Run by Revelation

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Boyd K. Packer Shares an Experience

Years ago I was a member of a stake high council. There was presented to the high council a man to be a bishop of a ward. He had been approved by the Brethren. Then they presented the men he had nominated as his counselors. One of the men was the husband of a woman whom I knew to be a gossip. She had injured many people with her gossip. I thought, "A man like that can"t serve. His wife is too much of a gossip." When the vote was taken, two of us voted against it. But the stake president said this: "Brethren, there is a greater principle here. He should have the right to nominate his counselors. I feel to approve it." And he asked for another vote, and we all voted in favor. But I didn"t feel very good about it.

When the conference came, Elder Harold B. Lee was the visiting General Authority. When it came time to set apart and ordain the bishop, Elder Lee took care of that, and he ordained and set apart the first counselor. When the other counselor came forward to be set apart, Brother Strong, the other man who had voted against him, said to me, "Now we will see whether the Church is run by revelation or not." Elder Lee put his hands on this man"s head and began the setting apart. Then he hesitated and said something like this: "The blessings pronounced upon these other brethren apply to you as well. But for you there is a special blessing. …"

It was a long blessing on keeping counsel, about not talking with his wife about problems in the ward—a marvelous blessing. I was amazed. At the next meeting, one of the brethren asked the stake president, "Did you tell Elder Lee about Brother So-and-so and the problem that had been raised?" He said, "No, I meant to, but we didn"t have time."

I had the privilege of asking Brother Lee, "Did you know about that problem with the man?"

"No," he said, "I didn"t, but l felt something when I went to bless him."

I learned a great lesson. This church is run by revelation. It comes to those who have the responsibility to preside. I am not sure you could get me to vote against a proposition presented by my presiding authority. I"d be very careful. He might just be a common old stick, but it would be the position that counts.

So in our home, we don"t talk about the bishop. We talk about the bishop. We don"t just have a bishop. We have a bishop. And we have home teachers. And we have a stake president. And in this Church we have a prophet. And it"s the position that counts. And the power and the authority go together.

God grant that we who hold the priesthood will be obedient and sustain all those who are called to preside over us. I bear witness that God lives. Jesus is the Christ. President Spencer W. Kimball is his authorized representative on this earth. These brethren on the stand here are servants of the Lord. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Boyd K. Packer sharesd this experience in the New Era, June 1977