Thursday, August 2, 2012

An Awesome Elders Quorum President

I have long held that a great elders quorum president is an unsung hero in the church.

The bishop gets lots of praise and thanks, and he deserves it, too. The Relief Society president should be recognized as one of the bishop’s greatest co-workers in his ministry, particularly to the poor, and a wise bishop takes great advantage of that resource.

A good elders quorum president may well have (if he's doing everything he should) a church workload quite similar to the bishop’s, but he gets little recognition for what he does. The elders quorum president – the only other Melchizedek Priesthood holder in the ward with keys – does all his work at the retail level. And yet, he's often seen as "one of the guys" among his own quorum and among others in the ward.

I thought about all of this yesterday as I attended my nephew’s ward for his mission farewell talk. (He was also awesome, by the way – really awesome!) In the third hour, the bishop led the combined elders quorum and high priest group in a discussion of a couple of topics of importance to him, including home teaching. Toward the end of the bishop's comments on home teaching, the elders quorum president stood briefly to remind his quorum he had just redone the home teaching assignments (he’d made the same announcement in opening exercises), and then he did the awesome thing: he bore his testimony of the inspiriation he had received in making these assignments.

It was the bearing of that testimony that was moving to me, and I’m not even in his ward. And yet, I could feel that here was a quorum president who had counseled with the Lord and sought His guidance in making the assignments he had. He may well have counseled with others (and would have been wise to do so), but he made it clear that these were not just assignments based on geography or demographics, but on spiritual confirmation.

I believe (and hope) this happens in the church more often than we realize, that local leaders who are doing their best to honor their covenants and magnify their callings go to the Lord for His help and guidance in the work He’s called them to do. I know I did when I was an elders quorum president and a bishop. And I watch my lovely wife do the same in her present calling in the stake Relief Society presidency. I know that many Primary teachers pray about how to reach one or another of the kids in their classes. I know that youth leaders pray to understand how to approach a particularly surly youth to help soften his heart to the possibility of spiritual influence.

We’ve all heard the occasional story of a calling made out of desperation rather than inspiration. But I believe and hope those are the exceptions. I’ve sat in plenty of corporate personnel meetings in which we’ve tried to decide who should do what job. I’m happy to say my experience in the church is very different as we prayerfully considered who to recommend or who to call.

So, kudos to that elders quorum president, and to all those local leaders who seek to magnify their callings by seeking to know God’s will for them in their service.


  1. Totally agree. I had no idea how much an EQP might need to do - until I served as one with a bishop who travelled a lot. A great learning experience.

  2. "I have long held that a great elders quorum president is an unsung hero in the church."

    Amen. Now I'll read the rest of the post.

  3. Hello, This comment is in regards to a dream that you had according to one of your comments left in Aug 2011. I clicked on your name and it lead me to this page. It was a dream in which you were driving on the freeway and not one but two cars were driving in the wrong direction ?? I had this SAME dream this morning . I was driving with my nephew and my niece that I will be adopting (God willing) in a couple years. In my dream I was almost struck by the first car and as soon as i saw the second car zoom past me so I decided to pull over into a ditch . I was terrified , knowing that I just escaped death It was all over the news (in which they were broadcasting everyone's license plates , mine included) I was confused because I survived, so I did not see why they would broadcast my license plates. Apparently those cars were responsible for bad accidents right after I went into the ditch. I was curious to know how your dream was interpreted.

    Thank you for your time

  4. Hi, anonymous. I can't remember where I left that comment, but that dream related to my relationship with my son. In my dream, I was controlling the car I was in AND another car in front of me, and both cars were driving against traffic, and we crashed. I had the dream at least two nights in a row, and after waking up in the middle of the night sweating twice in a row I sought the help of a licensed therapist.

    At the time, my son was having significant struggles, and I was working very hard to control the outcome of those struggles. As my therapist and I discussed the dream, he suggested and I agreed that it represented my attempts to control my son (he was represented by the car in front of me that I was trying to control). And the fact that we were going the wrong way against traffic was indicative that I was doing something wrong. And the fact that we crashed suggested that if I did not change ME, things would likely not end well.

    I don't know if this is different from your dream or not, but I wish you well.

  5. Wow! Thanks for sharing this dream Paul. I am so glad to hear you took it as seriously as you did.

    Sorry, I'm a new poster, infrequent visitor to your blog. But, I just had to post! Dreams have been a large part of my course corrections.

  6. Thanks for your comment, Botts. You'll find a whole post on that dream here: