Monday, August 23, 2010

The Church runs on volunteered time and service, organized through callings. We choose to accept or reject these callings when Church leaders extend them to us. When we are faced with this choice we must remember the following:
  • Church leaders truly are inspired from heaven. They know where we need to serve. We must not doubt them even if it is difficult not to.
  • There are many reasons why a certain calling is right for us. Most obvious, we have the necessary qualities and skills for that position or, conversely, we need to develop the needed qualities and skills. Other reasons may not even be related to the calling. In my case, I needed to meet a certain person, who shared the same calling. We have since become close friends and blessings in each other's lives.
  • When we magnify our callings, everyone benefits. We grow and the ward grows; we learn and the ward learns; we love and the ward loves us back.
  • Every calling in the ward is important. 1 Corinthians 12:12-27 emphasizes this by comparing members to body parts and explaining how every body part is essential and should be honored. Never be ashamed of your calling.
Sharing Time: What was your favorite calling? What was your most challenging? What blessings and positive experiences have you had while serving?

"I'm Going to Boise!"

The LDS comedy The Singles Ward plays up the oft-used missionary joke of being called to serve in Boise, Idaho. After a young man opens his mission call, his friends say something polite and quickly come up with excuses to leave, commenting privately how awful his call is. When the young man shares his call at a store, the employee smiles politely and says, "How nice." Other mission calls viewed as awful include a missionary's home country, a place only a few hours away, or a place where they speak the missionary's native language.

Why do we have this attitude about mission calls? The purpose of a mission is not to go on a vacation, study abroad, or collect stories for bragging rights (as played up in The RM). It's not about us! The purpose of a mission is to "bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man" (Moses 1:39). Heavenly Father wants all His children to return to Him and He loves them all the same, regardless of where they live or what language they speak. No people are worth more or less to Heavenly Father, no mission is better than another, and all missions have challenges. We must view a mission call as an opportunity to bless His children with the joy of the gospel. We must learn to love the people, the place, and the culture. Only when we have the right attitude about missionary work will we be successful.

Challenge: Next mission call opening you attend, have genuine excitement and support for the missionary no matter where he or she is going. If the call is your own, pray for sincere love and joy before opening it.

photo from