The Least of the Leaders?


A new deacon taught me—his bishop—what the Savior meant when He said, “For he that is least among you all, the same shall be great” (Luke 9:48).

Our ward needed a new deacons quorum president. My counselors and I knelt in our bishopric meeting, as we always do, to seek the Lord’s approval on this and other callings.

Feeling a confirmation of the Spirit, I set up an interview with Víctor Leonardo Jiménez Gonzáles, a young man who had recently turned 12 and was already serving as the deacons quorum secretary.

During the interview, I asked Víctor about his current calling and how he was feeling.

“I’m worried, Bishop,” he answered. “I’m really concerned.”

“Why are you concerned?”

“Well, I want all the deacons to be at church. So today on my way over here, I went to Nicholas and Anthony’s house and woke them up, and then I went over to Jimmy and Luis’s to get them to come. I really get worried, Bishop,” Víctor said.

I was amazed by what he was saying and that a 12-year-old deacons quorum secretary could be so concerned about the other members of his quorum.

“I’m here to serve,” he went on, “and I want to do it right, but I’m one of the lowest leaders.”

“What do you mean ‘one of the lowest leaders’?” I asked.

“Because I’m the secretary. I’m not the president or a counselor. I’m a secretary, and that makes me one of the lowest leaders. But the deacons should be here and they’re not, so I have to go get them because this is where they’re supposed to be. I don’t know why they don’t come. But I have to go get them, Bishop!”

My tears could no longer be restrained, and they spilled from my eyes. Choked with emotion, I said, “You have made me remember why I was called as the bishop. It’s to be concerned about others, to visit and serve them as King Benjamin did. We need to be in the service of others, and then we will be in the service of God. You are not the lowest leader. Everyone who serves plays a role important to our Heavenly Father and His Church.”

To this, he said, “That’s what I learned from my dad. And now when I see you crying, I remember this one time when he talked to me—-he was crying and he told me, ‘When you have a responsibility, you have to do it right.’ ”

The tears refreshed my soul, and the young man’s words refreshed my memory. I remembered the great worth of our Heavenly Father’s children when I saw the worth this young man placed on each of the members of his quorum.

I extended a calling as president of the deacons quorum to Víctor. In response he said, “Now I’m really going to work hard. I’m not going to disappoint you, Bishop.”

Even now, some time later, the tears return as I remember this unforgettable interview. I know the divine potential this young man has. He has the future firmly in sight, and his vision of what is important is clear.

Great Souls at Any Age

Elder Sterling W. Sill

“In order to be great souls in heaven, we need to be great souls here. At every age, we should be leaders in righteousness, leaders in doing our duty, leaders in accepting responsibility, leaders in excellence, leaders in industry, leaders in kindness, leaders in obedience, leaders in example. It is just as important for a deacons quorum president to be a good leader in his sphere as it is for the President of the Church to be a leader in his. No nation would have a very good army if only the generals were faithful.”

Elder Sterling W. Sill (1903–94) of the Seventy, “A Personal Observation: The Problem Is Always the Same,” Ensign, Mar. 1973, 36.

Illustration by John Abdel Zamudio Arquinigo