I remembered a talk that I had heard by Elder Eyring, a number of years ago. It’s called “Rise to Your Call.” It is one that had multiple meanings to me, not only as a priesthood holder, but as a father, friend, son, brother and paramedic.
I’ll digress momentarily, as I ask you to think about what has led you to where you are today. Consider your callings in life. Each of you, a son or daughter of God, is called to represent the Savior. Many of you are husbands and wives. Some of you a parent, or will be very shortly. Each of you, a soon-to-be paramedic. What led you to this career choice? Why paramedicine? Did you feel drawn to it? Do you feel an emotional connection to helping people in their time of need? Perhaps you got a spiritual confirmation, that this was the right job for you, at this time in your life.
We each have a variety of callings in life. Each with their own set of responsibilities and trials. Each with their own blessings. Elder Eyring shares a few thoughts I’d like to recount (Elder Eyring quotes in blue). I’ll add that Elder Eyring’s comments were directed to those with callings in the church, but his advice, I believe, is very applicable to other callings in life:
“First, you are called of God. The Lord knows you… He chose you.” If before you embarked on a new calling in life, be it career, family or otherwise, you made it matter of prayer and spiritual reflection, I believe in every sense of the word, it is a calling. The Lord has chosen you. There is power in that statement.
“You are called to represent the Savior. Your voice to testify becomes the same as His voice, your hands to lift the same as His hands. His work is to bless His Father’s spirit children with the opportunity to choose eternal life. So, your calling is to bless lives. That will be true even in the most ordinary tasks you are assigned and in moments when you might be doing something not apparently connected to your call. Just the way you smile or the way you offer to help someone can build their faith. And should you forget who you are, just the way you speak and the way you behave can destroy faith.” Your calling as a paramedic is different than other paramedics. You have been endowed with spiritual gifts that most paramedics do not have. How will you use them? Will you, by your own unworthiness, withhold those gifts from others? Or will you build up someone spiritually and physically, in their time of deepest need?
“Your call carries grave responsibility. But you need not fear, because with your call come great promises.” The lives of God’s children will frequently rest solely in your hands. As you tune yourself to hear the spirit of God, and prepare physically with the proper knowledge and mindset, God will guide you.
“Just as God called you and will guide you, He will magnify you. You will need that magnification. Your calling will surely bring opposition. You are in the Master’s service. You are His representative. Eternal lives depend on you.” I’ll add also, that in the calling of a paramedic, physical lives depend on you. I can think of many times that without the guiding influence of the Holy Ghost, I would have not performed to the best of my ability. With the ability to receive that revelation, has come come temptation. Temptation to embrace the negative and worldly side of the job. This is in direct opposition to what God wishes for you. Avoid it at all costs.
“There will be times when you will feel overwhelmed. One of the ways you will be attacked is with the feeling that you are inadequate. Well, you are inadequate to answer a call to represent God with only your own powers. But you have access to more than your natural capacities, and you do not work alone.” To those who are struggling right now, and there are many of you, I would like to speak directly to you. I’ll add my testimony to that of Elder Eyrings, you do not work alone. Think for a moment what that means.
You do not work alone.
You have a spiritual capacity, and with that a physical capacity beyond your wildest imaginations. If you are struggling, I plead with you to first, seek out spiritual help. Then, in time, the answers will come. You, with the help of your instructors and preceptors, will know how to fix and to improve. I know that is true.
“What you say and do will carry hope and give direction to people far beyond your natural abilities and your own understanding.” Many of you have expressed frustration with the frequency of low-acuity calls. I’ll be the first to admit that these calls were beyond frustrating to me as an intern. I wish I knew then, what I know now. The vast majority of these people you will transport in non-emergent situations are lost. Many of them have problems with alcohol and drug abuse and other problems we can scarcely understand or appreciate. You have the opportunity to be a light in the lives of those people. Having that understanding and belief will completely change they way you look at those types of calls. I challenge you to try it.
Students, I love you all. I pray for your safety, success and happiness. You are constantly on my mind. Continue to bless the lives of those around you.
P.S. Here is a brief summary of Elder Eyrings talk:
P.P.S. Here is the full talk: