The mission organization is based on the Church-wide system of councils. Mission Leadership Council serves this purpose as it unites all of the zones, Sisters and Elders and Mission President and Companion, to draw down the powers of heaven. Once ratified by MLC, decisions on everything from the current month’s training emphasis to new ways to find investigators are discussed and approved. It’s not a stretch to say this council serves as the pathway to inspired decisions – and as a training ground for future Bishops, Elders Quorum Presidents, Relief Society Presidents and (most importantly) husbands and wives. The deliberation process is slow, but careful and the outcomes are always better than a single-person’s decision.
The wisdom of councils is illustrated in this story by Elder M. Russell Ballard:
Recently, a bishop who was concerned about reverence in his ward expressed his concern to the members of the ward council and asked for their suggestions. Hesitantly, the Primary president raised her hand.
“Well,” she said, “one person consistently does a lot of enthusiastic visiting in the chapel just before and after sacrament meeting. It can be pretty distracting.”
The bishop had not noticed anyone being especially noisy in the chapel, but he said he would talk to the offending party. He asked the sister who it was.
She took a deep breath. “It’s you, Bishop,” she said. “I know you’re just reaching out to people, and we all appreciate your desire to greet everyone who comes to the meeting. But when others see you moving around the chapel talking to people during the prelude music, they figure it’s OK for them to do the same thing.”
When others in the ward council nodded in agreement, the bishop thanked her and asked for recommendations. The council soon decided that the bishopric, including the bishop, should be in their places on the stand five minutes before sacrament meeting to set an example of reverence in the chapel. During a follow-up discussion, the council members indicated unanimously that the simple plan had worked and that reverence in sacrament meeting had improved decidedly.
Thanks be to God for the councils of the Church! And thanks to those wonderful Elders and Sisters who serve in our MLC!
L to R, Front to Back: Sisters Jones, Pew, White, Tenney, Mortensen, Arevalo, Cole, Archibald, Rasmussen, Hubmann, Crandall, Garrick, Carrillo, Sanchez and Sweeney
2nd Row: Elders Livermore, Vickrey, Van Meeteren, Johnson, Leslie, Groneman, Thorne, Miles, Hansen, Stockdale, Corbridge, Bailey, Keeler, Ortiz, Tarr, President Sweeney
3rd Row: Elders Hernandez, McNabb, Mecham, Lindeman, and Clark