It has recently come to my attention that my ward and stake are in a gross state of apostasy. I was completely unaware of this until I saw this infographic on the LDS Newsroom site, but now that I know about it, I really think you need to send us some GAs to reorganize everything, because we’re doing it all wrong here in the suburbs of Austin (and every other place I’ve ever lived, come to think of it).
First thing: in my ward and stake, the bishopric and the stake presidency are the main leadership. But according to the infographic, they are supposed to be marginal, sidelined figures. I had no idea!
Next thing: a quick look shows that the stake RS, YM, YW, and Primary presidencies are the central leaders for the entire stake. We don’t do that at all.
Also, I did not realize that the YM program was an auxiliary. I think this might be news to them.
Further, I had no idea that the stake high council was so unimportant. But look how tiny they are! Here, they are very well known because they speak regularly to the wards, whereas most ward members have absolutely no idea who the stake-level YM, YW, and RS pres, members are, even if they are in those organizations themselves. We are way off-base here in Austin!
Also, our stake has a Sunday School presidency, but apparently those aren’t supposed to exist. Oops.
Also, we are really messing up by having the same women who are in the ward RS, YW, and Primary presidencies serve on the ward council, when this graphic suggests that there are entirely separate women serving on the ward council. (Who are they? What are their callings?)
And as if that weren’t bad enough, our ward council is way wrong, too: apparently it is supposed to have a total of six people with an equal number of men and women, but ours has almost a dozen men and three women.
And here’s where we are really messing up: we have divided our men into an “Elders Quorum” and a “High Priests Group.” But now I know that they are all supposed to be part of one group that is called “the Lay Priesthood Presidency.” I’ve never even heard of this before–that’s how apostate we are down here.
Plus, I don’t think my ward RS Pres knows that they are over the Sunday School and Primary the way that this chart shows.
More generally, this chart suggests that stake and ward leadership responsibilities are roughly evenly divided between men and women, and that the men and women have similar roles. Um, I don’t quite know how to put it gently, but: we do nothing of the sort down here. Here, almost all leadership responsibilities are given to priesthood holders. Who are all male. Wait . . . are we doing that wrong, too?
Julie M. Smith