Quoting a sign on a dry cleaning establishment to illustrate his point, President Thomas S. Monson declared at the priesthood session, "It is the service that counts."
President Monson, second counselor in the First Presidency, cited the statement of King Benjamin in the Book of Mormon that "when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God." (Mosiah 2:16-17.)"This is the service that counts, brethren."
President Monson quoted the reply of an elders quorum president who at a stake leadership conference was asked, "What is the worth of a human soul?" The man answered, "The worth of a human soul is its capacity to become as God."
"With this perspective firmly in our minds, we are prepared to serve in the great mission of bringing souls unto Him," President Monson observed.
Affirming that "the Lord knows each of us," President Monson told of officiating at the division of the Modesto California Stake. He said he remembered being there many years before when Modesto was part of the San Joaquin Stake. Now, at the Modesto stake conference, he felt the inspiration to invite former San Joaquin Stake Pres. Clifton Rooker to come forward, sit on the stand and to speak. Later, Pres. Rooker was invited to help set apart the two new stake presidencies.
The next morning, Pres. Monson said, he received a telephone call from Pres. Rooker's son notifying him that the former stake president had died that morning, but before he died he said that the previous day had been the happiest day of his life.
"As I heard that message from Brother Rooker's son," President Monson related, "I paused to thank God for the inspiration which came to me to invite this good man, while he was yet alive and able to enjoy them, to come forward and receive the plaudits of the stake members whom he had served."