Monday, December 14, 2009

Relief Society Relief

Yesterday I was released from my calling as Relief Society President and my roommate was was sustained. People keep asking me if I'm relieved or jubilant or sad or whatever. I guess it's the whatever. I know my secretary did a little dance in her seat when she was released from her calling (but I'm sure she learned a lot from it, right?), and I've heard of people having a hard time getting released, but I don't really feel that strongly.

Don't get me wrong: I loved many things about being RS President. I loved getting the burning inspiration of "Jane" over and over until I send Jane a note. I loved being able to look people in the eye in interviews as they recounted the miracles of their lives. I loved being able to ask, "What can I do to make your life easier?" knowing that I had the resources of that whole organization at my disposal, and the support of the Elders Quorum and Bishopric to boot. I loved being able to help sisters.

And I think I did a good job. Here's how I know: I was fasting and praying last week to know I did a good job and my roommate, not generally known for being overly cheerful, came up and gave me a hug and said, "You're a great Relief Society president." What more obvious sign do I need? I don't know that I had a huge influence in everyone's life, but I did my duty and prayed for inspiration and I feel good about what I did.

And now I'm going to be in the Spiritual and Temporal Welfare Council. For those of you not in a BYU student ward, that council picks up most of the duties that the other councils like Service and Temple and Family History don't really cover. We do safety and security (like safewalks or making sure that everyone can lock his or her windows). We do provident living (job placement, budgeting, etc.). We do emergency preparedness (first aid training and 72 hour kits). We do personal spiritual encouragement (scripture reminders, for example). In short, we do whatever the Bishop wants us to (and lately, he's asked us to prepare some dating firesides and activities).

So a lot of people think that this is a bit of a downgrade. Not so. Here's a story, maybe everyone already knows:

Eld. Eyring's dad was a high councilman in charge of the welfare farm, so he assigned himself to go pull weeds. He was almost eighty, and has bone cancer, I think, so he could only pull himself along on his elbows as he pulled weeds at this onion patch. At the end of the long day, someone says to him, "Wait, you didn't pull those weeds over there? Those ones had been sprayed--they were going to die in two days anyway." Brother Eyring thought that was funny and laughed and laughed. His son thought that was terrible and asked why he was laughing. "Hal," he responded. "I wasn't there for the weeds--I was there for the Lord."

I don't know what I'll be asked to for for God through the course of my life. After all, I've been a RS teacher, a Service Council member, a Mia Maid class secretary, a Family History instructor, a missionary, a Friendship Council Chair, a sacrament meeting pianist (somehow...), a senior Primary teacher, a ward newsletter carrier, a RS aesthetic coordinator (that means I brought the tablecloth and centerpiece) and, since I was seventeen, always a visiting teacher. I don't know what callings I'll have in the future--except for visiting teacher--but I do know that as long as I do my duty and pray for inspiration, I'll be able to be there for the Lord.

So I guess it's not a big deal for me to be released from this calling, because it's not like it's the end of my service to my sisters--now I'll just be serving them (and now the brethern as well), in a different capacity. I'm still open to divine direction, just as much in my last calling, and I hope that I'll be able to do whatever the Lord wants me to do. Even if that means just pulling weeds.


Christian said...

So you're not going to go inactive because you've been dishonored? :P Sadly, apparently that's a real issue in some countries, particularly Japan, I hear.

Valerie said...

I'm just a stranger who found your blog, but wanted to comment that I recently read something very similar to your feelings in a talk by Elder Packer. (Elder Boyd K. Packer, “Covenants,” Ensign, May 1987, 22) Great attitude to have. I'm sure that you'll continue to be a wonderful example to others and a great follower of Christ. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.