As I was being introduced as a speaker recently, the person conducting politely mentioned some of my more prominent past Church callings, such as bishop, mission president, and member of a stake presidency. This brother was being gracious, but the thought occurred to me, why not introduce me as a ward mission leader (my current calling) or by some of my less-public callings?
I can honestly say that I felt the same guiding spirit in each calling, and each has been rewarding. I have always sought the Lord’s guidance in my callings, and never have I felt let down. I have concluded that the Lord delights to bless us—regardless of where we serve.
I believe we will receive “a crown of immortality, and eternal life” (D&C 81:6) not because of prominent callings but rather because we have humbly served in whatever callings we have received. The Savior has said:
“Let not the head say unto the feet it hath no need of the feet; for without the feet how shall the body be able to stand?
“Also the body hath need of every member, that all may be edified together, that the system may be kept perfect” (D&C 84:109–10).
I have feared some Church callings during my life. Whenever I had such thoughts about a potential calling, it was a sure bet I would soon receive it. To accept such callings has required faith and reliance on promises found in the scriptures.
Nephi said, “I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them” (1 Nephi 3:7). Paul declared, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).
At times we may feel that it’s our right to refuse a calling if we fear it. But we need to remember that Church leaders pray about callings and the individuals who are to receive them.
When we refuse a calling, the position passes to another, who will have the opportunity to grow and be blessed for serving (see D&C 58:32).
The Lord delights to bless us, and I have found that no matter how much I serve, I continue to be in His debt. Truly, He has blessed my family and me beyond my wildest dreams for our service in His kingdom.