How stake and ward leaders may coordinate missionary, temple and family history work

To strengthen the work of gathering Israel on both sides of the veil and allow the bishopric to focus on the youth, elders quorum and Relief Society presidencies are responsible for missionary and temple and family history efforts in the ward, President M. Russell Ballard reaffirmed. 

A May 26 letter to general and local Church leaders, signed by the acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, provided recommendations on how these efforts may be coordinated within stakes and wards.

President Russell M. Nelson has said the gathering of Israel is “the greatest challenge, the greatest cause and the greatest work on earth today.” This work is done in elders quorums, Relief Societies, Aaronic Priesthood quorums and Young Women classes. 

According to the letter, ward and stake leaders oversee missionary and temple and family history work in the following ways:

  • Elders quorum and Relief Society presidencies each assign one counselor to missionary work and the other to temple and family history work. 
  • Rather than the bishop, the stake presidency and stake Relief Society presidency — under the keys of the stake president — are responsible for the instruction of elders quorum and Relief Society presidencies in their responsibilities.
  • Stake leaders also train ward mission leaders and ward temple and family history leaders (if called). Members of the stake Melchizedek Priesthood committee and high councilors assist in training. 
  • The bishop ensures the work is coordinated in ward council and ward youth council meetings. 

Training and coordination at the stake level

To coordinate missionary work, the stake president and mission president usually coordinate monthly — counselors, an assigned high councilor and zone leaders may attend. To coordinate temple and family history work, the stake president and elders quorum president meet regularly — again, counselors and an assigned high councilor may attend. 

Missionary: Under the direction of the stake presidency, assisted by the stake Melchizedek Priesthood committee and stake Relief Society presidency, training can take place in a group setting or by one-on-one mentoring, as often as needed. Assigned members of the elders quorum and Relief Society presidencies and ward mission leaders attend when invited. 

Temple and family history: Training can be held in a similar way, with ward temple and family history leaders attending when invited, in place of the ward mission leaders.

Training and coordination at the ward level

Missionary and temple and family history work are discussed in ward council meetings under the direction of the bishop. 

Missionary: A brief, informal missionary coordination discussion is held weekly remotely or in person and led by a member of the elders quorum presidency (or ward mission leader). Attendees include a member of the Relief Society presidency, an assistant in the priests quorum, a presidency member of the oldest Young Women class and the full-time missionaries. 

The purpose is to coordinate and prepare to help ward members with missionary work in the ward, including in-person visits. 

Temple and family history: A brief, informal temple and family history coordination discussion is held regularly remotely or in person and led by a member of the elders quorum presidency (or ward temple and family history leader). Attendees include those listed above, with the temple and family history consultants and youth temple and family history consultants, in place of the full-time missionaries.

The purpose is to coordinate and to prepare to help ward members with their own temple and family history work.