Feeling Useless

This is a complaint. Just a warning.

I am fast approaching the second anniversary since I last had a calling in the church. During that time I have managed to be a home teacher for only 9 months. I will admit that I have been in 5 wards during that time span, but the breakdown is this – 1 month after being released I left the student ward for a family ward. 5 months later I moved from Logan to Lehi without having had a calling or a home teaching assignment. Admittedly I was very busy with family issues during that period (which is why I moved). Two months after moving to Lehi I moved to American Fork. So in 8 months I covered three of the five wards. In American Fork it took them 3 months to give me a home teaching assignment. Later Laura got a calling, but when I moved to Columbia, Missouri 11 months after I had moved to American Fork I had never had a calling. In Columbia there was a lot of noise when I moved in about how soon they would have a calling for me. It only took one month to get a home teaching assignment so I thought I might get a calling sometime. After two months they have called Laura back into the primary.

Apparently I am sill invisible. As of yet I have not met a single person who had managed to stay so completely invisible while remaining fully active. I figure that you can hardly blame the ward leaders for not extending a calling to those who are inactive, or unwilling to serve, but I am neither unwilling nor unavailable nor incapable and yet they cannot find anything for me to do. I don’t mean to murmur, but it gets really old after a while when you consistently have no place in the ward structure. I am the perpetual nobody. I am not a particularly social person on my own, but I have made plenty of friends in the ward in Columbia during my time as “the new person” but now that I am no longer “the new person” I have no identity.

Laura gets to be a Sunday school teacher again, she has a place, but I am an outcast. Okay, in all fairness they do not treat me like an outcast, but I serve no function in the ward beyond being a warm body. I am not asking for a position of prominence, I would as quickly serve as a Sunday school teacher or employment specialist as I would accept a calling to be president of the elders quorum. At this rate I am about ready to call up the bishop and demand that he call me to something – even if he just calls me to place the hymn books in order from least worn to most worn before church on those Sundays when the choir will be singing.

About David

David is the father of 8 extremely organized children (4 girls / 4 boys) who is constantly seeking answers to tough questions related to parenting, education and politics while moonlighting for 40 hours each week as a technology professional. He also enjoys cooking, gardening, and sports.
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One Response to Feeling Useless

  1. Mom says:

    I think I know how you feel about not having a church job. I have attended church with Dad for the last two weeks, and I commented to my co-worker that I would attend with him for a few months or so. She responded, “Don’t you have a calling in your ward?” Actually, no I don’t – and haven’t had for years – Maybe 8 years. I don’t know how long for sure.

    I was released from the temple coming up 3 years ago. I didn’t have a ward calling for the four years I served there or the three since. I was released from Stake Relief Society almost 3 1/2 years ago after serving for just one year. (The stake was split then. Ann and Jeaneen were called to the stake relief society of the new stake and Maurine was called to the stake relief society of the new stake. But I was left adrift.)

    I can’t claim to have lived in 5 different wards or to have been inactive or unable or unwilling. I figure since all calls come by inspriation, the Lord just doesn’t need me.

    The first time this happened to me, I lived in Tooele. I had 4 very young children at the time. The primary president told me that she had requested to have me teach primary, but the bishop rejected the idea saying that I had my hands full. What ever.

    It is especially annoying when I watch the same five people rotating from one job to another – as if they were the only ones who could do a job. By the way, Marv doesn’t have a job either. Up till a couple of months ago, no one in his family had a job. Marv said that people over 50 are put out to pasture. (A few weeks they sustained Patty as ward computer specialist and Thomas as young adult representative.

    My mother counciled me that without a calling I am free to choose my own field of study – field of growth. So that is what I would council you to do. That’s what I should do myself. But like you, I am having a hard time choosing and disciplining myself.

    Learning is more effective if you have a place to teach what you learn. You have to go beyond recognizing the subject. You have to analyze, evaluate and synthasize. Then the subject is more completely yours.

    Guess I’d better get growing and gaining something to contribute to the kingdom so maybe the Lord can find a use for me. As for you, you’re doing well being involved with your personal study and preparing yourself to be useful in the kingdom and the world.

    I love you,

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