Saturday, August 26, 2006

An Holy Calling

By Keith Fisher

Many of you have callings in your ward or stake. Some have more than one calling. Everyone has been called to be a parent, a child, or a brother or sister. I want to discuss a calling that LDS writers have but they may not know it.

Recently I was attending Sacrament meeting as several of the members of my ward were released and other members were called. Some of them were shifted from one job to another. A few of the positions were left open giving our Stake Presidency and Bishopric time to fill them. When this happens it is always an interesting time. There is much speculation in regard to who will be called to fill which position of authority.

While sitting there, it occurred to me that I wouldn’t be called to fill any of those vacancies. I heaved a great sigh of relief knowing that I wouldn’t be asked to step out of my comfort zone this time. Suddenly I had an epiphany. I realized that I was given a calling years ago.

As writers, it is natural to labor under the delusion that we will someday be another J.K. Rowling or Dan Brown. Many would like to be Mark Twain. But the truth is the odds are against us, and writing in the LDS market won’t net us the number of readers that J.K. Rowling has. In other words: Don’t quit your day job.

With that in mind, what is the purpose of the inspiration? Why are we awakened in the night by a concept that touches our hearts so much, we must write it?

In Paul’s second letter to Timothy he cautioned the young man to never be ashamed of his testimony and remember he had been called with an holy calling to do the work. 2 Timothy 1:8-9 Perhaps we can paraphrase that and have a little fun:

Be not therefore ashamed to be a writer for our Lord: Who hath saved us, and called us with An Holy Calling.

Many of us have been inspired to write. We have stories in our hearts that if told correctly, will touch the hearts of many with comfort and love. I suspect that those who have chosen to write in the LDS market were given a calling. Like many callings in the church, this calling is not easy. In fact, it can take time away from family and career. Magnifying this calling will leave you with a sense of fulfillment and joy.

Many of the published LDS authors not only write pearls of pleasure for those who have been touched by the spirit of which they were written, but the authors also speak at firesides and other venues, spreading the good news of the gospel. That description sounds like ‘An Holy Calling’ to me.

So there it is, I know that many of you will be published soon, if you haven’t already. I can think of no better way to make a living than to write good works that are not necessarily LDS doctrine, but good works for which you can be proud. When you cash that royalty check or get that rejection, you might consider that maybe . . . just maybe . . . You were called of God before the foundations of the world began. If the Lord decides to help us make a living at it, then that would just be icing on the cake.


Tristi Pinkston said...

That was beautiful, Keith.

Annette Lyon said...

Thanks for this. Beautiful concept.