Responding to Difficult Callings

Callings can be intimidating. We may question our ability to fulfill the responsibilities. We may worry that others won’t respond favorably to us.

Moses expressed both of those concerns when God called him to deliver Israel from captivity.

  1. “Who am I,” he asked, “that I should go unto Pharaoah, and that I should bring the forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11). He later explained a specific deficiency which he thought disqualified him for the role: “I am not eloquent…but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue” (Exodus 4:10).
  2. “They will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice,” he predicted (Exodus 4:1). He had good reason to worry. The last time he had interacted with his people, one of them had asked, “Who made thee a prince and a judge over us?” (Exodus 2:14).

The Lord responded by urging Moses to trust Him. “Who hath made man’s mouth?” He asked. “I will be with thy mouth,” He promised, “and teach thee what thou shalt say.”(Exodus 4:11-12). After Moses began to fulfill his calling and encountered resistance, God reassured him, “I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians…and ye shall know that I am the Lord your God” (Exodus 6:6-7).

When the sons of Mosiah asked their father for permission to preach the gospel among the Lamanites, he was concerned. The Lord encouraged him, “Let them go up, for many shall believe on their words, and they shall have eternal life; and I will deliver thy sons out of the hands of the Lamanites” (Mosiah 28:7). When they subsequently became discouraged, the Lord comforted them and encouraged them to keep working:

Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success.

Alma 26:27

Today I will put my best efforts into fulfilling the callings I have received. I will overcome my own feelings of inadequacy and my worries that others will not approve of my efforts by trusting that the Lord will be with me and will help me.

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