Career(s): Faith
Just as life is a school, it is a progression in the spiritual realm. If you believe as I do, you realize that everything else we struggle for in this world barely manages to achieve secondary status in comparison to the grand enterprise of becoming perfect and returning to God. To be learned is good, if one uses one’s knowledge to approach ever nearer to the stature of the Omniscient and to the capacity to bless that belongs to the Omnipotent. The riches we gain from our labor are a treasure, if we use them to bless others in love; otherwise, they become filthy lucre and drag us down.

In many religious traditions, one can have a career in the Church, with well-defined opportunities to rise in the ranks and to be regarded widely as learned, honorable, and distinguished. Not, however, in the tradition to which I have the honor to subscribe. One may obtain, as I have, a sequence of offices, titles, powers, and authorities that confer upon their possessors increasing influence and opportunity to serve their fellows, and that progression can look like a career in some ways. But we’re firmly cautioned against regarding one person or class of persons (particularly oneself) above another or seeking personal gain or advantage in any way. The various offices and callings and priesthoods I’ve been granted over the years have been and remain great treasures to me, but they don’t add up to a career: should I choose to see them or to exploit them as such, their values would shrivel and blow away.

Ultimately, when the day comes that I have to be adjudged a success or a failure, I expect confidently that that judgment will focus on an assessment of my value to others, specifically as a husband, father, ancestor, descendant, and disciple. I hope for an affirmative outcome and wish fervently that I were more confident of achieving it.

Here follows, for the convenience of any of my successors who may wish to see it in chronological context, the sequence of duties, opportunities, and ordinances that has constituted the labors, devotions, and consequent joys and challenges in the spiritually-oriented life of an ordinary twentieth-century Latter-day Saint:
1941: Born, brought before my parents’ congregation, given a father’s blessing and the name of Richard Bryan Anderson
5 March 1949: Baptized by Bill Brown and confirmed a member of the Church in Sacrament Meeting, and received the Gift of the Holy Ghost
1953: Received the Aaronic Priesthood and ordained a Deacon by H Duane Anderson
1955: Ordained a Teacher by H Duane Anderson
1957: Ordained a Priest by H Duane Anderson
1958: Called as a Stake Missionary
1959: Called as an Assistant Branch Clerk
1 January 1960: Received the Melchizedek Priesthood and ordained an Elder by H Duane Anderson
31 August 1961: Endowed in the Los Angeles Temple
October 1961: Called to serve in France as a full-time missionary
22 February, 1962: Called as counselor to Rennes Branch President Renaud
6 July 1962: Assigned as senior companion to Elder Dan Aldridge
October 1962: Le Mans District Clerk
January 1963: Mission Editor and Supply Clerk
1964: Assistant Cambridge Ward Clerk for Home Teaching
1966: Cambridge Ward Executive Secretary
1966: University Ward Executive Secretary
19 May 1970: Ordained a Seventy
1970: A President of Seventy (Boston Stake)
1970: Billerica Ward Teacher Development Director
1971: A President of Seventy (Merrimack Stake)
1971: Billerica Ward Mission Leader
1973: Cambridge Ward Mission Leader
1976: Boston Stake High Council
1978: Counselor to Mission President Jae R Ballif
1979: Counselor to Mission President Richard B Tempest
1982: Counselor to Mission President Bruce L Olsen
1982: Stake Clerk to President Gordon H Williams
1986: Clerk to Stake President W Mitt Romney
1987: Regional Executive Secretary
1990: Branch President…
1992: Assistant Nursery Leader
1993: Ward Music Coordinator…
1994: Ward Choir Director…
1998: Ward Teacher Development Coordinator…
2000: A Sealer in the Boston Temple…
2001: Cambridge Stake High Council
2003: Bountiful Temple Ordinance Worker
2004: A Sealer in the Bountiful Temple
2006: Temple and Family History Consultant…
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