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Ward Historian

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#1 TheyCallMeMom


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Posted 06 June 2009 - 08:39 PM

Anyone else have this calling? I have ideas but need some background on what you have done Thanks!
"We need more statesmen, and less politicians." Maxel

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#2 pam


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Posted 06 June 2009 - 08:42 PM

I think that would be an interesting calling. I've never known anyone with this calling so I too would be interested in hearing the responses.

#3 Elgama


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Posted 08 June 2009 - 03:26 AM

I am our branch historian - this year has gone a bit pear shaped, but its lovely calling, When I am on top form - I do the basics of noting who is called when, but also include a photo and information about them. take photographs at events, keep scrapbooks, I am also starting to take notes during sacrament and asking people who word process their talks for copies of them which I want to turn into reference books people can refer to. I include any programmes etc, Need to take photos of the two new babies and include them. Something I really must get working on is I want to do an oral history with the older members of the branch and the older members of the branches that have just merged with ours as have realised we still have some there from the building of the chapel but they are getting fewer. We have lost so many I thought would always be there they were such fixtures; Have you spoken to the previous ward historian? Also you have to submit a basic history to the ward clerk by I think 15th Jan - I just do it for the 1st, and do it yearly that I believe gets sent to Salt Lake -Charley

#4 MarginOfError


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Posted 08 June 2009 - 07:38 AM

Keeping the ward history falls under the ward clerk’s responsibilities. However, the bishop may call a member to assist the clerk in preparing the history if this is deemed appropriate. The ward historian does not necessarily need to meet the qualifications of a clerk.

There aren’t a lot of resources available for ward historians, and the calling is extremely open ended. This can be a wonderful thing for someone who is creative and ambitious. If you go to the Church’s “Serving in the Church” section (accessible through the Church’s website) you can eventually find the Record Keeping and Auditing Training (Record-Keeping and Auditing Training). This is a publicly available website, and all members may look at the trainings if they wish. On this page, you’ll find a training called “Preparing Stake and Ward Annual Histories.” This training module explains the very minimum that the Church hopes to get for annual histories. If you do what is outlined in the module, you’ll be well ahead of most units. Anything else you do to add to it will certainly be a magnification of your calling.

My only suggestion to you would be to not focus on events that happen at Church. Collect news articles of what members of the ward are doing in the community. Take note of special events, such as graduations, awards, significant anniversaries, etc. From what I can gather, if the ward history is compiled appropriately each year, it would give a good illustration of the personal growth and development of ward members. In essence, it would show how ward members grew as opposed to what ward members did.

Dude. When both Vort and MOE are in agreement, the thinking has been done. :D

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#5 NeuroTypical


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Posted 08 June 2009 - 10:46 AM

I've never seen a person in that calling, but my current ward has benefitted from one in the past. When the branch started, someone recorded the story about how we had to go from Christian church to church to find a temporary place to meet while the building was being finished. And how we were able to pay that church back by letting them use our building when theirs was damaged by a storm. Our first branch president was an immigrant from Germany, who had been in the Hitler Youth during the war. In the '80's, one of our young women in the ward was murdered, and the top suspects were all ward members. (It turned out to be a non-lds neighbor.) Such stories increase the feeling of togetherness and fellowshipping for a ward, even for new move-ins, decades after the event. LM
If I were rich, I'd have the time that I lack, to sit in the synagogue and pray.
And maybe have a seat by the Eastern wall.
And I'd discuss the holy books with the learned men, several hours every day.
That would be the sweetest thing of all.

If I were a rich man...

#6 TheyCallMeMom


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Posted 25 June 2009 - 06:26 PM

So I am now the Ward Historian.. again, I replace no one so I have no leads to follow Ideas, suggestions are appreciated also to the mods.. I am not here often, so I may have missed it, but maybe a forum for callings so we can find info in the future and learn more about the different church callings.. Its neat, esp as a new member, to see all the different jobs that help the church run! Thanks!
"We need more statesmen, and less politicians." Maxel

Proud mother of 7 beautiful children

#7 UrbanFool


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Posted 17 February 2011 - 01:09 PM

I was just called to Ward Historian. It does seem as if information is few and far between.

#8 cjingerson


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Posted 13 August 2012 - 12:44 PM

This calling was part and parcel of being a Ward Clerk! The responsibility was to have a record of each year in the Ward or Branch. Record keeping is a basic requirement within the Church, "we are a record keeping people" and thus the responsibility of preparing a Ward/Branch History comes under the Ward Clerk and Priesthood.

My wife has this responsibility in our Ward currently and we've been all over the cyber map to find out what we can from today versus what I knew 30 years ago as a Ward Clerk.

Each Quarter the Ward Clerk is responsible to turn in an accounting of all of the activities of the Ward/Branch. All is the key operative word! Thus it requires the training of all of the Secretaries in all of the Quorums and Auxiliaries to submit their monthly reports and in an understandable format. The Clerk has enough to do with callings and releases; keeping track of who speaks and what topics; (we used to keep track of who bore their testimony each Fast Sunday); Baby blessings; Ordinations; and Confirmations - plus weekly attendance. Tithing and Fast Offerings are parts of different reports and are always kept confidential.

Since being called my wife has put together extensive notes based on Church material for her calling. Of course the Secretaries and Clerk now have someone calling them to accountability on a monthly basis as the Stake Historian wants not only a semi-annual report but a monthly report.

Below is the accountability and responsibility:

Preparing the Annual History
Each stake and ward history has two parts:
1. A narrative summary of the work of the Church and
faith of the members in the geographical area of
the stake or ward. This summary includes
challenges, achievements, and important events
and meetings. Lists of ordinances performed and
changes in officers may also be included.
Stake and ward history specialists should include
faith-promoting events taking place in the lives of
members and in Church units. They may draw
from the following sources to create the narrative
and, where appropriate, may include excerpts from
or photocopies of the following:
• Notes or reports or reminiscences
• Extracts from minutes, and so forth. (These
require the clearance of the stake president or
bishop and should not contain sacred or
confidential material.)
• Stake, ward, quorum, and auxiliary organization
• Correspondence
• Photographs (preferably black and white, with
place, name, and date identification)
• Newspaper clippings (preferably photocopies)
2. Officers Sustained forms from stake and ward
conferences held during the year.
• Officers Sustained (Stake) (32300)
• Officers Sustained (District) (32301)
• Officers Sustained (Ward/Branch in Stake)

Stake presidents and bishops have responsibility to:
• Oversee the preparation and submission of the annual history
• Assign the stake and ward clerks, or history specialists working under the clerks' direction, to compile the history
• Provide guidance and direction so that the assignment can be completed
Stake and ward clerks, or history specialists, are assigned to:
• Keep a current and accurate history by recording historical events as they occur
• Work with organizational secretaries and help them prepare and submit items from their organization that should be part of the annual history
• Prepare and submit accurate and complete histories
Organization secretaries are responsible to:
• Work with the clerk or history specialist and submit historical information from their organization as directed by the bishop or stake president and organization president.
Contents of the annual history
Basic option (4 items):
• A submission cover sheet
• The unit's calendar
• Officers Sustained form (responsibility of stake clerk)
• A narrative summary
Comprehensive option (6 items):
In addition to the contents required for a basic annual history, a comprehensive history contains the following:
• Priesthood, auxiliary, and member reports
• Significant records created by or about the unit, such as:
o Reports with key statistics
o Newsletters
o Special programs and publications
o Slide shows and other audiovisual productions (in hard copy or nonpropietary electronic formats)
o Photocopies of newspaper clippings
Narrative summary
A ward history is not just statistics and minutes, but the spiritual journey of a ward. Often the framework of that story is built upon basic statistics and historical notes, but that is just the framework. The narrative could include:
• Faith promoting experiences
• Goals, activities, special programs, or special recognitions
• Efforts and improvements in missionary work, home teaching, activation, family history, or temple work
• Natural disasters or other challenges and how members responded
• Service projects and how members' efforts effected the community
• Do not overlook important events and activities simply because they don't receive much public notice. Record information that reflects Church members' "manner of life, their faith, and works" (D&C 85:2)
Examples of source materials
• Notes, reports, and minutes from meetings (with approval from the bishop or stake president)
• Interviews with leaders or other Church members
• Personal journals
• Correspondence
• Photographs
• Newspaper articles
• Ward calendar (print from ward website at end of each month)
Things not to include
• Crafts, trophies, and other objects that will not fit in the file folder
• Membership directories
• Contribution information
• Welfare assistance information
• Church disciplinary information
• Notes or meeting minutes with confidential information
• Any information that would be considered private or confidential
Submitting the annual history
• Do not use staples, paper clips or sheet protectors
• Deliver all ward histories to the stake president/stake historical specialist (or stake clerk) before March 1st
• Use the folder provided by the administrative office; if the history is too bulky, use the folder as a cover sheet. If you need a folder, you can order it as described below
• The stake president and stake clerk sign the folder
• Submit the stake history, including the ward histories, to the Church History Department by March 31st
• The new website www.lds.org/annualhistories contains instructions for submitting annual histories, as well as electronic copies of the Stake, District, and Mission Annual History guide, submission cover sheets, and simplified instructions in various languages
• A new e-learning link will soon be available through the new annual histories website
• Additional copies of the Stake, District, and Mission Annual History guide, submission cover sheets, and simplified instructions, may also be ordered through Distribution Services by phone at 800-453-3860 ext 23800 or online at http://store.lds.org (unit login required)

This is lengthy but hopefully helps - anyone who needs to contact me - please do so - chuck ingerson Kingsland GA Ward/Stake

#9 Joannedecker


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Posted 05 November 2012 - 01:20 PM

I have been called as the Stake historian in a brand new YSA stake. I am not a single adult. I feel I need to guide the ward historians but I have no idea how to guide them since I don't know what I'm doing myself. I have been taking pictures at stake activities. I have also had the bishops and stake president save temple marriage announcements. What else can I do? How can I guide the ward historians so they feel they have a meaningful calling? Needs help in Arizona

#10 cjingerson


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Posted 05 November 2012 - 02:13 PM

Well the Scriptures direct us to pray to Father - and we'll get the support we need from Him - this is not taken lightly as direction but it is the best place we've always found to start. The above material is of value - but maybe having a meeting of those called to assist in each of the Wards - and explaining to them the importance of taking notes - making and keeping reports. The fact that it is a brand new stake is of great value - and much easier to get started correctly. We've been informed that President Monson personnally reviews these annual submissions. There's a hymn - which includes the line, "Angels above - silent notes taking..." and this is what I used to use in training the various auxilary and quorum secretaries. We've a form we send monthly to each of the auxilaries and quorums - and I'll send you a copy. It makes reporting very easy. One of the keys to the restoration of the Gospel is that if it's not recorded it never happened. Willford Woodruff showed the importance of this in his diaries - and that they Church has always had a Historical Record kept. Hope this helps - chuck

Edited by beefche, 05 November 2012 - 04:07 PM.
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#11 mnn727


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Posted 06 November 2012 - 08:50 AM

We have one in our Ward, he asks for quarterly reports from the various organisations of what their members are doing.
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