Auxiliary leadership training: Primary
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"This gospel of Jesus Christ is centered around families and we cannot separate our service in Primary from a child and from that child's family," said Sister Rosemary M. Wixom, general Primary president, during the auxiliary training meetings held in the Assembly Hall Wednesday, March 30, and Thursday, March 31. "We know we strengthen families by teaching this glorious gospel of Jesus Christ."
Sister Wixom was joined at the training meeting by her counselors, Sister Jean A. Stevens and Sister Cheryl A. Esplin, as well as members of the Primary general board, to teach Primary leaders how to be more effective in their service.
Speaking of the children taught in Primary, Sister Wixom said, "You are having an influence on their lives. We can't tell you how grateful we are for what you do in Primary."
Sister Wixom asked the Primary leaders gathered to ask themselves three questions. "First, what do I love about my calling? Second, what is the real purpose of Primary? … Third, with the new Handbook, what will [I] plan to do differently?"
Sister Wixom encouraged the Primary leaders to let their calling become part of their lives. "Look around. Look at the children you are teaching and their families. Ask yourself, 'What can I do in my service to bless and strengthen those families?' Let that be the guide to your service."
Soon after her call to the general presidency, Sister Wixom was asked by Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve, "What is the tap root that will anchor the children in the wind?" Sister Wixom explained that the taproot is a root of a tree that goes deep into the ground and acts as an anchor during strong winds.
Elder Hales then told Sister Wixom, "I won't get that answer but you will."
Sister Wixom turned the question to the Primary leaders. "I won't get that answer for your children and your Primary," she said, "but you will."
Based on feedback from the audience, Sister Wixom cited several concerns Primary leaders may have, including reverence problems, special needs or behavioral problems of children or the commitment of teachers. Although there are no "black-and-white answers," the process for getting an answer is found in the Handbook: Prepare spiritually; counsel together; minister together and teach the gospel.
"[The Handbook] is for you to know with personal revelation what your children need," she said. "It's flexible and it's simple. Only you know the taproot for your Primary."
Sister Stevens and Sister Esplin joined Sister Wixom in her testimony of the Handbook by introducing the Leadership Training Library, which will be available via the Internet later this year.
Sister Stevens explained that the collection of videos is a resource that "teaches principles found in the Handbook in a visual way."
Part of the collection will include newly filmed videos of Primaries and Primary leaders in Korea, Brazil, Guatemala and England. These videos are an unscripted, authentic look at how Primaries around the world function, Sister Stevens said.
The library will also include parts of general conference and worldwide leadership training broadcasts.
Sister Esplin explained that each video will include "Learning Links" at the end or beginning of each video which offer suggestions or questions on what to look for and how to review or apply the principles shown in the video.
"What we're all about," Sister Stevens said, "is becoming true followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. We first do that by becoming [true followers] ourselves. This Leadership Training Library helps us see how to do it and then helps us see how we can bless others to become true followers of Jesus Christ."