YSAs often have questions and potential concerns regarding the Church’s history. In this episode, two church historians discuss how YSA leaders can respond to questions about church history and what resources are available.

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1:50 Introduction to Clair and Matt, church historians 2:45 Clair explains what they hope to accomplish by speaking on church history. They hope to be able to provide helpful tips, guidance, and resources. 5:10 Leaders should seek to cultivate trust before they go to counsel someone. Trust is first and with trust comes influence. 11:20 Asking a question is a position of vulnerability for the questioner. Leaders should validate that vulnerability. Leaders should be a continual resource for people and not just give people a one-time quick answer. They should also be careful of making assumptions about the questions that people have. 14:50 What questions can leaders anticipate about church history? Church history questions can get complicated. Set the expectation that it might not be a quick answer. Some questions are going to come with a lot of study and prayer. 16:45 A lot of people have questions about translation and how revelation is received. There are also a lot of questions on the priesthood and temple ban and race restrictions. Not easy to answer. 18:10 The church has taken the time to create resources to answer difficult church history questions. Leaders don’t need to feel like they need a masters in history. You just need to be aware of the resources and where to point people. 20:30 When it comes to church history, it’s easy to go down a rabbit hole until all the questions snowball. It’s easy to lose perspective. It’s like when you hold a small rock close up it looks like a boulder. Help people take a step back and see the bigger picture. 22:45 How has learning about church history strengthened your faith? 29:00 The church historians have been working on the Joseph Smith papers for 20 years now. Matt shares what he has been able to learn while working on this project. 31:20 We are in the day and age where people are googling everything. Sometimes the things that we come across on the internet are only a tiny portion of a much bigger topic. We have to have the spirit and search out answers in the right places. 35:00 Where are you getting your information? Is it reliable? Are there biases? Who can we trust when everyone is saying something different? We have to be careful where we are learning about church history along with asking the spirit to help us. 40:30 What about the church’s resources? The church historians are very careful with all the information put out. They provide sources on everything. 43:40 When it comes to asking questions and for the leader that is answering, the most important thing is to foster an environment where the spirit can be present. Kindness, empathy, understanding, and humility are important on both sides. 47:20 Matt talks about why it’s so important to have humility as we approach questions on church history. People in church history had a much different experience than us that we might not understand. 51:10 The Lord does his work with complicated, imperfect humans. We have to approach the people of the past with love and understanding.

How do we help leaders

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