After this last general conference, I saw a picture published online. It was of the prophet and his counselors sustaining the officers of the Church. Seeing them sitting there with their hands raised hit me with such power. It was in that moment I realized the prophet sustained ME.
At every general conference, we get a chance to sustain each other in our various church jobs. We do this by raising our hands to show support. That is called sustaining. It is a personal commitment to do what we can for the individuals filling those jobs, and demonstrates that we agree to them holding that position.
It isn’t something we take lightly. It’s both a spiritual and physical commitment since there may be times you are asked to assist that person in their church volunteer service.
I have had a lot of church jobs (often referred to as a “calling“) over the years. I have served in the nursery, Primary, Relief Society, Young Women, ward mission, Sunday School, temple, as a Ward Mom in a young single adult (YSA) congregation, and even on an institute council.
Each time I am asked to meet with the bishop about a new church calling, I am nervous and worried that I won’t be up for the task. I seriously sit there and sweat in near panic till I hear what he wants me to do.
There have been a few times I have had to leave a church job before the bishop was ready to release me. I will never forget working in the Nursery with 12 active and noisy toddlers. I loved it and I hated it. And then it started to give me panic attacks because of the chaos. I had to be released early from that one, and I still feel bad about it.
Called by God
Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints know that every church job is serving the Lord in whatever capacity they are asked.
The bishop may be the one asking us to serve, but it is a request from the Lord to better His kingdom. That is why looking at that picture of the Prophet with his hand raised touched my heart. I know that the prophet is the Lord’s mouthpiece on earth, and seeing him sustain, or support, everyone in the church in their individual church jobs reinforced that God does, too.
I am not there to serve just the people I work with at church, but also to serve God. This has been a huge comfort because my most recent church job has had a HUGE learning curve. I am now the assistant leader for the Webelos in the Scouting program, and I’ve never been more lost. My brothers did Scouts growing up, but what teenage sister pays attention to what her younger brothers are doing? Honestly, the only time it registered was when it meant I got to see other teenage boys my age. I was kind of boy crazy back then.
So, you can imagine how out of my depth I’ve been feeling. I love the boys in our group, and I love working with them. But often I am confused about what is expected of me and the proper way to do things. Thankfully, I have an experienced Webelos leader that I work with. I think she could run the program in her sleep! But I just haven’t felt that useful to her, aside from crowd control, cracking jokes, and bringing snacks.
I Can Do This!
Despite my misgivings, when I saw the prophet’s hand in the air, I knew that I could do this. I knew then that God knows I am completely out of my element, and that is OK. He is asking me to grow and learn a new set of skills. He knows that this will prepare me for future assignments or for another time when I am in too deep with something totally new.
I am grateful for church programs that teach us though service. I am so grateful to know my Heavenly Father has confidence in His children and their abilities. And I am grateful for that moment of inspiration when the Lord whispered to me as I saw the prophet sustaining the members of the Church. What a powerful moment that was for me.
Now I feel better prepared to go face the world of Scouting and any other challenges that may come my way. This is God’s Church. We are His children, and He wants us to succeed and to keep trying.
Patty thrives on all things creative. You’ll often find her in the garden pretending she is a suburban farmer. She loves meeting new people, and is devoted to her friends and family. In her heart she is a Midwesterner even though life has moved her all over the country. She believes in “blooming where you’re planted” and has found purpose in every place she has been. She has a deep and abiding love for the Savior and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And she loves editing LDS Blogs because it is a constant spiritual uplift. Not many people can say their job builds their witness of the Savior.