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Dear Gramps,

I am a father of 5 and very active in the Mormon Church. We pay our tithing, fast offerings, read our scriptures, have family home evening, and yet we are seen as the ward welfare project. The ward has given us so much and we have been so blessed by being in this ward. The problem is I have been promised in my Patriarchal Blessing that I will be a leader of men and will have opportunities to teach the gospel. Yet, members are released from one calling and put somewhere else and I am over-looked once again. I really want to serve my fellow members and feel I have the ability, time and talent to do so but it is so frustrating and discouraging when the Lord is always saying no. What can I do? Thanks.





Dear Jeff,

Perhaps you should take a broader perspective on the interpretation of “Leader of Men.” First, let’s look at callings in the Ward. I have the impression that at least 51% of the reason for any calling in the Mormon Church is to benefit the person called rather than those served. Calls in the Mormon Church are the training ground for gospel scholarship and service. Ask yourself this question: Who gets the most benefit out of giving a talk in church, the speaker or the congregation? Before you answer, try to think of the subject addressed by the main speaker in your Sacrament meeting two weeks ago, then try to think of the subject of the last talk that you gave in church. Which do you remember most? Who gets the most benefit from giving a lesson in a Sunday School class, the teacher or the students? So it is with all calls to serve.

You might look at calls in the Ward as being given to those who need them the most, rather than to those who are the most qualified to give service. Further, the amount of learning accomplished by students is inversely proportional to the number of students being taught, the ideal teacher-to-student ratio being one to one. Are you a home teacher? That important calling is the one calling in the Ward where the greatest information transfer may take place. Also, that calling has significant and broad stewardship responsibility, which I think may not be fully appreciated by many people in the church.

Next, patriachal blessings are not always meant for instant fulfilment. If you have been given the promise that you will become a leader of men, it would seem to me that rather than commisserating on not being called now as a leader, one should diligently devote his time to acquiring the qualities of a leader. The most essential quality of a good leader is to be a good follower. Also, it would be important to become as familiar with the scriptures as possible, as they are the principal source material for service in the Kingdom. You might also consider that opportunities for service in the Kingdom are not restricted to positions in the ward or stake. You mentioned how much your ward has given you and how blessed you are for being in the ward. Has all of that service been in the discharge of official callings, or have the members extended their kindness and helpfulness as individual members of the ward? If you were to concentrate on ways that you could be of service to your neighbors, other ward members and to your community, and were to extend yourself in those areas you would indeed be a leader of men and a disciple of Christ.






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