It take all kinds of folks

I wish I could write a post here every day, especially since all the people that read my stuff early on have long since given up. It was nice to have people that would encourage me, and show kindness where it wasn’t deserved, even knowing I was bitter and a little ranty.

I’ve moved to a different plane, but it’s not necessarily a better one. I’m still Mormon. I’m still having pain about what I can’t decide. I still love many of the core beliefs of Mormonism, but I don’t know which parts are true.

I have gotten a calling, even before my husband, in our new ward. I’m the new organist. Is that a total shock, or what? I got my music degree 7 years ago, and this is the first time I will be THE organist. I will have a reason to practice, and I will be able to contribute to other people’s worship in a way that they don’t yet anticipate. The previous organist was so relieved when she found out she would be released. She didn’t know how to use the pedals, and she requested all the hymns a YEAR before she would have to play them. She seemed really nervous.

I told the guy who issued the calling that it was probably the only one they would get me to do, and my husband was surprised. I’ve always believed that you don’t say no to a calling, but now, I couldn’t do any sort of doctrinal teaching to any age group where I would feel comfortable. I can’t teach what I don’t believe, and I don’t think they would like me getting in there and saying, “Well, some people believe that Joseph Smith saw God. I’m not saying he did for sure. I don’t even know for sure, but you can decide for yourself.”

I can play hymns and help people to enjoy their singing. I can help people better understand the words of the songs through my choice of registration (organ stops that produce the different sounds) and interpretation. I can draw attention to the beauty of the melody, and the strength of the words. I can help people feel welcome and calm, or joyful and excited, or contemplative.

I can do this, and I don’t have to go against any of my beliefs. I can still give service to people who also serve me.  I can still behave in a way that I believe is worthy of being called “Christian.”

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~ by woundedhart on November 19, 2007.

4 Responses to “It take all kinds of folks”

  1. Wounded, this is such an AMAZING way to give service in the ward! I know many people won’t even realize what you are doing in the way of interpretation, etc. but I can tell you that for me it makes such a difference in the quality of worship to have an organist who is at least competent.

    In our ward here in Riyadh all we have is a cheap keyboard, and one real musician, but she comes early and plays a REAL prelude (not just going through a few hymns out of the book!) and I cannot tell you how great it is and how much closer it makes me feel to the Divine.

    Sincere congratulations on your new calling.

  2. I haven’t given up; I liked your writing well enough to add you to Google Reader. Google takes care of the rest.

    Ironically, the only calling I feel comfortable with is teaching EQ. I sort of relish the challenge of bringing new thoughts and re-framing thoughtless assumptions without offending them or upsetting their testimonies too directly. I was very nervous the first few times, but I frequently receive thanks from the class, and I’ve noticed a few guys only attend the weeks I teach. (I’ve also noticed the EQ presidency squirming a few times, but so far, no intervention…)

    Anyway, the reason I’m comfortable there is similar to the reason you’re comfortable with music — we each feel uniquely qualified to do the job better than most people would do it. Sounds great that you were lucky enough to get the calling!

  3. BiV, thanks. Although I know people won’t notice, at least it will be because I know what I’m doing. This is, after all, why I chose to pursue a degree in music in the first place, so there would always be someone to do it.

    Ungewiss, I know what you mean. I wish the church worked a little more at finding people’s talents and using them. I know so many people that love doing a certain thing in church but never get to, so that someone else out there can be having a “growing experience.” The only thing I learned from being a nursery leader was that I hate, hate, HATE being a nursery leader. Yet I know many people that would love to have that as their calling, and who are also qualified to do such. (More than just “having desire to serve” qualification.) I wish I could go to your class.

  4. Like Ungewiss I can thank Google that I have no trouble keeping up with all the bloggers that post infrequently. 😉

    That’s great you got a calling that uses your talents and that you feel good about doing!

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