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Hello Gramps,

I’ve come to realize during my short time in the church that you do t ever see a “joe the plumber” type in a General Authority leadership position……or stake and ward either? Although I do appreciate the need for certain qualities, by the law of averages there must be some members capable of filling leadership positions that don’t work in a typical “suit and tie” roll.





Dear Lee,

You bring up a very interesting question!

You are correct, by the law of averages, some people who do not fill the typical suit and tie role make the best leaders.  There is certainly no bar to these men serving in leadership capacities!

I have had many bishops over the years, including some who are not typical white collar employees.  For example, my last bishop was an electronics salesman who never spent a single day in college, yet he made a wonderful bishop!  I have also had candy salesmen, members of the army, and even a janitor in my various bishoprics over the years.  I knew a mission president who was an artist!

Your question also ponders why general authorities seem to typically be suit and tie types.  This is not necessarily true.  For example, Elder M. Russell Ballard was a car salesman for most of his career, starting his career off with his father’s dealership.  See Kathleen Lubeck, “Elder M. Russell Ballard: True to the Faith.”  It could be true that the Lord sometimes tends to call people with special talents to very top Church leadership positions, as it is no easy feat guiding a worldwide church with almost 16 million members!

No matter what one does for a living, the Lord can help them reach their full potential in their callings, even leadership callings!  As Elder Neil L. Andersen, now of the Quorum of the Twelve, said when he was first called to be a general authority back in 1993,

“I have heard President Monson say, ‘Whom the Lord calls, the Lord qualifies.’  I know this is true, and it gives me hope looking beyond my own inadequacies.  I know that when we are on the Lord’s errand, he will be with us, he will strengthen us, he will build our capacities.  I have experienced it.  I have felt his lifting Spirit.  In the months and years ahead, I will need him so very much.”  See Neil L. Anderson, “Whom the Lord Calls, the Lord Qualifies






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