The book of Isaiah ends on a happy note: a new heaven and a new earth, with joy and peace among those who have been faithful to God. But the text is also tinged with sorrow for those who have not been faithful. Twice, the Lord utters the following lament: “When I called, ye did not answer; when I spake, ye did not hear” (Isaiah 65:12, Isaiah 66:4). Earlier in the book, the Lord expresses similar feelings of disappointment: “When I came, there was no man; when I called, yea, there was none to answer” (2 Nephi 7:2, Isaiah 50:2).
In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we refer to formal responsibilities as callings. Most members of the church hold at least one calling most of the time, and we generally receive a new calling every couple of years or so.
However, I’m convinced that the Lord calls us far more frequently than that. After Amulek heeded the call of an angel and supported the prophet Alma, he recognized that God had been reaching out to him in many ways which he had simply failed to notice. “I was called many times,” he said, “and I would not hear; therefore I knew concerning these things, yet I would not know” (Alma 10:6).
Moroni explained that people were ordained to responsibilities in the ancient church by the laying on of hands, “according to the gifts and callings of God unto men” (Moroni 3:4). I think he was trying to say that within our broader responsibilities, we are given many individual opportunities to serve. Every time we are inspired to serve someone else, we have been called. Will we answer that call?
Last Sunday, President Russell M. Nelson encouraged us to maintain a regular individual practice of following guidance from God: “Each day, record the thoughts that come to you as you pray; then follow through diligently” (“Overcome the World and Find Rest,” General Conference, October 2022).
Today, I will answer when God calls. When I am prompted to do something good, I will do it without delay. I will strive to be open to new callings from God and willing to accept and fulfill them.