Under assignment from the stake

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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?

6 thoughts on “Under assignment from the stake

  1. Good point. Sometimes you can give good advice but people just don’t want to hear it and will avoid the truth.

    What use is it to share the gospel or tell the truth if some people will avoid it?

  2. Whether or not it was good advice do you think it was really your place to give it?

    If it had have been a stay-at-home wife instead of husband would you have still talked to her about it? Do you think they would have given you the same cold-shoulder treatment if that had been the case?

  3. “do you think it was really your place to give it”

    The stake president seemed to think so.

    “If it had have been a stay-at-home wife instead of husband would you have still talked to her about it?”

    I doubt it. There were hundreds of “stay-at-home wives” in our ward and the stake president never asked me to visit any of them in the same capacity.

  4. Kim was under assignment. His opinion wasn’t asked about approaching the family. As EQ president. Did he want to? Not really. Did I want him too? Not at all. They held it against him and his councillor (probably still do) for a very long time. And personally, it made no difference to him (Kim) what their situation was. But his duty was to do what the SP asked him to do.

    Oh, and you can leave your name, anonymous. Kim doesn’t care if you criticise him :)

  5. Having been the working partner in a marriage while my husband is off and on the house husband, I can say that there are sometimes reasons for our arrangement beyond what other people realize. In our case, my husband has, over the last 12 years or so, become increasingly mentally ill. (I did not mean that as a joke. For a change.) His capacity to hold a job that can support our family is less and less every year.

    However. If someone came to our home to tell him to get a job so his wife wouldn’t have to work, we would probably be honest about the situation.

    That said, we also know many many people that think because they have a college degree or have held important jobs in the past, that they are above doing certain kinds of work. Luckily, my husband has never felt that way. (He has a master’s degree in Psychology and currently drives a forklift.)

    Anyway, to answer your question, I think it’s always best to do what we’ve been asked to do by those who are in authority, regardless of the outcome. Personally, I cannot tell you the number of times I have been called to repentance by someone, causing me to get huffy and upset, only later to realize that if I’d truly listened and been repentant that I could have saved myself a great deal of heartache. Perhaps the next time this man has a similar situation to the one you were involved in, he will behave differently.

    Then again, what do I know? I’m married to a loon, which makes me mostly loony myself.

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