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Learning the unwritten order of things will help one become a better leader and of more value to the Lord, said an LDS Church official on Tuesday.

President Boyd K. Packer, acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, spoke at a Brigham Young University devotional.Some ordinary, simple things that every LDS Church member should know aren't found in scripture or church handbooks, President Packer told the audience. He called these items the "unwritten order of things" and suggested that everyone learn them through experience and observation.

These things are not so rigid that the church will fall if they are not adhered to, but they add a tone of dignity and order to classes and activities, he said.

As an example, President Packer said, the person who is presiding at a meeting should sit on the stand and sit close to the person who is conducting the meeting. During the church's general conferences, the first counselor to the president of the church sits on the president's right side while the second counselor sits on the president's left.

"That's an example of doing things decently and in order," President Packer said.

In reference to church callings, President Packer said members should not aspire to callings, nor should they ask to be released. It is not wise for members to refuse a call, and members must assume that a call extended to them came from the Lord through inspiration, he said.

When church members seek counsel or a blessing, the order to follow is to approach parents first. If the parents are not available, members should go to their home teachers for a blessing or to their bishop for counsel, President Packer said. Members should not write to the church's general authorities thinking they will get a better answer from someone with greater authority.

"If we could get this one thing taught in the church, a great power would rest upon us," he said.

He expressed concern that missionary farewells during church sacrament meetings are becoming informal family reunions in front of ward members. Bishops should not yield the arrangements of meetings to ward members or the arrangements of funerals or missionary farewells to families, although they can accept suggestions, President Packer said.

The gospel is to be preached at these meetings, he said. This opportunity is being taken away because people don't understand the unwritten order of things, he added.