What Are We Doing Up Here Scotty?


Many years ago it was my privilege to attend a church priesthood leadership conference. On the stand for the meeting were visiting authorities and dignitaries. The choir seats were reserved for local Stake Presidents. My Stake President was not able to attend the meeting so he assigned me to represent him at the conference. As I found my seat up front I was pleasantly surprised to find that the seat next to me was occupied by a boyhood friend. He too was sitting in place of his Stake President. We hugged, sat down and talked of old times. The extended chapel was soon filled to capacity and you could see men standing in the doorways trying to catch the words of the great priesthood leaders present that day. It was an inspiring sight to behold. As my old friend and I sat on the stand together we marveled at the majesty of it all. Then he leaned over to me and said with a laugh, “What are we doing up here, Scotty?” It was his way of saying, “How could such common men like us be found in such positions!” It certainly was a true statement.

For me this story captures just how unqualified all of us should feel in serving the Lord. We know of our background and of our limitations. Of course, the Lord knows those limitations better than us, yet He calls upon us anyway. Sometimes he calls upon us to do things that are above our capabilities. A few years ago Henry B. Eyring gave some advice on this subject. He said:

“… the more faithful service you give, the more the Lord asks of you. Your smile is a happy one because you know that He increases our power to carry the heavier load. The tough part of that reality, however, is that for Him to give you that increased power you must go in service and faith to your outer limits… Through the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, our natures can be changed. Then our power to carry burdens can be increased more than enough to compensate for the increased service we will be asked to give…(Henry B. Eyring, “O Ye That Embark,” Ensign, Nov 2008).

Most of us come from “humble” backgrounds, but an oft-repeated statement that I believe to be true, is that the Lord “qualifies those He calls.”  My friend from childhood remembers well the boys we used to be. His humorous remark of “What are we doing up here, Scotty,” was his way of bearing testimony of the transforming power of God that takes place in the lives of those who serve Him. I should know, I’m a living testament of it.


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