What being an Elder means to me
Only an Elder
"Brethren, what think ye of the office of an elder? Someone asks: “What office do you hold in the Church? What is your priesthood position?” An answer comes: “Oh, I’m only an elder.”
Only an elder! Only the title by which a member of the Council of the Twelve is proud to be addressed; only the title which honors the President of the Church, who is designated by revelation as the first elder (see D&C 20:2, 5); only the office to which millions of persons are ordained in the vicarious ordinances of the holy temples.
Only an elder! Every elder in the Church holds as much priesthood as the President of the Church. No apostle can or will rise higher in eternity than the faithful elder who lives the fullness of the gospel law.
What is an elder? An elder is a minister of the Lord Jesus Christ. He holds the holy Melchizedek Priesthood. He is commissioned to stand in the place and stead of his Master—who is the Chief Elder—in ministering to his fellowmen. He is the Lord’s agent. His appointment is to preach the gospel and perfect the Saints.
What is an elder? He is a shepherd, a shepherd serving in the sheepfold of the Good Shepherd. It is written: “And ye my flock, the flock of my pasture, are men, and I am your God, saith the Lord God.” (Ezek. 34:31.) It is also written, and that by Peter, the first elder in his day: “The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder. …"