By Utah National Parks Council
Jul 30, 2017

Let Them Lead: Resolving Conflict

We all find ourselves facing conflict. Conflict often comes from differences of opinion or personality, misunderstandings, anger, or miscommunication. We can follow the example of Jesus Christ and practice conflict resolution tools to ensure that conflict doesn’t become a lasting problem.

President Thomas S. Monson teaches,

“As we follow the example of the Savior, ours will be the opportunity to be a light in the lives of others, whether they be our own family members and friends, our co-workers, mere acquaintances, or total strangers.”


Prepare yourself spiritually

What examples of conflict resolution can you find in the scriptures or modern-day examples? How did Jesus Christ and His disciples resolve the conflicts they faced? How have you resolved conflicts in your own life?

What can you share with the youth that will inspire them to be productive as they face conflicts?

What conflicts have you faced in your life and church classes? How did you resolve them?

As you prayerfully think about the youth in your ward, what do you feel will inspire them to resolve conflict positively?

Prayerfully study these scriptures and resources. What do you feel inspired to share with the youth?

1 Samuel 16:7 (Lord looketh on the heart)
Proverbs 1:7 (Fools despise wisdom)
Proverbs 3:5-6 (Trust in the Lord)
Proverbs 13:10 (Pride causes contention)
Proverbs 16:7 (Please the Lord, find peace)
Proverbs 28:25 (Proud heart stirreth up strife)
Isaiah 9:6 (The Prince of Peace)
Matthew 5:44 (Love your enemies)
Matthew 14:10-14 (In His sorrow, Christ serves others)
Mark 4:37-40 (Christ calms the seas)
Mark 6:34 (Sufficient is the day for the evil thereof)
2 Nephi 2:11 (Opposition in all things)
Jacob 2:20-21 (Avoid pride, all are precious to God)
Mosiah 2:17 (In the service of your God)
3 Nephi 11:29-30 (God’s doctrine, do away with anger)
3 Nephi 14:7 (Ask, seek, knock)
3 Nephi 18:34 (Blessed are ye if ye have no disputations)
3 Nephi 22-24 (Zion)
4 Nephi 1:15 (Love of God means no contention)
Moroni 7:47 (Charity is the pure love of Christ)
D&C 42:88 (If someone offends you)
D&C 59:6 (Love thy neighbor)
D&C121:41 (Love unfeigned)
President Gordon B. Hinckley “Except the Lord Build the House” April 1971
President Gordon B. Hinckley “The Continuing Pursuit of Truth” April 1986
President Thomas S. Monson “Be an Example and a Light” October 2015
President Thomas S. Monson “The Path to Peace” May 1994
President Ezra Taft Benson “Beware of Pride” May 1989
Dale Smith “A Battle of Pride” February 2008
David E. Sorenson “Forgiveness Will Change Bitterness to Love” May 2003
Franklin D. Richards “Be a Peacemaker” October 1983
Henry B. Eyring “Our Hearts Knit as One” October 2008
“7 Keys to Keeping your Cool in Conversations” New Era November 2016
Video: ”Bullying—Stop It” President Uchtdorf
Other resources from your personal experience and inspiration

Teaching in the Savior’s way

The Savior trusted His disciples, prepared them, and gave them important responsibilities to teach, bless, and serve others. How can you prepare the youth to teach others what they learn?


Teaching tip: Watch this video to learn how to invite the youth to act: “Inviting to Act”

Make connections

  • During the first few minutes of this session, help the youth make connections between what they are learning in various settings (such as class and quorum meetings, Mutual, skill challenges, personal study or other experiences). How can you help them see the relevance of what they’re learning in their lives? The ideas below might help:
    • Invite the youth to share how they have incorporated the principles of servant leadership in their activities recently. Has it made a difference?
    • Ask classes and quorums to consider any conflicts or challenges they have faced, especially while camping. How did they deal with them?

Learn Together

Each of the activities below will help the young men and women understand how to resolve the conflicts they will inevitably face. Complete each of the three sections by prayerfully selecting one or more activity in each section that resonates with you and will work best for your class or quorum:

  1. Discuss ways good leadership can minimize conflict
    Choose from these activities:

    • Explain that conflicts occur when people disagreeing with each other seem unable to find a reasonable compromise. These disagreements can arise from many sources, including differences in personality, values, and perceptions. As leaders, the youth will occasionally need to help resolve these conflicts.
      Ask the youth to think of examples of conflict situations they’ve seen arise in their own classes or quorums. Ask them to consider how they could use the principles of servant leadership to resolve these conflicts. Have them share their ideas.
    • Other activities showing how good leadership minimizes conflict as you are inspired
  2. Describe tools for resolving conflict
    Choose from these activities:

    • If the youth notice signs of conflict in their group, they can follow the following steps (see NYLT syllabus pgs. 20-22): Be aware of yourself, be aware of others, listen, and use your EAR (Express, Address, Resolve). Consider doing the following activity to illustrate these points:
      • Have each youth get with a partner. One of them will make a fist. The other has two minutes to convince the first to open that fist (give them a couple of minutes to do this). Ask participants: What happened? Did anyone convince the other to open the fist? What strategies did you try (bribery, concern, persuasion, interest, straightforwardness, etc.)? Explain that if you ask a friend or anyone else to do something and they refuse, you can’t force them to do it.
    • Good communication is key to conflict resolution. Ask the youth to consider everything they’ve learned about good communication so far (refer to the Communication Skills Checklist) and apply it to conflict resolution. How can communication help them when they face problems and disagreements? Have them share their thoughts with the group.
    • Other activities to show conflict resolution tools as you are inspired
  3. Practice using tools and good communication to resolve conflict
    Choose from these activities: 

    • With the other priests and laurels, act out a scenario where two of you are angry at each other (choose a scenario that the other youth will find realistic). Have the session leader play the role of the leader solving the conflict. As the arguing youth express their concerns, show that you are listening. Encourage the two to keep talking, but offer no judgment or feedback. When they are finished, say “I hear what you don’t want. Now tell me what you do want.” Use EAR to resolve the conflict:
      • Express: What do you want, and what are you doing to get it?
      • Why is that working or not working?
      • What ways are there to solve the problem?

    Encourage the other two to keep talking, but now focus on positive aspects rather than negative ones. Help them move toward a solution that is fair and allows each party to come out ahead. Afterwards, ask the youth in the class to review the role play and discuss how the participants used conflict resolution skills.

    • Assign each class or quorum one of the role plays from the NYLT syllabus pgs. 24-25 of Day Four. Have them act out the roleplay and discuss how they would resolve the conflict using their new skills.
    • Ask the youth when they should bring others (like adult leaders) in to help with conflict resolution (like in serious problems involving safety or harassment). Discuss.
    • Other activities to practice conflict resolution as you are inspired

Invite to Act

Ask the youth to consider how they can exercise the leadership skills they’ve learned so far as they face conflict in the future. Challenge them to look for opportunities to use these new skills to resolve conflicts as they work together with their squads. Have them record their experiences in their journals.

Have each class or quorum briefly discuss any conflicts that have faced or are currently facing as a squad. Give them time to discuss possible solutions.

Discuss with the youth what their next skill application challenge will be. Ask them to consider how what they’ve learned about conflict resolution applies to the challenge. Encourage them to apply their new skills and ideas to the activity.

This series was adapted from National Youth Leader Training to help leaders teach LDS youth leadership skills so that those leaders can confidently “Let Them Lead.”

Authors: Maria Milligan and Darryl Alder | LDS NYLT writing team; at Utah National Parks Council, Maria is Chief of Staff and Darryl is Strategic Initiatives Director. Together they help LDS Stakes meet their camping and training needs in a customized basis.


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