Asking to be released...

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
User avatar
Heber13
Posts: 6982
Joined: 22 Apr 2009, 16:37
Location: In the Middle

Re: Asking to be released...

Post by Heber13 » 23 Jan 2018, 19:16

Maybe you don't need a release. The benefit of a leadership calling can be delegation. Get organized to assign teaching to ward missionaries or full time missionaries or even members of the class on a rotating basis.

I used to have a sign up sheet for all lessons and asked for volunteers and when there were blanks I would call and assign to willing teachers. I was surprised how willing bishopric members, EQ President members, recent returned missionaries or single sisters in the ward would be happy to cover GP.

As far as a Ward mission plan....I just told them they don't work. I wouldn't be putting one together. Bishop can do it if he wants, but I wasn't going to pressure ward people over statistics goals when you have no control over choices others have to join the church. WM plans are something leaders want to try to engage members. They don't work. And they get forgotten 3 months after drafting one.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

User avatar
Beefster
Posts: 487
Joined: 04 Aug 2017, 18:38

Re: Asking to be released...

Post by Beefster » 23 Jan 2018, 22:41

I'm not a leader though. I just have some influence over the ward mission plan as a ward missionary. I don't even teach every week.

I'm going to push for there being no numbers on the WM plan. But yeah. You're kind of right about it being pretty much useless. That's why I want the focus to be being nice to yourself and looking at what you do normally and see how that makes you a light of the world. How your everyday life influences the world around you for good. Rather than telling people they're crappy at something, help them to see the good that they're already doing.

I get the sense that most of the church's programs are just "more of the same but work harder." Some say that the definition of insanity is "doing the same thing but expecting a different result" and by that definition, I suppose you could consider the church insane because all it ever does when it fails to live up to its potential is double down and retrench. I say break the cycle and do something novel.
Boys are governed by rules. Men are governed by principles.

Sometimes our journeys take us to unexpected places. That is a truly beautiful thing.

User avatar
LookingHard
Posts: 2865
Joined: 20 Oct 2014, 12:11

Re: Asking to be released...

Post by LookingHard » 24 Jan 2018, 05:08

Beefster wrote:
23 Jan 2018, 22:41
I get the sense that most of the church's programs are just "more of the same but work harder." Some say that the definition of insanity is "doing the same thing but expecting a different result" and by that definition, I suppose you could consider the church insane because all it ever does when it fails to live up to its potential is double down and retrench. I say break the cycle and do something novel.
Yep. I can't disagree. And I have been "doing the same thing" (sometimes with a different label or slant) for a few more decades than you. You figured that out a lot quicker than I did.

AmyJ
Posts: 777
Joined: 27 Jul 2017, 05:50

Re: Asking to be released...

Post by AmyJ » 24 Jan 2018, 07:14

Beefster wrote:
23 Jan 2018, 22:41
I'm not a leader though. I just have some influence over the ward mission plan as a ward missionary. I don't even teach every week.

I'm going to push for there being no numbers on the WM plan. But yeah. You're kind of right about it being pretty much useless. That's why I want the focus to be being nice to yourself and looking at what you do normally and see how that makes you a light of the world. How your everyday life influences the world around you for good. Rather than telling people they're crappy at something, help them to see the good that they're already doing.

I get the sense that most of the church's programs are just "more of the same but work harder." Some say that the definition of insanity is "doing the same thing but expecting a different result" and by that definition, I suppose you could consider the church insane because all it ever does when it fails to live up to its potential is double down and retrench. I say break the cycle and do something novel.
If it is a numbers game, could you suggest numbers looking at acts of service (if possible - can be coordinated), percentage of missionary lessons with a ward member present (maybe specific criteria being past the 2nd lesson), percentage of new members who were HT/VT during the first 6 months, number of new members who made it through all new new member discussions with a ward missionary, or number of suggestions implemented in the council meeting that the ward missionaries contributed towards.

User avatar
SilentDawning
Posts: 6871
Joined: 09 May 2010, 19:55

Re: Asking to be released...

Post by SilentDawning » 24 Jan 2018, 07:39

Beefster wrote:
23 Jan 2018, 18:42
I'm pretty sure my bishop already senses some level of doubt in me since I was a little too candid during tithing settlements about how the temple freaked me out the first time I went through and how I don't expect blessings from paying tithing. He seems to be going out of his way to give me a pat on the back or shake my hand and I really don't know how to make sense of it.

I wouldn't be surprised if I'm one of the people of interest during ward council. Maybe they think giving me more responsibility will help? Recently, I was soft-tasked with the responsibility of calling people to set up meal appointments for the missionaries. I approve of the idea, but I really don't think I'm the right man for the job. At all.

I think, more than anything, I just need to be relieved of the responsibility of teaching for a while. I enjoy teaching in and of itself, but it's challenging when it pits me up against some of my fundamental feelings about exclusivity and level of divinity of the church. I already do enough mental gymnastics as it is. And the fact that Gospel Principles is such a struggle for me suggests that these doubts I have really are on a fundamental level.

I suppose I can tough it out until the ward mission plan gets made because I feel like I actually have something to contribute there. I want to push for a non-preachy, non-pushy, loving (of self and others), and realistic mentality. The mantra I want to push for is "You are a better missionary than you think you are and you can do even better" and have it focus on helping others realize that fact instead of condemning them for not talking to their cashier about the church. Even though I can't personally get behind recruiting (at least not for the right reasons), good missionary work really isn't that complicated.
If you feel you can tough it out until the Ward Mission Plan comes to fruition, that would be good. I think it's good to go in and indicate you would like out of your calling, but think another area would be suitable. This shows faithfulness and raises fewer prying questions, in my view.

But I agree you don't have to give a reason. But since you have expressed doubt, I would give one. You can point to length of time in the calling if lengthy (a couple years), feeling less passion about it -- having trouble getting the motivation to prepare.

I am a bit confused because I think missionary work is even more challenging than teaching gospel principles. But if you can do it, great.

Another alternative is to ask if you can team teach it. If there are enough people in the Ward, maybe you could do it jointly with another person. The other person does the objectionable lessons and you retain the ones you feel you can do without as much conflict. But don't say it that way -- just be creative in dividing up the lessons based on "personal strengths" for example.

Whatever you do -- don't share your doubts with the Bishop. That way lies too much uncertainty and possible censure -- if not from you, from others who hear about it....

I have long believed there is no such thing as confidentiality in the church. And even if there is, it's in limited pockets -- you have to assume there isn't any for your own protection, so to speak.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"Stage 5 is where you no longer believe the gospel as its literally or traditionally taught. Nonetheless, you find your own way to be active and at peace within it". -- SD

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

My introduction: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1576

Roy
Posts: 5127
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Asking to be released...

Post by Roy » 24 Jan 2018, 10:47

We have had to ask for releases for my wife recently.

One calling was causing DW to burn out, consuming an inordinate amount of time and leaving frustration.

The second calling was for "activity days leader". It was a calling that she enjoyed and was good at but DW had done it for a number of years and DD was graduating to YW.

In both instances we gave plenty of advanced notice (3 to 6 months). It honestly seemed really appreciated and drama free. Something like "Life is busy, juggling priorities, blah, blah, blah ... I need to be released by spring break (or summer break or the new year)" has been effective for us.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

Cnsl1
Posts: 210
Joined: 05 Jan 2009, 01:33

Re: Asking to be released...

Post by Cnsl1 » 24 Jan 2018, 14:45

These are some thoughts I have about callings and being relieved of them:

First, remember the services are volunteer and we can quit whenever we want. You do not have to give a reason. You don't have to ASK to be released. Like with any volunteer service, it's nice for the organization if you give them time to find a replacement before quitting. So rather than saying, "please release me" instead say, "I can no longer do this calling and my last day will be ____."

You don't have to give a reason, but since leaders are apt to ask, consider providing a reason when you give your notice. One of the best reasons I've heard is "I've prayed and pondered a lot on this and feel that I just really need to be fed right now and I can no longer serve in this calling with the dedication it needs to have."

If you ask, you're inviting the leader to talk you out of it. If the decision has been made (by you, through personal revelation), you simply give the leader time to find a replacement and they cannot argue. They can grumble behind your back, they can be annoyed, but they can't fight you and they know they can't make you stay. You relieve the pressure on yourself and put it on the leaders.

That being said, I also believe that in this mostly volunteer church, it makes sense that we all take our turns being leaders and doing the difficult jobs. Some jobs are just not suited for us. Some jobs are really difficult if not impossible due to a variety of reasons such as faith transition, family situations, work situations, or emotional issues, to name a few. But, if we want to serve and contribute, there are usually things we can help with.

I used to think that just about everyone would accept any calling that came from the bishopric, but when I took my turn being a guy calling on those people, I found this wasn't always the case. And when it wasn't, these people had very good reasons for declining. I once suggested having everyone in the ward fill out a list of callings they would like. My thought was if you could get as many people serving in areas they enjoyed, you'd have happier people better able to do those callings well. Some people LOVE being nursery leaders. Others don't like it. When you have a nursery leader who loves the calling, your nursery rocks. Same goes for scouting, YM, YW, WML, etc.

Cnsl1
Posts: 210
Joined: 05 Jan 2009, 01:33

Re: Asking to be released...

Post by Cnsl1 » 24 Jan 2018, 14:55

As a footnote, I have had some interesting experiences accepting and turning down callings.

I'm a little musical and play a few different instruments. Many years ago, I was called by a member of the bishopric to be the priesthood pianist. I told him I don't play the piano. He seemed a little annoyed or perplexed or something, and almost argued with me. He said they really needed to fill that calling and said they felt good about me in that position. I told him that still doesn't mean I could play the piano. I told him I could play the guitar and would be more than happy to play the guitar for priesthood, but he declined.

I sometimes wondered if that was my chance to learn another instrument. Maybe God was giving me another chance to be a piano player and I declined. I don't think that anymore. I just think the bishopric was being presumptuous. Besides, God knows that I would have turned all the hymns into bluesy arrangements and wouldn't have lasted a month anyway.

User avatar
LookingHard
Posts: 2865
Joined: 20 Oct 2014, 12:11

Re: Asking to be released...

Post by LookingHard » 24 Jan 2018, 15:50

LOTS of people turn down callings - and ask to be released rather quickly. I know that from first hand being in a few bishoprics.

And I like the idea of getting a spreadsheet so you know what people like. That will help for some, but if they just stuck with what people put down, nobody would be RS pres, EQ Pres, Primary Pres, etc. It might set an expectation of, "But bishop, I didn't put down THAT calling on my list!"

But you never know. I extended a call to someone that had offended most of the ward to go into the nursery. This guy was the most muscular guy in the ward. He ABSOLUTELY loved it and begged us not to EVER release him. I was shocked.

User avatar
Heber13
Posts: 6982
Joined: 22 Apr 2009, 16:37
Location: In the Middle

Re: Asking to be released...

Post by Heber13 » 24 Jan 2018, 16:21

Lots of good advice, ...nodding to it all.
Beefster wrote:
23 Jan 2018, 22:41
That's why I want the focus to be being nice to yourself and looking at what you do normally and see how that makes you a light of the world.
To me...this is the gospel in a nutshell...you are dialed in to the important thing. That is why it may not be something you need to be released for...because your voice on these priorities may be what others need to hear...if your WML or bishopric starts pushing for goals and commitments and stats and programs, even if well-intentioned...you may need to be that light that focuses on the right thing. You don't have to do it their way, or look like other WMs. You are you. They called you as you are. If they believe in revelation...then they should accept God called you and so they get you as you are called. You don't have to be different to qualify for the work.

Of course...part of that is taking care of yourself...and being kind to yourself...so if you just need to step away...that is fine to do what you need to find peace. But your voice will be missed.
Beefster wrote:
23 Jan 2018, 22:41
I get the sense that most of the church's programs are just "more of the same but work harder."
Very observant. I agree. I think it is why some people are stepping away. It's boring and stale. If it is the same old same old...and that isn't really striking me as enlightening or helpful in my situation...why go? I know what they are going to say in talks, in lessons, in comments in class....and if that is all there is...well...you choose if that is enough to be worth your time and effort. I can stay home and read the ensign if that is all they are going to say.

I think for the past few years...what I've been working on is being able to be in the ward, but not of it....for lack of a better way to put it. I do my own thing, I'm there for seeing how to embrace others and accept that they are who they are and worship how they will. I find overlap with what I believe...but...I allow there to be differences. I'm just doing it my way and that is good enough. Continuing in callings and teaching and accepting others and their differences is not something I can practice if I walk away and decline callings. [In full disclosure...I fluctuate between positive and negative church experiences regularly...and sometimes need a break from it...I don't always think it is the best use of my time.]

Instead of asking to be released, I'd rather keep my calling and do it my way. They can release me if they don't like me. It won't bother me. But I won't put too much pressure on myself that I try to force myself to be different than what is important to me. Frankly...I disagree with them many times. And that's ok. I don't have to make a statement to show I disagree...I simply disagree and do it my way...and people don't seem to say much to me about it.

But I NEED to be there to practice living the gospel, even if I see things differently. I don't know how to practice love if I walk away.

That's just me. There are many other ways to do it.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

Post Reply