Lehi’s sons Jacob and Joseph provide an example for those who have been called to teach. Jacob said that he had “obtained [his] errand from the Lord.” He and Joseph were consecrated, or set apart, as “priests and teachers of [the] people.” Then they “did magnify [their] office unto the Lord” (Jacob 1:17–19).
Receiving the Call to Teach
If you have a calling as a teacher or leader in the Church, you can be assured that the calling is from the Lord. It was extended by one of His chosen servants, and He has said, “Whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same” (D&C 1:38).
A calling is a sacred opportunity to serve. It carries with it an accountability to the Lord. It should influence the way you live, governing your decisions and motivating you to be a faithful and wise servant.
When you received a calling to teach, you may have said to yourself, “But I have not been trained to teach. I have no ability to present a lesson or lead a class discussion. There are so many who could do better than I.” Perhaps others do have more teaching experience or natural ability than you. However, you are the one who has been called. The Lord will make you an instrument in His hands if you are humble, faithful, and diligent. President Thomas S. Monson taught:
“If any brother or sister feels unprepared—even incapable—of responding to a call to serve, to sacrifice, to bless the lives of others, remember this truth: ‘Whom God calls, God qualifies.’ He who notes the sparrow’s fall will not abandon the servant’s need” (“Tears, Trials, Trust, Testimony,” Ensign, Sept. 1997, 5).
Being Sustained and Set Apart
You will receive added strength when you are sustained by the congregation and set apart. In a setting apart, priesthood leaders lay their hands on your head and give you a charge to act in your calling. You are also given blessings to strengthen and direct you. President Spencer W. Kimball declared, “The setting apart may be taken literally; it is a setting apart from sin, apart from the carnal; apart from everything which is crude, low, vicious, cheap, or vulgar; set apart from the world to a higher plane of thought and activity” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball , 478).
No formal calling to teach is complete without a setting apart by proper priesthood authority. If you have been called and sustained as a teacher but have not been set apart, contact your quorum or auxiliary leader to make the necessary arrangements to be set apart.
Magnifying Your Calling and Being Magnified by the Lord
As mentioned above, Jacob and Joseph magnified their calling to teach the people. They taught the word of God “with all diligence …, by laboring with [their] might” (Jacob 1:19).
As you magnify your calling to teach, the Lord will magnify you. President Ezra Taft Benson taught: “There can be no failure in the work of the Lord when [we] do [our] best. We are but instruments; this is the Lord’s work. This is His Church, His gospel plan. These are His children we are working with. He will not permit us to fail if we do our part. He will magnify us even beyond our own talents and abilities when necessary. This I know. I am sure many of you have experienced it as I have. It is one of the sweetest experiences that can come to a human being” (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson , 372).