I’m a Mormon, so I have a calling: a volunteer position that helps others, usually in my local Latter-day Saint ward and neighborhood.
A calling is a service opportunity and a way to run the LDS church organization.
Heavenly Father gave Jesus Christ a sacred mission to fulfill (see Luke 4:18–19; John 6:38; 3 Nephi 27:14–16). During His ministry, the Savior trusted His disciples with important responsibilities (see Luke 10:1–9). Likewise, the Lord calls men and women to serve in the Church today through inspired invitations from His servants. These opportunities to serve are known as callings.LDS General Handbook, “Callings in the Church.”
Every member of the LDS Church may be asked to serve in one of the various positions needed to teach, organize, plan, or manage other members. These positions range from teachers of young children (Primary Teacher) to organizer of meetinghouse scheduling outside of Sunday worship (Building Coordinator) to the leader of a ward (Bishop) or even leader of the entire LDS Church (President).
Most are called to serve in their local wards or branches. Within that, the most common position is that of a teacher. Whether an apostle or a teacher, the process is about the same. If you are a member of the LDS Church and receive a calling: a member of the bishopric (or stake, or area, or overall organization) asks to meet with you and your spouse, the bishop or counsel extends the offer to serve and gives you a few details, you consult with yourself and God, and you tell the bishop or counselor yea or nay.
An important side note I missed upon first publishing is that the member’s calling is announced to the appropriate meeting of other members (local, stake, church-wide) with a request to sustain the proposed person to the proposed position. If any are opposed, they are welcome to say so. Sustaining and opposing are indicated by raising our right hand. If someone is opposed, the opposition is noted and said person talks to the appropriate leader in private.
A local ward or branch is split into four main groups: Elder’s Quorum for the men, Relief Society for the women, Young Men’s/Young Women’s for the teenagers, and Primary for the children. Most callings, as I said, are to teach primary-aged children and the youth. There are teachers in the other groups as well. After that, pretty much any job necessary in the ward or branch is a calling.
And, until one reaches the general authorities-level, all callings are unpaid, volunteer positions.
A member decides whether s/he can perform the duties of the calling as offered. Members are also discouraged from vying for certain positions. Furthermore, we LDS understand that God wants us to serve, asks us to serve, and will help us to serve.
©2022 Chel Owens
We Mormons are officially members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and are to drop any name but that. Since many recognize the nickname of ‘Mormon’ and it works with the alliteration so well, however, I will use the term.
My other note is that I will keep to official doctrinal practices. I will add my own application of them, especially in response to comments.
My final note is that I LOVE discussing anything I write. Don’t be rude, obviously, but any and all queries or responses are welcome.
My final note beyond the final note is that I do not seek to convert anyone. I am motivated by forming connections, answering curiosity, and straightening pictures. So, you’re safe.