Saul Callings

Saturday Morning 31118_000_028_07conference referenced how Samuel was unsure that Saul was the right man to lead Israel. With the benefits of hindsight, one indeed wonders about the choice. Saul, in the end, had some serious problems as King. Does God call people knowing that they will, to a significant degree, fail? Yes, I think he does. I think he does it all the time.

Yet sometimes I think people see someone called to a calling and, if it does not work out well, they question if the calling was inspired. Now, I don’t think that all callings are perfect. But nor do I think that just because things don’t work out storybook perfect does it mean the calling was not inspired.

And to layer it on, I think a calling can be inspired even if God knows the person will not accept it. I even think a calling can be inspired even if the person shouldn’t accept it. A calling, even one not accepted, can do something for a person or get them thinking about something God wants them to think about. He is playing the long game, after all.

5 comments for “Saul Callings

  1. Great collection of thoughts! I think you are exactly right. God can inspire leaders to extend callings that may result in a rocky road for the individual or others–just as he can inspire individuals to pursue paths that will not result in “storybook perfect” situations in our lives. It is all a testimony to the fact that “this life is not easy, nor was it meant to be,” as Elder Cook taught today. The whole purpose of life is for us to pass through difficulty, even difficult paths the Lord inspires us to pursue, and to take these difficulties as opportunities to come closer to God and become more like him. :)

  2. Old testament sauls’ failures are best learned from when you compare his success and failures against paul-sauls failures and sucesses when you live a life of service for the lord and the blessings to others in that sacrifice.

  3. A lot of what happens in our lives isn’t to prove to God whether or not we’re worthy for a reward, it’s to prove it to us. It would be rather unfair if God bypassed this whole mortality thing and just handed out eternal rewards and responsibilities one day in the pre-mortal spirit world.
    It’s possible that when Saul is standing before the judgement bar of God that he will be told that given the preparations and opportunities that he had, that he came short. There were others in similar positions as him who succeeded, and they have become the Lords chosen.
    It’s also possible that when Saul is standing before the judgement bar of God that he will be told that given the preparations and opportunities that he had, that he succeeded. The task that was given to him was great and he rose to the challenge. He may not have done so with flying colors, but did so sufficiently to be on the right hand of God.
    I don’t like the point of view that God extends callings to us, so that we can fail. But I don’t mind the point of view that he extends callings to us, so that we can learn something about ourselves.

  4. Nice Frank. Saul’s a particularly provocative example, since it means God calls folks not only when we don’t get a “storybook” ending, but sometimes when we get an awful one. I think we’re all prone to see storybook endings as inspired and their opposite as uninspired. Saul’s a nice challenge to that view.

  5. Even when someone doesn’t “fail” in a calling, I think it’s indisputable that the calling would have been better magnified if the Savior had simply done the job Himself. He doesn’t do that. Some days I wish those around me were better at their callings, but all in all I feel the gains I’ve made as I muddle through my callings as best I can outweigh the gains I would have made from simply watching other callings be performed perfectly.

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