My Mentor (also published in the 9/85 "Ensign")
In 1970, about a year after I joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) in Cumberland, Marland (22 February 1969), I was called by the Mission President to audit the financial records of all the various branches in the Blue Ridge District (covering parts of four States - Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Virginia).
As a 22 year old convert, I had an intellectual appreciation of the gospel, but had not as yet developed much spiritual depth.
As part of my assignment, I was to meet with President Self, who was both Branch President and Financial Clerk of the tiny Branch in Keyser, West Virginia.
My first impression of him was that he was a good man, but not given to much "book learning".
With all the arrogance of my newly acquired college degree, and knowing the difficulties much more educated people had experienced in maintaining the records in the other branches, I had put off this visit with him until last and worried about what I would find in Keyser.
To my amazement, his ledger, with the crabbed yet ever so carefully made entries, was without flaw of any kind.
Dumbfounded, I asked him if he encountered any difficulties keeping these accounts.
Humbly, he replied that he knew that he didn't have enough education or experience to handle his calling and assignment.
He then went on to admit that the task had been painstakingly difficult at times.
His method simply was to work on the books until he "got stuck".
Then he would take a break to kneel in prayer and ask the Lord for "more help".
Working far into the nights, and with many "breaks", he accomplished the task to which the Lord had called him.
This was not a formal classroom.
President Self was not specifically set apart as my teacher.
Nevertheless, he taught me a great lesson in faith, humility, and how God will help us in all that we are required to do.
Larry D. Kump
Ravenswood (Indianapolis), Indiana