Asking to be released...

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
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Beefster
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Joined: 04 Aug 2017, 18:38

Asking to be released...

Post by Beefster » 23 Jan 2018, 08:51

How do I go about doing this without telling the bishop about my faith crisis?
Boys are governed by rules. Men are governed by principles.

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

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LookingHard
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Re: Asking to be released...

Post by LookingHard » 23 Jan 2018, 08:57

I just told my bishop that the calling with work and family were just too much for me.

AmyJ
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Re: Asking to be released...

Post by AmyJ » 23 Jan 2018, 09:00

I would tell him that after much reflection, you don't feel you are growing in or are passionate about your current position and offer him ideas for callings/assignments where you would be happy to serve and feel it would benefit you. Maybe you would feel better in a music based calling? Or setting up community service efforts?

Bottom line: What part of the church experience do you feel you can contribute something meaningful with your current resources?

Leadership roulette comes into play - some people in leadership don't like suggestions/ideas from those they are leading.

But I am 90% certain that if you come to the table asking to be released without providing anything, the leader's radar will ping and you will be under observation for potential faith transition symptoms.

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mom3
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Re: Asking to be released...

Post by mom3 » 23 Jan 2018, 09:41

What's your calling?
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

nibbler
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Location: Ten miles west of the exact centre of the universe

Re: Asking to be released...

Post by nibbler » 23 Jan 2018, 11:07

mom3 wrote:
23 Jan 2018, 09:41
What's your calling?
I think he said it was ward missionary (not to put words in your mouth Beefster). I remember the first time I had that calling. The leaders were very clear and adamant that at least 10 hours be spent on the calling per week and we had to turn in logs of our time. Yeah.

I've asked to be released from a calling twice. Both came well after the faith crisis but both coincided with family emergencies. I don't remember the exact wording but it was along the lines of being under a lot of stress and needing to take a step back for a while. That statement can still stand on its own merits, even without a visible emergency.

I think it helps to frame it as needing a break because it's harder for someone to argue against and it indicates that whatever it is that is going on in your life is temporary. A leader sniffs faith crisis and you'll always be the doubter in his mind. If you say you need a break they may be more inclined to give you one and you're the guy that needed a break... presumably you will have had your break at some point, meaning it's a temporary condition that won't linger (as much) in their minds.

Plus once you're callingless it's easier to not accept callings than it is to get out of one, so the break can last as long as you need it, maybe even permanent, but keeping it simple, "I need a break" doesn't say anything about duration.

Roadrunner
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Re: Asking to be released...

Post by Roadrunner » 23 Jan 2018, 15:09

You don't have to give a reason - just say you are dealing with some personal challenges and you need to be released. If asked what they are just say "stuff I can't talk about right now." You can even say it with a smile and that you wish you could.

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Heber13
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Re: Asking to be released...

Post by Heber13 » 23 Jan 2018, 15:19

AmyJ wrote:
23 Jan 2018, 09:00
Leadership roulette comes into play - some people in leadership don't like suggestions/ideas from those they are leading.

But I am 90% certain that if you come to the table asking to be released without providing anything, the leader's radar will ping and you will be under observation for potential faith transition symptoms.
It definitely depends on the leader, as AmyJ says.

But if you don't really think you can have a heart to heart with the guy...then vague answers are appropriate. You owe no explanation...you are trying to give them a heads up instead of just fading away, so they should appreciate your forthright approach. But they may not, as AmyJ says. They may want to do something to help.

Perhaps your bishop would take this as an answer:
I'm sorry. I'm not ready to talk about it in detail, I just know I can't do this calling right now and so I wanted to let you know and I hope you'll respect my wishes, I'm confiding in you because I trust you can keep it confidential. Please don't tell the ward council to start targeting me. I just need some space for now. Perhaps in the future I can go into more detail with you.
Or something like that...tell him what you want without telling him details, but throw him a bone that he need not worry for now or do anything, and you aren't asking for anything. I would think the key words like "confidential" and "confide in you" are the things bishops know they should take seriously.

I would think they would respect that request to allow you the space you want. Depending on what you want from them.

Bottom line...you just do what you need to do and let the chips fall, even if they react in ways you don't want. You can't control their reaction...but you can own your choices and how you handle it. And that's all you can do.

RR wrote:You don't have to give a reason
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."

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mom3
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Re: Asking to be released...

Post by mom3 » 23 Jan 2018, 16:14

Thanks Nibbler -

Beefster - What everyone else said, ask, smile, say thanks.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

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mom3
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Joined: 02 Apr 2011, 14:11

Re: Asking to be released...

Post by mom3 » 23 Jan 2018, 17:32

I sat in a Sacrament meeting about 20 years ago, where the Bishop gave his public farewell. He explained that he had been called over 5 years to the month, and that he had enjoyed it, but was sure he would be released soon.

10 more months passed before his desired release happened. In those 10 months he did only the bare minimum. No one got new callings. He only covered Sunday type stuff.

He left it that way with no guilt or shame.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

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Beefster
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Re: Asking to be released...

Post by Beefster » 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.
Boys are governed by rules. Men are governed by principles.

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

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