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Over43

The Calling Merri-go-Round

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Anyone besides me on the calling merri-go-round? I go from primary to teaching Elder's quorum on a regular basis. I switch back and forth. About six months ago I got called to primary again after having been teaching Elder's quorum (again). During the "interview" the bishopric member asked how I felt about the calling, I gave him the honest answer: I teach school 5 days a week. The last thing I want to do is spend two hours on Sunday teaching and sitting with more kids. I was sent back to Elder's quorum where I am teaching.

I guess it is what it is.

O43

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I am thankful for Bishops who ask what someone is doing before extending a calling. While I believe callings are given by inspiration I also think it is important to gather all the facts first.

Good job Bishop and enjoy teaching Elders Quorum

Ben Raines

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Anyone besides me on the calling merri-go-round?

It is especially so in a small Ward. I was just commenting on our pianists this week-end. We only have two. They just keep rotating. Our Ward also has quite a few elderly and physically challenged that hold no Callings. And we have some that are capable, but for reasons I am not privy to, they are not called to serve. So, there are a handful of core members that stay in a Calling for years, or just keep playing the rotation game. Except for one year of serving as YW leaders, my sister and I have been continually serving in Nursery and Primary (we just get switched from one to the other). She has also just been called to be the Seminary teacher.

So, yes, I know what you are feeling/saying.

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Guest bren1975

I LOVE my calling and occassionally give my bishop the "eye" meaning, "don't even think about moving me". Oh, I know, I know. When the Lord calls, etc, etc. I'd accept any calling . . . (kicking and screaming . . . just kidding!! . . . sort of . . . ).

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I have often wondered just how much prayer goes into calling folks to positions. Sometimes it has seemed to me that it is more of a process called decision under fire. This is especially true to those few who have musicial and scouting talents or who have the talent to work with youth. Having said that, I refused one time many years ago to accept a position when called because of the reasons stated above and I have felt guilty every since. On another occassion, I was in the middle of a new job negotiation and was called to serve in the Bishopric again. I turned it down because of the traveling that would ocurr with the new job. So they called someone else. A few weeks later, I broke the negotiations off as the job was not going to end up being what I wanted. I felt guilty about that decision and thus I reached a conclusion that whateve I am called to do, I will do it, no matter what the consequances. So far, that has given me more peace of mind than being selective.

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From my expierence there is alot of prayer and thought that goes into a calling......I have been in a calling merri go round myself for the last 16 yrs or so....I accept them because I know and feel the Lord is truly calling me......

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I look at it this way. If called it is my job to do the best of my ability to do the job and and seek the Lord's help in all I do. Called for desperation or inspiration it is my job to provide the best the Lord will provide me to do the job.

I have served in many callings in my life.

Ben Raines

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I was on that ride for some time, I averaged 18 months between talks and 8 months in a calling before being released and called to something else. In my 12 years in the church I have served in every auxiliary except RS as I am male and ones requiring being a High Priest. I was a clerk serving with the Bisopric however. When I was interviewed for EQ from Clerk I looked the Stake President in the face after having it extended it to me and my entire reply was. "Why not I'll be released in 8 months." and walked out. 8 months later, guess what? I was released.

I have been WML for 18 months now! Very cool. I can not speak for other Wards but I have witnessed the Bishopric down on knee praying earnestly over someone and a calling. I have seen them not get confirmation and not call someone they really wanted to. I have learned an interesting tidbit recently that might explain the merry go round events.

A situation at a welfare meeting gave me insight. An auxiliary leader had prayed about a member and received confirmation that they were the one for an assignment. The Bishop had prayed and gotten a different answer. This made no sense until I listened to what they prayed about. The leader prayed for the needs of the person wanted for the role. The Bishop prayed for those the role would interact with. Since they did not pray for the same thing there was two different answers. A person can be equally needed for Primary and EQ thus every time a Bishopric prays they receive a yes.

Because I have served in so many areas I have a solid understanding of the interrelations between auxiliaries and their different needs as well as how it all relates to new members. As a result our ward is better at coordinating the needs of new members with all the auxiliaries, we are far from perfect but better.

While some leaders do not take enough time to get information from the Lord, I know all the Bishops I have had do. Therefore there is a reason I was bounced so much for so long as frustrating as that was. I just hope I bounce no higher!

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Anyone besides me on the calling merri-go-round? I go from primary to teaching Elder's quorum on a regular basis. I switch back and forth. About six months ago I got called to primary again after having been teaching Elder's quorum (again). During the "interview" the bishopric member asked how I felt about the calling, I gave him the honest answer: I teach school 5 days a week. The last thing I want to do is spend two hours on Sunday teaching and sitting with more kids. I was sent back to Elder's quorum where I am teaching.

I guess it is what it is.

O43

At least your calling is not the usual eight years or those who are life time calling!^_^

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Anyone besides me on the calling merri-go-round? I go from primary to teaching Elder's quorum on a regular basis. I switch back and forth. About six months ago I got called to primary again after having been teaching Elder's quorum (again). During the "interview" the bishopric member asked how I felt about the calling, I gave him the honest answer: I teach school 5 days a week. The last thing I want to do is spend two hours on Sunday teaching and sitting with more kids. I was sent back to Elder's quorum where I am teaching.

I guess it is what it is.

O43

Is there much of a difference between Primary and Elder's Quorum?

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And you don't have to bring cookies to EQ.

When I was in the Bishopric, we called this "moving the hole". The solution is to train someone who has not yet held a calling to serve diligently. this fills the hole, rather than moving it around from organization to organization. This training could be done by anyone, but usually the Elder's Quorum or Relief Society Presidency, HP Group Leadership, or Presidency of the organization who needs help does it, involving Home Teachers and/or Visiting Teachers as appropriate, under direction of the Bishop.

Hope that helps.

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Anyone besides me on the calling merri-go-round? I go from primary to teaching Elder's quorum on a regular basis. I switch back and forth. About six months ago I got called to primary again after having been teaching Elder's quorum (again). During the "interview" the bishopric member asked how I felt about the calling, I gave him the honest answer: I teach school 5 days a week. The last thing I want to do is spend two hours on Sunday teaching and sitting with more kids. I was sent back to Elder's quorum where I am teaching.

I guess it is what it is.

O43

Do not hesitate in telling a councilor your feelings.

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we have cooler toys in Elder's Quorum?

I KNEW all you guys did was play with your cell phones!

I don't know if I've been on the merri-go-round exactly. I served in Primary for 6 years - bouncing around in there with teaching or playing the piano while being an Activity Day or Cub Scout leader. When I moved to a new ward, I was called to serve in the Nursery on the same Sunday my son was old enough to start attending. Not that it would have retracted the call, but I should have been more open about what I was going through at the time.

A thought I had when reading this was that we often say and hear others say the line about "desperation vs. inspiration", but even if the call IS desperation, would we not be willing to fill the need with our service? We had one ward organist - a very sweet woman who has been struggling with some health problems. She offered to teach anybody that played the piano, to play the organ, so I took her up on the offer and was called within a month as another ward organist. We were alternating weeks to play, but she is now undergoing weight loss surgery and won't be able to play for at least a month or two. Desperation? Of course! They needed someone else! I'm also the Relief Society pianist, as well as occasionally being asked to run back and forth between RS and Primary (the other organist is the Primary pianist). Is it always a wonderful experience for the ward and myself to deal with my lack of skill and frazzled brain, ESPECIALLY in Sacrament while my almost 3 year old son demonstrates just how still he CAN'T sit and is often times all over the stand? No way. But what is the alternative? I don't think that we are really the ones to say that a call out of desperation is one that the Lord isn't aware of. Our service is needed, and correct me if I'm wrong, but despite what we all think our membership files look like, there isn't a checklist of every calling available that the bishopric checks out to look for holes so they can even out the areas of our service. No calling merit badges to earn in life.

Anyway, I think there is a balance to be found. We should be honest about where we're coming from in life. I'd hate to be a bishop or counselor and have people expecting me to know every little thing just because I've been called and set apart myself, and if I was in the position of extending a call, I would never want to appear to be saying, "Oh well, the Lord called you! I know you just found out that you have to have both your legs amputated, but we need a hiking specialist in scouts ASAP! Hop to!" There is room for understanding on ALL sides of this issue.

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Wow, Is my turn to teach Elders Quorum? I does seem like a merry go round. This can't be helped in some cases, with some members unwilling to serve, in callings like primary causes problems for bishops and the temptation is to call the guy who's willing to serve. You really need to level with your Bishop about what's going on with you and the merry go around. Sometimes if his counselor calls the person, there concerns are not told to the bishop. I don't agree with refusing callings however you must talk to your bishop if this effecting how feel about the church.

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When I was first divorced, I was working from home. Basically the only contact I had during the week with people were my kids. Moving into a new ward was going to give me the opportunity to meet some new people and develop (hopefully) a new friendship base. But what was I called to? Primary.

My first thought was..I see no one during the week except my kids and I get called to Primary where I will see no one but kids? Let's just say I wasn't a happy camper. But I did voice my concerns on this to the Bishop when he called me. He said..Pam can I make a promise to you? If you will accept this calling I will hold you to it only until the end of the year." He was true to his word.

That was 10 years ago. Two of those kids I taught are currently on missions and send me updates. One of the parents of the kids I taught I have become very good friends with.

I guess there are blessings in all callings even if we don't see them at the time of the calling. But I am glad I voiced my concerns and the Bishop understood them.

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Hey i've been on this merri-go-round before! Mine was primary pianist, organist, RS pianist, ward choir accompanist (or some combination) since age 18. Finally got off that merri-go-round. It's kind of refreshing, though hiding behind a piano or organ was always rather fun and inconspicuous. :)

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I have often wondered just how much prayer goes into calling folks to positions. .

Depends on the Bishop. Having been ward Clerk under 2 Bishops, I attended Bishopric meetings. With one Bishop there was much prayer and contemplation, under the other it was like a business decision: (what callings were open, who was avalable, who would best fit)

I preferred the prayerful Bishop, but the other was not ineffective.

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Guest mormonmusic

I have a different spin on this -- I was a High Priest Group Leader for a year when I whole whack of career opportunities hit me. Plus, it became evident I had to go back to school part-time to stay current in my career. I mentioned this to my Bishop and there were discussions about releasing me. Then one of the obligtations -- the part-time career opportunity -- disappeared, so I contined as HP Group Leader for another two years, while pursuing another two degrees part-time. This was a great strain on myself and my family, which contains two young children. But the degrees kept me employed even when the recession hit.

I got worn out at the three year mark as HPGL -- actually diagnosed with depression. I felt the calling was part of it, as well as the long hours and monthly and bi-weekly all-nighters needed to stay on top of all the various responsibilities in my life.

The ward tended to be full of a lot of people who lacked commitment, and couldn't be relied upon to accept assignments and follow-through on them. I would spend a lot of time delegating, providing resources, defining scope, planning, which rarely led to results unless one of the "same ten people" did it. Also, some of the members had a hard time being told "No" about certain things, and I received nasty emails, and one nasty letter that was distributed to the leadership about my personality. It was traumatic for me, and triggered this depression which plagues me whenever I hit setbacks in my life, that I used to handled pretty well before the traumatic letter.

The ratio of active home teachers to families assigned to my quorum was about 1 companionship per 15 families. Welfare cases abounded, and each PEC meeting was usually full of reporting on attempts to help people which didn't pan out. At the same time, I felt the Stake was unusually hard on us, as the weakest Ward in the stake, notwithstanding the fact that we had pretty strong leaders in key positions who I thought were doing their best. One Ward conference the Stake President called our quorums to repentence over home teaching when 7 companionships had made 40 visits on top of their regular responsibilities the month previously.

Anyway, after I told the Bishop I ws pretty burnt out with the multiple commitments in my life, it took them four months to release me, with zero communication about what was happening. I hinted to the Stake that perhaps this was a bit of a long time to keep someone in their calling when they were citing hardship in the calling, but they didn't seem concerned about it. There was no real thanks at the end of it (not that being thanked is a motive) but right now, I'll tell you, I feel pretty terrible about the time I spent in that calling, and the apparently indifferent way it ended by the leaders above me.

There were some good times - during the 3 years, I had one set of assistants who were extremely reliable, and we achieved a lot of good results -- 85% home teaching through blitz, two social events, two significant service projects, activation of one family, temple workers called, and family history accomplished, new members transitioned successfully This group also indicated they thought I was an oustanding leader given the way I organized meetings, used participative management techniques to plan, and held quarterly reviews of our quorum's progress.

When I was released two of the people who opposed me and wrote nasty letters, apologized citing various reasons -- I frankly forgave them and one broke out into tears. The person who wrote the traumatic letter never gave an apology, nor received any reprimand or coaching about it either, to my knowledge. The new HPGL, who was one of the quorum members who wouldn't give a shred of help during my "term" actually apologized to me afterwards, in front of the quorum, citing personal problems that had affected his testimony. I offered to help him through taking on a massive home teaching list.

So, at least I have the good parts to hang my hat on. But right now, I feel like don't want a calling for a while. Sad isn't it? Even when I reflect on all that the Savior has done, my heart wants to just have a normal 40 or 50 hour week for a while, serve in a lightweight calling, and finish off the second Master's degree. I want all the frustration out of my life for a while too, and to be off the PEC. I actually told the Bishop I needed to be callingless for a while, but took on extended home teaching, and he's left me alone for a while..... No one knows anything about the depression, because I was afraid they'd deny my other callings that carry responsibility in the future, and that's where my talents lie, says the people around me. Plus it's related to what I do for a living. But right now, I really do need a break.

Comments?

Edited by mormonmusic

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You know your situation better then anyone else. We are not supposed to refuse callings but we are also not supposed to go faster then we are able. I just was released as WML after 2 1/2 years, I needed a few more months to finish what God wanted of me in that role but I have noticed a difference already.

I will not accept a calling if I have not prayed about it and gotten confirmation from the Lord. I firmly believe all or most leaders get answers from God before extending a calling offer to someone. However I know without question that the manner it is prayed about is a big factor.

In my case the Lord told me I was to achieve some specific things, after a huge effort over the years they were all there just needing a few months to ingrain them as a habit on the leadership and I was finished. But I was released and made a Councilor in EQ. Does that mean my revelation and continued inspiration is wrong? Does it mean the EQ, Bishop and Stake Leaders are wrong?

No to both. I had not finished the Lord's work with Missionary Service, I should have had those few more months to complete the work as he wanted. And Yes the Lord told the Leaderships that I was a person for that calling. Did they pray about others, we only have 8 active and I'm the only one who has not just had a new calling, so they had no one else to pray about. The Lord told them I would be good for that position. I never asked but based on experience with other Bishoprics I would be surprised if they then prayed if I should remain where I was.

Sometimes we have to do as the Lord directs us, not because our Leaders are wrong but because they are very busy and don't always ask the right questions of the Lord the same as each of us.

If you are very burned out from your previous calling you won't be much good in another one until you regroup. So asking for a break is not horrible. But be warned that it can open a crack to weakening your testimony, if your like me the guilt of not taking one on will eat at you and for me my calling creates a special relationship with Heavenly Father that I can't have any other way.

One suggestion I have is the first thing I did when Called as WML was to draft a personal Mission Statement. Every once in a while or when I felt life was off kilter I would refer to it (first page in my church binder) It helped orient me. I was given my new calling last week, I had a rough draft of a new calling mission statement done two days after. (Still don't know my role yet, hope to find out this week.) It reminded me that I was first a Father and Husband, second an income provider, third an Elder in the Priesthood, forth a Home Teacher and fifth a Ward Mission Leader. That gave me the priorities to stick too no matter how urgent church things got I would see I was trying to do to much and neglect 1-4 so I'd back off.

I had to deal with upsetting many members who looked at the Missionary effort either as their personal playground or hated anything to do with it. Not everyone appreciated my efforts either and on occasion got nasty about it. As I have told people my calling is between the Lord and me, I am responsible to do what he directs, keeping within the command and rule structure of course. I appreciate praise, I don't like complaints but both are secondary to the Lord's work.

If you know you did what the Lord wanted then that is the only measure you should worry about. Every one elses comment about your calling including other leaders is simply their opinion and has no bearing on your salvation.

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I am thankful for Bishops who ask what someone is doing before extending a calling. While I believe callings are given by inspiration I also think it is important to gather all the facts first.

Good job Bishop and enjoy teaching Elders Quorum

Ben Raines

Concur with that statement their Ben....

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Guest mormonmusic

"You know your situation better then anyone else. We are not supposed to refuse callings..."

I was wondering if you have a source on this somewhere. like a conference talk? Or would you consider it to be more of the culture of the Church, rather than hard doctrine? (I don't mean this in an antogonistic way, I'm just curious if there is a permanent scriptural basis for it).

I think we have to treat callings as inspired, but I agree, if you don't believe it's inspired, as it's sometimes not, then pray about it yourself so help you feel right about it.

"If you are very burned out from your previous calling you won't be much good in another one until you regroup. So asking for a break is not horrible. But be warned that it can open a crack to weakening your testimony..."

I agree with that. One needs self-renewal....

A friend of mine in another country told me I've probably been black-listed by the Stake for asking to be released.

"if you're like me the guilt of not taking one on will eat at you and for me my calling creates a special relationship with Heavenly Father that I can't have any other way."

Fortunately, I don't feel any guilt, although I appreciate hearing the perspectives of others. I almost feel like I deserve a break, and I'm easing the frustration in my life by finally getting my house fixed up, personal matters I'd neglected fixed, and holding family home evening 2 and 3 times a week to make up for those times I didn't do it previously.

"One suggestion I have is the first thing I did when Called as WML was to draft a personal Mission Statement. Every once in a while or when I felt life was off kilter I would refer to it (first page in my church binder) It helped orient me."

I have one of these. It's for my life as a whole, rather than a specfic calling, but it covers the bases in just about any calling. It's a mix of things I am, and things I would like to be. What's exciting is when you see the things you would like to be, materialize, almost like envisioning the world, and then creating it....bring these concepts and visions to life is exciting.

Specific goals for the calling come through planning and participation from my assistants and the quorum as a whole. For the quorum, I would try to communicate my vision as an analogy, in our case that the quorum was a "warm blanket' to everyone who attended our meetings, joined the Church, or moved into the Ward.

"I had to deal with upsetting many members who looked at the Missionary effort either as their personal playground or hated anything to do with it. Not everyone appreciated my efforts either and on occasion got nasty about it. As I have told people my calling is between the Lord and me, I am responsible to do what he directs, keeping within the command and rule structure of course. I appreciate praise, I don't like complaints but both are secondary to the Lord's work."

On this note, I experienced much of the same. The parable of the sower comes to mind. The initiatives you start -- some fall on the weeds and get choked -- like a committee I started that ended in bickering an backbiting by a group of women on it. I eventually wound up the committee and canceled the initiative due to the behavior of the people on the committee. Or people who misinterpret your requests for help as pushiness or overbearing-ness.

Some fall on stones with shallow earth -- people latch on to them, do them for a few weeks, and then quit or tell you they don't want to do it anymore. This happened regularly in my HPGL calling. Others fall on fertile ground, and produce great results.

Some say, you just have to keep sowing, but I disagree -- constantly throwing seeds on stony or weed-choked ground is not a good use of seeds, and frustrating to the sower.

Instead, I held quarterly surveys of my quorum in which they brainstormed what we should do within each mission of the church for the next quarter. I then fed these suggestions back to the quorum in the form of a checklist, where everyone indicated which initiatives they would support. The volunteers for these projects represented fertile ground. If individuals didn't want to do anything, then I left them alone and let the PPI's be places of relationship building -- where I focused on their personal lives and issues, and not quorum business.

If no one checked off a particular initiative, then I left it out of our plan, or came back with lesser-commitment initiatives they could choose from. For example, no one would have a new non-member investigator in their home for the missionaries to teach, but they were willing to do lesser things, like attend baptisms, call people to tell them about new convert baptisms, have existing members into their home for a lesson, and teach new member lessons. This generated some interest that represented fertile ground when I asked for help.

I found that when I asked people to do things on my "fertile ground list", the success rate went up dramatically. Instead of calling 10 people to get 2 volunteers to work at the Bishop's storehouse, I would call 6 people and get 5.

Time will tell. I'm hoping that taking on hefty home teaching and helping others through random acts of service will suffice as supporting local leaders until time wears away the hard landing that's occured from this release as HPGL. It's a terrible way to crown 3 years or hard work.....but I do feel good about what I tried to do while in the calling. And the apologies from the people who I worked with meant a lot.

By the way, I'm also Canadian like yourself, but living and working in the United States as a permanent resident.

Edited by mormonmusic

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I hate being called on something, I don't have a specific source on the not refusing callings issue, I am fairly sure talks have mentioned this but to be honest I don't have the time to go on the church website to confirm that opinion. I do know that we are taught that we must sustain our Leaders and when they are inspired to offer a calling many consider we are not sustaining them because we are refusing to follow their inspiration.

But I stand by what I said about it matters exactly what is and in what perspective a calling is prayed about.

Some individual Leaders might indeed black list you. I have seen a bad habit (while serving as one of those clerks you don't care for) where when Leaders are trying to think of who to pray about for a calling they rely on their memories of names to pray. Someone who was an issue a few years or months ago might be ready now but they are not in the collective mind for a calling and so are over looked.

Like in the work place some people come to be relied on and Leaders can forget that those people have limits. Someone who is unreliable in a calling asks to be released it is no big deal because the expectation is low. When someone who is outstanding and reliable does it is almost treated like a betrayal.

With the Mission Statements I have several. A main one for my life in general and individual ones for different callings, jobs, periods in my life etc.

I firmly believe more leaders should take the time to create one. If we get buried in the day to day stuff and are not working toward a planned goal then a calling becomes a daily grind of never ending work where the only reward is to do a little good here and there and survive to be released.

While I did not achieve all that the Lord wanted because I had the vision of my calling (goal) and the blueprint to get to it (mission statement) I was able to advance things the proper direction and to look back and see how far we did go. It made the day to day stuff minor and temporary instead of my entire focus.

I liked what you did with the checklists and quarterly reviews. In our Ward the Leaders don't involve the general membership. When I was in EQ last time I suggested the same thing and it was shot down as too much work. I kept notes on the ideas in a binder in case I was ever called as president. Now that I am back in EQ again as a councilor I already sent the idea to the new President and we will see tomorrow if it works this time.

Our Bishop is new and in attempting to be efficient he is upsetting many members. I talked to him about effective is better then efficient and in the long run more efficient anyway. From what I got out of what you put you go more for the effective. It is more effective to train someone into being a good priesthood holder one on one then it is to do a mass instruction to the entire group.

BTW When I was called as Clerk I thought i was the most nonspiritual calling you could have. I mean it's all paperwork. I did what I was taught by outgoing clerk, the Stake who was supposed to train me never put in an appearance. After about six months I decided to take the online training and was amazed. A clerk is a very spiritual calling and responsiblity and is key to a well run ward. But most clerks never take the time to see this, and most Bishops don't understand how much easier their calling would be with a well trained clerk.

Actually that is the biggest problem I see in the church, we don't take enough time to train people. Christ's ministry was about teaching and training, yet we don't take the time to train new members, we don't take the time to train people in callings, we don't take the time to bring people to the spiritual importance of their calling. When called to Sunday School Presidentcy the president told me councilor was an easy unimportant calling the worse thing I'd have to worry about is teaching once in a while at short notice. Great uplift for a new calling!

Feel free to move back to Canada, Nova Scotia would be great when you are ready for callings again!

I was lucky as Ward Mission Leader to work with auxiliary Leaders who were willing to work together for the collective good once I helped show I wanted to help and needed theirs. I can see that I would have been as lucky if you had been in our Ward.

Thank you for your service, in or Ward or yours you helped further the Lord's work to bring to pass the eternal life and immortality of man. Don't rest too long as your strength is needed where ever you are to continue the Lords work.

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Guest mormonmusic

Sorry LDSValley -- I didn't mean to appear to be calling you on that concept of never refusing a calling. I've heard it so many times, I kind of wondered if anyone knew of a source. Sounds like it's a cultural thing, really. If it was a conference talk, then it was only scripture for 6-months, one might argue. However, certain things have a way of working their way into our culture.

Personally, I don't belive the "never say no to a calling" principle, because I think it encourages people to agree to callings when their heart isn't in it. The experience I shared in my previous post is a case in point. They do a rough, or half-hearted job, and then you have to figure out a tactful way to release them when they stop functioning altogether. As a HPGL, and a former Counselor in the Bishopric, I appreciated it when people told me they were worn out from certain callings, or simply didn't have the emotional or physical strength for certain callings. As the Lord says in Revelations -- he would rather have us hot, or cold, not lukewarm. And putting people in a position where they feel pressured to say 'yes' to anything placed before them, often encourages a lukewarm performance.

Also, regarding the clerks -- I think I wrote that wrong -- I've always liked the clerks personally. It was the job they were doing that I found aspiritual. I'll have to make sure to do the training if I ever get called there some day, as you seem to have found the spirituality in it.

Regarding efficiency versus effectiveness -- it was only after a year and a half of being ineffective and inefficient that the process I outlined came to me. The first time, I did only the first part -- asked everyone what they thought our goals should be, and how to achieve them. The leadership decided what went into our ANNUAL plan from the list, plus our own ideas. That failed miserably, as annual planning creates no urgency (we left a lot of things to the last minute) and second, it's not whether the leadership is committed to the ideas, it's whether the rank and file members of the quorum are committed to them that matters. That's when it dawned on me that feeding the ideas back to the quorum in the form of a checklist was the missing second step. I love the process -- so much that I'm going to have to make sure I don't start "worshipping it" as the be-all, end-all if I'm ever called to leadership again. But it was highly effective. Also, we coupled it with a personal integrity lesson, citing that it was more than a plan, how well we performed against it was a measure of our personal integrity in doing what we said we would do. The quorum responded very favorably to this, as older men seem to value people who follow-through.

It sounds like you wish you had a bit more time in your WML calling to finish everything. That's interesting, here I am bemoaning the fact that mine went on too long, and you, on the other hand, wanted more time in the calling. I think your mission statement must've really motivated you, and perhaps the lack of a HPGL-specific one for me was my downfall that led to burn-out.

Regarding black-listing -- what saddens me about this, was that I'd always been moved to positions of greater breadthe from the calling I was in in the past. YM Pres to Stake YM Pres. SS President to HPGL. High Councilor to Stake Exec Sec. Stake YM counselor to Stake YM Pres. Ward YM Counselor to Ward YM President....at this point, I feel I have no where to go for the first time in my life. Not that it's about progression, but the callings I had in the past were challenging and new for me, and involved leadership.

Of course, in citing burnout, I've basically said I don't want any more of that, haven't I? Can't live with it, can't live without it!!!! And being blacklisted will ensure that the callings will be light going forward for a while -- something I necessarily need.....

Also, thanks very much for the kind words and thanks at at the end -- I feel tears welling up a bit as I read what you wrote -- because rightly or wrongly, I wanted someone to sincerely acknowledge that I'd worked hard at it, and that it was difficult (I was ready to be released about 4 times through the whole term, but kept on with it anyway). I know you have little idea of what I did, how I did it etcetera, but the interest you've taken in my post and your thanks is very much appreciated. Thanks for lifting me up before I hit the hay this evening....:)

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