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Several years ago, an elderly bishop presided over a large ward in the Salt Lake Valley. His snow-white hair betrayed his advanced age. And the three fingers missing from his left hand evidenced a life lived with the daily peril and toil of farm work.
This bishop had no academic religious training. In truth, he’d never spent a day in a high school classroom. A product of the Great Depression, he had dropped out of school while still a boy to work and help feed his fatherless family.
He enjoyed telling others that he had graduated, with honors, from the School of Hard Knocks. “Our school colors were black and blue—and our school yell was ‘Ouch!’” he liked to say with a smile.
Perhaps one who did not know the bishop may have asked if he was an ideal fit for such a demanding Church call. (The bishop’s many associates, incidentally, knew that his lack of formal learning didn’t reflect his capacity or intelligence. He was typically, they agreed, the smartest man in the room.)
But the bishop never asked such questions of himself. He believed the Lord had called him. That was enough. And each day he gave his best to God, shepherding and blessing those he was set apart to serve.
That bishop understood and accepted a promise uttered decades later by President Thomas S. Monson: “When we are on the Lord’s errand, we are entitled to the Lord’s help. Remember that whom the Lord calls, the Lord qualifies” (“Duty Calls,” Apr. 1996 general conference).
President Monson’s pledge continues to reassure anyone feeling overwhelmed, reluctant, humbled, inadequate, or simply scared of a new Church calling.
To read the full article on LDS.org, click here.