"Appoint among yourselves a teacher, and let not all be spokesman at once; but let one speak at a time and let all listen unto his sayings, that when all have spoken that all may be edified of all, and that every man may have an equal privilege."
What are the five elements in that scripture which are necessary to conduct an effective council?
1. Appoint a leader
2. All share ideas, feelings and insights
3. All listen
4. All should be edified (content edifying)
5. All have equal privilege (equal voice and opportunity to share)
We practiced those five things as we broke into smaller councils and did some problem solving for concerns in the mission. We experienced two promises given by Elder Russell M Ballard.
"When council members counsel together it is like opening a reservoir of insight and inspiration that suddenly begins to flow between council members."
"There is no problem in the family, ward or stake that cannot be solved if we look for solutions in the Lord's way by counseling."
Front: Elders Whitby, Parke, Averett, Hummer and Richens
Front: Sisters Thompson, Morrison, Birch and Hansen
Front: Elder Montgomery, Halls, Renteria and Ibarra
Ultimately the very most powerful council that we have is daily intimate prayer with our Heavenly Father. He knows every situation that we face and he knows the hearts of those that we are teaching. If we will counsel with the Lord in all we do, he can direct us for good! Here is the counsel Alma gave his son.
36 Yea, and cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever.
37 Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.