That They Might Have the Voice of the People – Mosiah 22:1

1 And now it came to pass that Ammon and king Limhi began to consult with the people how they should deliver themselves out of bondage; and even they did cause that all the people should gather themselves together; and this they did that they might have the voice of the people concerning the matter.

Limhi and Ammon were wise leaders. They knew how badly the people wanted to be free, and they also knew that the previous attempts to free themselves had ended in tragedy. How did they go about determining how to solve the problem? As Mormon relates in the passage above, they reached out to the people for ideas. They gathered the people to counsel together. As M. Russell Ballard has taught, this pattern is effective in families too. This is how he described family councils in an interview in 2003:

I think of the traditional definition that says a family council is a time when a father and mother sit down and go through a list of dos and don’ts with their children. I was never able to make it work that way. I found that when the list came out, it turned the children off. So I tried bringing up a specific problem—such as the garden needs weeding—and then simply asked the family, ‘What can we do about it? What are your ideas?’
A council is when parents let their children help solve the problem. And when everyone agrees to a solution, everyone will have ownership of the problem (“Family Councils: A Conversation with Elder and Sister Ballard,” Ensign, June 2003).

Today, I will seek to involve others in the process of solving problems that will affect us as a group. I will remember that we increase the probability of finding an answer that works if more people are involved in the idea generation process. I will also remember that people are more likely to buy in to a solution when they feel that they have been part of the problem-solving process.

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