“Today there are some who would have us believe our search for relevance can be satisfied only by obtaining position and power,” said Elder Michael T. Ringwood of the Seventy in the Saturday afternoon session of general conference.
“Yet, thankfully, there are many who are uninfluenced by this perspective,” he said. “They find relevance in seeking to be truly good and without guile.”
Elder Ringwood explained that his Book of Mormon hero is Shiblon, one of the sons of Alma the Younger, because he wanted to please his father and went about doing what was right for right’s sake.
“In a world where praise, position, power, accolades and authority are sought on every side, I honor those wonderful and blessed souls who are truly good and without guile, those who are motivated by a love of God and their neighbors, those great women and men who are ‘more anxious to serve than to have dominion,’” he said quoting President Spencer W. Kimball.
Using examples of those he has met who were “Shiblon-like”, Elder Ringwood said, “I honor those who selflessly serve each week in wards and branches around the world by going above and beyond in fulfilling callings,” he said. “Even more impressive to me are the many who without formal callings find ways to consistently serve and lift others.”
Elder Ringwood said, “These men and women are not motivated by the possibility of receiving titles or authority. They are disciples of Christ, going about doing good continually and, like Shiblon, they are trying to please their Heavenly Father.”
He added, “It saddens me when I hear of some who stop serving or even attending Church because they are released from a calling or feel overlooked for a position or title,” he said. “I hope they will one day learn the same lesson I learned as a young missionary — that the service that counts most is usually recognized by God alone.”
For those who worry they cannot change the desires of their heart away from “receiving titles and authority,” Elder Ringwood said, “The good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ is that the desires of our hearts can be transformed and our motives can be educated and refined.”