By Emily Freeman
Yesterday we took the youth in our ward up to Temple Square to see the lights.
(I think everyone took the youth in their wards to see the lights yesterday!)
There was a girl with us who is a member of another faith
who had lots and lots of questions as we walked through the sparkly streets.
One of my favorite questions she asked as we walked by the Conference Center was about President Monson.
After I explained a little about General Conference to her, she asked:
“If Conference is only twice a year, what does President Monson do the rest of the year?”
I chuckled a little and then realized that for most of my life I just assumed the president of the church was busy but didn’t know what he was actually doing day by day.
What does he do every day?
I have spent the day today asking everyone in my seminary classes how they would have answered.
I had answers all over the board. Answers you would imagine.
I want to share my two favorite. The first one:
He is helping the one.
The first one I had considered before. Anyone who has heard any of his twice a year conference talks couldn’t miss it. He ministers to the one. God’s servants always have.
“Behold, and lo, I have much people in this place, in the regions round about…Therefore, I, the Lord, have suffered you to come unto this place; for thus it was expedient in me for the salvation of souls.”
Those were the Lord’s instructions to Joseph and Sidney when He sent them out east.
To find people. To minister to one here and another there.
Joseph had scripture to translate, a church to run, a business to attend to, property to manage, and buildings to construct. But this work was and is and will always be about people.
My other favorite answer I hadn’t thought of myself.
When I asked what President Monson did all day someone simply responded:
He has a family. Yes he does, I thought. Yes, he sure does.
Of all titles and responsibilities that rest on the shoulders of the Lord’s servants, the role of father, mother, grandfather and grandmother will always be at the top.
That is the highest calling.
Everyone who has been called to the work feels that.
But there is still ministering to be done, and sometimes that means sharing for a season.
Balancing those two great responsibilities.
I took this picture this summer–
I call it: “The Bishop’s Mower.”
It is a modern remake of a painting I love by President Packer called “The Bishop’s Team.”
It represents work set aside because there was someone in need.
Today my thanks goes out to families who have shared their loved ones with me. To people who have sat alone at church, or eaten dinner alone. To those who have traded vacation days for camp or had an empty chair at a baptism or wedding so their father, mother, brother, sister, grandma or grandpa could minister to me.
God bless you for your sharing. It has not gone unnoticed.
And to you who are ministering–
“Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you, my friends…your families are well; they are in mine hands, and I will do with them as seemeth me good;” (D&C 100:1)
To you who are being shared—
Your family is in good hands…