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Annual history

The annual history, comprised of stake and ward histories, helps fulfill the Lord's charge: "Continue in writing and making history of all the important things... concerning my church;... And also, my servants who are abroad in the earth should send forth the accounts of their stewardships" (D&C 69:3,5).

Contents

Responsibilities

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 content 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:
    • Reports with key statistics
    • Newsletters
    • Special programs and publications
    • Slide shows and other audiovisual productions (in hard copy or nonpropietary electronic formats)
    • 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 do not 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 Calendar on LDS.org 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

Resources

  • 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 is now available through the new annual histories website
  • Additional copies of the Stake, District, and Mission Annual Histories 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 store.lds.org (unit login required)
This page was last modified on 13 January 2013, at 01:18. This page has been accessed 30,711 times.