When we are baptized into our church, we make promises.
These sacred promises we call covenants – two-way promises with God. We covenant to take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ, to always remember Him, to keep His commandments, and to serve Him to the end.
One way we serve Him is by accepting “callings” to serve His children – our friends and neighbors.
These callings to serve in varied positions are issued by our Bishop, the leader of our congregation, after much prayer and pondering. We believe each calling actually comes from God, through the Bishop.
A calling is not only a chance to serve, but also an opportunity to grow, to develop new skills and to gain greater knowledge and experience.
Jay and I have been serving for three years in the Sunday School organization. We’ve been teachers for the 15-16-year olds, leading discussions weekly in our 45-minute class period. This last year we had 18 students – that’s a large class for a ward – and we came to love each one. As the year came to a close, we glanced at the list of the next round of youth that would be moving up into our class, and had already started planning our time with them.
Then we got called into the Bishop’s office – and were surprised by what happened next. We were asked if we would accept a new, different calling – that of teaching some of the youngest children in Primary – the 3-year-old Sunbeams.
We felt very sad to think of leaving the youth – but at the same time, we felt a warmth in our hearts that we’ve come to recognize as the Spirit of God, comforting us and letting us know that this calling was of Him, and that we would come to love the 3-year-olds as much as we loved the youth.
Last Sunday was our second time with them. We have five children in our class, each one with all the energy that comes bundled up in 3-year-old bodies. We talk about Heavenly Father, and how He loves each one of us, and how we are His children. In the middle of a story we are telling, one of them will pipe up with a comment like, “We went simming – in a POOL! In a HOTEL!!” Or, “I gonna have a birtday at my house!” We hear about their pets, their toys, their parents and their siblings.…and We often wonder how much of what we say they will remember.
One thing we hope they remember, if nothing else, is a feeling of love. We hope to convey to them each time we are with them that their Heavenly Father loves them, and that they have a Savior, and no matter what they go through in life, He is there beside them to strengthen, lift, and comfort them. If they can remember that, it won’t matter to us how many stories get interrupted. We’ll feel like we’ve succeeded.