Sunday, February 7, 2010

Being Called of God

The Fifth Article of Faith:

5. We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.

In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints all members serve in some capacity. I myself have served in many auxiliaries throughout the years. Every calling we receive comes from God through revelation of our leaders or those who call us. Also, every release comes from God as well. Everything is done on the Lord’s time table. Knowing this helps us appreciate our call to serve and comforts us when our release is given.

I love what Neil L. Andersen said in the Dec 2009 Liahona - Spiritual Gifts Given the Stake President. When talking about receiving a calling as stake president he said,

“All are humbled and some are overwhelmed when they are called. Sometime, either before, during, or after the call, the Lord confirms to the man being called that his call is of God.”

I couldn’t agree more. In my own callings when I have wondered, “Is this calling really from God, and why?” shortly after I receive personal revelation and confirmation that this where God wants me to be and what He wants me to be doing. Whether I needed to learn something from that calling or I needed to help a specific individual, the Spirit reveals the greater purpose to me and I am always humbled.

Elder Andersen goes on to say;

“The Lord has always given keys to His chosen Apostles. Unto Peter He declared, “I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Mathew 16:9) Some of these keys are then shared with local leaders.”

In Numbers 27:16 (15-20) the Lord reveals this same order to Moses when he says,

16. Let the Lord the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation,

18. And the Lord said unto Moses, Take thee Joshua the son of Nun, a man whom is the spirit, and lay thine hand upon him;

19. And set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation, and give him a charge in their sight.

John 15:16

16. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

Heb. 5:4

4. And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.

Just like during the time of Christ and past prophets, the restoration of the gospel has likewise restored the unifying practice of men being called of God, by prophecy. God chooses who He needs to fulfill His work and purposes. It makes a lot of sense if you think about it. God still loves His children and still provides a prophet to lead them. As a prophet, in order to be led by God, that man called must be worthy. If he was not, then he would not have the spirit with him, and the Lord could not lead him.

Missionaries, teachers and leaders of any type are all called by God through the laying on of hands by priesthood power and authority. That’s what is so marvelous about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. God speaks to His servants through His servants. Everything is done in His order and according to His will. And as members we can choose whether or not we want to accept a calling given to us. Nothing is forced and no one is reprehended or treated differently if they decline a calling. There will always be free agency, because that is what makes God, God.

I know that a man must truly be called of God in order to do His work. All men on the Earth who preach the gospel or live by its teachings will be blessed no matter what religion they are; and I know that God is pleased with the good that they do. The sacred ordinances and complete gospel in its fullness however cannot be administered by just anyone. They must be administered by those who have been called of God by those who have the restored keys.

In my own life I have been blessed countless times though being led by leaders who have been called of God. God has answered many of my prayers though them and has given me personal revelation and answers to many personal struggles through these divine leaders. There are amazing experiences that I wish I could share publicly but they are too personal and sacred. This has been a testimony to me that God does call righteous and worthy men and women whom He sees fit at the right times and the right places to do His work and bless all His children. I testify with all my heart that these things are true. I know that the first presidency of the church President Thomas S. Monson and counselors Henry B. Eyring and Dieter F. Uchtdorf have been called of God to lead the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and I sustain them with all my heart. They are faithful, dear, genuine and loving men.This I say in the name of Jesus Christ amen.

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