Monday, March 21, 2011

I'll go where you want me to go

I'm a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormons. Each Sunday, I discuss some things related to my faith and what I believe. Regardless of your own beliefs, I hope this gives you a chance to get to know me and my religion a little better. For previous installments, click here.

At the beginning of the year, I talked about how our church functions with a lay ministry. We all pitch in and serve together to support each other and worship appropriately.

But how do we decide who does what?

We believe that a man must be acalled of God, by bprophecy, and by the laying on of chands by those who are in dauthority, to epreach the Gospel and administer in the fordinances thereof. (AofF 1:5)

Basically, we believe that God inspires our leaders to ask certain people to fulfill certain callings, or jobs, within the church. Those leaders were likewise called by those with a higher stewardship than they. Most callings are held for a few years, before we're needed somewhere else in the church service. That way, the burden is shared and experience is gained in many areas.

Yes, sometimes certain talents are required to fulfill certain roles - an experienced pianist would likely be asked to serve as a choir accompanist over someone who has never played a note in their life, but if you're an area with a piano and a need and no one plays, you might be asked anyway, and you'll learn as you go.

We feel that we are blessed to magnify our callings, given strengths and the ability to learn skills we didn't expect to pick up. A chemical engineer might be asked to teach a children's class, and a professional teacher might be asked to be an activities director. As long as we can ask each other for help, and have the strength of the Lord on our sides, we can fill any role asked of us, and we are blessed for it, individually and collectively.


ryan said...


I appreciate your efforts to educate people regarding your spirituality. I have read a few of your posts, and this one is intriguing to me. I would like to share something I have learned in my search for my own spirituality.

"Lay ministry" can be a confusing term when it comes to certain faiths, and the Mormon church is no exception. The claim that many missionaries make all over the world is that the Prophets and Apostles of the Mormon church are included in this lay ministry, and this claim is not entirely true.

The truth is that the General Authorities who operate out of Salt Lake City, UT and make decisions for the church worldwide do receive a salary for the work that they do. One source on this topic is:
Another source for me is a mission president who spoke with me directly about this, and said "yes they do receive a salary, but we should not focus on this."

I just wanted to offer more depth to this principle of how each member and leader of the church serves and receives benefits for doing so.

Thank you!

Giggles said...

First - And then that professional teacher will plan a back to school activity complete with story time and an after school snack.

Second - Certain of the General Authorities are given living expenses (not profits), but at that point their service in the Church is their full-time job (this includes the First Presidency, the Quorum of Twelve apostles, and only the First Quorum of Seventy and the Presidency of the Seventy, 79 people in a church of 13 million plus). The rest of the General Authorities basically live on their retirement and receive no monetary compensation at all though.

For 99.9% of the Church (ie, not those certain 79 General Authorities), we have other jobs that we do that support us financially.

We all feel we receive spiritual compensation though.

AmandaStretch said...

Ryan - Thank you for your comment! I had alluded to that fact in my first post about the lay ministry, but I appreciate your input.

Giggles - Ha. I wasn't event thinking about a certain professional teacher/activities director when I wrote that, at least not consciously. Thank you for your additional clarification.