Today we had stake conference. This one has been much anticipated for two reasons announced weeks ago: 1. Our Stake Presidency was to be reorganized, and 2. Elder Holland was coming to preside. Wow! Each week in Sacrament Meeting, we've been gently reminded to prepare to fully participate and take advantage of having a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles visit our stake.
Many times I've been in the congregation when a visiting authority presided--but as near as I can remember that was always in quite a large arena, convention center, stadium, what have you. In Moses Lake, Elder Scott came for a Regional Conference when Sam was a baby. Here in Eugene, Elder Maxwell did the same when we'd only been here a short time. I don't remember ever sitting in a chapel with a visiting Apostle of the Lord--visiting Area Seventy, sure, but not an Apostle. Anyway, it was a very spiritual, personal experience for me despite the large numbers. Elder Holland shares that spirit with President Monson--you know the one where he reaches out to the one even in the crowd. I don't know how else to explain it.
Our ward did lose our Bishop today, too. He's the new Stake President. I'm happy for them ... that doesn't come across right, but hopefully you know what I mean. He has been such a blessing in our family, especially recently. It would be selfish not to realize what a blessing he could be to the hundreds more in our stake. When I got home from the meeting and told Sam, she was first so excited, then frustrated. "He's still going to be our Bishop, right?" Well, no, can you imagine? We talked about how this would mean a new Bishopric in our ward REALLY soon, and probably a new presiding authority over the youth on both a ward and stake level. Sam has had some real connections with her priesthood leaders and this is a somewhat difficult change since it is probably the first one that she can remember feeling.
As we were talking, I said something like, "You know what lesson to learn from this, right?" Rhett piped in with, "Change is the only constant?" To which we all laughed and I said, "Well, yes, BUT also you'd best be careful what you pray for ..." One small change, like a new Stake President that may seem remote for her personally, has quite a ripple effect. It is a lesson to me that the Lord must know all of us and what is best for us for it all to run so smoothly. Although small ripples may be seen for a couple of weeks or months, there will certainly be no waves that rock the boat.