Church: Asian Branch President
…Previous Church assignment: Regional Executive Secretary
A lamb of the flock, without spot or blemish…. In his first canonical Epistle, the Apostle cited Moses, describing in Leviticus the acceptable sacrifice and the prefiguring type and shadow of Him who prayed in humility, both in mortality and before, “Thy will be done.” It’s a daunting standard, and I wish my record rose nearer to its level with more consistency.

I’ve described, more than once, the correct and proper attitude of a faithful Latter-day Saint when a Church leader issues a call to service: we’re supposed to accept humbly and serve diligently until released, then move on gracefully to the next task without drama, and without second-guessing the Lord. I honor and admire my many brothers and sisters whose record in this regard stands as a better example than mine.

It feels as if I’ve already told this story in these pages, but if so, it doesn’t raise its hand when I call out to it via a search engine. It’s been thirty years, now, and the guilty memory keeps rising like some sort of spiritual bovine cud.

March, 1990. Between Sunday meetings in the Belmont chapel. Stake President Mitt Romney guides Valerie and me into his office and raises the subject of the Boston Stake’s ministry to a couple hundred Southeast Asian immigrant converts. Boat people, mostly successful refugees from the horrors of the Pol Pot regime. Mostly children; the adults tend to have no English. He’s set up a congregation, dependent upon the Lynnfield Ward and meeting in their suburban chapel. The pioneering branch president has just moved out of the area, without warning. I’m to be his successor.
My script says, “That’s scary, President, but I’ll count on the Lord to strengthen me for it and on you to supervise me. When do I start, and whom do I have to work with?”

But my actual response was something like, “Aw, c’mon, Mitt. I’ve never been president of anything.” You know that I’m a really good clerk, or counselor, or executive secretary. Remember ‘Prufrock’?
No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two…
…next Church assignment: Assistant Nursery Leader
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