A Disciple and Mentor

Thursday, May 1

5-By Gary McDonald of Blue Springs, Missouri, USA

Let the church be admonished that the times are portentous and demand faithful adherence to the faith and work of the church, that humankind may be blessed by and find peace in those religiously social reforms and relationships which have been divinely imposed as a great task of achievement.

—Doctrine and Covenants 137:6a, adapted

Several years ago, I had the opportunity to tell Austin what I thought of him. First, let’s go back five decades to when I was 16.

Our family moved from the Southwest USA to the Pacific Northwest, and I felt anchorless. My parents uprooted and removed me from my friends and mentors, and I was casting about for replacements. That’s when I met Austin. He served as a priest, but he also functioned as a deacon. He generously taught my cousins and me the importance of the deacon’s role.

Weekly, he would recruit us to help. We would follow him around and do what he did. In those days, we gathered two or three times a week. Austin was fussy about details. He was precise. Everything had to be just right.

The comfort of the worshiping congregation was important to Austin. The room’s temperature had to be perfect. Proper ventilation was necessary. He made sure we greeted the people cheerfully. Receiving the offering in a professional and proper manner was critical. Under his instruction, we learned the ministry of the deacon.

When I unexpectedly came across Austin in a public place, it gave me the opportunity to express my gratitude. He offered himself in service on many occasions. He volunteered because he knew it was important to bring the next generation into the Lord’s work.

He was always cheerful and patient. I looked up to this man. I still look up to him for reassurance and guidance. I think Austin is a disciple of Christ, one with whom I felt honored to work.

We never know what influence we have on others. Austin’s influence on me was significant. I am grateful he shared his passion for Christ’s mission.

Prayer for Peace
Tender Shepherd, we thank you for the gift of other shepherds who bring blessing to our lives. Thank you for those who carry forward a legacy of service. Thank you for those who provide an example of Christ’s peace.

Spiritual Practice: Develop Disciples to Serve
As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are called to respond to people and their needs. Pray about using your skills to help another person. As you feel affirmed, thank God for the opportunity to be a responding, serving disciple while you move into the outward journey.

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will share with another the skills I pour into my passion.

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