Worthiness is key to fitness to serve

The manner in which the Lord calls His servants was discussed by President Gordon B. Hinckley of the First Presidency in an address in the priesthood session of the April 1982 general conference.

He said two letters complained that eligibility to serve in responsible offices in the Church is equated with financial success. One letter writer claimed that it seemed that in order for a man to qualify to serve as a bishop or stake president it is necessary for him to demonstrate a capacity to gather wealth, that men of modest means and humble vocations never seem to qualify.President Hinckley said that is a false perception. "Out of the experience of nearly a quarter of a century in organizing and reorganizing scores of stakes, I can say that the financial worth of a man was the least of all considerations in selecting a stake president," he said. He further said: "I think I speak for all of my brethren when I say that in selecting a man to preside over a stake of Zion there is much of prayer and much of seeking the will of the Lord, and only when that will is recognized is action taken.

"It is with us as it was with Samuel when he was sent to find a successor to Saul. When the first of Jesse's sons

EliabT passed by, a fine-looking man, Samuel was favorably impressed.

"But the Lord said unto Samuel, `Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature

or might I add parenthetically, on his financial statementT; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for the man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.' (1 Sam. 16:7.)

"I am confident," President Hinckley added, "that it is so, likewise, with stake presidents in nominating men to serve as bishops, and with others in the selection of various Church officers. . . . Personal worthiness is the key to fitness for office in the kingdom of God."

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