`Ordinary' counsel can bring blessings

Some assignments given by the Lord might seem implausible or even distasteful.

At the October 1971 general conference, President Gordon B. Hinckley, then of the Quorum of the Twelve, spoke of an example from the scriptures:"Naaman the leper came with his horses and with his chariot, with his gifts and his gold, to the Prophet Elisha to be cured. And Elisha, without seeing him, sent a messenger saying `Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean.'

"But Naaman, the proud and haughty captain of the Syrian host, was insulted at so distasteful a thing and went away. Only when his servants pleaded with him was he humbled enough to return. And the record says, `Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.' " (See 2 Kings 5:1-10.)

President Hinckley told of a man who, some years earlier, had received a missionary call to the Western States Mission with headquarters in Denver. "He had been to Denver a number of times as a member of the university debate team," he said. "It was only over the mountain. He and his parents had dreamed of a more exotic field, of one of those `faraway places with the strange-sounding names.'

"His friends smiled. Some dear to him doubted the wisdom, the inspiration of his call. Why should so choice a young man be called on a mission from Salt Lake City to Denver? But he went. He became a powerful missionary. There are those today who thank the Lord for his coming. He was named counselor to his mission president and experienced marvelous opportunities for training in leadership. He met there a beautiful girl whom he later married. Out of the remarkable and peculiar opportunities of that mission, there emerged within him qualities that have made him preeminent in his chosen vocation. Today he sits here as one of the Regional Representatives of the Twelve."

President Hinckley added that President Harold B. Lee went to the same field, under similar circumstances, "and out of that obedience came some of those great and marvelous qualities which we have witnessed in his life, and for which we dearly love him."

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