Carlton, Cathy, Sarah & Jessica
A calling in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) is not something you apply for, or for that matter pursue with any kind of personal preference, but is extended after much prayer and thought by those extending the call from Priesthood Leadership. Such is the case today, as I was sustained by the Members of the Rose Park Stake as Stake President after being extended a call from Elder Bruce D. Porter of the First Quorum of Seventy and Elder Warren G. Tate, an Area Seventy. It's our belief that callings are extended based upon that which Jesus Christ would have, and are a reflection of the needs that our Savior feels is needed for that congregation at that given time. While worthiness is a requirement, the extension of the call isn't a comparison of who is more worthy, because many men would have been worthy of the same call. For me, upon extension of the call, I felt a spirit of confirmation that it was in fact a call that our Savior would have extended and I am humbled by the opportunity.
For my friends, unfamiliar with my faith, a Stake is a geographical area made up of Wards or multiple congregations. In the case of the Rose Park Stake, we have eight wards, including a Spanish speaking ward and in total, over 3,000 members. It is a very challenging responsibility of which I'm not paid. I don't do it all by myself, in fact I asked two counselors to serve with me, upon prayer and confirmation of the spirit that would assist with many aspects of the calling. For my First Counselor, I asked Paul Fullmer to serve and for my Second Counselor, Brent Hyde. Both are very capable men, who come with years of experience in serving in the Church and like me, have a love for the Lord and His work. They like me are lay clergy or individuals not paid for their service and in fact everyone who serves under us within our Wards or Stake Callings are not paid for their service.
It's been a very full weekend for my family and me. To be honest, we're emotionally and physically exhausted. If I thought I had to do it, simply based upon the merits of my own ability, it would be impossible. With the guidance of the Holy Spirit, I can do it. It's a clear shift from my service on the Salt Lake City Council. I've appreciated the sixteen years of service there and will complete my term which ends in January. I likewise will have my other or "real" job with Salt Lake County as the Director of the Office of Regional Development. It's work that I'm really enjoying, working with some great people and it too is a new and frankly difficult challenge for me. I am blessed with a great wife, two dedicated daughters and a family that helps me whenever they can. I too have been blessed by my service in the Church and it is very much a part of my life. It is after all, a reflection of what in my life is most important, and helping people be their best, assisting them through their challenges and being a genuine friend is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have. I'm hoping I can sleep a little better tonight!