Accepting Callings When We Are Not Quite Ready or Adequately Prepared

By Elder Ming-Shun (Vincent) Kuan

The purpose of this life is 'to prepare to meet God.'1 In these latter days, the Lord has restored His true Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, through the Prophet Joseph Smith. In this Church, we learn the fullness of the doctrines of the gospel. We also receive the covenants and ordinances necessary for salvation so that we can be ready in all aspects to meet God.

In order to return to God, we must learn to apply the gospel teachings in our lives, and to love and serve one another. For this purpose, God has called us as ordinary mortals to the sacred work of His Church, so that we can learn through our ministry to come unto Christ.2

Each of us has an opportunity to serve people through callings, and to feel that we are 'no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God.'3 I clearly and profoundly remember that shortly after I was baptized, my branch president assigned me to take the roll for Sunday School classes. I was glad to have this assignment.  Each class I would excitedly hold the name list and check off each name.  As time went by, I gradually got to know each member of the Sunday School. I soon became acquainted with all the members and would care about those who were absent. I felt privileged and happy that I could do my part for the Lord’s Church.  I also felt that the Lord had taught me and blessed me in this assignment.

Throughout my time of growth in the Church, I have had the opportunity to receive different callings and assignments. These callings have left a wonderful mark. Sometimes when traveling through a city where I once lived and served, I recall a family I visited and the circumstances of their home. Sometimes when meeting with former associates, I am moved like Alma the Younger in the scriptures, who did “rejoice exceedingly to see his brethren; and what added more to his joy, they were still his brethren in the Lord; yea, and they had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth; for they were men of a sound understanding and they had searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God.'4

As I look back on previous callings, I can clearly understand why the Lord gave me the calling at that time. However, there have been times when I received a new calling that it was difficult to clearly understand the will of the Lord.  I could only feel terrified in realizing my inadequacies and how unworthy I was to serve in the calling that the Lord had given me.

I remember that when I had such feelings, a leader taught me that I should trust the Lord. When He extends callings, He understands all our difficulties, challenges, inadequacies and weaknesses. We cannot always see what He wants us to learn, and the wonderful blessings He has prepared for us. “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”

President Thomas S. Monson has taught, 'Whom the Lord calls, he qualifies.' The Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, President M. Russell Ballard said, “No one seeks for offices in the Church, but once the call comes, we accept it because we love the Lord Jesus Christ.” When we love the Lord, we will humbly trust Him, and will be determined regardless of what the calling might be. When the Lord asks and we are willing, God will help us in our inadequacies and weaknesses so that we can take upon us His holy work.

The Savior has completed the great work of the Atonement. He invites us to take up the holy work to establish the Church, to help all people increase our faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, to receive the covenants and ordinances of salvation, and obtain the blessings of eternity. With all my heart, I am grateful to be able to participate in this holy work, and to leave my certain testimony of the sacredness and the truth of this great work. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.