I know I teach within my home, but I never really thought of it as 'teaching' because of the time and effort I habitually put into a formal lesson. This is not the way to think and I'm a bad teacher for thinking so. When I sat and thought about what I wanted to write today, I remembered how I gave a talk in our BYU ward shortly after we were married. Luckily, I still have it on my computer, so I want to share a few thoughts I shared then, right now.
In order to understand how to do our callings properly we need to understand how to magnify. When I think of the word magnify, I think of something brought closer, or enlarged, so I am able to understand it better. The focus function on 35 mm camera allows the image through the lens to be seen more clearly than without it. Strength increases with the power of focus. When we put the right amount of focus on our lives, tasks become easier to understand and easier to accomplish. 'To magnify’ means taking any situation and doing the best you can with the resources you have. One of the resources you have within your calling is the calling itself.
In order to succeed in magnifying our callings President Eyring suggests, in the October 2004 Conference, we should know three basic principles about our calling. And I personally believe these are essential to realize now rather than later.
- We are Called of God: He says, “The Lord knows you. He knows whom He would have serve in every position in His Church. He chose you. The person who was inspired to recommend you for this call didn’t do it because they liked you or because they needed someone to do a particular task. They prayed and felt an answer that you were the one to be called. He prayed to know the Lord’s will for you. Every one who is called of God has the right to know that before anything else." We already know we are called of God through the Fifth Article of Faith. Since we are called of God, we are also called to represent our Savior. Think about this for a moment. Our voices, words, and actions become a representation of the Savior on the earth today. Our callings become more than just ward greeter or hymnbook coordinator; each and every calling is important in the eyes of the Lord because they aid in the building of his kingdom.
- Just as the Lord calls us, he will guide us through revelation. President Eyring gives a caution about the Lord’s guidance: “[it] will come only when the Lord is sure you will obey. To know His will you must be committed to do it. The words 'Thy will be done,' written in the heart, are the window to revelation. The answer comes by the Holy Spirit.” The Holy Spirit may also guide you to the scriptures for your answer. So many stories containing the doctrine and principles of the gospel in different situations will help you find the one that is right for you at that moment. And if not, searching the scriptures will help clear your thoughts to focus on the task ahead.
- Not only does God call and guide you; he will magnify you. There is no need to feel inadequate in your calling. We do not magnify our callings by ourselves and if we think we do, then we are inadequate. The Lord will always be there for us. We are his children; he does not leave us to survive alone. President Erying continued further by suggesting that we feel inadequacy because the Lord’s presence is so much a part of our callings that we take it for granted.
President Heber J. Grant once said, “By the assistance of our Heavenly Father there is no obligation and no law in the Church that we cannot fulfill. The Lord will give us the strength and the ability to accomplish every duty and rests upon us in an acceptable manner in his sight.” Elder Eyring said on this matter: “You can have the utmost assurance that your power will be multiplied many times by the Lord. All He asks is that you give your best effort and your whole heart."
So, what are the callings we must fulfill and magnify? The Lord, through his prophets, specified two categories: callings in the Priesthood and the callings received through the power of the priesthood. Now wait a minute, doesn’t that mean all Church callings? Yes, but that's only the beginning.
The Lord created us with his powers, which includes the power of the priesthood. This means that everything we do in life, not just within the church, is a calling we must magnify. I tend to believe that the ultimate calling we have is that of a son or daughter of God striving to become a true disciple of Christ. We are given our other callings as Bishops, Visiting Teachers, Elders, Mothers, Fathers, etc. to magnify (or make better) our calling as divine beings. We give our best effort in these callings and the Lord will make up the difference.
For me, at this time in my life, it means to magnify my calling as a wife and mother in my calling. It is the first and foremost calling I have in my life and I should not be disappointed in being released.
If the Lord sees fit to give me another calling in the ward, then I will accept because He knows me and knows what I can handle. I challenge us all to never decline a calling; it's like saying you know better than the Lord. Think of the early days of the church when calls would be extended right then and there during sacrament meeting without asking the people involved; the Lord had faith that the members would except the call! Don't be afraid to accept and enjoy your callings; the Lord has faith in you--- have faith in Him.