An apparatchik may be defined as a person who doesn’t mind how long a meeting goes on unless he has another meeting to attend.

–Ted Dalrymple

Back when I was relatively new to the Church, I was recklessly called* to a position of some significance in my unit.  And a curious thing happened: I found I loved attending Priesthood Executive Committee and Stake Leadership Training and all the other myriad meetings with which the Church seeks to make us of one heart and mind.

The Church is not wrong to do so. But there is something a little off when any of us get to enjoying the meetings too much. They are intended as a springboard, not a hammock.

At one point, I pointed out that we were not holding one of the meetings mentioned in the Handbook. (Perhaps not coincidentally, it was one where the Handbook gave my calling pride of place.) The relief society president pronounced yet another meeting the last thing we needed, and that was that. Looking back on it now, I feel something akin to Fremdschämen for my former self.

I take scant comfort in the thought that perhaps I’ve learned a thing or two over the years.


*Perhaps it goes without saying, but I am not suggesting the calling was not from God. Whose first important calling in the Church was not reckless? God takes unthinkable chances on us all.

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