- First, to the newly called: Confidence depends on your seeing the call for what it is. Your call to serve is not from human beings. It is a trust from God. And the service is not simply to perform a task. Whatever name it has, every call is an opportunity and an obligation to watch over and strengthen the children of our Heavenly Father. The Savior’s work is to bring to pass their immortality and eternal life. He called us to serve others so that we could strengthen our own faith as well as theirs. He knows that by serving Him we will come to know Him.
- Because you are called by Jesus Christ to His service, you may go forward with great confidence. First, you may be assured that He knows you and your capacity to grow. He has prepared you. Calls will stretch you, often at the start and always over their course, but He will give you the Holy Ghost to be your companion. The Holy Ghost will tell you what to do when your own abilities and efforts are not enough. The Holy Ghost will prompt you to bear testimony with conviction. The Savior will let you feel the love He feels for those you serve. The call is an invitation to become like Him.
President Eyring tells a story of a man who was called to be a Stake President without any prior calling to serve in a bishopric or in a Stake Presidency. This man called his dad to talk to him about it and his advice was simply, you need to do a lot of praying.
- The Lord is his only hope for success. Most of the help will come through the ministrations of the Holy Ghost. The Lord’s servants cannot succeed without it. We can only have the Holy Ghost as a companion if we plead for it and if we qualify for it. And both require a lot of praying, praying with real faith in our Heavenly Father and in His Beloved Son and in the Holy Ghost. To have the companionship of the Holy Ghost, we must be cleansed of sin. That only comes through faith enough in Jesus Christ to repent and qualify for forgiveness. And then we have to stay away from sin. That takes prayer, both frequent and fervent.
We are reminded that the ability and strength to serve comes from the Savior. The key to obtaining this strength is found in our ability to forgive others and the plead for forgiveness as we make mistakes.
- The strengthening we are to give those we watch over comes from the Savior. We and they must forgive to be forgiven by Him. We and they can only hope to remain clean with His protection and with the change in our hearts that His Atonement makes possible. We need that change to have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost.
As we accept callings, we can have confidence that when we pray for help and guidance, it will come.
- You may have confidence in the Lord’s service. The Savior will help you do what He has called you to do, be it for a time as a worker in the Church or forever as a parent. You may pray for help enough to do the work and know that it will come.
President Eyring speaks to those that have responsibilities to call new members to specific callings. They have an obligation to train and teach the new members how to perform their calling. Most times, the new member has never had a chance to observe someone performing the calling. It is vital that they are given help to know what they can do to magnify their calling in the Lord's way.
- Now, a word to those who have issued those calls in the Church. When you did, you conveyed the trust of the Lord. But He placed a trust with you as well. Just as those members were called to watch over and strengthen others, you were placed under the same obligation to watch over and strengthen them. If you issued the call and gave no training or did not watch to see that the training was enough, you failed them and the Lord. Even with that training, the path will become difficult for them. You know that, and so you must watch and listen to see when they need strengthening. You will give just enough help to strengthen their faith that the Lord is watching over them and over the people they serve and that they may turn with confidence to Him. To do that well, you must do a lot of praying yourself, for guidance and for them.
Some people will not have the capacity or opportunity to have a calling right away. President Eyring assures us that we can still serve others when we don't have an official title or limitations prevent us from accepting a call.
- You could watch and you could strengthen, even when your only call in the Church at that moment is to be a follower of Jesus Christ and your only tools are to pray and smile and encourage.
This talk is a great reminder that new members need an opportunity to serve. I meet with new members often and each of them have such a great spirit as they share with me how they came to know the church was true. These members need to know they are welcome and a great way to do that is to issue a calling to them to serve others. I have found in my life, that I have a better outlook on life when I focus on making someone else happy by serving them. The Lord's knows that conversion is a process and the encouragement that we can give to new members by simply asking them to serve will give them a chance to rely on the spirit for guidance and learn from those that they serve.