Documentary: Senior Church leaders talk about the power of councils and their role ‘Inside Church Headquarters’

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. 

This 22-minute Church News documentary, titled “Inside Church Headquarters,” examines the essential role of councils in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, beginning with the Council of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and extending to stake, ward and family councils. It highlights the need for women’s voices in councils. Members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and general women leaders also speak about the purpose and functions of three of the Church’s executive councils: the Missionary Executive Council, the Temple and Family History Executive Council, and the Priesthood and Family Executive Council.

“In the abundance of counsel, there is wisdom,” said President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency. “When the Prophet Joseph Smith was called, he taught the world, and he taught all of us for the first time, the first principle about the plan of salvation is that our Heavenly Father introduced it in a great council in heaven. So, as Latter-day Saints, we begin with councils.”

The council system, said President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “is the way you move things safely and solidly from where it is to where it needs to be.”

From left, President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Sister Reyna Isabel Aburto, second counselor, Sister Sharon Eubank, first counselor, and President Jean B. Bingham, all of the Relief Society general presidency; and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles attend the Leadership and Planning Committee meeting at the Church Administration Building in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, May 11, 2021.
From left, President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Sister Reyna Isabel Aburto, second counselor, Sister Sharon Eubank, first counselor, and President Jean B. Bingham, all of the Relief Society general presidency; and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles attend the Leadership and Planning Committee meeting at the Church Administration Building in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, May 11, 2021. Credit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Read more from the Inside Church headquarters series.