Peer to Peer: How Can I Work Effectively with Priesthood Leaders?

December 7, 2013  - by 

Working with Priesthood Leaders
In the October stake indexing director newsletter we asked “How can I work effectively with priesthood leaders?” How have you found success working with priesthood leaders? What tips and advice do you have for other stake indexing directors? We received many inspiring examples and experiences. Read what other stake indexing directors had to say!

“The panel discussion at the recent annual Stake Indexing Directors Forum was an eye-opener to me. I am learning that if I explain my ideas, respect and allow my stake leaders’ right to receive inspiration, and then come together with them in prayer, we can usually compromise and reach a decision that is acceptable and in tune with the Lord’s will. Yes, my priesthood leaders and I sometimes have ideas that do not work, but if we support each other by honestly trying to make suggestions work, we all learn and grow together without giving each other a ‘lack of support’ impression.  Of course, this is an ongoing process because perfection will never be reached in our mortal circumstances.”

D. Durfee, from Alaska, United States

“I very prayerfully turn to my Heavenly Father for guidance and assistance to know what He would have me learn and teach, because it is His work, not mine. I only want to help. I had the opportunity to teach a fifth-Sunday lesson on family history and indexing. I talked about the emphasis lately on ‘hastening the work of salvation.’ Family history work very much encompasses missionary work both in this life and for those who have passed on. As was said in general conference, the time spoken of in the scriptures of the hastening of the work is now. Teaching with this perspective can spark interest in priesthood leaders.”

J. Nowak, from North Carolina, United States

“I show my priesthood leaders how to search for records on I explain to them that these are the records that have been indexed so far. If I can, I use one of their ancestors as an example and show them a historical record that includes their ancestor’s information. They get so excited and the light comes on when they see their ancestor’s record. I can tell them, “There is your grandpa at age seven on the census, and this is what the indexer typed in!”I have had numerous people tell me they never understood how it all works together until I showed them their ancestor’s records.”

S. Jones, from Utah, United States

“The key to successfully working with priesthood leaders is to get the bishopric in each ward committed to indexing. When this happens, I have found the bishops will call members to do indexing as a regular calling. This works for all ages and personal situations. Some wards have set monthly and annual goals for indexing. My current ward bishop extended a call to five of our youth to work with young women and young men in our ward. They train the other youth. This was started just before summer vacation. Most, if not all, of the youth set goals and did indexing all summer. Now that school is in session, they continue to do indexing because they love it so much.”

R. Neilson, from California, United States

Some Thoughts from FamilySearch Indexing

  • As you can see from the examples above, one of the greatest ways you can find success in working with priesthood leaders is by helping them gain a testimony of how indexing is vital to family history and temple work. Use this presentation to help them understand how indexing fits in the big picture of family history and temple work. Don’t be afraid to share your testimony and invite them to participate in indexing themselves. Once they understand how indexing can bless their stake members, they will be excited to get involved.
  • Strive to meet regularly with your priesthood leaders to discuss the progress and needs of your indexers and arbitrators. This would be a good opportunity to train them on indexing and review reporting.

Do you have other thoughts on how to work successfully with priesthood leaders? Send us an email at, or leave a comment below.

This article was a joint effort by Courtney Connolly, volunteer and guest bloggers.

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  1. The monthly Indexing reports give me the opportunity to email every member of the stake High priests groups with focus on ward successes and encouragement for the coming months. The High councillor and family
    history directors are amongst the indexers.

    1. Would you please explain to an older 80+ stake indexing director how to separate and send via e-mail just their ward report to the nine different wards in our stake? Every Ward director and High Priest Group Leader receives a report showing total number records submitted for all wards in the Stake,
      I do not think that a director of one ward should know what another ward’s individuals have personally done individually.