By Nathan Hawkins
I was a newly called deacon, only about 3 months in, when I received a call from my dad telling me that the bishop wanted to see me. The bishop told me that he felt that I should be the new deacon’s quorum president in Mindarie Ward. I gladly accepted this role and I felt honoured. I wanted to serve with all my “heart, might, mind and strength” and I felt a great responsibility to look after my deacons. There were only four deacons at this point, including me. Only a few weeks after I was called, our deacon’s quorum adviser was released and Brother Stratfold was called to become our adviser.
After attaining a list of all the deacons within my ward boundaries, I visited the less active deacons in their homes and talked to them. My dad, who was the councillor responsible for the deacons on the bishopric, and Brother Stratfold, transported me around. I gave the boys we visited our Tuesday night young men’s activates schedule for the next 3 months, and invited them to come, sharing some experiences that we have had in Young Men’s. We also invited them to any camps that were coming up. We had some great activities as a quorum, such as going over to Rottnest Island and crabbing in Mandurah, always inviting our less active members to come. By doing this, we let the boys know that we cared about them. We wanted them to come because we cared about them, and not just so we could tick a box saying that they were active. We met as a deacon’s quorum and discussed ways to get these boys back.
One young man’s dad told us that he didn’t want us to visit his son anymore. This made me sad, but I respected his wishes, still determined to reactivate others. One young man started to come out to young men’s activities, and through the combined effort of the ward; we managed to bring him and his family back to church. He received the priesthood and advanced to a Teacher. It felt good to see this young man embrace the gospel. The ward was also working with a family with two boys who were deacon age, and we started to reach out to them as well. They started coming to young men’s, stake activates, and church, and they continue to do so.
Whenever someone moved up into our quorum we visited them and give them a Duty to God and Strength of Youth booklet. We explained to them the blessings that come from doing your Duty to God, and the responsibilities of being a deacon, talking to them about the importance of the sacrament and about our other duties. The following Sunday we would teach them how to pass the sacrament, and warmly accept them into our quorum.
About 6 months after I was called, Elder Beck, the Young Men’s General President, came over to Perth for a fireside. At this fireside he challenged me to double the members of my quorum. We only had 5 boys back then and I was determined to complete the challenge. In my last 5 months of being a Deacons Quorum president we had 11 active boys with 2 investigators attending church. The lord has blessed our quorum and I have enjoyed being able to serve him, and them.