When I was serving as a full time missionary in Kirtland Ohio, my companion and I had the opportunity to be riding in a car down the freeway to a conference with our mission president and an apostle. We thought nothing could be cooler. We were flying high. During the course of our conversation our Mission President paused and asked the apostle, "what one piece of counsel do you have for these good missionaries?" The apostle responded without hesitation. "Follow the Bretheren and don't stop, do it throughout your life."
Interestingly, Amy's Mission President in Germany used to say the same phrase over and over again when she was serving there. We have been blessed in our lives as we have followed the counsel of living prophets, apostles, seventies and their wives.
We have had the opportunity to interact with leaders of our church on a weekly basis. They are men and women of God. They love us and the people they serve. They want nothing more than to help others have greater peace and prosperity in their lives They indeed are striving to have charity, the pure love of Christ. I have learned more fully that they are also grandmas and grandpas who love their families and have problems and weaknesses like any other family. They have learned however how to deal with problems and weaknesses by applying the atonement of Jesus Christ in their lives. They understand the covenants they make with God weekly in sacrament meeting and when they attend the temples. They are consecrated in every way.
This last weekend as I was speaking with a general authority, he said he was called as a general authority when he was 49 years old. He left his vocation as a lawyer, his home of many years in Seattle and moved with his four children to South America. He has been serving 9 years full time for the church and will serve full time till he is 70 years old, 13 years from now. What tremendous sacrifice and service! The Jaggi family is serving for 3 years. We are blessed to be here. We love our service. How small our service is though compared to our wonderful leaders.
We have had beautiful conversation and interactions with these great men and their wives. I document their names for my posterity's benefit. That they may know that I know they are men and women called of God. That they serve him faithfully for the majority of their "older adult" lives. Elder Arnold, Elder Clarke (emeritus), Elder Clayton, Elder Ringwood, Elder Stanfill, Elder Rasband, Elder Christofferson, Elder Sitati, Elder Falabella, Elder Grow, Elder Ballard, Elder Nash and this upcoming weekend Elder Cook.
So how can we "follow the brethren?"
Elder Aldin Porter gave this sage advice years ago about how we can more fully support and follow the great leaders of our church.
First, read the scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon. Speaking of the scriptures, the Prophet Joseph Smith said, “He who reads it oftenest will like it best, and he who is acquainted with it, will know the hand wherever he can see it” (History of the Church, 2:14).