Last Sunday, I was informed by our Sunday School teacher that I am not as important a person in my family as the Bishop is in his because I am not the priesthood-holding steward (or words to those effect) in my family. I’m not sure if he meant that I’m not important because I don’t have the priesthood or that I’m not important because I’m “just” a sister/daughter in my parents’ family (not a wife/mother in my own) or both. I didn’t follow up the point because he wanted to move on in the lesson, and if I argued every point on which I disagree with this particular Sunday School teacher . . . well, we’d still be still be sitting in church right now. I did call my Mom later that day, and she laughed really hard at the idea that I wasn’t important in my family. So at least she thinks I’m important. (But then, neither of us has the priesthood . . . )
The above isn’t meant to incense (although I think that blogging something can be more productive than starting an argument), it just got me to thinking again about how I strongly believe in non-traditional or non-hierarchical forms of stewardship.
I’m clear on the more orthodox types of stewardship – a Bishop over a ward, a parent over a family, the prophet over the entire Church – but I’ve come to realize that many of the most important interactions in my life don’t fit into this “official” hierarchy. My relationships as a friend, a sister and even a 100 Hour Board writer have had a much greater effect on my life than as a visiting teacher/teachee, committee chair, or vanilla ward member. I’m quite aware that these aren’t priesthood stewardships – but I don’t have a priesthood stewardship over my bank account, either, and I still pay tithing. In fact, I wouldn’t use the term “stewardship” at all, because it implies a sort of ownership or control, except that that’s the bad kind of stewardship. The good kind just means being responsible for doing the best you can with what is yours (in any sense) and taking care of each other.
The point of the interrupted Sunday School lesson was that inspiration or personal revelation can help us in our stewardships. It probably doesn’t sound so odd to pray for guidance and wisdom in talking to friends and family members who are having a hard time. It might sound very odd to do so as a 100 Hour Board writer. Admittedly, most of the questions I answer are non-life changing. Occasionally, though, I’ll spend days thinking over an answer, trying to find the right way to say the right thing, hoping that it helps. It’s so much harder when you know that this may be the only contact you ever have with this reader – I wish that I could talk to so many of them in person.
Tomorrow is a new month. I have a postcard to mail.