Guest Columnist: Martin J. Wood
Before I go to perform my duties as stake president, I just want to reassure you, honey: you’ll always be number two with me.
Yep, don’t you worry. Ever since that day so long ago on the temple lawn, when I proposed to you, I’ve made it very clear that you would always come in a solid second.
“Honey,” I said, with tears in my eyes, “the church will always be first in my life, but I want you to take the second spot.”
I was so overcome when you accepted me. It was a great day in my life. And two minutes later, when I drove off to do my home teaching, I was still thinking about my commitment to the church and how you’d be right next in line. And will we ever forget our honeymoon at the welfare farm? What a wonderful way to start a marriage.
I’m sure you remember my diligence in earning my law degree. After all, I had to fulfill my priesthood duty to earn money and respect for our family and the church. I’d come home so tired from my studies, but there you’d be, sometimes still in your Denny’s uniform, cooking up dinner for our four children and me. We didn’t have a lot, but we made the money stretch. And somehow we scraped enough together to get me that Italian lambs-wool suit with gold cufflinks so I could fulfill my calling as Sunday school president in appropriate clothing. We had just enough left over to buy you the nicest dress on the five-dollar rack at DI.
I don’t think you could deny that through all our years together, I’ve always kept my word. I never forgot to put you right up there in second place. Remember all those years when I was a bishop, and the years before that I spent as elders quorum president? I always got to you second. For instance, remember our eighth anniversary? Remember my diligence when I forsook our dinner date and left you with our lovely children to attend the stake public relations meeting? But on the way home I picked some flowers from the flowerbed for you.
I enjoy recounting that incident in stake conference to inspire the other priesthood holders in the stake to be so dedicated. Someday I hope to share it in a session of general conference, though I’m sure by then I’ll have many more examples.
Maybe I could share that time when we gave the money you had saved for your little college courses to the Friends of Scouting, making us Golden Eagle contributors. Or my tears when you called me from the hospital to tell me about the birth of our twins. I was so excited, I told everyone at the elders quorum reactivation bowling activity about it.
No, don’t speak, honey. I can see it all in the tears streaming down your face. This always happens when I recount my diligence. You’re so grateful to have a man who sticks by his promise, who always exalts his wife to her proper place. Second. Right after the church.
And I promise, honey, I promise to always do so. You’re worth it. Roast beef for dinner tonight, OK?