Sunday, July 15, 2012

Magnifying Your Calling

Callings are opportunities given to us from the Lord, through his servants, to help continue his work, to help keep the Church organized as a whole, and to keep it functioning properly.

There are many positions and responsibilities to which one may be called,

God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?
Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

(1 Cor 12:28-30)

However, we must remember that we all have our part to play, Paul taught this by comparing our callings and responsibilities to a body

For the body is not one member, but many.
If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?
But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.

When we all play our role, and we put our best efforts into it, the body, the Church, functions, and continues providing those things which we desire.

Today, I’ve been asked to speak on how we can magnify our responsibilities, our callings, and the blessings that come of doing so.

1. Just Do It

The first, yet most vital part of magnifying our callings requires us to actually be performing our callings
In his talk “The Call of Duty,” President Monson stated,

“How does one magnify a calling? Simply by performing the service that pertains to it. An elder magnifies the ordained calling of an elder by learning what his duties as an elder are and then by doing them. As with an elder, so with a deacon, a teacher, a priest, a bishop, and each who holds office in the priesthood.”

As a member of the Church, I’ve had multiple callings, from Deacon’s Quorum secretary, from missionary, to a simple teacher, but for me to even begin to magnify my calling, to put my best into the assignment given me, it was necessary that I was actually doing that assignment. The gospel is a gospel of action, and without any actions on my part, I’m not truly aiding the cause.

Let’s continue with the comparison of callings to a body, let’s use the eyes for this example. The eyes are assigned the task to help us see where we are going, what’s happening, and help protect us from possible hazards. We can make sight stronger, but... it needs to be functioning in order for that to happen. If an eye decides not to work... or to do its part... there’s no way of making it better.

I know that by simply performing the callings that the Lord has called us to, that we will be an aid to the Church, and we will feel the magnitude of this work and the importance it has.

2. Going the Extra Mile

As a missionary in the field, I had the opportunity to serve other missionaries, and to help them with investigators they had, and even their relationships with each other.

As soon as I began to understand my responsibilities, and put them in practice consistently, I noticed that there was still more to be done. I began doing small extra things for those missionaries I was blessed to serve, like spending a few moments each night talking to them to see how they were doing, sharing motivational thoughts or powerful experiences that me and my companion had during the day, even taking them out to lunch at times.

At the moment I began going the extra mile, I noticed how my love for the work, and the love I felt towards these missionaries, increased.

Going the extra mile doesn’t require much. For home teachers, it could be stopping by between formal visits to see how the families are doing, for an organist, or a pianist, it could be finding the right song for the moment, maybe even based off the topics of the talks. Just small simple things.

By small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.
And the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes; and by very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls.

(Alma 37:6-7)

I know that by following this principle of callings, that we will begin to feel the love of God, and not only will we feel God’s love towards us, but we will feel it for all his children, and that we will continue to have desires to aid them and transmit that love to them.
3. Trust the Lord

This last principle is when faith comes into full action. Let’s use the example of Abinadi for this principle of magnifying our callings.

Abinadi was called to cry repentance unto the people of Noah. We know that a very large number of trials and confrontations faced him, and that seemingly, his attempts had failed. Yet we know, that through these experiences he trusted in the Lord, for example, this scripture, when the servants of king Noah tried to stop Abinadi from preaching

Touch me not, for God shall smite you if ye lay your hands upon me, for I have not delivered the message which the Lord sent me to deliver; neither have I told you that which ye requested that I should tell; therefore, God will not suffer that I shall be destroyed at this time.
But I must fulfil the commandments wherewith God has commanded me
(Mosiah 13:3-4)

While he did not know what would come to pass, he trusted the Lord that he would be able to deliver this message, and that maybe just one person would be able to hear, and believe his words.

Fortunately, and thankfully, his trust was repaid, and Alma believed; and because he believed, many others came to believe and became converted.

We may not know what effect our actions through our callings may have upon others, in fact, we may never know, but if we put our trust in the Lord, we need not worry. He will always provide.

The blessings can are great in trusting the Lord, first, off, our faith tremendously increases, as does our hope and our charity towards all. Another is that we will begin to see how the Lord is transforming us and helping us grow through our efforts, and while it may be somewhat of a difficult experience for some, the outcome is always a reason to shout for joy.

I know these things to be true, for I have been a personal witness of these principles in my life.

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