We always know who is called to lead or to teach and have the opportunity to sustain or to oppose the action. It did not come as an invention of man but was up my church, except he be ordained by some one who has authority, and it is known to the church that he has authority and has been regularly ordained by the heads of the church” (D&C 42:11; emphasis added). In this way, the Church is protected from any imposter who would take over a quorum, a ward, a stake, or the Church.
There is another principle unique to the Lord’s Church. All positions to teach and to lead are filled by members of the Church. This too has been set forth in the scriptures. One verse in the Doctrine and Covenants established the order of leadership in the Church for all time. It was unprecedented, certainly not the custom of Christian churches then or now:
“Wherefore, I the Lord, knowing the calamity which should come upon the inhabitants of the earth, called upon my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and spake unto him from heaven, and gave him commandments; …
“The weak things of the world shall come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones, …
“… That every man might speak in the name of God the Lord, even the Savior of the world;
“That faith also might increase in the earth;
“That mine everlasting covenant might be established;
“That the fulness of my gospel might be proclaimed by the weak and the simple unto the ends of the world, and before kings and rulers.
“Behold, I am God and have spoken it; these commandments are of me, and were given unto my servants in their weakness, after the manner of their language, that they might come to understanding.” (D&C 1:17, 19–24) (Boyd K. Packer, “The Weak and the Simple of the Church,” Ensign, Nov 2007, 6–9)
Why would I decide to write about this today? Simply because I wish each of you to understand that God is no “respecter of persons.” He does not hold a prophet of God in higher esteem than the “lowliest” of His devoted servants. The poor and rich, weak and strong, any color, any culture, any race, any one . . . He loves us all the same. Is He more pleased with some over others? Certainly. He can’t help but be pleased when those of His children willing to listen, turn toward Him and began that journey home. But He loves me no more than He loves you.
The Mormon Church has no professional clergy, in other words, we pay no one to preach to us or watch over our ward. Any priesthood holder of the ward (congregation) who is worthy may be called to serve as bishop, stake president, general authority, apostle or prophet. God will speak to us all, regardless of the calling we hold. He will reveal to us all that we need to know in regards to our stewardships and callings. In Alma 32:23 the Lord makes it clear:
And now, he imparteth his word by angels unto men, yea, not only men but women also. Now this is not all; little children do have words given unto them many times, which confound the wise and the learned.
When one is called to serve the Lord, it is because of their worthiness, need to grow and learn and impart the same unto others. It is not to be paid for our service. It is not to harangue other religions. It is not to lift ourselves up. When we are called to serve the Lord, our only charges are to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ and serve His children, our brothers and sisters.
Elder Packer goes on to say:
We see in the Christian churches their struggle to fill the need for clergy. We do not have that problem. Once the gospel is preached and the Church is organized, there is an inexhaustible supply of faithful brothers and sisters who have that testimony and are willing to answer the call to serve. They commit themselves to the work of the Lord and live the standards required of them.
Members have had the Holy Ghost conferred upon them after their baptism (see D&C 33:15; 35:6). The Holy Ghost will teach and comfort them. They are then prepared to receive guidance, direction, and correction, whatever their position or needs require. (See John 14:26; D&C 50:14; 52:9; 75:10.)
This principle sets the Church on a different course from all other Christian churches in the world. We find ourselves in the unusual position of having an endless supply of teachers and leaders, among every nation and kindred and tongue and people, all over the world. There is a unique equality among members. No one of us is to consider himself of more value than the other (see D&C 38:24–25). “God is no respecter of persons: but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.” (Acts 10:34–35; see also Romans 2:11; D&C 1:35; 38:16) (Boyd K. Packer, “The Weak and the Simple of the Church,” Ensign, Nov 2007, 6–9)
What a precious gift we have in the Holy Ghost. Heavenly Father sent him to us to testify of truth, all truth, and in truth there is great comfort, hence his other title, The Comforter.
Kings, Queens, presidents, senators, congressman, movie stars and rock stars, mothers, father, children . . . the Lord sees us all the same . . . He values us all the same.
You are of value to your Father in Heaven and Savior, Jesus Christ. All that you do, even the number of hairs on your head, matter to Them. They have given you all that you need to return to them. You matter to Them, do They matter to you?