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Inside Church headquarters: 8 videos about councils

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President Russell M. Nelson and his counselors, President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor, and President Henry B. Eyring, second counselor, attend a First Presidency meeting, held daily Tuesday through Friday, at the Church Administration Building in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, June 16, 2021. The Church Administration Building was constructed between 1913 and 1917.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News


The Savior governs His Church through councils. This divine pattern is critical to the organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at every level. 

Last year, the Church News took readers inside Church headquarters to examine the essential role of councils in the Church, beginning with the Council of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and extending to stake, ward and family councils. 

“In our meetings, the majority never rules,” said President Russell M. Nelson, 17th President of the Church. “We listen prayerfully to one another and talk with each other until we are united. Then when we have reached complete accord, the unifying influence of the Holy Ghost is spine-tingling. We experience what the Prophet Joseph Smith knew when he taught, ‘By union of feeling we obtain power with God.’”

Starting this month, the Church News is offering a DVD with a 22-minute documentary and eight short video segments from the series. It can be found at Deseret Book. 

Below are links to the eight short video segments:

1. His Council | President Dallin H. Oaks and President Henry B. Eyring

The ideal is that the Lord is directing every council, said President Henry B. Eyring, second counselor in the First Presidency. “You hope the leader would feel that, and every member, to say, ‘If this is a matter of substance, this is His council, and let’s find out what His view is.’”

2. Rise Through Councils | President M. Russell Ballard

From the Council of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to a family council and all councils in between, “those who learn to counsel with each other always end up with a better result, always end up with a better spirit,” said President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

3. Scattered Among Us | President Jean B. Bingham

Relief Society General President Jean B. Bingham has often heard the expression from senior Church leaders that “revelation is scattered among us.”

“It’s really true,” she said. “The Church is governed by councils, and that’s how we grow, that’s how we make progress.” 

4. Information Brings Inspiration | Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf

“Information brings inspiration,” said Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “You have to collect information and then you are in a position to receive revelation when you connect to the Spirit.” 

5. Church of Saints | President Bonnie H. Cordon

Young Women General President Bonnie H. Cordon sits on many councils at Church headquarters. Many times, her role is the same: “It’s to contribute my voice and to be part of the process of revelation.”

“It’s not The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Women, it’s not The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Men,” she said. “It’s The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Saints striving to do the will of the Lord.”

6. Counsel in Council | Elder David A. Bednar

The power of counseling in council is revelation, said Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “In worldly or secular organizations, much is made about participative decision-making. This is not a secular pattern,” he said. “Counseling in councils is about inviting, receiving and recognizing revelation.” 

7. Women’s Voices | President Camille N. Johnson

As Primary General President Camille N. Johnson attended a meeting on her first day in her new calling, she expected to sit back and observe. Instead, she was asked, “Sister Johnson, what do you think?”

“It was sincere interest in what I thought about a particular point; whereas in my previous life, I had to work harder to have my voice heard sometimes,” President Johnson said of her experience in the workplace.

8. Executive Councils | Elder Quentin L. Cook

The Church is organized with three executive councils that are based on the three keys that were restored in Doctrine and Covenants 110, taught Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

“The council process refines things and perfects them, and the council setting allows great power and purpose to come into them,” he said.

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