Monday, November 3, 2014

Called of God

I can remember one time in my mission being at a leadership meeting, and my zone leader told us how our Mission President told him " Elder I didn't call you. God did." This zone leader went on to tell all of us how we had been called of god, and that was why we were District Leaders. I can remember my Mission President telling us that whatever level we reached in the mission, we would be able to reach in our lives. With him saying that, it's no wonder why so many missionaries were striving to become leaders.

When I hear of leaders being called of god, I can't help but think of a missionary in my mission. He was a zone leader and one of the highest baptizing in the mission. Many missionaries loved, respected, and looked up to this Elder. I came to realize that he was gone a few months before his two years was over. I'm a curious guy, and wanted to learn all I could about the situation. I was friends with a missionary who was close to him and learned the story. This Elder had broken the law of chastity with a girl from one of the wards he was serving in. This happened before he was called to be a zone leader. I actually remember being on exchange with his former companion who had served in that area and mentioned his companion liked a girl in that area. Does it really seem that God would call someone to be a Zone Leader that had been breaking one of his most important commandments? This missionary baptized a lot of people like around forty. There was a talk Elder Holland gave in the October 2011 Priesthood Session called " We Are All Enlisted" in which he says " No missionary can be unrepentant of sexual transgression and then expect to challenge others to repent of those very things! The spirit will not be with you, the words will choke in your throat."   Does it seem like a missionary baptizing around forty people had words choking in his throat? Is it possible a missionary will have success more based off of how good of a salesman he is? People used to be converted on witnessing miracles and powerful spiritual witnesses. Today there's a lot of emphasis on "friend shipping" our investigators.  So what does that mean if a leader in our church makes a promise that doesn't happen? Should we not question anything that comes out of his or any other leaders mouth?

 The main thing this Mission President could see is that this missionary was baptizing a lot of people. At one point on my mission, I was on exchange with my Zone Leader and he told me " Elder you're a good missionary. You can teach,are hard-working and obedient. I'm going to recommend you to be a District Leader." The next transfer I was called to be a District Leader. This same missionary also told me how the Mission President told him " Knowledge is Revelation." To some it could seem at least on the mission level that a man is calling missionaries to leadership positions based on who has good numbers, seems to have a good testimony from their emails, and who his other leaders are recommending. If this is true, is it possible it could be happening on a higher level? Friends in leadership positions could be recommending one another. Elder Scott was the Mission President of Elder Christofferson and Elder Zwick. Elder Holland and Cook were mission companions. Are these all just coincidences?

I have an old friend who's dad had been a Stake President. He had an affair while he was a Stake President. My mom's friend's father-in-law had been a Stake Patriarch, and while he was a patriarch they found out he had been molesting children. Did these men's leaders receive revelation and feel something was wrong? If it happens on this level could it happen on a higher level with General Authorities?  The main belief in the lds church is that our church could never go astray. Was this the case in the Book of Mormon with Christ's church? Mosiah 27:13 " For the lord hath said : This is my church, and I will establish  it; and nothing shall overthrow it, save it be the transgression of my people." I'll bet those living in Jerusalem at the time Lehi became a prophet were confident that they were righteous too. If things like this are happening today, shouldn't we evaluate and try to find out what transgressions these could be? We should investigate to see if anything has been changed over the years. Shouldn't we search to see if the same things are being taught and focused on that were when Joseph Smith was alive. Could this scripture be talking about us?
"they have all gone astray save it be a few, who are the humble followers of Christ; nevertheless, they are led, that in many instances they do err because they are taught by the precepts of men." 2 Nephi 28:14  Can the scriptures explain why things are the way they are?

Is there a difference in putting your faith in the church and the gospel? In my search for truth there's some making sense of a lot of my questions. They use the scriptures and explain them in ways that make sense of what is going on today.  If someone is in a position of authority, does that mean that they speak truth? Or could it be that when one speaks truth they receive real power and authority   
"Verily I say unto you, he that is ordained of me and sent forth to preach the word of truth by the Comforter, in the Spirit of truth, doth he preach it by the Spirit of truth or some other way?" D&C 50:17


  1. It does happen at higher levels. I can speak first hand that it happens with ward leadership and stake leadership. People recommend your name and often times you are intact called to that position. There is an element of "who you know" and the "good ol boys club" when it comes to the nature of callings within the church. I know bishops and stake president councilors that were very good friends with the priesthood leader extending the calling. I've sat in bishopric meetings where the same process was extended. Sure, we all pray about callings, but I've never been in a position where we prayed and the answer was no.

  2. Thank you for writing this. You are spoke articulately and without drama, very straight forward and honest. I also appreciate the simplicity of your testimony and message. What you have said should give us all pause. God bless.

  3. Hi Elder,
    Not only does the situation you are describing happen, the inverse happens as well. What I mean is, when people actually ARE called of God, and then do what he says, and it happens to disagree with whatever the policy of the person (people) above him (her) says, that individual will be released, despite the endorsement of God himself.

    I was called to be a ward mission leader a few years ago. The Bishop and I both received the same revelation: That our mission plan was to focus on people, not numbers, and simply teaching the doctrine of loving your neighbor without assignment. The ward changed dramatically. Inactives were coming back to church because they actually felt the concern of and friendship of their neighbors, who were not being assigned to visit them, but befriending them because they wanted to. The Spirit told me to stop going to weekly "coordination" meetings with the rest of the stake's ward mission leaders, and instead visit families. My Bishop supported this idea. He said he felt God had told me to do that. Two weeks later, I was released over that incident because "I wasn't following the handbook." This Bishop was an honest man with a good heart, and I still consider him a good friend. But this is just one of many examples where I know of a leader getting explicit revelation, then ignoring it because a policy of men said otherwise.

    God bless you in your journey!

    1. Just saw that you are "recently returned." Good thing, because writing like this and you would have been sent home quite quickly!

  4. I as well have recently returned (about 5 months ago). Seems like we're both on the same page (or at least in the same book). I can relate completely to everything you said. I served as AP for goodness sakes (whoopty-doo....). I saw how it all worked out. The putting of companions together was based on "following the rules" not obedience to the commandments, and after that it was based off of personality or character, who was aloud to drive, and what language they spoke. I can't deny that the Lord worked around our follies and efforts to put together the "perfect transfer", and produced miracles in spite of our pride and boasting in our own strength and wisdom. I'm just grateful to find someone who's like me on this rant. Amen to your words brother, perhaps we shall meet in person someday.

  5. My husband was made a branch president in his mission for the last 11 months of his mission. In that area, he excelled. He was baptizing at least monthly in a mission where missionaries were lucky to get one or two baptisms their entire mission. He formed life-long bonds with the people in that area.

    One day he said to me something about not making AP. I was floored that he could think that was important at all. I think what he did accomplish was far greater than a mere status symbol. I believe he has a true calling waiting for him in life that will be far greater than the high positions in the church that he is looking to, if he will ever wake up to the truth.