On a Facebook group to which I belong, someone recently posed an important question for Latter-day Saints: “If you could create your own [church] calling, what would it be?”
For churchgoers, this would mean an entirely new method of participation. No longer would you have to sit around and wait for inspiration (a spiritual draft) on the part of someone else to find something for you to do.
But what if you could tailor an original church task to your own needs and desires?
Note: Keep in mind that real consideration of this question means you have to actually attend church. Any idiot can come up with something like “I would like to be called to never attend church again.” That’s not a calling. It’s abdication.
For example, I was “called” (assigned, sentenced, confined, ordered, etc.) to serve as the librarian in my Latter-day Saint congregation. I was put there by Bishop Geertsen, who presumably was inspired by a higher authority.
I like the library well enough, but is it the job I would have picked for myself if it had been up to me instead of the bishop?
Hell, no. I would have called myself to be the ward “verger.”
Back in the day, Anglicans assigned a verger (sort of a sergeant-at-arms) to creep around the chapel with a long pole. On one end was a wooden knob; on the other a feather. Men who fell asleep during services got prodded in the head with the knob, while women were tickled awake by the feather.
I have no idea why cool church jobs like this didn’t stick. How are you going to get to heaven unless you consciously endure interminable boredom for a mere crumb of useful information?
As a former cop, I would make a great Mormon verger. I’d dump the knob and feather and go uni-prod with electricity, a proven attention getter. There would, of course, be lower voltages for the elderly, nursing mothers and babies.
Best of all, I’d never be the one getting zapped. And the stealthy hunt for snoozers would ensure that I stayed focused with a loving cruelty heretofore unknown.
Other church callings I’d create for myself would be hall monitor — although the new two-hour block makes this one a bit less necessary. There’s but one 10-minute period for screwing around in the halls.
Oh, even better would be to call myself as the editor of the ward program/newsletter. It wouldn’t take much to spice up the little four-page handout passed around every Sunday.
The new Rose Summit Ward Proselytizer would feature in-depth investigations into who’s pregnant, who’s talking trash about whom, youth camp crimes and perfectly useless speculation on mission calls.
What? Yes, there would be cartoons and a puzzle page for small children and high priests.
But when the thinking is all over, the perfect new church job for me would be the WW instructor, a calling that specifically targets the less-active and marginally alert members.
The Ward Waffle instructor would be responsible for conducting a 45-minute church gripe session at a restaurant of his (my) choice.
Since the aforementioned people can probably eat a lot of waffles, we’ll probably have to get special fast offering dispensation to fund the class. But it would be worth it. For me.
Robert Kirby is The Salt Lake Tribune’s humor columnist. Follow Kirby on Facebook.