As the new year begins, many Church members are seeking to do better, to be better, to be more, to do more. Church members are asked to magnify their callings, after all.
But Elder M. Russell Ballard clarified that teaching. “The instruction to magnify our callings is not a command to embellish and complicate them,” he said. “To innovate does not necessarily mean to expand; very often it means to simplify.”
The Church is using its resources to help members do just that. Here are 10 resources from LDS.org that can help you magnify your calling by simplifying it.
Because of the wide variety of classes taught in the Church, the calling to be a teacher is one of the most common. The Church has provided resources to members online, including helps for understanding your call to teach, advice for teaching those with disabilities and links to manuals to make preparing your lesson more convenient (i.e. paperless).
There are more practical resources as well, like specific effective teaching strategies and how to create a good atmosphere for learning. The website MormonChannel.org and its accompanying mobile app are also helpful in creating variety in the classroom with access to audio and video resources like scripture stories for children, General Conference address, Mormon Messages, videos for youth and more. (Hint: Because video streaming in Church buildings may be limited, download videos to your device prior to your lesson).
2. Spouse and parent
Regarding the call to be a parent, President Boyd K. Packer taught that “Husbands and wives should understand that their first calling—from which they will never be released—is to one another and then to their children.”
If you have small children, helps for teaching children can assist in Family Home Evening lessons. The Church’s website has games and activities for children to play that are both spiritually uplifting and fun, including coloring pages, matching games and puzzles. If your children are a little older, the Church’s youth website is constantly being updated with new helps for youth leaders and parents. And if you have no children at all, resources for strengthening marriage can be useful in family home evening and scripture study.
3. Youth leaders
The Church recently released a new resource for youth leaders to assist in planning meaningful activities, and this Youth Activities website has great potential to crowdsource ideas from around the globe.
Downloadable images featuring the 2014 Youth Theme are also available, as well as videos, articles and music relating to the theme “Come Unto Christ.” The Church also keeps its youth curriculum up-to-date online and creates special Mormon Messages for youth.
Bishoprics can take advantage of the resources available through LDS.org to streamline the work of their callings. Instead of waiting for Church records to be physically mailed from ward to ward, clerks can now send and receive records electronically. Members can also update their own information online, easing the burden for bishoprics.
The internet expedites other processes for ward leadership as well, including submitting mission papers and managing the ward calendar. All of these resources are available to leaders through their LDS.org account.
5. Quorum presidencies
The 2013 Worldwide Leadership Training library offers resources for Church leaders in all capacities, but several chapters focus specifically on the role of quorum presidencies. The videos teach leadership principles from the experiences of Elders Quorum presidents and also provides training on home teaching, welfare and fellowshipping prospective elders.
Keeping the Church’s organization for children running isn’t child’s play. LDS.org provides resources to help Primary leaders teach effective lessons, be effective leaders, integrate scouting with Primary, help with Faith in God, teach music in Primary and more.
7. Relief Society
The Relief Society president holds, arguably, one of the busiest ward callings in the Church. But there are some online tips that can save her a trip to the distribution center and cut back on meeting times.
Relief Society presidents (and anyone else who wants to) can watch Auxiliary Leadership Training videos from home, review guidelines for Sunday and weekday Relief Society meetings, download and print the Relief Society seal, bookmark and poster, provide visiting teaching training, and find media resources to enrich lessons and meetings.
8. Ward Mission Leader/Ward Missionaries
With the Church’s recent heightened interest in missionary work, there has never been a better time to be a ward missionary. Watch online trainings to learn how you can best assist in your ward mission plan, download the LDS Tools mobile app to gain access to ward membership information, learn ways to share the gospel online, and submit an online referral to the missionaries.
9. Family History Specialist
As the Church moves into the digital age, the way members do family history is changing rapidly. Family history specialists can keep up-to-date on the latest tools available on FamilySearch, understand Church leaders’ vision for family history work, submit photos and stories of their ancestors, view temple opportunities, help with indexing and more, all from the comfort of home.
Gone are the days when you needed a stack of sheet music, a firm understanding of musical theory and an accompanist to bring uplifting music to Sunday meetings. The full music library collection is now available online, with songs organized by topic. Full audio files of songs, audio files of accompaniment only, and sheet music are available for download. LDS.org also provides resources for putting on the production Savior of the World and learning how to choose appropriate music for church meetings. These and many other resources are available online.