M. Russel Ballard's FAMILY COUNCILS Free Download!
At the Saturday afternoon General Conference session of April 2016, M. Russell Ballard gave a wonderful talk on the importance of having Family Councils. Here is a summary of his talk as well as a list of additional resources on this topic and some free printables to help you hold your own Family Councils.
Alma taught "Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good." (Alma 37:37)
Elder Ballard reviewed four different types of Councils we should be having within our families.
GENERAL FAMILY COUNCIL - Consists of all family members.
"This council can be to discuss family problems, work out finances, make plans, support and strengthen each other and pray for one another and the family unit." from Our Family pamphlet (download a free pdf HERE)
- Should meet at a pre-designated time.
- Start with a prayer.
- Elder Ballard recommends Sundays so you can review last week's schedules and coordinate schedules for the coming week.
- Parents need to involve ALL family members in dealing with challenges and adversity.
-Single members, students, and those who live alone can have General Family Council.
- Extended Family Councils
EXECUTIVE COUNCIL - Consists of husband and wife
-Review each other's child's physical, emotional, and spiritual needs and progress.
-Review each physical, emotional, and spiritual needs and progress.
-Talk about your personal relationships with each other, “Every couple, whether in the first or the twenty-first year of marriage, should discover the value of pillow-talk time at the end of the day—the perfect time to take inventory, to talk about tomorrow. And best of all, it’s a time when love and appreciation for one another can be reconfirmed. The end of another day is also the perfect setting to say, ‘Sweetheart, I am sorry about what happened today. Please forgive me’” (Elder Robert L. Simpson).
- Both parents spend time with an individual child
Making decisions in advance about critical choices. Write down decisions.
- Establish goals and objectives for the future.
-Listen to serious concerns and challenges that a child may have faced including lack of confidence, abuse, bullying, or fear.
- Less formal. Can happen while travelling in the car or working around the house.
- Calendar one-on-one time in advance so children can look forward to special, one-on-one time with their parents.
When parents are prepared and children listen and participate in the discussion, the family council is truly working.
Combined with prayer, the family council will invite the presence of the Savior as he promised 'For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them.' (Matthew 18:20)
Inviting the Spirit of the Lord to be a part of your Family Councils brings blessings beyond description.
A family council, held regularly, will help us spot family problems and root them out much more quickly.They will give each family member the feeling of worth and importance. And, most of all, they will assist us to be more successful and happy in our precious relationships within the walls of our own homes.
- Our Family pamphlet (download a free pdf HERE)
Counceling With Our Councils by M. Russell Ballard - This book is truly amazing. I read it in BYU as a student and instantly saw the applications it could have for a family I hoped to have someday. Although it is written for Ward councils and auxiliary heads within Wards and Stakes, the principles are true and helpful to all kinds of councils, particularly families. I feel like every LDS family should own this book.
-Preach My Gospel section on Companionship Inventory. At the end of each week have a Companionship Inventory with your spouse. Share with your companion appropriate goals, and ask for his or her help to accomplish them. Discuss the strength of your relationship with your companion. Discuss any challenges that may be keeping your companionship from working in unity or from being obedient. Resolve conflicts. Share with your companion what you think his or her strengths are. Ask for suggestions on how you can improve. If needed, set goals that will improve your relationship. Conclude with prayer.
- Weekly Agenda My friend, Camille, from the LDS blog Chicken Scratch N Sniff has a great post about this talk as well as a free printable for your weekly meeting! Check it out and download her freebie HERE.