Monday, July 20, 2009

High Council not so Dry

This was High Council Sunday.

Brother Godfrey said that since Bro. Uchtdorf talks about flying, he thought it was ok for him to talk about football. He shared some of his youthful football experiences and then related football to the gospel. Afterwards, Bishop Young (who was conducting) said something like “But Brother Godfrey, President Uchtdorf was a PROFESSIONAL flier.”

Brother Eickmeyer told us a little bit about what High Council is and what they do. He told us that each councilmember had a stewardship over an organization/program/auxillary of the church in the stake. His responsibility is Welfare. He also referred to an Ensign article about a former Stake President serving in Nursery. I thought he had been called to Nursery, but if I found the right one, he just helped out once. -

Steven H. Jensen, “My Turn in the Nursery,” Ensign, Aug 2003, p50

I had just been released as stake president and was relaxing in a Gospel Doctrine class one Sunday when sisters came in seeking volunteers to help in the nursery. Our lesson that Sunday was on the importance of following the Brethren, and for years I had preached the counsel of President J. Reuben Clark Jr. (1871–1961), a member of the First Presidency: “It is not where you serve but how” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1951, 154).

I watched the sign-up sheet come down the aisle toward me. I began thinking of all the possible excuses I could give. “Maybe,” I thought, “they want only sisters to sign up.” Then it was there: the sign-up sheet was in my hand. I imagined a number of eyes watching me to see what I would do. I finally signed up for a time four months away. Surely I’d have a new calling by then.
The months flew by, and one Saturday morning I received a call reminding me that I had volunteered to assist in the nursery on Sunday. The next day I found a room of youngsters waiting. All could walk, but none could talk. When I entered, they all ran to me, and I lifted two in my arms and walked over to look at some pictures. Soon I exchanged them for two other children. We read, played, hugged, and had a good time together.

At the end of Primary, I helped a sister restore order to the room. Soon her son and husband joined her in cleaning up, and I began reflecting on the hours of unseen service rendered by this family compared to the visible service I had rendered. The words of Jesus Christ came to me:
“But when thou doest alms let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth;
“That thine alms may be in secret; and thy Father who seeth in secret, himself shall reward thee openly” (3 Ne. 13:3–4).

I had received many rewards for my service as a stake president. Yet this family too would receive their reward from a Father who knew well of their efforts on behalf of His children, and I felt it would be a great one.

Many thoughts rolled through my mind that day. The children didn’t care what I had once been or that I was well known to their parents. I was humbled, and I gained a deeper appreciation that it really doesn’t matter where you serve but how.

I liked that, but I would have liked it even better if he HAD been CALLED to Nursery. ; )


  1. What a sweet story. We have a couple in our nursery, and he is just the nicest guy and the kids all think he is just wonderful. Bill has subbed in there, and he loves it. But, his favorite daycare kids are in there and she was so happy to see her Beeoo.

    I love high council Sundays. I often find myself totally immersed in what they are saying. I love that my kids are finally old enough to just let me listen. :D

  2. Apparently he had never had a chance to serve in the nursery before. Once you've been there, you never mind going back, I think.

  3. The little ones are sweet. And you get to play and sing fun songs. But the block does get long, especially when Relief Society runs late, which it usually does in our ward.