make it” or “poser” behaviors. Advising counselees to pray/read scriptures more may help them feel the Spirit without altering the deep feelings they experience. Christ is the Healer. 48:15 As leaders, learn to acknowledge your feelings about certain triggers. Don’t stifle your feelings. Remember, Christ experienced difficult emotions. Feelings don’t define us. Invest in self-awareness and self-care. Empathy (feelings) and compassion (actions) can include self-compassion. 55:40 As you become more adept using these principles in your life and home life you can help others more. A leader doesn’t have to be the expert—Christ is the expert. 57:25 Firehoses vs lawnmowers discussion. Follow Christ’s lead on empathy/compassion. Lazarus story. 1:02:20 Questions to ask: Where is it hurting the most? What is one thing I can do to help? What do you need? They may not assess their need accurately, but they need to feel heard. The “fix” may take time. Links * The Path of Imperfection Podcast with Beckie Hennessy * B.R.I.C.K.S. Family Counseling * * Facebook:
March 24, 2019
"It is not enough that something is good. Other choices are better, and still others are best." —Dallin H. Oaks Brad Barber co-hosts The Next Step Podcast, which is based around the Church's Addiction Recovery Program and addiction in general. He grew up in the Church in southern California, served a mission, and attended Brigham Young University. Brad has seen many friends caught in addiction and became involved with ARP after hearing podcast co-host Jay's testimony of the program and wondering why there weren't ARP addiction meetings in his area. Highlights 6:45 How Brad got involved with ARP and started The Next Step Podcast 12:00 Setting up the ARP program is supposed to start with the stake 12:20 A facilitator who is an addict in recovery should be leading the meetings 12:50 Leaders who have not been through the process do not know what addicts have gone through and addicts can tell 13:30 A sponsor is a person who is in sobriety from addiction 14:55 At first, addicts categorize themselves against each other until they realize everyone's struggles are the same, but anyone who has experienced addiction can facilitate for others experiencing different types of addiction 15:45 Quote from the intro of the ARP manual (in LDS Tools) about what addiction is 17:00 Some statistics about addictions that go beyond alcohol, drugs, and pornography 18:10 "Atonement Realization Program" because the 12 Steps walk you through the Atonement to improve yourself 18:40 Elder Oaks' talk, "Good, Better, Best": Have people been lifted, encouraged, and changed? 20:15 A 12-Step meeting is different than counseling, but ARP is organized under LDS Family Services 20:35 Meetings usually start from the bottom up, where a family member starts a group after discovering the program exists 21:05 The 12 Steps were invented by the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous in the 1930's 21:40 Good: There are ARP meetings in the stake, and ward leaders are aware of them 22:15 Group leaders are generally not addicts in recovery, and need to be a person who has no judgment toward others 23:50 Brad's advice to group leaders: Don't show up dressed like a missionary or pretend to be something you are not 24:45 Better: Passionate group leaders who coordinate with other group leaders 25:25 Invite leaders to go to a meeting and challenge them to not be afraid of what other people might think 27:00 Some do's and don'ts about attending a meeting: * Introduce yourself by first name only * Resist the urge to share your testimony 29:50 Better: Have meetings with a varying mix of people at stages of sobriety to help support the participants 30:25 It's the responsibility of group leaders to find those addicts in recovery and get them to come 30:55 Bishops have a responsibility to help identify those people and connect them to ARP 32:35 It's the purpose of sponsors to follow-up and that's how to maintain sobriety 33:30 Spouses also need to understand that sobriety isn't the end 34:20 Better: Have your bishops attend ARP meetings 35:25 Treat the ARP meetings the same as self-reliance meetings and attend a full 12-week course to really understand the power of these steps 36:30 In ARP, everyone shares their experience instead of listening to an "expert" 37:00 Story: everyone can benefit from learning the 12 Steps 37:50 Better: Persons who have done the 12 Steps are now supporting others 38:05 "What gets you sober won't keep you sober" 39:50 Best: You have facilitators who have broken anonymity
March 18, 2019
Jessica Johnson works in leadership development with the RBL Group. She holds an MBA from Brigham Young University and previously worked in management and marketing consulting, and in television sports. Jessica spoke about councils as part of the Leading Saints Leadership Conference in November 2018. The video of this podcast is also part of the Motivating Saints Virtual Summit. Highlights 8:30 We try to find the best people for the job, but our own biases can cause us to overlook latent leaders 10:10 Metrics for success are different in the Church 12:10 Think about the role and needs: Who are the stakeholders? Who are they serving? What are their needs? 15:15 Don't start with the people who can fill any calling, but start with the people who are less visible 16:15 Will trumps skill: look for the Amuleks along with the Almas 17:10 First seek the Spirit, but pray for discernment 18:15 Always be training new leaders 20:15 As we seek inspiration and get to know the members of the ward better, inspiration comes 20:25 Example of a bishop who had a weekly new-member meeting in his office that was a Sunday School class, including representatives of the bishopric and relevant auxiliary leadership 23:45 We often have unrecognized internal assumptions about people that we don't question: question those assumptions 25:40 There may be leaders in the ward that are not in formal leadership positions 27:10 Storytelling is how we build culture: Tell stories to spark genuine ministering 29:20 Facts and figures can be dismissed but we remember stories because we insert ourselves into them 30:45 How do we support new leaders? What does that look like? How do we train them? 31:35 Support them by doing assignments and tasks with them first 31:45 Follow-up by giving very specific positive feedback 32:35 Kurt: Sometimes we don't choose that less-than-ideal candidate for a calling because we don't know how to support them 33:45 Kurt: Hold those stewardship meetings 34:20 Not everyone knows exactly what they're supposed to do: example of newly-returned member with a Primary calling 36:00 Give them a few expectations up front so they can create habits and grow into more expectations 36:45 Knowledge about how to do things is often assumed in our culture and we all need a little help knowing how to do things 38:00 Consider assigning a mentor 39:00 "One of the most important things you can leave after you're released is people who have increased in capacity and confidence."—Elder Bednar 40:30 In a business, 20% of the time should be spent on developing people and not "administratia": flip this in a ward setting to 80% 42:20 "Feed forward" (not feedback): Look to the future and ask, "How do we make this better for the future?" then have a collaborative conversation. 44:35 SCARF model of dealing with feedback (David Rock) 45:45 You can learn a lot from those conversations that help with understanding and compassion 47:00 There will be "failure" and struggle but they will learn from it 47:40 Kurt: example of parade float and what was learned 49:00 Look outside your network to find these latent leaders: get to know people you don't know 49:30 If no one disagrees with you in a presidency meeting, that is actually a problem: conflict is healthy (not contention) 51:40 We want everyone involved: D&C 82 That every person may gain other talents Links SCARF Model
March 12, 2019
Jana Riess is a historian and editor in the publishing industry, primarily working in the areas of religion, history, popular culture, ethics, and biblical studies. From 1999 to 2008, she was the Religion Book Review Editor for Publishers Weekly, and continues to freelance reviews for Publishers Weekly as well as other publications. She holds degrees in religion from Wellesley College and Princeton Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in American religious history from Columbia University. She grew up with no religious affiliation and became a Protestant in high school. While going to college to become a pastor, she converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Her book, "The Next Mormons: How Millennials are Changing the LDS Church", came about after starting a Kickstarter campaign to fund a survey to learn about Millennials in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Highlights * 6:45 Millennials are leaving religion * 7:30 Retention rate of 46%-62% and is trending downward * 8:30 What is a Millennial? * 10:00 What to say to those who say the Millennials will grow out of this phase? * 12:30 What can the church do to retain these Millennials and solve the problem? * 15:40 What part does conformity & obedience have in Millennials leaving the church? * 16:40 The two main reasons Millennials leave the church * 18:35 How do Millennials view the temple? * 23:20 Millennials have a higher rate of ministering * 25:00 Why church? * 26:00 How church meetings could be better & different for Millennials * 27:00 How do Millennials see church callings differently * 28:30 Millennials & religious authority * 32:55 Millennials & the word of wisdom * 33:55 Millennials & temple recommends * 37:15 Millennials & pornography * 40:10 Millennials & the traditional family * 44:00 Millennials and the Prophet and General Authorities * 48:30 Millennials and American exceptionalism * 50:10 What can Millennials bring to our church? * 53:00 What's the biggest sticking point for Millennials going forward? * 56:00 What can leaders do? * 58:00 How has writing this book impacted Jana's discipleship of Jesus Christ? Links The Next Mormons: How Millennials are Changing the LDS Church An LDS Leader’s Guide to Millennial Mormons Transcript Kurt Francom (LS): Today I have the opportunity to sit down with Jana Riess. Jana, you are the author of "The Next Mormons: How Millennials Are Changing the LDS Church". So tell us as far as your personal background and how this project and book came to be? Jana: Sure. This project basically started in 2016. I was very interested in getting solid data on what's going on generationally with Latter-Day Saints and former Latter-Day Saints. And not just anecdotally "here's what I'm seeing in my social media feed." Anecdotally, it felt like more younger people were leaving the LDS faith and for possibly different reasons than older people had left, and I wanted to know if that was really valid, and if so, more about it - everything we could. So along with the help of Benjamin Knoll, who's a political scientist, we crafted this survey, raised money on Kickstarter in order to fund the survey because it's very expensive to try to get valid information that's nationally representative about such a small minority population. Mormons are only about one and a half percent of the United States population. That's how it began. LS: Nice.
March 3, 2019
Interview transcript is available below Brittany Ellis grew up in Riverside, California, and realized as a young woman that she experiences same-sex attraction. She lives in the Los Angeles area with her husband of ten years and their two children and is in school studying American Sign Language interpretation. In this interview, Brittany and Kurt talk about her journey as an SSA woman and how youth leaders can better approach the subject and work with SSA youth. Highlights 10:10 Brittany’s experience realizing she is attracted to women 11:45 Buried her feelings and decided to focus on being a strong member of the Church 12:00 At age 15, admitted it to her best friends and tried talking to her bishop 13:25 Her bishop’s response did not help 14:10 Dated a lot and eventually met her husband 16:10 Experience dating her husband 17:00 Wanted to turn to her bishop for support as a youth but figured it would be useless so she tried to deal with it on her own 17:55 Loving her husband made him attractive 19:00 Didn’t talk about her SSA as a couple for seven years of marriage but eventually worked on it together and individually with the help of a therapist 20:05 The rollercoaster ride is still there but no longer includes shame 20:55 She journals and uses humor to make it easier and to manage her feelings 21:35 Her husband’s desire to learn and understand has made him a good listener and partner 23:05 We all have a void but the gospel helps fill it 24:35 Like many others, she thought she was the only woman married to a man and dealing with SSA 25:25 Her involvement with North Star International 26:00 Terrified to go to the first conference 26:55 North Star has helped her make many friends and the workshops at the conferences have been a great, always-positive resource 28:15 North Star is now doing regional activities throughout the year 30:00 Discussion of LGBT youth in the Church: 30:20 Poem she wrote at age 15 32:00 Just saying it out loud makes it real 33:25 Vulnerability hangover: it’s freeing to talk about it, but then fearful thoughts come and are overwhelming 34:40 We need to have these hard conversations at church so that we can support the youth 35:20 The vulnerability hangover still happens as an adult 37:10 Leaders need to understand that SSA is not a sin 38:10 No reason these youth cannot participate in activities in the Church and even serve a mission 38:45 As leaders, our job is to help the youth feel the Spirit, which won’t happen if they aren’t there 39:35 Important that the youth can take the lead and establish communication, and for leaders to do it if the youth aren’t ready for that 41:50 Ask them what they need from you and follow their lead 43:50 The youth don’t have a problem with their gay peers. It’s the adults who are concerned. 45:15 Experiencing SSA doesn’t mean they are perverted or attracted to everyone 47:00 Building barriers actually gives the issue power 47:45 Example of leaders and parents overreacting, but the youth weren’t uncomfortable at all 49:05 It’s good to have a connection and include the youth instead of excluding them 50:15 Example of an SSA youth with a girlfriend: establish the rules but don’t prevent them from being there and feeling the Spirit 51:45 Love them even if they aren’t making the best choices. Make the boundaries universal for all youth, not just SSA youth. 53:05 Loving the youth and being inclusive isn’t condoning. Have the awkward conversations. 55:00 It's okay to love your gay child who marries a same-sex partner. If we don’t stay connected to them, who will invite the Spirit into their life? 57:10 Easier to leave the door open for them as a youth than waiting until they are adults a...
February 24, 2019
Rosie Card is the founder of Q.NOOR, a clothing company that creates temple, baptism, and blessing dresses, and the host of the Q.MORE podcast, discussing questions about culture and doctrine in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A former model, BYU grad, and returned missionary, Rosie is also the author of "Model Mormon", the story of her experience in the modeling industry and discovering that true happiness isn't found in looking beautiful, but in seeking to become more like the Savior. She recently returned to attending her local ward after years of experience in singles wards. Highlights 5:00 Experience as a model 5:50 The story behind her book, “Model Mormon” 6:30 How and why she started Q.NOOR, creating temple dresses that help women feel comfortable in the temple 9:35 What started the Q.MORE podcast: discussing questions openly in conversations 13:55 People usually just need to know that they aren’t the only one with questions 14:20 Leaders should encourage people to turn to God for answers 17:40 Getting away from making singles wards all about dating 18:15 The sense that single adults need to get married so that they can “join the rest”, when we all actually have the same purpose to become like Christ 20:25 The unintentional message that singles wards exist to push marriage 21:25 Being comfortable with singleness 22:40 The focus on relationship discussions in singles wards needs to be balanced out 23:40 If you want to have lessons on chastity or healthy sexuality, be straightforward about it all instead of tiptoeing around the subjects 26:10 YSA activities are great, but YSA are no longer “youth” 27:10 Sometimes we treat singles like children instead of the adults they are 28:35 Single members are growing and progressing in the same ways as married members, but through different experiences 29:45 Stop it with the date boxes 30:25 Dating committees: We should be encouraging men and women to have the maturity and confidence to date, not facilitate dating for them 33:20 Ward Council that built activities around their network and skills for YSA 34:55 Unintentional disrespect for YSAs: they don’t need adult supervision, they aren’t kids, and they are no less of contributing members in the Church 38:55 Consider: a 28-year-old single adult is as capable as a 28-year-old married adult 40:20 YSAs have more time than same-age married adults-with-children and could potentially contribute even more in a calling, not less 42:10 The myth that a YSA can’t have the same opportunities to contribute or serve in leadership callings in a family ward as they would in a singles ward 45:10 Discussion of what dissolving singles wards could do for everyone 47:25 Sacrament meeting coordinator calling 49:55 Decided the topics, speakers, and order of speakers as a member of the Ward Council 51:40 Local ward bishops could use this to take those tasks off their busy plate 52:25 How she worked with the bishop in the coordinator calling 53:50 Encouragement for YSA bishops: have open and honest discussions with the people in your ward about their experiences there 56:55 Observations of the Church and the gospel from the outside have helped her have more compassion for others who might feel disenfranchised Links Q.MORE podcast Q.MORE podcast with Kurt: Thus Saith the Lord Rosie's book, Model Mormon LDS temple, baptism, and blessing dresses
February 17, 2019
Kurt Francom, Executive Director of Leading Saints, flies solo for this episode as he talks about some invisible habits some leaders have that self-sabotage their leadership and diminish those around them. Highlights 4:40 Invitation to become more reflective and ask yourself if you are possibly doing some of these things without realizing it 1. Creating a culture of unquestioned obedience to what the leader directs (6:00) * This happens with the best intentions* 6:30 Common example: Primary President doesn't hear about changes in the Primary until it is announced in Sacrament Meeting because the Bishop is not giving them autonomy over their auxiliary* 9:00 From Dan Pink's book, "Drive", three things every individual looks for: autonomy, mastery (becoming proficient at what they do), purpose (my opinions matter; I'm making a difference) What to do about it: * 10:50 Bishops should turn callings over to the auxiliaries, and then the bishopric can facilitate and encourage auxiliary leaders* 13:20 Ask the Ward Council/counselors: How are decisions being made? Is this a problem?* 13:40 One-to-one monthly interviews with your auxiliary leaders and counselors 2. A leader's lack of motivation to acquire accurate self-awareness by seeking-out alternative perspectives and general leadership training (16:15) * 17:00 Self-awareness about your approachability as a leader* Subconsciously sabotaging difficult conversations* 18:15 Story of Seminary/Institute teacher who always had the answer to questions* 19:10 It's not about having the right answer, but about having the conversation What to do about it: * 20:00 Ask, "How approachable am I?" and create a safe circumstance for others to come to you* 20:40 Seek leadership training from every source possible * 21:50 Elder Bednar's leadership skills came from decades of experience as a professor and author, not simply because he is an apostle * 23:30 Pick up a book* 23:40 Seek out other resources such as conferences, websites, therapists, Leading Saints, etc. 3. Providing no venue to experience real connection (27:30) * 28:00 Kurt's experience at Wild at Heart Boot Camp: Men talking and connecting in ways that they don't normally experience in elders quorum* 30:35 "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation" (Thoreau)* 31:55 Never let a quorum meeting become another Sunday School class; create more connection What to do about it: * 32:45 Create vulnerability* Sit in a circle* 33:35 Stimulate the group with questions* 34:40 Brene Brown's books about vulnerability and shame* 35:55 The leader needs to lead out with vulnerability* 37:20 Vulnerability leads to trust 4. Church/family imbalance: An excessive emphasis on the importance of family responsibility that causes individuals/families to disengage with the Church (and vice versa) (38:10) * 39:45 Quote from "The Divine Center," by Steven R. Covey* 41:25 Culture shifting to putting the family first and losing the balance with church service What to do about it: * 42:40 Talk about this dynamic as a bishopric and as a ward* 43:10 Infuse your ward, Relief Society, or quorum with more purpose/vision 5. Creating unintentional shame (44:00) * 44:40 Shame is the greatest counterfeit that the adversary uses instead of guilt* 45:45 Shame comes with the best intentions but creates a dynamic of unattainable perfectionism * 46:30 Quote from Brené Brown,
February 12, 2019
Blair Packard is a physical therapist and Cindy is a midwife. They are from Utah but have lived in Arizona since 1976, first in Mesa and now in Gilbert. They have seven children and 25 grandchildren. Cindy learned some Portuguese after starting a nonprofit, Care for Life, based in Mozambique. This came in useful later when they served a short-term humanitarian mission to Mozambique, and then as mission president from 2006-2009. In this interview, Kurt and the Packards talk about how to address primary problems instead of secondary problems in welfare service programs, mentoring and guiding people toward comprehensive self-reliance instead of simply giving them short-term support. Summary 1:40 Church service in Mozambique 4:50 Their experience in a robbery/hostage situation involving President and Sister Nelson near the end of their mission 8:10 How Care for Life came to be 11:00 They couldn’t just do one thing. There were so many needs, and they boiled it down to a need for knowledge and teaching. 12:20 Welfare and self-reliance principles came from their service * Documentary: Poverty, Inc. * When we think we are helping, we are more often creating dependence 14:45 Preventing the primary problem instead of trying to solve secondary problems, going into the “orphan prevention business” 16:50 At first they started an agriculture class, but eventually learned to mentor instead of simply teaching and walking away 17:45 Specialists work with the communities in different areas, setting goals, evaluating, and mentoring over time, much like a ward welfare council 20:50 Make it clear that they are only helping short-term and the community will need to support themselves after that 21:25 Took time to develop the Care for Life “family preservation program” based on the needs of the people, as determined by the community * Eight areas in the program: education, health, and hygiene, food security and nutrition, sanitation, income generation, home improvement, psychosocial well-being, community participation * Over 15 years, they were able to reduce maternal mortality rates in the villages by 78% and infant mortality rates by 57% 22:50 How they did it wrong at first, training birth attendants but not teaching entire villages of families 24:25 The comprehensive problems need to be addressed, and it starts with families 26:20 Kurt: It’s easy to project our perspective on someone else, but the solution needs to come from the people 27:35 Sending toys to Africa: not understanding what the villagers really needed 29:20 How to not project your experience on others: talk with them and observe what they don’t know how to do 32:00 It’s not a matter of intelligence, but a lack of experience and opportunity 34:22 Empowering individuals to believe that they can do this themselves and change their own lives 37:55 They monitor villages for five years after the initial program and see how the people then take ownership and teach others 39:30 It’s not about money but about giving people rewards for doing the work themselves 40:20 Mentoring is ministering 41:15 The self-reliance program isn’t just giving someone a manual, but working with the people to learn the principles 42:30 You have to celebrate success when a goal is reached, giving positive feedback 43:35 Many of the people they have taught skills to have gained the capacity to serve and gone on to be Church leaders 44:40 Maslow hierarchy of needs: begin with the basic needs before they can engage in Church service
February 3, 2019
Jodi Taylor lives in Anchorage, Alaska with her husband and children, where they both work in real estate development. She is currently Coordinating Council Director of Public Affairs in the area. The coordinating council is responsible for building bridges in our communities, taking the ideas of ministering outside and into our neighborhoods to expand how the church works with community groups. Highlights 7:20 Jodi explains what the church is like in Anchorage. 8:35 Role of stake public affairs to help the stake leaders—but not just within their own boundaries. The coordinating council is there to help the stake public affairs to meet their goals. The public affairs department are the opinion leaders for the area. 10:10 She presents some general principles on how we can be involved in our communities 11:10 Jodi presents a story of stake and community involvement as a family and their coordinating council. She encourages all to find ways to be involved—find a need and fill it. 13:50 How we can find common ground and how the coordinating council helped with the evolution of discussions and changes within the LGBT community and legislation. Importance of knowing key people who can get to know you and trust you. She describes relationships built and a summit that was held to bring experts together. 24:15 It is important to have a dialogue. There are ways to bring our beliefs in the Savior into the activities we are involved in. We all have the ability to make change by doing what matters to us and what matters to others. 25:50 Find an issue that matters to someone else 28:20 We must talk openly about our faith 30:20 Jodi shares story of her teenage daughter who got involved to cause change. We can help make change no matter our age. Utilize social media. 38:55 How you bring something up to others will determine if they will listen. We should acknowledge pain/hurt and concerns—they will listen. The time to be involved is NOW. 42:30 Jody addresses public affairs and politics 45:30 Everyone should get involved. God has designed a role for each of us to add light to our communities. We shouldn’t just pray for the Lord to provide opportunities but we should actively seek them out. 46:45 "It has expanded my understanding of my brothers and sisters and I appreciate the good that each person brings."
January 27, 2019
In this podcast, Kurt interviews two women with the unofficial leadership calling of Bishop’s Wife. Sister Jill Walker First he speaks with Jill Walker, the wife of Bishop Jason Walker of Phoenix, Arizona. Bishop Walker has been serving for about seven months. They have been married for 27 years, have three children, and have lived in Phoenix for seven years. The Walker family Highlights 4:00 Introduction with Bishop Jason Walker 8:50 Called as bishop and then called again when ward boundaries were changed 9:45 Called shortly after a calling to the high council 10:45 Expectations she had, surprised and confused by new emotions such as feeling jealous of his time away 13:00 Journaled about her emotions but didn’t talk to anyone 13:50 The loneliness of not being able to talk about what he has been doing 14:20 Thoughts that she couldn’t burden him further with trivial family things when he had so many obvious burdens from his calling added to the sense of loneliness Principles of Leadership as the Bishop’s Wife * 16:25 Journal * 18:25 Find ways to help–helps with loneliness * 20:00 Pray–for your husband and for comfort for yourself * 21:20 Spend time together–go with him to anything that is appropriate, but also on intentional dates, to the store, any moment possible * 23:25 Focus on the positive–look for the blessings and personal growth 24:55 Started sharing whatever spiritual moments they can, which has helped their partnership 26:30 She has learned to pay more attention to everyone and be more compassionate Sister Kasandra Merrill Next, Kurt speaks with Kasandra Merrill, wife of Bishop Scott Merrill of Mesa, Arizona. They both grew up in Mesa and have lived in the same ward since they were married. He has been serving as bishop for over four years. Kasandra comes from a large mixed family of 12 children, including step-siblings, and she and Scott have been married 24 years and have seven children. The Merrill family Highlights 30:30 She saw his calling coming but he did not 31:10 The circumstances in their family when he was called: five teenagers who then married or went on missions since his call, plus his busy job and she was in school full time 33:00 The first year was the most difficult for them to understand each other and each other’s roles because they approach life differently 34:00 She could sense the pain of ward members through him, but felt totally alone and unable to share her burdens with anyone 35:10 She was handling and carrying some heavy difficulties with their children all alone 37:00 She felt that he had the mantle of the calling to support him, while she had nothing 37:45 Figured out together how to handle their loneliness together and to share their burdens 38:40 Realized she has angels watching over and strengthening her, too 39:00 They were both called in for his calling as bishop 40:00 They may not have it all together but they are together 41:15 Allowed herself to not parent alone, or to own her children’s mistakes as hers 42:10 Their children all seemed to have had a positive experience with their dad as the bishop, but he let them know that if they wanted to talk to someone else they could go to the stake president 44:00 Don’t dwell on the negative 44:50 Living in a “glass house” 46:00 Her husband has been very private as bishop; she could sense anger and heartbreak but he didn’t/couldn’t share 48:05 Keeping their struggles open instead of private 48:45 Son came home early from his mission and they were open about everything with the ward, eliminating possible shame 50:15 Daughter attempted suicide and they were open about that too,
January 20, 2019
Tony Overbay began his career in the high tech world but felt the call to become a therapist and help men. For the past 13-14 years, he has been a licensed marriage and family therapist with a practice in Roseville, California. While Tony grew up in Utah, he is an adult convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He has been married 28 years, is a father of four, an ultra-marathoner, host of the Virtual Couch Podcast, creator of The Path Back, and currently serves on the Leading Saints Professional Therapists Advisory Board. Tony Overbay Highlights 12:45 Men in therapy - the stigma, stereotypes 14:40 Treatment of pornography addiction - behavior modification, identifying triggers “crimes of opportunity,” then thought, which leads to action/behavior. Tools to put distance between thoughts and action, initially, then work on thought, but have to deal with core issues to heal. 16:30 Core issues—feelings of inadequacy, not feeling connected to partner, job, or faith, poor health—have to be dealt with to heal from addiction. Go-to patterns of behavior learned in youth 17:45 Men have a harder time connecting, less likely to go to therapy, need to find ways to connect with a therapist first before talking about emotions before talking about the elephant in the room 20:45 "The bishop is not the therapist" mentality brings shame to the table because it doesn’t bring the connection. How can bishops help build connections? Bishops need authenticity and vulnerability to build connection, to avoid shame spiral by pushing to get to transgression immediately. Don’t rush it, show gratitude, build relationships, meet with love. A relationship is more important - can’t go and find another bishop, like a person can go find another therapist 26:20 Perfect Love Casteth Out Fear - Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf April 2017 - many bishops over-emphasize shame - sprinkling shame glitter - to make them know they did something "really bad." Have to give people hope and remove shame. 27:30 - Brother Tad Callister- guilt is the stop sign. Shame hangs around guilt and isn’t productive, is negative, and makes people feel horrible. Have to change the conversation because will lie when there are relapses 29:20 - Shame - leaders mix up shame and guilt. Shame is "you’re bad" and not "what you did is bad". Pornography addiction - first exposure - 8 to 11 yo - early exposure to pornography is early sexualization, which changes the wiring of the brain because the brain doesn’t know how to process information. Changes their perception of the world, have to understand with it to work with, and will remove the shame. 32:30 - Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf - minor things take a person further off course over time. What not to say to someone when talking to them because it makes the other person view it as shame and more broken and not empathetic because coming from a different point of view. 33:45 Dr. Patrick Carnes - sexual addiction counselor, sex addiction and pornography can be harder to overcome than drug or alcohol addiction because addictive obsession can cause mood alteration. Sex addicts carry their own source of supply in their brain. Prolonged use alters the brain. Why can’t I get it under control? Bishop asks why and doesn’t understand the why of a person wanting it. Unintended shame happens. 37:20 Double down on the empathy when people share. Jesus saw sin as wrong, but as needs not met. Look into lives of others to see their shortcomings, unmet needs, etc, that aren’t filled that we’re trying to fill. Need to focus on the deeper reason of why we sin and the need we’re trying to meet to become better. Have to help people find something to replace the void. Easier to add things to life than subtract from life. 40:00 - EFT - Emotionally Focused Therapy to connect with a...
January 13, 2019
Jane Clayson Johnson grew up playing the violin and attended BYU on a music scholarship, then changed her studies to journalism. After graduating, she worked for KSL News in Salt Lake City, then moved to Los Angeles where she was a correspondent for programs such as ABC World News Tonight and Good Morning America. She was later an anchor on The Early Show and a correspondent for CBS. Jane left her full-time job when she married her husband, Mark Johnson, to be a wife and mother. They have two children together and reside in Boston, where she also works as a fill-in host for NPR's On Point. She has written two books, I am a Mother and Silent Souls Weeping. Jane Clayson Johnson Highlights 5:45 About her book, I am a Mother 6:20 Hosts On Point for NPR 6:50 Considers self a storyteller 7:25 Authoring new book, Silent Souls Weeping, on the subject of depression, especially as it relates to her own experience with clinical depression 9:25 Wondered “How can I be so depressed when I am so blessed?” 11:35 After receiving treatment and beginning to feel better, Jane began to speak with others and realize how many people suffer with depression. She began interviewing others, and the book was born. 12:30 All interviews are with faithful Latter-day Saints who have struggled with depression 13:00 Kurt recommends the book for church leaders who are battling with depression, especially since as a leader he did not have any framework to help people who are suffering—no advice to offer beyond “go see a professional”; the book helps him understand different perspectives. 14:25 Jane has learned that we need to reach out and help each other, because so many of us don’t speak about the suffering; feels the worst part of depression is the “profound isolation” 16:30 So often we suffer in silence—it’s where the title of the book comes from, Silent Souls Weeping 17:35 Depression is easy to hide at church 18:00 One bishop made a list of the mental illnesses he saw in his ward and concluded about about one quarter of his ward were affected, and that was just the issues that he knew about 19:35 Depression can block us from feeling the spirit, God’s love 20:10 "It was like the most important part of my soul had been carved out of me" 20:20 When you are depressed and active in a church that often equates happiness with righteousness, depression can be tormenting 22:15 One sister described a sense of desperation, seeking help anywhere, felt depression was a sign that she was somehow unworthy, hypocritical 23:30 Depression happens to us regardless of our circumstances, the loss of the spirit may be the most distressing part of depression and why we need to seek treatment 23:50 Kurt reminds us depression does not only affect those who “don’t understand” the gospel but can affect anyone 24:20 One theme of the book is how depression affects our ability to feel the spirit. Another theme is the stigma attached to depression. 25:25 Kurt tells the story of one sister suffering with depression wished to be in the place of a sister with cancer’s shoes because of the extreme stigma and embarrassment she felt related to suffering with depression 26:30 Jane explains the woman with cancer and woman with severe depression were both admitted to the hospital at the same time—they were sisters. The depressed sister felt like people would treat her and her family differently if she had cancer instead of something stigmatized like depression. 27:25 Depression is not the result of personal inadequacy
January 6, 2019
Autumn was born and raised in Utah. She met Chris while they were in high school. They have three children, and she is very creative and crafty. Chris also grew up in Utah. When he was of mission age, he told his bishop that he wasn’t going to serve. At a baseball game that same day he very nonchalantly proposed marriage to Autumn. They had been best friends but hadn’t even gone on a single date. Highlights Chris’ Story 6:00 Introduction to pornography and masturbation * 6:20 Differences in accessibility between then and now. * 6:50 Shame caused him to keep it secret. He wanted to approach his bishop but didn’t know how. * 7:30 Sexuality was not openly discussed in his family. * 8:20 He began seeking out pornography * 9:30 Decision made not to serve a mission 10:15 Avoidance tips and how to help your children: have an open relationship with your children, sons and daughters * 10:45 Framing the question: “When was the last time…” as opposed to “If”. * 11:15 Don’t let this be a taboo subject. Statistics show that 90% of children are exposed to pornography by age 9. * 12:00 Talking about these subjects all along mitigates the shame of approaching parents when something happens. * 12:20 When something happens, first express love. * 12:45 Talking to the bishop is not a bad or shameful thing, but is a normal part of the healing process. 17:20 Thought getting married would make addictions go away. Most of his friends in recovery had the same belief. 19:00 Called as ward Young Men president. Addictions triggered, multiple affairs began. 21:20 First meeting with bishop after getting caught, getting released, and the disciplinary council. Wanted to keep from his wife. Confessed only to the one affair, kept all else secret. 23:30 Example of the “addict brain”: he prayed to be excommunicated so that upon rebaptism he could be forgiven of all the other things which he had not disclosed. 29:00 Disfellowshipped. Starts marriage counseling. 29:30 Autumn confronts him about additional affairs, is hospitalized for a suicide attempt. Bargains with God to stop all bad behavior if Autumn lives. She survives. Chris begins disclosing most of his secrets to Autumn. 35:00 Breaking those promises to God. 36:00 The wisdom of allowing time to pass between a traumatic event and holding a disciplinary council. A buffer of time allows for stability and opportunity for spiritual healing. 36:40 Chris’ disciplinary councils were some the most spiritual experiences he’s ever had, and allowed him to feel God’s love, with the love of those in the council. 37:35 Excommunicated. 48:30 Church-sponsored Addiction Recovery Program (ARP) meetings: bishops are encouraged to attend shortly after being called so that they can refer individuals with knowledge of the resource. 1:02:10 Autumn empowers him to finally disclose every detail during a therapy session. True healing begins. Autumn and Chris start their therapy from square one, the real starting point for their recovery. 1:08:00 After full disclosure, commits 100% to church and Autumn. Focuses on falling back in love with her, by * Checking in with her daily. * Praying daily, asking for help to love her again. * Studying his scriptures every night and finding personal application, which he then communicated with Autumn. * 10 years sober, still maintains these habits. 1:12:00 Finally gives self to Christ. 1:13:15 Leaders are there to empathize, connect, and to love--not to fix. Leaders assist members in coming to a point where they are ready to give themselves to Christ. Until members embrace “the formula” for themselves (read, pray, go to church),
December 16, 2018
Kurt Francom, the host of the Leading Saints podcast, is an adjunct professor at LDS Business College in Salt Lake City, Utah. During the fall semester, he taught a class called Leadership for Life and this episode is the main part of a final project of the course. You will hear from President Bruce C. Kusch, president of LDS Business College, and several students who were in the class. As this semester had gone by his class has gone thru many experiences in which they have been able to grow and change due to the way this style of learning. This new style of learning has been developed with the help of the college president, President Bruce Kusch, to create a new way of learning that they hope to bring to the whole curriculum of LDS Business College. Along with President Kusch and the students, they have been willing to share just how this changed them and made them into young leaders that can go forward in this world and be a light to follow. They have been willing to share some of the principles include: * Becoming Converted to and hard work * How to become unified by leading with friends * Finding the courage to lead by creating a personal vision This Leadership for Life class has grown into a group of leaders that have demonstrated the necessary skills to become the young leaders that are so instrumental to create change in their own lives and the lives of others. We invite you to listen to his student’s experiences as they have grown in his class and how their stories can help you to become a leader through the darkness. You should also consider how you can stimulate an immersive learning environment in your ward and specifically in the lives of the leaders you work with. After listening to this episode we invite you to TAKE A SHORT SURVEY that will help the students get feedback about the quality of the podcast episode (their final project). Links: Learner-Centered Teaching: Five Key Changes to Practices (this is a book that teaches more about immersive learning styles) LDS Business College Website President Henry B. Eyring's Devotional Address Take the feedback survey
December 9, 2018
Alanna Francom grew up outside of Blackfoot, Idaho, the oldest of seven children. She attended Brigham Young University–Idaho and then decided to become a massage therapist and went to school in Salt Lake City, Utah. She met her husband, Kurt, in a Young Single Adult ward in Salt Lake, and has served alongside him while he was a bishop and in a stake presidency. They have two children. If you are a former/current bishop's wife, consider TAKING OUR SURVEY. Highlights 3:00 How Kurt and Alanna met 9:00 The need for content around being a bishop's wife 11:15 The bishop's wife is an unofficial calling 11:45 When Kurt was called as bishop 13:50 Alanna's perspective on their marriage during Kurt's time in leadership positions 16:40 Changes when Kurt was called to the stake presidency 17:10 Dealing with situational depression 20:40 Leadership principles: Advice for the bishop's wife * Share experiences: Grow in the experience together * It is helpful to know what he is doing and see the purpose of his service * How to share and still maintain confidentiality (25:00) * Make it a family calling (26:15) * Rewarding to participate in visits together * Ask yourself: What sort of bishop's wife do I want to be? * Stake presidents: Invite the family to stand when the bishop is called (29:00) * Look for simple family traditions to incorporate into your service * Finding connection (31:40) * Attended the wards Kurt visited as counselor in stake presidency * Connected with ward members, stake presidency families, bishopric/stake presidency wives lunches * Bishopric/presidency meetings as "guys night out" (35:40) * Possibility of feeling left out * Go out of the way to seek that sort of connection for yourself * Bishops: Allow your wife to have spiritual opportunities at church (38:00) * Sometimes it's hard and that's okay (38:40) * "My wife has never complained" testimony (40:00) * It's okay to give yourself permission to be sad, to want your husband there when he isn't * Let yourself feel the feelings and be aware, and that will help dissipate it (42:45) * Talk about what you're feeling and have real conversations with your husband 45:20 Sharing Leading Saints feedback with Kurt and meeting listeners 45:50 Sharing growth experiences through callings has strengthened her testimony Links Leading Others to be Better Than Happy | An Interview with Jody Moore Be Bold with Jody Moore How I Lead as the Bishop’s Wife | Interviews with Jill Walker and Kasandra Merrill How I Lead as the Bishop’s Wife | Interviews with Jordan Brown and Amanda Fristrom
December 4, 2018
What a beautiful time of year it is to focus on the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. The #LightTheWorld campaign online is one of my favorite parts of this season and we hope that everyone will feel the effects of this effort. I am grateful for the opportunity we have had to team up with other Latter-day Saint podcasters and share of the sweet spirit of Christmas. In this episode you will hear from the following podcast hosts: * Shawn Rapier, Latter-day Lives Podcast * Nick Galieti, Latter-day Saint MissionCast * Zack Cordell, Latter-day Saint Nutritionist * Richie Steadman, The Cultural Hall * Brandt Malone & Jenny Dye, Mormon News Report * Jay & Brad, The Next Step Podcast Other Links: * * Share your December 23 plans
December 2, 2018
Dustin Peterson is a leadership trainer with Proof Leadership Group and works with organizations to help develop their culture. He is also the author of “Reset: How to Get Paid and Love What You Do”, and coaches individuals to help them get unstuck in their careers. He currently serves in a stake presidency in Houston, Texas, and has previously served on a high council and as an early morning seminary teacher. In this podcast, Dustin talks about why we often believe we don't have talents, and how to identify and put our talents to work to bless those we lead and serve. Highlights 8:00 Calling to the Stake Presidency 10:10 Talents: People believe they don’t have them and don’t know how to identify them; helping people identify their talents is a tremendous gift 11:35 Identifying talents first allows us to magnify them 12:20 Talents are superpowers. They are powerful skills that make you unique. 14:30 Men are that they might have joy (2 Nephi 2:25) 15:10 Parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30) * Every person has talents (verse 15) * You can gain more talents (verse 15) * Talents lead to joy (verse 21) * When we are afraid, we tend to hide our talents (verse 25) * Everyone that uses their talents gets more (verse 29) * Those who bury them have them taken away (verse 29) 16:30 Elders Quorum discussion of talents vs. 6th-grade class discussion of talents 19:45 The Broken Paradigm: What’s the problem with identifying our talents? Our mindsets * Deficit perspective: we identify our weaknesses * (22:30) Scarcity belief: a few people have talents and the rest are left behind * (25:30) Humility complex: we overvalue humility when it comes to talent and talk ourselves out of our own talents 28:00 The secret is to be grateful. 29:00 How do we identify our talents? * Definition: Things you do naturally, consistently well. Think energy. * Skills are transferable and can be taught; talents are innate, energizing, and can be developed; a sign of talent is that it is instinctual * 33:50 Talents energize and makes us feel good; we can become highly skilled at a weakness * 34:20 What moments in my calling do I feel energized in? * 36:00 God knows our talents and if we use our talents to serve, we will get where we need to be * 36:30 Diversify your perspective on talents; talents come in three varieties, but we only give respect to “doing” talents * Doing: arranging, organizing, developing, communicating, writing * Thinking: connecting, influencing, positivity, relating, empathy * Feeling: ideating, inputting information, learning, analyzing 41:30 What do you do when you don’t have a talent in a certain area? God expects us to develop all of these talents 42:15 Examples of talents that are easy to identify, and talents that are more difficult to notice * Easy: being a good athlete, gardening, singing, dancing, playing a musical instrument, drawing, painting, sculpting, cooking, baking, writing, public speaking, teaching, acting, composing songs, sewing, storytelling, repairing things, photography, bow hunting * Less easy to notice: having empathy, being a peacemaker, being positive and energetic, communicating effectively, being a good listener, having self-control/discipline, being able to make decisions, setting goals, getting tasks accomplished, giving service, inputting or retaining information, mentally organizing information, analyzing and sorting data, being friendly and kind to others, putting others at ease,
November 25, 2018
Mike Ramsey lives in Burley, Idaho, with his wife and four children (ages two to nine years). He is president of Nifty Marketing, an internet marketing company, an author and speaker, and currently serves in his stake young men presidency. He was raised in a single-parent home with a lesbian mother, and his experience coming to terms with his his mother’s sexuality has taught him tools that other leaders can use to better connect with and support the youth they lead. Highlights 8:00 Mike's mother’s struggles with the Church, dating his father, and acknowledging her same-gender attraction 11:30 How Mike finally connected with his father 14:30 His experience as a youth, learning about and dealing with his mother’s same-sex attraction 18:00 His mother’s struggles with religion and living in a spiritual but inactive home 21:00 Why he moved to his grandparents’ home, struggling with shame, and not knowing how to handle his mother’s sexuality 23:10 How he started going to church with his grandparents and friends 25:25 Wanting to belong: it’s hard to be different and no one was willing to talk about Mike’s experience growing up with a gay parent. Leaders need to be willing to talk with youth about what they are experiencing, and just listening. It’s not about the answer, but about the conversation. 29:15 Most youth want to learn how to live their lives and need leaders to open the door for conversation by sharing their own genuine life experiences. Youth need to hear the vulnerable experiences about how adults struggled as they were growing up. Shame is eliminated when we talk openly about our own lives. 34:45 The cultural experience in the Church where no one is willing to talk about mistakes or transgressions they have experienced, and how that creates shame. This is changing as the Church is embracing transparency, but the transparency of sharing difficult life experiences hasn’t yet been embraced by everyone. 38:05 Example of Alma the Younger and how approaching the Atonement that way facilitates trust between leaders and youth 39:10 Trusting the bishop: Kurt’s experience as a bishop with a young man who only went to see him because his mom told him to 40:30 Building trust as a bishop 42:00 How youth leaders can help youth who are afraid to open up to their bishop 43:40 Mike’s mission experience and creating connections of trust with his mission president, who was open and willing to love his missionaries. Experiencing sanctification through the Holy Ghost when he was finally able to connect to a leader who was willing to be vulnerable and accepting. 50:50 Finally coming to terms with his shame and struggles about his mom’s sexuality, her difficult choices, and finally accepting who she is 55:45 We are all broken in big and little ways, and fall short of the perfection of God. Asking questions, listening, and seeing people through the Savior’s eyes can help us be accepting of each other.
November 18, 2018
Interview transcript available below. Julie Bangerter Beck served as Relief Society General President from 2007-2012. She was born in Salt Lake City, Utah with nine siblings in Granger and Alpine, Utah, and in Sao Paulo, Brazil where her father served as mission president. She is a graduate of Dixie College (now Dixie State University) and Brigham Young University. Before her service as Relief Society General President, she served on the Young Women general board, as First Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency, and with her husband, Ramon, at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah. Sister Beck is currently vice-chair of the Board of Trustees of Dixie State University. She also serves on the executive committee of the BYU Alumni Association. Her new book Joy in the Covenant shares deep-seated feelings and beliefs and draws heavily from her own experiences, the lives of her parents, and the lessons she learned from them. Highlights 5:40 Sister Beck's father and his service in the church 7:00 Sister Beck's parents' leadership examples 7:30 Advice from her parents as she served in leadership callings 8:30 Lessons from her father 9:10 The Lord builds his church through building people 9:40 Experience working with a general Young Women board member 13:20 Delegating in callings 15:00 Delegating as General Relief Society President 16:50 Her role as General Relief Society President- Agent of the Prophet 20:15 Relief Society President is an agent to the bishop and serves under his keys 22:35 Relief Society President's keys when set apart/Daughter's experience as Relief Society President 25:30 How to navigate the relationship between a Relief Society President and the Bishop 29:10 How to measure success in leadership/ Preach My Gospel pages 10-11 32:00 Sister Beck's experience being called as General Relief Society President with President Hinckley 34:00 President Hinckley's counsel and emphasis that presidents choose their own counselors 37:30 Counselors help the president be the best they can be 40:45 Best practices for a sister that sits on a ward council 44:00 What was her first day like as General Relief Society President 51:00 How being a General Relief Society President has made her a better follower of Jesus Christ Links Joy in the Covenant Interview Transcript [00:04:00] Kurt: Today, I’m in downtown Salt Lake City in a room with sister Julie Beck. How are you? Julie: I’m doing great. Thank you. Kurt: Good. Well, this is quite an opportunity. I’ve seen you on TV a lot but never in person, so this is a great opportunity. Julie: People look different in person. Kurt: Right? You’re a little more blonde than I think I remember you. Julie: It’s called being outside and sun-bleached hair. Kurt: Nice, okay. Good. You recently poured your heart and soul into a book project that you recently released called Joy in the Covenant. What was the impetus for this book project? Julie: The impetus was that I had been preparing messages for a number of events and things, and I wanted to share them with my family. But in today’s world, you can’t just send out an email, and I decided I needed to protect those messages, and they needed some refinement. I wanted them for my family and friends, people who have been asking me to share. So I thought, “We’ll see if we can collect these into something that would [00:05:00] be a book. And I am quite pleased with it, how it turned out.
November 11, 2018
Anthony Sweat is an assistant professor of Church History and Doctrine at BYU, teaching approximately 1000 students each semester. Previously he taught seminary and institute for 13 years. With an early interest in art he obtained a BFA from BYU before pursuing religious education, earning an M.Ed and Ph.D in curriculum and instruction from Utah State University. His sustained interest and skill in art provides him an avenue of expression that he often blends into his teaching of religion, especially by painting church history scenes previously undepicted. He has authored books including a recent one regarding the temple endowment. His outside interests include basketball and triathlon. Dr. Sweat and his wife Cindy are the parents of seven children. Highlights 07:20 Discussion of what constitutes official Church doctrine? Doctrine of Christ; other doctrines. 10:23 Culture or doctrine? 13:00 Where do we find doctrine? Church handbooks, standard works, official correlated Church publications; Family Proclamation. Multiple witness concept versus “outliers.” Unanimous (by the Brethren) declarations. Cohesive, cumulative statements from Church leaders acting as the Lord’s agents. Reference to D&C 107:27. 19:00 Types of doctrines. 2011 official Church statement during the campaign season involving presidential candidate Mitt Romney. What about a single statement by a single leader on a single occasion—binding? Avoid pitting one general authority against another. Are some doctrines more important than others? Are core doctrines unchangeable? What are “supportive doctrines” according to the model (four rings) developed by Dr. Sweat and his colleagues? Can faithful members have differing views on supportive doctrines? Progressing in the next life? Discussion of policies or doctrines that are authoritative, timely and unique to a given time period. Are they “mere policies?” Can they be clarified/amplified? 30:13 Don’t try to get ahead of or undercut prophets/revelators. Scriptures authenticate that God honors His prophets. Example of tribes of Israel that were required to wait to receive the priesthood. Orthodox today but heterodox tomorrow. Brigham Young said Section 76 was a “great trial” to him, but he did not reject it and later understood. 33:42 Fourth ring: “Esoteric doctrine” is obscured or ambiguous. Role of Mother in Heaven? Is Jesus married? Is there kingdom progression in the next life? What’s on sealed portion of Book of Mormon? 34:33 Section 128:9 relates to receiving revelation and is “bold doctrine.” Prophets who hold sealing keys, acting truly and faithfully as the Lord’s agents, have the authority to record on earth and bind in heaven. The role of “agents.” 39:51 Dealing with ambiguity in a church classroom setting. Clarity can come through the “wrestle.” Inviting discussion without straying from doctrine. Teaching what is declared and known without shutting off sincere comments about things that are not. “Managing opinions.” Listening without agreeing. 49:30 Leaders need to be dialed into core doctrines and official policies. 50:25 There are clearly things that have not yet been revealed. Embrace ambiguity. Just as artists don’t always reveal precisely what they had in mind in their work of art, God seems to want us to grow by wrestling with some things where only hints are provided. He wants “seekers” who ask and knock. 53:35 Gratitude for Joseph’s role as a called, inspired, and revelatory prophet who nonetheless had mortal weaknesses. Each of us, though weak, can be instruments in the Lord’s hands. Links Instagram: brotheranthonysweat
November 7, 2018
What is Leading Saints? You can read more about Leading Saints on our ABOUT PAGE, but in short, Leading Saints is a non-profit (501c3) organization that is striving to help Latter-day Saints be better prepared to lead. As many of you probably know, when you are called to lead you are not always given any official training. We hope the resources at Leading Saints will supplement your leadership development and help you bless the lives of other Latter-day Saint who you lead. What Topics Are Discussed on Leading Saints? You will find a variety of topics discussed through our podcast, online articles, and webinars. The best place to start is to use the website search function or to explore content related to the following callings: * Bishopric * Stake Leadership * Relief Society * Elders Quorum * Primary * Youth Leadership * Ward Mission * Teaching Leading Saints Podcast We post new podcasts once a week (sometimes more) in which Kurt Francom interviews an author, trainer, or leader (typically with a Latter-day Saint background). Our episodes are easy to listen to on the go — about 30-60 minutes — and are available on most major podcast providers: Stitcher, Apple Podcasts (iTunes), or any other player of your choice. Be sure to subscribe through your favorite podcasting app so that you don't miss any future episodes. If you need help with subscribing watch this video. We have over 250 episodes so we recommend starting with the most listened to episodes and going from there. Popular Podcast Series * How I Lead These are podcast interviews where we sit down with every-day, prolific, leaders that serve in various lay leadership callings (bishops, EQP, YW President, mission president, etc.). We ask them basic questions about how they approach the challenges in their calling, and what you can learn is priceless. * WIWIK (What I Wish I Knew) These are compilations of short clips where leaders share a short perspective about what they wish they knew before they were bishop, or Relief Society president, etc. We also answer questions about what they wish they knew before performing a wedding, or organizing a primary program. * Leaders Teaching Leaders This...
November 4, 2018
Jason Mount is a medical doctor practicing emergency medicine in Georgia, originally from California. He is near the end of his third year serving as a bishop, after previously serving as a counselor in the bishopric. Highlights 5:20 Calling as bishop 8:20 Making calls as the bishop: sometimes the Lord leaves the decision to him 10:50 Demographics of his ward 12:35 Principles of servant leadership he has applied as a bishop * 13:50 Learned the principle of servant leadership that "whatever works for them, works for me" * 15:50 Habits of being a servant leader as a bishop: makes a greater effort to be more accommodating with his schedule * 16:50 Refers to his office as "The Bishop's Office" * 18:00 Personal prayer before leaving home to serve as bishop: "What would you say? And I will say it" 19:30 General advice is not always the best advice: taking it case-by-case 21:30 Drawing boundaries and delegating: doesn't give out his cell number, food orders through Relief Society President, interviews 24:30 The Lord can use different types of leaders to do the same calling 27:25 Experience as a ward mission leader, learning to report back on his calling 32:30 The insight as a leader to see others as the Lord sees us is humbling and gives hope
November 2, 2018
You need to seriously look at your calendar on November 27, 2018. We are having an event calling Ministering Saints Global Leadership Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. If you can be there in person we strongly encourage you to do so. (Seats are very limited) If you will not be in the Salt Lake City area on November 27, that's okay. We are going to live stream the event online for the world to see (but you still need to register). The conference is completely free and will change your leadership forever! To find out all the details and to register visit THE EVENT PAGE.
October 29, 2018
Rebecca Petho currently serves as a Relief Society President in her Philadelphia, PA ward. She has spent her career working with non-profit organizations as a fundraising expert and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Leading Saints. Sister Petho grew up in the Gettysburg, PA area in a home where hard work and the expectations to contribute and play a role in the home were emphasized. Those lessons have helped shape the type of leader she has been in her church service in Young Single Adult wards and traditional family wards from West Virginia to Salt Lake City to Philadelphia, where she now lives with her husband. In this episode, she talks about the lessons she learned while immersed in the Young Single Adult culture, the importance of being authentic when serving in leadership roles, and helping others to be authentic themselves. Highlights (11:45) How can individuals avoid getting trapped in culture and traditions? * Try to avoid focusing on perceived external perceptions of ourselves (16:30) How has her identity as a Latter-Day Saint woman been shaped by her YSA experiences? * Truly embrace the opportunities that are right in front of you * Controlling what you can control and embracing it * Faith that our lives will come together in a way we can’t even imagine * Recommended reading: “Where There is No Vision” – Elder L. Tom Perry BYU Devotional address * Identify the things that bring us true joy and finding ways to be involved in those things What did you learn from the YSA culture? * So many who are willing to serve and support YSAs, but it becomes an extension of the YM/YW program * Provide opportunities for YSAs in the ward to be the true leaders in the ward * Help them feel more needed and empower them to be leaders in the ward (29:15) What lessons were learned serving as Relief Society President in YSA wards that have helped her serve in the same calling in a family ward? * Examine our self-talk, fears, and past experiences in order to fully embrace the current opportunity to serve * Every individual and every ward is different and we must keep an open mind in how we approach our current calling (38:10) What does it look like to be patient with others and allow them to be who they are in our leadership callings? * Being authentic with people and knowing who we are ourselves * Being willing to allow others to be authentic themselves (41:30) How does she approach leadership while adapting to the needs of the ward * A groundwork of order and consistency * After those principles are established, allowing for individuality and authenticity * Approaching authenticity with humility (51:30) Where do we put our energy? (54:45) Sister Petho gives Kurt an assignment: How can the stewardship of the Relief Society President, Elders Quorum President, and Bishop work together more effectively? Links "Where There is No Vision", by Elder L. Tom Perry: text | video
October 19, 2018
Ryan Gottfredson is an assistant professor of Organizational Behavior at Cal State Fullerton where he researches and teaches leadership, and is a leadership consultant. He first became interested in organizational behavior during high school in a sports psychology class, and now holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior and Human Resources from Indiana University and a BA from Brigham Young University. He has worked for Gallup and written multiple articles for Leading Saints, including a series of articles on community. Highlights 8:10 Where the community articles started 9:50 Many people attend church but they don’t feel they fit, or don't attend * “What community is and why is it important?” * How do we create a community in the church so everyone feels welcome? 14:00 There are three community types: basic, involved and united. It is a continuum. * 14:45 Basic community: little attachment, little involvement, much like an alumni group, few demands and little connection * 15:45 Involved community: share more, some emotional connection but still disconnected but not fully accepted, much like a large workplace * 17:30 United community: Share interests, goals and beliefs. Strong identification with group much like a family: when they hurt, we hurt. Provides acceptance, love and protection. This is what it should be within the church. 20:20 A united community is ingrained deep in the LDS culture and doctrinally founded, but with some negative side effects * Low cognitive diversity. Can't think outside a box, inability to allow different perspectives. This is not doctrinal thought, but community thought. * 25:30 Lack of inclusivity. Difficult to allow others in, many feel judged, hard to accept others. Often is unintentional judging over what is/is not socially acceptable (tattoos, piercing). * 29:00 Lower psychological safety: When something is different, or comments in class get questioned, others are less likely to share. People feel uncomfortable expressing their opinions. * 33:40 "Sometimes we have a stronger desire to be right, than we do to love others." 36:20 How do we improve the united community in the Church? We must be "intentional". 37:20 Six elements of an intentional community * Charity * Safety * Openness * Inclusiveness * Being present * Having a clear purpose and common cause 38:30 Charity: we must see everyone as people, and value them as such. 41:00 Safety: do our members feel safe and able to to comment in class? 43:25 Openness: we have a social pressure to certainty. If value is on knowing, we are limiting learning. We don't know all and we can learn from others 45:50 Inclusiveness: everyone should feel welcome. Don't let little things get in the way of loving them. Care less about how they look and more about how they feel. 47:40 Be Present: we are as involved as we can be, regardless, while we are there in attendance we should be present. Make our meetings matter, provide a value. Intentionally create meetings worth coming to. 50:45 Having Purpose: is everyone heading in the same direction? 53:00 Cliques are not necessarily bad. Smaller groups may allow more connections with others. Perhaps smaller groups can strengthen the whole community. 56:40 Most important to understand what community is and why it is important. Be mindful. Links https://ww...
October 14, 2018
Scott Braithwaite has a PhD in Clinical Psychology and specializes in marriage counseling. He is an associate professor at Brigham Young University and a popular presenter at BYU Education Week, where he most recently taught about supporting loved ones through a faith crisis. He is currently serving as bishop of his ward. Highlights 10:10 The difference between sadness and depression 13:40 Leaders should ask for recommendations for good qualified counselors 14:15 You choose who to marry. God gives you agency. 17:40 Scott shares his experience going through a faith crisis 22:40 James Fowler’s Stages of Faith can be helpful in understanding what someone may be going through. Stage three faith identifies as a group, has rules, and is concrete. Most fall under this level of faith. Things also appear black and white. 29:00 During a faith crisis the bottom falls out, they can leave the faith and find community elsewhere. 30:35 Going through the stages of faith are not linear 33:00 Perfectionism shows up in our minds as rules, as all or nothing. 33:40 Doctrinal Latter-day Saints vs. Cultural Latter-day Saints 34:50 Sometimes struggling with faith comes from cultural issues 36:50 The idea of organic evolution showcases the different thought processes of doctrinal vs. cultural Latter-day Saints 38:10 You can’t go back to stage 3 40:30 Stage 5 is accepting the complexity of faith 40:50 Faith allows room for doubt 42:00 All faith allows room for wrestling 43:00 Stage 6 examples, such as Mother Teresa. Most people fall between stages 3, 4, and 5. 46:40 We can act as a midwife and help while people are in a faith crisis 48:30 Help others going through a faith crisis by listening to them. Listen more than talk. 50:50 Elder Ballard: Leaders ought to know and be able to address the difficult questions 56:00 There is a progression from stage 3 to stage 4 57:00 We should be able to talk about doubt at church 59:45 Help create a culture of faith 1:02:00 Elder Hafen's stages of faith Links * "Like a Broken Vessel", by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland * Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith, by Linda King Newell * Stages of Faith, by James Fowler * Planted, by Patrick Mason * On Dealing with Uncertainty, by Bruce C. Hafen Scott Braithwaite BYU Bio
October 10, 2018
Doug Nielsen is a psychotherapist, executive coach, and motivational speaker who decided from an early age to become a psychotherapist and speak to and teach others. In his practice, he works mostly with individuals battling depression, anxiety, addictions, and marital problems. In his coaching and speaking work, he works with small business owners all the way up to very high-earning professionals. He works with individuals as well as speaking to groups of 1000 or more individuals. He is also a published author of a book called “Take Life By the Helm” and has another one in the process of being written. He has served in multiple bishoprics and is currently on a high council. In this podcast episode, we discuss the book Wild at Heart by John Eldredge. The target audience of this book is mostly men, although women will benefit greatly by understanding better where a Christian man is coming from. Doug will be hosting a retreat in Liberty, Utah, November 8th-10th, 2018. For details on this retreat, please visit Highlights 17:30 – Introduction of some principles from the book “Wild at Heart”. A typical male heart naturally seeks: * A battle to fight * An adventure to live * A beauty to rescue 18:30 – Discussing the principle of the male heart’s desire for a battle to fight and some discussion on helping self and an elders quorum to recalibrate after an encounter with a numb heart. 37:45 – Three questions to ask God and ways to incorporate these principles and promote vulnerability and realness into your elders quorum. * How do you see me, Father? Do you like me? * What are you up to in my life? What are you trying to teach me, Father? * How can I glorify you? How can I bring praise to you? 39:50 – Discussing the principle of the male heart’s desire for an adventure to live. 41:20 – Discussing the principle of the male heart’s desire for a beauty to rescue. Some ways to approach talking to the women in our lives and helping them and engaging with them in meaningful ways. Discussion of slaying the natural man dragon within ourselves. How to define our mission in our relationships. 48:00 – Discussion on applying these principles in a ward or quorum. 50:00 – Discussion of the retreat and information on how to participate in this or a future retreat. Links * * Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret to a Man's Soul * Take Life by the Helm! Proven Strategies for Gaining Control * A Warrior Heart Retreat - Sign Up
October 8, 2018
Tithing settlement is, no doubt, a busy time of year for not only the bishop but for the bishopric. Thousands of wards and branches around the world will all make it happen starting October 15 and so it would be helpful to share notes and find the best approach to tithing settlement. In this episode, bishops or bishopric members share how their ward approaches tithing settlement. They each share some great ideas that can improve you efficiency to tithing settlement this year. We will build on this episode and add additional tithing settlement ideas. If you would like to share your approach in order to help other wards better execute tithing settlement, please contact us and we will give you further details. Links: * How I Lead: Brandon Leavitt * How I Lead: Mark Sieverkropp * How I Lead: Nathan Waldron * How I Lead: Marco Ferrini * How I Lead: Aaron Chesley * Tithing Settlement Tear Off Schedule * Tithing Settlement in 2 Days Quotes about Tithing A Prerequisite to Higher Ordinances Tithing is one of the many standards that allows us to rreceive saving ordinances. Brigham Young wrote in an epistle of the Quorum of the Twelve: “Enter steadily and regularly upon a strict observance of the law of tithing … then come up to the House of the Lord, and be taught in his ways, and walk in his paths.” (History of the Church, 7:282.) Elder Taylor then taught: “It is our duty to pay our tithing, one-tenth of all we possess, and then one-tenth of our increase, and a man who has not paid his tithing is unfit to be baptized for his dead. … It is our duty to pay our tithing. If a man has not faith enough to attend to these little things, he has not faith enough to save himself and his friends.” (History of the Church, 7:292–93; italics added.) The Lord's Revenue System Tithing is the Lord’s revenue system, and He requires it of the people, not because He is lacking in gold or silver, but because [we] need to pay it. … "The prime … purpose behind the establishment of the law of the tithe is the development of the soul of the tithe-payer, rather than the providing of revenue. The latter is an all-important purpose, for so far as money is needed for the carrying on of the work of the Church the Lord requires money that is sanctified by the faith of the giver; but blessings beyond estimate … are assured unto him who strictly conforms to the law of the tithe because the Lord hath so commanded.” (James E. Talmage, The Articles of Faith, Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1924, pp. 528–29) A Test of Faith “I think when people say they haven’t money enough to pay tithing, they should say they haven’t faith enough to pay tithing. It is my conviction that we pay tithing with faith and not with money, because when a man has so much money that he has a large tithing, he can’t pay tithing. He has too much money and too little faith to pay tithing,
September 30, 2018
Aaron Chesley lives in Boise, Idaho, and says he wouldn’t be the same person without Leading Saints. He currently serves as a bishop, but has racked up most of his church leadership experience while serving as a young men president, serving twice for a total of four years. He’s also been a scoutmaster three times and has served in his stake young men presidency. He has military experience in the Army reserves, served as a missionary, and has been married for 21 years. Highlights How Can Bishops Help Young Men and Young Women Prepare for Military Service? * Aaron served in the military and suggests that bishops teach young men and women to go in to the military with “eyes wide open”. Bishops should help youth be aware that they can make a choice to fold in to military culture and give up your standards, or they can choose to stand out. The military is a difficult environment for keeping gospel standards, but it’s fantastic for learning and leadership. * Ensure that youth understand that temptations will abound. Expect to, like Aaron, be the designated walker or driver, and be ready to accept the challenge of keeping standards. Including Bishop’s Wife Appropriately in Service Based on his experience as a bishop, Aaron recommends that a bishop use their wife as a third counselor. He says his wife’s insights are valuable and different than his. Kurt and Aaron agree that bishops can appropriately include wives in the blessings the bishop is seeing through his service by communicating with her about non-confidential experiences. Advice for Young Men Leaders * The first time he was called to serve as young men president, Aaron was a young leader. He felt out of place and that he didn’t know what he was doing. He asked many questions, but felt overwhelmed because he had so little training. * After a ward split, Aaron was called again to serve as young men president. By the time he served again, he had much more experience serving in the young men and scouting organizations. He felt he was more ready and had ideas about organizing the young men president. Five Leadership Principles for Young Men Presidents (16:00) 1. One half of one percent Aaron believes the spirit is the most important factor in Priesthood third hour. After a particularly discouraging lesson where he ended class early and sent young men to their parents, he had to decide whether he’d quit or try to stick it out as a young men’s leader. After some calculating, he learned that he’d spent just one half of one percent of a young man’s time in the third hour of church. What could he share with these young men that would be meaningful to them? He determined the spirit was the most important thing to invite into every classroom and implemented that the following week. During this segment Aaron explains how he sought to make third hour a spiritual experience. (22:00) 2. Train leaders Aaron mentions how he didn’t know what other people’s responsibilities were, so he took on everyone’s responsibility themselves. During later service he received a specialized training with each member of the presidency using the handbook, and explained what was expected of them in their position. During this segment, he describes how he implemented what he learned about training effectively during his later tenure as young men president, including ensuring spouses understand what the time commitment will be. (28:00) 3. Never use a planning night as an activity Aaron believes that planning night discourages young men from coming, and planning is meant for presidency meeting. He also describes how to teach young men to use the military-style After Action Report (AAR) to learn from mistakes and avoid them in the future. (34:00) 4. Communication Aaron believes communication between leaders and youth,
September 23, 2018
Mark Mathews was born in Houston, TX. He served a mission in Guatemala and met his wife at Brigham Young University. He later earned a Ph.D. in education from Utah State University. He has been involved with Seminary and Institute for 14 years and has spent his last 1.5 years at Brigham Young University. Highlights Temples * 5:27: Will include the word “temple” in his class titles moving forward. * 6:14: There are many things that happen in the temple that can and should be discussed. * 7:24: To understand the temple, the best source is the Doctrine and Covenants as the Lord reveals and restores knowledge regarding the purpose and power of temples. Priesthood Keys (8:42) * 9:21: Understanding priesthood keys * 9:36: What is the priesthood, and what are priesthood keys? * 10:37: Keys give the right to be the president, to direct, control, and preside over the priesthood and the work of the priesthood in the church within a jurisdiction * 11:20: Different keys were gradually restored over time and as needed. * Aaronic Priesthood keys, John the Baptist: authority to baptize * Melchizedek Priesthood keys; “The Keys of the Kingdom”; Peter, James, and John: authority to preside over, organize, and lead the church * Keys of the Gathering of Israel, Moses: “gathering” begins with missionary work, and culminates in gathering disciples to the temple * Keys of Abraham’s Dispensation, Elias (27:25): celestial marriage * Sealing Power, Elijah * 14:47: Quorum presidents * 17:24: Before being taught anything regarding priesthood keys, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery are taught in Doctrine and Covenants 18, “remember, the worth of souls is great in the sight of God” and the importance of bringing those souls unto Christ. Each quorum president, adult, and youth, must understand the worth of the soul, and the charge to help bring those souls unto Christ. * 22:36: Keys helps members know whom to follow. When members hear contradictory messages, follow the keys. * 24:00: While we have many general authorities, we have only fifteen individuals who hold all of the keys, and we sustain them as “prophets, seers, and revelators”. * 25:11: Delegation. Seventies do not hold keys but are acting using keys delegated to them by key holders. The same principle applies to counselors to keyholders. Sealing Power * 26:22: Seals all ordinances performed for both the living and the dead. * 32:43: The importance of proper record keeping: Joseph Smith taught that as ordinances are recorded on earth, they are recorded in Heaven. “All things are spiritual.” * 34:28: On sealing cancellations. “When you are sealed in celestial marriage, you aren’t just sealed to your partner. . . you are being sealed up to Eternal Life. . . When a marriage is dissolved, you don’t want to cancel that sealing until they are ready to renew it again with someone else. Even if they don’t want to be with their partner, they still have been sealed up to certain blessings that they don’t want to loose/unseal.” (not ‘lose’--important distinction). God is perfectly just and perfectly merciful. He will not force somebody to spend eternity with somebody against their will. * 39:22: What happens to the sealing of the children of divorced parents? All your losses will be restored to you; see Doctrine and Covenants 130:2. * 45:54: We should seek to better understand the doctrines behind sealing and God’s love The New and Everlasting Covenant * 46:28: The sum of all ordinances and covenants, not simply eternal marriage. * 49:17: This is the same covenant that was given to Abraham. It is the fulness of the gospel.
September 16, 2018
Steve Hitz has founded and led companies, and served with his wife, Ginger, as a young single adults bishop. He is a founding member of Launching Leaders Worldwide Inc. Michael Leonard is the Executive Director of Launching Leaders and has worked in higher education and Church public affairs. Launching Leaders is a faith-based nonprofit leadership program for young adults. It started as a course at BYU Hawaii and later became a book and online course. Highlights 9:00 Come alongside: learning together instead of learning in a hierarchical manner 12:00 Their mission is to empower young adult leaders, offering the course worldwide to groups of many faiths 13:30 Discussion in a group setting without hierarchy empowers young adults in applied learning, bringing enlightenment 17:00 How the course operates with interfaith groups * Speaking the language of young adults reaches them where they might otherwise be losing their faith * Religious Freedom and Business Foundation * Using the course in YSA wards and church schools 26:00 YSA bishoprics * Allow space for faith with young adults * Cycle of spiritual guidance 30:00 Compartmentalization and congruency: bringing the parts together and embracing your whole self 34:30 Example of reaching congruency 38:00 The formula: Get up early, work hard, get your education, make your mark, give back * 42:00 Developing daily mindfulness * 44:00 Giving back every day instead of waiting to do it as older adults 47:00 Mentorships * Finding and adopting their own mentors * Be bold to create a relationship * New models of mentoring * The Mosiah principle: Every gift comes from God 56:00 Advice for YSA bishops 58:10 How to get started using Launching Leaders or contributing to the organization Links Website: Book: Launching Leaders: An Empowering Journey for a New Generation Steven A. Hitz Michael Leonard
September 9, 2018
Mark Matheson is a visiting professor of business at "the BYU of the East Coast", Southern Virginia University. Matheson received a doctorate in organizational leadership from the University of Phoenix, a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Utah. In 2010, Matheson was an Entrepreneur in Residence at The Willes Center for International Entrepreneurship at BYU-Hawaii. He worked for 25 years as a stock market analyst. He grew up in Utah, lived in seven different states during his childhood, and served his mission in Switzerland and France. He has an instagram page, @scriptureanalyst, that makes you see scriptures in a different way. Highlights 8:30 Southern Virginia University mission statement- create leader servants 11:00 Being a proactive leader, not just serving the squeaky wheel 13:00 Using ideas of others not just the bishop 14:25 Return and report- how to hold people accountable 16:30 Being an effective servant leader- removing obstacles and providing resources 17:45 3 T's- Time, Tools, Training 18:40 "People don't know how much you know until they know how much you care" 21:00 Leadership by walking around 21:45 Two to-do lists 23:30 Less time being reactive and more time being proactive 24:45 Good interactive prayers 25:45 Book: It's Your Ship, by D. Michael Abrashoff "Being the best darn ward in the stake" 29:00 Am I doing good for someone else today? 31:00 Example of Sunday school teacher going the extra mile 34:00 Balance between humble and meek 35:40 Accountability in church callings 37:00 Stephen R. Covey- emotional bank accounts- put deposits in followers' bank accounts 40:00 A good leader takes more blame than credit 43:00 Giving permission for those you lead to be creative in their callings 46:00 Making church procedures better by doing them differently Links Instagram: Scripture Analyst Book: It's Your Ship, by D. Michael Abrashoff
September 3, 2018
Dr. Hank Smith has taught seminary, institute, and now teaches at Brigham Young University. He is a regular speaker at religious programs, corporate training events, school assemblies, and educational conferences. He is a master teacher and in this episode, he shares with us some of his secrets and tactics that we can all apply to improve our teaching. This interview was originally part of the Leading Saints Teaching Saints Virtual Summit. Transcription Available Below Highlights 4:45 Start with remembering why you are teaching: Genesis 44:34 How can we go back to Heavenly Father without these students? 7:00 Teaching is like art: There are fundamentals but otherwise everyone's art is different. Get the fundamentals and then play to your strengths. 10:45 What to do when a discussion is not happening * Write out your questions beforehand * Add "Why do you think...?" when asking a question * Build-in the silence so it isn't awkward * Let people know you're going to ask them * Avoid the easy questions * Be authentic about wanting a discussion 18:30 Look at examples of the Savior teaching: John 4 * Set them up to get their attention * Know your students and make it relevant to them * Bring up testimony at the right moment 25:30 More effective when teaching by a one-by-one ministry 29:20 Watch for moments to get to, rather than getting through material 30:30 Using gratitude and praise 33:45 Collect and use stories 38:25 Prepare until you're excited 39:50 Mark 2: four people working together to carry a man to Jesus 42:45 How to share scriptures * Power in translating it into modern language, in word-for-word reading, and in summarizing * Ask: did you understand? * Read with enthusiasm and personality 47:45 There's an ideal, but be okay with the real Interview Transcript Leading Saints (LS): Welcome back to another session of the Teaching Saints Virtual Summit. This is one of the later recordings that we're doing, and it's been fun to see everything unfold, and people from around the world, thousands of individuals tuning in and hopefully gaining some insight on how to be better teachers in the church. Today I'm back on the campus of BYU, talking with Dr. Hank Smith. How are you? Hank Smith: Hello. Good to be with you, Kurt. LS: Now, tell the 10 people out there listening that have never heard of you, give them some background. Hank: Yes, the 10 out of the 11 who are listening. I've taught in [seminaries institutes? 00:00:52]'s been since 2000, so 18 years. I moved over to BYU in 2010, and I've taught here since then. [00:01:03] I work for Deseret Book a little bit, BYU Education Week, EFY, try to spread some goodness. LS: Nice, awesome. As I usually start out with, I want to imagine that we're in front of a room full of new gospel doctrine teachers, maybe seminary teachers, youth teachers, let's go through some points on improving teaching. But where do we start? What's a good jumping off point? Hank: I think for me, personally, I have to remember why we do what we do because it can get tiresome. And sometimes things don't go as well as planned, and you think, "Why do I even try," because it's not working. So you have to remember why. You come back to why. I have to go through my reasons why I do what I do, and in Genesis 44, Joseph is testing his brothers to see if they've changed. This is when he's in Egypt and they've come to Egypt for food, and he wants to see if they've changed, [00:02:03] and so he frames Benjamin. Most people have seen the play, haven't read the book, but most people know the play.
August 26, 2018
Dave Runyon served as a pastor for nine years in the Denver area. In 2010 he launched a neighboring movement that mobilized over 70 churches and 40,000 people in the area, and then turned his experience into a book, The Art of Neighboring. Today he helps government, business, and faith leaders unite around common causes and helps businesses that have a desire to make a difference in their communities. Dave and his wife, Lauren, have four kids. Highlights 6:45 Introduction: * Dave's background * His experiences with members of the Church * His own church experiences 10:50 Service as a pastor and creating the neighboring movement 19:00 The block map quiz * An activity to test yourself and work on * The key to the neighboring movement 22:20 Having mildly awkward conversations 29:15 What neighboring is not; we do this not to convert, but because we are converted 32:40 Tactics to minister instead of treating relationships as a program 36:30 Reducing the anxiety in the relationship by bringing up the difficult questions 38:00 Embracing getting out of your bubble with people who are different 46:20 Where to start: putting neighboring into action 48:00 Learning to move through anxiety in relationships as a leader Links Building Bridges Before Baptisms | How I Lead as Stake Public Affairs Specialist The Art of Ministering Through Neighboring | Facebook Live with Andrew Stewart The Art of Neighboring Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community
August 23, 2018
Finding yourself in charge of planning, teaching, and organizing the Primary to put on a sacrament meeting program can be overwhelming! Thankfully, Leading Saints is here to help. In this episode we have gathered experiences from current and former Primary leaders from around the world sharing what they wish they knew before they were called to prepare and present the yearly program. You will find their advice inspiring and practical. Contribute Your Own WIWIK Experience In an effort to help others learn how to get from A to Z in preparing their Primary programs, we are organizing future podcast episodes that will feature current and past leaders sharing what they wish they knew before they were called. You will only have 5 minutes to record so write some thoughts on a paper and then record! How to record: * Click the green button below * Answer the following question in less than 5 minutes: * What do you wish you knew before you were called to lead the Primary program? * Start your answer with “Before I was called as _________, I wish I knew…” * Stop recording * Listen to recording and record again if you would like * Enter name and email * Submit recording by clicking “send”
August 19, 2018
Dave Ostler, who lives in Northern Virginia (Washington, D.C. metro area), was raised in Salt Lake City, served a mission in Japan, married in the temple, and was educated in the Eastern U.S. He and Sister Ostler have lived in New York, Minnesota, England, India, and Sierra Leone, Africa, where they presided over the Church’s mission until it was temporarily closed due to an Ebola outbreak. They subsequently served a mission (one of five for Brother Ostler) with a responsibility for historical sites in Palmyra. More recently they were asked by their stake presidency to explore the reasons some LDS members cease attending church or lose their faith. Brother Ostler has also served as a bishop and stake president. Now retired, he professionally developed research data to help people make better healthcare decisions. Highlights 3:00 Letter with survey link sent to 700 people asking why they don’t attend church. Conducted focus group and met in non-church setting before forming conclusions. Spoke with ward/stake leaders to ascertain their views.  Recommended a training plan for the stake to address the survey findings. 5:00 Solicited ward/stake leader views with 120 statements/questions. Analyzed 600 responses to compare leader assumptions to responses given by members who had left. 6:27 Anecdotal examples of non-church goer reactions to the invitation to be surveyed. 9:00 What survey recipients want church leaders to know. (Responses to an open-end question) 12:00 Listen as Christ would listen. Don’t respond to fewer actives with an overly prescriptive approach. Avoid the tendency to “talk them into” returning to the fold. 14:00 Faith “transition” (not “crisis”) perhaps has a less negative connotation for some who will transition to a more meaningful faith. Crisis often happens in a compressed time where something causes a person to lose all footing as to what they believe and can rely on. Leaders should avoid overly broad assumptions. 21:45 Summary of common assumptions by leaders as to why people have fallen away, compared to what survey respondents said were their actual reasons. Do the assumptions about members being offended, having conflict with a fellow member or not wanting to live the commandments hold up under scrutiny? 25:00 Discussion of “triggers” that prompt some to lose their faith foundation. What about church history, gender roles, transparency and LGBT issues? Respondents’ views vary by their age and gender. 27:20 Making effective use of the “Gospel Topics” essays on the Church website to provide context and build trust. Some leaders have not read them. Does faith mean having the answers to everything? 32:05 “Social” issues may fuel the fire of someone already in a faith crisis. Building a community of acceptance versus being dismissive. Does the content of church meetings reflect relevancy to help people develop a pathway forward? They want to be able to trust the institution, feel supported and find relevance. Are teachers/leaders tempted to respond to inquiries by testimony alone?  Leader example. 41:00 Protecting the doctrine while also showing empathy as a leader. Teach people, not lessons. Christ dined with the publicans. Are we more accepting of investigators than we are of members? A “culture of certainty” in congregations may, in some cases, diminish the reality of those who struggle. 49:30 Dual nature of a bishop’s role—(a) pastoral and (b) organizational. In sacrament meetings is there a tendency to overuse certain themes at the expense of other relevant topics? Address the issue of faith struggles from the pulpit. Are teachers examples of inclusion or are people induced to form a “foyer ward?” Dealing with these issues in ward council and first-Sunday priesthood/relief society councils. Seeking to understand,
August 13, 2018
Jim Hastings is a bishop in Dallas, Texas. He and his wife have been married 23 years and have five children. About three years ago during the time he was serving as bishop, his 19-year-old daughter, Zoe, was kidnapped and murdered. In this interview, he talks about that experience and other experiences dealing with grief and tragedy as a bishop. Highlights 5:40 Personal background 7:30 Calling as a bishop 10:30 About his daughter, Zoe 14:10 Narrative of his experience with Zoe's abduction and murder 20:20 Personal reactions through the experience 26:00 The days after 28:35 Previous experience with losing his dad and coming to terms with death 30:30 How he handled the emotional trauma; support and therapy experience 34:30 Support needs from neighbors and ward members 39:00 Forgiveness in a situation like this 44:40 Serving as bishop during this experience 49:35 Gratitude for the tools he was given to handle the experience 52:15 Approaching individuals experiencing trials 54:20 Using a bishop's checklist for funerals to support and help the family left behind 1:00:00 The Savior can help us make connections between past experience and preparation for future experiences Links Troy and John Interview Bishop's checklist for helping with funerals
August 10, 2018
Last year I (Kurt) attended the Moral & Ethical Leadership Conference in Salt Lake City and left the conference inspired and feeling like a better-prepared leader. I am excited to attend again this year on September 14 in Salt Lake City, Utah and I'd love to meet you there. Be sure to listen to the attached podcast episode where David Austin, Vice President of the BYU Management Society Salt Lake Chapter, discusses the conference and what will be experienced there. To register for the conference visit: (then click on the blue text on the right side of the page) ***EARLY BIRD PRICING ENDS AUGUST 15 - ACT NOW!*** Please let us know if you plan to attend the conference so that we can notify you of a special Leading Saints gathering that will happen in conjunction with the event. Conference Speakers Event Details To register for the conference visit: (then click on the blue text on the right side of the page)
August 5, 2018
Jody Moore is a life coach and is well-known for her podcast, Better Than Happy. Her background is in corporate training and leadership coaching, and she has a master's degree in Adult Education and Training. She is a Certified Coach through The Life Coach School and works primarily with women who want to move from good to great in their lives. She enjoys helping people navigate topics such as relationships, confidence, and money, and works to guide them with tools based in cognitive functioning, understanding their own brains, and how emotions drive us to action. Born & raised LDS, Jody followed her own journey to find her testimony. Her husband is her business partner and they live in Spokane, Washington, with their four children. Highlights 14:30 Advice for Bishops specifically related to LDS Women: the root of problems stems from not understanding their own value. Women tend to be harder on themselves. * Love them * All must be on their own journey to learn and understand worth * Divide the doctrine from the culture of the church * It's ok to feel negative emotions. “Opposition in all things”. Reading, studying scriptures are important but you will still feel sad, mad, etc. at times. 18:45 What do we need to know about feelings to help us appreciate the journey. * Unhealthy ways to deal with emotions: * Resisting feelings – we do it, but it is not healthy * Escaping feelings – we do it, but again not healthy (sugar, alcohol, shopping, pornography) * Healthy response to feelings/emotions - just FEEL the emotion. Relax into the emotion, breathe into it. It’s ok to be sad, we need to learn to work through the emotions. 23:00 Difference between Clean pain (loss) and Dirty pain (gossip, resentment, natural man) 25:00 Typical trends for women, her 5 pillars in coaching: * Relationships – women get sense of joy and fulfillment from relationships * Health – physical, mental & emotional health * Money – healthy relationship with money * Confidence – recognizing own value, requires practice * Contribution – basic human need to contribute to society, sometimes with raising kids, others with working * Advice for RS president to affect contribution: Ministering requires more spiritual maturity. Keep all “involved in the discussion”. Church seems a good model for contribution and fulfilment, but many are not fulfilled with this activity. Not “what am I doing” but “why am I doing it” will create feeling of fulfillment. * Don’t resent what you are doing, life is too short. “People pleasers are liars.” How do we operate in full integrity. We need to work to get to a place where we “want” to do things that are asked. AND – it is ok to say no. Appreciate being asked, but it’s ok to say No. Find a loving reason to do things. * Culture of the church is prescriptive, the Doctrine of the church is NOT. We need to be careful when we make decisions, that we are following the doctrine and less concerned about the culture. 39:45 Advice for leaders to stimulate healthy Relationships: * We are aware of people outside of us but we cannot control them. We can control ourselves. “Who do I want to be in this situation?” How do I feel about me when I think poorly of this other person? How do I want to feel? * Realizing that we can’t be for everyone, but we can still show love 46:20 Health – we are healthy in relation to the rest of the world. Culture of the church hangs on to the “no’s”, but we need to see individually what in our own lives is disconnecting me. 48:50 Money – helping people get to a more abundant mindset, realize all you have. It’s not about having more,
July 31, 2018
Robert Millet, Ph.D., is an author, speaker, and professor of ancient scripture and emeritus Dean of Religious Education at Brigham Young University. Author of 76 published works, Millet has been involved in BYU Education Week for many years and is well-known as a commentator on the BYUTV Scripture Discussions program. He is also Manager of Outreach and Interfaith Relations for the LDS Church's Public Affairs Department. Highlights 6:45 Experiences with the scripture discussion series on KBYU 10:00 Teaching and administrative experience at BYU 11:45 His experience writing 77 books 13:30 What led him to write The Atoning One and the growth of a Christ-conscious movement in the LDS Church 24:30 Teaching doctrine in Sunday School 29:00 Importance of knowledgeable teachers 31:45 Creating an environment where class members feel safe to be vulnerable 37:30 The leader’s role in correcting doctrine and creating safety at church 43:00 The Atonement and grace in the Bishop’s office 44:00 The Bishop should always be teaching kindly 45:00 The Bishop as a channel for God’s grace 53:00 Teach what the steps of repentance mean and give study assignments 55:30 Bring closure to the individual 58:15 Don’t take the fast track to repentance 1:01:30 Leadership offers the opportunity to see others as the Lord sees them Links BYUTV Scripture Discussions The Atoning One Image: LDS Living/Deseret Book
July 22, 2018
Erin Tanner lives in Cortez, Colorado, and is the mother of three children. She served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Along with being a youth leader she has been a presenter at Especially For Youth for three summers. Highlights 4:49 Youth come hungry to learn the gospel. 5:17 Data shows testimony growth is attributed most to four years of seminary and second to that was attendance at EFY. 7:19 EFY happens through the Church Education System. It is held throughout the country at various locations. 7:46 They have different varieties of EFY such as, outdoor, humanitarian, and adventure for youth. 8:43 Leaders could become familiar with EFY options and help encourage youth to attend the one that is best for them. 8:51 EFY has a scholarship program to help cover some of the cost. 11:07 Young Women Ideas: Harry Potter Young Women in Excellence theme, and a Harry Potter New Beginnings. 12:31 Be a window. Have the youth leave knowing their Heavenly Father loves them instead of thinking their leader is cool. 16:20 Pull back and be intentional. 17:50 Teaching with object lessons. 19:04 Have fun with the youth and allow fun to happen. 26:46 Be a useful instrument. You don’t have to do it all and be all. Look to those around you for help. 29:29 Fill your mind with truth. Turn to the scriptures, podcasts, and conference talks. 33:02 Let the scriptures wash over you. 33:46 Teach true doctrine. 40:46 Help the youth learn where to go to find answers. Teach clear doctrine. 41:46 Use Pinterest to log ideas and customize them for your young women. 48:43 Be authentic and genuine. Be a follower of Christ. Links Especially For Youth The Divine Center, by Stephen Covey YW in Excellence Value Pageant YW in Excellence and New Beginnings w/ a Harry Potter theme
July 15, 2018
Destiny Yarbro is the author of Home Early Now What?: How to Navigate Coming Home Early from a Mission and maintains a related website with resources for early returned missionaries. She served in the Hungary, Budapest mission but had to return home early and recognized the universal struggle of missionaries whose missions were cut short for whatever reason. Destiny grew up in Prescott, Arizona, and lives there now. Highlights 02:15 Background and mission experience 16:30 The ward and stake follows the example of the Bishop: Treat them like any other missionary coming home — 18:30 When transgression is involved, coming home is the first step forward — 21:45 Importance of the first Sunday home — 24:15 Finding some way to keep them involved — 25:45 Discussing the return announcement with the missionary — 26:15 Examples 27:45 Meeting with parents/family prior to the missionary's return to offer suggestions and support 34:15 Meeting with the early returned missionary immediately and often — 36:30 Healing suggestions for the missionary — 38:30 "Normal" experiences and universal need for professional counseling — 40:30 Worries about people they didn't teach 41:15 Addressing the question of returning to the mission... or not — 42:15 Different mission options: online and young church service missionaries — 44:15 Approaching the subject with the missionary — 45:30 Dealing with change from serving to being the subject of attention 47:15 Points for the ward council and ward members 50:15 Mission Fortify recommendation 51:00 Advice for early returned missionaries 51:45 The Atonement takes difficulties and turns them into opportunities to serve others Links Home Early Now What?: How to Navigate Coming Home Early from a Mission Young Church Service Missionaries Mission Fortify: firesides and online support Written Transcript Kurt Francom (LS): Today we're talking with Destiny Yarbro. How are you, Destiny? Destiny Yarbro: Doing well, thanks Kurt. LS: Awesome. Now, what does the Leading Saints audience need to know about you and what led you to be a guest on this podcast? Destiny Yarbro: Well, I grew up in a small town. I wanted to go on a mission for a long time and when I finally got the opportunity (06:00) to go things went very differently than I planned, I had to come home early for health reasons and thankfully I was able to go back out, but I was only able to go back out for another three or four months. And then I had to come home again. So, I got that experience twice. LS: So, take us back to when you opened up your call. Where did you expect to go or want to go? Any inclination one way or the other and then where did you end up going? Destiny Yarbro: I wanted to go anywhere, but, I hope this doesn't offend (06:30) anyone, but except for Albuquerque. Good people in Albuquerque, but for some reason that's the place I didn't want to go. So, when I opened my call, and I opened it by myself because I was convinced I was going to Albuquerque and I needed some time to process. So, I opened up my call by myself and it was to the Budapest, Hungary Mission and it blew me away. I did not expect that at all. LS: So where were you living at this time when you opened the call? Destiny Yarbro: I was living in Arizona (07:00), but I was on the steps of the St.
July 8, 2018
Do you remember the first month you were called as a bishop? Trying to get organized. Trying to learn names. Trying to figure out how to lead. Here is the first episode of many that will feature short clips of past and current bishops sharing their go-to advice for new bishops. Contribute Your Own WIWIK Experience In an effort to help other bishops gain some quick leadership experience on day 1, we are organizing future podcast episodes that will feature many current and past bishops sharing what they wish they knew before they were called as bishop. You will only have 5 minutes to record so write some thoughts on a paper and then record! How to record: * Click the green button below * Answer the following question in less than 5 minutes: * What do you wish you knew before you were elders quorum president? * Start your answer with “Before I was elders quorum president I wish I knew…” * Stop recording * Listen to recording and record again if you would like * Enter name and email * Submit recording by clicking “send” The transcript for this episode will be available in a few days.
July 1, 2018
Nate Checketts is the Co-Founder & CEO of Rhone, a premium men’s activewear company founded in 2014. Prior to Rhone, Nate worked for and consulted with some of the biggest technology and entertainment properties in the world including Cisco, The National Football League, Legends, FanVision and Sport Radar, and serves on the board of Veritone. Nate is also an avid entrepreneur who founded and launched 4 companies before the age of 30, including Rhone and Mangia Technologies, whose patents were later acquired by the San Francisco 49ers. Nate graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in Finance. He and his wife Dayna reside in Connecticut with their three young boys, Gabriel, William, and Nicholas. He has served in a bishopric and as an Elders Quorum president and is currently serving as an early-morning seminary teacher. Highlights In this wide-ranging interview, Brother Checketts discusses principles of leadership that he uses daily in his church service as well as in the business world including: (16:00) How can we have an impact in our callings/positions? How can we create positive change? —Getting past the administration and focusing on helping those we serve feel like we love and care about them and helping them feel and recognize the spirit —Looking to other great leaders as examples (23:30) The importance of genuine empathy for those within our stewardship (28:30) Conducting one-on-one interviews —Asking what’s on their minds – starting with their concerns —Being clear about expectations prior to the meeting (30:15) Importance of building relationships of trust (31:00) Leading with love Links The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey Alexander Hamilton, by Ron Chernow John Adams, by David McCullough
June 24, 2018
Brooke Romney is a freelance writer, speaker, and blogger about motherhood and life in general, and writes monthly for the Deseret News. She served as a Relief Society president when she was a young mother in Arizona. After living in several locations around the United States, she currently resides near Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband and four boys. Highlights 2:45 Writing for the Deseret News —3:20 Being a friend instead of just being friendly —3:50 Being a stonecatcher —6:50 Mistakes and difficulties don't equal failure 10:40 Calling as a young Relief Society president 12:00 Involving everyone in activities Leadership Principles: —18:00 Utilizing the talents of others —20:00 Learning from the experience of others —21:30 Harnessing your own abilities 24:40 Advice for handling welfare situations 28:00 Reaching out to nonmembers 34:00 Relationships are key 37:40 Jesus calls leaders because he needs someone to take care of people Links Brooke's Deseret News articles Facebook: Brooke Romney Writes Twitter: @BrookeoRomney Pinterest: Brookerom Instagram: @brookeromneywrites
June 17, 2018
Joseph Benson served as mission president in the Mongolia Ulaanbaatar mission from 2013-2016. He and his wife Heidi are the parents of five (almost six) children and both served as young missionaries in the Mongolia Ulaanbaatar mission; Joseph in 1996-1998 and Heidi in 1999-2001. They met when they both taught Mongolian at the missionary training center in Provo. Just after they were married, they spent a year in China, where Joseph completed a Fulbright fellowship, studying Chinese and Chinese history. Later, Joseph practiced patent law in Southern California for many years before taking a job with a San Diego based Real Estate Company, which transferred their family to Singapore. Joseph was called as a mission president at the young age of 35. As a mission president, he was a leader of the people in Mongolia as well as the missionaries. His experience presented unique challenges in a growing area of the church. Highlights 3:00 President Benson's experience as a young missionary in 1996 7:00 How the church and country was different in Mongolia in 2013 9:20 Restrictions on missionary proselytizing in Mongolia 12:35 Called to serve as a mission president at the age of 35/meeting with President Russell M. Nelson 17:00 Previous experience/inexperience in callings in the church previous to being a mission president 18:00 Experience in Mongolia as mission president 21:00 Use of church handbook in leadership 23:30 Using church handbook to train leaders 30:00 Welfare assistance in Mongolia 32:00 Advice to implementing church self-reliance program 35:15 Secret to missionary work 40:00 Importance of scripture study 45:00 Preparation for zone conference 51:00 Advice for leaders in growing areas of the church 53:30 Elder Rasband's visit to Mongolia 55:00 Focusing on individuals/ minister first and the administration and procedure aid in your endeavors 58:30 Advice to those preparing to serve missions- D&C 11 & chapter 2 and 3 of Preach my Gospel
June 10, 2018
Steven M. R. Covey is the son of Steven R. Covey of “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” and co-founder of Covey Link and the Franklin Covey Global Speed of Trust practice. He is a highly sought-after and compelling keynote speaker and advisor on trust, ethics, sales, and high performance, and speaks to audiences around the world. He is also the New York Times and #1 Wall Street Journal best-selling author of “The Speed of Trust", which teaches 13 Behaviors of High Trust Leaders. This is a groundbreaking, paradigm-shifting book that challenges the assumption that trust is merely a soft social virtue, demonstrating that it is instead a hard-edge economic driver. Trust is a learnable skill that makes organizations more profitable, people more promotable and relationships more energizing. Highlights 3:19 What it was like growing up in the Covey home and how the principles his father was teaching in the marketplace were first taught in the home. Things like “green & clean”, “listen first”. The principles in the book were for the marketplace but were started at home with his family. They were the guinea pigs of “7 habits”. 4:40 How he started on the business side but shifted career path to current leadership roles 5:20 Not one thing that lead to “trust” as his focus, but many different things that lead to that. * There is a high cost to low trust * Trust is learnable * Trust is not just a good thing, and social thing but it is a multiplier and key to leadership. All things are better with trust. * Trust and love are critical, you can love and not trust but it is best to have both. It is better to be trusted than loved. (David O McKay) Love is critical. * It applies to everything, business, church, marriage, every level of human interaction. 10:40 “Fish are the last ones to discover water.” How to determine amount of trust when we are called to a position. We need to be intentional, not just use position power, but rely on credibility, influence, trust. Seek best interest of others. 12:50 Positions may not come with trust. Description of low trust tax, that may confer to us from prior leaders, as well as low trust dividend. 14:00 Trust is built through our credibility and behavior: * Credibility: character trust (integrity, intent, care, more about others well-being, showing we care) and competence trust (current, learning, performance, do what we say) * Behavior – how we do whatever we do, we want to model behavior that builds trust * We want leaders that care, and are very competent as well. We don’t have to be perfect, we have to be willing 23:00 We need to look in the mirror and see how we are doing with trust. 24:10 How do we help those who have a deficit of trust – first look inward. How do I focus on my credibility, my confidence? * Declare intent – what you are doing and why. * Extend trust to others, people will return the trust. There is a risk. We are good at understanding trustworthiness, but not always good at understanding the importance of extending trust – trust others. * The quickest way to make someone trustworthy, is to extend trust to them. 28:50 Don’t treat people according to their behavior, treat them according to their potential. They will rise to that trust. 29:30 Behaviors that build trust: * Extend Trust – make sure they know you “trust” them to fulfill their calling * Clarify Expectations * Practice Accountability 33:45 “To be trusted in the most inspiring form of human motivation”. It brings out the best in people. Less micro-management and better trust returned to you. 34:45 Our positions/hierarchy type leadership need to be changed to a leadership of trust & i...
June 5, 2018
Raised in Seattle and presently living in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, Dr. Glover is a psychotherapist, author, former minister and recovering “Mr. Nice Guy.” He is a frequent talk-show guest who has been featured in various publications and is the author of No More Mr. Nice Guy. In this podcast, he describes the pitfalls sometimes associated with men trying to be Mr. Nice Guy. Highlights 4:45 Dr. Glover’s experience working with LDS men 6:20 How co-dependence relates to Mr. Nice Guy syndrome 8:50 Three characteristics/covert contracts of Mr. Nice Guy: (1) If I’m a good guy I’ll be liked and loved—my value comes from external sources; (2) If I meet other people’s needs without them asking they’ll meet my needs without my having to ask; (3) If I do everything right I will have a problem-free life. 15:00 How to determine if you are a Mr. Nice Guy. Nice-guy behaviors in marriage and at work. 17:08 Root causes of Nice Guy syndrome in boys and men, and the development of survival mechanisms. 22:30 Organizational and family culture impacts leading to Mr. Nice Guy. “Emotional fusion.” Truly accepting a belief system versus merely following rules. 27:55 How can youth leaders teach correct principles and value systems without seemingly asking for compliance with rules for the mere sake of compliance? Authoritarianism versus making allowance for pushback or inquiry. 32:20 What can a bishop do if he perceives someone is suffering from Nice-Guy syndrome? Connecting with other imperfect people. Teaching the value of growth people achieve by coping with challenges. 38:15 Nice guys becoming chameleons can be detrimental to being true to one’s self. Can the syndrome lead to interest in porn or other addictions? 44:06 The title of the book No More Mr. Nice Guy is not intended to suggest men should not be nice. They should be nice but need to know when to say “no,” while saying “yes” to the most important things, including family. Looking to the example of Christ. 53:25 Conclusion Links Dr. Glover's Website Buy Dr. Glover's Book No More Mr. Nice Guy Self-Assessment
May 27, 2018
Ross Trewhella has served as bishop of the Redruth ward in the Plymouth, England stake for nine years. He is from Cornwall, England, and joined the LDS Church while living in Utah. Ross is best known online as @ldsbishop on Twitter, where he offers up humorous insights into the role as part of the #twitterstake. Highlights 03:05 @ldsbishop and being a bishop for 9 years 10:35 The church in his area of the UK; going to the temple 14:05 His conversion story 21:55 Called as ward executive secretary: serving in a Christ-like manner firms up your testimony 23:40 Called as a counselor in the bishopric and then as bishop 27:20 Being bishop to the previous bishop, and characteristics of his ward 29:45 Ministering: Being good at looking after each other 31:05 Minimizing meetings and using technology to communicate as a bishopric 33:55 Ward service efforts for shelters, homeless charity, and food bank 35:25 Leadership principle #1: Keep a sense of humor 38:10 Leadership principle #2: Have skin as thick as a rhino 41:25 Leadership principle #3: Don’t procrastinate 43:45 Leadership principle #4: Listen more than you speak 47:30 Leadership principle #5: Let people serve and forgive them when they mess up 51:05 Managing callings and giving autonomy 53:45 Being open to different opinions and transcending culture and categories 1:03:45 Seeing people as Christ sees them Links @ldsbishop on Twitter #twitterstake on Twitter Signal app
May 20, 2018
Mamie Kanfer Stewart founded her first business at the age of 12 and her entrepreneurial spirit combined with the desire to optimize how people work led Mamie to build Meeteor, whose mission is to enable individuals and teams to thrive at work, with a special emphasis on effective meetings. Mamie is a dynamic speaker and has presented at numerous events and been interviewed on a variety of podcasts. She has been featured in Forbes, Inc, Business Collective, and PCMag, and writes about productivity, healthy team culture, and meeting best practices. She is also a nationally syndicated columnist and national media personality and the author of “Momentum: Creating Effective, Engaging and Enjoyable Meetings”. Highlights (8:30) Common meeting challenges #1: Meetings that don’t have a clear purpose * “I don’t know why we’re having this meeting” and “I don’t know why I’m at this meeting” * (11:35) How to create a clear purpose * Create a desired outcome – “I want the outcome of this meeting to be….” * Detailed agenda helps to see if meeting is leading to desired outcome (agenda is created from desired outcome) * (19:20) At beginning of the meeting or subsection of meeting, state the desired outcome (22:30) Six kinds of meeting types: * Make a decision * Create a plan * Generate ideas * Align people’s understanding (different than sharing information) * Connect (building relationships) * Produce (24:25) Common Meeting Challenges #2: How meetings end and what happens after * Record of the decisions made and next steps (stated and written) * Make record easy for everyone to access * (34:00) Meetings are a cycle * Decisions and next steps coming out of one meeting may become part of the desired outcome of the next meeting * Helps people get out of the mindset that meetings are discrete isolated events * (37:15) Importance of reviewing and revisiting meeting notes (42:00) Engaging meeting participants as a meeting leader (45:00) Best practices for avoiding meetings that should be emails * Could this outcome be achieved by another form of collaboration? (50:00) Creating space in a meeting for private reflection time (51:00) “Norms” – ground rules or expectations for how the conversation/meeting is going to be run Links Momentum: Creating Effective, Engaging, and Enjoyable Meetings, by Mamie Kanfer Stewart Successful Meetings Start with Why Advance Your Meeting Conversation with Norms 5 Practices to Make Every Meeting Matter On Twitter at: @mamieks 7 Unbreakable Rules of Church Meetings, by Leading Saints
May 13, 2018
Whitney Johnson is an expert on disruptive innovation and personal disruption, recognized as one of the 50 leading business thinkers in the world. She is a writer, speaker, consultant and coach on innovation initiatives for leaders. Her book, “Build an ‘A’ Team: Play to Their Strengths and Lead Them Up the Learning Curve” is the leadership handbook to accompany her previous book, “Disrupt Yourself: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work”. Whitney served a mission in Uruguay and currently serves as a Laurel adviser. She and her husband live in Massachusetts and have two children. Highlights 06:20 Background of the book, “Build an ‘A’ Team” 07:30 It’s people who disrupt, not organizations, and when people are learning something new they are innovative and drive disruption innovation within their organization 08:20 Protesters who demand change vs. people who drive change 11:00 Being a leader means having humility and allowing others to have their own revelation 12:50 Applying the S curve to learning in church callings 18:00 The importance of engagement 22:50 Personal engagement fatigue and church callings 24:30 Comparing where we are today to our past 26:00 Is the life of someone we serve better because of what we have done? 28:15 Repetition and change 29:00 Changing the job description to what is needed now 31:30 Choosing leaders by who they are on the inside, choosing people for potential and what really needs to be done 35:30 The learning curves of people in a calling Links Previous Leading Saints interview with Whitney: Disrupting Your Calling Whitney's books: Build an “A” Team: Play to Their Strengths and Lead Them Up the Learning Curve Disrupt Yourself: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work Dare, Dream, Do: Remarkable Things Happen when you Dare to Dream
May 10, 2018
Cydney Afton Hatch is a polka-dot-wearing business owner, photographer, cupcake enthusiast and recently-turned writer, who through her work shares her personal experience with divorce and encourages others to rebuild their lives, redefine their relationship with God, and find peace. As a lifelong member of the church and always having a gift for finding and creating beauty, her biggest challenge was finding beauty in the aftermath of her divorce. Through her faith in Christ, she has found that even in the challenges of life there is beauty in the struggle. Turning to faith with patience, many tears, a big dose of laughter, and creativity, Cydney embraced her unexpected life and found beauty even in her struggles. Raised in the nation’s capital of Washington D.C., Cydney owns Afton Photography where her work has been featured in major publications including Cosmopolitan, The Hill, The Washington Post, and Minted. She received a bachelors of History from Brigham Young University-Idaho, has worked with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and currently works for Disruptive Advertising. She resides in Utah. Episode Highlights 4:15 Married in 2011 & divorced after 3 years 6:45 Peace about letting go of her marriage 7:30 How she sought help for her marriage 8:00 Going to see the bishop Talk about it—there needs to be more discussion in the church about divorce 12:45 Cydney’s decision to go to the bishop 17:00 The need for resources for single parenting & divorce in the church 22:15 What resources can help someone who is divorced feel love & stay active in the church 24:00 Divorce members need to be involved 26:00 The grieving process of divorce 31:45 Rock bottom is from where we rebuild 34:00 How bishops can help through & after divorce 38:30 Normalizing divorce in the church 40:00 How to include divorced members 43:30 Cydney’s journey since her divorce 45:15 How can a YSA bishop encourage a divorced member Links When Eternity is Not Forever Instagram: @wheneternityisnotforever Twitter: @WhenEternity Facebook: When Eternity is Not Forever
May 6, 2018
Murat Chakir is a pioneer for the LDS Church in his native country, Turkey. He joined the church while studying in Norway, served a mission to Arizona, completed his education at Brigham Young University, and then returned to Turkey where he served as branch president. He currently serves in the mission presidency of the Central Eurasian Mission, which includes Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey, and Uzbekistan. Episode Highlights 4:55 Personal faith development before joining the church 10:00 School in Norway and discovery of Jesus Christ as more than a prophet 14:30 Meeting the LDS missionaries 16:00 Gaining a testimony of Jesus Christ as a truth-seeker from a Muslim background 18:20 Experiencing the Spirit through the missionaries 19:20 Joining the LDS Church 21:40 Gaining a testimony of a living prophet 23:20 Choosing to go on a mission 24:45 Mission to Arizona and resolution of passport issues 31:30 Working on Book of Mormon translation while at BYU 33:30 Joseph Smith translating the Book of Mormon compared to translating it into Turkish 35:00 Discovery of 1903 translation by Armenian missionaries; no animosity between nations within the gospel 39:50 Creating the Turkish name for the church 43:40 Return to Turkey and building the church there, from Babylon Street to Dove Street 47:30 Dedication of building by Elder Christofferson 48:25 Experiences as a branch president in a developing area with great challenges, and creation of website that brought in referrals 53:50 Muslim perspective of Christians in Turkey 54:35 Elder Holland quote about his experience dedicating Turkey 56:15 Growth of the church in Turkey 57:15 Attending the temple from Turkey 58:05 Continuing goals and efforts to reach truth-seekers and grow the church 59:50 Being part of a mission presidency over a large area with few members 1:02:00 Suggestions for struggling branch presidents: minister like Christ did 1:04:10 Using technology to create missionary experiences and conversions 1:07:50 We need to be out and listening to the people 1:08:25 Pray for the saints in Turkey, where ancient saints lived Links
April 25, 2018
DeAnna Murphy is a leadership consultant, coach, facilitator, and speaker, and the founder/CEO of Strengths Strategy Inc. and its affiliate, People Acuity, where she consults businesses, coaches, and individuals. She was born in Provo, Utah, but grew up in Canada, and met her husband at Ricks College. They had three children and live in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she has served as Stake Relief Society President. Highlights 5:25 How do we help ourselves and others stay fully engaged? 7:35 How can you understand your auxiliaries strength? 8:10 How can we apply engagement at home? 8:35 To be meaningfully engaged there must be a sense of connection, and an ability to understand your contribution and purpose alignment. 12:00 Understand your role/purpose 12:45 What is the bigger “why”? 14:00 Doctrine and Covenants 43:8,9 The Lord teaches Joseph Smith by council 15:20 Ask good questions/teach by council 19:30 Get correct counsel on core principles. 22:20 To feel alignment while teaching ask: What did you notice about that? What's important about that? What does that mean? What will you do? (How would you apply that?) Has anyone had an experience like that? 24:15 John 17- Why does He want us to be one so badly? That my joy might be fulfilled in you. 28:35 Which of these points in the lesson are important to Heavenly Father? 30:45 The council creates interdependence. 32:20 There is no engagement from a talking head. 33:20 Co-dependence is the primary voice of us vs. them. 34:15 There should not a be a “you people” in our church culture. 36:20 Our value does not go up and down like the stock market. 38:15 When people begin to see their value through the lens of strength they see God's DNA in them. 39:00 We need to understand our identity, but have lost it 41:50 If I'm not judging myself, I feel connected to other people and to God 42:10 Four categories of strengths Strategic Thinking Executing Relationship driven —Influencers —Relationship-builders 50:30 We are drawn to those like us because they validate us, and afraid of those who are unlike us because we do not understand them. 53:45 We disengage when our needs are not being met. 54:30 What does my patriarchal blessing show me about my strengths? 57:40 What can you count on me for? What do I need to feel confident? 59:00 The power of one-on-one ministering 1:00:00 During one-on-one interviews, pull up an extra chair for the Savior to sit with you as you minister 1:00:50 Be okay with no knowing, and always pray with them. 1:01:25 During the interviews ask them: How are you doing? What are you learning from the Spirit in your personal study? What are you learning in your assignment? These questions create connection. 1:05:00 Finally, ask tell me about the people that you are serving and what do they need? 1:06:15 Everyone is a "one" and there is great power in ministering and one-on-one interviews. 1"06:55 Ask your children—even grown children—what the Spirit is teaching them. 1:09:00 Experience with a group in Abu Dhabi learning six strengths strategies. 1:16:45 Read Moses 1:6 with your name instead of Moses: He will magnify your gifts through Him Links Print version of Shift Up!: Strengths Strategies for Optimal Living Ebook version of Shift Up!: Strengths Strategies for Optimal Living DeAnna's How I Lead interview: 
April 11, 2018
Born in Brazil and raised in Utah, David Neeleman is an entrepreneur who has founded or co-founded five commercial airlines: Morris Air, WestJet, JetBlue, Azul Brazilian Airlines and TAP Air Portugal. Morris Air was acquired by Southwest Air in 1993. David served a mission in Brazil as a young adult and speaks Portuguese. He and his wife have ten children, including one they adopted in recent years. The Neelemans have 18 grandchildren. David was featured in The Mormon Way of Doing Business and in Flying High. Episode Highlights 1:00: Undistinguished academic background in high school and University of Utah. Has ADD. Served LDS mission during period of explosive church growth in Brazil in the late 1970’s. Sold Morris Air to Southwest when he was 33 years of age. Wanted to remain passionately involved in something of value and not simply be an investor. Highlights of his involvement with the airlines referenced above. 5:40: Impact of serving a mission and the necessity of faith combined with works. Witnessed the area of Brazil where he served grow from five branches to five stakes in a very short time. 7:18: Father of a large family. Advice he gives his kids as they go to serve missions: lose yourself, don’t think about home excessively and love the people. 9:20: Missionary success began to shape his life. Invented e-ticket travel and in-home reservations by people who are working from home. Is wired to see things differently and attempt what no one else has done before without being discouraged by naysayers. Being entrepreneurial requires making sacrifices. 12:48: ADD discussed, including the fact that children in same family can be very different from one another. Proper encouragement is needed. Some great business leaders have suffered from ADD. Street wisdom about A, B, C and D students. 15:58: How the egalitarian structure of the Church has affected his business approach to dealing with employees and providing customer service. His thoughts about executive lunch rooms and parking spaces. Impact of satisfied employees on customer base. Discussion about pleasing employees vs shareholders. 21:00: Establishing a healthy culture by leadership style in Church organizations. Helping people feel fulfilled and loved, not guilty. Prayerful thought is required. 22:40: Establishing and leading by values. JetBlue’s values. Breaking the china when necessary. 25:45: Serving as ward mission leader for about eight years in New Cambridge, CT. 26:25: More on vision and values—what would Jesus do in setting the tone in Church organizations. Church service a respite from the “belly of the beast” all week long. Keeping values at the forefront. 29:00: Making time for family, not golf. LDS leavening influenced is needed in the world. People respond to leadership that is inspired by gospel principles even if it’s not presented as such. 33:00: David’s preferences for books, especially books about world progress and development more than books about leadership. Some favorites, other than religious, are: Outliers, David and Goliath, Tipping Point, Accidental Superpower and books about founding fathers of the U.S.A. 35:20: Founding the More Good Foundation. Helping maintain a positive image for the Church. Buying URL’s so that people on search engines have positive encounters online regarding the Church. 41:22: Being a better follower of Christ by learning to k...
April 8, 2018
Nola & Mike Patterson have been married for more than 26 years. Originally from the Alberta, Canada area, they now make their home in Las Vegas, Nevada. Brother Patterson has served in various callings, including Young Men presidencies, as an Elders Quorum President, in bishoprics, and as a bishop. He currently serves as an early-morning seminary teacher. Sister Patterson has served as a Young Women’s President and Relief Society President, among other responsibilities. Brother and Sister Patterson have found success in their leadership responsibilities as they have focused on ministering to individuals and families not well known to the ward and creating opportunities for those individuals to participate and serve. They have also focused on finding others to assist them in these efforts, realizing that there was only so much they could do on their own. In this episode of How I Lead, Brother and Sister Patterson discuss with Kurt their approach to reaching out and helping those who need ministering to. Leadership Principle #1: Focus on Ministering (19:00) Leadership Principle #2: Be respectful of people’s time (37:45) Leadership Principle #3: Do what you can and then let go (46:40) Leadership Principle #4: Seeking out those who are under utilized (52:30)
March 25, 2018
Interview Transcript Available Below Adam McHugh is a spiritual director, chaplain, speaker, and retreat leader. The author of Introverts in the Church: Finding Our Place in an Extroverted Culture, he is an ordained Presbyterian minister, having earned a Masters of Divinity and Masters of Theology in Greek New Testament from Princeton Theological Seminary. He is also the author of The Listening Life: Embracing Attentiveness in a World of Distraction, and lives in Santa Barbara, California. Episode Highlights 4:30 Becoming an ordained minister 7:30 What led to writing Introverts in the Church 10:50 Explanation of introversion and extroversion 16:00 Problems that introverts experience at church 19:00 Understanding the discomfort of personal vulnerability and sharing beliefs as an expression of faith 22:00 Introverts generally prefer depth over breadth 24:00 The power of listening: experience at a hospital 30:00 Introverts and small talk 34:00 How introverts approach dealing with conflict and decisions 40:00 Silence, reverence, and the internal experience compared to active social environments 45:20 Cultural clash of introvert and extrovert leaders: overcoming stereotypes and encouraging introverts to be leaders 48:50 Reaching out to invite introverts to participate Links * Adam's Website * Introverts in the Church: Finding Our Place in an Extroverted Culture * The Listening Life: Embracing Attentiveness in a World of Distraction Interview Transcript LS: Today we are communicating with Adam McHugh in California. How are you, Adam? ADAM: Doing very well. How about yourself? LS: Very good. Did I say your last name correctly? ADAM: You got it. LS: All right. Very nice, very nice. Now, you are, tell us (00:04:00) a little bit about what we need about know about you. The big thing I guess on this podcast we generally have LDS or Mormons on as guests, but you are not a Mormon. So what are you? ADAM: It is true. I am an ordained Presbyterian minister. Though in truth I go to an Episcopal church. LS: Nice. ADAM: But I was ordained in the Presbyterian church about 12 years ago. LS: Nice. And so what is the, when you say you're ordained, (00:04:30) what does that mean? Does that mean you went to seminary for awhile or what does that even mean? ADAM: It means they made me jump through about a thousand hoops, is basically what that means. I went to Princeton theological seminary and that is required for ordination, not Princeton. But going to seminary, getting a master's of divinity. I also stuck around for another year and got a masters of theology and Greek New Testament as well and had to do 2 church internships and one internship at a hospital as a chaplain, was actually (00:05:00) very instrumental in my future calling. And yeah. And then I had to go to about a thousand meetings in order to get approved. LS: Wow. Wow. Intense. ADAM: It was a, I would never do it again. I'm glad I was young when I went through all that because now it sounds exhausting. LS: So does that mean, I mean, your day to day or are you some type of pastor to a church or what's your day to day job now? ADAM: I have the title now, you know, writer and speaker and retreat leader (00:05:30) is really how I identify myself and certainly connected to churches and...
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