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Do Your Duty

President Monson said in the August 2012 Ensign,
Are you ever guilty of murmuring when a calling comes to you? Or do you accept with thanksgiving each opportunity to serve your brothers and sisters, knowing that our Heavenly Father will bless those whom He calls?

I would hope that we would not lose the real objective of our cherished opportunities to serve. That objective, that eternal goal, is the same spoken of by the Lord and found in the Pearl of Great Price: “For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”
 
May we ever remember that the mantle of membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not a cloak of comfort but rather a robe of responsibility. Our duty, in addition to saving ourselves, is to guide others to the celestial kingdom of God. . . .  
I pause when I think of the words of President John Taylor (1808–87): “If you do not magnify your callings, God will hold you responsible for those whom you might have saved had you done your duty.”
President Taylor's words may also relieve any doubt you have when Church leaders call certain people to positions you may not think they can or will fill. The calling was still inspired whether or not the person fulfills the duty; he or she will be held responsible for not taking the opportunity to serve others and grow spiritually.

To those of us who have those feelings about our own callings, President Monson has said, as shared in an article about him in the same Ensign:
Whatever our calling, regardless of our fears or anxieties, let us pray and then go and do, remembering the words of the Master, even the Lord Jesus Christ, who promised, “I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”

Perhaps when we face our Maker, we will not be asked, “How many positions did you hold,” but rather, “How many people did you help?”
The latter quote was clearly illustrated in the very next Ensign article:
When I started my freshman year of college, I quickly formed friendships with two other freshmen, one a rancher and the other a farmer. We made an unlikely threesome—two down-to-earth western US country boys and one fast-talking East Coast city slicker. After graduating from college, they returned home to ranch and farm, and I entered the corporate business world.
 
Annual Christmas cards and occasional phone calls kept us up to date as our lives advanced. By the time I was in my mid-30s, I had served twice as Scoutmaster. Later, as I finished my second “tour” as an assistant nursery leader, my two friends were serving in bishoprics. As time progressed, I fell into the trap of comparing my callings to my friends’ callings, and I began to feel unwanted and ignored.
 
By the time I was in my mid-40s, leadership callings extended to others would trouble my thoughts for days. Each time someone was called to a ward or stake leadership position, Satan would whisper to me that I was unworthy or lacked the faith necessary for such callings. I could intellectually fight off such thoughts through prayer and study, but I still struggled with my self-worth. Being “just an elder” and refereeing youth basketball games at age 50 while my friends were serving in stake presidencies was not what I had envisioned I would be doing at that age.
 
Then came an experience that changed my understanding of the gospel. I was assisting my wife one Sunday with her Primary class full of energetic seven-year-olds. As Primary sharing time started, I noticed one of the class members huddled on her chair and obviously not feeling well. The Spirit whispered to me that she needed comfort, so I sat by her and quietly asked what was wrong. She didn’t answer but seemed to be in real distress, so I began to sing softly to her.
 
The Primary was learning a new song, and when we sang, “If I listen with my heart I hear the Savior’s voice,” I began to feel the most incredible light and warmth fill my soul. I felt wrapped in eternal arms of love. I understood that Heavenly Father had heard this young girl’s prayer and that I was there to provide the comfort He wanted to give her. My spiritual understanding was opened, and I received a personal testimony of our Savior’s love for her, for each of His children, and for me. I knew He trusted me to serve someone in need, and I was where He wanted me to be. I learned that we are His hands when we serve the one.
 
I rejoice in any opportunity to serve, and I try to remain worthy to feel the promptings of the Spirit and to be where Heavenly Father wants me to be when one of His children needs service.
 
Challenge: When you accept a calling to serve in the Church, do your duty, no matter how seemingly small.

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