Near the end of the Book of Mormon, Moroni describes how priesthood authority was given. After explaining the process, he adds two significant points:
- It was done “according to the gifts and callings of God unto men.”
- It was done “by the power of the Holy Ghost” (Moroni 3:4).
When Joseph Smith was instructed to establish the church in 1830, he received similar instructions:
Every elder, priest, teacher, or deacon is to be ordained according to the gifts and callings of God unto him; and he is to be ordained by the power of the Holy Ghost, which is in the one who ordains him.Doctrine and Covenants 20:60
I’ve written before about “the gifts and callings of God,” but this phrase has been on my mind again today. I’ve been particularly thinking about the members of my congregation, where I currently serve in a leadership role. Every one of them is unique, Each of them has unique gifts (capabilities) and callings (opportunities to serve). Our callings correspond with our gifts. Therefore, it’s important for church leaders to think about the unique contribution each member can make and the invitations to serve each should be given as a result.
The apostle Paul taught that “there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.” He went on to say, “There are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all” (1 Corinthians 12:4, 6). The phrase “diversities of operations” appears in some translations of the Bible as “different kinds of working” or “varieties of activities.” (See 1 Corinthians 12:6 on biblehub.com.) We may do things different ways but still accomplish the same purposes. The goal is to have everyone contributing, not to have everyone doing the same things in the same way.
The scripture which defines my current responsibilities says that I need to “sit in council” with those I lead (Doctrine and Covenants 107:89). How else would I understand not only what needs to be done but what each member can do to help?
President Henry B. Eyring told the women of the church that they are daughters of God, “who sent you into the world with unique gifts that you promised to use to bless others” (“Sisters in Zion,” General Conference, October 2020). The same is, of course, true for men.
Today, I will look for the ways that I can use my unique gifts to bless other people. I will also think about the people in my circle of influence: I will help members of my family, my church congregation, and my teams at work to recognize their gifts and will invite them to apply those gifts to solving real-world problems.