A President of Seventy
…Previous Church assignment: Ordained A Seventy
that capacity met and worked closely with Senior President Keith Knighton, a good friend ever since. Our Beetle (C Brooklyn Derr) was also called to the same presidency, as, if memory serves, were Russ Shipp of Newport, Rhode Island, David Ailshie of the Lynnfield Ward, Bill Ence of Worcester, and Rick Eyre (later to make a career of Joy School).

The Boston Stake extended to Worcester on the west, to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on the north, and to Smithfield, Rhode Island and Cape Cod on the south. This was my first stake-level calling and therefore the first of several traveling assignments I would have in New England: our Presidency met monthly in Newport, Rhode Island, with our supervising High Councilor Gary Crowder, and we would frequently attend other wards and branches by way of supervising their Ward Missions. Beginning then, we put a lot of miles on Brunnhilde.

Church travel was not yet an every-weekend thing, however. Within the ward, my office in the Seventies’ Presidency made me ex officio ward mission leader, group leader of my fellow seventies, and a member of the bishop’s Ward Council and Priesthood Executive Council. Most of the time, I was still able to attend my own congregation’s regular meetings in Cambridge.
Speaking of overlapping, this may be my best opportunity to bring up a peculiarity of the organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that was then becoming increasingly central to my evolving rôle in its leadership. It does appear to me in retrospect that much of my “ Church career” has been devoted to maintaining the interface between the missionary effort and some other aspects of the Church’s endeavor.

At every level, from the central General Authorities to the individual member, we Latter-day Saints were and are held responsible to make people around us aware of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as we have received it, to invite them to partake of its blessings, and thus to bring them into the Church when and where we can.

I’ve mentioned the Missionary Committee of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles, which directs the worldwide army of full-time missionaries who labor in missions such as the French Mission over which Pappy presided from 1967 to 1969. Within the typical Mission, hundreds of young men and women devote full time, at their own expense and that of their families and friends, to proselytism.

In the same places, worshipping together and sharing fellowship with “the missionaries,” local members live their normal lives (in the world, but, one hopes, not altogether of it) and take, under the direction of ecclesiastical leaders, very diverse rôles in the life of what we like to call the Restored
…Next Church assignment: Billerica Ward Teacher Development Director
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