What is a Good Elders Quorum President?

If you were witness to the release of an elders quorum president, what criteria would you use to determine whether you thought he was a good elders quorum president? How would you determine if he had done a good job as an elders quorum president?

94 thoughts on “What is a Good Elders Quorum President?”

  1. :) No worries, I wasn’t offended.

    I am sure you don’t feel that way about your families. One thing that Kim also does, is ministry visits with families on a regular basis. He doesn’t count it as home teaching though (not saying you do or would, but others have in the past).

    Kim will explain what he does, but I feel that for this area of the world, it is the only real thing possible (at least at this point).

  2. in PPI we can know things like: if the family is doing FHE and prayer and scriptures,Is anyone sick etc. I think if a family is doing FHE, family prayer and scriptures this says a lot about the family.

    I agree, but that isn’t recorded or tracked anywhere. And all that shows is a snapshot of spiritual practises. It doesn’t necessarily track improvement.

    The point I am making isn’t that we should be tracking these things. The point I am making is that the only reason HT visits are tracked is because it’s the easiest statistic to track. Unfortunately, it doesn’t show anything worthwhile.

    why dont you guys tell me what have you been doing in your EQ.

    We don’t focus on HT. That’s our biggest thing.

    About six months into my current term, I noticed a trend. Nearly all of our quorum members were not having personal scripture study. In addition, I noticed some weren’t having companion scripture study or attending the temple regularly, and a few weren’t having personal prayer.

    For the last 3 years then, we have been focusing on trying to build improvement in those areas. After all, it’s kind of fruitless to get after someone for not home teaching if he isn’t even saying his prayers.

    Every year, we pick a theme. The quorum goals are related to this theme, as well as our firesides and first Sunday lessons.

    The first year, the theme was “Becoming better husbands and fathers”, the second year the theme was “Service and quorum unity” and this year it is “Building spiritual experiences”.

    We hold monthly PPIs where we ask not only about their home teaching families, but about their own spiritual welfare. We note any areas of concerns, extend commitments to them, and then follow up on the commitments at our next PPI.

    Once a month, our secretary sets up visits for us with visit 2–4 families in our quorum.

    We organize 4 socials, 2 temple trips and 2 firesides each year.

    We called a service coordinator and activity coordinator. We also have 3 solid instructors. The 8 of us meet once a month in a board meeting to discuss areas of focus and improvement.

    Regarding home teaching:

    I already mentioned we don’t focus on home teaching. We don’t make reminder phone calls. We don’t bring it up in elders quorum. We never phone for reports; we expect the brethren to contact us with their reports.

    We allow the brethren to determine what constitutes a HT visit. We discussed D&C 20:42 in a first Sunday lesson, and we expect the brethren to use that as their basis for determining what a HT visit is.

    If I get an assignment from the bishop to meet the needs of someone in the quorum, I delegate it to the person’s home teachers. I ask them to report back to me on it.

    Any follow up on HT efforts is always done in a formal PPI our secretary sets up, and it always focuses on the families. For example, we never ask the generic, “how’s your home teaching?”

    How’s our home teaching? I have no idea. It’s low, but consistent for the stake and consistent for this quorum for the 6 years I have been here.

    Did I cover our efforts sufficiently for you?

    does your EQ set goals? what are they if you dont mind me asking?

    Well, the presidency sets goals for the quorum as a whole. Our 2008 goals are:

    1. Have personal prayer often
    2. Have personal scripture study often
    3. Attend the temple often
    4. Attend ward firesides
    5. Participate in quorum meetings
    1. While I think the emphasis on increased personal spirituality is a good one the problem with your goals is that they are not specific, measurable or if there is any way of knowing if they have ever been achieved.

      1. That was done on purpose. What often meant was going to be different for each quorum member, and it was their reposnsibility to make sure they measured it. All we were doing as a presidency was providing an environment that would help them achieve those goals.

        So we didn’t see it as a problem; we saw it as a feature.

    2. Oh, and I disagree that families visited doesn’t show anything worthwhile.
      I know I would like to know if any given family in my ward had actually received any contact from the Church this month, or within the last few months.

  3. Kim, I am glad I came to this blog. I have certainly learnt good things. We have never had EQ fireside here. What kind of things have you done in your firesides? I will bring that up in our next pres meeting. I certainly like the idea of service and activity cordinator. You also got excellent themes. I also like how the 8 of you meet once a month. Our stake pres is HUGE on HT and missionary work and so is the bishop and myself. I guess its got a high priority in the stake. and the stake has done really well in those areas compared to previous years. We even have ward mission plans set by bishop. Each family even has a mission plan where they do simple things to share gospel. All of these are reported back to the stake. do you meet with your stake presidency monthly? I meet once a month with the stake pres and bishop and we discuss welfare of each family.
    I have felt a greater spirit amongst the EQ brethren as we have served together. I mean we have grown closer to each other. We try to have 1 service project a month and that has helped us a lot. Maybe you should start a new blog on what all the different EQP are doing in their quorums. we certainly can learn from each other.

  4. What kind of things have you done in your firesides?

    In order:

    1. Have someone present on Pres. Hinckley’s BOM challenge
    2. Have a convert discuss Luke 22:32
    3. Have the family relations teachers discuss communication in marriage
    4. Panel discussion on FHE
    5. Game show format on making righteous choices
    6. 4-person presentation on scripture study tips
    7. Stake patriarch speaking on 1 Ne 18:3

    do you meet with your stake presidency monthly?

    Quarterly.

    I also meet with all the other EQPs in the stake quarterly.

    1. Wow – this is interesting.
      I think its a good idea for EQP to meet with the Stake Pres regularly and to meet with each other.
      We don’t do either of those things here.

  5. Okay…I haven’t posted in awhile. So I will add my 2 bits. The EQ Pres called our home last night at about 10:00pm, he has never called our home for church related purposes. He was calling to invite us to a ward party that was happening this evening. (Didn’t get a chance to get an invite over)

    Now, we didn’t have any intention of going. But, I was out mowing the lawn at the time that 90% of the ward was driving past to go to the St. Camp Kitchen, (most of them on Church Standard Time of course), and not on stopped to say Hello, or see if I might need a hand, or what have you. I should probably add in here that I just had brain surgery one month ago. It just all rubbed me the wrong way I guess.

    Make sure you get the call in, just to say that you did when you have to report back. But, when it comes down to helping someone out, or actually saying HI…. NO TIME! (Yes the EQP himself did drive right by)

  6. Dar,
    Sorry to hear that. Does your EQP even know that you live there? Has he ever visited your home? How much does he do for the quorum in terms of fellowshipping? fellowshipping is huge in my EQ.

  7. “Does your EQP even know that you live there?”
    Yup

    “Has he ever visited your home?”
    Yup

    “How much does he do for the quorum in terms of fellowshipping?”
    Just about zero.

  8. As a single person I – and my other single friends, both male and female – often get “forgotten” altogether when it comes to home teaching. I must say, though, that the last few home teachers I have had have been excellent, and because I can’t be visited at home (I live with non-member family members who don’t want church visits for “official reasons”, although my friends do come by), they visit me at church and have been great. Same with my current visiting teachers. However, there have been years when I haven’t seen hide nor hair of either home or visiting teachers. Which kind of astounds me, since I get visited at church and all they have to do is talk to me for two minutes in the hallway. No going out on dark nights, etc. Yet they still can’t seem to get their HT or VT in. Amazing to me….

  9. SS

    I don’t know if being single has anything to do with it here. My husband is EQ president and our home teachers still don’t visit. Actually, one lives a block away and the other lives just over a block. We still don’t see or hear from them.

  10. Hi Mary. I’m just going by my personal experience. All of the wards I’ve lived in, the married have-a-member-of-the-Priesthood-in-the-house members have always gotten visits from their HT and VT first. Singles last. Maybe it’s because they (mostly) have more in common with the marrieds – who knows? All I know is that, with the exception of my current ward, I have always had to go and ask who my HT/VT are if I needed anything. My single friends have similar experiences.

  11. SS

    Yes, I know you are. Actually our experience here in Lethbridge has been (only in two wards mind you but I have heard the same about other wards) is that home teaching and even visiting teaching is apathetic at best. I find it is more common among young married people (being apathetic) not across the board, mind you, but many of these young people don’t seem committed to their wards at all, or very little, and not very committed to those they have stewardship over. I do see exceptions though.

    It has been a long time since I was single, but my experience as a YSA in Vancouver was very good, with home teachers and visiting teachers.

    I can tell you however, that I have often visit taught single sisters and I enjoy visiting them as much (hey sometimes more!) as married sisters. But then I don’t judge them by whether they are married or not, maybe others do.

  12. I like that way HT is structured in my ward. Any single sister is home taught by the high priest and they are assigned to brethren who ALWAYS do their home teaching. We even go and do yard work for them when needed. I have monthly PPI with the bishop and one of the stake presidency and we go over each family that my quorum hometeaches and I have to report their welfare. Its actually really nice to see that my leaders are very concerned about each families welfare and needs. To my leaders and myself, ALL FAMILIES MUST BE VISITED. We need to know how they are doing.
    Its really sad that some brethren take HT lightly.

    When we visit EQ families, we always ask them if they are being home taught. And there have been times when we have asked the families to call their hometeacher to come and home teach them. It is every families right to be home taught. Its a blessing that no one should take away.
    A brother/sister can decide whether he or she wants to do their visit/home teaching. They have a choice but they dont have any right to take away the blessing of home teaching from their families.

    To any family that doesnt get visited by their HT or VT, pick up the phone and call your RS pres or EQP and inform them that you are not being visited. some times you need to make your leaders accountable. especially the lazy ones.

  13. Our leaders are well aware of who is not being taught. However you cannot force people to make visits. Really Ranik, It would be good to have you come and try your tactics here in Lethbridge. It would be interesting to see.

  14. Mary,
    I agree that we cannot force people to make visit but we can sure make them accountable. We can sure do things for them that will make them realise the importance of HT/VT. The question is if the leaders have done enough to make home/visit teachers accountable? My bishop is willing to interview brethren who are not trying to HT. Imagine getting interviewed by Christ as to why you are not HT.
    I guess if the leaders are aware of whos not being visited and they are doing something about it would be ok. Because heres the thing, leaders such as bishop, EQP RSP have stewardship over their organization and they are responsible of directing fellowshipping to these members.

    The one thing that has made a lot of difference in HT in my EQ is when we have started doing service for brethren who didnt HT previously. I had a few really troubled ones who even didnt know what families they were HT and now they are doing great. More importantly, they have become close friends of mine.
    How much of service in EQ and RS do you have there in Lethbridge?

  15. Mary, another thing I forgot was that sometimes the location of the ward may matter. I used to live in a city with lots of young families of which some were going to school. Lots of members move in and out all the time. Husbands & wives have jobs. It seemed like there was a lot happening there in the lives of members and it was tough to schedule appointments. now we live in an area where members have been coming to ward for decades. Nearly every one seem to know everyone else. most of the members have houses and kids go to same school. Most mothers stay home. Its different from the city. Here members seems to have time to come to activity etc.

  16. I know we can make them accountable, but it really doesn’t work here. Honestly. It’s a different culture. Here we have two post secondary institutions, so yes many young marrieds and young families. But we also have many seniors. There is also a culture of ‘family’ where many people ‘go home to mum and dad’ on a regular basis. So there isn’t a lot of loyalty to the local area or ward. Another interesting anecdote, when we first moved here my VT finally made an appt, she knew me, we had chatted, but she didn’t show up. Apparently she became to shy to actual come and visit teach. One of the things that seems apparent among the younger generation seems to be that they don’t know HOW to do service, and that invludes home and visiting teaching. They are not only not committed, they don’t have an idea how to carry it out and resist the education from their leaders. Not having been taught this as youth or children, they are resistant to learning it as adults on their own. Are all like this? No, but many many are.

    A increasing problem here (at least with our youth) is that they don’t have the time or inclination to participate in service (even if it is volunteering to earn money for their own programmes). Why is this so? I don’t really know. Do I think they are bad? Not at all. Do I think their parents are? Nope, in no way. I respect their parents and know them to be good people. I have no idea why this is becoming more prevalent. The youth leaders are even despairing of getting them to do service.

    If the primary and youth do not learn service, it will be increasingly hard to get them to do it as adults and this is where the root of inacvtivity lies. They are not committed to the Gospel and have week testimonies at best. Right now, my goal is to make sure this doesn’t happen to my own children in the best way I know how.

    All I know is, I do my visiting teaching, my husband is a dedicated home teacher, hardworking, knowledgeable and excellent EQ president and our responsibility is to make sure we do our best.

    His efforts even to try and get a past family to allow him to visit resulted in ostracism (almost ) from that family. He wasn’t pushy, but they obviously saw it that way!

    I had a previous VT companion who didn’t like me phoning her to try and set up a time to go make visits. To this day she is full of animosity towards me and her husband gives me looks that could kill. Yes, seriously. For some reason, the basic duties of HT and VT are not to be ‘enforced’ or even ‘held accountable’ in this city. I do not know why it is. It’s rather sad really. Personally I didn’t care if my comp came or not, I just didn’t want to shut her out of the process. Whatever, I racked my brains to figure out what I could have done, and it seems I was too nice, which perhaps she interpreted as patronising. This is a whole different world than where I grew up.

    However there are great VT and HT here and many people I respect and admire.

    Oh and as I said previously, my husband diligently fellowships and has ministry visits and PPIs. He just doesn’t count it as HT (unlike others have).

  17. Mary, what you describe exists everywhere I think. And I agree about what you said about the culture. Its definitely different here compared to other areas I have been to. And I totally agree with you on some young couples dont know how to do service. I had a very active HT. he was the ward mission leader and lived in the same apartment complex as us. But yet he wasnt a consistent home teacher. He was one of the nicest person I ever met. He has never said no when asked for help. But yet I never understood why he wont stop by our apartment to HT.

  18. sorry that would be ‘weak testimonies’.

    Yes, it is becoming more common everywhere. I think when it comes to home and visiting teaching it comes down to having a testimony of it. If you have one, you will do it (specifically of doing home and visiting teaching) if not, you won’t see the need. So helpiing members gain a testimony is more the key.

    Perhaps it is our busier, more seperate lifestyles? People socialised more, years ago, now we are all busy with our lives and struggle to find time to associate with friends and neighbours. It’s a problem of society, I believe.

  19. “People socialised more, years ago,”

    I think people were more social in person years ago. Primarily because they didn’t have access to the remote ability to be social that we currently have.

    Phone, text, online chat, BBS … the list goes on and on. Many of the churches standard operating practices are still very much as they would have been in the fifties. It is not the fifties, perhaps they should adapt.

    HT via Second Life(tm)? Don’t rule it out…

  20. I actually know someone who did “missionary work” through Second Life.

    “Hey good shot! You really nailed that guy. Cool splatter. Hey wanna talk to the missionaries?”

    Or something like that. :)

  21. Rick, this is what I meant. On a more personal basis, one on one., Just chatting with your neighbour or having friends over (more often, I mean. It still does happen of course, just not to the same degree). More personal interaction.

  22. Second Life is both a Multi-User Online Social Networking utility and a slang for being online in general.

  23. What an interesting question…

    One simple act that an EQ president does could determine whether he was successful or not. One family returned to activation could be the thing that makes his presidency successful.

  24. I think that every person called has talents that are needed for the time they are in that calling. I was released from Elders Quorum last year. I was able to see a couple activated. One service project we did helped a brother become temple worthy. Many things transpired which were positive experiences. Service projects helped memebers serve. My time is gone but the new president is doing different things that are reaching other bretheren that I was not able to reach.I feel people are placed in callings for different reasons. I grew alot from my experience as a EQP. I feel I am a better member of the church from that experience as well as a better husband and father. I dont want this to sound like a notch on my belt by saying these things. We are placed in different callings to provide growth to the Quorums and to ourselves. I feel that I had a successful time as a President. But this determiniation has to come from the individual not from someone looking in from the outside.

  25. If an EQP is focusing on the 3 fold mission of the church–I mean the 4 fold now–and has a deep concern for the well-being of the quorum members, he is doing a-okay.

  26. I am a newly called Elder’s Quorum President in my ward and I am very appreciative of the comments posted, both positive and negative. I think they will all help me in the years of service.

  27. Ok, now I have read all the comments (and commented on a few of them) I think it is time to actually respond to the question.
    I served as an EQP many years ago, then on two Bishoprics, then Institute Teacher, now High Council.
    I have a different perspective now to when I served and think I would serve differently now to how I did then.
    I spent a lot of time focussing on HT but also tried to emphasise quality quorum instruction and personal interviews. I don’t think think I visited or interviewed as much as I probably should have.
    I tend to think Elders Quorums can function on multiple levels
    1. Not functioning
    2. The Quorum receives some form of instruction on Sunday
    3. The Quorum receives good quality instruction on Sunday
    4. The Quorum gets good instruction and does some HT
    5. Good instruction plus good HT
    6. Good instruction, good HT, good interviews
    7. Instruction, HT, interviews and quorum brotherhood.
    8 etc
    You see what I mean. It is very hard to tick all the boxes – and there are plenty of boxes to tick – while holding down a job and caring for a family and living a life.
    Ultimately I think any EQP who tries his best to magnify his calling and help his quorum to draw nearer to Christ has done ok.

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