Yes, I was sick with nervousness this Sunday. Why, you ask? Because I was singing a duet in sacrament meeting. That is enough to make me nervous, but I was also singing the first part of the song myself, which makes me a soloist. My son accompanied us on the piano (he did a great job) and we sang three verses of a primary hymn, right there at the podium with a microphone, with everyone staring at us.
If you’ve sat by me in church you’ll know that I’m not the guy they typically ask to sing solos. I mean, I can sing just fine, but I shouldn’t do it alone and in front of a microphone. I don’t always hit the correct notes. I don’t even sing the correct verses. I once sang part of one of our hymns while looking at the wrong hymn (and singing the wrong words, obviously). I didn’t sing nearly as well as the guy who was singing with me during the duet.
So, why did I sing a duet and a little bit of a solo this Sunday? Because I was asked to. And here are a few things I know about callings/assignments/opportunities to serve in The Church the Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints:
- We’re not called to perform the work as well as anyone else. We don’t have to be as good as the last person who held our calling.
- We’re not usually called because we’re the best at whatever we’re called to do.
- Sure, sometimes part of why we’re called is because of a specific skill set we have or are developing. That doesn’t remove the inspiration behind the call.
- We shouldn’t be too worried about how well someone else does their calling in the church.
- We’ll often be asked to do things we’re not very good at.
- If we were only called to do things in the church that we were naturally good at, many of us wouldn’t get very many chances to serve at all!
- We should try to get better at our callings. I’m going to try to be a better singer, just in case the unthinkable happens and I am asked again (this week’s performance will probably solve that problem, but I’d better be prepared anyway).
- Some callings/assignments are going to be frustrating and we’re not going to get noticeably better.
- Most of the callings we do will not be done to perfection or even that well. I guess I can’t speak for the rest of you, but this is true for me (and I’ve held a pretty decent number of callings).
So, then, what’s the point of even having callings? Well, for me, I work hard at my callings simply because a.) I love the Savior, b.) I like serving in the kingdom of God, and c.) I promised I would when I got baptized, received the priesthood, and entered the temple. I really think that one of the most unique parts of life as a Mormon is the endless opportunities we all get to serve in so many different capacities. I know of no other church where most members of the congregation have “job” to do during church and/or during the week. I love it. Sometimes it makes me nervous enough to want to throw up, but I love it…