“But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son go work today in my vineyard. He answered and said, I will not; but afterward, he repented, and went. And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir, and went not. Whether the twain did the will of his father? . . . “ (Matthew 21:28-31).
We can apply the preceding passage to accepting callings that we are extended within our wards and stakes.
We’ve all been taught to never say "no” to a calling, but there seems to be a caveat missing from that counsel. If we say “yes,” we need to mean “yes.”
What does it mean when we say “yes?” It means that we will do the best that we can to magnify that calling. It means we will teach, attend Mutual, visit teach, or be involved with Scouting. There’s a big difference between a Primary teacher that first opens, and then reads, the lesson during sacrament meeting and the teacher who has read and pondered the lesson, thought about creative ways to present the information to reach all of the students, and prepared visual aids or handouts.
Magnifying something means to make it larger. Magnifying a calling mean enlarging that which we’ve been called to do. If our calling is to teach Sunday school we can simply teach the lesson each Sunday, or we can get to know those we teach, reach out to them, and let them know by our actions that we care about them. Imagine how a teenager would feel if his Sunday school teacher attended one of his basketball games. How would a child feel if her Primary teacher watched her perform in a play? How would a sister feel if her visiting teacher baked her some cookies for her birthday and attached a short note of appreciation for that sister?
It does take extra time and commitment to reach out beyond the ordinary boundaries of a calling, but the rewards cannot be measured. My nephew had quite a negative experience in Primary one year. In fact, he refused to attend. After some coaxing by his parents, he relented and was pleasantly surprised by a new teacher. This new teacher went out of her way to send cards to my nephew, to notice his good behavior, and to often express her love for him. It’s been many years since this experience, but my nephew still remembers the Primary teacher who taught him to love going to Primary again.
Serving with the Scouts seems to be one of the most unpopular callings. No one wants to attend Scout meetings, take the boys for overnight campouts, or spend a week at Scout camp. Yet, these boys are at a crucial age when a man who takes this calling seriously, and is willing to serve with all of his heart, can make a difference in the lives of the boys. A cheerful attitude and willingness to jump in and have fun with the boys can make the difference between an active and less-active young man. A Scoutmaster can influence boys to not only advance in Scouting, but to also honor and use their priesthood.
We’re all busy. We’re all running from one end of the day to the next. Our lives are filled with kids, employment, school activities, piano lessons, soccer, PTA, civic duties, and taking care of our homes. Yet, if we put our faith in the Lord and do our best to not only fulfill, but also magnify our callings, He will provide a way for us to take care of everything else. There’s a reason we’re called to serve in a certain position. We may be the only person who can touch another’s life at that time. Remember, the worth of a soul is great in the sight of the Lord. Heavenly Father loves all of his children and he wants all of us to return to live with him someday. When we earnestly strive to serve in a calling with all of our heart, might, mind, and strength we will see miracles occur in the lives of those we serve, and in our own lives.
When we say “yes,” we need to mean “yes.”
Return to the neighborhood.
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