Our Communications Committee reached out to Stake President Jean-Luc Butel who was called on March 12, 2017 to ask a few questions.
What were your feelings and thoughts when you were called as the President of the Singapore Stake?
I was totally humbled as I really thought it would be appropriate to call a Singaporean brother. I was overwhelmed by emotions and by the significance of this sacred calling. I was also very anxious because I really wondered if I could serve the Lord and the members in the way expected of a Stake President. At the same time the love expressed by Elder Evans and Elder Meredith and the manifestation of the spirit was as overwhelming, actually may be more overwhelming, than the anxiety of facing this responsibility. On Sunday 12 March, I just felt great love for the members and immense gratitude for our Heavenly Father.
What is your message to members in the Stake?
I am so grateful that two outstanding brothers have accepted to serve as my counselors, President Kwan Yew Mun and President Steven Seow.
On Sunday I mentioned two things: the stake as a place of refuge where we are instructed, edified and loved. A place where we serve, worship and grow. A place where we welcome with open arms anyone that comes to our meetings.
I also said that all of this is done in the stake so we can be a light to the world, so we can share and spread the message of joy and happiness that the gospel brings. I hope that our light will be so bright and pure that it will attract those who are seeking the Lord. I hope that our influence for good will grow and that more people in Singapore will see it and will recognize it for what it is.
Some members in the Stake think that you have just moved to Singapore recently but that is not true; you first came here in 1990. Tell us about your life in Asia.
We came here 27 years ago with Johnson & Johnson. We then moved to Japan for seven years with Becton Dickinson. From there we went to New Jersey and New York for five years with Becton Dickinson and Johnson & Johnson. We then moved back to Japan for eight years with Medtronic and came back here late 2010 still with Medtronic. In February 2012 we moved to Chicago with Baxter and came back to Singapore in January 2015.
What are you doing now professionally?
I split my time in three blocks. About a third is ‘working’ for the Singapore government, mainly in healthcare - this is indeed my National Service. Another third is working for McKinsey as a Senior Advisor, sitting on the boards of public companies and private start-ups, and spending time advising young professionals on their future and careers (this is a passion of mine). The last third is for family, Church, philanthropic activities (mainly Pathway orphanage in India) and friends.
What’s your observation about Church members in Singapore compared to others in places where you have lived?
We are all united by the same faith and testimonies so the ‘core’ is the same around the world. However, the Church in Singapore is still young and small so you do not yet see the full impact of multiple generations of members.
President Butel replaces President Stephen Lai Chee Kong who has served faithfully for over 17 years in the Stake Presidency.