“How Could I Magnify My Calling?” Ensign, March 2017
I had just been called to teach early-morning seminary. The person I was replacing was a master teacher who had taught seminary for years. He knew the scriptures better than I did, had more teaching experience than I had, and knew countless awesome sports stories. The class of mostly ninth-grade young men loved him.
We are taught to magnify our callings. I had interpreted that to mean we must spend more time, prepare greater lesson aids, and do better than the person who had previously held the calling. I couldn’t see how I could even begin to measure up, let alone magnify my calling.
After I had spent a few days in frequent prayer and had endured several restless nights, a quiet thought crept into my mind: Did I really know what magnify means? I turned to several scriptures that speak of magnifying our callings (for example, D&C 84:33; 88:80), but they didn’t explain what magnify means. Then I went to my dictionary and read, “To cause to be held in greater esteem or respect.”
I had a firm testimony and love of Heavenly Father and His Son, Their chosen servants, and the gospel. Drawing on my testimony and love, I increased my efforts to keep the commandments, nurture my family, pray, and study the scriptures. As I did these things, I realized that if I prepared diligently for my class, prayed to know the needs of my students, and shared my testimony and love of Heavenly Father and His Son, I could help them learn the gospel and strengthen their own testimonies. I also realized that I would be magnifying my calling.
My students didn’t seem to mind that they didn’t hear great sports stories any longer and that they now had a homemaker for their teacher. We had great experiences together nonetheless.
On one occasion, I went to the home of one of my students. He had some challenges, I was worried about him, and I hoped to visit with his single parent.
As I stood on the doorstep, I could see him through the front window sitting at a table studying his scriptures. In front of him stood a small photograph of the Savior I had framed and given to each of my students. Tears ran down my cheeks, and I left without ringing the bell. I was no longer worried about him.
Magnifying my calling, which seemed like an impossible task, turned out to be a sweet experience.