Doctrine and Covenants 107 verses 85–87 charge the president of the deacons quorum, the president of the teachers quorum, and the bishop, who presides over the priests quorum, to “sit in council with them.” Effective “counseling together” is best accomplished when:
- Inclusion is fostered. There is “wisdom in counsel” because many minds with many perspectives will find better answers. Inspiration flows best when everyone seeks it and finds their ideas are valued. Creating a safe environment for discussion requires leadership skills, which improve through thoughtfully counseling together. This means the leader of the council must not constrain discussion by proffering opinions too early. As council members’ ideas are respected, they come to take ownership over the results, even if their specific comments do not find place in a final decision. (See M. Russell Ballard, “Strength in Counsel,” Ensign, Nov. 1993, 76–78.)
- Priesthood keys are respected. When adult leaders actually “let them lead,” the quorum leaders’ keys of presidency will bring promised inspiration into councils. Read or watch one of the following: Stephen W. Owen, “The Greatest Leaders Are the Greatest Followers,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2016, 70–76; Tad R. Callister, “The Power of the Priesthood in the Boy,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2013, 52–54.
- Agendas are created and followed (see Sample Presidency Meeting Agenda). Teaching the presidency how to create and use an agenda is an opportunity to prepare them for their quorum meetings. Agendas take pressure off of the young leader, guiding the flow and pace of the meeting and liberating him to focus on impressions of the Spirit and engage the whole council. See an example of a quorum president conducting a quorum meeting: “Aaronic Priesthood Quorum Meeting.” (See possible questions in the “Counsel Together” section in each lesson in Come, Follow Me—For Aaronic Priesthood Quorums and Young Women Classes.)
- Prior preparation is provided. If quorum members receive the agenda in advance, they will arrive prepared, having discussed ideas with others and pondered and prayed about them.