by Rick Lindgren
Back in the 1970s in the Detroit International Stake, where I was a very young, newly ordained priest, I got to know well two successive bishops who took me under their wing. In recent months, both Hale Collins and Jim Crum have passed away after long lives of service to their church (links are to their obituaries).
Their passing got me reflecting on a basic lesson that they both stressed in every Aaronic priesthood class or get-together they ever sponsored. That lesson was that priesthood is not some “magic power,” rather it is the simple, formal recognition that you accept the role of steward over your small part of the church, as well as your family and personal life.
I haven’t always appreciated that stewardship role. In one congregation in Ohio, I had to get the family at church early every Sunday because the dying furnace in a very scary old church basement usually needed a swift kick to get running. I have reluctantly preached a difficult funeral sermon after a tragic death. But I have also been edified by the stewardship and friendship of many others around the U.S. and England who have supported me and my family through the difficult times that we all face at one time or another in our lives.
We have been gifted in this church with a message of stewardship that cuts to the chase. And this in turn becomes our stewardship to carry wherever it will take us:
“Stewardship is the response of my people to the ministry of my Son and is required alike of all those who seek to build the kingdom.” —Doctrine and Covenants 147:5a