“Q&A: Questions and Answers,” New Era, Aug. 2000, 16
Questions and Answers
Answers are intended for help and perspective, not as pronouncements of Church doctrine.
Help! I’ve just been called to be the president of my Mia Maid class. I’ve only been a member of the Church for a little while, and I’m overwhelmed with all there is to do. How do I handle this new calling?
Remember that your calling comes from the Lord. He will help you rise to the challenge.
Don’t try to do everything yourself. Learn how to delegate responsibility.
Rely on prayer and scripture study to help you solve problems.
Don’t compare yourself with others. Instead, focus on doing your best.
Love is your most powerful tool. Learn to love those you serve.
Although this question was asked by a person who is new to the Church, the answer can apply to nearly everyone. For people who are of Mutual age, getting a calling is a new experience, whether they are new converts or were baptized when they were eight. But getting a calling of any kind is always a blessing; it is a great opportunity to be called to serve others. And in addition to any benefits or blessings you enjoy because you are serving, you are also acquiring skills you will use the rest of your life as you serve in the Church.
Other ward members, especially the adult leaders over your class or quorum, can be one of your very best sources of help and advice. You will be asked to select other class members to serve as counselors and secretary; learn to work with them. Not only will they have ideas to help and support you, but they can lend a helping hand.
When you are called, you will be set apart by the bishop or one of his counselors. Pay special attention to what is said, particularly to any counsel or special blessings that are bestowed.
As you learn how to serve in your new calling, remember why you are doing it: to serve the people in your class or quorum. Class presidents should be primarily concerned with caring for and praying for class members, spending time with them, and developing genuine friendship. Presidents and their counselors in Aaronic Priesthood quorums are also responsible to help the young men in the quorum understand their duties in the priesthood. Additionally, all class presidents should promote good relationships between class members and fellowship less-active members and members with special needs. (See Church Handbook of Instructions, 182–83; 218–19.)
Finally, talk to your leaders to get some guidance on how practical matters like presidency meetings, activity planning, and delegation should be handled. Here are some tips to help you get started:
Pray about selecting counselors and seek approval by necessary authorities.
Outline the responsibilities for the president, counselors, and secretary in your presidency. The responsibilities could include things like making phone calls, conducting meetings, and planning activities. Write the responsibilities down and make sure everyone has a copy.
Establish a regular time to meet as a presidency. Set a time limit for each meeting and write an agenda (a checklist of items that need to be discussed) for each meeting.
Do your best to distribute responsibilities among your counselors and other class members. Activities are more fun when everyone can help, and it keeps you from being overwhelmed.
Keep things simple. Elaborate plans are difficult and time-consuming. Simple plans are less stressful and allow you to do what’s really important—help the members of your class feel important and included so they can learn the gospel.
Pray to our Heavenly Father and ask Him to help you. Then choose counselors you know you can work with. Remember that God knows you and wouldn’t have called you if he didn’t know you could handle it.
Heidi Linford, 15
Leaders are organized in presidencies in the Church so that the responsibilities are shared. You have been given the authority to delegate responsibility. By getting everyone to share the work, your class will become unified.
Josh Abbott, 17
Getting a new calling can be a little overwhelming, but keep trying! Keep tabs on all the girls in your class and include everyone. Your own actions, like reading scriptures, attending church, and planning activities, will help as well.Crystal Belmont, 15
Santa Clara, Utah
Try not to be overwhelmed. The Lord called you to be president of your class, and He will help you out. You will be blessed for your willingness to serve.
Brittany Curtis, 15
Accepting a new calling is always tough, but you can always get advice from leaders and receive help through prayer. If you do all you can, Heavenly Father will make up the rest.
Michael Sorensen, 17