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Hi Gramps!

I have a question regarding missions. The Latter Day Prophets have commanded every worthy male to serve a mission. My question is, what if you don’t have the desire to serve? I have prayed and fasted for years trying to get a desire to serve the Lord, and the answer I seemed to be getting is not to serve; and still no desire. But that answer leaves me confused. By not serving, I am not obeying God’s commandments. Plus there are people that say I am defying God. Am I defying God by not serving the Lord and sharing the Gospel? Am I wrong not to serve? I am just confused and needed all the help I can get.

P.

Dear P.,

The work of the kingdom is not always easy or pleasant. Think of your employment for a minute. How long do you think you would last if you went to work only when you felt like it, and only did those things that you enjoyed doing? By not accepting a call from the Lord it seems to me that you are counting Him and His work of less importance in your life than that required by your employer. The New Testament records the account of the rich young man who asked the Savior what he should do to obtain eternal life, and the Savior told him to sell all that he had and to come and follow him. The account says that when the young man heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich. (Luke 18:18-23) He loved his money, and apparently the other things of this world, more than he loved the Lord and the opportunity of service to Him. In the continuing account (Luke 18:28-30) we read the interchange between Peter and the Lord,

Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee. And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake, Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.

It is evident here that service in the kingdom requires some sacrifice, but he who is willing to make that sacrifice shall receive manifold more in this life, and in the world to come he will receive life everlasting.Now, there are valid reasons for not accepting a call to serve. Among these are health and overriding family responsibilities. However, when entertaining such a call I would suggest that an appropriate response would be to acquaint the calling authority with the particular conditions in one’s life, and then add, “If you wish me to serve with those constraints, I will be glad to do whatever the Lord would ask me to do.”

Gramps

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