“Membership in the Church is a very personal matter. Every individual counts. That is why we function on the principle of common consent,” Elder Holland said. “We want everyone to have an opinion, to express him or herself, and to be united in going forward. . . . I love the imagery of arms to the square and the meaning behind that. No one has to serve alone in the Church, whatever our calling.” Elder Renlund added with a smile, “Another thing that the members can do to sustain me as one of the Twelve is to forgive me for not being perfect."
In the challenging days after flooding inundated much of southeast Texas late last summer, Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles traveled to affected communities and worshipped with local Latter-day Saints.
He was on a mission of ministering. The veteran Apostle comforted flood-weary members in their meetinghouses and at the edges of water-logged homes. He thanked people for offering relief service under the heat of an unforgiving sun.
And wherever he went members — along with many others — came forward to shake his hand. It was a gesture of appreciation. They thanked the Apostle for his support. But for members of the Church, each handshake also communicated a common sentiment of sustaining:
“I pray for you. I support you. I follow you. I trust you.”