Many people are surprised to find out that we, in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, do not have paid clergy. Yet certain callings within the church require sometimes more than 20 hours of service a week.
Why on earth would somebody donate their time like this? It might be interesting for you some time in the next few weeks to ask your Bishop or your home teacher or even Stake Presidency member why they serve.
Here are a few of the answers I believe you might here:
"Because it is the right thing to do."
"Because the Savior himself served. That's who I choose to follow."
"Because the needs of those around me are so great. How can I not?"
"Simply because I was asked."
"Because there was a need."
"Because I know I'm where I need to be. Sure it's a sacrifice, but I can't imagine facing the Lord after this life, having said no to a call to serve."
Whatever the answers might be, those who serve are beautiful indeed. What is that scripture? "The humble shall be blessed from on high..." (D & C 1:28) and "...the diligent to be blessed unto eternal life..." (D&C 18:8)
So yes, we are surrounded by those who serve without pay. Do they serve perfectlly? Absolutely not. It was funny today - a meeting had been held and not enough copies had been made to distribute to the people in the meeting. One person criticized the individual leading the meeting, for not having enough foresight.
My son mentioned how interesting it is that we can be so quick to criticize someone simply for trying to follow through with their calling. So true.
And yet, how are these individuals chosen? As members of the church, we raise our hands to the square to support them in their callings. Why do we do this? Because we believe that they have been called of God, that the spirit of the Lord has directed their names to the minds of our other church leaders.
For example, just today we received a new counselor in the Bishopric. Our Bishop stood and told the congregation that this person now sitting by his side was not his first choice. But that this person sitting by his side was the choice the Lord wanted.
So as we rub shoulders with one another at church, let's be less hasty to criticize and more in awe of the entire process. For we are surrounded by people (hopefully including ourselves) who are willing to serve - without getting paid at all in earthly funds. Now that is a beautiful thing! :0)