“The Holy Ghost Confirmed My Calling,” Ensign, September 2014, 11
As my wife and I left the bishop’s office, I felt frustrated. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to serve. One of the first things I learned as a convert was to follow Church leaders, and I had always recognized the inspiration of callings I had received. But this one—again?
For the third time, I had been called as Scoutmaster. Wasn’t there a calling that would allow me to grow?
We walked into the chapel and sat near the back. During the opening hymn, two people slipped into the pew beside me. I turned to see Susan,* a young mother who was enduring a painful divorce. She was always early for church and always sat near the front with her children, but today she was late and was accompanied only by Sam, her deacon-age son.
When I saw them, the Holy Ghost’s silent words pierced my soul: “This calling is not about you; it’s about them.”
Tears filled my eyes as I considered Susan’s challenge in raising five children while dealing with a less-active, challenging former husband. I knew that Sam was torn between his parents, with only tenuous strings holding him to activity in his priesthood quorum.
As one of Sam’s leaders, I could befriend and support him, and I could offer his mother the assurance that a worthy priesthood holder cared about her son and would help her teach him the gospel. My calling took on new meaning as I realized the need to forget myself and serve.
As I served, I grew to love Sam and the other young men, and we enjoyed learning and growing together. I was happy to see Sam make wise choices that kept him active in the Church.
Since then, I have served the deacons repeatedly in other wards and stakes. I’m happy watching them learn outdoor and leadership skills, build lasting friendships, and strengthen their testimonies of the Savior. And I have come to understand the counsel from the Apostle Paul “that [we] present [our] bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is [our] reasonable service” (Romans 12:1).