Kirby Heyborne is an accomplished actor, narrator, musician, and comedian. He is best known for his roles in Saints and Soldiers, The Singles Ward, The R.M., The Best Two Years, Sons of Provo, and The Three Stooges. He has also starred in numerous television series and national commercial campaigns. Kirby currently hosts the popular BYUTV show, “Making Good.” As an audiobook narrator, Kirby has been nominated for a Grammy, received two Odyssey Awards, and countless Earphones Awards for excellence in narration. He has narrated over 2000 audiobooks, including SAINTS: The Story of the Church of Jesus Christ in the Latter Days.

At church, Kirby has served as a Primary music leader, Sunday School teacher, and bishopric counselor, and is currently the bishop of his ward. He loves spending time with his wife and kids.

Kirby Heyborne, photographed by Justin Hackworth

Kirby Heyborne, photographed by Justin Hackworth


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4:40 Introduction to Kirby. His background as an actor and being bishop. Why did God call me?

6:50 Getting into acting and having faith it would work out

9:00 The Best Two Years movie. It’s still very loved even after 20 years.

10:20 We need to make a movie about the best five years, all about bishops. Kirby describes getting called and how he got started.

12:20 The importance of the law of the lid. Thinking that I have to do it all denies others the opportunity to grow, to strengthen their relationship with Jesus, and to use the talents that God blessed them with. It also took the pressure off him as bishop.

14:00 My job as bishop is to get out of the way and point people to Jesus.

14:30 The first few weeks of being bishop. Building a powerful team and what Kirby took into consideration when calling counselors and people for other callings.

20:00 The unique thing about Kirby’s ward. It’s a new ward with people from everywhere.

21:40 Kirby was called as bishop just as they were creating a brand new ward. He had to call all the leaders.

23:50 “I never thought I would have a testimony of a schedule.” Having a streamlined schedule has allowed him to have a touch point with every organization each month.

25:00 “I think that an executive secretary is the most important calling in the ward.” They are a critical part of the ward.

27:10 What a typical Sunday works for Kirby. What his schedule looks like.

30:15 You might feel a little uncomfortable as a male leader hanging out with the young women but remember that it’s not about you. Let them lead and get out of their way. He shares what he teaches with the young women.

32:25 Ministering with the young women and young men so they have a mentor. The people in his ward know the youth and are very supportive of them.

34:00 Kirby never looks at his phone or has it out when he is in a meeting. It’s too easy to disengage from the person you are speaking with when you hear a buzz from your phone.

35:10 The importance of getting outside. The youth need to connect with nature. They created a calling in Kirby’s ward to create monthly activities that are outdoors and a little bit hard for the youth in the ward.

37:45 A lot of times the girls want to be included in more outdoor activities. They feel left out. They have started doing combined outdoor activities with young men and young women.

39:20 “There is something special about being outside, doing a hard thing.” These experiences are transformational.

41:00 We have to include women as much as possible. They have now called women leaders to also help with the outdoor monthly activities. This also helped relieve the young women’s presidencies.

43:15 Weekly interviews with the youth. Each youth member gets interviewed annually or semi-annually. He shares the questions that he asks them and what he has learned from them.

44:30 Making ward goals to encourage home-centered learning and teaching the gospel. They are trying to build a positive ward culture.

53:10 We are training up the youth. We only have them for six years. We are their only experience with a bishopric before they go.

54:00 The ‘outdoor dudes’ are also present at the other activities and Sunday meetings too. Their main priority is planning the once a month outdoor activity.

56:00 The main goal of the hard outdoor activities is to help the youth become competent adults and help them realize they can do hard things. They are seeing that too many kids are coming home from their missions early because they haven’t had to do hard things.

57:40 You have to be prepared for leadership. Reading your scriptures everyday. You are one day away from leaving the church. One day away from not saying a prayer or reading your scriptures or thanking God for a miracle.

58:30 Just as you prepare to teach a lesson, prepare before you are going in to talk to someone in an interview. Part of inspiration is preparation.

1:00:00 Be careful of bishop fatigue.

1:00:45 Involve your family in everything. Share your spiritual experiences with them. They are sacrificing for you to serve too. They need you.

1:03:50 Kirby shares his final testimony and what he has learned in his leadership.

The Leading Saints Podcast is one of the top independent Latter-day Saints podcasts as part of nonprofit Leading Saints’ mission to help Latter-day Saints be better prepared to lead. Learn more and listen to any of the past episodes for free at

Past guests include Emily Belle Freeman, David Butler, Hank Smith, John Bytheway, Reyna and Elena Aburto, Liz Wiseman, Stephen M. R. Covey, Julie Beck, Brad Wilcox, Jody Moore, Tony Overbay, John H. Groberg, Elaine Dalton, Tad R. Callister, Lynn G. Robbins, J. Devn Cornish, Bonnie Oscarson, Dennis B. Neuenschwander, Anthony Sweat, John Hilton III, Barbara Morgan Gardner, Blair Hodges, Whitney Johnson, Ryan Gottfredson, Greg McKeown, Ganel-Lyn Condie, Michael Goodman, Wendy Ulrich, Richard Ostler, and many more in over 700 episodes.

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