Was Mitt Romney the 'quintessential' Mormon stake president?
A look at volunteer LDS leaders
As a city manager, Brimhall worked closely with numerous politicians through the years. He said there are a lot of things one learns as a stake president that would also be beneficial to a political leader.
"A stake president has to make hard decisions, and you have to be concerned about the impact of those decisions on individuals and families," he said. "I think that would be very important to a political leader.
"Also, a stake president has to learn to listen a lot more than he talks. You have to listen to people, discuss their thoughts and consider their ideas before you make a decision. That ability would be of inestimable value to a political leader, I think."
Although Brimhall didn't come right out and voice his support for Romney, he did mention that his granddaughter-in-law, Tricia Tanner Hyer, was part of the Tanner family that was visited every month by Romney while he was serving as stake president.
"He was their home teacher," he said, referring to an assignment given to most adult Latter-day Saints to make monthly visits to encourage, assist and pray with other members of their respective congregations. "He had a busy professional life, and he had the added time commitments of being stake president, and yet he found time to make that visit every month. That tells you something about the man."
Aside from the practical lessons learned as a stake president, Brimhall said the spiritual growth that came into his life as a result of his service was even more profound.
"You can't help but be touched as you see God work in the lives of his children," he said. "You say things, you do things that you know didn't come from you — you know they came from the Lord."
Such blessings, Elder Clayton said, go with the territory for LDS stake presidents.
"When a stake president is set apart (similar to the ordination of a priest), all the blessings of heaven are available to him to help him in his calling, whether he serves in Monterrey, Mexico; Malad, Idaho; or Moscow, Russia," Elder Clayton said. "While there will be some significant differences in their respective ministries in different parts of the world, the experience for all of them will be very, very similar in many ways. They will feel the same inspiration, the same love for the people and the same direction from the Lord as they learn and grow as new stake presidents."
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