The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a lay clergy. The Church is led and directed by unpaid people. Volunteer work is an integral part of it. Everyone who wants to be involved in furthering the Lord’s work is given an assignment that we believe comes from God.
These callings-as they are called-last for different durations and encompass everything from printing the weekly bulletin to leading a congregation. When I was in fifth grade, my dad was “called” to be a member of our ward’s bishopric. The bishopric runs the affairs of a congregation, which entails at least 10-15 hours of work each week. A bishop, which my father was called to be later, requires many more hours. All of these hours are unpaid—at least in the temporal, monetary sense.
I have been called and served in a plethora of Church areas—Primary (the children’s ministry), Young Women’s (for girls ages 12-18), Relief Society (the largest women’s organization in the world), Public Affairs, Sunday School, music conducting and playing, and in various other ways. Do I regret or begrudge the thousands of hours I’ve spent on these things? Absolutely not. Do I marvel and give thanks for all those who’ve served to bless my life and for all the blessings God has sent to me for accepting calls to serve? Absolutely!
The Lord sends blessings to His servants. Even vacuuming the church building is helping to build up His kingdom. Teaching His little ones about Christ’s miracles or making a meal for a sick mother or listening to a broken heart are all God’s work. (See Matthew 25:35-45.) When we accept and magnify our callings-whether they be formal or just in keeping our promise to become like Him-we are blessed. Blessings that come from heaven change me, and I’ve seen them change others too.
The recipients of such service (which are every single Church member and many who do not belong to our Church) are obviously blessed. But those who render the service or accept the call from the Lord receive the Lord’s blessings too. A mighty and righteous Book of Mormon king named Benjamin taught,
“And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.” Mosiah 2:17
Joy, contentment, gratitude, testimony, direction, not to mention relief and healing from afflictions that come to all of us, are a direct result of us answering the call to serve (aka accept a calling). The Lord knows what each of us need to be changed from this earthly state to become like Jesus Christ-callings do that too! My family, my friends, and I have received these blessings—a huge reason to keep accepting “callings” and accepting opportunities to serve!