Budget Negotiations
by Kathleen Hughes, Former General Relief Society Presidency

From LDS Living Magazine, December 16, 2013

I particularly recall an occasion when the Bishop announced in Sacrament meeting that the young men in the ward would be given the opportunity to raise money for their activities by placing flags in the front yards of homes within the ward boundaries. All members and neighbors were invited to give a particular amount of money to the young men and in return, on special national holidays, the flags would be placed in their yards. I had recently been released from serving in Young Women and I well knew how little money there was available for their activities. I was upset. And during the week, as I thought about the announcement, I became more upset. Finally, my husband said, “Kathy, go talk to the Bishop. He’ll listen to you.” So, I called his office at work and made an appointment to visit with him. I laid out my concerns and my rationale for why the planned money-raising activity for the Young Men seemed unfair. He listened, asked some questions, but made no commitments. I could do nothing more. I wondered if my meeting had done any good, and when I heard nothing from him, I began to think that the original decision would stand. But, a week later the Bishop sat down next to me before Sacrament meeting and said, “Kathy, I just want you to know that we are going to involve the young women in the project. And you were not the only woman who came to see me. I heard from several!” Courageously, but courteously advocating for those we are called to serve had made a difference. I have consistently found that to be true.