In 1965, LDS Church President David O. McKay made the following extraordinary statement to a group of church employees: “Let me assure you, Brethren, that some day you will have a personal priesthood interview with the Savior himself. If you are interested, I will tell you the order in which he will ask you to account for your earthly responsibilities.” President McKay’s list of questions is often quoted in LDS sermons and lessons, and was given by a man whom Mormons regard as a prophet.
Given the unfortunate tendency of our media and culture to label as “successful” anyone who happens to have a lot of money, I started wondering how a “successful” man like Donald Sterling will fare in the exit interview for this life. Although judgment is certainly not mine to pass, based on what I know of Mr. Sterling’s bio, I’m not sure that I’d want to trade places with him. Here is what Mormons believe that he – and everyone else – will be asked by the God of Israel:
1) “First, He will request an accountability report about your relationship with your wife. Have you actively been engaged in making her happy and ensuring that her needs have been met as an individual?” Yep, it all boils down to the family. The most important assignment that we have in mortality is to make our husband or wife happy and to help meet his/her needs. No room for V. Stiviano and other bimbos here.
2) “Second, He will want an accountability report about each of your children individually. He will … request information about your relationship to each and every child.” As a new father, I feel acutely the responsibility that I have to raise my daughter in love and righteousness. I can only hope that when I am asked to give an accounting in the olam ha-ba of my relationship with my children, I can do so with pride and joy. I have no independent knowledge of Mr. Sterling’s parenting abilities. However, based on news reports that I’ve seen, I’m reasonably confident that he won’t be receiving the Father of the Year award anytime soon.
3) “Third, He will want to know what you personally have done with the talents you were given in the pre-existence.” Well, becoming a billionaire certainly does take a great deal of talent and hard work. Something tells me that this question will be the high point of Sterling’s interview.
4) “Fourth, He will want a summary of your activity in your Church assignments. He will not be necessarily interested in what assignments you have had … but He will request a summary of how you have been of service to your fellow man in your Church assignments.” Jews certainly understand how important altruism and service are in today’s world. For Donald Sterling and his ilk, it will be interesting to see whether writing big checks alone will suffice to meet this service requirement.
5) “Fifth, He will have no interest in how you earned your living, but if you were honest in all your dealings.” Judging from the many lawsuits filed against him over the years, Sterling may have to plead the Fifth here.
6) “Sixth, He will ask for an accountability on what you have done to contribute in a positive manner to your community, state, country and the world.” Appropriately enough, our heavenly interview will end with a report on our private tikkun olam efforts. Perhaps Mr. Sterling will be able to present the hundreds of ads that he has taken out in the LA Times as character references.
I enjoy reviewing these interview questions from time to time, as they keep me focused on what is truly important in life. They also provide me with an unerring guide as to who is truly successful, at least by heavenly standards of success. Unfortunately for Donald Sterling, bigoted adulterers don’t make the cut.