I think most of us, if not all of us have felt at some point that we wanted out
of a church calling. As someone with a pretty extreme introverted personality I
have found many church callings to be very difficult, sometimes to the point of
causing pretty serious anxiety in my life. At some points in my life I have been
able to buckle down and pull through them, at other times I have requested to be
released. I will second what the article says, don't try to find excuses
and passively try to get released from your calling. Pray about it and if you
feel okay about it then let the appropriate people know that you want or need to
be released. Hopefully you have understanding leaders that will listen to you
and be willing to work with you.
I used to have the idea that I would die with my hand to the plow rather than
ask for release.With age I've determined that callings aren't
always inspired.Tell them you want to be released and move on.
Would any of us go to the bishop and ask for a specific calling? No, we would
not. The same is true for being released. The bishop follows the same
inspiration in extending releases as with extending callings. Now, it would not
be inappropriate for an individual to go to the bishop and express frustration
over a calling due to time, dislike, and so forth, but ultimately, he is the
person who has the keys to receive the revelation regarding who is called and
who is released. Counsel with him regarding any of these frustrations. Perhaps
the added information will help him with the inspiration needed. And keep in
mind, like was said in the article, the calling is voluntary. But I would never
recommend someone just not do it. The calling is not from the bishop, you are
not volunteering for him. It is from the Lord through the bishop. Doing so
selfishly places yourself before the Lord and those you have been called to
serve. Counsel with your bishop, he will be able to help you find joy in your
calling. But joy in service will not come until we turn outward, forget
ourselves and go to work.
I'm sorry but Bishops are not necessarily inspired in every calling they
make. I've been in a bishopric, I know. Many, many, callings are done so
out of necessity to get a position filled, not by inspiration. To blindly
believe that a Bishop was inspired to call you to a position is to not be
practicing your religion properly. You should, as we all are taught, seek
personal inspiration as to the rightness of any calling. Never should you
blindly throw your faith behind any leaders decision when it effects your life
and your personal happiness. Leaders are fallible and in so many instances are
proven to have participated in behavior that unbeknownst to others make them
unfit to even be in the position of authority they have been placed. To argue otherwise reminds me of a "righteous" return missionary
telling a girl he prayed and was told that she was the one for him. Should she
defer to him based on who he portends to be or base her decision off of personal
feelings and inspiration?
In all but the most dire situation, I would be uncomfortable to just go and
request a release. I would prefer to present to the Bishop my full situation
and let him consider whether release would be the correct option.
I was once in that position, even went to the temple to get some motivation and
came out still feeling like I wanted to be released. Talked to my bishop and he
had already begun looking for someone to fill that calling. The Lord knows.
Let Him lead you in the right direction.
Claim ownership of your life. Do not relinquish it to someone who is no more
connected to inspiration than you are, and who has no right to your life even if
they make that claim.
crmeatballYes I would ask my bishop for a specific calling. "I
noticed the Connors are moving. Keep me in mind when you are trying to fill that
calling." In fact, I told my stake president exactly that when I received
my last calling. "I am happy to do that, but when my boy turns 12 I feel
very strongly about doing scouts with him." We discussed the time frame and
agreed that both callings could be completed. I had a similar conversation with
my bishop the following week.I agree that it is inappropriate to
just stop fulfilling a calling.
I thought callings were voluntary. Why then is this even an issue. Meet with the
bishop and tell him you are stepping down from the calling. End of story. Plus,
no these positions aren't called from the lord, they are called from man.
They need a position filled, and it gets filled. It has nothing to do with the
lord. Do you think the lord would have you be away from your family to fulfill a
church calling? No way.
And no, it isn't inappropriate to just stop fulfilling a calling. It is
voluntary. If they don't take no for an answer then just stop doing it. I
have seen times where people try to step down, only to be guilted back into it
by a leader. Not good.
Brahmabull: The church callings are definitly inspired by the Lord and If You
don't want a calling say no.
For me it's a matter of understanding & sustaining the leadership of
the church & living up to convenants that I made. Sure, I had callings that
I didn't like & like most of us wonder why I was called to the calling.
I can share my experience, it's far more rewarding than denying the
blessing of the calling than to asked to be released. It's amazing if we
believe that the Bishop / Stake President, etc. is called of God & is
entitled to revelation, what else matters? It never cease to amaze me, in my
life when I turn down a blessing, God seems to withdraw other blessings. This is
just my experience.
You don't go to your bishop and say, "release me." Worst advice
ever. How many bishops would love to be released? They hang in there. Wow,
The Lord won't do things for us that we can do for ourselves. Go tell your
Bishop how you feel - the Lord won't tell him how you feel since you can do
it yourself. I've asked to be released once. I had 7 callings and
inofficial callings in my ward (yes, this is how it is in Europe), was a single
mother with three underage children, no car and chronic pain. My Bishop's
response? "I didn't realize you had that many callings". Talk to
him and have an open discussion. Do NOT stop fulfilling your calling in the hope
of getting released. Other people will have to pick up the slack, and it's
not fair to them.
snowman - What evidence do you have that it is inspired of the lord? Just
a feeling? I could just easily say it is inspired by the devil...or any other
mythical being. How would I prove that?Cedar Breaks You
honestly think the lord will withdraw blessings for stepping down from a
calling? As if it is a quid pro quo, this for that? That makes no sense. Plenty
of successful people don't have callings, and plenty of people with
callings have many problems. It doesn't work that way.
I've been stuck in the same calling for two bishops. I hate it. I was
released for one year and had an absolutely wonderful calling that I loved.
During that year my replacement did such a horrible job that I was ripped out of
the calling I loved and put back into the old one. I've let the bishop
know many times I am not happy. The quality of my work is much lower but he
doesn't care. He keeps telling me that he needs me there and that I'm
still doing so much better than the other guy. I know I'm never getting
out of it unless I just stop showing up completely which I wouldn't do
because I wouldn't feel right about doing that. I look forward to Sundays
when I am out of town or unable to attend for other reasons. I visited a family
member and attended their ward and it was one of the best Sundays I had
experienced in years. My only hope is that the current bishop will eventually
get released and that the next have different ideas about where I should serve.
I was sustained to a calling I was never asked about. When I asked the branch
president if we could talk about this, he told me "Shut Up! Sit in the chair
and lets get this over with!" He did the same with another calling the next
week. I did my best for several months, prayed to be inspired and got the
answer to be released. I then asked to be released. When I did, he had a hissy
fit. He then actively and vindictively try to cause me harm in the community. I
went to the stake president and he was soon released. Not all calling are from
God and not all leaders listen. Ask to be released if you have prayed and got
the answer to do so.
andyjaggy:That was my experience as well. I was losing sleep, and
getting physically ill worrying about my calling. It was affecting my job as
well. I was never given any instructions, and very little support. It seemed
that my position was the "catch-all," the person who did the stuff that
nobody else wanted to do. I finally told the Bishop that I couldn't do the
calling because of my job.
I currently serve in a bishopric. A bishopric will do their best to seek the
Lord's inspiration when filling callings. I am confident that when
bishoprics do this, most callings are inspired.That said, the men in
bishoprics are not perfect. And they don't have Urim & Thummim to
receive a direct communication for whom to call. Thus, inspiration isn't
always 100% perfect.When you are called, you have a right to discuss
any concerns about filling the calling that you might have. Realize that a
bishopric might need your input for a final decision. We did this recently in my
ward. We were confident that a certain ward member was right for a presidency
calling. But when we talked to him personally, we found out issues in his life
that would have prevented him from fulfilling the calling well, so, at the last
second, we did not extend the calling.You have a right to reject the
calling or ask to be released. Please do so after careful thought and prayer.
And, if it indeed is right to be release or not accept the calling, feel free to
do so and not feel guilty about it.
A friend told me she was looking for someone to replace me, and I asked her if I
could please stay. I had been in the calling for 3 years, but I really wanted
(and my son) needed me to stay in that calling until it wouldn't affect my
son anymore. She agreed that I wasn't burned out and needed to stay in the
calling nobody particularly liked but I loved, and then told me a lot of
inspiration comes from information. As for asking to be released, there
may be information that the bishop or branch president doesn't have.
I've been on both sides of the desk in this situation for many years, and
my experience has been that a great deal of consideration goes into issuing
Church calls, with leaders genuinely trying to seek heavenly guidance in the
process. In the years I served as a bishop, no one declined a call to serve in
our ward--it wasn't part of our culture as a ward family. Many members
accepted calls to serve that involved considerable personal sacrifice, testing
the promise that "sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven." That
said, you really should communicate your personal circumstances to your bishop.
Inspiration works best when coupled with information, so let him understand your
perspective. You'll feel better when you share information and the bishop
suggests a change than if you simply quit serving. Something important is lost
in a ward when members decline to serve at all or where needed. Conversely, a
ward in which members happily serve each other in whatever way is needed is a
wonderful place to be.
It is true that some callings come from need, not inspiration. I believe it is
very difficult for a Bishop, Stake President, etc. to know all about everyone;
their talents, abilities, testimonies. But I do believe those callings can come
from inspiration. These Bishops are under a great deal of responsibility
especially when it comes to calling members to a position. My Dad was Bishop 3
times and he used to worry, stew, fret and pray..pray for guidance and the right
person. Many times he was inspired to offer callings and other times, no matter
how much he felt this particular person would do well...invariably they
didn't want to do it.I guess the best way for us to know if a calling is
good for us is to PRAY..STUDY THE SCRIPTURES and we will receive that good
feeling and we will know.
I have friends who refuse to come to church because they might be asked to give
a prayer or serve in a calling. What did I tell them? "Let me teach you a
word: NO!" Shocking, isn't it!?! But everyone has the right to say no
or to ask to be released. Not all callings are inspired. Many times there are
multiple people who could serve in a calling, and the Lord leaves it up to the
bishop to make a decision as to which one to choose. We start to serve and then
our lives fall apart, something that not even we could have planned for. We then
go to the bishop and tell him that we have conflicts that we cannot correct by
ourselves. And the two of you can work it out. Other times, you just plain
"hate" the calling. It stresses you too much. Again, go talk to the
bishop. Maybe you just need a new perspective. Maybe you need a different
calling. Or maybe you just need a break. Don't feel bad and don't let
other people make you feel like a bad person because you don't want to
@ Az lady"...he told me "Shut Up! Sit in the chair and lets
get this over with!" Ok, let me see if I have this right. Your
Branch President not only didn't consult with you about a calling he even
told you to "shut up" and accept the calling when you asked him about
it? Even after that you still bravely tried to perform in that calling? But
then, during prayer seeking inspiration on how to magnify your calling, the Lord
told you to ask to be released. But, after asking your Branch President to be
released he had a "hissy fit" and was so angry with you for merely
wishing to be released from your church calling that he then actively sought to
destroy your reputation in the community? And that's when you went to your
Stake President, and after learning of this Branch Presidents behavior, released
him. And it was after all that that you've come to the conclusion that not
all church callings are inspired. Wow! That's some story.Yeah, I'm sure you didn't exaggerate at all. You do know that
exaggeration is just another way of telling a lie?
Brahmabull: When one is called to a church position, its because Heavenly
Father wants the person to learn something from it.