When changes in auxiliaries come in a ward or stake, there is often a misunderstanding as to the role of “recommending” someone to serve. It is not uncommon for example, that a person can be recommended to serve in two callings, by two different auxiliaries.
For example a Young Women’s President may recommend Sister Smith to serve as a counselor in the presidency and at the same time the Relief Society President may recommend the same sister serve as a teacher. Without careful understanding this can lead to frustration or even a questioning of revelation. How can both the Young Women and Relief Society Presidents feel they have received revelation that Sister Smith should serve with them. How can two people receive seemingly different revelations for the service of an individual?
The misunderstanding arises because of the words Recommend and Approve…
“The Chart of Callings indicates who may make recommendations for each calling and who gives approval. In some cases, priesthood and auxiliary leaders are asked to make recommendations to their stake presidency or bishopric. They should approach this responsibility prayerfully, knowing that they can receive guidance from the Lord about whom to recommend. However, they should remember that final responsibility to receive inspiration on whom to call rests with the stake presidency or the bishopric. Stake presidents and bishops should carefully evaluate each recommendation, recognizing that it has been prayerfully considered. As needed, they may request another recommendation.” Handbook 2 19.1.2
Note that the instruction that applies in our example is, these two Presidents have received revelations as to whom to recommend. The Stake President or Bishop as key holders, approve or not this recommendation and ultimately receive inspiration as to whom to call. Or perhaps put in another way the recommendation is “who could” the approval is “who should”
The reality is that Sister Smith may be an excellent counselor in Young Women’s but equally be a wonderful teacher in Relief Society. So both Presidents have received accurate revelation that Sister Smith “could serve” with them and therefore should be recommended.
Once received by the Stake President or Bishop, these key holders will discuss the recommendations with their counselors and then make a prayerful and informed decision. It is not the gender, or the priesthood but rather the priesthood keys that qualify these men to make decisions.
So next time you are in the position to recommend another member to serve in a calling, remember it is your role to prayerfully present names of individuals that, by revelation, you feel could serve. You may even be inspired to present the names of a couple of people who could. But the revelation as to who will, is with the Bishopric or Stake Presidency.