#hearLDSwomen: My Priesthood Leaders Identify With My Husband, Not Me

When I lived in a large city where leadership was hard to find, my ex and I both had stake callings – I was the stake Primary President and he was on the high council. After some marriage problems where my stake president actually told me to put my ex’s bags on the porch (because he regularly came home from work around 4 am), the stake president thought we maybe were too busy and needed a change.

So he released me. Not my ex. Me.
– Anonymous


I told my bishop “I’m having a hard time going to church, or even leaving my house, because I’m depressed.” He replied with “That must be really hard on your husband.”

What’s so crazy is that it took me several years to pinpoint why that bugged me. I actually replied with something like ‘ya, he’s really trying….’

Husband was abusive and greatly contributing to depression. It took me years to see his abuse as well.
– Danielle


My husband has never been very Church-active and regularly declines to participate. I quite often attend alone. As a newlywed in a student ward, I occasionally wasn’t given the sacrament because the tray was always handed to the men on the row.
– Christy C.


I also talked to a bishop once about struggles i was having. He decided he wouldn’t pay for therapy, not because we could afford it (we couldn’t) but because he thought I didn’t need it. I was feeling down and had no emotional support at all.
– Anonymous



Pro Tip: Recognize that you are likely to subconsciously relate to people who are like you. When you work with women, be aware of this bias and actively fight against it. See women as people first. See women.

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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5 Responses

  1. Dani Addante says:

    I’m confused by the third example. The tray was handed to the men in the row? I’ve never heard of this before. I’ve always seen people hand the tray to both men and women. And even if they did hand the tray to a man, why would the man in the row not pass the tray to her? Seems very strange.

  2. Mike H. says:

    “He decided he wouldn’t pay for therapy… …because he thought I didn’t need it.”

    I had one Bishop, who felt there could be no mental illness, since “You can’t be tempted above what you can endure.” Yet, he changed his mind, after an LDS Family Services type got astounded by that, and, also, one of his sons came home early from his Mission, due to depression! Sam Bishop also said the autism of my 3 sons was due to my “poor parenting”, so, I now have one of my sons, that really does not want to go to church again.

  3. Arganoil says:

    Bishops should only open their mouths when they know what they are talking about. Unless they are psychiatrists, psychologists they should not give their opinion about mental illness and refer the member to a professional.
    More humility would go a long way for these brethren. I don’t see my bishop as my counselor/therapist and don’ t take most of what he says serious. It first needs to go through my BS meter. And that is a very fine-tuned one.

  4. anon says:

    As a bipolar woman married to a bipolar man, I am amazed at the dismissive attitude toward mental illness. Bishops and stake presidents should undergo extensive training on mental illness and substance abuse. I’ve not experienced this myself as I haven’t sought counsel from a church leader. But mental illness is isolating, and going toward your church leader is a natural first step for many.

    For the first woman whose stake president advised she put her husband’s bag on the porch, my first thought was that he was setting her up to get the house if the separation ended in divorce. My advice, ladies: do what it takes to stay in the home during a separation. Keep primary custody of the kids during a separation. If you have separate bank accounts, pay for the mortgage and car out of your account, not incidentals. This will put you in the power seat during divorce.

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