#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.
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.
I found out I had been called to be RS Secretary during Sacrament meeting; nobody, and I mean nobody, let me know beforehand.
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.
“If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.” (Mark 4:23)