John Bytheway has a master’s degree in Religious Education and is the author of more than two dozen books and CDs. He has taught the Book of Mormon at Brigham Young University and now at the BYU Salt Lake Center since 1996. John served as bishop of the Salt Lake Winder 10th Ward, and currently serves on the high council in his stake.

Highlights

4:00 John’s background as a teacher and speaker
5:45 Writing books and how that happens for him
8:00 How his calling as a bishop came about
9:20 Serving as a bishop is different for every person and area; he had people asking for welfare support before he ever sat in the bishop’s chair
10:40 For bishops with significant welfare challenges in their ward

  • First ask what they need and listen
  • Make a three-column chart of what the ward can do, what the Lord can do, and what the individual can do to help them—handing back the problem to the individual so you can work on it together instead of taking it from them
  • Helps eliminate the transactional mentality and replace it with mentoring
  • Help them get their spiritual act together first

16:20 Emphasis to push more things (such as welfare needs) to the ward council; called a “welfare coordinator” couple to help handle welfare requests before bringing it to the bishop
18:10 Moving people closer to financial self-sufficiency and self-reliance

  • Learning experiences as a missionary in the Philippines and seeing similar development in the welfare program

21:15 Ended meetings with his counselors at a specific time, no matter what
22:30 “It takes a really good meeting to be better than no meeting at all”: Virtual ward council held via text messages throughout the week to eliminate much of the administrative points so they could really focus on individuals in the ward council meeting
24:20 Losing the joy in the calling, and how talking with others who have struggled helped

  • Experience speaking with Robert L. Millet and having “same boat therapy”
  • Recognizing that there are difficulties in the calling but moments that made it worth it
  • Fisher missions vs hunter missions: some fantastic stories from great moments, but difficult days, weeks, and months between

31:30 Calling ward members each evening on their birthday was a simple, routine thing that became important for connecting
34:30 Working with youth: firesides are different than teaching a class

  • Taught Sunday School with his wife after serving as bishop, and went back to the simple idea that you have to care for them first
  • Put people in place with the youth who are great examples; youth learn by example, not principles

37:10 Kids will listen differently to a speaker at a fireside because they don’t think that the speaker was influenced by what their parents or leaders are saying (“An expert is anybody from out of town”)
39:30 Stephen Covey: the order of the events in the restoration is a formula for solving life’s problems. Start with identity and relationships.

“If we want to help our children or other people change their behavior, we begin by improving the quality of our relationships with them, and we introduce new ideas before we introduce new expectations and controls. In other words, we help them see the world differently. When a person’s paradigm changes, everything else changes with it.”

44:25 His book about Moroni: Moroni didn’t get to how to run the Church until Moroni chapter 6
46:00 Working with Meg Johnson and Hank Smith

Links

John Bytheway at Deseret Book
John Bytheway, Meg Johnson, and Hank Smith’s OurTurtleHouse.com
Falling Up
Six Events: The Restoration Model for Solving Life’s Problems, by Stephen R. Covey
The Divine Center, by Stephen R. Covey

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