Mark Ogletree is originally from Texas and joined the Church right after high school. He attended Brigham Young University, eventually finding his way back to BYU where he is now an associate professor in the department of Church History and Doctrine. Mark taught for 21 years in the Church Educational System where he was a seminary teacher and principal, institute instructor and director, and CES coordinator. He received his bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Development from Brigham Young University; his master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling and Educational Psychology from Northern Arizona University, and his Ph.D. in Family and Human Development from Utah State University. Mark owned and operated his own marriage and family therapy practice in McKinney, Texas, and has written several books and articles on marriage and family related topics, as well as Church history and doctrine. Mark and his wife, Janie, have eight children, 18 grandchildren, and reside in Provo, Utah. He currently serves as a stake president.


2:30 Mark’s conversion story, finding the Church through friends in high school sports
4:15 Teachings of the Living Prophets and The Eternal Family at BYU, and his call as a stake president
5:15 How their service was different during the pandemic, holding month-long ward conferences and using the opportunity to get to know the members better
7:25 Sending members to work in the BYU wards
10:00 Breaking through cultural and traditional bands to get bishoprics and members to turn over responsibilities to Relief Society and elders quorum presidents

  • Getting the members on board: emphasizing in meetings, talks, and individual visits with members, “beating the drum” of delegation in every setting
  • Getting the bishoprics on board: help them embrace their role with the youth so they have something to focus on, and helping them learn to turn people away
  • 18:20 The bishop’s role in the repentance process and what can be delegated to counselors and later to other ward members

20:20 Bishops might struggle to connect with the youth, but they have talents and abilities that are magnified in their calling; be involved in planning and activities, meetings, activities, being with and connecting with the youth

  • 23:35 Routine bishop youth discussions monthly, Aaronic Priesthood training, discussions in BYC meetings, supporting the youth individually in what they are doing
  • Youth discussions: alternated locations, approaching topics that he would come up with through what was discussed in youth interviews
  • Taught the youth to lead meetings and then let them be in charge
  • The adage that “a parent should never do anything for their child that the child can do for themselves” applies to youth leadership
  • You have to have participation to have conversion
  • Experience teaching the young men to plan the year beyond playing basketball each week
  • Helping them understand that they can do this now and don’t have to wait until they are older to lead

33:50 Working with the high council and bringing in younger men to help them learn leadership principles

  • The focus on making high council a revelatory experience
  • Bringing in the best people they can, giving them responsibilities, and getting out of their way

37:30 Doctrines that leaders should understand in their roles: Any scriptures that teach about the Atonement and the restoration, doctrinal teachings that help motivate and inspire us to be committed, and teachings from General Conferences

  • Looking to other loving leaders and representing the Savior to the people in your ward
  • Taking General Conference seriously, taking notes, and approaching it together as a family; “Saturday is for the saints and Sunday is for the world”

44:10 His leadership has been formed by being surrounded by great leaders and learning by watching them lead and serve, and even by those who weren’t as great


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