• Quote of the Day

    “Surely the reason Christ said, ‘Father, forgive them,’ was because even in that terrible hour He knew that this was the message He had come through all eternity to deliver.”
    —Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

Band of Brothers

For openers, I’d like to highlight the article “Band of Brothers” by Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in this month’s Ensign magazine. In it Elder Wirthlin discusses the lessons we can learn from the experiences of Easy Company, a group of World War II paratroopers whose story is recounted in Stephen Ambrose’s book Band of Brothers. (For you at FMH, Elder Wirthlin says right up front, “Please understand that when I speak of ‘brotherhood,’ I include our wonderful and indispensable sisters in that definition.”)

The message has to do with the relationships we form with one another in our Church assignments. Elder Wirthlin says, “Establishing a bond of brotherhood is critical. If those who serve with you feel this mutual love and trust, the work of the Lord will thrive and heaven will aid you in your efforts. Fail to establish this bond, however, and you may find your work tedious, toilsome, and unproductive.”

Among other things, Elder Wirthlin discusses the value of a great cause in establishing this bond of brotherhood and sisterhood. He notes, “You can get people to work by using threats or promising rewards. But if you want to create a band of brothers, you must inspire those who work with you and encourage them to give their all in a great cause.”

I find this a remarkable message from a man whose addresses I always enjoy reading. This one was originally given at a seminar for new mission presidents in 2006. I can see how it may apply particularly to mission life, but it has wise counsel for us all.

I’m dealing with some difficulties in my present Church calling because of those who create cliques and foster an “us-against-them” attitude between different groups within the ward. I’m going to see if I can use Elder Wirthlin’s words to inspire some change.