The Fifth Article of Faith

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“We believe that a man must be acalled of God, by bprophecy, and by the laying on of chands by those who are in dauthority, to epreach the Gospel and administer in the fordinances thereof.”

The Fifth article of faith can be broken down into a few different important points with regard to callings and administration within the church. These important aspects of this article of faith ensure that those who serve within the church have proper authority and give structure to the administration of church business.

1) A man must be called of God. This is the only way that anyone can be or should serve in any capacity. Our callings within the church are divinely inspired and come direct from God. Because we are called of God this can help us in our callings. When we have this understanding we know the source to which we can turn when we struggle to meet the demands of our callings. It is amazing and wonderful to me that God cares so much about us individually and as a church that he would want to be involved in every single calling within the church. Even something as simple as being called to clean the church once a week or as an usher for sacrament meeting. These types of callings almost anyone could do but the Lord and our God called you to do this and did not leave it up to our leaders. He has taken a personal interest in you and thought of the perfect role for you within his church. What a blessing that is.

2) By prophecy. This part is key to our understanding. Dictionary.com defines prophecy as “something that is declared by a prophet, especially a divinely inspired prediction, instruction, or exhortation.” The most applicable part of this definition is “divinely inspired instruction or exhortation”. Our callings are instructions and exhortation. We are instructed to accept the responsibility of the role that is asked of us. Our callings are provided through our church leaders such as bishops and stake presidents, apostles, prophets and seventies. They are inspired to call certain individuals to roles within the church that are under their area of authority. God will reveal to bishops who should serve within ward roles, stake presidents who should serve at the stake level, seventies in an area level so forth and so on.

3) By the laying on of hands. A calling is not confirmed or official until you have been ordained to this position. This ordination or ordinance must be done in the proper way. The laying on of hands where the one administering the ordinance places his hands on your head and ordains you to the office or calling that you have been called. This is done through prayer and the power of the priesthood. Without this ordinance you calling cannot be recognized in any official manner within the church or by God.

4) Those who are in Authority to preach and administer in the ordinance thereof. This is Key. Only those who have been given proper authority can call and ordain you to any office or calling within the church. For example a deacon cannot call you to serve as a elders quorum president. The elders quorum president cannot call you to be a bishop or stake president. Nor can any of these individuals ordain you to said office. Only a bishop can call people to serve within the ward and can only ordain to offices that are equal to or under him in the chain of command. For example a Bishop cannot ordain a stake president but a stake president can ordain a bishop. Being ordained by one having proper authority is the only way to receive a calling.

Like ordination only those who have jurisdiction or authority will receive revelation concerning the calling of others within his stewardship. A stake president for the stake he presides over and a bishop for the ward he presides over, The prophet and Apostles for the church as they preside over the whole of the church.

Everyone can serve in the kingdom of God in some way. Many are called but Few are chosen. For those who are chosen it is important to serve to the best of our ability. Having such a system of authority and process keeps order in the church. By doing so we won’t have everyone clamoring for position and declaring themselves as bishop or president or any other calling they may desire. God qualifies whom he calls.

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