“However” organizations versus “therefore” organizations

President Boyd K. Packer tells an interesting story:

Professors from Harvard University who were members of the Church [of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints] invited me to lunch over at the Harvard Business School faculty dining room. They wanted to know if I would join them in participating in a new publication; they wanted me to contribute to it.

They were generous in their compliments, saying that because I had a doctorate a number of people in the Church would listen to me, and being a General Authority,…I could have some very useful influence.

I listened to them very attentively but indicated at the close of the conversation that I would not join them. I asked to be excused from responding to their request. When they asked why, I told them this: “When your associates announced the project, they described how useful it would be to the Church-a niche that needed to be filled. And then the spokesman said, ‘We are all active and faithful members of the Church; however,…’ ”

I told my two hosts that if the announcement had read, “We are all active and faithful members of the Church; therefore,…” I would have joined their organization. I had serious questions about a “however” organization. I have little worry over a “therefore” organization.[1]

The above story is about a specific religious denomination and a specific organization, but that really isn’t what I want to point out. For Pres. Packer, his faith was his item of ultimate allegiance.

We all have one—and it’s interesting to think about what it might be. It can be useful to fill in the blank:

“I am [blank], therefore….”

There are many options:

  • A believing Catholic
  • A skeptical humanist
  • A red-blooded American
  • A police officer
  • An intellectual
  • A parent to my children

What would you put in the blank, such that you cannot picture yourself ever saying,

“I am [blank], however….”?

Ultimately, we have only one thing that always yields a “therefore”—everything else will, when push comes to shove, be a “however” that bows to that “therefore.”


 

[1] Boyd K. Packer, Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled (Salt Lake City, UT: Bookcraft, 1991), 113.

Advertisements