#hearLDSwomen: My Bishop Disregarded My Answer from God

As a 23-year-old grad student, I asked a bishop about receiving my endowment. He laughed.

He apologized and explained that he was laughing because of the timing: the stake president had just told them that 23 was too young for single women not going on missions to receive their endowment.

It still stung.

The story actually gets worse. At that point I was just asking in a general sense. A year and a half later, at age 24.5, I prayed and got a clear answer that it was time. I’d wanted to receive my endowment since I was 18 and had regularly prayed about it for six and a half years. This was the first time I’d received that answer.

I knew about the First Presidency letter stating that single women not going on missions shouldn’t receive their endowment until at least their “mid-twenties,” but I figured 24 was safely in that range and went in to meet with my bishop. He told me point-blank that the stake president had a rule that no women younger than 25 could receive their endowment unless they were getting married or going on a mission. It almost crushed my testimony: I had prayed for six and a half years to receive this personal revelation, but the bishop and stake president couldn’t be troubled to pray for six seconds.

Meanwhile, a new bishop/stake president had been called in my previous ward/stake, and I later learned that they were approving women as young as 22 and 23 to receive their endowment when they graduated college. Really opened my eyes to leadership roulette.
– Rachel


Pro tip: Put people before policy. Treat other people’s revelatory experiences with respect.

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. stacer says:

    This happened to me too. Not the laughter but the telling me to wait till I’m 25. I’d had a friend in the same ward who went through when she was 19 without regard to mission or marriage, yet somehow something was wrong with me. Then when I was 25, I was told by a different bishop to wait until I was 30. No amount of telling them about my personal revelation changed anyone’s mind for months. Then finally my bishop actually read the guidelines and realized that he was was spouting a received wisdom handed down from one man in leadership to another without regard to what the actual policy was. I was suddenly able to go through when I was home for the holidays my last year of college.

  2. Ziff says:

    I’m sorry you were overruled by the whims of your leaders. This is a bit of a tangent, but it seems to me that this might be an area where standardization might help. If the GAs just set a minimum age, then there maybe wouldn’t be so much heartbreak as there is when it’s left open to interpretation, and you (and others like you) very reasonably feel that okay, you’ve consulted with God, and now is a good time, but as you point out, your leaders wave you away quickly, with almost zero thought.

  3. Stacy says:

    The “mid-twenties” was removed from the handbook about 4 or so years ago when I was serving as a Stake RS president. BUT the letter about the change only went to the Stake President (he told me because he knew I wanted the change), and so many leaders did not know. If a bishop were to check his handbook, the mid-twenties requirement would still be in it so he would need to check online to see the update which many would not. Not sure when the poster’s experience took place. But if it’s since the change… the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve made the decision–they outrank any stake president or bishop.

  4. Lady Wilhelmina says:

    How I detest those self-righteous leaders! Their misconduct needs to be recorded in letters to the stake presidency. It’s for their own sake.

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