The Lord Will Show You Your Path

by Elder Robert F. Schwartz

Elder Schwartz with Elder Ralf Grunke

Newly called Area Seventy, Elder Robert F. Schwartz from Chelmsford has learned that the important thing is not the calling you have, but the testimony of the Saviour that you build and the service you give others. He says the Lord will show you your path if you seek Him in faith.

His parents joined the Church when he was a baby. His father was hired into Huntsman Packaging by a young Ronald Rasband when both men were in their twenties. His parents’ association with members of the Church helped them gain a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

After living in several places within the United States, Elder Schwartz’s family moved to England when he was 12 years old. It was a very formative time for him. “I saw how a small number of very dedicated saints could make a big difference in the Church.” He saw how that group of members developed strength in the gospel, starting with the rising generation. The people in that little unit now serve to further build the Manchester Stake. “The Lord has shown me how a small group of saints can make a big difference,” he said

Elder and Sister Schwartz
Elder and Sister Schwartz

He and his wife Amy met in Poland where they were serving missions. After they married, they moved back to Poland when Elder Schwartz received a Fulbright Scholarship, which enabled him to study there with a future judge of the Polish Constitutional Tribunal.

During that time, he was excited to teach with the missionaries as he had during his mission. On returning from a meeting with the missionaries, Amy reminded him that he is a husband and father who now fulfills new roles, and that together they needed to think differently. Instead of going out with the missionaries, they invited missionaries and their friends to join them at home. As they shared the gospel in their home, they experienced more happiness and missionary success in one year than they had in both their missions combined. Elder Schwartz says he learned the wisdom of listening to a much wiser companion when doing the Lord’s work.

Elder Schwartz joined a law firm in London when he moved into law and finance. He is now the managing director UK of Tyrus Capital, which manages assets for institutional investors globally. He and Amy believed that eventually they would end up in Poland, but the Lord led them to England. Elder and Sister Schwartz both feel like the Lord opens the right doors for all of God’s children who live in faith. This can also mean that He closes some doors. It is important to recognise that some opportunities are not available to us because the Lord knows there is a better opportunity for us. As we try to live in faith, He will show us the right path.

After more than 16 years in Chelmsford, the Schwartz family feels very much at home. Cole Durham, a BYU law professor who Elder Schwartz worked for during his undergraduate degree, once told them that the Lord needs “Ammon families” who are willing to live far away from home to serve where they are needed. He also told them that they should put their whole heart into wherever they are. That is what they have tried diligently to do.

The Schwartz Family with Elder and Sister Rasband in the Conference Center
The Schwartz Family with Elder and Sister Rasband in the Conference Center

When they first moved to Chelmsford, they hoped to be a real help to the people there. Instead, they feel like they have been helped and sustained through many of the challenges in their lives. Elder Schwartz has served in many capacities in the Church. He loved being a bishop and a stake president because he was able to interact with people in both their happiest times and their hardest times. He says, “These are the times when people invite you into a private sphere that is quite sacred.”

Elder Schwartz shares one of the best lessons: “We can all spend time building the kingdom. We have different assignments. The calling is not the relevant part. It is the path of discipleship that is important. Our personal conversion and our ministry to others is what we seek. Our callings are the wrapping that the Lord gives us for a period of time as a way to serve one another and become personally converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”