We had a special stake conference this past weekend. Four general authorities (including an apostle, one of the presidents of the Seventy, another member of the Seventy and a counselor in the Presiding Bishopric) were in our state for a Priesthood Leadership Council on Saturday (a meeting with stake presidencies, bishops and perhaps other priesthood leaders from across the state), and then they fanned out over four stakes for special stake conferences on Sunday.
But those stories are not the point of this post. Instead it’s two other things that struck me.
First, he mentioned that in his role in the Presiding Bishopric he meets with the First Presidency every week. For last meeting before coming to our conference, President Eyring and President Uchtdorf were absent, and they met just with President Monson. Bishop Davies observed that he often reminds himself that it is a privilege that the vast majority of Latter-day Saints will never know: meeting the prophet face-to-face. I was heartened by his acknowledgement of that fact.
I’ve never met President Monson, though I have shaken hands with President Eyring and President Uchtdorf, both long before they served in the First Presidency (and perhaps before their call to the Quorum of the Twelve). And I’ve shaken hands with a couple of other apostles in my life, in connection with meetings where they spoke and shook hands with many people. I have no doubt they have no recollection of me, even though I remember the circumstances of each of those meetings clearly.
The other thing Bishop Davies said that touched me was really tender. He was speaking about his own family and told of a family member who had become distant from the church despite years of activity and parental teaching. He spoke of his love for this member of his family, and his acceptance of the circumstances. And he said something like, “So you see, even general authorities have similar struggles to yours. We’re just like you.”
And, though it’s true that he’s not like me because he meets weekly with the Lord’s prophet, I believe he is more like me that I would have imagined. And I’m grateful to learn from his example.