What if he doesn't release me?

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Reuben
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What if he doesn't release me?

Post by Reuben » 10 Jan 2017, 04:49

I've finally decided that my calling is too much at the moment and asked the bishopric to be released. The bishop had my wife and me in for a chat, and we gave one of the reasons why: after crawling out of the pit of depression three times in the last two years, I'm finding that the responsibility of being YM president leaves me without enough energy for my family and job. On top of that, even little failures like forgetting to forward reminder emails sap my confidence. I told him that I've crawled out of the pit, but I still need to get far away from it. I asked for a three-month break, after which we could discuss having a calling with less responsibility.

(Of course, I didn't tell him about having a faith crisis and all the energy it takes to stay active, to straddle the gulf between teaching doctrine and teaching what I think is goodness and truth, and to have to figure out what I think is goodness and truth in the first place. I honestly dread the activities where we work on Duty to God.)

My bishop is reluctant to release me. He says I've done a lot of good for the young men. (I agree. That's why it's taken me so long to ask to be released.) I think he thinks I feel overly guilty about little failures. (I don't, and I don't think it would matter if I did.) He wants time to pray about my release and discuss it with his counselors, after which he'll get back to me. I expect him to contact me tomorrow at the earliest.

What if he doesn't release me?

I won't submit and stay in the calling, regardless of adjustments to lighten the load. I'm already letting one of my counselors handle all the planning, which is the most draining duty for me, so there's not much more that can be done. (I've told him this.)

I don't want to show all my cards. I don't want to do something stupid out of frustration. I need options in case the bishopric makes the wrong decision.
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Love before dogma. Truth before loyalty. Knowledge before certainty.

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LookingHard
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Re: What if he doesn't release me?

Post by LookingHard » 10 Jan 2017, 05:02

Maybe I am just in a bit of a mood due to work issues at the moment, but just don't show up a few times and let the weeknight activity not have an adult there. If called on the carpet about it, just tell him you felt too down to come and would have been a bad example to the YM.

Take what I say with a grain of salt, but I was just released from a calling a few weeks ago. I gave them a month's notice and if I would have gotten real pushback I probably would have said, "I already told you when I was going to stop doing that calling and that is still my date I will stop doing the calling."

Maybe I need to change my avitar today to more of an angry silverback.

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nibbler
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Re: What if he doesn't release me?

Post by nibbler » 10 Jan 2017, 06:12

Reuben wrote:I'm finding that the responsibility of being YM president leaves me without enough energy for my family and job.
I'd leave it at that.

About two years back I asked to be released from all callings due to several family emergencies occurring concurrently. The emergencies didn't let up but after some time without a calling I felt the desire to have one again. I quickly found that the ongoing family emergencies coupled with church responsibilities created far too much stress in my life so I asked for a release. I was nice about asking for the release but at the same time I didn't mince words. Continuing in the calling was not a healthy option for me so I was definitive about not "trying to" or continuing in some reduced capacity, a release was the only option. I also headed the extension of a "lesser" calling off at the pass by saying that I wasn't in a position to hold any calling at the moment.

What if he doesn't release me? In my case he didn't have that option. I wasn't mean about it, I was genuinely honest with him. The stress of my family emergencies has me treading water, the calling was the tipping point to drowning. It was a matter of my mental and spiritual well being. It was the truth, I stuck with it.

The BP may be worrying about finding a replacement on the short term so putting in a two week or one month notice is probably a good idea. The BP may also try to get you to hold on in a reduced capacity because he wants you to be included and feel loved. You mentioned this, he may be trying to resolve a concern about you feeling down for not "magnifying" your calling but that's not the issue at all. "I've thought about it, and I've prayed about it" can go a long way.
Cure sometimes, treat often, comfort always.
— Hippocrates

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DarkJedi
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Re: What if he doesn't release me?

Post by DarkJedi » 10 Jan 2017, 06:36

I agree with what LH and Nibbler have said. It seems you have nicely explained your concern, but that the bishop may not be understanding or believing your concern. Going back and being firm (using Mormonspeak) about your release is where your at. I'm a pretty firm believer in giving a date ("I can/will no longer do this calling after the end of the month....") and if not released by then just stop doing it, turn in your materials, keys, etc.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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Minyan Man
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Re: What if he doesn't release me?

Post by Minyan Man » 10 Jan 2017, 07:18

A few suggestions:

- I would give him a specific date by which you expect to be released.

- Gradually become less involved over time.

- Make some suggestions of good candidates for the position.

- Identify a specific project at work that will needs your attention more.

- Remember, we are volunteers in this organization. We are not employees.

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LookingHard
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Re: What if he doesn't release me?

Post by LookingHard » 10 Jan 2017, 07:43

nibbler wrote:The BP may be worrying about finding a replacement on the short term so putting in a two week or one month notice is probably a good idea.
Being in a bishopric several times I would say that a month is what is needed for a "significant" calling sometimes. It can cascade. You not only need to find the replacement, but your going to pull someone else out of a significant position and you have to replace them and now that they are being moved, they have newborn and that means you have to adjust the wife's calling so someone can take care of the baby during 3rd hour, ... sometimes 1 change will be the trigger for a dozen changes.
Nibbler wrote:"I've thought about it, and I've prayed about it" can go a long way.
Ahh. Now THAT is one that is hard to refute.

NightSG
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Re: What if he doesn't release me?

Post by NightSG » 10 Jan 2017, 09:14

Reuben wrote:What if he doesn't release me?
Show up to the meetings with coffee. Take frequent smoke breaks.

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Reuben
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Re: What if he doesn't release me?

Post by Reuben » 10 Jan 2017, 09:37

LookingHard wrote:
nibbler wrote:The BP may be worrying about finding a replacement on the short term so putting in a two week or one month notice is probably a good idea.
Being in a bishopric several times I would say that a month is what is needed for a "significant" calling sometimes. It can cascade. You not only need to find the replacement, but your going to pull someone else out of a significant position and you have to replace them and now that they are being moved, they have newborn and that means you have to adjust the wife's calling so someone can take care of the baby during 3rd hour, ... sometimes 1 change will be the trigger for a dozen changes.
Changes are in the works at the moment. The timing is good. I don't expect to be released immediately, and I can hang on for a few weeks. Just knowing that I'm going to be released would take some pressure off.
LookingHard wrote:
Nibbler wrote:"I've thought about it, and I've prayed about it" can go a long way.
Ahh. Now THAT is one that is hard to refute.
I wish I could use it. I suppose I could say "we" if my wife has prayed about it.
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Love before dogma. Truth before loyalty. Knowledge before certainty.

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SilentDawning
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Re: What if he doesn't release me?

Post by SilentDawning » 10 Jan 2017, 16:37

Hot Button for SD! :thumbdown:

Boo to the Bishopric in this case. You are a volunteer. You have medical reasons, and others you don't have to disclose. They should just release you after the first talk and you hold your ground.

So, this is what I would do. You have indicated where you stand -- give them a date by which you will cease functioning, and then stick to it. Give them enough time to find someone, like 3 weeks or so. Continue in the calling's essentials until then.

So
Yes, I've prayed about it, and I feel a release is what I need. In fact, I've decided to continue in the calling until [enter date]. After that, I will be taking some vacation time with my family for a couple weekends, and won't be available to function. After a few months, I will approach you, when ready, about a lesser calling.
.

You are in the driver's seat here. Not them.

I hate to play hardball with the church and its leaders, but this is inexcusable to me. I had a situation where they just took their sweet old time to release me after I had some real issues going on -- one of which was depression -- and they simply DID NOT CARE. Nor did the High Councillor. They need to be reminded (not that YOU should remind them) that the church is there to help the members, and not a one-way ticket the other way around (members there to serve the church only).

You are in the driver's seat. Just be nice to them as you assert yourself.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- 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."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

Old-Timer
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Re: What if he doesn't release me?

Post by Old-Timer » 10 Jan 2017, 20:11

You have the doctrinal right to be "an agent unto yourself". In fact, that is the ideal articulated in scripture.

You have done the right thing and can stop performing the calling in good conscience if you give a reasonable resignation notice. (I agree with one month for that calling.)

If you get push back, I would repeat your serious concern about lapsing into depression again - and perhaps share Elder Packer's quote that the Church is created to serve the members rather than the member states being created to staff the Church.

If you get more pushback, tell him point blank that if you aren't released you probably will just stop going to church altogether - and that you don't want that to happen. You want to refresh in order to be able to serve again later in a different calling.

If he ignores that, I just might write a respectful letter to the Stake President explaining why you are becoming inactive and stating that you will return to activity as soon as someone else is called as YM President. Hopefully, it won't come to that.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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