When Stewards Take Ownership

“J. Reuben Clark Jr. said: “In the service of the Lord, it is not where you serve but how. In the Church…one takes the place to which one is duly called, which place one neither seeks nor declines” ( Conference Report, Apr. 1951, 154).

The Church has no professional clergy. The call to leadership positions worldwide is drawn from the congregation. We have no seminaries for the training of professional leaders.

“Everything that is done in the Church—the leading, the teaching, the calling, the ordaining, the praying, the singing, the preparation of the sacrament, the counseling, and everything else—is done by ordinary members, the “weak things of the world.”” (Boyd K. Packer- The Weak and Simple of the Church, October GC ,2007).

It is remarkably simple when a national or local leader is released and a new one called.  The new leader will recommend his or her counselors and they will be called. The outgoing leadership will not fight against it or in some way oppose their removal. They understand that their calls have been for a short time. They have been “stewards” not owners of their callings. Elder Packer explains that:

“We always know who is called to lead or to teach and have the opportunity to sustain or to oppose the action. It did not come as an invention of man but was set out in the revelations: “It shall not be given to any one to go forth to preach my gospel, or to build up my church, except he be ordained by some one who has authority, and it is known to the church that he has authority and has been regularly ordained by the heads of the church” (D&C 42:11; emphasis added). In this way, the Church is protected from any imposter who would take over a quorum, a ward, a stake, or the Church.”

When appointed stewards begin to think they are the owners of their postions, the natural man too easily becomes corrupted. I am happy to be part of a church that teaches that we are stewards in the Kingdom of the Lord, and that ownership belongs to our Heavenly Father.




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