When I was called as elders quorum president nine years ago, I was dumfounded.
I had been a counsellor for a year, so I was familiar with how things worked, but it’s one thing to take care of delegated task; it’s quite another to hold keys that oversee the use of the Melchizedek Priesthood in an entire quorum. To top it off, I was the youngest person in the quorum. It hadn’t even been two years since I had returned home from my mission.
At the time, the bishop was concerned that too many members were coming to him with problems that could have been dealt with by the member’s home teachers or priesthood leaders. Along with the high priests group leader, it was up to me to convince the older members of my quorum to come to me for spiritual guidance and welfare needs.
It was a daunting task, but one I think my counsellors and I were able to accomplish. Through ministry visits, monthly home teaching interviews, and Sunday instruction, we were able to build a rapport and relationship with the brethren than we had previously.
I never gave anywhere near the number of blessings during the two years on my mission as I did the two years as elders quorum president. It was a very spiritual experience.
One experience sticks out though that never spiritually uplifted me. In fact, it left a bad taste in my mouth.
There was a member of my quorum who was not working outside of the home. His wife was. In fact, this brother—who was actually a friend of ours—was waiting for a job to fall in his lap, and his wife was taking up the slack in the meantime. The stake president assigned me to discuss this matter with the brother and convince him that providing for his family was his responsibility.
I took my first counsellor and we visited the family. We chatted a little while about this and that and the entire time I was dreading bringing this matter up. But bring it up I did, eventually. I told him that he needs to get a job and support his family.
They were polite, and he said things like “I have a few resumes out there”. Then we parted.
That was the last they ever spoke to me. They even avoided me at church, and he used his position in the stake to avoid attending our ward. Our friendship had shattered.
He never did get a job until one fell in his lap about a year or so later.
What good came out of it?