As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I hold a calling. I know. I know. We Mormons have our own language and sometimes it's hard for people who are not Mormon and don't know much about us to understand what we are talking about.
A calling is a job in the church. Most of us have at least one. Some hold a few. They can range from a teacher, to a pianist, to a leadership position, to a Cub Scout or Boy Scout leader, to a Bishop. There are many. And nobody gets paid for the job they do. It is completely on a volunteer basis. We do not ask for callings. We are offered them by our Bishop who has prayed about it with his counselors to seek the will of God for each calling to be filled. We are then given the opportunity to accept or not accept the calling we've been asked to fulfill. They can range in time from a few weeks to a few years, depending on what it is. I have held many callings throughout my life. I have worked in the nursery with the 18 month old to 3 year old toddlers, tending and teaching them while their parents attend their classes. I have been a Cubmaster and a Cub Scout den mother. I have worked in the Relief Society, which is the women's organization within the church. It is the largest women's organization in the world. I am a visiting teacher. Always. That is one calling I will always have. As a visiting teacher, I have 3 or 4 women I visit each and every month. I am their friend. I attend to their needs where I am needed. It might mean taking a meal after a new baby is born or tending her children so she can go to a doctor's appointment. It might just be to offer a shoulder to cry on when life is hard for her. I take a spiritual message with me each month to build her up spiritually. We go as partners of two. I have two sisters who also come and visit and check on me each month. If there are greater needs than I can take care of, I report back to the Relief Society President and she then reports to the Bishop to see if there is a way to help the needs to be met. It could mean paying an electric bill or making sure a box of food is delivered. The range of needs always varies.
For the past two years my calling, other than as a visiting teacher, has been to teach the adult Sunday School class. It was my job to study and prepare a lesson for each Sunday on the scriptures. I was able to teach the Old Testament in 2010 and taught the New Testament for 2011. This year we are studying the Book of Mormon. But I won't be teaching the Book of Mormon this year because I was asked to take a new calling about two months ago. Now my job is to work with all of the young women in my community, ages 12 to 18. I have been asked to be the president of this Young Women's organization. There are approximately 150 girls and 33 women leaders under my direction.
We believe our callings give us opportunities to grow. Since we believe we are divinely called for each position through revelation by the authority of the Priesthood, we believe it is for our spiritual growth and is God's will. (Sometimes I don't like to write about these things on a blog because of those who will ridicule us and say there is no such thing as these things we speak of. We are not crazy. I do believe God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith in a grove of trees and instructed him in how to restore the gospel again upon the earth. It was lost after all of the apostles and prophets were martyred or died and the priesthood was lost upon the earth. This power to act in Jesus' name is called the Aaronic Priesthood and the Melchizedek Priesthood and was restored by the resurrected John the Baptist (Aaronic), and Peter, James, and John (Melchizedek). It had to be restored through resurrected beings because no one on the earth held the priesthood after it was lost over 1,900 years ago.)
Back to my calling. I felt very comfortable in my calling as a teacher of the scriptures each week. Teaching 30 to 70 adults didn't cause me much fear. It was comfortable and was becoming quite easy for me to do. But now I have this new calling where I am the president. I wasn't nervous or afraid when I was asked to do it. But as soon as the time came for me to step up as the old president stepped down, I instantly felt inadequate. I have realized it is much easier for me to accept responsibilities than to delegate them. My confidence has wavered many times over the last month. I know I will grow and learn things I never imagined, but I won't recognize those things until after they have been learned. Just like growing arms and legs can be painful for small children, this new calling is proving to be painful for me. "Growing pains" happen when growth happens rapidly. I've been having some spiritual growing pains and it can be uncomfortable as I have been thrown out of my comfort zone. It isn't easy to learn how to do something different... to BE something different. I won't give up because I'm not a quitter. I just hope I can learn to endure my growing pains associated with this new calling without complaint. I need a big dose of confidence and I need it quickly. I wish I could just inject myself with it through the aid of a needle and syringe. But the medicine I need isn't physical, it is spiritual. I guess I will just have to exercise my faith muscles a little harder and spend a little more time talking to the Doctor (Heavenly Father) for advise and strength. It is proving to be painful, but I guess it is time for me to stretch my wings if I want to learn how to fly.