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Sunday, June 12, 2005 

Give them a calling?

This topic was very interesting to me. I emailed my sister about it, in fact. Which is how I ended up here. First off, I do not consider my self LDS any more. I do not attend church, of any kind. I am in daily contact with God, however. I talk to him all the time. Second, I realize that we are all human, made of flesh and blood, and as so we make mistakes. Third, I know there is two sides to evey story, but the following is mine.

I have read the Book of Mormon several times. I have never truely had a true testament of the Church. I think some of the values that are taught are fantastic, and can be a useful guide in one's life. As a teenager, I struggled with different things. Mostly, my inability to believe the Church was true. I told my Bishop at the time, and several weeks later I recieved my first calling. It's funny, I think this calling was suppose to help me grow spiritually.....it didn't. I tried really hard to gain my testimony, but it never came.

When I was a Senior in highschool, I had a job in women's retail clothing. I worked with a girl who always had these mysterious bruises. It turned out that her boyfriend beat her.....often. She finally moved home. I went with her to pick up the last of her things from her boyfriends house. A week later she was dead. Her boyfriend had killed her. This event in my life made me become very passionate against vile scum who hurt women, and those who in a position to help people like my friend and then don't.

Not to long after this event in my life, a LDS friend came to me in desperate need of help. Her father was sexually abusing her and her siblings. She couldn't take it anymore. I wanted to tell my parents. Mostly, because I was pretty sure my dad would beat the living crap out of that waste of human flesh. She wanted to go to the Bishop. I agreed with a promise not to tell. I sat with her while she poured her heart and soul out to the father of our ward. He wanted to talk with my friend alone, and I left the room. She came out saying the Bishop was going to handle it. I was relieved for my friend. I was seriously pissed, two Sundays later, when the man recieved a calling in the Church. The only place he should have gone was to prison. Apparently, the Bishop felt this was a better path for this family. My friend has never been the same, and the abuse continued till her mother had the courage to walk away with her children. My friend has never been the same.

In my early 20's, a friend of mine was beaten severely by her "good" LDS husband. I was stunned into outraged silence, because another Bishop told her that she should forgive her husband. She went back to him, and he beat her again. Her husband also recieved a calling. She just recieved bruises, and the miscarriage of a very much wanted child. She left him, and the Church.

It's funny, I was taught that a calling came from God, and that you had to be worthy. Technically, I was doing the right things, but I didn't believe in the Gospel. Nobody can honestly say those men, who did these horrible things were worthy. So, it seems to me the priesthood really messed up. These are the worst of my examples granted, but I have a hard time following leadership that is so terribly flawed. I believe in God with all my heart and soul. I do not believe in any man's Church. Just as man is flawed, so are their Church's.

Thanks for letting me Guest Blog!

Posted By Ms. JC

Thanks for being willing to be a guest and for sharing those painful stories. I hope things have worked out for the better.

I struggled with a similar incident where someone I knew to be a sexual predator was given the priesthood by a priesthood leader that I'd spoken with.

While I think he made a mistake, I don't think that makes the gospel untrue. People are human, life is messy. It's the nature of humanity to be complicated and painful. I don't like it, I wish I could live a life free from ambiguity, but as much as I hate it, that's when I grow the most.

I think this will all work itself out, including your feelings, in a way that blesses everybody.

You left the church because of two idiot bishops? Have you had no good bishops?

I didn't leave the church because of anyone, but me. I'm not a hypocrite, and couldn't lead my life as one. For me it is either all or nothing. I couldn't give my all, because I did not feel it was true. I have found one common thread amongst all the religions in the world. There are good people and there are bad people in every religion. I've known both in the LDS church. More importantly, I didn't base my decision to not be apart of the LDS church on these experiances, I based it on my lack of belief.

OOps, I forgot to say the above was from me MS. JC

wow...those are hard stories to tell and so hard to see happen. Thank you for sharing...I wish there was some way to change the outcomes...

I can think of no better occasion to raise your hand in opposition to somebodies sustaining.

mr. gilliam's right, by " raising your hand in the same sign as opposed" is our right in the church.

Sometimes giving/extending a calling can help...

But not in lieu of doing the morally and legally correct thing first.

My father sexually and physically abused me through a large part of my childhood. The Bishop’s response was to give him calling after calling ... first Valiant A Sunday School teacher (my class at the time), then Cub Scout Master, and all the way now to the \ High Council. I know he never properly confessed, because (I believe) he would have had to turn himself into the authorities.... but as things are he is a very highly respected member of his Ward and Stake... so much so he told me he had a 'feeling' last month that he will be called to the Stake Presidency. :P If that is ever to happen, I will be comforted in the fact that I myself have exited the Church.

An example of when extending a calling does seem to help: My husband, who was slightly inactive for a time, was called as a Gospel Essentials instructor. Having this responsibility enabled him to build friendships and a support system at church he was desperately in need of. And isn't that what the Church, any church, is for? Religion is a vehicle... Spirituality is the trip and destination.

I know this is not what you were saying in this post and you have already mentioned that these were not the reasons that you left the church, but I really think it is important for everyone to realize that people are not perfect. Bishops have a huge burden to shoulder and sometimes we need to cut them a little slack.
That said though, it is never okay to allow abuse to occur and I agree that the cases you have discussed in your blog were handled extremely poorly.

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This Week's Topic:

  • The Sabbath Day

Various Authors

  • Monday:
    Kaycee opted out of Mormondom 4 years ago. She calls herself agnostic.
  • Tuesday:
    Sarah is not your average Gospel Doctrine Teacher.
  • Wednesday:
    Carrie Ann comes from pioneer stock, and lives in Provo, but is open minded and fair.
  • Thursday:
    Ned Flanders hasn't been to church in a while, but maintains an interest in all things Mormon.
  • Friday:
    John C. is an academic with a sense of humor and a testimony.
  • Saturday:
    JP's not going to church and feeling okay about it.

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