One of the great blessings of being in my position is that I get to meet with individual members and find out how they are doing in their relationship with the Lord. It is a great blessing to be able to do temple reccomend interviews to determine if they are worthy to enter the Lords house.
Usually these go by quite quickly but occasionally there are things that come up that need to be corrected before I can feel comfortable allowing them into the temple. Here are just three of the experiences that have strengthened my faith:
A sister wanted to attend her daughters temple wedding, but her reccomend had recently expired. At first I thought this would be a quick renewal interview, but when it came to the question of The Word of Wisdom she asked if it was OK to drink green tea. I said absolutely not and explained to her that the tea leaves are the same as that of regular tea, but are simply picked earlier. She was quite distraught and admitted to partaking recently and said she had read somewhere that it was a healthy drink. She had actually stopped drinking coke and had replaced it with a drink that officially is against the will of our Lord! She did not feel at all worthy to enter the Lords house at that time so I felt my hands were tied. She didn't get to attend her daughters wedding ceremony in person, but was able to be a great support to her daughter all the same on that special day. I am pleased to report that she has since repented and is now a card carrying member again.
I had overheard part of a conversation that a brother was having who happened to be one of my faithful high councillors. I thought I heard him make some positive comments with regards to evolution which greatly surprised me given Joseph Fielding Smiths (and others) teaching on the subject. When it came time to renew his reccomend during the question "Do you sympathize with or agree with any group or individual who's teachings are contrary to or oppose those accepted by the church" I asked him about his thoughts on evolution. He confessed to believing that scientists had made a very good case for it. I assigned him to prayerfully read the current Old Testament institute manual along with some other articles and asked him to return in two weeks. Thankfully he felt the spirit as he read the words of our modern day prophets and I was able to sign his reccomend and allow him to continue to serve on the high council. It just goes to show that the world is ever learning but never coming to a knowledge of the truth.
I have access to home teaching reports and when a particular brother came to see me to get his reccomend renewed I knew him to be a faithful man in all things except in his priesthood home teaching duties. Usually I would not deny someone a reccomend for not fulfilling this duty but I felt strongly that I should ask him whether he felt that he was sustaining his leaders when he had not been home teaching for the past 5 months. He paused and said he would do better and felt guilty about this. Although his business takes him all over the world he felt that he could do better (given that he did get a few days at home with his family each month). I asked him to return in 2 months and report and sure enough he was able to relate to me some of his wonderful experiences. I know that the Lord guides me as I try to follow his promptings during these interviews.