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HappyJackWagon

Leading LDS

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I haven't seen Leading LDS discussed much here, but they put out a lot of good material in an effort to help LDS leaders effectively minister within their stewardships. In the most recent article the author shares about a survey his new Elder's Quorum conducted to evaluate how "psychologically safe" quorum members felt to share their honest thoughts and opinions. Prior to the survey being conducted the EQ Presidency believed that everyone (or at least the vast majority) felt that EQ was a safe place to ask questions, seek help on spiritual issues, or share opinions. It turns out that in most of the questions asked 35-40% of quorum members didn't feel the EQ was a safe place. You can read the article and survey results here.

Interestingly, the results were shared with the quorum and the basic question was asked about how the quorum could better meet the needs of its members. But there was a vast difference between what quorum members felt was a good and appropriate use of EQ time.

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  • Some people said that they do not come to elders quorum to hear about other peoples’ problems, they come to be fed spiritually, so difficult questions or seeking for help is off-topic and inappropriate
  • Other people said that it doesn’t seem possible to conduct a lesson prescribed by the Church AND address difficult questions or discuss topics outside of what is prescribed by the Church
  • Finally, other people said that they would like to have more opportunities to work through difficult questions and disagreement

So I'm curious how you all would approach this conundrum. Some people feel that EQ doesn't meet their needs. Other people feel that attempting to meet those needs in EQ may not be appropriate or good. How does one presidency meet the needs of the quorum when they have such differing needs and expectations? Do you go with the 60% majority who think all is well and don't think the approach should be changed? Go with the minority because they are in greatest need? Do a hybrid, splitting time and attempting to take each approach, thus reaching everyone at different times?

 

 

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You are asking what church should be but different people need it to be different things. Tough question.

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I've been in good ones and then in total yawners............Someone made a comment a few months back about opening yourself up and how you'll find support from others. On sunday we talked about Elder Andersen's talk about being wounded and people shared some stuff. One brother's brother took his own life last year, you could tell he was talking about without talking about it. Another brother shared how someone he knew was involved in some serious stuff and how God helped them as they believed. I think if shared appropriately, in class or out of class you'll find support

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Just now, Steve-o said:

You are asking what church should be but different people need it to be different things. Tough question.

Agreed.

Personally I think it's important not to take anyone for granted, no matter how "faithful" and "strong" they may seem. So it wouldn't seem wise to me to discount the 60% majority who essentially like things the way they are and would view broaching difficult issues as inappropriate, yet it also seems to me that the 40% minority may be the most vulnerable in terms of decreasing activity or even leaving altogether. Perhaps in a perfect world the individual needs could be met individually. But how will those needs even be known if the needy aren't in a position where they can share? It seems like an important question to figure out.

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What about once a month/every other month/once a quarter having an EQ meeting that addresses needs.   I read a while ago about  apps (Wickr Me, Kindly) that allows people to ask questions fully anonymously that also might be used.   (I'd have it on a day other than Sunday so no one feels compelled to attend, maybe invite attendees to come fasting for themselves and the moderator --- EQPresidency should always be represented there, but maybe call/set apart --- so they have the right to inspiration about it --- someone skilled in social sciences or just good with people and not doctrinaire to moderate --- then serve food after.)

You might get the same effect if you had a group read C. Terry Warner's Bonds that Make Us Free and discuss it.

Or if you joined with RS to have couples who want to work on their relationships and who have already done the Family Services Curriculum.   If you have mixed faith families Kristy Money's "Mixed Faith Workbook" might also be a useful tool to use.

BTW, IME, one of the hardest issues for men is when they were unable to prevent their child from being hurt in some way (often interfamily or inter neighborhood ---religious and location sexual abuse or bullying, but it could be an accident or a crime --- child abuse (specially when a family member was involved, and interfamily violence is something they cannot talk about though publically),.   Many a man has wondered thereafter whether they ever have received inspiration or if God exists.  

Also, it would be quite helpful for EQ and RS to actually talk in advance about ways parents can and should deal with child abuse, interfamily violence, raising kids the Lord's way --- without compulsion and with lots of opportunities to learn to think for themselves ---- and how they can minimize risk and find resources for help.

ETA:   And they would likely have gotten greater understanding if they'd asked of those who didn't feel safe, what areas they didn't fail safe in commenting about (church doctrine, church history, testimony level social issues, differences politically --- I don't mean partisanship precisely, but rather civil issues of the day locally or nationally---with others, or judgment about the way they've done things parenting or family or work wise, and then other --- with space to describe if the person wants to.

Edited by rpn
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1 hour ago, HappyJackWagon said:

I haven't seen Leading LDS discussed much here, but they put out a lot of good material in an effort to help LDS leaders effectively minister within their stewardships. In the most recent article the author shares about a survey his new Elder's Quorum conducted to evaluate how "psychologically safe" quorum members felt to share their honest thoughts and opinions. Prior to the survey being conducted the EQ Presidency believed that everyone (or at least the vast majority) felt that EQ was a safe place to ask questions, seek help on spiritual issues, or share opinions. It turns out that in most of the questions asked 35-40% of quorum members didn't feel the EQ was a safe place. You can read the article and survey results here.

Interestingly, the results were shared with the quorum and the basic question was asked about how the quorum could better meet the needs of its members. But there was a vast difference between what quorum members felt was a good and appropriate use of EQ time.

So I'm curious how you all would approach this conundrum. Some people feel that EQ doesn't meet their needs. Other people feel that attempting to meet those needs in EQ may not be appropriate or good. How does one presidency meet the needs of the quorum when they have such differing needs and expectations? Do you go with the 60% majority who think all is well and don't think the approach should be changed? Go with the minority because they are in greatest need? Do a hybrid, splitting time and attempting to take each approach, thus reaching everyone at different times?

Thanks for posting this, it is very interesting and an important dynamic that from my observations is common.  Something I heard once, and I'm not sure where it came from originally, but I like thinking about it as it relates to church.  The purpose of the gospel is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.  I like that tension between those two things.  I think EQ needs to be both a comfort to those needing comfort and a wake up for us that are too comfortable, at the same time. 

I think vulnerable conversations should be modeled and I think talking about how challenging issues can be handled with grace if you have good leaders and people willing to share things in non judgmental ways.  I think that helping everyone to understand that we need to be respectful of others and setting the guidelines for how to show that respect can help as well.  I would attempt to have that kind of a tone in EQ if I were in charge, so that it can be a comforting place to those who are in need, and also so that we can talk about how to improve and get engaged in doing good to help our communities and families.  

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RPN- I've also thought about the option of doing an out of class, extra lesson or fireside. I definitely think there could be some benefit to that, if allowed. But there are some drawbacks. That process wouldn't directly make quorum meeting any better, yet over time it may have an influence on the members who choose to attend the extra meeting.

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2 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

I haven't seen Leading LDS discussed much here, but they put out a lot of good material in an effort to help LDS leaders effectively minister within their stewardships. In the most recent article the author shares about a survey his new Elder's Quorum conducted to evaluate how "psychologically safe" quorum members felt to share their honest thoughts and opinions. Prior to the survey being conducted the EQ Presidency believed that everyone (or at least the vast majority) felt that EQ was a safe place to ask questions, seek help on spiritual issues, or share opinions. It turns out that in most of the questions asked 35-40% of quorum members didn't feel the EQ was a safe place. You can read the article and survey results here.

Interestingly, the results were shared with the quorum and the basic question was asked about how the quorum could better meet the needs of its members. But there was a vast difference between what quorum members felt was a good and appropriate use of EQ time.

So I'm curious how you all would approach this conundrum. Some people feel that EQ doesn't meet their needs. Other people feel that attempting to meet those needs in EQ may not be appropriate or good. How does one presidency meet the needs of the quorum when they have such differing needs and expectations? Do you go with the 60% majority who think all is well and don't think the approach should be changed? Go with the minority because they are in greatest need? Do a hybrid, splitting time and attempting to take each approach, thus reaching everyone at different times?

I would bring up the question of how the quorum could better meet the needs of its members in a quorum and perhaps a ward council, ministering interviews, and presidency meetings. I would do my best to bring the Spirit with me in these discussions.

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I don’t read the results the way they’ve been characterized regarding how “safe” members feel.  There’s a clear schism in every quorum about what should take place in quorum meetings.  As pointed out at the end of the article some quorum members commented that they come to Church to be spiritually fed, not to listen to others’ problems.  So it’s most likely that many of the 40% answering the questions about sharing feelings and problems in the quorum in a negative fashion weren’t members who want to share but don’t feel safe/comfortable in doing so, but rather are members who don’t believe anyone, themselves included, should use the quorum meeting to discuss their personal problems/struggles.

While providing a balanced approach in quorum meetings might make everyone a little unhappy (and thus be the best approach), addressing the dichotomy regarding openness regarding personal struggles is best done at the ministering level, both by EQ presidencies and by ministering elders.

As we minister on an individual basis it’s critical to know how the member we’re ministering to feels about that dichotomy and tailor our ministering efforts accordingly.

 

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3 hours ago, rpn said:

d C. Terry Warner's Bonds that Make Us Free

Excellent suggestion...

Being pushed outside one's comfort zone and seeing success then, could help those who don't want to deal with others' difficulties be more accepting of it when it happens.

Being spiritually fed does not equate to ignoring the difficulties of others..."pure religion" after all.

Edited by Calm
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14 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

I haven't seen Leading LDS discussed much here, but they put out a lot of good material in an effort to help LDS leaders effectively minister within their stewardships. In the most recent article the author shares about a survey his new Elder's Quorum conducted to evaluate how "psychologically safe" quorum members felt to share their honest thoughts and opinions. Prior to the survey being conducted the EQ Presidency believed that everyone (or at least the vast majority) felt that EQ was a safe place to ask questions, seek help on spiritual issues, or share opinions. It turns out that in most of the questions asked 35-40% of quorum members didn't feel the EQ was a safe place. You can read the article and survey results here.

Interestingly, the results were shared with the quorum and the basic question was asked about how the quorum could better meet the needs of its members. But there was a vast difference between what quorum members felt was a good and appropriate use of EQ time.

So I'm curious how you all would approach this conundrum. Some people feel that EQ doesn't meet their needs. Other people feel that attempting to meet those needs in EQ may not be appropriate or good. How does one presidency meet the needs of the quorum when they have such differing needs and expectations? Do you go with the 60% majority who think all is well and don't think the approach should be changed? Go with the minority because they are in greatest need? Do a hybrid, splitting time and attempting to take each approach, thus reaching everyone at different times?

 

 

 

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I think the best discussions come from groups that know each other. In the past, I have planned EQ activities together, outside of the confines of Church. They are usually very successful.

We also pressed the instructors to focus on the part of the lesson that has application to the audience. Think, what do you want them to get out of it?

**I forgot how much I disliked the navigation of this forum** I need text to speech, Computer....

14 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

I haven't seen Leading LDS discussed much here, but they put out a lot of good material in an effort to help LDS leaders effectively minister within their stewardships. In he most recent article the author shares about a survey his new Elder's Quorum conducted to evaluate how "psychologically safe" quorum members felt to share their honest thoughts and opinions. Prior to the survey being conducted the EQ Presidency believed that everyone (or at least the vast majority) felt that EQ was a safe place to ask questions, seek help on spiritual issues, or share opinions. It turns out that in most of the questions asked 35-40% of quorum members didn't feel the EQ was a safe place. You can read the article and survey results here.

Interestingly, the results were shared with the quorum and the basic question was asked about how the quorum could better meet the needs of its members. But there was a vast difference between what quorum members felt was a good and appropriate use of EQ time.

So I'm curious how you all would approach this conundrum. Some people feel that EQ doesn't meet their needs. Other people feel that attempting to meet those needs in EQ may not be appropriate or good. How does one presidency meet the needs of the quorum when they have such differing needs and expectations? Do you go with the 60% majority who think all is well and don't think the approach should be changed? Go with the minority because they are in greatest need? Do a hybrid, splitting time and attempting to take each approach, thus reaching everyone at different times?

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, e-eye said:

Thanks for bringing up LeadingLDs/Leading Saints. I have followed it pretty close the last 3 or 4 years - young men’s secretary can be pretty daunting.😉

that being said.  I have a group of guy friends i go to lunch with 2-3 times a week and we talk about gospel related topics, problems, aspirations etc.  over the years this group of guys has become a brotherhood. I wish at times that Elders Quorum was like this. So many guys are disconnected at church, others want something more but don’t find it.   I think as a quorum becomes a brotherhood and we start caring for each other, the guys who just want doctrine will find the most joy in helping the guys that are struggling a little.  There is a lot of untapped potential in the EQ.  

I'm reading you as saying that the greatest benefit may be achieved by convincing/leading/teaching the brothers who only want the correlated lessons and personal upliftment, that they will receive greater benefit from focusing on serving those who have needs to discuss difficult issues & life challenges; to broaden their expectations about what EQ could/should be. Am I reading you right?

If so, what are the best ways to affect this kind of change?

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8 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

I'm reading you as saying that the greatest benefit may be achieved by convincing/leading/teaching the brothers who only want the correlated lessons and personal upliftment, that they will receive greater benefit from focusing on serving those who have needs to discuss difficult issues & life challenges; to broaden their expectations about what EQ could/should be. Am I reading you right?

If so, what are the best ways to affect this kind of change?

Yes, that is what I am saying.

I don't know, in all reality I like most guys are cool with just sitting down minding their own business.   We have family, work, education and to build a good relationship of trust and brotherhood takes time.  I am not a share my feelings kind of guy, but when you can break down barriers and build trust and have compassion for others, it works wonders.  

Things that help a lesson:  put your phones down (unless you are using them for scriptures), prepare for the lesson, stop having teachers just teach.  It's probably a little different for each quorum.  

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16 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

I'm reading you as saying that the greatest benefit may be achieved by convincing/leading/teaching the brothers who only want the correlated lessons and personal upliftment, that they will receive greater benefit from focusing on serving those who have needs to discuss difficult issues & life challenges; to broaden their expectations about what EQ could/should be. Am I reading you right?

If so, what are the best ways to affect this kind of change?

I think it depends on the EQ and how the lessons have been structured. I am a school teacher, I have pretty high expectations of lessons. I want some structure, an actual objective and a hook to pull us in and an actual closure that consists of more than the bearing of testimony (give me something to work on, homework). If I have that structure in place, I can deviate, talk about uncorrelated material, because I know I can always get back to where I want to be. The lesson feels good for those that expect the goal (correlated material) to be presented and it feels good for those that want to drift out further and need more room for nuance.

On another note, I don't expect everyone to become friends, but making a steak and watching an action movie our wives have no intention of seeing can help members put their guard down. Sending out up the "Moroni Signal" and having everyone meet at Buffalo Wildwings at 10 pm for baseball playoffs changed the quorum for the better.

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8 hours ago, e-eye said:

Yes, that is what I am saying.

I don't know, in all reality I like most guys are cool with just sitting down minding their own business.   We have family, work, education and to build a good relationship of trust and brotherhood takes time.  I am not a share my feelings kind of guy, but when you can break down barriers and build trust and have compassion for others, it works wonders.  

Things that help a lesson:  put your phones down (unless you are using them for scriptures), prepare for the lesson, stop having teachers just teach.  It's probably a little different for each quorum.  

I also know what kind of ward I am in by counting the number of man-buns and beards. The ratio must be 1 man-bun/beard : 1 high and tight haircut for a really good discussion to form.

"Computer, who wears the best man bun?"

"Leonardo DiCaprio" 

"Of course, of course..."

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8 hours ago, Jean-Luc Picard said:

I also know what kind of ward I am in by counting the number of man-buns and beards. The ratio must be 1 man-bun/beard : 1 high and tight haircut for a really good discussion to form.

So you know what kind of person I am by looking at me?

"...the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart."

1 Samuel 16:7

:)

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5 hours ago, ksfisher said:

So you know what kind of person I am by looking at me?

"...the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart."

1 Samuel 16:7

:)

This issue has always troubled me.  Yes, I think appearance says a LOT about a person.  I also think appearance is just the tip, and usually people are deeper than the mask they wear.  But absolutely we all judge based on appearance, we all present ourselves in a way that reflects something that’s going on inside, and no one likes to be judged Inaccurately.  

When I went to my daughters ward and three white guys were wearing islander skirts, I saw it as information.  And if they didn’t want to stand out, well honestly I question that.  We all put people in boxes and we all know that when we go get our haircut and buy new clothes (or not) ... we choose our boxes. And then interestingly enough we all want the chance to prove ourselves beyond our appearance, even if our appearance required significant forethought. 

(For the record I’m not a fan of white guys in skirts.  But you do you. It doesn’t really matter what I think.) 

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On ‎1‎/‎29‎/‎2019 at 7:49 AM, HappyJackWagon said:

I haven't seen Leading LDS discussed much here, but they put out a lot of good material in an effort to help LDS leaders effectively minister within their stewardships. In the most recent article the author shares about a survey his new Elder's Quorum conducted to evaluate how "psychologically safe" quorum members felt to share their honest thoughts and opinions. Prior to the survey being conducted the EQ Presidency believed that everyone (or at least the vast majority) felt that EQ was a safe place to ask questions, seek help on spiritual issues, or share opinions. It turns out that in most of the questions asked 35-40% of quorum members didn't feel the EQ was a safe place. You can read the article and survey results here.

Interestingly, the results were shared with the quorum and the basic question was asked about how the quorum could better meet the needs of its members. But there was a vast difference between what quorum members felt was a good and appropriate use of EQ time.

So I'm curious how you all would approach this conundrum. Some people feel that EQ doesn't meet their needs. Other people feel that attempting to meet those needs in EQ may not be appropriate or good. How does one presidency meet the needs of the quorum when they have such differing needs and expectations? Do you go with the 60% majority who think all is well and don't think the approach should be changed? Go with the minority because they are in greatest need? Do a hybrid, splitting time and attempting to take each approach, thus reaching everyone at different times?

 

 

The reality is that EQ meetings are not intended to be therapy sessions.  They are a time for teaching,  Should the topics that come up help someone in their personal lives, so much the better.

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6 hours ago, MustardSeed said:

 

This issue has always troubled me.  Yes, I think appearance says a LOT about a person.  I also think appearance is just the tip, and usually people are deeper than the mask they wear.  But absolutely we all judge based on appearance, we all present ourselves in a way that reflects something that’s going on inside, and no one likes to be judged Inaccurately.  

When I went to my daughters ward and three white guys were wearing islander skirts, I saw it as information.  And if they didn’t want to stand out, well honestly I question that.  We all put people in boxes and we all know that when we go get our haircut and buy new clothes (or not) ... we choose our boxes. And then interestingly enough we all want the chance to prove ourselves beyond our appearance, even if our appearance required significant forethought. 

(For the record I’m not a fan of white guys in skirts.  But you do you. It doesn’t really matter what I think.) 

It can tell something about personality, but not necessarily character.  I wear a Guayabera shirt to church and have a tightly shaved beard.  For those that don't know, a Guayabera shirt is formal wear is some hot parts of the world.

I hate neckties, and the day our firm (we're near Silicon Valley) got rid of the requirement to wear them was one of the best days of my life.

So be careful in judging.

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5 hours ago, mrmarklin said:

The reality is that EQ meetings are not intended to be therapy sessions.  They are a time for teaching,  Should the topics that come up help someone in their personal lives, so much the better.

I don't think anyone has said anything about it being a "therapy session. But that doesn't mean there can't be openness, vulnerability, hard questions, acceptance etc. I've always thought of Priesthood quorums as essentially having 3 functions.

It's a class.

It's a brotherhood.

It's a service group.

I understand why some focus on the "class" aspect where appropriate teaching is done, but focusing too much on that may undermine the other functions of forming a brotherhood and organizing as a service group. I don't think it can or should be just one thing. I'm sure you agree. Can a class where teaching happens, also help to build brotherhood for those who are in great need or are in spiritual/emotional pain? I hope so.

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You know, we could add a third hour on Sundays for........

 

just kidding.

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