Chapter 8

Nathan held off calling Marie on Monday, but by Tuesday he just wanted to hear her voice. As he searched his wallet for the paper with her phone number, he came across the business card with the contact information for Elder Smith’s secretary.

“Maybe I can kill two birds with one stone,” he said, turning the card over and seeing the words “MM Project.” If he timed things right, maybe he could check into the Church job and then meet Marie for lunch. He figured any job the Church had in mind for him couldn’t be worse than spending the wee hours of each morning unloading boxes of toys and sticking them on shelves. He was grateful for the job, since so many people were having a hard time finding work, but he couldn’t see himself surviving this schedule once he was in college.

When he called Elder Smith’s office, he spoke to the secretary and told her he was calling about the MM Project. 

“Just one moment,” she said. “Let me transfer you.”

Nathan waited as another number began to ring. Soon a man answered by simply saying, “MM Project. How may I help you?”

“My name is Nathan Foster, and Elder Smith of the Quorum of the Twelve felt I would be a good fit for . . . for whatever this project is.”

The man chuckled. “If Elder Smith told you to call, then I’m sure he was right. Would you be able to meet with me tomorrow at 11 a.m. for a preliminary interview?”

“Yes, that would be fine,” Nathan said. “Do I need to bring anything, such as a resume?”

“No, just arrive on time and look presentable. If everything goes well, we’ll give you more information at that time.”

The man then gave Nathan the room number in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building where they would meet.

“Thank you for this opportunity,” Nathan said.

“I think you’ll find this to be the best job you’ve ever had,” the man said. “When you arrive, just knock on the door and step inside.”

Nathan said good-bye, then immediately called Marie.

“Hey, I’ll be in Salt Lake tomorrow,” he said. “Would you be able to go to lunch?”

“Yeah, I’d like that,” she said. “Could you pick me up at my apartment at noon?”

“That will work for me.”

Marie gave him the directions and then they chatted for a few minutes. After the call, Nathan felt like he was floating on air the rest of the day.

n


The next morning Nathan nervously approached the door in the Joseph Smith Building. He did as he was told, knocking on the door and then opening it. He saw an older gentleman dressed in a suit sitting at a table. Nathan recognized him as Elder Wilford Miller of the First Quorum of the Seventy, a stocky man with brownish-gray hair and a quick smile.

“Hello, Nathan,” he said as he stood to greet him. “I’m Elder Miller. It’s a pleasure to meet you. I’m the one you spoke with yesterday on the phone.”

“I thought I recognized your voice,” Nathan said, feeling a bit more comfortable.

Elder Miller motioned for Nathan to take a seat across from him, then said, “After our conversation yesterday, I contacted Elder Smith, and he mentioned that you’re the one who saved his life in Minnesota.”

“Yes, that was me. I was just following the Spirit.”

Elder Miller nodded. “That’s a great trait to have.”

 Elder Miller then took a few minutes getting to know Nathan, and he seemed pleased with the responses. Finally the General Authority flipped through some papers in front of him, and slid one over to Nathan. It was his Church membership summary.

“Please look this over and see that we have everything in order,” Elder Miller said. “I feel you’re a great candidate for the job.”

Nathan noticed his contact information needed to be changed to list his father’s home address, and Elder Miller wrote that down. Once he was done, Nathan said, “I’m really interested in the job, but what exactly is this MM Project?”

“Well, it involves a lot of blue-collar labor, such as lifting and transporting things—but it isn’t overly strenuous. It could also involve some security duty, such as patrolling Church property.”

“I think I could handle that,” Nathan said. “If you don’t mind me asking, how much is the pay?”

“That’s a fair question,” Elder Miller said. “I’m sure you’ve heard of the Law of Consecration.”

“Yes, I’ve studied about it.”

“Then you know that the time is coming when the Lord will ask the Saints to consecrate everything they own to the building up of the Kingdom of God—including their time, talents, and possessions. As part of this assignment, you’ll be asked to do that. You won’t receive a salary, but the Church will cover all of your expenses and anything else you might need.”

Nathan raised his eyebrows. “You mean, food, clothes . . .”

“Everything.”

Nathan paused, a bit surprised at the answer. “How would I pay for college without a paycheck?”

“If you take this job, you’ll have to postpone college. This will be a full-time commitment.”

“How long would the job last?” Nathan asked.

Elder Miller rubbed his chin. “At least a year, but probably longer than that. Along those lines, your duties would likely take you away from your family and friends for extended periods of time. Would that be an issue?”

“Not really,” Nathan said. “As I mentioned, Mom has passed away, and Dad and I aren’t really too close. There’s a girl I’m quite interested in, though.”

Elder Miller cocked his head slightly. “Are you really attached to her?”

“I think I’m more attached to her than she is to me.”

Elder Miller nodded. “I’m just saying that this job wouldn’t allow you to see her very often, at least for several months. So take that into consideration. Anyway, certainly pray about the decision, but I think you’re a perfect fit, and I’m hoping you’ll accept it.”

“I’m definitely leaning toward it,” Nathan said. “Once I decide, how will I let you know?”

“If you choose to take the job, return to this room on Friday at 9 a.m., when we will be instructing several new trainees at once. If you don’t want the job, just call Elder Smith’s secretary again and tell her. She’ll pass the word along to me. Otherwise, we’ll see you on Friday morning!”

Elder Miller stood up, and they shook hands. Nathan left the interview feeling a bit confused, but in general he felt good about the chance to work for the Church.