“Take a man of the weakest intellect of any in a ward and ordain him a bishop, and then let every other man in that ward be filled with the power of his holy calling ... their faith is concentrated upon him; they pray for him early and late, that the Lord will fill him with wisdom, enlarge his understanding, open the visions of his mind, and show him things as they are in time and in eternity. You all know that even such a man would become mighty in the house of Israel, if he had the faith of the Ward.” ("Journal of Discourses," vol. 7:278.)
With that powerful witness as an impetus, we never again have to say within ourselves, “How could the Lord have possibly chosen him? This doesn’t seem like inspiration to me.”
Oh, how choice and wondrous are our possibilities as Saints of God, busy in the workshop that teaches us how to follow the Savior, how to try out for ourselves the things he has urged us, by example and precept, to do and to be. We are practicing our religion; we are becoming doers of the word.
If we think of it, we should be happy to have our place in the kingdom, our chance. When the system works it is wondrous to behold: A qualified, gifted teacher sits in a Sunday School class listening to a woman who has never taught a lesson before struggle through the material before her. He accepts her efforts and learns what he can from her. He gives her his encouragement and support.
A Mormon bishop who has held power in his hands for several rich and meaningful years not only passes that power on willingly, but humbly accepts his next calling as a Primary teacher. He understands; his conversion and commitment are intelligent and complete.
Promote, favor, champion, relieve — sustain one another in this work, which goes forward under the direction of our all-powerful and all-loving Father. Miracles take place at the hands of flawed, imperfect mortals as this process unfolds. When we are united, it brings us joy to see the growth and unfolding of others. And the forces of evil, the forces of the world, have no power against us.
The LDS Church — serving and magnifying the gospel; brothers and sisters serving and lifting one another — with Brigham Young’s sweet, gentle admonition in mind:
“God bless the humble and the righteous, and may he have compassion upon us because of the weakness that is in our nature. And considering the great weakness and ignorance of mortals, let us have mercy upon each other.” ("Journal of Discourses," vol. 9:158.)
Susan Evans McCloud is author of more than 40 books and has published screenplays, a book of poetry and lyrics, including two songs in the LDS hymnbook. She has six children. She blogs at susanevansmccloud.blogspot.com.
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