Are we grateful for our responsibilities?
As Mormon began a sermon to a group church members, he acknowledged that he was only able to speak to them because of God’s grace and His will, manifest in “the gift of his calling unto me” (Moroni 7:2). In an earlier chapter, Moroni spoke of “the gifts and callings of God” (Moroni 3:4), but here, Mormon identifies his calling itself as a gift.
Mormon’s words remind me of King Benjamin’s similar acknowledgement. In his final address to his people, Benjamin reminded the people that he was just like them, but that he had been “suffered by the hand of the Lord” to be their king and had been “kept and preserved by his matchless power, to serve [them]” (Mosiah 2:11). He later said, “Even at this time, my whole frame doth tremble exceedingly while attempting to speak unto you, but the Lord God doth support me, and hath suffered me that I should speak unto you” (Mosiah 2:30).
I once heard a church leader say the following in a training session: “I’ve heard some of you speak longingly of the time when you’ll be released from your callings. I wish you wouldn’t do that.” He went on to say, “When I am released from my current calling, I will feel many things. One of them is sorrow: I will miss this opportunity to serve.”
When we see our responsibilities as gifts, we tend to do a better job. We work harder at them and are more conscientious. Mormon talks later in the chapter about the ineffectiveness of doing things grudgingly. (See Moroni 7:6-10.) When we serve out of a reluctant sense of obligation, we will never be as productive as we will when we serve with a sense of gratitude and love.
On multiple occasions, President Thomas S. Monson quoted the following passage by the Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore:
I slept and dreamt that life was joy.
I awoke and saw that life was duty.
I acted, and behold—
Duty was joy.“The Sacred Call of Service,” General Conference, April 2005; “The Call of Duty,” General Conference, April 1986
Today, I will be grateful for the responsibilities I have been given. I will recognize them for the gift that they are, and I will strive to fulfill them willingly, not grudgingly, so that I can be effective and joyful in my service.