The hinted changes have arrived. It’s official now. I’m no longer Ward Mission leader. I’m Elders Quorum President. For those of you who have no clue what that means, join the club. 🙂 I’m trying to come up with an easy way to give an overview of it, but I’m drawing a blank. That’s where Wikipedia steps in, right? See the full definition below my post, if you’re curious.
So how do I feel about this? Mixed. On the one hand, I really enjoyed being a Ward Mission Leader. I loved working with the missionaries, and it brought me back to my own mission. Plus, I knew what I was doing. I had been a missionary for two years. I know what that’s like, and I have an idea how to help them do their thing. Elders Quorum President? I’m just not as sure. The definition is too nebulous for me just yet. It’s still too overwhelming–I’m not sure where to begin.
Of course, the $1,000 question is: will I be busier with this calling? The answer would typically be a resounding yes. But in this case, I’m not 100% sure. I might break even. I was doing a lot with the Ward Mission. Now I’ll be doing a lot with the Elders Quorum. However, I have two counselors who are great guys, and they’re there to help spread the load. That isn’t something I had as WML. Also, I’m more in control of my destiny–as WML, there were sometimes rules that would pop up that came from the mission. I had no say in those rules or their interpretation, so I was sort of at the mercy of whatever came down the pike. I’ve got a bit more say in what happens to my quorum, though. That might be nice. We’ll see.
In any case, I’ll be busy. Moving projects, wood projects, coordinating snow removal, teaching Sunday lessons, organizing activities, coordinating home teaching–just a slew of things to be done. My mind’s sort of on a permanent whir, processing where I want to begin and how. For now, the first presidency meeting is going to be Friday. I’m coming up with an agenda and looking for ideas.
Wish me luck.
DEFINITION OF AN ELDER (from Wikipedia, but still pretty accurate in this case)
“Elder is a priesthood office in the Melchizedek Priesthood of denominations within the Latter Day Saint movement, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, male members who are at least 18 years old may be ordained to be Elders. In order to be ordained, the member must be determined to be worthy by his local Bishop and Stake President. The consent of the priesthood holders of the stake is also required before the ordination is performed, and this is usually done at a general stake priesthood meeting that is held twice a year.
“According to Latter Day Saint scripture, the duty of an Elder is to “teach, expound, exhort, baptize, and watch over the church.” Elders have the authority to administer to and bless the sick and afflicted, to “confirm those who are baptized into the church, by the laying on of hands for the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost”, to baptize and give others the Aaronic or Melchizedek Priesthood as directed by priesthood leaders, and to take the lead in all meetings as guided by the Holy Spirit. An Elder may ordain others to the priesthood offices of deacon, teacher, priest, or Elder.
“In practice, Elders are responsible for many of the day-to-day operations of a ward. They are called to serve in a variety of positions throughout the ward, such as Aaronic Priesthood quorum advisors, scout leaders, ward mission leader, and the Sunday School presidency. Elders and High Priests (assisted by Teachers and Priests) are also responsible for home teaching in the ward.
“Elders are organized into quorums that may contain no more than 96 Elders. A quorum president, along with two counselors, is called and set apart under the direction of the stake presidency, and generally serves for one to three years, although there is no official policy on the length of service. A secretary is also called to assist the president and his counselors.
“All adult men in the ward, whether they are faithful or not, are assigned to either the Elders Quorum or the High Priests Group as directed by the Bishop. However, ordained Elders and High Priests are assigned by default to the quorum or group consistent with their ordination.
“The title “Elder” is not normally used as a personal title (e.g., Elder Evans, Elder Johnson), except by the Church’s General Authorities, Area Seventies and full-time male missionaries. Often, full-time missionaries serving within a ward are referred to by the members as “the elders.””