#hearLDSwomen: Released to Give Unwanted Break Because of Pregnancy
I got released from my calling teaching the Young Women when I was seven months pregnant. I had only had the calling for four months. I argued with the bishopric first counselor on the phone for 20 minutes, telling him I didn’t want to be released. He said the bishop had decided since we had enough people to fill callings, he wanted to “give the pregnant women a break.” I told him I knew I looked like I was due any day (I get huge when I’m pregnant), but I still had more than two months before the baby was due, and I at least wanted to wait until then to be released. I told him it was very patronizing to make decisions to “help” pregnant women without asking the pregnant women what would be helpful. He released me anyway. (Another of the pregnant women–there were 3 of us due at the same time–had to have the whole Primary presidency go to bat for her to keep her in her calling another couple months until after the Primary Program because she’d worked so hard to teach the kids all the songs and wanted to see it through.)
Flash forward to present–2.5 years later–and our bishop (new bishop) is literally being killed by his calling: he’s had four major surgeries and more hospital stays with complications due to an autoimmune disorder that flares up with stress. His calling is obviously contributing to this stress as he’d never had serious problems before. He’s missed several months’ worth of Sundays and responsibilities. But will his priesthood leaders decide unilaterally that he needs to be released for his own good? Of course not.
Pro Tip: When deciding to release someone from a calling to give them a break, take their experience and wishes into account. If you would like to make policies to help women, consult with women before implementing them to make sure the policies are actually helpful.
Click here to read all of the stories in our #hearLDSwomen series. If you would like to submit an experience, please do so here.
“If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.” (Mark 4:23).