How Can I Serve in the Church?
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“How Can I Serve in the Church?” Learning and Serving in the Church (2016), 9–14

“How Can I Serve in the Church?” Learning and Serving in the Church, 9–14

How Can I Serve in the Church?

God has given you special talents and gifts that you can use to support your local congregation, help your community, and serve God’s children everywhere. You follow the example of Jesus Christ as you seek to meet individual needs one person at a time. Some of the most important service you will give will be informal, simple acts of kindness and love toward individuals without being asked or assigned to do so. You can help others feel God’s love and reach their potential as you share your time, talents, and means to help meet their needs. Part of your personal growth and learning will come as you serve in the Church and help others learn and grow as well. As you get to know others in your local congregation, you will realize that you have much to offer them.

Callings in the Church

After baptism, you may receive a calling, or formal assignment to serve in the Church. God knows your strengths and weaknesses. He has a personal plan to help you develop into the person He knows you can become. As part of that plan, God inspires Church leaders to assign you to callings that He knows will bless you and allow you to bless others. Serving in callings can help you gain new knowledge, skills, and friendships. Church leaders will give you guidelines, direction, and support to help you enjoy your calling and fulfill it successfully. As you pray for help, the Holy Ghost will give you inspiration, direction, and comfort.

The Lord has promised, “If they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them” (Ether 12:27). The Lord will strengthen you in your efforts to serve.

The Process of Receiving Callings

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Sustaining votes

Members are sustained to callings during sacrament meeting.

The Church is a community of love and support. You will not be alone as you strive to serve in your calling. After you accept a calling, members of your congregation will indicate in sacrament meeting that they agree to sustain, or support, you in your calling. Members indicate this support by raising their right hands when invited to do so by a member of the bishopric or branch presidency.

As a member of the Church, you can also sustain others in their callings in various ways. For example, you can participate in classes and activities prepared by others, pray for them, volunteer when they ask for help with their callings, or strengthen those who might be struggling. You can also sustain your Church leaders by following the counsel they provide. Sustaining others is one way to serve.

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Priesthood blessings

A member is set apart for a new calling.

After receiving a calling, you will also be set apart by a priesthood leader. When you are set apart, you receive a special priesthood blessing. This blessing gives you the authority from God to receive inspiration and carry out the assignments of your calling.

All callings are equally important and help build God’s Church. Service in the Church is voluntary and unpaid. Aside from the calling of a full-time missionary, most callings do not require a full-time commitment. Members continue working in their careers or jobs while serving in the Church. Callings do not involve promotion or demotion, and members should not aspire to particular callings.

Changes in callings allow many people to serve in different capacities. Church leaders may receive inspiration to call you to a different calling and to release you from a current one. Once you are released, you no longer have responsibility for the duties of your previous calling and are available to take on the responsibilities of a new calling. Your congregation may also acknowledge your release and thank you for your service in a way similar to how you were sustained.