Rob Eaton is originally from Auburn, Washington and now lives in Rexburg, Idaho, where he is an Associate Academic Vice President for Learning and Teaching and a member of the religious education faculty at BYU Idaho. Rob has served as an institute director and seminary teacher, a bishop, in a stake presidency, and as a mission president in the Washington, Federal Way mission, and previously oversaw Pathway and online learning at BYU Idaho. He also worked with President Hales and President Eyring on books they have written, and currently serves as a stake president for a YSA stake.


03:00 Work and service prior to his 2013 call as a mission president, and serving in his home mission where he lived for over 30 years
06:15 Change in the transition from mission president couple, modeled after what they taught their missionaries before they returned home from their missions
08:00 Asked missionaries to create their own “Work of Salvation plan” which they reviewed at an interview prior to their release: “Freelancing for God”
10:00 Keep your purpose in sight—God’s purpose should still be your purpose—and lean in to ministering to a smaller number of people
12:30 Actively look for and pray for those informal opportunities to be an instrument in the hands of God
14:30 Being quick to observe and to serve
18:25 Asking inspired questions and doing the Lord’s work at activities will open up opportunities for relationships and service
23:45 Two questions at dinner: What did you do for someone else today? and How often did you see the hand of the Lord in your life today?
24:50 “Holy boldness”: people will not likely change unless they are invited to do so, but questions can be catalysts to change and spiritual growth

  • Naturally-extended invitations stretch a little bit, but aren’t too uncomfortable and help instead of alienating
  • Doing those things outside of a calling is what we have covenanted to do

34:00 Introverts—those who are more naturally reserved—notice the subtle things. It is a strength, and while you may be stretched you will not be stretched too far.
38:15 Applying these principles while serving in a time-consuming calling such a bishop
43:45 Being mindful and intentional about looking for continued growth after being released from a demanding calling

  • Elder Hales quote: The quiet unnoticed corners of the kingdom
  • Family relationships
  • Following-up with people you served in previous callings
  • Look for ways to build ward unity


David A. Bednar 2005 BYU Devotional, “Quick to Observe”
Linda K. Burton 2012 conference talk, “First Observe , Then Serve”
Richard G. Scott 2014 conference talk, “I Have Given You an Example”

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