#hearLDSwomen: I Was Sustained to a New Calling Without My Knowledge or Consent

I was asked to serve as a stake young women leader at a very stressful time of my life; the calling completely took me off guard. When I asked if I could think about it, the counselor told me they wanted to sustain me in a meeting that started in 30 minutes, but okay, think about it. Within 10 minutes, they called on the phone saying, “Never mind, we decided to ask somebody else.”
– Christy C.


I went to Sacrament Meeting as a newlywed and was shocked when I was called over the pulpit to be a visiting teaching supervisor. The bishopric member wouldn’t move on until I stood up and everyone sustained me. I was extremely upset and after the meeting I tried to tell the bishopric member that I had never been asked about this calling. He asked if I would have accepted the calling if he had asked. I said yes and then he just walked away. There was no apology or recognition that I was put in an extremely uncomfortable situation. I felt like I couldn’t say no at that point and that the leadership didn’t care about my contribution.
– Hope


I had an experience where I was not “officially called”. The bishop spoke to me on one occasion and said they were looking to make some changes to callings in the ward. I was a Ward Den Leader for Scouts at the time, and he asked how I liked my calling, how long I’d been doing it, etc. He then asked if I would be open to another calling. He gave no specifics as to what this theoretical calling was, what group it was for (Relief Society, Young Women, Primary, etc). I said that I was always open to the potential of another calling and would be happy to talk about it more if/when it came up. He said that they were still in the “early stages” and weren’t sure what they were going to do yet.

Fast forward to a few weeks later, and I’m sitting in Sacrament Meeting. They are going through the ward business, and they announce that they have released me as the Den leader, as well as all of the Primary Presidency. Imagine my complete shock when they called my name as the new Second Counselor in the Primary Presidency. I was completely blindsided! I had no idea that I was being released or called to a new calling. The new Primary President pulled me aside after the meeting and said that I looked visibly confused when they called my name. I explained that I had no idea, the only discussion I had with the Bishop was a very vague “would you be open to a new calling” conversation WEEKS before. I was completely clueless that anyone had even submitted my name for consideration for this calling, and I had certainly never been formally asked if I would accept it. I approached the Bishop about it and he seemed shocked that I was confused. He actually told me that he assumed that by saying I was open to a new calling, I wouldn’t have any issues with what I could potentially be called to.

TLDR; I wasn’t even given a chance to decline or be pressured to accept a calling. It was given to me without any prior knowledge on my part that it would be happening.
– Anonymous


I found out I had been called to be RS Secretary during Sacrament meeting; nobody, and I mean nobody, let me know beforehand.
– CP


Pro Tip: Encourage people to take the time they need to decide whether a calling is a good fit for them. Do not sustain people to callings unless they are aware and have accepted.

Click here to read all of the stories in our #hearLDSwomen series. Has anything like this happened to you? Please share in the comments or submit your experience(s) to participate in the series.

“If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.” (Mark 4:23)

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4 Responses

  1. Dani Addante says:

    That is just bizarre. I think it’s in the handbook that a person needs to be formally offered a calling and accept it before they are given that calling.

    One time I was so confused in sacrament meeting when they gave my calling to someone else. They hadn’t told me anything about this. After the meeting, the counselor came up to me and apologized. It turns out it was an oversight and they had forgotten to tell me that they were going to give me a new calling and release me from my old calling.

  2. DB says:

    Just out of curiosity, for anyone this has ever happened to, have any of you raised your hand in opposition to your own calling or turned down the calling after you were sustained?

    • Jess R says:

      I’ve turned down a calling after being sustained. I was released from teaching Sunday school and sustained as the branch compassionate service coordinator on a Sunday that I wasn’t even present at church. I found out I got called via an email from the relief society president, asking when we could meet so she could hand off the information I would need. I told her and the branch president that I couldn’t do it. I never got another calling in that branch.

  3. K says:

    I was in a primary presidency and the other counselor was released while the primary president was out of town for an extended time. The bishopric called a new counselor without consulting the president at all–she came home to find she had a new counselor. They didn’t do anything to try to contact her, either, just decided that they should take care of it.

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