I love birds, but have never been drawn to owls until I saw this trio at our local TJMaxx. So cute! I had to take them home with me. :) For now they are nesting on top of our piano - reminding us to "See, Speak, and Hear No Evil." But mainly just being cute.
One night as I walked past the owls, inspiration took flight (because owls fly at night I suppose). :) I had read this talk, O Be Wise, from M. Russell Ballard. Everything about the talk hooted, "Leadership Training" to me. Here are just a few snippets from his talk (I suggest reading his complete talk to be fully inspired). :)
He suggests six ways we can serve both wisely and well.
First, focus on people and principles—not on programs.
- One of the most important things we do through the gospel of Jesus Christ is to build people. Properly serving others requires effort to understand them as individuals—their personalities, their strengths, their concerns, their hopes and dreams—so that the correct help and support can be provided.
- Most routine information and coordination can now be handled through phone calls, e-mails, or regular mail so that agendas for council meetings and presidency meetings can focus on needs of the people.
- Our goal should always be to use the programs of the Church as a means to lift, encourage, assist, teach, love, and perfect people. “Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God” (D&C 18:10). Programs are tools. Their management and staffing must not take priority over the needs of the people they are designed to bless and to serve.
Second, be innovative.
- As we work to magnify our callings, we should seek the inspiration of the Spirit to solve problems in ways that will best help the people we serve. We have handbooks of instruction, and their guidelines should be followed. But within that framework are substantial opportunities to think, to be creative, and to make use of individual talents. The instruction to magnify our callings is not a command to embellish and complicate them. To innovate does not necessarily mean to expand; very often it means to simplify.
- Being innovative also means that we do not have to be told everything we should do. The Lord said, “It is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant” (D&C 58:26). We trust you, ...to use inspiration. We trust that you will do so within the framework of Church policies and principles. We trust that you will be wise in counseling together to help build faith and testimony in the lives of those whom you serve.
Third, divide the work and delegate responsibility.
- There is a difference between being responsible for getting the work done and doing the work yourself. For example, gone should be the days when the elders quorum president feels he needs to personally finish the home teaching visits that others have missed. The same is true for Relief Society presidents with respect to visiting teaching. Not only is this unwise; it isn’t home or visiting teaching. Home teaching isn’t about numbers or reporting visits to a home; visits and numbers are just a measuring stick. Home teaching is about love of people and service to and watchcare over our Heavenly Father’s children.
- Assignments should be made, responsibilities should be delegated, and members should be allowed to fulfill their stewardship as best they can. Counsel, advise, persuade, motivate—but don’t do the work for them. Allow others to progress and grow, even if it means sometimes getting less-than-perfect results on the reports.
Fourth, eliminate guilt.
- We must always motivate through love and sincere appreciation, not by creating guilt. I like the thought “Catch others doing something right.”
- As mortals, we simply cannot do everything at once. Therefore we must do all things “in wisdom and order” (Mosiah 4:27). Often that will mean temporarily postponing attention to one priority in order to take care of another. Sometimes family demands will require your full attention. Other times professional responsibilities will come first. And there will be times when Church callings will come first. Good balance comes in doing things in a timely way and in not procrastinating our preparation or waiting to fulfill our responsibilities until the last minute.
- Beyond that we need to remember that Christ came to remove guilt by forgiving those who repent (see Alma 24:10). He came to bring peace to the troubled soul. “Peace I leave with you,” He said. “My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). Through the miraculous Atonement He urges us to “take my yoke upon you, … and ye shall find rest unto your souls” (Matthew 11:29).
- As the power of the Atonement begins to work in our lives, we come to understand that the Savior has already born the burden of our guilt. O that we may be wise enough to understand, to repent as necessary, and to let go of our guilt.
Fifth, we need to thoughtfully allocate our resources of time, income, and energy.
- I would like to let you in on a little secret. Some of you have already learned it. If you haven’t, it’s time you knew. No matter what your family needs are or your responsibilities in the Church, there is no such thing as “done.” There will always be more we can do. There is always another family matter that needs attention, another lesson to prepare, another interview to conduct, another meeting to attend. We just need to be wise in protecting our health and in following the counsel that President Hinckley has given often to just do the best that we can.
- The key, it seems to me, is to know and understand your own capabilities and limitations and then to pace yourself, allocating and prioritizing your time, your attention, and your resources to wisely help others, including your family, in their quest for eternal life.
Sixth, a word to you leaders about extending responsibilities to members and especially to recent converts.
- President Hinckley said that every new member of the Church needs a responsibility. Whatever responsibility may be extended should not overwhelm new members but should give them ample opportunity to become comfortable in the Church by learning its doctrine and by rubbing shoulders with friendly members. It should anchor them to the restored gospel through increasing their testimony and giving meaningful service.
- Brothers and sisters, may we focus on the simple ways we can serve in the kingdom of God, always striving to change lives, including our own. What is most important in our Church responsibilities is not the statistics that are reported or the meetings that are held but whether or not individual people—ministered to one at a time just as the Savior did—have been lifted and encouraged and ultimately changed. Our task is to help others find the peace and the joy that only the gospel can give them. In seven words, Jesus summarized how we can accomplish this. He said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).
(He then closes his talk with these words...) Be wise with your families. Be wise in fulfilling your Church callings. Be wise with your time. Be wise in balancing all of your responsibilities. O be wise, my beloved brothers and sisters. What can I say more? May God bless us with wisdom to love His Son, Jesus Christ, and wisely help accomplish His work. Amen*
LEADERSHIP TRAINING IDEAS
- You could break the training up into 6 mini lessons, allowing others to help in the training.
- If you choose to use this as a leadership training for your young women, maybe the Laurels could each be given an area to teach. Would be a great way to pass off a Personal Progress value or earn an Honor Bee.
- How about displaying a nest and/or tree limb on the table. Adding the "6 wise owls" of leadership as they are discussed.
from the talented Julie Q - The Orange Owl
*"THANK YOU" IDEA
If you happen to have a quest speaker this might make a nice "thank you" gift. Isn't this CTR necklace from RingMasters adorable? Engraved on the back is the scripture, “O be wise; what can I say more?” Jacob 6:12.
Women’s 'O Be Wise' CTR Necklace
$14.95 from RingMasters
I think this is the most adorable owl cupcake!
Maybe it's the keylime eyes.
idea found here
...using a Heart-Shaped Cookie Cutter.
There is also an example of one using a tulip-shaped cookie cutter.
from Larissa Holland