#hearLDSwomen: Lack of Autonomy in Callings Hurts Women and Children
I live in a ward that doesn’t have quite enough strong members to go around for all the callings. Serving in the Primary presidency, it became abundantly clear that women and children were at the bottom of the priorities heap.
We had a primary of 120 kids (including the nursery) and needed A LOT of teachers, yet we would be turned down for 80-90% of our calling requests. At one time, the president was desperate and submitted 10 names for one calling that we really needed to be filled and every one was rejected with no suggestions.
Meanwhile, the Young Women/Young Men programs were fully staffed with all the best people despite the fact that we only had four young women in that ward. There were seven leaders (full presidency + three advisers, not to mention the seasonal camp director) for four girls. There was a Mia Maid adviser who attended Young Women every week, even though there were zero Mia Maids and no one turning 14 for months! (No exaggeration.) We even asked for that adviser to fill a calling and were told “no.”
In addition to the continual rejection, the bishopric member over primary consistently took 1-2 months to extend approved callings. One Sunday, the Primary 2nd counselor was desperate to have some callings filled and told the bishopric member to go talk to people who were there in Sunday School that day. He did not like that and called her names.
After two years, we were all anxious to be released. When we were, the bishopric told the new Primary presidency that they couldn’t use any of us in any Primary callings.
Pro Tip: Due to the way the church is structured, women who accept leadership callings are reliant on their priesthood leaders for staffing and approval. If it is logistically impossible to offer autonomy to women to fulfill their callings, please remember what Jesus taught in Matthew 25:40: “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me”.
“If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.” (Mark 4:23)