#hearLDSwomen: My Stake President Micromanages Women
BYU Women’s Conference is an annual 2-day conference sponsored by the Relief Society and BYU. It’s promoted Church-wide, but there is a cost to attend (similar to Education Week). A committee organizes the conference, selecting the theme, speakers, and topics. Speakers include general authorities and auxiliary leaders as well as topic experts and lay people. I was asked to be part of the BYU/Relief Society Women’s Conference committee. The invitation was extended by the president of BYU and the Relief Society general presidency. I found it a very rewarding and insightful experience. The eye-rolling part: my stake president was apparently apoplectic that this “invitation” hadn’t gone through his approval. He had my bishop call me in to find out how I had become involved. The message I got: why YOU? He also brought it up at some other priesthood meeting as a bishop from another ward confided in me a couple of years later how upset the stake president was that he wasn’t able to okay what I’m assuming he thought was a calling.
On a separate occasion, I helped organize a stake Relief Society program in which women shared very personal challenges and how their solutions came through Christ. Stories ranged from depression, wayward children, addiction, a crumbling marriage, etc. The meeting was impressively attended and incredibly impactful. However, the next day this same stake president called in the stake Relief Society president to rake her over the coals for “negative and inappropriate” messages. He said he would approve or PLAN any programs from then on.
And…this same stake president would not give my ward a budget for a ward Youth Conference because our bishop wasn’t submitting reports on time or something ridiculous. I was a Young Women counselor at the time; we were given $50 to feed 15 young men and young women at a 2-day weekend “conference” at our ward building.
Pro Tip: Allow women to perform their responsibilities without micromanaging them. Provide women with the support and information they need.
“If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.” (Mark 4:23)