When we have half a dozen meetings outside the standard three-hour block, sometimes Sundays don't feel restful. Diagnose your meeting woes with this handy list of common meeting time-wasters and how to fix them.
On Sundays, some members see the inside of a Church building more than the inside of their own homes! And even if we're not in a presidency or on twelve different ward and stake committees, nobody wants to spend more time in meetings than necessary.
Get Sunday back and spend more time with family by understanding these 8 common problems with additional Church-related meetings--and then learn how to solve them.
Problem #1: Too many meetings
Talking face-to-face is a fantastic tool for figuring out complex problems and holding lengthy discussions. However, when meetings will be more simplistic--filled with announcements, making assignments, or just checking in on progess--holding an actual meeting might be overkill. Note: There are some specific meetings Church handbooks encourage be held weekly. You should always defer to official Church instruction when debating cancelling a meeting.
Fix: Meetings with simple objectives can reasonably be taken care of with a phone call or an email instead.
Bonus: Calling or emailing also saves travel time for everyone, not just in-meeting time!
Problem #2: Meetings where only a few people talk while the rest of the group waits
We brought you 5 ways not to start a talk (and what to do instead). Now, ramp up your testimony-bearing skills with these 5 easy tips for bearing a more powerful testimony.
Sitting in the back of the chapel during Fast and Testimony meeting feels like a safe bet--until we get the spiritual prompting to stand up and bear our testimonies. For several minutes, we struggle with whether or not we really should. We rationalize. We're teaching Gospel Doctrine this week. We just bore our testimony last year, right? We don't have anything special to say. We're scared.
Unlike a talk, which is usually prepared in advance, testimonies are usually given spur of the moment, and that makes them a whole different kind of difficult. But a personal testimony, accompanied by the Spirit, is one of the more powerful teaching tools we have. When we testify of truths, even ineloquently, others' spirits can recognize that they've heard this truth before. Bearing testimony is foundational to our faith.
So the next time you feel prompted to share your testimony--we hope this Sunday!--don't panic, and remember these guidelines and tips shared by members of the Brethren:
Want your teens to want to read the Book of Mormon, but struggling with how to inspire them? Here are six simple ideas to help you.
The prophets have asked every Church member to read and study the Book of Mormon. But for some teens, reading every day becomes at best a chore and at worst a trigger for a fight with Mom and Dad. Here are six simple ideas to help increase your teen’s interest in reading the Book of Mormon.
1. Make it matter.
One of the most common reasons why teens aren’t interested in the Book of Mormon is because they have a hard time seeing how it has anything to do with their lives. We should always ask how a principle applies to them today.
For instance, King Noah chose friends who were bad influences on him (see Mosiah 11:1–15). Does it really matter who our friends are today? Are there any parallels between the Nephites wearing armor to battle and us dressing modestly today (see Alma 43:19–21)? How do things like pornography and drugs poison us “by degrees” (Alma 47:18)? Seeing how the teachings of the Book of Mormon apply to their lives can be quite powerful for teens.
2. Make it fun.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with injecting a little appropriate humor into your study of the Book of Mormon. For instance, I can’t read about King Noah without comparing him to Jabba the Hutt. I always picture Sherem as a sleazy con artist—one part televangelist and one part used car salesman. Chemish’s lone verse in the book of Omni, where he basically rats on his brother for waiting 38 years before writing anything, cracks me up every time (see Omni 1:9). When Ammoron writes a letter to Captain Moroni in Alma 54:16, in which he swears to avenge his brother’s death, I can’t help but hear Mandy Patinkin’s voice from The Princess Bride:
Speaking in sacrament meeting is tough--make your next talk amazing by avoiding these five openers and trying something else instead.
Chances are, if you’re a Latter-day Saint, you’ve had this happen to you before: it’s a Tuesday night like any other. Our family has just finished dinner, and we’re clearing the table when the phone rings. It’s the bishop. The conversation lasts less than two minutes, but the worry we feel coming away from that phone call will haunt us for the next week: we’ve been asked to give a talk in sacrament meeting.
We prepare as best we can, prayerfully researching everywhere on the topic we’ve been given, from the Bible Dictionary to conference talks to even just Google. But when the moment comes to stand up in front of our fellow ward members, including family and friends, we freeze up. We don’t know what to do to get this carefully prepared talk rolling. What do we say?
What should you say to someone who experiences same-sex attraction? The answers to that question may vary depending on age, marital status, and gay-identification (or not). Here are a few do’s and don’ts to help you navigate some of those sensitivities.
Homosexuality is a sensitive and complex issue, which can make talking about it difficult. Believing Latter-day Saints who experience same-sex attraction often feel caught in between two worlds—the Latter-day Saint community who, while most often well-intentioned, can say insensitive or hurtful things, and the LGBT-identified community who will often judge them as not being “true to themselves.”
Here are some things you can say and do (and some things to avoid) to help those who experience same-sex attraction.