Sunday, September 18, 2011
I am a Believer
Because the LDS Church is large and God's house is a house of order, our congregations are divided up geographically. These groups are called Wards. The Church of Jesus Christ uses a correlated system so that each Sunday, all over the world, we are learning the same lessons. Our clergy is made up of the congregation and we are all volunteers--that is, we volunteer to covenant to serve the Lord and give all we have to the building up of the Kingdom of God here upon the earth. No one is paid, no one is professionally trained, and all of us feel inadequate when we are asked to serve within the church. Besides a bit of orientation (which doesn't always happen), we are left to our own devices to fulfill the duties of our particular "calling." Well, not exactly our own devices; if we are doing it right, we are guided by revelation. Our callings are usually not life-time callings. They can last anywhere from a two week assignment to a five year assignment. I could give an entire lecture to those of you who aren't of my faith about this system. This is just a brief explanation to give you a foundation for the rest of my post.
When we moved to our new home, we knew we would be asked to serve the Lord in our new ward. I have had the opportunity to serve in many capacities--music, Sunday School teaching, leading the children, teaching the adult women, organizing classes to improve our talents, leading the youth, and, even, typing up the Sunday Bulletin for each week's meeting. There is not a calling I haven't enjoyed. Many people asked where I would most like to serve. My answer is always:
I will be happy to serve anywhere.
This is not a statement of pride in my abilities--if I am able, it is only through the experiences, gifts, and understanding that has come through the direction of my Father in Heaven. Mostly, though, I am not able, I am willing. Christ can do a lot with a person who is simply willing.
And here we get to the gist of this post: Why am I willing?
Because I am a believer.
I believe that this particular church is patterned after the ancient church--that Jesus Christ is at its head and that our Prophet, Thomas S. Monson, receives revelation from Him regarding the needs of the people of the earth. Because of that testimony (that the Church is directed by the Savior Himself), I have a testimony of the many programs of the church.
I believe in the Visiting Teaching program. I have seen lives changed by the simple acts of Women of God visiting with their sisters in the Church. More frequently, I have seen the day-to-day of women's lives improved by Visiting Teachers.
I believe in sacred music. There is no other arrow in the Lord's quiver that, as effectively, pierces the heart and allows the love of God to enter in.
I believe in Primary (the children's organization). There is a reason we are commanded to be like a child. They have the Light of Christ in their eyes. They trust and want to learn eternal truths. If Jesus Christ is anywhere in our Churches, He is in the Primary.
I believe in the Relief Society (the women's organization). It really is a society which gives relief to the poor and needy, provides instruction in temporal and spiritual affairs, and provides a stage for camaraderie and friendship.
I believe in Scouting, Girl's Camp, Sunday School, Young Men and Young Women, Family History Work, Missionary Work, and, above all, FAMILIES.
There is no area in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints which I do not believe. Therefore, no work to support those programs and auxiliaries would be in vain. (Do not misinterpret me here. I am not suggesting that I am capable of or am the best person to fill those positions, I'm just saying that I would be willing to try, should the Lord, through our Bishop, request it of me.)
I know many of you are LDS and will understand what I'm talking about here. For any of you who are not members of the LDS Church or if you are confused by any of the lingo, please don't hesitate to ask. I love to talk about my church.