Sister Lynzi Clyde
Lynzi Clyde was born and raised in Mesa, Arizona as a member of the church. She attended Arizona State University for one year and then transferred to Brigham Young University in Utah. She and her husband have been married eight years and have three children. They currently live in Boston, Massachusetts and previously lived in a Utah ward where Kurt was their bishop.
7:00 Lynzi was called as a Primary president at age 23, with a brand new baby, in a highly transient ward of primarily Harvard Business School students
9:45 The ward youth and primary are combined with a Spanish branch and a Mandarin branch
11:25 Biggest blessing was amazing alignment of counselors: two from the English ward, one from the Spanish branch, one from the Mandarin branch, and a secretary from the English ward
12:35 Creating unity in this primary started by building unity in the presidency. She started with “highs and lows”: what is going well and what do you need prayers for? This allowed them to feel more comfortable and also willing to share ideas with each other. We need to be vulnerable if we are going to touch people
14:35 How to lead with non-English speaking parents: two experiences, one good and one not as good.
- A child with learning disabilities – spent lots of time trying to engage him, but in the two years saw little progress. She told the mom to just keep bringing him back and let him be with them. Three years later, saw him in the hallway preparing for baptism. It could have gone a different way if they hadn’t included him in the primary. We need to work with the parents and communicate the love that we have for their children so they can leave them with us.
- A child from a non-English-speaking family – as it was time to move to Sunbeam class, her mother didn’t want her to move out of nursery. The “rules” say to move the child, and the nursery leaders wanted her to be moved but the mother didn’t want it to happen. Kept pushing the mom and she did take her to Sunbeams, but the girl ran away and got lost in the building. It ended badly and she knew she didn’t follow the spirit like she could have. They later left the branch and she felt she didn’t do what she needed to do to express love.
- How do we support the family and the parents in these decisions?
25:00 We need to stand up for our own revelation. She knows she can be straightforward and demanding when asking for what she needs. She tried to understand the difficulty of the bishopric in this ward as well, but just kept pushing and providing the reasoning. Every chance she got, I would send emails, talk to them in the hall, just a reminder constantly. There’s a balance between advocating for what you need but also stepping back and just take care of the Sunday meeting time.
29:15 Don’t be afraid to have the discussion or push the discussion. What is the worst that can happen? Reference to Barbara Morgan Gardner’s book “Women and the Priesthood”.
30:10 The bishops and counselors always asked “what is your biggest need” – both in the callings, but also spiritually. Get yourself past that barrier of needing to sugar-coat everything. Be willing to speak up. You will feel a closer bond with those that you struggle with in the end.
32:20 Lynzi’s “Learn, Live, Love Yourself” podcast for Latter-day Saint women who are passionate about progress, who like to challenge themselves and learn things. She provides “POP” (power of practice) challenges with every episode.
34:50 How has leading made you a better follower of Jesus Christ? “It has put me on a faster track to spiritual maturity.”
Sister Marcie Bayles
Marcie Bayles lives in Bentonville, Arkansas. Originally from Colleyville, Texas, she has also lived in Southern California and Shenzhen, China. She previously taught high school Computer Science and Math and is currently a Life Coach with five children. She has served as Young Women president and advisor, choir director, primary chorister, branch seminary teacher, ward Primary president, district and stake Primary president, and is currently a temple ordinance worker and Relief Society counselor.
36:10 Marci’s history in both Arkansas and China. She was previously both a ward Primary president and a district Primary president in Shenzhen, China, where they were living for her husband’s work, for six years.
38:15 Shenzhen branch was a branch of foreigners/ex-pats and they could not meet with the Chinese people. The branch went from 30 people to 120 people after six years. Branch/district covered the entire country of China and the district president was a plane flight away.
39:40 The district Primary president was a new calling and much of the business was done by phone. Tried to do monthly personal phone interviews with branch primary presidents and a quarterly group conference call with smaller branch leaders. Sundays were light, but during the week it was lots of phone calls and the challenge of getting materials.
42:20 People felt very connected because they were able to communicate even far apart. She never met some of the women in person.
43:30 Bentonville stake is very different. The difficulty was keeping up with growth and keeping it staffed.
44:30 As a stake Primary president, she focused on having a personal relationship with ward/district presidents so that they know they are known and loved. Followed the principles of Thank, Teach, Testify, and Invite, ministering as the Savior did. You can uplift others and yourself and hope they take those skills and do it.
47:10 Attend presidency meetings. There are things you can’t find out while sitting in Primary on Sundays. One-on-one with the president and then attend the presidency meetings. This was planned quarterly, NOT on Sundays. If you visit regularly, you are there as a resource, not in charge.
50:30 Held quarterly Primary presidents council – limited info/instructions from the Stake leaders, but allowed questions and discussion of problems and how to solve them together with all the Primary presidents in the stake. Didn’t want to add an unnecessary extra but this filled a need and started as voluntary only.
53:10 While she was a representative of the stake president, her job was to be supportive, not mandating other things. Let them creatively solve their problems and support. When asked, “What are we supposed to do?” she would put it back in their court and ask, “What do you think?”
56:20 The Primary presidency calling is NOT about the kids. Interaction is with the adults and the stewardship is with the adults. Minister to the teachers so that they can minister to the children. Teachers have the relationship with the children more than the Presidency.
58:30 Important to help shift the thought that this is NOT babysitting. Primary is the place where you get back what you give. Help teachers understand that they are the ones who have the stewardship for support of these children outside the home. Small things: letters, cards, etc. Teachers should be visiting and building relationships.
1:03:25 There is a difference between reverence and being quiet. We can’t force reverence and sometimes reverence is loud.
1:04:00 As a stake Primary president, remember that you are one of only three women on the stake council. You are representing all of the women in the stake alongside the stake Relief Society and stake Young Women presidents.
1:05:10 How has being a leader made you a better follower of Jesus Christ? Being a leader is being a follower. When you are trying to figure out how to follow Christ, look at what He did, follow how He led—serving and ministering.