Archive for the ‘callings’ Tag

Fulfilling a Calling

Reading: “Revealed Quorum Principles,” Michael A. Neider, Recently Released Second Counselor in Young Men General Presidency, April 2009 General Conference, Saturday Morning Session

Today’s talk by Michael Neider is about quorum leaders in the Aaronic Priesthood, which includes young men ages 12-18.  At this point in time I cannot think of a demographic that I am more disconnected from.  My husband is a grown Melchizedek Priesthood holder, as are the rest of the men I am related to, and I currently do not have any sons, not even baby ones. So, as I read today I tried to look for things in his message I could apply to myself.  As I thought one message became clear: doing one’s best to fulfill a calling.

Just as the leaders of the young men and young women age groups can do much good with their work, we too can do great work in our seemingly small callings.  As Neider states:

My young brethren and sisters, you are powerful tools in the Savior’s hands, and He can use you to bring the blessings of the gospel to others. Bishops, do not overlook the strength and skill of your Aaronic Priesthood quorum and Young Women class presidencies. The Lord needs them in this important work. There are hearts they can reach and work perhaps only they can do. Give them assignments! Open doors for their leadership and the ministering of angels as promised in Doctrine and Covenants.

I remember being a president of young women classes in my youth.  The calling didn’t seem to expect much from me.  I might ask someone to say a prayer, or help organize some activities, but in general it was more of a title than an actual job.  As I’ve grown I’ve had a few callings that also didn’t ask much of me, such as birthday coordinator or visiting teaching supervisor. Neider encourages those with a traditionally small calling to step up and make something more of it, and asks the leadership of the ward to also give greater assignments and delegation to them.

Birthday coordinator especially stands out because I took upon myself to do something special for each birthday that I was in charge of.  I would often make cookies or cupcakes and bring a card to the birthday person.  As I did the extra work I had a lot of fun and felt better about my calling.  It also gave me a chance as a shy young person to get to know my ward a little better.

Right now we are in limbo between wards, so I don’t have a calling.  However, I’m realizing I left some loose ends on my callings in Colorado.  So, today I’m going to make a couple calls and make sure they’re all tied up.

Have you ever had a calling where you went beyond what was expected?  What can you do, or what are you doing now to fulfill your current calling?

Lift Where You Stand

Reading: “Lift Where You Stand,” President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, October 2008 General Conference, Priesthood Session

When I was attending BYU-Idaho I once went with my FHE group to one of the weekly FHE question and answer sessions with then-President, now-Elder (apostle) Bednar.  The most memorable question, for me, was when a young woman got up and said that she sometimes felt like she was destined for great things, the implication being a high calling in the church, and asked Elder Bednar what his advice was.  He said firmly that followers of Christ are humble and that it is not good to seek after high offices of the church, but rather those callings go to those who are not seeking them.

In this talk Elder Uchtdorf shares the same message.  He asks us to “lift where we stand” and not to get caught up in seeking after the praise or glory of men. He says,

Brethren, when we stand before the Lord to be judged, will He look upon the positions we have held in the world or even in the Church? Do you suppose that titles we have had other than “husband,” “father,” or “priesthood holder” will mean much to Him? Do you think He will care how packed our schedule was or how many important meetings we attended? Do you suppose that our success in filling our days with appointments will serve as an excuse for failure to spend time with our wife and family?

The Lord judges so very differently from the way we do. He is pleased with the noble servant, not with the self-serving noble.

Because of the way our society works, it is easy to sometimes get the idea that the measure of one’s worthiness and spiritual prowess is found in your church position.  After all, if you are really good at your job you move up and up and are rewarded more and more. When I have found myself starting to think this way it usually makes me feel depressed about my own service.  Because I am so shy I usually struggle with callings that ask me to repeatedly talk in front of people, even kids.  So, I would think, if I struggle with even the smallest of callings, then I must not be very strong spiritually.

I am grateful for talks like this that help us get our minds and hearts back in order.  Our service is not, and should not, be judged by outward recognition or by the “rank” of our calling.  Rather, our service and spiritual worthiness is between us and God.  We can do far more by looking for every opportunity for service, rather than looking for opportunities to be seen serving.

Today, or this weekend, I’m going to try to find some service I can do anonymously.

Do you know people who have been a great blessing in your life but who may not have served in a high ranking position in the church?