So, after a lifetime in the church, I’ve seen a lot of people in callings do really well, and “rise to the occasion”, and I’ve seen other fail miserably.  In the rise to the occasion category, there is a story from a family in my stake where the mother was called to be pianist for the primary, but she had never played the piano in her life.  She was from a household that was taught to never turn down a calling, so she accepted.  She then started practicing, and in a few weeks could pound out a few simple primary songs with one finger.  It progressed from there until years later when she was released, she could “play the piano”.

Most people are not like this sister, and would have just laughed and turned down the calling.  Some others, without any musical senses at all might have accepted out of duty, and then failed miserably.

I’ve seen other failures in callings that look like a train wreck from the moment they are called, and then its confirmed as I’ve watched them try to do the calling. I must admit that this is probably confirmation bias on my part, as I only remember the ones that I had a feeling they would fail, and they did, vs those I had the feeling about, and then they succeed and I soon forgot.  I think that the majority of people in callings do satisfactory, if not very well.

Once while I was a counselor in a Bishopric, we talked about calling a brother to be ward membership clerk. I had visited this guy in his home, and knew him well.  I told the bishop it was not a good fit, as he knew nothing of computers (which were just taking over the membership duties from the paper cards), was older and not the kind that would like learning about computers. The bishop insisted that it was the right calling, and submitted his name for the Stake to call him.  We were informed by the high councilor that issued the calling that he accepted, but that he thought it was a mistake.  After three months he was released and I was forced to be the membership clerk on top of the counselor duties!

I’ve seen this twice with EQ presidents. Both young guys with young families, and both way over their head with school, family, and church.  Both failed, and the EQ and ward suffered.

So, do you think there is any more failure in callings than there is in jobs at a typical business? Should there be less in a church guided by God? Should Discernment not play a bigger role to keep failures to a minimum? What has been your experiences?