Traipsing up the corporate priesthood ladder from Deacon to Elder is pretty regimented: 12, 14, 16, then 18 or 19 or so. But the jump to High Priests is different. You have to be called to a calling that requires becoming a High Priest to actually become one.
This can be a little bit awkward when you continue to age but you never receive a HP-level calling, and are unlikely ever to be called to such a position.
I remember my own father went through this. He claimed that one should be happy to be an elder for as long as possible, as becoming a HP was pretty much a precursor to the end of your life. But maybe that was just sour grapes for never being formally made a HP himself.
I like meeting with the elders; I’m young at heart and am happy to hang with the younger guys. But I’m 51 years old and old enough to be the father of most of them. And I am the only guy in there with such a significant age discrepancy.
A few years ago the bishop told me I was welcome to meet with the HPs if I wanted. I appreciated the gesture, but I was fine where I was.
Well, they finally took it upon themselves to go ahead and draft me into the group. This time they didn’t ask, they just pulled the trigger. I’m now in the HP hometeaching system. And they did a smart thing to seal the deal; they asked me to teach a lesson. I’m a sucker for lesson-teaching.
They wanted me to do a lesson on Elder Holland’s talk from Spring Conference this year on the Atonement. I chuckled, since I had blogged on that talk here. So I printed out the talk and my blog, and then I had them read extracts from the talk, which I followed with my contemporaneous commentary from the blog, followed by discussion. And there was a lot of good discussion. I thought it ended up being a good lesson.
So I guess the deed is done. Technically I’m still, in the words of BRM, “only an elder,” but in practice I’m now part of the HP group. And I’m fine with that. And after the football season’s over, maybe I’ll actually start to attend on a regular basis.