Thursday, October 27, 2011

Mitt as a Lay Leader....

The New York Times printed an interesting article last weekend on Mitt’s service as a leader in the Mormon church. It was fun to read because Mitt served as bishop of the Belmont Ward when we lived there. Hence, nearly everyone quoted in the article were friends or acquaintances from the 1980’s when we lived in Boston.

One story really touched me about the counsel Mitt gave a 19 year old college student who was struggling with addictions and had strayed from his Mormon faith.

This young man met with Mitt, who was the Boston Stake President at the time, about whether he could get back on track to serve a mission, which was something he wanted to do.

The young man had lied to President Romney in the past insisting he was eligible to serve when he wasn’t actually worthy. At this meeting he confessed and fully expected to be condemned for his dishonest behavior.

But, the words of counsel President Romney offered surprised the young man and he has never forgotten them. Quoting the young man, here is the advice Romney gave:

“He told me that, as human beings, our work isn’t measured by taking the sum of our good deeds and the sum of our bad deeds, and seeing how things even out,” recalled Mr. Clark, now 37, sober and working as a filmmaker in Utah. “He said, ‘The only thing you need to think about is: Are you trying to improve, are you trying to do better? And if you are, then you’re a saint.’”

I like that story! All the political hoopla and rhetoric can get so crazy but these are the kinds of stories that tell me what someone is like. I think it speaks well of Mitt’s character and leadership. And it’s a memorable moment is the life of a young man who turned his life around, served a mission and hasn’t forgotten Mitt’s advice.