#hearLDSwomen: When My Husband Was Inactive, My Bishop Told Me I’d Never Hold Important Callings
Recently, I was sealed to and married to a wonderful man whose parents had different relationships with the church. His father is a strong, wonderful man who struggles with his faith. His mother is a devout, two-time cancer survivor and has worked for years to be able to attend the temple with her children. He and I wanted to honor our mothers by having them sign as witnesses on the legal marriage certificate provided by the city we were married in. We were told that the priesthood bearers acting as the witnesses for our sealing were the only people allowed to sign. This was not a legal, state matter, but rather a policy given by the First Presidency. I’m happy to have a priesthood holder witness the eternal, spiritual sealing marriage but why can’t my mother sign the temporal, legal paperwork?
Many years ago, I was called as assistant cubmaster and my husband was called as cubmaster, because … you know …
I told the member of the bishopric issuing the call that I would accept on one condition: that I be cubmaster and my husband be the assistant, since that would be how the work load would happen regardless. He looked stunned. He eventually picked his chin up off the floor and said he would talk to the bishop. The callings did indeed get reversed. Many people were unsettled by a woman having her husband be her assistant, but that’s their problem.
– Suzanna Rickard Nope
I’d been struggling with the POX (exclusion policy for LGBT families) and some history and finally stopped attending church. No contact from anyone in my ward. After a few months, my husband stopped attending. You guessed it, “ministering visits”.
When my husband was inactive, I was told by a bishop that I would never hold important callings….important? I knew that what he said wasn’t true, I had seen amazing women hold callings with inactive husbands…. it still hurt…and I doubled down on my poor husband to conform to what looked like the perfect family…..
He’s active now 15 years later, but I think it did irreparable harm…. as I step back now…..
– ReNee A McDonald
Here’s a funny thing: lots of times it’s other women who try to reinforce the traditional culture. My husband is a fantastic cook and likes to try new recipes. Despite the fact that we’ve mainly be ignored since we quit attending, my husband bakes yummy treats and takes them to people, including the bishop’s family. So I’ll get a random text thanking me for the treats and saying how good they were. Usually I don’t even know where my guy delivered them. So I respond to these texts and let them know there’s no need to thank me, as I had nothing to do with it. Why do they assume that I do the cooking? I used to, but not since my job has longer hours I really don’t cook or bake anymore.
I sent my youngest daughter to Fathers and Sons campout because I thought it was stupid that she couldn’t go with her dad. Also, I had a wonderful friend who was widowed young and had 5 sons, and when fathers and sons came along the bishopric offered to take the boys, and she told them she was taking them. They were so uncomfortable and suggested she would feel awkward and really tried to discourage her. She did it anyway.
– Sherry Andersen
Pro Tip: Women in the church are marginalized in many ways–large and small–when men’s roles are seen as (and, in actuality, are) more important. When the church and its leaders place priority on retaining and reactivating men, women notice.
“If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.” (Mark 4:23)